a letter to my body.
you and i have never really been friends. i guess it's because i've never liked you. i mean, there have been a few good days. days when i can look in the mirror and not focus on the flaws i see. days when my jeans fit a bit looser and when my arms don't feel flabby. but you and i both know, body, that in my mind, those days are few and far between.
i remember the day i learned to hate you. i was 12. it was my annual physical and the doctor was thrilled i had just grown four inches. but then he looked at my mom and told her i should not gain anymore weight. that was the first time i thought that there was something wrong with you.
then there was that gym class freshman year. the one where the gym teacher took our body fat percentage. she told me mine was too high and handed me a list of foods to avoid. from that day on, i was afraid of cheese, butter and my thighs.
i think i had a few good months with you that year, body. but by the time i turned 16, i was being terribly mean to you. i pretty much stopped feeding you. i took your weight from 127 to 90 pounds. you started to fail, body. your electrolyte levels got too low, your bones started to protrude and your heart was at risk of stopping. i did wake up out of that, body. and i know you're thankful. i gained your weight back and then i went to college.
oh, body. i'm sorry for all of the binge drinking i did that year. and the way that you went from 117 pounds to 137 pounds in a semester. i'm sorry that all of the quick gains and losses made you get cellulite and i'm sorry that i didn't really learn how to nourish you right until you had just about had enough.
i started to exercise you, body, when the year 2000 hit. we would ride the bike for an hour a day. soon, i lost your extra fat and got back down to my starting-college weight. people noticed you again. they would tell me that you looked good. and that i should buy new jeans that fit better. it made me proud of you for the first time in a while.
i kept exercising you. becoming a runner. pounding miles and miles on your tired feet. i made you get two stress fractures in one foot. but even then, i didn't really let you rest. i road a bike or walked when i could. and i used the rowing machine. i was so afraid of losing the toned side of you. the side of you i could like - when i had my clothes on.
but body, you and i both know i've never been able to look at you when i'm naked. i've never seen anything good about you. i'm your worst critic. i look at you and see a stranger. i compare you to other bodies and i wonder why your thighs can't be slimmer and why this one part of your back is starting to get flabby.
and now, body, i'm scared. because i have this disease. and i have to put lots of pills into you. one can damage your liver. another can make your hair fall out. then there are two that can cause your metabolism to slow down. and you know what that means, body. it means you might gain weight. and then i might despise you.
but body, i'm trying. i know that i'm stuck with you. and i promise i've had good days. days where i accept you for what you are. days when i realize i will never be as toned as i think i should be, as slim as i think i should be and that skinny jeans will never look good one me. but body, bare with me as i learn to love you when parts of you are failing me. i know i failed you for a long time. but now, the tables have turned. i had accepted you. i was proud of you. and now, i'm not so sure. body, i wish you could just heal yourself. fix your bladder. fix this disease. set me free.
but body, i know that's asking a lot.
in the meantime, i'll do what the doctors tell me to do to help you. i'll try my best to nourish you well and to medicate your properly. and i promise i'll avoid any running-induced injuries. because, body, i know you've suffered a lot. and i want you to be healthy.