Swim suit season

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Hey everyone! My name is Stephanie Diettrich and I’m yet ANOTHER dietetic intern (Lenoir-Rhyne University this time) who has had the pleasure of working with Lifexcel.

Am I the only one who despises the phrase “swimsuit season”? For some reason, we only start to hear references to this about a month or so before the season hits. You never hear much of anything about it from September through March. True, spring and summer are probably some of the only times we’re going to whip out our swimsuits…but the phrase implies so much more than that! Have you ever heard someone (or yourself) say something like “I need to get swimsuit-ready!” or have a fitness instructor attempt to motivate you by saying “swimsuit season is coming up!”? More often than not, the dread of “swimsuit season” is associated with quick-fix diets and excessive exercise, which are both likely fueled by our inner critic. My question is two-fold: since when do we only care about being healthy for one season out of the entire year? And, why should swimsuit season be our be-all-end-all? Let’s talk about it.

Summer is not this magical time during the year where our health suddenly starts to be important. Our health is important every day, week, and month of the year! Don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise. As a future Registered Dietitian, I’d be much happier to learn that someone is working slowly towards their goals by making healthy lifestyle choices rather than constantly looking for quick-fixes to get them through one thing or another. I’m sure most everyone has heard the word sustainability over and over again- in order for any lifestyle change to be effective, it must be feasible over a long period of time. Take the case of extreme dieting and exercising to attain a “perfect” bikini body in a short amount of time. Will someone really continue eating 1000 calories a day while exercising 3 hours every day for the next year? Probably not. For a lifetime? Nope. This tunnel-vision approach typically leads to yo-yo dieting and yo-yo exercising, which can end up setting us back farther physically, mentally, and emotionally than if we were to continue (or start) following a more balanced approach.

Healthy habits are not intended to be used as a punishment to repent for a year of not exercising or eating well- how horrible would that be? Balanced exercise and eating can be beneficial no matter if we’ve already reached our goals or not. Let’s not make attaining a “swimsuit body” for one season be our ultimate goal! Focus on your own personal journey and your overall health. Love where you are now and don’t let anyone or any season discourage the progress you’ve made! If you still don’t feel “swimsuit-ready,” that’s ok! Heck, I understand that the thought of “baring all” in a swimsuit can be terrifying! But who said swimming was the only fun part about summertime? There are tons of options to choose from when we take the focus off of the glorified swimsuit body. We can do things like going to theme parks, playing mini-golf, grilling out, going to baseball games, collecting seashells at the beach, walking on a beach boardwalk, going to an arcade (I don’t know why, but I always associate this one with summer!). There are plenty of ideas I didn’t list, but the point is that you can focus on any part of summer that you choose while continuing to make healthy lifestyle choices. See? Now you’re “summer-ready,” swimsuit or not!