As a trainer this is the absolute toughest time of the year.
Sure, New Year's Resolutions can be annoying (lots of peeps that have no intentions of doing what it takes longer than the first month), but there's nothing like that warm Spring/Summer air to bring out the impatience in us all.
I literally gain 5lbs at the start of every warm weather season simply from stressing over the volume of complaints and “I need to lose weight this instant” feelings that come from all across the board. If this is you, please know that it's a very common thought right now, so you are not alone. But, it's not helping you. If I could get even 20% of clients to realize that the stress they are causing themselves (and me!) is LITERALLY compounding the problem.
It is so painstakingly hard to watch how the warm weather changes people. The patient suddenly become irate, fluctuations that were easily dismissed during winter layer season becomes inconceivable, magazines/TV/movies show perfect/airbrushed/starved/surgically modified/beautiful people frolicking in the sun. Even “plus-sized” models are like size 10 with super flat abs (riiiggghht…really?!), leaving all but a whopping 10% of us being content in the body that we are presented with. Then we spend the entire summer wishing we were something other than we are, until all of the true “fun in the sun” has come and gone, with us on the sidelines feeling sorry for ourselves.
I often wish that I could take an extended vacation…to rip out the mags/books/movies/scales/too small clothes, etc. from the homes of EVERY woman, and take her shopping for something that does fit and flatter her NOW. Then, I'd drop her off at the nearest PACKED beach to take a good, long, look at the 90% of people there who also aren't happy with the way that they look.
REAL people have rolls, stretch marks, blotchy skin, etc.. and don't look like people in magazines. Heck…the people in magazines don't even look like that! LOL. And the ones that do look good enough to grace magazine covers (temporarily – for a 2 hour photo shoot), put in excessive amounts of time, realize that the look is temporary, and that the picture will be altered once taken.
Because of my field, it's so hard for me to read a magazine or watch a movie/commercial without reading deeper into how it might be making women feel about themselves. I look and see the reality of it, but it bugs me knowing that most women won't. Those magazines amplify/exacerbate the feelings of body discontentment that is so common with our society. Granted, we will all be faced with the temptation to feel dissatisfied, and possibly even the need to justify it — “Well it's different for me because…” — but the point is that it's not different. There is a fine line between wanting to improve, and deeming ourselves unworthy of life because that change won't come instantly. Putting our lives on hold, and dwelling on it really doesn't change it.
And literally makes it worse.
It's not that having physique goals or wanting to improve ourselves is wrong, but the drastic decisions that we might make in haste because of the urgent feeling, is what we have to be careful to avoid. We already know the devastating effects of attempting quick fixes, yet when a big event rolls around, we may allow our rational to become compromised. Hastily made decisions (for summer, wedding, vacation, etc) can cost us months of hard work, or cause us to keep changing things every 5 minutes out of insecurity/doubt/urgency to see results, while actually running in place (net effect = zero results).
Big events and special seasons are tough bumps in the road on this journey, but we must stay the course and work towards self acceptance.
Summer…only the strong survive.