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Summer Body & Grace

BY Heather Zollman
June 10, 2022

I love wearing a bathing suit!  I thoroughly enjoy the cellulite that covers the back of my legs from hips to heels and all around that has plagued me my whole life.  I get giddy about the stomach pouch or “pooch” some may call it, that my wet bathing suit clings to.  And don’t even get me started on the way that same wet bathing suit highlights the weird belly button I have post umbilical hernia repair surgery.  It’s bliss!  Pure bliss!

I am assuming some of you are equally as excited about swim suit season?

In the last few weeks, as Minnesota is finally ready to provide us with weather that feels like summer, I have heard many women express their feelings around wearing tank tops, shorts and bathing suits.  During a session with a life coaching client, I asked how her body and mind were feeling with the transition from our short spring into summer, because weather transitions can be a lot for the body and mind.  Her answer fascinated me.  She expressed that she felt energized by the sun and being able to enjoy the outdoors more AND at the same time a little down about the fact that she doesn’t feel how she’d like to in her clothes.  Another client shared that she loved wearing layers in the winter, because it hides things.

We’ve all been there.  We see ads about products, classes, diets, workouts that get us “ready” for summer.  These are all fine.  AND I’m here to offer another approach.  What if we made it a practice to pay attention to what makes us feel our best all year?  What if the goal wasn’t to simply look and feel better just in the summer months?  What if, in the paying attention, we created daily routines that nourished our bodies and minds daily?

If you didn’t pick up on it, the first paragraph of this writing was sarcastic.  My initial thought around wearing a bathing suit is…blah.  No thanks!  I have decided to shift my mindset to…I am doing my best.  I love to walk, practice gentle Yoga and Qigong and put mostly great things in my body that make me feel awesome!  I do the things that make me feel good daily and I love it.  I am also going to enjoy treats with my family, or by myself and sit in a chair and read.  I am in awe that my body has given birth to 3 amazing humans and produced two angel babies.  My wrinkles on my face and body?  I owned those.  My post-menopausal self is hella different than it was 20, 10, 5 years ago…and I’m actually loving it!  I am not going to obsess about what I look like, or what I think I SHOULD look like, because I’ve been there and it feels gross.  It feels much better to be grateful for what and who I am and enjoy life.

Now, if you are not happy with your current physical state, because it doesn’t feel good and you are struggling to find the daily routines that will help you move in the direction of feeling better about how you look and feel, that is different.  Every day is a new beginning.  Create daily practices that are doable, that you enjoy and that are empowering!  You can choose to recognize where you are right now and have that be your starting point.  I love helping people find the practices that feel best for them!  My daily routines set me up for feeling awesome, that’s why I continue to do them.  They are simple, they are doable and they set me up to feel great!  Such as, filling a gallon jug with water and making sure I drink most of if not all of it throughout the day.  Drinking warm lemon water in the morning and going for a flowy walk in nature instead of a power walk because power walks don’t feel good for my spine and flares up the arthritis in my neck.  Adding fresh coffee grinds to my face wash in the morning to exfoliate and help wake me up!  (That one is the bomb!)  Using natural products on my body like coconut oil.  It’s empowering to do things that create strength, flexibility and flow in the body and mind.

A mindset shift can do wonders for how we feel about ourselves.  When a thought comes in such as…ugh my stomach, why can’t it be flat?  Shifting it to…I went on my walk today and did a few yoga poses that help my core to carry me through my days with strength and ease…I’m grateful I do that for myself…feels so much better!

My life coaching client I mentioned earlier said that she noticed these thoughts and she was going to shift them to being excited to be more active with the kids outside and maybe shift her coffee and pop intake to water and coffee drinks with less “stuff” in them.  Little shifts create ease in the body.  It’s pausing, paying attention and creating shifts where they feel best.

I used to be the woman who woke up still exhausted, did a body pounding workout, downed lots of coffee all day to keep going and didn’t listen to what my body was trying to tell me.  My younger self could do that and feel good.  My today-self needed me to change it up.  If we don’t listen, we crash.  

Friend…listen.  

And if you feel you want guidance on how to set up daily routines that lead to feeling awesome so you can enjoy your days even more…I know a girl who can help;) 

To women, in all stages of our lives, let’s be grateful, pause, feel and take action that feels good for our unique bodies and minds.  Let’s let go of what we assume others think and our self-degrading thoughts.  Make gratitude your practice.  Let’s do our best and feel great about that!  Make it a great summer!