Dear Body: A Letter of Apology and Gratitude

Dear Body,
I know that we haven't always been close or even on friendly terms and the amount of abuse that you have suffered at my expense is astronomical but I am here to apologize and show my gratitude.

I am sorry for using you as a way to convey my pain and suffering. For all of the times that I starved you and overexercised to get my point across. For all of the harsh words that were uttered in your direction in order to avoid my true fears and feelings. For every time I walked past a mirror and shuttered at you/my reflection. For losing trust in your ability to function and do your thing. I am sorry for trying to manipulate you in ways that were harmful. For punishing you when you were not the one to blame. For taking out every hateful and painful thing that has ever been done to me, on you. But I am mostly sorry for using you as my voice when I couldn't find mine.

Body, I think your resilience is amazing. Thank you so much for continuing to fight when I had stopped and for never giving up on me. For continuing to function when you were past running on empty. Thank you for never completely giving out on me. But even more so, thanks for the reminders that I was still alive; the horrible pangs of hunger that couldn't be ignored, the fatigue, dizziness and lack of energy that no amount of sleep could cure and even the never ending coldness and the temporary loss of my period over the years. Although I usually reacted with anger and further destruction, these signs forced me to see the truth. Forced me to face the reality of the situation that I was killing myself. That I am human and not invincible. And I am thankful for these reminders before it was too late.

Thank you legs for being pillars of strength. For allowing me to walk, run and be a great athlete. For enduring long obsessive workouts and a lot of scrutiny from me. For being muscular and never letting me forget where I come from. Thighs and calves, I am sorry for cursing your size, trying to make you smaller and berating you for your inability to fit in skinny jeans. Without you I wouldn't have been able and continue to be able to do a lot of cool things like triathlons, tread water, rock climb and even walk the dog. Butt, I am sorry for trying to make you disappear and for cringing every time I catch a glimpse of you in the mirror. I hope to one day appreciate you and compliment you as much as John does. Hips, thanks for being wide and pronounced. One day you are going to make being pregnant and having a kid a little easier. Chest, I know that we have had a love hate relationship, but independent of your size, thanks for reminding me that I am a woman. Arms, shoulders and back, thanks for being strong. For allowing me to swim and for gracefully enduring all of the lengthy training and workouts that I have put you through. I am sorry for the years that I spent angry at you for being broad and for all of the times I stood in the dressing room defeated because you couldn't fit comfortably in a certain shirt or dress. You allow me to do awesome things like kayak, cuddle, hug and carry children.

I am sorry for all of the times that I believed that weight loss was the answer and forced you down to sizes that were not healthy and put you into survival mode. Organs, I am sorry for forcing you to work overtime and even start to shut down because of my overexertion and lack of nourishment. I am sorry for allowing you to be touched inappropriately and for repeatedly enduring abuse by others. I am sorry for not speaking up on your behalf and saying no. But mostly I am sorry for continuing the abuse and self hatred, even after others stopped.

Body, I know that we have been through hell together and that there are still a lot of reparations to be made and that you are still hesitant and questioning my intentions. I know that gaining back my trust is going to take time but I am so glad to be able to call you home. Just like you never gave up on me, I will never give up on you ever again. Although I know that there will be slips on the way and I might not always show my love and appreciation so openly, I am looking forward to reconnecting with you; learning how to listen to your signals, feed you properly, rest when needed, trust your abilities and wisdom, as well as appreciate your strength, size and beauty. I know you may not believe this after all of the abuse and pain that I have put you through, but I think you are amazing and I am glad to call you mine.


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