A Letter To My Body
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I've spent years ignoring you and stuffing myself with food to heal the hurts in my heart and my head. Ten years later, the pain is still there and now I have additional physical and emotional pain to deal with from my weight gain.
We've had a really rough relationship over the years. I was never a small child. You were always described as stocky or "big boned" but looking back at the photos of my childhood... I can't honestly say that you weren't that bad.
I can remember two separate instances where I was just devastated by a comment about you. The first one happened in sixth grade. I had to get on a scale in front of everyone in the gym class during our scoliosis check up. I remember being slightly heavier than the other girls and I watched anxiously while the other girls weighed in. They all weighed in the 90's, but when it was my turn to weigh I weighed in at 110. (I'd just about kill to be 110 now. So...)
The other girls noticed and one girl in particular made a comment about how much bigger I was than she was. "Oh you weigh 12 more pounds than I do." The implication was that she was really happy not to be the fat girl in the class. That was over fifteen years ago, but these things stick with you.
The other incident was when I was 14 or so. I had worked REALLY hard to lose about 30 pounds. We had a perm and a tan. I thought I was really looking good. My Mom's friend came over and during the conversation, she commented about my weight loss. She said I was doing a great job, BUT "You would be really pretty if you would lose more weight". I pretty much wanted to melt into the floor.
There have been many other instances where I've been judged and found lacking because of the way you looked, but those were the two instances that stood out. As the years went on I tried to convince myself that I was a "happy fat girl". We fought through infertility for 4 years due to Polycystic Ovarian Disease and I felt like not being able to get pregnant was just another way you failed me.
When I finally got pregnant, I remember being so thrilled. For the first time in my life, I didn't care that I had a big tummy because I was supposed to. I paid you lots of attention and was very in tune with when I needed to rest and what I needed to do to take care of you so my son would be born healthy.
After the baby was born, I got busy and stressed out. There were many things that happened to take my focus off of you. Once again, I was back to eating through my pain and ignoring how quickly the scale was climbing up.
At my biggest weight (310) in October 2010, I found myself breathing hard while we walked around our small town carnival. I was shocked at how badly you were doing, and I felt like you were failing me again. I remember ranting about being tired of being tired and always feeling sick.
You took the blame for that, but you weren't at fault. All of this is my fault. I'm really sorry that I looked at you in the mirror and made faces. I hate the names that I've called you and the way I've abused you through neglect. I hate that I disparaged your hard won stretch marks. I think its deplorable that I haven't appreciated the fact that you've helped me care for and nourish three children.
I'm sorry that food became an addiction instead of a life giving substance, and most of all I'm really sorry that I lived to eat instead of ate to live. I apologize for the yo-yo diets and the fads when I made you eat nothing but meat, grapefruit, and salad. I pretty much suck. I'm sure that you wish that you could be in charge by now, but unfortunately I'll always be at the wheel. (You could probably do better.)
I'm sure you are relieved that I'm taking much better care of you now. I started taking little steps in October 2010 and now there are 30+ lbs. less of you. Things are slowly getting better. I'm making you run now, but I swear it's for your own good so please hang in there. I'm eating lots of fruits and veggies. You're getting a ton of water every single day, and I hear that we have a spa appointment in the near future to get dolled up.
The point is that I'm sorry, and I'm going to do better. This time it's not about losing weight. It's a life change. NOT a diet! Those don't work anyway. It's about working on the inside of me so you can be healthy too. It may take some time, but hang in there (Ha!) and we'll take one day at a time. I'm going to be more mindful of the wonderful gift that you are. Stretch marks, scars, wrinkles, and everything else.
I love you and thanks for EVERYTHING!
P.S. Can you believe we're running for exercise? I can't. I remember swearing I wouldn't run anywhere unless zombies were chasing us!