Pressure for a 'summer body' could cause stress in women

When summer approaches, it brings with it the promise of sunny days and sea breezes. But for many women, there also comes the relentless pressure to show off a 'summer body'.. Is this aesthetic ideal really a source of stress and anxiety for women? Or is it simply a healthy motivation to take care of themselves?

To address these questions, the healthy living and bodybuilding expert, Adriana Martinjoined La Mesa Caliente to offer his unique perspective.

The debate about the perfect body is not new, but in the age of social media and unrealistic beauty standards, The pressure to achieve a physical ideal can feel overwhelming. Adriana highlights this point as crucial by pointing out that The problem lies not only in physical preparation, but in how we feel in our own body.

“The perfect body is very subjective,” she emphasizes, stressing that feeling good about yourself is equally important as looking good to others.

Against operation bikini

“There are no excuses for not being happy and eating all the lies: diets are an excuse, the bikini is an excuse.” This is how the #NiBikiniNBikino movement started on the radio is presented Blog of eating disorders Manuel Antolin, Eat the world. The initiative seeks to fight against the obsession with losing weight quickly and losing those “extra kilos” in order to achieve an ideal body before putting on the bikini.

Prepare the body to show it during the summer? The psychologist specializing in eating disorders Maria Sopena He relates how the fear of showing one's body increases with the heat.

“There are many people who do not go to the beach or who go with t-shirts and sarongs, and they are girls with a normal weight who feel very insecure on the beach.”

Maria Sopena

Likewise, he insists that the message is aimed at all audiences and is not exclusive to people with eating disorders (ED). “In summer we are all very sensitized: it is the high season for physical exposure and diets.” With the heat, the idea of ​​“having to live up to it” arises, that is, “you have to have a good body to go to the beach.”

The discrepancy then appears between the “perceived self” and the “ideal self” that you aspire to show, which in turn leads to more comparisons with other girls, with beauty standards or with your own ideal. However, María emphasizes that the relationship with heat is not direct cause-effect, but rather a mediator due to the exposure itself.

Risks to reach the physical ideal

With summer comes the rush to correct bad habits in a short period of time and it is common to resort to miracle diets that promise to lose several kilos in a few days. María Sopeña highlights the psychological effects of these diets and explains how we should prioritize long-term goals over short periods that are not sustainable over time.

“Sometimes we go on a three-day diet of eating melon and, because we have stopped eating or eaten at odd hours, we have lost weight. But it doesn't mean we can keep it.” The psychologist points out the lack of information about diets that really work. “The important thing is healthy habits that can be maintained over time.”

If habits are not maintained, the condemnation of dieting will be repeated year after year. “With a diet detox We can find ourselves at the same point every summer eating the same diet,” explains María. The objective is to propose a change, a revolution in which there is no turning back so that you do not have to lose the same 5 kilos from last year again.

It's not about finding the “good” diet that will have an effect on you, it's not about saying I'll start on Monday, It is a paradigm shift, changing the mentality. “You don't have to think in the short term, you don't have to think about those 5 kilos to put on the bikini, but about being well and being happy,” insists the psychologist.

Tips to feel free

“Exposure is important to lose fear. You have to do things and see that there are no consequences.” In summer, putting on a bikini and checking that no one is going to say anything to us would be the best measure according to the specialist. As she herself asserts, we are our own worst judge. “I would recommend that they take the test and see everything they have to gain to be calm and happy.”

Summer is about being on vacation. The bikini is nothing more than a garment to enjoy and not to be suffering thinking that you are not up to the task, as María Sopeña states. “The important thing is not to not go to the beach because of how you look, but to be happy and accept yourself.”

Sensitized to eating disorders

“It is undeniable that bikini surgery affects everyone, but the population with eating disorders is our target population. In the end we are professionals who dedicate ourselves to this.” The psychologist reports that, although only 5% of the population has an eating disorder according to her diagnostic criteria, Up to 20% develop slightly milder forms of the disorder, and 70% of women are very dissatisfied with their bodies.

María explains how it is easy to make the false association between happiness and thinness. “We can all think that being thinner we will be happier.” When an eating disorder develops, a poor solution is given to a problem with the tools available (stopping eating, vomiting, trying to be perfect, trying to control things in the environment…).

The psychologist emphasizes that these They are only the visible manifestations of the problem, but the causes are other and those are the ones that must be worked on in therapy. And one of them is wanting to be happy and how to do it. “Because having an eating disorder and being happy are incompatible.”

This expert refers to a technique used in ED therapy called “Beauty and the Beast.” “It is called that because the girl believes that if she is not the most beautiful in the group, she is not beautiful.” By the same rule of three, María questions whether comparing ourselves with the people we see, or even with some models, makes us ugly. “No!” exclaims the specialist. “It is important to think that the world is not always as we think, but that we see it in a distorted way and sometimes it hurts us,” she alleges, explaining that it is a distorted belief.

“In the end, we cannot say that society is the cause of the disorders, but It is the environment in which we live and it seems that we have to immunize ourselves to it”, concludes the psychologist specializing in ED. From #NiBikiniNiBikino they ask that the messages that are spread and perpetuate the problem begin to change to gradually build a less pressured, happier and healthier society.

(With information from EFE)