While the rest of the world has been basking in the warmth of summer, those of us on the west coast are just now starting to feel the heat. (Lainey: seriously, in Vancouver, summer came this week. MID JULY.) Along with this sunshine comes beaches, barbeques, patios, pools and uh oh…the dreaded bathing suit season.  We all have good intentions at the beginning of each year to eat well, exercise and look the best we can in our bathing suits by summer, right?  And I know I am speaking the truth when I say most of us are finding ourselves trying to hide beneath towels, t-shirts and cover-ups at the beach while we sit and admire the beautiful bodies that surround us. You also may find yourself grabbing the latest fitness magazines with titles like “Get yourself beach ready in just 2 weeks” and running home to twist yourself into awkward positions in hopes they will help melt away your pesky love handles and the cellulite you find on your legs. 

My first piece of advice to all of you who are dreading having to put on a bathing suit is to just relax and understand that no one looks perfect in a bathing suit (even the size 2 girl sitting on a beach towel next to you is thinking that she wishes she had a done a few more squats this past winter). I ask my clients all the time if they were happy with their bodies when they were 19 and 9 times out of 10 they tell me no.  I ask them if they were to look back do they see the beauty they held at that time and do they wish they would have appreciated their bodies more and could look like that now and they always answer yes.  I then ask them are they happy with the way they look now.  They say no and I ask them if in 20 years if they think they would give anything to look like they do now. Again, their answer is always yes.

So my question to you is: why are we spending our lives being unhappy with our bodies and constantly comparing ourselves to others?  Why can’t we accept that we may have a few extra pounds on our hips or when we bend over our stomachs may roll.  I ask of you this summer to put on your bikini, or tankini or one piece and be proud of who you are and know that nobody is looking at you and judging you on how you look because everyone is too busy judging themselves.

I’m not sure if you have been following what is happening in the magazine world right now with the fight to try and make the images we see in the magazines more realistic.  But for years we have been comparing ourselves to images of these perfect, but fake, bodies that are tanned, toned and beautiful. Now, even the fashion magazines are telling us women that we are too hard on ourselves and we need to create a more realistic image of what we should look like and what is considered beautiful.

What I consider beautiful is confidence and knowing how to accentuate your best parts.  Some of us are blessed with boobs, some with great legs, some of us are curvy, some athletic but we don’t have it all.  And just like health is not a one size fits all system, neither are bathing suits.  When you go out to buy this year’s new suit pick one that highlights your best features and accept those features on your body that may not be perfect but be confident that we are all beautiful and if you take care of your body, eat the best you can and exercise to your best ability there is no reason to hide away under layers of clothing this summer.

Attached - Rafael Nadal on holiday in Italy.