A Letter to My Body (part 1 of 2)

If you read my blog at all you are aware I’ve spent the last 3 years regularly seeing a wonderful registered dietician who also is a counselor. Her name is Christina and she has improved my life beyond belief. She and my therapist have helped me love myself and give myself grace. Recently I’ve been trying to steer completely away from disordered eating and steer head on into clarity, self love and acceptance. I recently told Christina I was afraid to gain weight if I stopped intermittent fasting and she asked why. I didn’t have a quick answer. I’m not worried I’ll gain all my weight back, nor is it because of health, it’s not that at all. It’s a fear someone (anyone) will look at me and think I’m fat, or gross, or disappointing. My husband would never do this, nor would anyone I care about who loves me. So, she asked me to write a letter to my body, then write a reply from my body to myself. I’ve finished the first half of the assignment – it felt like an energy succubus. However, I want to share it. And later, one day, I’ll share my body’s reply. Because we need to talk about this more. We need more love for ourselves.

Dear Body,

Where do I begin? This entire thing should be riddled with apology and regret. There will be reasons why, whether these reasons are enough, I’ll leave that up to you.

I spent a lifetime expecting you to do more and simultaneously take up less space. I never accepted you for your size, nor was I thankful enough for things you’ve done for me. You’re an instrument, not an ornament, and it took me 40 years to appreciate this.

What I find most curious is I’ve forgiven you for anything broken INSIDE which isn’t visible to anyone else. I forgave you for not giving me children and for having a weak ass bladder. But I somehow haven’t forgiven you for the outside. Frankly my outsides will be easier to deal with in the long haul, so I can’t figure out why this is the case. Eventually I hope to be someone less vain, someone who doesn’t care what every passer by thinks and is left with what my insides allow. I often worry if I’ll have regret for not having kids of my own, will I blame you when that regret seeps in? I sure hope not, I’ve blamed you for enough already.

Your only job is to take me though life, however long it may be and I consistently have been ashamed of the way you look – more than I’ve been proud of the fact you’ve kept me alive. I got upset when you couldn’t run faster or lift heavier or do gymnastics well. I hardly stopped to think about the things I’m thankful for because I’ve grown to expect these things out of myself, out of you.

I want us to love each other, to work together, to be whole. I want you to know the understanding I’ve finally come to terms with. How I appreciate who you are rather than who you aren’t. I take the blame for our falling out over the years. You were just created as a blank slate and I let my mind set expectations far beyond reasonable reach. I spent years damaging you and abusing you trying to meet nonessential goals I frankly, can live without. For this I am truly sorry.

I’m sorry for denying you food and for binging and purging because I thought your size was wrong and could be changed. I’m sorry for all the times I looked in the mirror and felt anything less than pride. I’m sorry for forgetting to thank you and instead thanking myself every time I accomplished something like running a half marathon or finishing Ragnar or competing in CrossFit or just getting out of bed every damn day. I haven’t given you credit for anything and you deserve all the credit. I’m 40 and you’ve carried me here, the only expectation I have left is for you to please carry me another 40 more.

I hope you can forgive me, and I hope we can be friends again.

Cheers,

Andrea

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