March 29, 2008

Letter to my body

It took me awhile, but I finally got around to this.

Dear Body,

I don’t appreciate you. Except when I really need you. And that’s not even appreciation. It’s taking you for granted. Also, I never actually thanked you for all you did for me in my first half marathon. I pushed you harder than you’ve ever been pushed before. And you persevered for 13.1 miles. Sure I gave you walking breaks, but even those were hard on the feet. So thank you from the bottom of our heart, for sticking with me for 3+ hours. I know I hurt you that day. You reminded me for the next two, every time I tried to rise from my chair. But I hydrated you and gave you rest and ice, and we both recovered. Just a warning: we’re going to be doing that again this summer. So get ready.

Now. I need to get some things off our chest. Speaking of that, the boobage area is rather un-big for my liking. There’s nothing I can do about that, aside from having a doctor slice it open and put silicone-filled balloons in there. But I’d rather spend the money on a vacation, or a Nikon camera, or put it in the house fund. Plus, it’s not entirely your fault, but that of genetics. Thanks small-boobed ancestors. I’ll be writing to you later.

One part of you that’s not small is the ass. Sorry. Too crass? The derriere then. While a little junk in the trunk is a good thing, the junk should be distributed in a round, juicy fashion. Not spread into a wide, flat expanse. Have you noticed that I am eating better? Could you maybe help out and adjust the butt a bit, rather than shrinking my feet? How does one lose weight in their feet anyway? Body, you are a sly minx. I’ve kept you blubbery and bulgy for too long and you’re making me work at this, aren’t you? You’re rebelling a bit against this new healthy lifestyle I have adopted. Please just accept it. It needs to be. You feel better don’t you? Well then, could you whittle some of your inches off the trouble spots, rather than those that are fine as-is?

Body, I know I don’t rest you enough. I go to bed too late, and wake up too early and expect you to do exactly what I want. But the healthy eating is helping you, I know it is. Since I stopped drinking coffee, the morning stomach issues are gone, yes? You’re welcome for that. But you’re not entirely caffeine-deprived. There’s the tea with breakfast and one cup at the office. I couldn’t have you quit cold turkey, could I?

Hey, remember when we were thirteen years old and we went on that Cambridge Diet?, where we substituted a “yummy” shake for some of our meals? And remember that green bathing suit that looked so good on us? We had a small waist and a flat stomach. WE WERE THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. Why could we care about that crap then? Oh, maybe because boys at school called us fat. And clothes didn’t fit us correctly. Tight in the butt and thighs and loose in the waist. The same way they fit us now. Some things never change.

For more than 20 years I have tried to shrink you. Sometimes I was successful, like that time on Weight Watchers. We dropped to 115 lbs. We looked awesome. But then, a sick pervert at work noticed us looking good and started to say nasty things to us. He asked us for oral sex repeatedly. We said no. He said he could do us “in the butt” to stay out of our boyfriend’s territory. We’d never heard such things from people when we were fat. Being cute and little and skinny was not a safe place to be. So we left that place. And he got fired.

And two years later, we were 30 pounds heavier. And for years after, the weight came off, and went back on. Back and forth, back and forth. And then I got wrapped up in taking better care of someone else than myself, and I stopped eating. Not to lose weight, just because I forgot. I got too busy. I was too worried about him to make any time for me. And boy, did you shrink. Shrivel is more like it. Down to 103. I got caught up in the scale and taking my measurements. I looked so good (I thought) and could wear whatever clothes I tried on. My friends worried about us, but I was too wrapped up in him to see what I was doing to you.

Eventually, I woke up and got myself together. I started to eat, and became healthy again. We weighed a healthy amount and I started working out five days a week from 6 am to 7. I worked you hard. We ran. We jumped. We lifted and pulled. We stretched and pumped. And boy howdy, did it show. Our abs were defined and solid. Our ass was small, round and firm. The arms were sculpted and the thighs were strong. We were fitting into small sizes, but not Gap Kids small. We looked damn good.

And then the toes became arthritic and we couldn’t run. So I gave up exercise all together. The pounds came crawling back. The muscles became weak and engulfed by layers of fat. We became sluggish, and tired, and lumpy and round. And that’s where we are now.

I did this to you. All of it. And for that, I sincerely apologize. You are the one and only body I will have and I treated you like crap for years. The yo-yo diets, anorexia, going from working out obsessively to becoming a lethargic couch potato. You must think I’m schizophrenic.

But now, as we get closer to our big birthday, I am taking care of you. No more sugary sweets. No more fatty foods. The sodas are gone, and caffeine is minimal. I’m eating more vegetables and fruits, and fewer carbs. I eat smaller portions so we don’t feel stuffed to the point of discomfort. I eat when I am hungry and not when I’m bored, or sad, or stressed. I cook food at home, using ingredients that aren’t overly processed or fake. I now know what goes into what I eat. I think you like this. We are 6 pounds lighter after just a few weeks. Slow and steady wins the race, they say.

I can’t say I forgive you for being fat for so many years. You didn’t know better. And you wouldn’t have been so fat if I’d have treated you more nicely. I love you body, and I am trying hard to stop this abusive relationship we are in. If we both give a little, we’ll both win.

Love always,

P.S. I’m still going to push you to your limit by training us for those half marathons, OK?

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