Leave the Girl Alone and Let Her Eat the Cake

Summertime, summertime. It’s that time again; time to pull out our bathing suits and hope to find one that covers up, sucks in, conquers the curves, and divides and hides. Some of us are hoping we can actually breathe once we have tied that last strap. It’s also a time of wonder. We are wondering what exactly happened to our New Year’s resolution to get in shape and now summer is already upon us and we are not beach body ready.

Hold the phone. Beach body ready, what exactly does this entail?

I guess it would be a body that is described as thin, fit, and possibly spray tanned. We’ve given others the power to decide whether our bodies are ready for the beach. We have allowed these labels and expectations to be a part of our society for far too long and quite frankly, I’m tired of it. I am a 45 year old mother of four and I AM beach body ready. Yeah, I am ready to pack up my BEACH bag with my BEACH towel and BEACH sunscreen, grab my BEACH water bottle filled with green tea and sit myself right on the BEACH. Boom.

Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of American women are obese or overweight and I am one of them.

I am strong and healthy, I eat well and exercise regularly, but I was born with a fat gene or two. I understand how difficult it is to get the weight off and keep it off when you are watching every single thing you eat for weeks, only to lose five pounds. The last thing you want is someone to inform you that what you are about to consume is either not good for you or simply would not follow a weight loss plan. The individual who is overweight does not need to be informed they are overweight as they are very aware of it already.

Women do this to others, and it seems to be more of an accepted behavior with women in the south. We see them across the way at the pool or beach and we wonder why they can’t get it together. We judge them without consideration of their genetics, their home life, the type of food they can afford and their physical ability to exercise. When we make comments to our close friends — though our reasons may be because we genuinely care about their health — it hurts even more because you are the friend who has accepted them and loved them just the way they are. We think they need our advice and diet tips, rudely informing them of the sugar or fat content before it hits their tongue, as if we are going to save them from obesity at that very moment.

It’s hurtful. I’ve seen it and I’ve heard from women who tell me it just makes them want to throw their hands up in defeat causing them to want to eat more. As women, we are so much more than our waistline, but somehow over the last three decades we have allowed society to take away our worth and our joy in being whatever size God created us to be. I’ve often wondered if women make these comments because they are unhappy with characteristics of their own.

We are sometimes our worst critics; we lose a few pounds, but it is just not enough.

We compare ourselves to others who have a completely different body type; this creates body image issues and we then put unrealistic expectations and goals on ourselves. If you have ever been pregnant, your body will never be the way it was before you were pregnant. Every five years you will notice changes in your body; this is completely normal and should be a reminder to keep moving and be happy you’re still alive.

Forget about being beach body ready. Those standards were set by those who don’t even know you or care about your health and well-being. Exercising and eating right is the best way to lose weight and we all know this. It doesn’t matter what size your swimsuit is — put it on and jump in. Lap swimming is great exercise, not that I am nagging you or anything. We all have to figure out what works best for us and we all have to arrive at the moment when we want to make the change in our diet and our physical health.

Your goal should be to become a better YOU, to feel better about YOURSELF and to be a stronger YOU. YOU just worry about you and leave the other girl alone, and let her eat her piece of cake.

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