I know I’ve mentioned Kathryn Budig’s book Aim True before and how influential it has been to me during writer’s block. In it, she challenges her readers to write their body a love letter. So Friday, on my day off, I sat on my balcony with my journal and I wrote. I wrote a love letter to my body letting it know I appreciate it and that I’m sorry. We all have our ups and downs with our body image. It’s never easy. Some days I think I look insanely awesome in a bikini. The next day I may have a hard time zipping up my jeans and spiral in to a negative thought cycle. I thought I would share mine today, to share my struggles and my joys with my body image. Through this, I hope you will be inspired to write your own love letter to your body. May you find love and hope for yourself through this. Cheers!
You have been through hell and back. From too much wine, too many chocolates, and way too much greasy pizza, I haven’t always treated you well. My cholesterol is high and I’m 27 years old and that is not great. For all of this and more – I’m sorry.
But going beyond the physical torture I have put you through, I’m sorry for all the bad things I’ve said and thought about you over the years. I’ve called us fat. I’ve called us too pale. I’ve lamented over my love handles and cellulite and stretch marks. And for all the negativity and self hate I’ve caused you to endure – I’m ridiculously apologetic to you. That is not fair to you and all you do for me.
Because you, my dear body, pump blood that allows my heart to beat. My heart that loves and cares and feels. You flow the oxygen to my lungs that allow me to breath. The breathe that allows me to sing (terribly) in my car. You give my stomach the ability to digest my (sometimes terribly awful for you) food that gives me nutrients to function optimally. You gave me a brain that gives me the capability to think, to speak, to learn, to see, to feel, to hear, to smell – to be. You gave me two lean legs to walk along this rich planet. Arms to touch and feel things. Fingers to grasp objects. A tongue to taste and a nose to smell. And muscles! Oh, muscles. Muscles to flex and move and dance! Nails to paint and hair to express myself. Eyelashes to catch my sweat (thanks, Regina Spektor – now that song is stuck in my head!). Lips to kiss my husband lovingly. You do so many things for me every single second of every single day. I don’t even have to think about it – you just do it! That’s pretty freakin’ amazing of you.
You, body, are freckled and lovely. Your stretch marks and scars are a testament to all we’ve been through together. Weight loss, weight gains, and broken bones – we’ve been through it all together. How incredible you are at adapting and keeping me healthy. You are beautiful and I can’t appreciate you enough.
I used to view you as a body that was capable of great things. We swam in so many swim competitions and were capable of elegantly cutting through water fast. We were able to swiftly move our fingers up and down a piano in a challenging run written by Beethoven. We ran 5K’s together and danced a lot of nights away. We ice skated and had dreams of being the next Tara Lipinski. We traveled Italy and have hiked national parks. Now we’re learning yoga poses and trying new foods.
We’ve laughed so hard we have cried. We’ve read a lot of great books – and a lot of not so great books. We have seen beautiful places and felt autumn breezes on our faces. We’ve swam in oceans and used our hands to create wonderful things.
Body, you are a temple. I must treat you as such.
Thanks for always having my best interests in mind. It’s about time I did the same to you.
I love you, body.