F**K YOUR "SUMMER BODY"

It's at around this time of year that fashion magazines and fitness centres start low-key threatening us to start working on our "summer bodies" and how we need to get "bikini" ready.

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Do you ever notice that whenever women are encouraged to exercise, the main purpose behind it always aesthetic? We are recommended to get fit in order to look better, which in turn is supposed to help us feel better about ourselves. But the main issue here is that it implies that the way we feel about ourselves should be directly related to our physical appearance. Never mind feeling good about yourself because you're a great friend, or a hard worker, or are kind and compassionate to others. Get fit and ripped and only then will you know self love.

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It's sometimes hard to notice because this type of language runs so deep into the fabric of our society. It almost seems second-nature for us to feel shit about ourselves when we look in the mirror and realise we don't look like Candice Swanepoel. Conversely, we can feel euphoric at the first sight of ab lines and be thrown into a depth of despair when we eat a pizza, wake up the next morning and notice they’re gone.

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It's important to consider the motivations behind why we workout and try and steer ourselves away from guilt-inducing, body-shaming notions that we are what we look like. While it can be hard enough at times to self-motivate and drag our lazy butts to an exercise class, we should use our workouts as opportunities to do something positive and healthy for our bodies and minds, and experience what our amazing bodies are capable of!

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Our identities are made up of so much more than a presence or lack of visible ab lines and perfect bubble butts. Once we realize this we can be kinder to ourselves and find a much more positive and enriching relationship with fitness and our bodies!

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