As summer is fast approaching and bikini season is almost here, I’m sure we’re all running to the gym and ditching the snacks in preparation. It’s always the same time of year that I start to panic and decide that I need to go on a ‘diet’ for when the weather gets warmer and the shorts come out. However, instead of dieting this year, I’m starting to think that it’s my lifestyle I need to change and not necessarily my weight.
I’ve always had the view that a diet is a quick fix and not a permanent change, after all new fad diets seem to come out yearly in preparation for the summer body we all desire. I’ve never truly stopped to question my outlook on food and the choices I make on a daily basis until now. Up until recently I assumed that to have a chocolate bar or some form of dessert on a daily basis was completely normal and just something that I needed. Sadly I’ve had to acknowledge that I do have a problem when it comes to sweet cravings and chocolate every day is the very opposite of what I need! This is why I’ve decided that I need to kick my sweet addiction now and get into the habit of only having some chocolate once every two weeks or so. After all, perhaps our so called sweet cravings are simply in our heads or just out of boredom?
With all that being said, the question I’m wondering is – will we ever be truly happy with our bodies? We seem to spend our whole lives dieting, a habit we have picked up from the generations of women before us, our mothers, grandmothers and aunties. To this day the women in my family are constantly worrying about their size and on missions to lose weight. It seems to be an ongoing battle for the majority of women, unless you’re blessed with a naturally fast metabolism and can eat whatever you want – if only it were that easy for all of us! The sad thing is our body problems seem to get worse as we get older, as our metabolism slows down and other factors such as children become involved. Perhaps therefore, true happiness with our bodies only comes with acceptance of our inner self.
As a society we are so focused on the outside and have forgotten about what counts on the inside. As a result we are constantly comparing ourselves to celebrities and their amazingly toned torsos. What we need to realise is that for the majority of us those bodies are simply unattainable unless we have the money, time and privileges that the stars have such as personal trainers and dieticians on speed dial. I’m not saying that we should forget about the outside as it’s important to be healthy and take pride in our appearance; but the obsession with having the ‘perfect body’ seems to have taken over our lives. Making healthy lifestyle changes such as cutting out snacks is something that needs to be ongoing, not just short term for our holidays. If we do this we’ll then start to view not having these things so regularly as healthy and normal as opposed to cruel deprivation! With this change maybe we’ll finally stop judging ourselves every time chocolate or cake passes our lips and feel that we deserve it due to our healthy diet and more importantly, healthy outlook.
Finally, we need to come to terms with the fact that the ‘perfect body’ simply doesn’t exist! Once we accept this we’ll be on our way to accepting ourselves.