Every year when Labor Day rolls around, women are able to exhale because swimwear season is officially over. On the opposite side of the equator, the exact opposite occurred as the big inhale of sucking in the belly began in the southern hemisphere. Swimwear season is a challenge for women all over the globe because women feel so much pressure to look fat-free in their barely there bathing suits.

For as much as most women love summer, the fact that they need to wear a bathing suit makes the summer bittersweet. The fact that bathing suits show so much skin makes it challenging for women of all sizes to find the perfect suit that covers enough and enhances something. The fluorescent lights in the changing rooms do not make the process of finding a perfect suit any better, since those bold lights show every little tuck and roll.

Interestingly, women are not alone in their poolside gripes. Men have begun noticing that they do not all look their best when they don their swimming suits, too. Women tend to be more vocal about their discomfort, but many men are concerned that they lack the hot six-pack abs and fit biceps they had when they were younger. As more men read men’s magazines, they will have more opportunities to feel like they cannot compare with those physically fit, genetically perfect, and artistically airbrushed men who grace the covers.

While we are seeing more gender equality in regards to wearing swimwear in public, we are also seeing both men and women undertake different diet habits during the different seasons of the year. The turning points seem to be Memorial Day and Labor Day, with Memorial Day being the time that people start to eat fewer calories to look their best in lighter weight clothing and Labor Day being the official time to eat and eat and eat because big winter clothes can hide the extra pounds.

It seems like humans are beginning to think like bears. While bears need to fill their bellies for their long sleep through the winter, humans do not hibernate. We are not bears and we should not eat like they do. We have evolved beyond the lifestyle of the hibernating bear and our eating habits should be more civilized than the habits of the bear.

Eating a healthy diet all year long is not as difficult as it seems. While the most problematic time for many people is the holidays, by simply following healthy eating habits, no particular time of the year should be challenging at all. All that people need to do is build a framework of daily habits that include not just eating well, but exercising, too. By maintaining a healthy way of living, Memorial Day and Labor Day become just two more days that you do not have to go to work.

Once people are able to develop a healthy lifestyle with eating well and exercising regularly, they no longer have to worry about what they look like and how their clothes fit. They wake everyday and they are completely comfortable with how they look and how they feel. These same people do not have to restrict themselves enjoying food that they love, because they are able to enjoy the infrequent treat with worrying about overeating or having to apologize.

With a mindset change, it is easy to eat for health. By developing a healthy way of eating, indulgences do not have to occur every day, because you will have personal control by eating what you need, rather than eating everything that you want. You end up managing your weight rather than dieting to achieve and maintain your perfect weight. You will feel freed from your worry about what you will eat all day because you have a plan and you have an exercise schedule, too. You will develop a healthy relationship with food because you will begin to understand how food helps your body, your mind, and your spirit.

Labor Day is the perfect time to begin changing the eating-like-a-bear lifestyle. Instead of abandoning the summer eating habits, it is best to build them into year-long and life-long eating habits. By continuing to eat lighter meals and exercising regularly, your body will thank you and you will thank yourself by being ready to try on swimwear even before Memorial Day rolls back around.