Before I write this letter, I want to thank my faithful friend Wendy for being a beacon of encouragment and help since the day I met her. She encouraged me a while back when I reached out to her with how much I’m struggling to write a letter to myself as if I was speaking to a friend who was going through a difficult time. With that suggestion, she completely shifted my perspective and helped me to realize I would not talk to a friend the way I’ve talked to myself.
I want to apologize to you for how I have treated you. I have put you through physical and mental abuse. My mind has been a bully to you. She keeps telling me, you aren’t living up to the ideal of physical perfection. She gets a glimpse of you in the mirror and nitpicks those thick thighs, wide hips, tummy pooch, double chin, and cankles. Somewhere you were told you weren’t enough, and you started to believe it.
Body, I forget sometimes that you have birthed two healthy, vivacious boys. I don’t appreciate you enough or thank you that your 7 year old can still run full speed and jump into your arms without it hurting you. I forgot to say thank you for helping me bike 10 miles around an island with a 7 year old riding tandem up a plethora of hills. I didn’t appreciate that my shoulders remained intact when I played on the monkey bars with my 12 year old.
In my attempts to make you “perfect” all I really wanted was to be worthy of love and acceptance. However, I was witholding acceptance from you. I put you in a hostage situation without a key.
There were times you and I worked hard. We did HIIT, and pull ups, push ups, planks, burpees, and more. We lifted things up and put them back down. There were times when I took good care of you, and other times I did not. You kept letting me know when I was taking care of you by growing in strength, giving me a clear mind and a good night’s sleep.
You let me know when I wasn’t taking good care of you too. You don’t lie.
Somewhere during our journey, my mind messed with me. It told me I had to keep on trying to pursue a perfect body, instead of a healthy one. It kept telling me that no matter how strong I was or how much weight I would lose, that you still had work to do. It kept telling me that caring for myself physically was the only way others would accept me.
This negative mindset has been difficult to shed. More difficult than losing weight in fact. Body, as hard as it is to believe, my self worth isn’t tied to you.
You are a vessel and a blessing and that is how I wish to treat you. You are a gift to me to use in order to pour out love to those around me. You are strong!
Let me list some of the amazing things you can do:
You can wrestle with your kids. You can jog over a mile. You have jogged a half marathon. You can dance awkwardly (hello zumba). You can hike through the woods. You can carry in all the bags of groceries because you know you’re not going to take 2 trips. You can stand on your head! You can play piano. You can juggle. You can drive a stick shift. You can hug. You can keep trying because wherever you are now doesn’t have to be where you’ll end up!
I apologize for putting you through this body. I forgot who I am, and I forgot whose I am. However, I have every intention of reminding you each day that you are capable, that you want your choices to reflect who you were made to be, and that you do not have to trek through this life alone. Body, for as many people would negate things about you that don’t line up with their ideas of asthetics, you have so many people who want you to thrive! Look to them for encouragement. Do not get stuck in the idea that you have to do this all alone.
You are loved and you are held. That is who you are.