Dear Body of Mine,
I owe you a most sincere apology. For just about your entire existence, I have not liked you. I have spoken of and to you in most unkind ways. I’ve called you horrible names like fat, awful, and ugly. I’ve compared you to others and found you to fail to measure up. I’ve wished you were something you were not. And each time I felt you failed me, I blamed you. I actually felt like you were a curse to me. In short, I have hated you.
You may wonder why I have hated you and abused you. I could pontificate about all of the underlying psychological issues and social conditioning that I may have and have possibly been exposed to. However, the simple truth is that I’ve never thought you were good enough.
Why did I think that? Well, I’ll admit that I just never liked the way you looked. In the beginning, you were just skinny. Too skinny. And remember, this wasn’t during the time that it was cool to be skinny. I felt that you subjected me to teasing and taunts from others. Laughter filled advice about eating sammiches were painfully abundant for me–despite the fact that I did, in fact, eat many sammiches and more. Yet, you weren’t filling out any time soon.
It would be many years later when you would begin to fill out. I would be about 24 years of age. Yet the problem with that is that you didn’t fill out the way I wanted you to. You didn’t give me the curves I wanted. You didn’t fill out to create the hour-glass physique I so desperately coveted. No, there would be no Tocarra Jones’ body for me. Instad, you kept your athletic physique, complete with its narrow hips and wide waistline. But you didn’t even have the decency to give me Serena Williams athletic type. You just gave me straight body with a tire around my waist. And I hated you for that. Each time I saw another woman with the coveted hour glass frame, I thought you to be an even greater failure. Why can’t you look like her? I’d lament. You never answered me either. Instead, you just kept calling for me to love you as you were and I refused.
Then came what I felt was the ultimate betrayal. Pregnancy. After the birth of The Fizzle, you developed stretch marks in places I never wanted, never even realized one could develop there. You began to bulge and droop in places that I didn’t think were meant to bulge and droop. And let’s not even talk about what you did to my stomach! I worked out throughout my entire pregnancy to combat such changes, yet they were all for naught. You still drooped and bulged and you didn’t even have the courtesy to return to your pre-pregnancy state, post pregnancy. Then you gave me the dreaded C-section pooch. It was hard enough tolerating you before then. Now how was I supposed to appreciate you? I swore I would never forgive you. And I didn’t. Until now.
Now here we are, 10 years post pregnancy. I’ve since accepted that the pre-pregnancy body is NEVER returning. And while I don’t like it (not one bit), I realize how cruel and superficial I have been. I have treated you as if you’re good for nothing more than an aesthetically pleasing accessory. How wrong I have been! You are so much more than that. You have carried me through this world. You even brought forth life! How amazing is that? And thanks to yoga, I now know you can do some amazing things I never even thought possible! You are the vessel through which this soul of mine wanders through this Earth. You lend your hands to help others up. And what’s more, you use your hands to pull yourself up when you fall down. You love me so much that you will pad yourself to protect me when I am wounded. I have finally realized that your worth doesn’t lie in what you look like. Isn’t that ironic though? I’d have a fit if someone deemed me less than worthy based on my appearance, yet I meted that exact harsh judgment on my damn self. I have no excuses or any justifiable reasons for my ill behavior. All I can say is that I was ignorant and immature. I didn’t know. And I’m so sorry that I didn’t know and even more sorry for the way I have treated you. But since I am not big on sorry’s or words, I’ll allow my actions to show you how much I have changed. I’ll affirm you when I look at you instead of cursing you for everything I hated about you. I’ll reframe your so-called flaws. Where I once saw failure, I’ll see Life and splendor. I won’t compare you to anyone. I’ll appreciate you for who you are. I’ll feed you well and move you so that you’re as fit and healthy as you can be. As my Daddy used to say, I can show you better than I can tell you. And while I have never actually said this to you before, please allow me to close this simply by saying I love you.