If your answer is yes, well, join the club-it's the rare woman who doesn't have some body part that she would prefer to keep under wraps. But it's hot out, and chances are you look better than you think. So suit up with confidence-we have five self-empowerment tips from Pamela M. Peeke, MD, MPH, clinical professor of medicine, University of Maryland, and author of Body For Life for Women.
1) Change your perception of the season. Instead of apprehension ("I look sweaty and my inner thighs rub when I walk) see possibilities. Imagine living each day richly, breathing in the sweet air and basking in the warm glow of the sun. Close your eyes, and suddenly you're taking hikes, biking with friends, splashing in the water-not bemoaning the state of your thighs.
2) Do this self-assessment. Ask yourself, Am I doing all that I can to keep my mind and body fit and healthy every day? If the answer is no, then reorganize and patiently start to incorporate healthier eating and physical activity into your life in small, doable chunks. It's amazing how quickly small habits can add up. Then, instead of obsessing about your flaws, concentrate on your strengths. Maybe your waist needs trimming, but your back is strong and sculpted. Take inventory, and turn your attention to these attributes. Play them up, and make them work for you.
3) Don't underestimate the power of affirmations. Giving yourself your own personal pep talk can feel a little hokey-and counterintuitive if you're used to thinking negative thoughts-but it works. Fixating on your imperfect hips? Say to yourself: I'm doing the best I can and they're curvy and womanly. I'm fine and happy and fulfilled and beautiful in lots of ways. I will not be defined by one part of me!
4) Really experience summer. The days are long and everyone is more relaxed, so have some fun! Try new a sport (stand up paddle boarding, anyone?) or just get more active in little ways; walk a mile instead of driving, go outside and pull out some weeds or go to an outdoor concert. Summer is great time to connect mind and body, and as you transform a sedentary lifestyle to one that's more get-up-and-go, you'll focus more on how you feel rather than how you look.
5) Be realistic. Eyeing that string bikini or waist-baring T-shirt? Before you plunk down your cash, have a little inner dialogue first. Instead of pining away for the days when you were able to wear anything, you need to honor yourself right now. Buy a great one-piece suit that slims your tummy (if that's what looks best), and quit stressing out. Free yourself of anxiety-provoking goals, and replace them with realistic expectations. And remember: Life isn't a fashion show. Think about how you feel, not how you look at every moment. Experience is much more desirable than perfection.
More from Prevention
Discover all the amazing benefits of walking! Try Walk Off Weight, free for 21-Days!
Order Prevention magazine today for only 99 cents an issue!