The days are longer, the temperatures warmer, the sky seems bluer. If — despite all this — your mood seems bluer, too, it’s probably because you dread donning a bathing suit for the first time this season.
Let’s face it, it’s inevitable. Like the changing of the seasons, during perimenopause and menopause our bodies change too (and not always for the better).
All is not lost (especially those pesky extra pounds). Seriously, you can either wallow in self-loathing or do something about it. Here are a few ways you can make the best of — and take control of — the situation:
- Find a swimsuit that’s flattering for your body. One size does not fit all. However, it doesn’t mean you’re relegated to a style of bathing suit your mother might wear. (That goes for the bathing cap and nose plugs, too.) You can find a swimsuit that’s flattering and fashionable. I love the Spanx swimsuits! They are brilliant! You also can camouflage a lot with a stylish cover-up.
- Maintain good posture. Holding your head high, tummy in, shoulders back and tatas out projects an image of self-assurance… and makes you look taller and slimmer, too. Instead of flats, wear sandals with a bit of a heel to give you a longer, leaner look.
- If you’re not already exercising on a regular basis, start NOW. Weight-bearing exercises are not only important to stave off osteoporosis, they tone your muscles. Flab is flab (not fab), whether you’ve got a slender physique or a little more meat on your bones.
- Drink lots of water. During the summer months, it’s especially important to hydrate. If you’re spending time outdoors, don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Take a filled water bottle with you wherever you go. Sipping throughout the day is easier than chugging your daily intake all at once. Keeping hydrated will result in healthier skin and hair… and a more beautiful you. Ice-cold water will also cool you from the inside out when you’re experiencing a hot flash. Stay away from carbonated beverages, as they can cause bloating.
- Treat yourself to a pedicure. Your feet are one part of your body you might actually want to show off. Throughout the summer, use lotion to keep your feet from looking scaly and your legs from looking dry and pasty. While you’re at it, treat yourself to a bikini wax, too. Unwanted body hair is more unsightly than a few jiggles here and there.
- Accessorize. Wear a big, floppy hat. After all, you should be protecting your skin from the sun, right? Wrinkles (and worse) aren’t cool. Pair the hat with oversized sunglasses and — voilà! — you look fabulous! If you really want that bronzed look, go with a self-tanning lotion. Then slather on the sunscreen when you’re outside.
- Be honest with yourself. Unfortunately, while many of us have outgrown our teeny-weeny-bikinis of yesteryear, we haven’t outgrown our negative self-image. Chances are you really don’t look like a beached whale — you just think you do. Positive thoughts are the first step to projecting a positive image.
- Put on your smile. If you’re having fun, no one is going to give your swimsuit-clad body a second thought. If, on the other hand, you appear insecure or uncomfortable, those around you might wonder what’s up (or what’s down, as in sagging body parts).
Take your water and your sunscreen with you, but leave the mental baggage at home. Negative self-talk holds us back and squelches our self-empowerment. You might not realize it at the time, but covering up with a beach towel while your family hits the waves just deprives yourself of joy. You miss out on shared experiences, on memories, on the moments that shape who you are.
As women in the prime of perimenopause and menopause, we have experienced so much and learned even more about ourselves. Let’s set an example for the next generation about self-love. This summer, realize your self-truth and know you are beautiful, inside and out.
Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!