Summer can be an especially difficult time for those who struggle with their body image. It gets hot, so less clothing is often worn. This can be difficult for people who have a negative body image – both in the shedding of clothes and the viewing of people in less clothing. I went through IOP with a woman who would wear a turtleneck when it was 90 degrees out because her body image was so poor!
Swimsuits are another huge issue. You’ll see people with society’s “ideal” bodies walking around, and others are wearing cover ups – but, you know what? Do whatever makes YOU comfortable.
I have generally always had poor body image. It takes a LOT to not compare my shape and size to others. Even after going through binge eating IOP, having surgery and losing 130+ pounds – I still see myself heavier, even though I know that I’m not.
Fortunately, I’ve also been (in recent years, anyway) a person who couldn’t give a flying fuck what others think. If it’s hot, I’m going to wear a tank top and shorts. Don’t like my arms or legs? Don’t look at me. Yes, I am going to wear a bathing suit with no cover-up. Again, don’t like it? Don’t look!
I think it should also be noted that overall, I am a pretty modest dresser. I don’t wear things that are too revealing simply because that’s not my style. Some things I’ll show a little boob in or some thigh but that’s really about it. But if my style was a little zanier and out there…well, I like to think my attitude toward this wouldn’t change.
I like to practice radical acceptance. In a nutshell, it’s about accepting life as it is. I can’t change how I currently look NOW – maybe in the future – so I need to deal with it. I am not going to put my life on hold because someone doesn’t like my arms. Bye, Felicia.
The beauty of radical acceptance is that it can also be applied to many other situations we encounter in life. Here’s a great article I found on Psychology Today about this.
Note: this is HARD. It is so so so hard. It takes practice. Every damn day. But it works.
So, grab that killer outfit, girlfriend, and rock it. Who cares what others think? If you feel confident, that’s all that matters. And you can show people your middle finger if they say something.
Share with me: do you practice radical acceptance? How has that worked for you?