Dear Body

Dear Body,

Every day I look at you in disgust. I see your excess fat, grab it, and think about how gross you look. I think about how you are totally against me.  Why?! Why won’t you just lose this stuff? I know I used to be bad, but now I do what I’m supposed to be doing most of the time… don’t I? I get to bed at a decent time. I don’t use toxic stuff on my body that much anymore.  I read labels when I remember and don’t eat fast food that much.

What’s the reason, body? Is it because I like to eat out? But I usually order sensibly! My diet doesn’t really have that much processed stuff in it, wouldn’t you agree? I’m a social drinker, yes, but it’s not like I’m an alcoholic or anything. I don’t get stressed out that much, right?! And even if I do, I do yoga once in a while and go to the gym a few days a week. Don’t you recognize that? Why haven’t you changed?

We’ve had this extra weight for at least ten years now and you know what? I’m really quite tired of you not responding to my efforts.

And now, here I am doing this really strict diet and you’ve only relinquished ten pounds in two weeks? Really? That’s nowhere near my goal, and I’ve been working HARD. The point is, body, I may have messed up in the past but now…I’m trying. And you don’t seem to care.

So why are you against me, body? Why?!

Sincerely,

Nan

Dear Reader,

What would your letter to your body sound like? Would it be as harsh as mine? I wanted to share that with you first so the story I’m about to tell you makes sense.

I walked out of a hotel bathroom one night two years ago and saw my naked self in the full-size mirror. Of course, I zoned in on all the imperfections. The lumps and bumps and spider veins and cellulite. Oh my gosh, I said to my body. Look at you. 

Then I stopped and looked a little harder. Suddenly, I had an overwhelming feeling of compassion and sorrow for how much I’ve put my body through. I began to cry because I realized this body has been the victim of all my bad habits… years of past unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy eating, lack of sleep, lack of nutrition, lack of rest, lack of proper exercise, excessive processed foods, convenience foods, inflammatory foods, 15 years of really late nights waitressing, going back to school, negative emotions, excess stress, and of course, as you can see from my letter…a complete lack of support by me.

And just because I lost the weight doesn’t mean that I can rest on my laurels. Did I really think just because I was thinner and stopped living a self-abusing lifestyle  I would continue to evolve into a healthier person? Did I really think after all the abuse I had put my body through, over 22 years of ignoring it, it would get better on its own? Did I really think after two weeks of trying to be healthy it would all suddenly be better? Or, after a few weeks of taking vitamins and drinking green shakes, I would be an entirely new person? It sounds silly, but apparently part of me did think that.  And part of me also thought just because I was not living a harmful lifestyle anymore, my body would be accelerated to better health. Well, healthy changes are wonderful, but they’re not a magic pill. And my expectations were unreasonable.

I’d like a chance to apologize to my body. And maybe you can do the same to yours.

Dear Body,

Forget all the things I’ve said. I owe you an apology. I’m sorry for mistreating you, putting toxic substances in you, and feeding you poorly. I’m sorry for not exercising enough and not drinking enough water. I’m sorry for keeping you up too late and waking you up too early. Body, I’m so sorry for putting so much stress on you over the years. I’m so grateful that you still get out of bed every morning and help me do amazing things. I have talked badly about you, made fun of you to others, and carried such disdain and negativity about you– and yet here you are, giving my soul a home and helping me live every single day.

Body, I’m done blaming you. I’m going to forgive myself for treating you badly and ask you to do the same because it’s time to look forward.

From now on, I will do better. I will be patient. I will talk positively about you and I will accept that change is slow and that our health is more important than our looks. I will feed you good food and give you plenty of good water. I won’t overload you with toxic stuff that slows you down.  I will be your advocate and be gentle and kind to you. My soul is borrowing you, and from now on, I will treat you with the love and respect you deserve. Forgive me, body. I love you and I am so thankful that you are mine!

Let’s continue to look at things from a different perspective,

Love Nan.

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