It’s Beach Body time of year again. Have you had your diet club leaflet though the letterbox yet? With an image of a smiling slim woman sitting on the beach, eating an apple, or some such nonsense? Protein World are even suggesting we ‘Keep up with a Kardashian’ in time for summer.  After all the fuss there was about their ‘Beach Body’ ads last year, you would have thought they would have learned their lesson.

No normal person sits on the beach eating an apple. Beaches are for ice creams (UK) and cocktails (abroad). And nobody looks like Khloe Kardashian, even Khloe Kardashian.

Are you beach ready? I’m not. It’s far too cold on this side of the country to even consider baring my extremities yet. If I do decide that it’s warm enough, I want to be like the inspirational plus size bloggers who say <insert your own obscenity> to convention, women’s magazine diet pull outs and adverts for Slim Fast (doesn’t work for me, sorry).

Leah’s body positive beach photos

Leah Davidson writes a really uplifting (often sweary) blog talking about all sorts, including fashion, health and being confident in your body. She’s worked really hard against a tide of people who like to remind her that her body shape isn’t ‘ideal’ and express faux concern about her health. The image at the top of the blog post here really hit home with me recently when she posted it on Instagram and Facebook.

When we took these photos last year I disliked a lot of them because I didn’t know I looked like this.

beach body positivity

“When we had our lovely holiday in Spain last year for some reason my cellulite wasn’t that apparent in the swimwear shots I took every day. Because I take so many photos for blog posts I see myself reflected in photos more often than I do in a mirror, and this can warp perception of self. But on this day the sun made a shadow of every little dimple and I had a hard time dealing with it.

We can all identify with the “Oh crap, is that really how I look” feelings. Doesn’t matter if you’re fat, thin or somewhere in the middle, some of us just aren’t photogenic (raises hand) and the camera isn’t our friend. Leah, instead of deleting all record of the images, decided to work on how she felt about herself, and this is what happened:

“I posted some of the shots anyway, but I was beating myself up a bit for my dimpled flesh. But this is what is SO AMAZING about continuing to work on self love. Now I see these photos and love them.

“There’s nothing like realising you’ve been unnecessarily hard on yourself to strengthen your self love resolve. Working on loving yourself is one of the hardest yet most rewarding bits of work you can do. When I look back on old photos with a kinder, more accepting eye it reminds me how far I’ve come, and how far I have to go. Healing from the toxic messages society feeds us about body size and worth isn’t linear. There will always be ups and downs, but life is kinder when you love yourself.”

You don’t have to be the beach body perfect weight

You don’t have to have the perfect body to get dressed up and go out in your beach wear. Don’t let the perfect body police stop you from feeling the sunshine on your arms or swimming in the sea. If you’re trying to lose weight – that’s your prerogative but don’t waste your time waiting until you are at your perfect weight before you buy that gorgeous swimming costume you fancy and get your legs out. Fat legs deserve sunshine too!

beach body wingz cover up

After the sun got to my shoulders….

I must admit that I don’t get my arms out when it’s hot – that’s because my shoulders ALWAYS burn. Doesn’t matter if I have factor 50 on, I still get that tell-tale tingle so I tend to cover up when it’s really hot just in case. I know, I’m a bit paranoid. Wingz are great for that because as soon as it cools off a bit I can whip them off and get my pasty white skin back out on show. Bingo wings and all.

PS: You can vote for Leah’s blog in the Navabi Plus Size Blog Awards here