Do you need to lose weight to get the perfect beach body

You were born with the perfect beach body. All you need to do to keep it that way is feed it well and keep it moving. A lot of people don’t know that and that’s too bad.

Spring is here and people, both women and men, are checking themselves out to see what needs to be done to get the perfect beach body. It may be a major renovation or some work in specific areas.

If you think your body is flawed it doesn’t help to be looking at highly photoshopped pics of stars. Comparing your body to any one of America’s first family of reality TV, the Kardashians, with their surgically enhanced extreme coke bottle shapes discourages some and amuses others.

Men compare their bodies to professional athletes and find they come up short. Well, of course, because athletes’ bodies is a product of their jobs. They train hard and eat a special diet to be at the top of their game. It’s not realistic for most men to think their lifestyle is going to be compatible with a professional athlete’s body,

Women and even men waste hours wishing their bodies were shaped differently than they way nature designed them.

We start life with no concept of our bodies. After a few months we start to make the connection, “Hey this is part of me!” We grow a little more and we learn to control our body parts. We love discovering what we can do with them and what they enable us to do. We don’t think in terms of flaws. We saw nothing wrong with rolls and rolls on our little baby thighs.

As we grow we gain new perspectives through conditioning. Our family may make casual or joking comments about our bodies.

“Look at Steph’s little pot belly. She looks just like Grandpa.”

“Hey, flat butt. Did your butt get so flat because you’re always sitting on it?”

“Ugh, you have cankles.”

These little statements often said in fun and with love get to us. We are further conditioned by the media. The men and women we see don’t look like us. They look better and we want to measure up.

Our once “perfectly good thighs” that never failed to do what we needed them to do – walk, play, run, get us where we’re going, etc… we come to realize are unsightly. We find out from a magazine or a television commercial or a friend or family member that thighs that rub together are flawed or if they exceed a certain circumference they are ruining our quest for the perfect beach body.

It’s not uncommon to think that self-hate or flaw-finding is a good thing. Some think that we can’t improve unless we find out what needs improving and to do that we need to identify our flaws. I disagree on many levels. I don’t want a media image to tell me how I need to look to be flawless. I don’t want to waste my life trying to change what won’t change and doesn’t need to change. I don’t want to hate what I have because it’s never going to be good enough.

I did that once. I dieted to fix my flaws. I got much too thin but didn’t see how skinny I’d become. All I saw were my flaws. I hoped that losing weight would get rid of them and it did make the flaws not as bad but they were still there. I wished I had the money to surgically remove my flaws and meanwhile, but I didn’t (plus I don’t like scalpels and stitches.)

I realized that hating my body wasn’t a motivator. It was the opposite; it inspired me to do things that weren’t good for my body.

I wanted to look and feel my best. It was hard to make choices that supported the goal of looking and feeling good when I hated parts of my body because they looked wrong. I often made choices that undermined my goal. I overate and chose the couch over any physical activity, even fun activities.

I believed that there really was no point in eating and exercising because no matter how thin I got, I’d never look right. After wasting too much time hating myself for not being able to shape my body into flawless perfection and hating my body because it wasn’t adequately moldable and thus flawless I changed my thinking.

I read an essay written by somebody who sounded just like me. I could have written that essay until I got to the part where she decided she wasn’t flawed; her perceptions were flawed.

She wrote about how she wrote an apology to her flawed body as though she were writing to a valued friend.

She described how writing that letter of apology helped her regain perception. There was nothing wrong with her body and it deserved her love and good care. She realized her body was her perfect beach body.

You have a perfect beach body too.

It just takes looking at it with a new perspective. Stop putting your body or body parts down because they don’t look a certain way. Appreciate what you body or body parts do for you. Write yourself a letter of apology and treat yourself the way you would treat a beloved friend.

Do you need weight to have a perfect beach body? No you don’t. but your body might benefit in looks and energy if you feed it well and give it regular physical activity.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.