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How to Get a Beach Body

You may have seen in the news recently some controversy surrounding a subway ad campaign in the UK – a “fitness sports and nutrition” company called Protein World hung posters in subway cars featuring an image of a model in a bikini, a line asking viewers if they are “beach ready”, and offering their meal replacement shakes as a solution. The posters inflamed commuters (with good reason!) and inspired many to vandalize them with their own messages about self-worth and body confidence. (Read the BuzzFeed article, with photos of the varying responses, here.)

Though the backlash eventually caused the posters to be taken down, the company reported a spike in sales! This got me thinking about how backwards our collective thinking has gotten: the whole notion that any person should replace their meals with shakes (or even worse, starve themselves) in order to achieve a dream body is inherently flawed. A dream body is just that – a dream, perpetuated by photoshopped images and a collective lie about what is possible. In order for companies like the one that ran this ad to make money, they have to make you feel like YOU have a problem that they can solve with their product. But THEY ARE THE PROBLEM. The reality is that:

  • The image on this poster was most likely photoshopped to make her look even better than she looks in person.
  • Countless celebrities have even photoshopped their own selfies to keep up with the ideal that they look perfect all the time.
  • Even supermodels have cellulite and stretch marks and insecurities because they are human beings.

The answer really is simple. Want a beach body? Go to the beach and play in the waves, toss a frisbee on the sand, or go for a long walk while the breeze musses your hair. Don’t wait until your body is “perfect enough” to be there! Go get sandy and sun kissed and play and play until you need to collapse on your blanket with a good book.

Want a yoga body? Do yoga. Want a runner’s body? Go running. Waiting until you can wear the outfit you want, or until you’re more flexible, or until your joints feel better won’t get you there. We must DO in order to get what we want, but we also must be honest with ourselves about what it really is that we want. Why do you want to look perfect? Will it make you happier? How about doing things that make you feel happier and healthier now, and letting your own radiance shine through because of your joy?

Let’s all stop the make believe and be honest with ourselves: there is no better day than today to head to the beach, in whatever shape we are in or size that we wear. We are all “beach ready”.