I hope you are all looking forward to summer camp, vacations, or just relaxing with friends and family. It’s so nice to feel the freedom of summer!
One of the best things about summer for many girls is hanging out with friends at the beach or the pool. Sure, this is fun—but some girls feel self-conscious about how they look in a bathing suit or shorts and a t-shirt. I know many girls who feel too fat, or too skinny, or too tall, or too short—the list goes on! I sincerely hope that you all feel confident about your bodies, but if you don’t, here are some tips for you:
Don’t weigh yourself!
Your doctor probably weighs you to make sure you’re healthy, so you don’t need to weigh yourself on your own. And weighing yourself can become an obsession. I know girls who weigh themselves every day, and who feel bad about themselves if they don’t weigh the “correct” weight. If you are tempted to weigh yourself, ask yourself this question: “If the number on the scale is higher or lower than I think it should be, will I feel bad about myself?” If the answer is yes, which it often is, skip the scale! If you’re concerned about your weight, talk to your mom or your doctor about it.
Eat balanced meals—and don’t cut out treats!
Experts say that if you eat from all the food groups (meat/beans, dairy, grains like rice or bread, “good” fats like avocado or peanut butter, fruits and veggies)—and have a treat everyday, you will be healthy and happy. Try to eat not too much and not too little, and your body will be just the right size. If you deny yourself a treat like a cookie or ice cream, you’re more likely to eat too much of it later on!
Exercise has been shown to improve a girl’s body image. When you are physically active, your endorphins, or “feeling good” brain chemistry, are enhanced. You may have been active during the school year, but may wonder what to do this summer. My advice is this: find something you love to do! It could be anything–running, bicycling, splashing around in the pool, beach volleyball, or just taking a long walk—there are so many things to do during the summer. Be active, have fun, and feel good about your body!
Self Care Counts!
Girls should take a little time to pamper their bodies! Take bubble bath, paint your nails, give your hair a deep conditioning—these are special treats that can help you feel good, which can be a first step in good body image. Better yet, have friends over for a Pampering Party!
Think of a Special Statement
Special Statements are positive words a girl says to herself to encourage positive thoughts and feelings about her body and herself—sort of like a special motto, or slogan that can counteract negative body image thinking.
I know a girl, Janey, who’s Special Statement is an Egyptian proverb: “A beautiful thing is never perfect.” You can make up your own S.S, or find one in song lyrics, quotes, poems, or things you overhear people say. The sources are limitless!
For more information about Special Statements, see my book, Picture Perfect: What You Need To Feel Better About Your Body.
Hope these tips help—and hope you all have a great summer!