Today marks the start of the “Love EVERY Body Workshop” created by the lovely Leah of Just me Leah.
Leah wanted to help us transform the way we think and speak about our bodies, so she created the Love EVERY Body workshop and challenge. Each month we will blog about a certain body part in hopes of being able to find something to love about each part of our bodies. And at the end we will be able to see our thoughts as they evolve over the months.
This month’s challenge is a letter to our bodies. So here’s my own gut-wrenching letter to my body:
We have been through so many ups and downs over the years. There have been times when I have wanted to merely trade you in for a better, slimmer, prettier model, but I have come to realize that you are mine, only mine.
You have been the source of so much pleasure and pain in my life. Growing up, I started out as the skinny, sickly kid who was always camped out at the doctor’s office. But once my tonsils came out, it was game on! I could finally enjoy being a kid, which included finally being able to eat without pain. In return, I soon evolved into the chubby kid who would evolve some issues with body image and weight.
In high school, you allowed me to enjoy two of my favorite past times – volleyball and softball. However, I was too focused on your appearance to be able to appreciate your physical capabilities. Even though I had lost a significant amount of weight, I still felt like that chubby kid. I was focused on losing more weight and my family only helped to encourage that. “You need to lose 10 more lbs,” they would say. Looking at my photos from high school, I now realize I wasn’t fat. I wasn’t chubby. And I didn’t need to lose any more weight. I wish I had learned to appreciate you for your abilities and to accept you as you were.
Over the years my weight has continued to yo-yo; the numbers have gone up and down on the scale and my clothing tags. And with each transformation, I have been met with both compliments on my new found skinnier self and offers to help me find that skinnier self again. No one inquired about the depression that caused some terms of weight gain. They merely inquired about how they could help me lose weight. They taught me to hate you and to be ashamed of you. I used to hide you beneath large t-shirts, while also hiding in the comfort of my apartment. That was the only way I knew how to avoid being seen. I was too ashamed to face my friends, family, and the public. I was too weak to stand up for you when all they had to say were negative comments.
During my heavier times (including now), I have endured constant jabs and jokes about you, my body. I learned to laugh and pretend like it was okay that they were hurting me and demeaning you. Equating me to a whale? Haha, so funny! But not really. I have now learned to speak up for you and others like you.
Beauty comes in all sizes, shapes, colors, races, genders, etc. And none of us deserve to be told that we do not meet someone else’s standards of beauty. We are not here to meet their standards. We only need to meet our own.
I still struggle with loving you from time to time, but I have come to realize that I should be proud of you. Instead of agonizing over wanting smaller thighs and arms or fuller breasts, I should be focusing on loving you. You are capable of doing amazing things from providing me with so much sensual pleasure to merely learning how to play guitar. You may not be Hollywood skinny or beautiful, but you are beautiful.
Body, please accept my apologies for our love/hate relationship. I hope that with each month of ‘Love EVERY Body’ our relationship will be transformed into one of pure love.
All my love,
What would you like to say to your own body? Leave me a comment and let me know.