As I was chatting with my dietitian a few weeks ago, I realized that my relationship with my body still needs some work. Conquering food is only part of the battle with eating disorder recovery. You also have to become comfortable, accepting, and trusting of your body. and to be completely honest, i’m just not there yet.
We were discussing different practices that can help to improve your relationship with your body, and move to a more accepting and loving place. One of these exercises was to write a letter to your body. So that’s what i’ve done. I wanted to share it with all of you, just because. Just to show how amazing this exercise can be. Because even though when I look in the mirror, I don’t always like what I see, when I write out my true thoughts and feelings about my body, the overwhelming and resounding feeling is LOVE and APPRECIATION.
If you are struggling with body image, body dysmorphia, or ED recover in general, I highly suggest trying out this exercise and seeing what feelings emerge!
Where did we go wrong? How did our relationship grow so cold and unforgiving (on my part)? You’ve always supported me, been able to do what I’ve asked, and yet? How can I feel so negatively towards you when you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong?
I try to remember when it all started. Senior year- the heaviest I had ever been. I felt like you had betrayed me. How could my body be this big? How could you let yourself go? Although I knew it wasn’t your fault, I chose to punish you the most. I chose to make you suffer, put you through the ringer. I chose to “betray you back” and treat you as if you weren’t worthy of protection and care.
And even through all of that, you prevailed. You protected me, even when I didn’t know I needed protection. You provided for me, even when I provided you with next to nothing. You’ve honestly been one of my biggest supporters – allowing me to do everything I asked of you – never faltering.
So, I continue to ask myself, how can I still be so unhappy with you? How can I pinch and squeeze at the “bigger” parts of you? Why do I still cry about you? My legs still make me cringe sometimes. My stomach is no longer as flat as it was. I sometimes find myself asking again “how could you let yourself go….again”?
You are strong, you are capable and you are fearless. Your shape is beautiful merely because it allows for the amazing functions you can and do achieve.
How can I still not trust you, when all you’ve ever done is catch men when I’m falling?
Part of me has never been so proud to call you mine. To rejoice in everything you’ve gotten through. To show off your strength and abilities. But another part of me is still ridden with fear. Fear that I’ll be “betrayed” again. Fear that I’ll lose you. Fear that maybe you aren’t as good as I think.
This fear overwhelms the pride.
This fear is also not based in reality. The fear is not based in facts or past experience. The fear is purely abstract and imagination.
The facts show that you have never betrayed me. The facts show that you are one the strongest bodies I know. The facts PROVE that you deserve all of my love and respect.
You, my body, should be looked at as a sum. As a total of your parts that make up a beautiful whole.
I promise to do better for you. I promise to make the pride stronger than the fear. I will do my best to fully comprehend that you never have and never will betray me (this may take time). I vow to never put you through that ringer again – I vow to never be unfair to you like that.
I love you – even when I don’t show it.