As an 18 year old female I see idolised women in the media and I compare myself to them. We are fast approaching summer so the pressure to fit into teeny weeny summer dresses with our long, slim, toned legs holding us up perfectly underneath is something I am feeling and something I wanted to highlight because it’s not all bad.
First of all I want to talk about the good consequences of ‘body pressure’ – it motivates me. I bounce of beautiful healthy proactive women on Instagram (three of my faves being @sjanaelise, @meredithmickelson and @blogilates) who make me want to eat healthier, workout more and practice more self love. Their ways of life are just as motivating as their insane physiques and most importantly they all acknowledge that looking good is important but feeling good and having amazing experiences in life shouldn’t be sacrificed for a thigh gap. In a society where our growing waistlines regularly make headlines I see no harm in taking that body pressure and converting it into pressure to live a healthier lifestyle. Both @sjanaelise and @blogilates accounts are littered with tantalising flat-lays of acai bowls and avocado toast and emphasise the huge role exercise has in their lives. These small glimpses of perfection should encourage us to try something similar and adopt healthier habits . I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s not just about the definition or the vanity, body pressure can be a form of healthy ‘lifestyle pressure’ too.
However, for many of us this ideal is just unreachable. You can’t afford to eat watermelon for breakfast everyday or your mum insists on buying you cheerios. You try as much as you can to stick to the workout calendar you’ve printed offline but you stay at college late one day so you mess up and that throws you off for the rest of the month. The problem many of us face is that we try to almost emulate the exact lifestyle of our idols and find it just doesn’t work because of our other responsibilities.
I’m here to say embrace body pressure and turn it into positivity. Find something you love doing and do it when you can. If a regular routine just isn’t possible for you because your weekly schedule fluctuates all the time (I know mine does) then that’s okay. Do what you can when you can because you’ll feel so much better for going to the gym/ going for a run/ doing that body weight workout in you room than not. One method of working out I would recommend at the moment which I’m really enjoying is going on Pinterest and finding workout routines which give you rep numbers and moves to follow, this gives you some structure so you feel like you actually achieve something instead of spending ten minutes not really pushing yourself doing a bit of everything on the floor. This is a link to my Pinterest board of workout plans to start you off!
As for other workout recommendations, Yoga with Adriene has a Yoga routine for everything if you think Yoga might be your thing. For something more fast paced Sweat with Kayla might be the app for you and you get money off your prescription with Uni days. By fast paced i’m talking lots of reps, high intensity body weight exercises and/or weighted exercises if you prefer. But there are so many free workouts out there don’t feel like you have to go to a gym or purchase an app to stay in shape. If you want to do weighted workouts at home you could also invest in some hand weights which are another cheaper alternative to a gym membership.
At the end of the day if you don’t want to wear a thong bikini this summer then that’s your choice and no matter how many other people feel comfy wearing them you don’t have to succumb to that pressure. You also don’t have to be super skinny to go to the beach or have abs to wear a bikini or have a thigh gap to get your legs out this summer. We should all embrace ourselves. Let me know your thoughts!
Thanks always, Em x
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