Dear body –
I’m sorry. I would never imagine showing anyone in this world the amount of disrespect that I’ve shown you during my life.
It all started when I noticed I was developing quicker than my peers in middle school. I felt uncomfortable with my new wide hips and having to wear a real bra every day. I would constantly tear you apart and wish you were smaller.
In high school, I tried to change you by exercising excessively and eating smaller portions than you needed just to try to squeeze into size 4 jeans. I started to hate how much my thighs would chafe in the summer wearing shorts and never wanted to be in public in a bathing suit.
Once college rolled around, the freshman 15 hit hard. I was treating you like a trash can, eating junk food and whatever I could find convenient in the midst of taking a full course load and working 40 hours a week. Somehow you never gave up and I miraculously rarely got sick. Pile alcohol on top of this and you still never gave out.
I’m not sure how you dealt with me looking at you in the mirror every morning and critiquing every dimple you have, every place skin moved, the stress acne on my cheeks, and squeezing you into clothes that didn’t fit as they should.
How come I don’t look like…?
If only my thighs were smaller.
Why can’t I have a flat stomach?
So instead of speaking negatively of you anymore, I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me.
Thank you for my thick thighs. They propel me through spin classes and walking and exploring new cities. These legs have spent many late nights dancing on Broadway and taking early morning runs to see the Nashville skyline I love so much.
Thank you for my stomach that jiggles a little. It reminds me of the late night ice cream runs and countless nights eating at my favorite Mexican restaurant with my best friends.
Thank you for the freckles on my face and arms. Seeing them bring back memories of spending summers at my family’s pool. It’s a great reminder when I miss them daily.
Thank you for arms that shake while I try to plank. It reminds me to stay humble and gives me something to work on.
Thank you for the lines around my eyes. They remind me of all the times I’ve laughed until I cried and how my smile has brought positivity to the world.
Thank you for helping me survive a worldwide pandemic. So many bodies can’t fight off Covid-19 and I am grateful to be healthy enough to go to the grocery store and complete basic tasks in these times that people who may be immunocompromised can not.
Dear body, thank you. I will try to praise you for what you are instead of thinking of all the ways I would want you to be different. This is the only body I’ll have my whole life and you deserve to be treated with respect.
Dear body –