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FAT ACTIVIST VIRGIE TOVAR’S STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE SEASON OF SELF-LOVE

SUMMER IS A TIME of expansion and experimentation, when long, sunny days help germinate our biggest wishes and dreams. What better time to grow the relationship you want with your body? Here are five ways to create a sublime summer filled with body positivity.

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1) Give Yourself Permission to Exist 100 Percent Exactly as You Are 

Think of this as a spell you cast or an intention you set for your epic summer. Repeat after me: “I, (state your name), am allowed to exist fully, completely, and totally in my human body without need for shame, apology, or any other restriction on my ability to thrive from now until the end of time.” Feeling anxious? This five minute meditation should do the trick. 

2) Dream Big

 Set aside some time to brainstorm your vision of what a magical Summer of Body Positivity looks like. Is it time spent outside or inside? Are there plenty of books around or are you catching up on sleep? With friends or solo? How do you want to feel about your body? What do you wish the culture would look like where all bodies are safe to exist and thrive? No wrong answers. Create a vision board or dedicate a journaling session to this quest. Just by dreaming, we create room for huge personal and cultural shifts.

3) Take a Vacation from Diet Culture

 Commit to simply not talking about 1) how you or others eat, and 2) your or others’ bodies—at all. See how it feels to take that time off. Trust me: this one will change your life. (Check out our article calling out toxic dieting app, NOOM.) 

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4) Double Chin for the Win

 This summer, no more “flat- tering” selfies! Have you ever noticed how “flattering” and “looking as thin as possible” are the same thing? Not today, fat-phobia. Part of changing your relationship to your body means familiarizing yourself with all of your body as it exists, in all of its perfectly excellent angles! Your task this summer is to take selfies that challenge you. Maybe take a selfie from below your jawline, while you’re snacking, or in profile.

5) Make a Body-Positive Mixtape (aka Your Summer Soundtrack) 

Pick songs that make you jiggle, bounce, laugh, cry, pound your fists, and sing out loud. These are all examples of excellent embodiment.

Continue the celebration with Virgie Tovar’s new book, The Body Positive Journal (Chronicle Books), out now.

IMAGES: (VIRGIE TOVAR) ANDRIA LO; (JOURNAL) LUCILA PERINI, COURTESY OF CHRONICLE BOOKS

This article originally appeared in BUST's Summer 2022 print edition. Subscribe today!

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