THIS is what came up when I googled "Summer body". First of all, do black people (or POC in general for that matter) not exist in the summer? Why is everybody that fits the ideal white? What about countries that technically do not have summer, like Ghana or Senegal? Do they not have summer bodies or does that not apply to them? Also, why do they look so freaking happy?
In case it wasn't already obvious, today we will be talking about the much dreaded, yet much desired "summer body".
This time last year, I was already failing at what felt like my thousandth diet while simultaneously stressing about the fact that I would be spending the next three months in Nigeria and worrying about what people would think of me as I was after all, Ms. Orobo in her full glory. I tried intermittent fasting, I tried the special K diet, dang near everything and still the scale didn't move, my jeans were still too tight and I still could barely go up two flights of stairs without wanting to pass out.
Despite all of this truth that was literally ambushing me everyday, I still was focused on that "goal". In the past, the goal had been to lose 30lbs by May or to drop 2 dress sizes by Mid-April, but this year, yep this year was different, I was going for GOLD people! I was going to try to lose 120 pounds (I had calculated it) before my flight to Nigeria on May 29th. Well my freinds, it was definitely two weeks until my trip and not only did I have to close an entire residence hall with 19 other people, but I had to lose 120 lbs in two weeks!
Now let's be real here, I had made no effort, I never worked out, I either forced myself to eat one meal a day, or I was buying up the entire vending machine. There simply was no in between. So why in the HELL wasn't I "skinny"? Why wasn't I a size 12 already? Why wasn't I slim thick yet??
I made a lot of excuses, it had been a month since I lost my baby brother and I had every right to not take care of myself right? Or at least, that's what I told myself. Before my brother's passing, as earlier stated, I was already making terrible choices, but I still had my eye on this "goal'. It didn't help that my "fitspos" were Nutrisystem commercials and all kinds of skinny teas and their success stories. I put pressure on myself.
Once again, my motivation was solely from the world; comments from family members and randoms that had advised me to "get in shape" and "slim down" before the summer and most importantly before going to Nigeria. I started to think that they would turn me around and send me right back to America upon my arrival at Nnamdi Azikiwe airport (shoutout to Abuja!) the moment they saw me based, on the urgency with which people and I myself had looked at my little (actually big) situation.
A year later, as I am approaching summer, I definitely am not a size 12, or slim thick. I can however get through two flights of stairs without getting winded but I know when you google the sumemr body, you definitely won't see a picture of my cute self, but that's okay. I am finally working on being okay with that. I've come a long way, and it started with letting go of the obsessions I had with looking "perfect".
I know a lot of you guys constantly feel that pressure to get "summer ready". For the most part, when we say "summer ready" we are referring to our bodies and most sickeningly, being "summer ready" only applies to women/femme bodies. The pressure has been and continues to be on US. Funny enough, I'm sure the CEOs of the companies and editors of these magazines that advise us to "get ready" for the summer don't fit the ideals that they set for us, yet we force ourselves to fit these ideals.
I'm not here to condemn because the reality is that we are taught at an early age to worry about things such as having a "summer body" and that is something that takes UNLEARNING and sometimes, that takes years.
As always beautiful people, thanks for reading. God bless.