Ever since I first read about the Letter to My Body series at Blogher way back on Valentine's Day, I've been meaning to get around to writing a letter of my own. I knew it would be hard, and that it might not turn out to be a love letter so much as a plea for forgiveness. I'm sure that had a lot to do with me not getting around to it, but I know that it's something I need to do. And I'm finally going to tell my body exactly how I feel, for better or worse.
I can't believe how much you've grown and changed over my lifetime. And despite the way I've treated you, you've always been there for me. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. But I can tell you how sorry I am for hurting you, so I might as well start there.
You were so cute when you were little, all pudgy and round. When I was a teenager, you were strong and curvy, if only I could have seen it. The late high-school and college years were the worst, for you and for me. I apologize for poor diet choices and the frumpy way I dressed you because I was so ashamed of what you looked like. I'm sorry that I let my discomfort with your curves and excess weight lead me to do some crazy things, like alternately depriving you and stuffing you, beating you up with excessive exercise and insults, and hiding you from the sun. You deserved better than that.
Thank you for standing by me, for supporting me and keeping me going. You've been a good friend. You're strong and sexy and I'm sorry it took me so long to realize it. Those stretch marks are your battle wounds--evidence of years of yo-yo dieting. One day I hope to have more, though I never thought I would say that. I can't wait to see what you can do in the reproductive arena. If you're not up to that challenge, I'll totally understand, but I hope you'll find it in my heart to grow a baby or two before you give up on me.
You're an amazing machine. You heal bones and skin that I break or bruise during my klutzier moments. When I'm under the weather, you kick in with that amazing immune system and drive those infections out. Even as I get older, you handle it all with dignity, making me more and more beautiful every day. How do you do that?
Sure, I complain sometimes (although less and less often) about the size of my thighs, the tiny little wrinkles around my eyes or the pouch of my belly, but you quickly remind me that those thighs keep me walking, those eyes shine when I smile and that belly doesn't need to be flat. There are worse things in the world than a little bit of saggy flesh and a few extra pounds. So to thank you for sticking with me all this time, I've decided to do some things for you.
I'm exercising more and eating less, most of the time, but I'm not depriving you of that chocolate or ice cream when you tell me you really need it. I'm saying more kind things to you each morning in the hopes that I'll cancel out some of those awful things I've said and done in the past. I'll also try to do more relaxing, maybe get a massage or two--I know how much you like those.
Bubble baths? Sure, I can do that, too.
And a pedicure, you ask? Why not?
From now on, I'm supporting you. Multi-vitamins, more organic fruits and veggies, less caffeine (do I have to?) and less artificial everything. You mean the world to me, and I'm hoping to have you around for a really long time. We've got work to do and I need you to get it done. If you'll be there, I'll be kind. I promise.
With all my love,
Your other half