Dear Body, I Want to Be Your Friend
These past few years I have been selfish and unfair. I know this, but sometimes it is hard to put you first. Having an eating disorder is hard to understand. I’m sure you are so confused. You see, my mind takes over sometimes and makes me believe you are something that will never been good enough and that needs to be deprived of what you need. I am working to clear my mind so I can care for you like you deserve. I can feel you thanking me every time I do what is best for you, and I realize I am never the one who is thanking you. I am so sorry for all the shit I have dragged you through.
I’m sorry for all the standards I have set for you.
I’m sorry I have been so ashamed of you.
I’m sorry my disorder and my behavior have put you in harm’s way.
I’m sorry I have exhausted you in ways I didn’t even know were possible. You were even too exhausted to sleep.
I’m sorry I pushed you to dangerous limits when you work so hard to keep me alive.
I’m sorry I deprived you of the fuel you need because I was too worried about meeting my low-calorie goals.
I’m sorry I used exercise as a weapon against you instead of a tool to help you.
I’m sorry for blaming you and for making you feel so horrible about yourself.
I’m sorry I could not see the amazing things you do for me, and your natural beauty.
I’m sorry I buried you under baggy clothes to hide my embarrassment.
I’m sorry for always making you out to be the bad guy every time I look in the mirror.
I’m sorry for not trusting you to do support me and do what is best for me to be healthy.
I’m sorry for all the poking, scratching, pinching, and body checking. That must have been so daunting for you.
I’m sorry I am still at war with you on some days. I promise I am trying to change that.
If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.
I’m sorry for trying to change you to meet the ideals of what my eating disorder and society told me you need to be.
I’m sorry for looking past all the amazing thing you do for me: walking, sleeping, loving, dancing, smiling, crying and so much more.
I’m sorry I have made you feel less-than every time I compare you to someone else.
I’m sorry for trying to make you strong and “perfect.” I was blind to the fact that I was only tearing you down and making you weak.
I’m sorry for hating you, stomach; you do so many wonderful things for me.
I’m sorry for hating my womanhood, and for the blotting of periods; I know I will be glad you are with me when I decide to be a mother.
I’m sorry for doubting you, arms; you let me express myself and help me do so many things I take for granted.
I’m sorry for hiding you, legs; you only want to support me and let me move.
I’m sorry for changing you, face; I know you are so important and I should not coat you with makeup or try to hide your full cheeks when you just want to smile.
I’m sorry, body, for all I have done to you and for making you think you are not good enough.
You are enough, more than enough.
Thank you for loving me, for supporting me, for keeping me alive. I would not be here today, getting through this war, without you. I know we have a lot of work to do on our relationship. I’m ready to try to make things right. I am always doubting you and hiding you when I should be embracing you.
It’s going to take some time, but I’d like to think that we could be friends again, eventually. I will start by fueling you; I will try my hardest to give you the nutrients that you so desperately need. I will work towards letting you shine just the way you are. I need to start putting you first. I know I have to earn your trust back. You have never let me down, and I want to thank you and repay you. We’ve spent 21 years together, and I have never loved you as much as I should have. We can’t leave each other; so it’s time to start having a better relationship so we can have a peaceful and loving life together. I hope you will accept my apology. I’m sure you will forgive me long before I forgive myself. If I ever treat you poorly please let me know; I don’t always realize how hard it is for you. I want you to know that I am trying, really trying. I hope we can have the relationship we were meant to have. Please forgive me as I continue the journey of rediscovering my relationship with you. I have the rest of my life to make it up to you, but I will not put it off any longer. You will get the love you deserve from me, at last.
With regret and love, your friend,
Please note that this is a very personal experience. Everyone has a different message they would like to give to their bodies. I would encourage you to write your own letter to your body. The experience was emotional, freeing, and eye-opening. Be kind to your body; love it, and appreciate it. It only wants what is best for you.
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Thinkstock photo by kaarsten