A Love Letter to My Body

by Carol Hess on October 31, 2011

Dear Beloved Body,

Please don’t drop dead from shock!  I know you aren’t used to me addressing you that way.  I’m finally realizing how beautifully you function and what a hard-working, wonderful vehicle you are for my soul.

I haven’t made your job easier, have I?  I haven’t stretched and moved you enough.  I haven’t gotten you outside in the fresh air enough.  I have given you too much of the wrong food and not enough of the right food.  To say nothing of the cigarettes with which I smoked you like a ham or the booze with which I pickled you like a cucumber.

With all that mistreatment, I had some nerve turning around and criticizing you for not being beautiful, slim, toned, and perfect.  How could you be with that kind of abuse?  And as if I didn’t criticize you enough all by myself, I adopted the criticisms of other people, all of which were unfounded.  I thought you unathletic, clumsy, graceless just the way I had been taught to think, didn’t I?  I ignored all the evidence to the contrary.  Why is it so much easier to believe the negative than the positive?

For the longest time, I’ve refused to really look at you and see the truth instead of some fiction of my or someone else’s making.  The truth is you are amazing, Beloved Body.  Despite the abuse heaped on you for years, you have remained healthy.  You are stronger and more resilient than I have any right to deserve.  You have proved that in spades during two separate but significant medical challenges, haven’t you?

And you’re so forgiving, loving, and appreciative.  When I do start to treat you the way you deserve to be treated – with love and care – you respond quickly and well.  You have amazed doctors, physical therapists, nurses, and me.   It’s worth repeating.  The truth is you are amazing, Beloved Body.

I apologize for my neglect, abuse, condemnation, and even hatred of you for all these years.  You didn’t and don’t deserve any of it.  From here on out, we’re going to concentrate on the good times we’ve had together.  And we’ll concentrate on all the good times we’re going to have in the future.

Do you remember how much we loved to be in the water?  How comfortable we were doing handstands and somersaults and swimming underwater for as long as we could hold our breath?  We were always more at home in water than on land, and that hasn’t changed, has it?  It’s no accident that our new exercise program (that I prefer to call movement since I hate the “E” word) is water-based.

And do you remember when we used to look pretty good in clothes?  Do you remember the light gray jumpsuit that draped so beautifully because it was made of rayon?  Didn’t you just love the big, clunky silver jewelry we wore with it and that silver belt that made our waist look crazy small?  Yeah, I thought you would remember that outfit.  Sssh!  We don’t need to tell everyone about the first time we wore it.  That was a very special weekend between us and You-Know-Who.

I miss that outfit.  I miss feeling the way I felt in that outfit.  I know you do too.  Well, I’m determined to put you in gorgeous clothes again, Beloved Body.  That’s the least you deserve after all your hard work.  And here’s how it’s going to happen.  I’ve got a surprise for you.  You’re going to love it.  I promise!

I’ve committed us to taking part in C.A. Kobu’s and Sandi Amorim’s 66-Day Self-Care Program.  It starts today, October 31st, and you’re going to love it!  In fact this letter to you is my first assignment from C.A.  You’re liking it, right?

My goal in participating  in this program is to establish healthy new habits that will form the foundation for the loving way I intend to take care of you from here on out.  There are going to be lots of us doing this program.  I like the idea of a community to cheer us on and celebrate with us.  It’s the help and support we need to make the kind of changes that will change our life.  Are you with me?  Good!

Thank you for taking such good care of me all these years, Beloved Body.  I love you.  You’re the best.

by Carol Hess

6 comments

Categories Body Image, Community, Personal Empowerment, Self Care, The Art of Star Polishing

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Sandi Amorim October 31, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Dearest Carol (and your Beloved Body),

You are extraordinary, beautiful, intelligent and so damn funny it is a delight to have you in my life. I’m so glad you’re heading into this new phase of your relationship together. I’m the lucky one that gets to benefit from BOTH of you feeling your best. How good is that?

xoS

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avatar Sue Mitchell October 31, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Get a room, you two!!

Seriously, though, I’m inspired by this. I think I’m going to give my body a call and see if we can rekindle that old flame too.

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avatar Carol Hess November 1, 2011 at 5:56 am

Sue, you’re making us blush too! :) Let us know what happens after you make that call. Inquiring minds want to know! Thanks for joining in on the love your body conversation.

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avatar Carol Hess November 1, 2011 at 5:53 am

Ah gee, Sandi, you’re making me and BB blush! Well, technically I guess it’s just BB that’s doing the blushing. Never mind. I’m really glad you’re in my life too. And if somehow you get a benefit from all this, then I’m cool with that. So’s BB — I just checked. :)

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avatar Walker Thornton November 1, 2011 at 6:33 am

What a great letter. I’m inspired to write mine over again.And probably will do so in a week or so. I’m pretty psyched about the next 65 days and look forward to reading about other’s thoughts during this process

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avatar Carol Hess November 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Thanks, Walker. (Love your name — it has such a literary ring to it!) I just hope my Beloved Body also thinks the letter is great and doesn’t give up on me! :) I suspect we may be writing several letters to our bodies as we go through the 66-Day Self-Care Program. I’m psyched about this too! Thanks for joining the self-care conversation here on Star Polisher.

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