Promoting Health at Every Size During Summer Vacation

Summer vacation

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Director of Content and Social Media at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Summertime is a season that is saturated with messages of dieting, becoming “bikini-ready”, slimming down for the beach, and more. During a time of the year in which our bodies are more exposed and scrutinized, body image concerns are not uncommon. For the person who is already feeling subconscious about his or her body, summertime can be a stressful and overwhelming time, rather than enjoyable or relaxing.

Maintaining a Positive Body Image Outlook

In the midst of messages that may influence the belief that one’s body is not acceptable as it is, body shaming can begin proliferating. This often begins with negative thoughts about oneself, and perhaps you have found yourself in this downward spiral. Certain advertisements or images can trigger thoughts such as, “I am not good enough”, or, “I need to change _______ part of my body”, or “If only I lost weight, I could do ______”. Many individuals might feel that there are certain activities they cannot participate in, for fear of being body shamed or revealing parts of their body that they are uncomfortable with.

The reality is that every human being is unique and cannot fit into the mold that is often promoted as “acceptable” or beautiful” by the media and our society. There is also a misconception that a person needs to be thin to be considered “healthy”, but this is certainly not the case. Many different factors are involved with health, and weight and size is a poor marker for determining the health status of any individual. Understanding this can help challenge the stigma and shame that many people often experience about their own bodies.

Embracing Your Body and Enjoying the SummerVacation sandy beach

Body dissatisfaction can occur regardless of size or weight, and if you have found yourself in this position, it is important to understand where these thoughts and feelings might be coming from. If poor body image is keeping you from enjoying things in life that you previous participated in, consider reaching out for help and support. You are deserving and worthy of a life free from body shame, allowing you to enjoy the summer and every season of life.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are some ways to promote body positivity during the summer?

Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 5, 2016
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