Say yes to your body!
In the middle of summer, away from our exams and essays, many of you may be concerned you don’t have your body ‘ready for summer’ and didn’t fit. But what is a ‘summer body’?
What is a summer body?:
The concept of a summer body is a form of weight stigma, which is a bias or discrimination based on weight (National Eating Disorders Association). A lot of people think that a ‘summer body’ is one that is ‘beach worthy’. But each and every body is a beach body!
A summer body is typically associated with getting the ideal social media body that we constantly see from influencers. It’s the constant pressure to try a new trendy diet, or a workout routine which is ‘guaranteed to burn that belly fat’. But what toll does this have on mental and physical health and what issues could it cause?
About 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, with a huge number of these being kept secret. People of all ages and backgrounds can and do suffer from eating disorders (Beat Eating Disorders).
What impact can this have?:
When people chase the idea of a summer body, they typically chase an aesthetic which they believe will allow them to enjoy their holidays and their time with friends and family. This simply isn’t the case. Chasing such an aesthetic can lead to developing perfectionistic tendencies. When the ideal aesthetic isn’t achieved, it can cause disillusionment with your body image, depression, anxiety and complex eating disorders, but this list is only a handful of negative impacts.
People may develop an unhealthy relationship with food without even realising it. One of the biggest hidden culprits is calorie counting and label reading. Whilst calorie counting can work for some, many people count calories without realising that their body is unique. We all process food differently and no one person will truly benefit from obsessively monitoring everything that they eat, without understanding how their body is actually processing the food and what it is doing with it all!
You may feel a sudden desire to go to the gym and follow the new workout routine you have just seen on social media or take on a new fitness hobby! Whilst fitness is not a bad lifestyle choice and it can bring plenty of mental and physical benefits, working out without having a consultation and personalised plan from a professional to meet your individual needs can often lead to more stress and anxiety when your goals are not achieved. If you are planning on working out, it is key to understand that change takes time, it takes an understanding of your body and a realistic mindset, so don’t be afraid when you don’t make progress. Every step (yes, even those pesky backwards ones) is a chance to learn and embrace yourself! If you do want to get involved in sports or fitness, DMUsport and DMUactive are great places to start your exploration!
Wellbeing & Support:
You are your own person, and your body is yours. Own it and express yourself; prioritise your mental and physical wellbeing. If you feel like you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out. We here at DSU want everyone to feel that they can truly embrace who they are, and we are ready to help. Below is a list of resources that you can reach out to, to begin your journey in saying no to the summer body and saying yes to your body ??.
You can access support and information via:
Changing bodies: https://www.demontfortsu.com/news/article/dsu/Our-bodies-change-and-so-do-we/
An insight into calories: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-calorie-counting-work?c=1500665804940#what-is-a-calorie?
Having a healthy relationship with food: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/how-have-healthy-relationship-food
Weight stigma: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/weight-stigma