By Rodney Long Jr, LSW, MSSA
Beach season is right around the corner. We all love the Summer months. The sun is shining. We get baseball, cookouts, and good times. Who doesn’t enjoy that? But if there’s one thing we can all agree that we don’t enjoy, it’s having to get ready for beach season. Now I know there are people out there who enjoy working out and can’t wait to put on that tank top or bikini. That’s awesome. Those people should serve as inspiration for the rest of us. More than likely what happens though is that we feel bad about ourselves for not looking like them.
We are in a constant age of comparison. Social media has made it so if someone has got it, they will flaunt it, and you will see every bit of it. My guess is if you’re not jealous of that person, you’re going to be judging that person as if being fit is a bad thing. Of course, it’s not a bad thing. We should all strive to look and feel our best. The most important factor in that sentence is OUR best. Too often we make our determinations based on others.
If you’re striving to look and feel your best, then who could blame you. If you want six-pack abs, work for six-pack abs. If you want to be slim and fit in a bikini, more power to you.
The problem we face is when you don’t want those things but feel pressured to work for them. That creates an issue between what you want in your life and what you’re doing in your life. That’s not harmony. Going after what you want is.
No, I don’t think you should go after other peoples’ goals, but that certainly does not mean you shouldn’t have your own. That’s the problem for most people. They look, and they say, “I don’t want six-pack abs or a tiny waist.” That’s fine, but some people use that as an excuse to not set goals of their own. Just because we don’t want what others have does not mean that we shouldn’t be striving for things of our own.
Think about it. The message here is don’t be envious just because of social media. When you see people on social media with their large house, fancy car, or crazy life, we all know that their life isn’t that glamorous.
We all know to not be jealous or envious of their life because, for everything they have in life, you’ve got certain things as well. They have money, you have love. They have a fancy car, but tons of debt. I think we’ve all learned at this point to not gauge our life based on what others have, but for some reason, we do that when we look at others’ bodies.
We shame ourselves for not looking like someone else when we may not even want to look like that. If you want a beach body, go get your beach body. If you don’t want a beach body, that’s okay too, just learn to accept it.
There’s a huge difference between acceptance and complacency. You might accept that you don’t want six-pack abs, but that is not permission to let yourself go. Work towards YOUR goals and I promise you’ll be happier, beach body or not.