It’s officially summer! The kids are out of school, and the outside world has mostly reopened. Although I’m super excited to get out and enjoy it all, I can’t lie; I was a little apprehensive. The thought of baring my post-quarantine body had me feeling some type of way.
We’ve all struggled with accepting our bodies as they are, right? I blame social media. It has us believing we will magically “snap back” from having a baby stretchmark-free and return to our pre-baby weight in no time. I wish women didn’t take this fallacy to heart; it’s not the case for most of us.
Instead of focusing on what my body isn’t, I will concentrate more on what it is and on making memories with my family. At the end of the day, that is what matters most.
Did you know the average size of a woman in the United States is a size 16? Also, experts say that after giving birth, it can take anywhere from three months to a year on average to shed the excess weight. Add to that the extraordinary circumstances of 2020, when American adults, according to one study, gained more than half a pound for every 10 days under a shelter-in-place order — which amounts to nearly two pounds a month
So, this whole idea of the perfect summer body is unrealistic — even in the best of times. There is beauty in the fact that we are all unique. We have this amazing ability to bring life into the world. Our bodies and minds change — and they are supposed to.
I think it’s time we control the narrative of how our bodies should look. This year, I have decided that my body is already a summer body. Instead of focusing on what my body isn’t, I will concentrate more on what it is and on making memories with my family. At the end of the day, that is what matters most. My son will not care that mommy has love handles or stretchmarks; he just wants to have a good time.
So, I will be enjoying my summer, with my shorts and my two-piece swimsuits, and I encourage you to do the same. I know that once summer is over, I’m not going to look back and remember how I looked. I only will remember all the fun I had this time around as opposed to last year. Give yourself a little grace and love yourself just as you are, because your body is already a summer body.
Ariel Chamberlain is mom and lifestyle blogger based on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Connect with her via Instagram (@thelemonsoflife1, her blog (www.thelemonsoflife.com) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.