This post has been on my ‘to-do’ list for blogging for a while now. It turns out that having a blogging ‘to-do’ list puts me off blogging as I get panicked about what I wanted to do being good enough so I’ve learnt not to commit to writing about a specific topic anymore. However, I did really want to do this post so I’m just going to let the words flow and post whatever comes out- apologies in advance if it’s rambling!
This post is inspired by firebyfly from lastthingoutofthebox who back in January wrote a letter to herself from her body. While I have written (privately) to my body from myself, I have never done it this way around. Firebyfly’s post was honest and raw and made me see ED from a different perspective so I thought it was worth a go for me to try. (On a side note firebyfly has been such a lovely and supportive blogger over the past while and I am thankful for each and every one of her comments!)
I’m not sure you’ve ever really liked me. I can remember as far back as aged 7 you saying that I was too fat. You got cross with me for not being small and petite like the other girls, for being too round and flabby. You hated me in a leotard; I used to love ballet class and gymnastics – it was so fun to spin and tumble and stretch – but you were ashamed of how I looked. We would master new skills together and I thought you would be proud, but instead you would cross your arms over me in embarrassment and pinch at me in disgust, longing enviously for someone else’s body.
You still do that now – compare me to others and find me wanting. I sit with you in changing rooms while you cry over how I look. I tolerated it when you removed all the mirrors at home because you couldn’t bear how I looked and would spend hours judging and criticising me. I see you delete photo after photo because my arms look fat, my chin is pudgy, there are rolls on my stomach. Every now and again I think I look great, I’ve pulled it together with nice hair and makeup and lovely clothes – I cherish those moments when you think ‘you’re okay, you’re enough’ and pray they will stretch out in time before you end up back hating me.
It’s not just how I look either, it’s what I can do. I remember not being able to climb the rope in sports acro and for you never forgiving me for that. 25 years on and that still gets to you. I see the same thing now in other ways. The activities may have changed but I am still the same body, still working with you to help you do the things you want to do, but yet you still don’t find me good enough. I have trained with you for 6 marathons. I have run miles and miles in all kinds of weather, when I was tired and sore with blisters on my feet, I stayed with you. Yet at least once a day you tell me your are annoyed at me for not being fast enough. You do the same with cycling – just when I am enjoying being out in the countryside you curse me for not being strong enough up the hills. Yoga too – I thought we were going to relax but you berate me for not being flexible enough or strong enough.
I’m angry at you for how you have treated me. I watch you being kind to others and telling them to love themselves but then not being fair to me. Puberty was not my fault. It was my job to develop you in that way, you just needed patience to see how it would all settle, you shouldn’t have tried to fight me. You have really hurt me over the years. I have scars from where you have cut me, have healed bruises from where you have hit me. You thought while I was shrinking that you were doing something good for us, but I was hungry and cold and tired. You think stuffing me with food makes me feel better but I hate it, it makes me uncomfortable and the purging hurts. It leaves me dehydrated and drained and stops me getting on with the other things I like to do. I am fed up of not knowing what to expect, not knowing what I am allowed eat, what I have to avoid, what is too much, what is too little, what will make you feel bad. I just want moderation and balance. It really is that simple to me. I like vegetables, I want carbs for energy, protein for my muscles, nutrients for my hair and nails and chocolate simply because it’s yummy. Stop judging me for wanting the things that I need, and indulge me my giving me the things that I want.
It seems like you are exploring all options to get rid of me. I was not the body you wanted. Every time you are ashamed of me or hurt me that is what you are telling me. I was not the body you wanted. But guess what? I am all you have. And I’ll tell you something else; you got a pretty good deal with me. Even with everything you put me though I wake up in the morning and take a breath for you. I let you roll over and smile at your boyfriend. I walk you into work where you get to make a difference. I let you laugh with your friends. I let you read to your heart’s content. I let you type these thoughts out into the world. I get you to see your family and let you play with your cousins. One day I am hoping to help you bring your own child into the world. I will always be here for you. Please have faith that if you stick with me, we will be okay. I am enough for you. You are enough.
With love, your body.