Your Eating Disorder Is Not A Guest On Summer Vacation
By Annie Clark
Summer vacation is usually associated with relaxation, warm weather and joyous memories. For individuals with eating disorders, summer vacation can look different. It is oftentimes associated with feelings of shame around one’s body and fear of wearing more revealing clothing. Having the “perfect summer body” puts a tremendous amount of pressure on individuals- especially those struggling with eating disorder behaviors and/or poor body image.
What even is the “perfect summer body?” There’s no answer to this question… because our bodies are all perfect summer bodies. Eating disorders create impossible goals and standards that lead to frustration and anxiety. You deserve to sun bathe on the beach just like any other person at the beach. Your body is worthy no matter the shape, size or blemishes.
You deserve to create memories on summer vacations that do not revolve around your body. You will want to look back on the laughs, memories and adventures you were able to experience. Uninvite your eating disorder from your summer vacation because it does not deserve a place.
Ways to stay grounded in your recovery during summer vacation:
Be present. Stay off social media and avoid looking at photos that diet culture portrays as “beach-ready bikini bodies.”
Refrain from comparison. No body is meant to look the same. You are uniquely and beautifully made.
Wear what makes you feel comfortable. You have the right to wear whatever makes you feel best.
Trust your body. Continue to stay in touch with your hunger/fullness cues and enjoyable physical activity.
Set boundaries with those around you. For example, respectfully asking those around you to not talk about bodies and appearances or negatively about food.
If negative feelings arise about your body, reach out to somebody you trust for help.