With the official start of summer right around the corner, the whispers of “hot girl summer” (HGS) only continue getting louder. While we have all heard the song, people often forget that the song was written to be an anthem for body positivity and rocking through summer feeling confident and happy with yourself and your body. HGS has been taken over by the fitness and health industry and has transformed from an opportunity to rock your self-confidence and the amazing body you already have, to pursuing unhealthy weight loss goals. Now this label is connected to detox products, excessive weight-loss programs and nutritional supplements and diets.
This is a good time to remind you that it’s incredibly unrealistic to think that you can lose the weight you gained over the last year in 1-2 months. Also, fast weight loss often does not lead to long term weight change. Often when we lose weight quickly the body feels it is starving and drives us to binge (overeat). You may also find yourself feeling low in energy, generally fatigued and maybe even see mental change, like mental fog or depression.
Now I’m not here to be a bummer and I fully support someone pursuing a healthier lifestyle, but I want people to succeed and chase their goals in a healthy and sustainable way. So below I will go over some great tips for promoting body-confidence and creating a healthy mindset towards fitness and nutrition.
1) Hype Yourself!
What better way to promote daily confidence, than practicing positive affirmations?! We don’t have to just wait to get compliments from others, and our confidence shouldn’t rest on the opinion of others. We are the ones who know ourselves best and we should be taking the time to appreciate our own accomplishments and complimenting ourselves.
2) Eliminate Negative Talk
On the opposite side of things is eliminating negative talk. This includes making destructive and hurtful comments about ourselves, judging ourselves negatively and using negative phrases. These phrases may looks something like:
“I fail at everything”
“I’m not good enough”
“I’ll never get the hang of this”
“I look terrible”
Now these are just a few examples, but the more we knock ourselves down the lower our self-confidence becomes and the less likely we are going to reach our goals. Of course you can’t just flip a switch and feel confident, but at times when these negative thoughts come into your head, don’t speak them out loud. Find something about yourself that you love and speak that instead. Over time, you can work to switch your overall mindset to more positive thinking. This leads to improved mood, success and overall confidence.
3) Set daily, weekly and long-term goals
I talk about this often, but setting realistic goals is so important. And while we generally have no problem setting long term goals, we feel defeated when we don’t meet that goal quickly and often people give up. Setting small daily and weekly goals will give you the opportunity to appreciate your progress.
Successfully reaching a goal every day or every week, shows you that you are capable of growth, change and progress and you’ll see your confidence building!
4) Get outside
Ever heard of seasonal depression?? Many people experience this during the colder months when they spend more time inside. When we don’t get out enough we aren’t getting Vitamin D and this can lead us to feeling more tired, less focused and oftentimes sad. The same thing happens for those who spend all day inside working. Even taking a few minutes to stand out in the sun can help boost energy and give us those good-times feelings. It also provides a break for the brain, and releases tension to be more productive after. Starting the day with a few minutes outside is also a great way to start the day off in a positive way.
You would think that periods of inactivity would lead to more energy, but it’s actually the opposite. Moving promotes those feel-good endorphins which give us energy and a more positive mindset. Large periods of inactivity can actually lead to depression and anxiety. So find time to get movement in. Maybe it’s just moving during a work break, but try to get in those 30-60 minutes a day.
Taking time for yourself is a great way to destress from everyday life and also make yourself a priority. It's common that people feel bad taking time for themselves and they must always be working and accomplishing things. Taking time to do enjoyable and relaxing activities is the best form of self care and building self confidence. This could be taking baths, home spa nights, yoga, walks, knitting. There’s an endless list of things to try. Making yourself a priority and loving yourself by taking breaks promotes a general sense of love for yourself and overall confidence in day-to-day life.
7) Set boundaries
Confidence is often connected to the opinion of others around us. It could be friends, family, co-workers, or even people on social media. These people may make comments about your weight, skin, how you dress, etc. We unfortunately put too much weight into those opinions and feel body-shamed. It’s important to recognize those in your life who are negatively impacting you and set boundaries. If you have select family members who are constantly placing judgement on you, communicate to them that your body is an off limits topic. Remember if someone respects you, they will have no issue with dropping the subject. Sometimes people don’t realize the negative impact their words have.
Just don’t be afraid to set those lines for yourself. If someone doesn’t respect that, maybe it’s time to put distance in that relationship or remove yourself from that situation entirely. The people around us should contribute to us feeling amazing about ourselves. The more you spend time with those who respect and love you for who you are, the less negative pressure you’ll feel to change. Then any kind of health journey you go on, can be just for your benefit and making sure you feel amazing.
8) Swap in some balanced meals and meals without technology
While I 100% believe in balanced nutrition and not practicing an elimination diet, we all know that some foods generally make us feel more lethargic. It’s good to pay attention to how each meal makes us feel. This can be difficult with technology, as so many of us are mindlessly eating and listening to podcasts or tv shows. Try to set aside at least some meals where you disconnect from tv and your phone. Pay attention to what you are eating. Enjoy the experience of eating. When you are connected to meal time, you’ll be less likely to overeat, which leads to a “food coma” feeling. Notice which foods make you feel tired and which ones your body seems to thrive on. Add in more of those feel good meals and you’ll notice higher energy levels and often mood improves! What we eat plays a vital role in how we function!
You have to drink water, but a large portion of people do not drink enough! Women should aim for approximately 2.5-3 liters and men 3.5-4 liters a day. Some people may only drink a few glasses. The easiest way to find out if you are drinking too little is just looking at the color of your urine. It should be a pale yellow (not clear). If it’s a darker yellow, you need to drink more.
Dehydration can have a lot of negative impacts on the body such as:
Racing heart when moving
Confusion/inability to focus and work
Lack of energy
Severe dehydration for periods of time can lead to even worse effects like fainting. In some cases it can even cause seizures or death. So let’s drink that water! You’ll notice higher energy levels and better focus!
The key for “Hot Girl Summer” is to create a lifestyle that promotes a healthy mindset, prioritizes oneself, and builds confidence. At the end of the day, all bodies are “Hot Girl Summer” bodies and everyone already has a bikini body. Don’t let those around you make you feel inferior. So be confident. Own your amazing self and prioritize yourself in a way that makes you feel good!
Until next time… and remember confidence is for all!