An Open Letter To My Body...
I’m writing today to ask for absolution of the sins I’ve committed against you over the years. You got me through childhood with nothing more than a chin scar and through college though I used and abused you assiduously. I should probably say, as I reflect on those years, that I’m sorry for everything I did to you. For all the chemicals I put into you but mostly on you(especially for that purple coloured hair dye in high school )and for all those piercings you took no time reject. I’m sorry for the lack of good food, sleep, water, but it seems a little late for that.
I thought you forgave me, but that was because I always treated you like the friend who was always going to stand by me no matter how much I neglected her or treated her poorly. There was a moment a few years ago where I woke up and literally ‘woke up’ to the state of what you had become. I slowly gazed down the mirror and made an effort to recognize the carcass I was staring at.
How did we get here?
I remember being in deep pain that morning. I was regretting all the cookies I binged on instead of going to hot yoga. All the mornings I snoozed instead of eating breakfast. All the excuses I made to justify eating out. What rubbish that morning was. I was a victim of my own misery. You see, I wasn’t fat, nor was anything bloody wrong with you. I had gained weight. That is all. But I felt like I lost control over you and therefore over my life. Because this is what I was taught all my life. That how I look is a direct reflection of who I am. Sometimes I still mistake you for myself, but then I remember: You are my temple. Not the temple.
The world around me seems to believe that you are everything. And that is one of the greatest challenges I face everyday: taking care of you but living for me. Because if I’m not careful you become the focus of… well…everything. People will look in my eyes and tell me I should rest, noticing the heavy bags I’ve been carrying around. They will start passing comments on my weight, as if my worth was measured in inches and pounds.They will tell me my clothes are out of fashion. They will notice your imperfections, and God knows you have many. People notice you, people judge you, people compare themselves to you. Often forgetting about me.
If I take meticulous care of you, they will think I’m happy. I want to blow this stereotype right out of the water. Because it. is. bullsh*t. You may remember just last April I was about 15 pounds lighter. My having an (almost) four-pack was, well, me having an (almost) four-pack. Being that skinny made it infinitely easier to shop for clothes, because let’s face it,clothes are mostly designed for skinny people. Being a size 6 made strangers’ heads turn. It made boys buy me drinks. It brought me a false sense of confidence. It made me a lot things. But one thing it didn't do was make me happy.
I’m not the only one, according to a new study , fat people are less likely to be depressed, stressed out and are less likely to kill themselves. Not only are you less depressed when overweight, it works in proportion. The fatter you get, the less likely you are to commit suicide. What makes this fat/happy curve so surprising is that fat people have a horrible time at the hands of society. They are less likely to land jobs,promotions, get married, have kids and doctors made moves to stop treating them for joint replacements. And still they smile.
A reason society is so hard on people with eating disorders is that is literally the only disorder that anyone can see without asking. All your daddy/control/motivation issues are out in the open for anyone and everyone to judge. I thought I hated you for a while — I hated you for the anxiety and panic attacks. I hated you for not cooperating with me the way I wanted you to. With a bit of maturity on my side, I realize I need to appreciate you for being considerate enough to keep these moments between us and for that I thank you. I can’t imagine how it feels to see everyone seeing your darkest secrets.
As Mary Lambert Tweeted, body acceptance is not about glorifying obesity. It’s about fucking loving your body at whatever size you are at. I enjoy taking care of you and pushing your limits of what I think is possible. You never cease to teach me that it’s always more. You push me to hit harder in every single aspect of my life. Today I am a little bit older and a little bit wiser and I realize that that morning staring at the mirror wasn't a true reflection of you, it was only projecting a young and uneducated self-esteem. I needed to cast blame on something and I was taught to blame you. I am beautiful. I am powerful. I am in control. Today, however, I realize that it has nothing to do with you. I’m grateful to you. But I am not you.