Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, which brings lots of excitement, but it can also bring a feeling of dread because summer = shorts, tanks and bathing suits. The first thought is losing weight ASAP. Most women detest the thought of showing more skin because we're afraid of others' judgements. And even worse, our own. 

We are taught to think this way. It's not innate. We are not born hating ourselves based on how we look. I know you don't want to feel this way anymore. You want to love your body. 

The first step is awareness. Begin to notice how much you think, talk and put value on people's appearance — in a positive or negative way. 

Even when you're talking in a positive way, like when you're at the beach, and you say to your friend "omg, I wish I looked like her"... you're putting that lady on a pedestal based solely on her appearance. You don't know how she feels about her body, or what she's going through in life. And simultaneously you're putting your own body down. 

Try to take the focus off valuing bodily appearance. Instead can you comment about how relaxed she looks, or that you love the color of her bathing suit? 

For the next two weeks, I challenge you to start noticing how often you comment (out loud or in your head) about physical appearance. And when you become aware, start flipping it.

There are ways to make someone feel good without it being about their body. Instead of "you look so skinny", how about "I'm so happy to see you." Start with how you think and speak of other people, and then eventually it will trickle to yourself. 

Bring the focus and obsession away from body comments to what's inside. What do you really love about your friends and family — it's more than how they look.  

This takes daily practice — I still need reminders. Like most things, it's easier to do with a supportive pack. 

Please share this with your friends, sisters, mom, cousins, coworkers. Ask them to join you in changing the way you see and think about your bodies. Hold each other accountable as you start this summer.

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