Dear body, I’m sorry I haven’t treated you well.
After everything you’ve done for me, you would think I’d be a bit more grateful. From running and playing as a child to being on the track team in high school, to carrying three babies, conquering cancer, and more—I should be thanking you.
But instead, I’m mostly ashamed of you.
I’m embarrassed to try on new clothes in a fitting room because I honestly don’t know what size I am anymore. Having to ask for a larger size of something is a kind of torture I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Trying to pull on pants that would have fit me 10 years ago but that now won’t lift past my knees is humiliating.
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I carried three babies and went through two emergency C-sections and a partial hysterectomy after nearly losing all of my blood volume, and yet, I sigh as I watch my stomach fold and cringe as I tuck my mommy pooch into my stretchy pants hoping no one will notice the bulge.
I underwent five months of intense chemotherapy, and you kept me alive through all of that! Yet my eyes narrow at the sight of the cottage cheese like lines on my thighs, and I long for the days of my youth when I first thought I was fat at 125 pounds.
I avoid looking at my full reflection and am only ever photographed from the neck up if I can help it.
What happened to us? What happened to me? When did I become someone who feels the need to hide myself in public? And more importantly, why?
As my 40th birthday approaches, I find myself shedding the original goal I had of being a certain weight or size by the end of the year. Instead, I find myself seeking your forgiveness, body. I’m so sorry I haven’t treated you with the respect you deserve and that I have let the fear of judgment from others stop me from celebrating all of your incredible accomplishments.
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I’m embarking on a new mission that involves getting curious about the “why” behind so many of my choices. I’m on a mission to heal the hurts in my heart that have led to this self-loathing.
I’m on a mission to love myself exactly as I am and also enough to make my health a priority.
So body, please forgive me for how I’ve treated you. I promise to learn how to love you well, and I promise I will do better.