Summer is coming, or at least we’ve been told to expect warmer weather shortly. With the sun on Wednesday and the warmth today, I’m thinking we’re right on track. Summer can be a tricky time for polishing your image, particularly when we’re exposing more of it to the warm weather. Body image issues tend to pop up a bit more as summer comes on and we’re bombarded by media clarion calls of “Shape Up for Summer!!” and the fear of – gasp – showing our cellulite!

I think we need to enjoy our bodies even more in the summer. By all means, if you wish to improve your health, get more active, eat better and enjoy the exercise. However, if you’re concerned about how you ‘look’ and are having a tough time coming to terms with the package you’re in, let’s look at some ways to ‘shape up’ your self-image for summer and leave the bikini worries behind.

Remember, all those studies that say attractiveness = success are not wrong; it’s just that attractive is a broad umbrella. Confidence never goes out of style so help yours out with some good self-care this summer!

1. Take a look in the mirror. Imagine your body belongs to a dear friend or to your child. How would you encourage your dear one to speak to his/her body? If you want to change, keep in mind that bodies change better with love, just like we do. Your body image is likely distorted by the media you see daily – put on your ‘beauty goggles’ and broaden your perspective. Even judges need vacation. Let yours take one.

2. Toss out the magazines! Sure, we like information – keep in mind that as you read about the hot trends for summer, you’re being exposed to falsified and completely unrealistic images of bodies. Even though you logically *know* that the pictures are seriously Photoshopped, your emotional side may have a harder time catching up. Do yourself a favour and spend more time this summer figuring out how you are going to show up in the world and less on figuring out how to fit yourself into the trend box.

3. Feel your way! Instead of focusing on how you *look*, spend some time focusing on how you *feel*. From the warmth of the sun on your skin to the gritty feel of the sand on your feet, get outside and get grounded! Put your feet in the water, lie on the grass or just enjoy the view from the patio with an icy drink. Take a deep breath, gather all your energy into the present moment and *feel* into your body. The joy of feeling your way is not to be underestimated; enjoy your body, enjoy your summer.