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Dear Body

July 1, 2011 Fear, Friends 3 Comments

True confession: I am one of those girls that judges my body for not being “More This” or “Less That.”

I certainly do possess the perspective that my body is strong and healthy and valuable and mine, so I try not to be That Girl who is constantly telling others how unhappy I am with my not-flat stomach. There are parts that I do like about my body (my legs, for instance — scars and all). But I find myself focusing way less on the parts I like and obsessing over my self-proclaimed “downfalls.”

While I can appreciate my body in total for what it is and what it is not, I am not immune to negative self-talk. If I find myself in the company of a good friend (or in the dressing room with someone I trust), I’ll let it all hang out — my stomach, and my thoughts.

My friend Caryn wrote this heartfelt letter to her body at the end of a kick-ass weekend where her body helped her achieve things she maybe wasn’t sure she had in her. I could relate to several of her sentiments, as I’m sure many of us can. Thanks for sharing this with me (and my readers), Caryn!

Dear Body,
Every day, I look in the mirror and think you aren’t good enough.  Every day I think about food and how it will affect how you look.  Every day since grammar school, I’ve compared you to everyone else on this planet.

Dear Body,
Yesterday I asked you to run 11.5 miles during the hottest part of the day in preparation for a half Ironman.  You did.  Today I asked you to cycle 102.5 miles.  I asked you to push hard and average 20mph on the way into Davis.  I asked you to pull other cyclists at 21 mph for 10 miles.  When other cyclists were struggling with the distance, you were ready for more.  You sat patiently waiting for me to tell you to push. You did everything I asked.  All without complaint. Every day I ask you to do more.  To swim, to bike, to run.  Every day. And every day I continue to think you aren’t good enough.  I look in the mirror and think you are too fat, too bulky, and too just not right.  I often compare your shape to that of a tree.  I complain because clothes don’t fit the way I’d like.  I feel uncomfortable in a swimsuit and god forbid anyone see you naked. The two times I marginally began to like you was when I starved you due to life situations.  Without nutrition and sleep, I still asked you to run at least twice a day.  And you did.

Several years ago I stopped the negative self speak that most women engage in.  I sit quietly as I hear other women say their bodies aren’t good enough.  I sit quietly, in silent protest, meanwhile I whisper to you that you should pay attention and listen to these complaints.  You are too fat, too bulky, and too unshapely.

Dear Body,
Today is the day that, in addition to sitting quiet during these ramblings of women, today is the day I stop telling you that you aren’t good enough.  Regardless of what image I see in the mirror, I ask a lot of you.  Each time you give me 100%.  Any other being that has been treated this poorly will crack and fight back and stop giving to someone so unappreciative. But you don’t.

So today, today you are good enough, just the way you are. Tomorrow you will be good enough and each day after that you will be good enough. Today I finally appreciate you.

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Jane says:

    Thanks for sharing this; What a heartfelt “letter to yourself” Caryn!!! Unfortunately, there are a lot of us in the “not happy with my body girls club.” We seem to spend most of our life in that club. Just when I think I’ve come around to accepting my body, I find myself being “that girl” critical of my non flat stomach or recently when I realized the top of my hands look like ‘old lady’ hands. It’s time to take a step back and appreciate my body!

  2. I *love* the letter and the entire sentiment of this post. I’ve had old lady hands since I was about nine – no idea why – , by the way, so I just figured they are an old souls. The best thing that ever happened to me was having a mother who had me later in life. I keep looking at her and how beautiful and strong she is. Never dyed her hair. Never had botox. And I think of my grandmothers and how great they were. I never think about their skin. I never think about cellulite. I think about their wit, their style, and their vitality. In a world where so much is fake, airbrushed, nipped, and tucked, we have to remember that that false beauty drives people insane. Just look at those crazy wives of Beverly Hills :)

  3. [...] exercise with the intention of maintaining a reasonable level of “feeling good” about my body, how I look, and how clothes fit. On the contrary, it’s as though I am the new mascot for [...]

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