In Fine Feather: every body is a beach body

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March 11, 2015

By Alena Purpero

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or the past week and next couple weeks coming up, all we are going to hear about amongst our peers, professors and coworkers is everyones’ spring break plans.

Some of you may be lucky enough to travel somewhere warm, reminding yourself that not all air pains your limbs immediately after exposure. Some of you may be going on a road trip, perhaps to a ski resort for a small getaway. The third party – of which I can represent – will be home catching up with friends and vicariously living through other friends’ social media posts of them on the beach.

In addition to all of the anticipation for spring break comes what I like to refer to as “New Year’s Resolution Take Two.” In other words, it’s spending those couple of weeks before you leave for break pretending that you will become the spitting image of (insert celebrity whose physique you wish to obtain here) by the time you step foot on the beach.

With that being said, I could tell you how to get that “spring break bod” in only a couple weeks and encourage the idea of fitness binging. However, as much as I encourage goal setting, it is important that the ones you set for yourself are realistic. Also, achieving something such as that “spring break bod” to motivate you is great, but it should not be the only reason you’re working out.

I could talk about “Five ways to get bikini-ready,” or I could talk about how spring break does not entail a specific waist size or default body figure. Therefore, I will provide you with reasons why you are already spring break ready and don’t know it. Put it this way: if you are going on spring break and you have a body, then boom! Congrats, you have achieved a spring break body.

When on a trip of any sorts, I’m sure a lot of us – male or female – have been there, feeling self-conscious about the contrast between your appearance and someone else’s. It’ll have you spending more time comparing yourself to other people than actually relaxing and enjoying yourself, and how ridiculous is that? It’s a tendency that is inevitable, but you’re on vacation for goodness sake. Why shouldn’t you feel relaxed, content and confident with yourself? The answer is simple: it’s an extremely difficult and terrifying thing to do. While some people are born with a natural sense of comfort in their own skin, others struggle to grant their own body acceptance.

Since it is the first week after National Eating Disorder Week, I thought it would be an appropriate time to address the most crucial spring break necessity: confidence. OK, now after you’ve hopefully taken a moment to get over how cheesy of a line that is, think about the truth to it. We spend weeks in the gym expecting a miracle and then shaming ourselves for not achieving the results we want. The fix to this is changing the results you desire; aim for being proud of your body while working for what you want. The ingredients that go into achieving a goal are motivation, patience and perseverance, but never hatred for your own body.

Let’s be clear, choosing confidence does not entitle you to a spot on your couch and hours of lollygagging. A huge part of being confident is doing everything you can to feel your happiest and healthiest self. Treating your body to clean eating and working out will increase body serotonin and endorphins, according to Medical News Today. Another part of being confident is realizing that every body type is different. Instead of envying those who you feel have the ideal beach body, accept those differences. Perhaps even compliment that person because they may be even more insecure than you are.

Although the poolside can feel like a harsh beauty pageant, and you think everyone around you is entitled to be the judge, you are the only one you need to impress. Embed the mindset that you could give a swimsuit model a run for their money and you will radiate confidence despite what standards the media presents to us.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself, but be happy with yourself in the process. Eliminate all comparisons, stop trying to impress others and work on impressing yourself, the harshest critic of them all. The first step in making a spring break transformation is knowing that the only thing that needs to transform is your attitude towards your self-image.