It’s that time of year again when the temperature rises and all of a sudden the urge to jump on the next get fit/slim quick program kicks it into high gear, especially when you go to put on your summer clothes from last year and they don’t fit like how you remember. I remember this feeling well, and I remember absolutely dreading summer and vacation time because while everyone else was having fun, eating all the cool treats, I was left out and stuck eating my oatmeal and kale and counting every single little thing I put in my mouth. All in the name of getting my “summer body” back. I was never able to fully let loose and have fun with my family!
Not only did I see this in my own experience of motherhood, but also in the moms that I worked with as a previous Postpartum Nurse and Lactation Consultant. Once I realized that this mentality was affecting not only my confidence in myself and my ability to trust myself and my body, but also for the new Moms that I worked with and my other friends, I decided to start learning what other ways there might be to experience life AND feel good in my body.
I learned that all of this shame that Moms and women had been carrying around for decades, actually came from Diet Culture. Diet Culture is the set of constructs that elevates one way of looking “thin” and eating as “healthy” and more “morally good”, over other ways of eating and looking and these constructs inevitably end up oppressing people who do not measure up to the “thin ideal”, such as women, black, indigenous, and people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ and those with disabilities. The main goal of Diet Culture is to make you feel bad about your body so that you will think you need to buy the next fad diet or fitness plan to shrink yourself to fit into this “thin ideal”.
For the past 5 years, I have been letting go of my previous and mostly poorly researched beliefs that stemmed from Diet Culture, and embarked on a journey to UnDiet my life and my motherhood. If you are feeling that twinge of guilt or shame that your body has changed during the pandemic and you need to start yet another diet that will inevitably fail, for 95% of the population, in order to feel comfortable in your cute summer outfit or if you think you need to watch what your kids eat and do this summer, then please keep reading!
5 Tips to UnDiet Your Summer for You and Your Kids.
1- Feel comfortable in your clothes!
If your clothes from last summer or previous summers don’t fit right, feel good, or don’t fit your current style, let them go and get new ones! It is normal for your body to change over time, all bodies change. If something doesn’t fit right, feel good, or match your style, let it go and find new clothes. Getting new clothes doesn’t have to break your bank account. Consider doing a fun clothing swap with friends, visit consignment shops, or buy clothes from local stores!
2- Avoid the urge to start another diet and exercise program that promises you’ll get your “summer body” in 21 days! These programs rarely ever work, promote highly restrictive eating and intense exercise, and are breeding grounds for developing eating disorders. If you can part with it, I highly recommend letting go of your scale and weighing yourself too!
3- Be active with your kids. Once you are wearing clothing that is comfortable and you feel good in, at any size, you will feel more confident to get active with your kids. This could be anything from running through the sprinkler, going to a park and throwing a frisbee or ball around, going for a bike ride, or doing any activity that you enjoy! Being active with your kids not only has health benefits, it also creates valuable memories that will last a lifetime!
4- Include summer foods you enjoy! There is no such thing as “good” foods or “bad” foods. If your family is out and feels like getting ice cream, participate in the joy of eating the ice cream, without judging yourself or your kids for eating it, and without rules like “you need to eat your vegetables”, or “work off” your ice cream! Life is too short to not have ice cream on a hot day!
5- Enlist My Support: If you’re feeling self-conscious about your body so much so that it is difficult for you to fully participate and have fun with your family, seek my support through the Mom Body Trust Program: Summer Edition. This program will help you accept your body as it is, learn new ways of eating, trust yourself with food, and finally trust yourself and your body, so you can have fun with your kids this summer! The program starts June 30, 2022, for 6 sessions, to guide you in how you want to feel this summer without jumping back into the cycle of yo-yo dieting.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know you’re interested and for more details, by June 24, 2022!
Which one of these tips do you feel called to try this summer? I would love to know, please let me know in the comments!
You no longer have to dread summer, Mama. I hope these tips help you have fun with your kids this summer and know that I’m always here to support you on your journey of living a Motherhood UnDieted this summer or in any season!
BN BSc MBEC
Mom Body Acceptance & Eating Coach