I have so much I want to say to you.
My first compulsion is to apologize. It seems such a female thing to do, to repent and offer up a bucket full of sorries. We’ve been taught, us women, that there is always something to be sorry for. We are sorry for our emotions, sorry for our age, sorry for our opinions and sorry, of course, for our bodies.
I am sick of feeling sorry.
Body, I have done some awful things to you. I have not treated you the way you have deserved. I have let how you look affect my whole psyche. A lifetime of hatred towards you permeated my entire being. I lived in a strange space, where you were fully ignored and an all-consuming preoccupation.
I spent years stuffing you full of food. My gut would ache, yet the meals would never end. Food was an intoxicating drug I could not quit, no matter how large my stomach swelled. I have yards of faint stretch marks, a memorial to the abuse I have put you through.
I have compared you to countless other bodies. I have cursed you for having thicker thighs than the women I pass on the street, a fuller stomach than the girls at the bar and a wider ass than the lady sitting next to me at the coffee shop. You have been subjected to a lifetime of unrealistic expectations.
I have shared you with men undeserving and unkind. As a teenager, I would pick the skin on your face, hating the red, angry bumps that flecked every inch. You still have the scars. I would stand in front of the bathroom mirror, face inches away from your reflection and call you ugly. I would wish for fuller lips, bigger teeth and different colored eyes. I have smoked countless packs of cigarettes and bottomless pints of beer, subjecting you to achy, painful mornings. I spent a year of my life dedicated to shrinking you, assuming that if you were smaller, all my problems would be solved. Some problems did evaporate, but a whole new crop popped up, and of course I blamed you.
All these things have happened. It is done and they are in the past. I won’t apologize; I merely sit here hoping you have already forgiven me, knowing this was the journey I had to take.
I like to think we have entered in to a silent pact. You accept that I am doing my best, but sometimes, there are setbacks. I, in turn, aim every day to keep up my end of the bargain. I know I will still overeat, but I will do my best to get on the treadmill and remind myself that tomorrow is a new day. I will continue to have moments where I criticize your stomach and thighs, but I promise to not linger in that place too long. I write a food blog, for the love of God; why must I insist on testing us so much? This seems a special type of torture. I think you know that is just my style; always striving, always wanting more, always hungry for everything life has to offer. I will push us and always bring us to the edge of our boundaries.
I am always doing my best, though. I promise.
(Note: Though the deadline for “A Letter to my Body” has already passed for BlogHer, I set it as a personal goal for myself to finish my letter before the end of June.)
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