I want to be able to celebrate my summer body, which is the body that I happen to have right now, no modifications.

(Spoiler alert: It’s your right-now body.)

Friends, there are so many good things about summer: vacations, spending time with family, ice cream. For those of you not living in Phoenix/places like Phoenix, you get lovely weather. Regardless, we’ve been living the season of shorts and swimsuits… which for so many of us can bring about a certain about of apprehension and insecurity.

For many people (yes women AND men), there is an onslaught of negative thoughts as we stand in our bathrooms before we head to the pool or the beach. It could be our less-than-flat tummies, or stretchmarks on our thighs, stomachs, breasts, butts, and/or underarms. Maybe it’s about acne, scars, or eczema all over our skin. Maybe it’s the way our body hair grows (on your legs, armpits, arms, hands, fingers, toes, chest, stomach, small of your back, face, pubic area, etc.) that makes it feel SO exhausting to have to try and shave it all. Maybe it’s your weight and all you can think about is those numbers on the scale. Maybe it’s about the size of your breasts, be they “too big” or “too small.” Or we feel like our thighs aren’t toned, and we can’t show people our cellulite or varicose veins. Whatever the reason (and let’s be honest, most of us have multiple reasons), putting on a swimsuit or even just a pair of shorts can feel incredibly vulnerable.

People may assume that because I’m small and petite, that I never worry about stuff like this. I promise you, I do. My freshman year of college, I struggled with an eating disorder and while I don’t actively starve myself like I used to, it takes years of work and recovery to learn to relate to yourself in a healthier way. I’m honestly still figuring it out and I think we all are.

It took me so long to realize that I absolutely had conditional acceptance for my body. I still have to battle that “If I weigh less, that’s always better and a better version of me” mentality. When I was at my heaviest about 3 years ago, it took A LOT of grace with myself to find the beauty of me in those pictures as well.