This Love letter to her body, was submitted by Kimberly S.
Many many years ago WE stood at this very same crossroad, overweight and tired and confused. I doubted your power and prayed that you would be kind to me, show me a trick or two, or just give me a bloody break! I’d listen halfheartedly as the doctors poked and warned and scolded, all the while continuing to doubt your power. But then the day came when I decided to trust you, to listen to your silent cries to get in the game, move, breathe, live! And wow…you showed me a life and world I never knew I could belong to. It was amazing. I marveled at how powerful and strong and resilient you were. Together we chuckled as we defied the doctors’ odds and scoffed as we chanted, “We don’t do pain meds. We do yoga! Oh wow…that was quite a run wasn’t it? Remember when we made that list of things we wanted to accomplish that we always believed only skinny girls got to do? You remember the one…”cross our legs at the knee, wear a bathing suit, run up a flight of stair without gasping, board a plane without first praying that the seatbelt would buckle…” Yes, you remember. That one! Oh and that before picture that we secretly looked at to remind us how far we’d come. We were in sync then. Weren’t we? On the same team… reaching for the same goals.
Yeah. I also remember the moment I betrayed you and left you to fend for yourself. Yes, I know I know. You did warn me but I was in love with him. I thought marriage would finally solidify my sense of worth and I wouldn’t NEED to be so in tuned and hyper focused on you. I remember the day, the moment, and the exact hour of my betrayal. I imagine Judas must have felt the same tugging in his soul, the same surreal detachment and a sudden sense of “What the Hell Have I done?” I tried! OK, let’s be real here. I PRETENDED to try to reconnect with you for years and years. I subjected you to diets, and cleanses, and flushes, and juice binges, and sweet Jesus….140 degree sauna treatments! I can’t believe you never quit on me. It was all such BS. I guess I was trying to make it up to you. But I still wasn’t quite listening to you and loving you like I should. To be honest, I know now that a part of me was punishing you for not giving me the one thing I wanted…a little mini me…a baby. So I pretended to love you and you pretended you didn’t notice that I didn’t; all the while still caring for me.
Then you gave me the most wonderful gift ever! Yes, my baby girl. The very minute that pee stick tuned positive I felt overwhelmed with guilt about how I’d treated you. I mean, how could this be? Didn’t ALL the doctors say, “No, not possible?” Didn’t we just spend thousands of dollars on fertility tests and treatments only to end up in the same spot 5 years later? Didn’t I almost die during one of those treatments only to decide when I woke up, “No more tests! I can’t do this anymore. God’s will be done”. And there it was, PROOF to the contrary. WOW, you amaze me! I fell in love with you over and over again as I carried that babe. Every pound; Every stretch mark; Every new dress size. LOL, don’t laugh. You know I still have that striped maternity dress right?! Shhh….nobody has to know it’s a maternity dress.
Then things got real. Delivery was hard work. I’m so sorry you got injured in the process. I didn’t even feel it when they dislocated your hip. I was maybe too deep in mommy bliss. Or maybe it was the Epi. Hmmm…. But then I noticed a few weeks…months later, you weren’t your usual spunky self. And that limp…when exactly did that start? Yes, I know I ignored your pain for months trying to be super mommy. Ignored you even when you could no longer move and I couldn’t even hold my baby girl. They did the tests and scans and oh… the pills. But laying in bed one night I heard you whisper, “I need you to fight…we need to get back up”. I heard you. I heard you. You’re right. I still haven’t done anything, have I? But you see, I’m scared. What if I’ve gone too far neglecting you and you never reconnect with me? I miss you. I miss me. I miss US.
So here’s where we’re at. We’ve sorta come FULL circle and there’s no guy or excuses this time. Just you and me…oh and the little munchkin (she’s so darn cute! Ok, sorry. I’ll try to focus.)You know what? I heard you last night and you’re right. If I don’t invest in me who will? If I don’t live for all of us, what’s the point? I can’t promise I won’t make mistakes or miss a workout…or 2…or 3. LOL What? You know I can be a bit flaky. What I can promise is to start listening to you, again. So, if you give me another chance, I’d like to get to know you again, to LOVE you again. Ready?
p.s. OMG…I just heard lyrics from that 80’s song in my head: “One more try, I didn’t know how much I loved you….” LOL
Editor’s note: If you would like to write a love letter to your body and have us publish it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.