I’m Not Trying to “Get My Summer Body” and I’m Perfectly Okay With That

As the spring season quickly approaches and rolls right into summer so do all of the helpful tips and tricks for girls to get ready for the warm weather and get their summer bodies.  It’s almost completely unavoidable, from magazines to articles on Facebook and Instagram models teaching us about their super secrets.  For some people, it’s exciting and a great motivator, while others are left feeling overwhelmed with body shaming. 

I take two fitness classes here at Pitt, one of them being my muscle killing, sweat inducing body sculpting class.  I love the class because it’s a great stress reliever as well as a way for me to HAVE TO stay in shape (there’s no way I’m skipping classes and getting a B in the easiest course ever).  I’ve made some friends and, most importantly, found some great new ways to work out that actually get me excited. 

However, lately, I’ve been quite irritated while attending body sculpting.  It’s great to have someone motivating you to do one more sit-up, squat, burpee, or tricep curl.  Our TA who leads the class sometimes, though, tries to motivate us by saying something along the lines of, “summer is almost here! Think about getting that great summer bod; washboard abs and amazing legs.”  It didn’t really faze me the first time he made such a comment, but week after week of saying the same thing all I could think was, What’s wrong with my body the way it is right now???

There always seems to be this looming pressure after we come out of hibernation to suddenly change the ways we look in preparation for summer clothing.  A lot of people feel the need to lose weight, get tanner, and make extravagant plans for the summer.  It really makes me wonder why we feel so much pressure to do these things, as if there is a deadline to alter our physical appearance. 

I’ve always been the kind of person who liked to eat well and get some sort of physical activity, whether it’s spending two hours at the gym or going for a leisurely walk on the weekends.  Every year I start to feel this sort of pressure to tone my body and get some color on my extremely fair skin in time to go out in shorts and bathing suits. 

This year I’ve decided to simply be happy with the way I look.  I know that I eat a well-balanced diet and work out enough to feel energized.  But I also like sitting on the couch to binge-watch a tv series with Chinese food and a pint of ice cream.  My stomach has rolls when I sit down and I have some cellulite on my thighs and butt.  However, that’s who I am and I’d rather be happy and know I live a balanced and healthy lifestyle than feel a huge pressure to look a certain way for summer and possibly feel disappointed and shameful if I can’t reach my goal.  If you need me this summer, I’ll be sitting by the pool in a bathing suit eating and drinking and not feeling guilty about it at all.