Monday, November 15, 2010

A letter to my body.

Inspired by the Letters to my Body Project.

Dear Body,

We have been through a lot together, and when I think about you, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.  I am overwhelmed with how you have stood by me through the years, through emotional and physical abuse.  You have taken me places I never thought I could go.  You have birthed two children in a way only you could do.  You have ran more than 6 miles just months after you began to run at all.  I am so grateful for all of this.

I know we haven’t always been on the best of the terms, and I ask your forgiveness.  I ask your forgiveness for all of the awful things I’ve said and thought about you.  I ask your forgiveness for the ways that I hurt you.  I ask your forgiveness for years of emotional and binge eating.  I ask your forgiveness for years of too little exercise and unrealistic expectations when there was exercise.  I ask forgiveness for the chemicals I’ve put into you, the chemicals in my food and my environment. 

I am doing better by you.  I know I am not perfect, and I never will be.  And I know you will accept me no matter what, but I also know there is only so much you can take before you break.  I am learning to nourish you with real food that provides the nourishment you need without the toxins.  I am learning to deal with my emotions without forcing food into that you don’t want or need.  I am learning to respect your abilities and love your possibilities.  I am struggling to give you the rest you so desperately need.  I am taking you to the chiropractor and taking the supplements that I know help you to be strong and resilient, to heal yourself.

And we are running.  I know it can be hard sometime, but we are running. When we run, I feel like we are on the same page.  Together, we strike a balance between pushing ourselves to perform and protecting ourselves from injury.  Running helps my mind and my heart be in a better place to help you.  And you feel good when we run, well except for all those aches and pains, but you feel like this is what you needed, the fresh air, the challenge of the goal, and the respect that comes from achievement. 

I am proud of you.  I am proud of your strength and determination.  I am proud of your curves.  I am proud of where we’ve been together.  We have danced beautiful dances and ran exciting races.  We have hiked for days on the Appalachian Trail and paddled the Delaware River.  We have explored the Scottish Highlands and wandered the Welsh countryside.  Together, we carried and birthed, two amazing little boys, and even in that, you know how I have learned to respect your abilities from one birth to the next.  We have provided the ultimate nourishment of breastmilk to those little boys for years.  We have been at the base of the cheerleading pyramid and have climbed forty feet into the trees on high ropes courses.  We have laughed, we loved and well, you know, loved, and we have hugged.

I commit to you that I will continue in learning to respect you and treat you right.  I will slip up.  I will forget.  I will criticize.  But I am learning, and I will keep learning.  I will nourish you.  I will don your stretch marks as the badges of honor that they are.  I will continue to push you and urge you to change, but not because I don’t like who you are, but because together we can be better.  And I will continue to grow in the ways that I support and empower you.

With love and admiration,
Jamie

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