Beach Bodies

19 July, 2010 Off By Renée

(written from the Beach in Stalida, Crete)

At the beginning of each year, we are blasted with suggestions to “lose weight” and “get fit” because of course we have to look good for Valentine’s Day or Spring Break. Then around March we are blasted with all kinds of diet and exercise tips so that come summer we have the perfect “beach body”.

What is all this noise about perfection and looking good though? I mean, my opinion of what looks good is clearly different than what others’ opinions are. As I sit here on the beach, with a differently shaped body than the last time I “enjoyed” (I didn’t, in fact) a summer holiday, I see nothing more than normal, imperfect people. Skinny, fat, short, tall, blubby, muscley, white, burnt, over-tanned. I make jokes about guys with their bellies hanging over their speedos (a punishable crime in my book), or ladies with ill-fitting bikini tops (did they not look in the mirror?) But you know what? It doesn’t matter!



What matters is the time spent with family and friends. The belly guy walking hand in hand with his wife, still loving each other after 30 years together. The father building sandcastles with his son, the almost teenager enjoying her time with her family and
building great memories to look back on. Do we need body perfection for this?

Yes, it’s important to be healthy. Being fit also helps, especially when it comes to playing with your kids, running for a bus, or walking a lot whilst on holiday. Isn’t THAT closer to perfection?

When I see in front of me that no one is perfect (even the body builder who is so tan he’s nearly black) I realise that there is nothing wrong with my body. Sure I could use some tightening up here and there, and according to health calculators I am still in the “overweight” category. But in this world of imperfection I am sitting in the middle of “perfect” – Sun, sea, sand, watching my husband play in the sand with my stepson and hanging out, relaxing on a beachbed with my stepdaughter. What more could I want right now?

I know I will always need to stay focused on my health but this bliss I’m experiencing is WAY better than a number on the scale!

(by the way, the hatred of my legs stopped this vacation. they are really not so bad after all)