A (Revised) Letter To My Body
A (Revised) Letter To My Body
If you tuned into Create Your Fate Podcast Episode 15: How To Love Your Body, you remember when I spoke about the letter I wrote to my body -- I didn't like this letter. How I felt about my body was harsh and critical, and it made me sad. It was eye-opening to see how hard I am on myself. I highly encourage you to try this exercise and see what you feel about your body -- click here for the full version of my letter and the instructions to try it yourself.
After reading my letter, I decided to write a new one -- one that I would want to write. One that made my body feel loved. One that I could be proud of. One that was healing. My letter is below -- please read it and again, I encourage you to write your own! You can model after my own, take any parts of mine, and tweak anything you like. I'm committed to begin my journey to truly loving myself...are you with me?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I said. I wasn’t being fair to you. I know that what I project onto you on the outside is just a reflection of what is going on inside of me. You know, some of these thoughts have been in there for a really long time and it’s hard to part ways with them. In a weird way, even though I hate some of these thoughts and I know they are negative and not good for me, they make me feel comfortable because they’ve always been there for me.
What am I going to be like if I don’t think these thoughts anymore? That’s going to seriously free up some time, and I’m a little nervous to have that much open space in my head. I guess it means that I keep some of these ideas of hating you as excuses. If you’re not perfect, I can just blame you, and I don’t have to think about scary things in the future. I can just get mad at you instead of feeling fear. I’d take anger over fear any day. If I just blame you for my problems, then I don’t have to take responsibility for the bigger things in my life that I know can absolutely change my life but need my full focus.
Aren’t people going to be a little weirded out by me publicly loving you? They’ll call me narcissistic and vain. Cocky. Conceited. I think I can handle all of that…but the part that kills me is if people call me conceited and then say I have nothing to be cocky about because you’re gross.
I’m sorry. I don’t know why I care so much about what people think. I can still hear words that were said about you when I was a teenager, and your feelings were hurt and I didn’t stand up for you. I’m sorry. I wasn’t popular when I was a teenager, and I thought if you looked better that we could make more friends or that boys would like me. I just wanted to feel pretty and not awkward. I guess I never shook that thought. It’s weird to think that I valued you so much, but I only valued you when I was feeling good about you. My love for you was conditional. I’m sorry I put so much pressure on you.
I love you. I really do. Honestly, I can’t believe you’re not in worse shape. (PS: How the hell did you make it through college in one piece? Thanks for putting in the OT.) I treat you like shit. Yet hold the highest standards and expectations for you, even while I was making poor decisions. I love you for being patient with me. For allowing me to work out multiple times a day and sleep soundly throughout the night. I love you for being healthy. I can’t imagine waking up tomorrow not being able to do even the simple things we did today. What a great day we had! I love you for being strong and for standing up for yourself against people (including me) who pick on you. I love you for being resilient and understanding and patient.
I forgive you. I forgive you for getting caught up in my own wild and dramatic imagination and going along for the ride. I forgive you for not being able to recover as quickly as you were once able to and for aging, changing the way you look. I know, I know – you don’t think I need to forgive you, but I do, because forgiving you means that I am forgiving myself too. Will you forgive me as well? Please forgive me for glaring at you in the mirror, studying your every flaw. Forgive me for wasting hours of my time wishing you were someone else. Forgive me for even all of those micro-seconds I want to change you when I see someone on social media who I think looks more perfect than you. Forgive me for hating you and wanting to hide parts of you when really I should be thanking you.
Thank you. Thank you for your health. Thank you for your support. Thank you for the strength you give me and for all of your amazing capabilities. Thank you for allowing me to pursue the life that I wanted teaching fitness. Thanks for putting up with all of the years of bad posture and still fighting back. Thanks for the long legs and the height – that really has helped me a lot, especially in sports. Thanks for being athletic. Thanks for not requiring much sleep, but telling me when we do. Thanks for the big ears – they’ve served as many funny memories with my sisters. Thanks for the stretch marks – they remind me I can still love myself no matter what weight I am.
I’m glad we had this talk. I feel better, and I hope you do too. I promise moving forward to appreciate you more. To stop comparing you to everyone else. To set unrealistic expectations on you. To treat you with kindness. To know that you are just a part of me, but not all of me. To give you more water. To allow others to love you as well. To not feel guilty about you. To not feel ashamed of you. Or hide you. Or only show you off when I think you look presentable. I promise to stand up for you and not be embarrassed by you. I promise to leave old thoughts behind and commit to forming new ones – thoughts about loving you, and appreciating all the amazing things you do for me.
I promise I won’t let you down. And I know that you’ll be there for me no matter what. I’ll be there for you too.