Preface: As promised, I am posting the letter I wrote to my body. Writing this letter has been the single most powerful thing in healing my body image issues. I encourage you to do the same. Maybe you don't feel the need to apologize to your body like I did, but the experience of talking to my body as if it were a person was profound. I realized that if my body were a real person that I cared about, never in a million years would I think about, talk about or treat someone like I have to my body. I haven't filled my body with drugs, smoking or excessive alcohol, but I feel this abuse I have done is terrible.
Making peace with your body isn't as easy as just saying you are going to do it, at least not for me. It's taken work and commitment. I never want to pass on body image issues to my children and needed to make a change. This letter forced me to take responsibility for my actions, forgive myself for what I had done, and move on.
This feels really strange and awkward writing a letter to you, but I think it’s necessary and long overdue. It just came to me about 40 or so minutes ago that I owe you an apology. So here it goes.
I’m sorry that I’ve hated you. I’m sorry that I’ve cursed at you for being fat when 99% of the time you weren’t, and even if you were, it wasn’t your fault. I’m sorry that I wished you were different when all you ever were was good to me. I’m sorry that I compared you to others.
I’m sorry that I starved you when you needed food. I'm sorry for punishing you by going without food as a trade off for not exercising or being a certain weight on the scale. I’m sorry that I pushed you to the limits with too much exercise when you needed rest. On the treadmill I would run miles and miles, not in the name of fitness, and you said you couldn't take anymore. I didn’t listen to you when you were trying to tell me to stop. You asked me for more calories and I said no.
You’ve always been there for me, even when I let you down. I’m so very lucky to have you. Legs: You’ve always been strong and taken me wherever I needed to go, even when I hated the thighs. Arms: I haven’t been too mean to you, but hands; lately I’ve been hateful by saying you look old and worn out. But you’ve been wonderful. And belly: I think I’ve been the worst to you. I’ve hated you since puberty. When you started to stick out and I realized I would never have a completely flat stomach like so many other girls did. I have loathed you for that and I’m sorry. You gave me the most precious gift I could ever ask for: my son,and soon another baby so go ahead and stick out all you want. And to my skin: I’ve been mean to you too, comparing you to others, wishing you were different. I’m sorry, you’ve been great too.
So I now say “Thank you” with all of my heart and soul. Thank you for doing your best all these years while enduring my negativity. Thank you for loving me back when I didn’t love you. And thank you for staying healthy. You are beautiful.
I love you. I really, really do. I love you now more than ever.
Photo courtesy of soartsyithurts