A letter to my body

BlogHer has unveiled a new topic area: Body Image and is encouraging everyone to write a Letter to Our Body.

Hello dear body o’ mine,

It’s been a while since we talked so I thought I’d take this opportunity to chat with you for a bit.

My bicep in 2005First of all, thank you for sticking with me all of these years. You’ve done some amazing things over the past 32 years and put up with some crap from me and yet, despite that I don’t often acknowledge your greatness, you keep on keepin’ on.

You proved yourself awfully resilient from an early age when you endured three eye muscle surgeries (for strabismus) before you/I were even 2 years old. You rose to the challenge when, at age 6, I stepped on a piece of wood while in a lake, and was on crutches for a few weeks while you healed yourself. You stayed remarkably healthy and strong throughout my middle school years when a bag of Funyons and a candy bar was often considered a “cooler” lunch than a sandwich and apple. And you kept on truckin’ throughout high school when I got us up before school for 7 a.m. band/flag corps practice, then went to school, then had drill team practice after school, then did homework and often worked until 10 p.m. at K-mart. You are a machine for getting by on so little sleep and still functioning well enough to get good grades throughout high school.

Then there were the college years, where I was often an emotional wreck, ate crappy cafeteria food, pulled all-nighters cramming for exams, not to mention the experimentation with drinking and smoking (cigs, cloves and other). I know there wasn’t a huge amount of either of the two, regardless thank you for responding so well the majority of the time, and keeping me on the straight and narrow even though I have a serious family history of addiction. You don’t know how thankful I am for not falling victim to it.

After college I began to wise up a bit and understand that you deserved better. I started drinking water instead of soda and even went the vegetarian route a few times. However, I admit exercise was not then and is still not one of my biggest priorities. You deserve better from me in that regard.

When I got pregnant for the first time, I believed in you to help me through a natural childbirth. And while I did the best I could with the cards dealt me (HELLP syndrome), I ended up having to be hooked up to machines and on drugs (magnesium sulfate) that I never knew existed. Even though I was seriously sleep deprived and bed-ridden and drugged, you stayed strong for both me and my baby girl. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that.

After Ava’s birth, you recovered from anemia and, as Ava grew older, I started to pay closer attention to the foods we ingested, both for her health and for yours. Instead of frozen dinners, I opted for more whole, organic foods. I think this helped you, my body, a great deal when I got pregnant with my second child.

Knowing that I wanted a home birth this time around, I was willing to do just about any and everything to keep you in the best shape possible so that I could to achieve that, which meant eating more protein throughout my pregnancy, going for acupuncture, and drinking some nasty concoctions of Chinese herbs. All of it paid off when I went into labor on my own without any symptoms of HELLP.

You proved yourself to be a birthing warrior when you gave birth vaginally to a 9 1/2 lb. surprise footling breech baby boy in our bedroom at home. No drugs, no machines, just pure hormones, endorphins, love and determination. You were amazing. Again, thank you for doing exactly what you needed to do to have a healthy baby.

These past nearly four years of motherhood have caused some wear and tear on you, this I know. Sleep deprivation can be hard on a body, as can breastfeeding hunched over with poor posture. I will do my best to honor your cues as to when you need sleep and to be mindful of my posture. I know I need to take care of you to be able to take care of my family.

I hope to have a long run with you, dear body, and I pledge to continue to nourish you with good foods, save the occasional sweet treat. I gotta be honest, I think you do love your chocolate. ;) I pledge to exercise more. I can’t promise anything fancy, but I can do more frequent walks and at least that is something. I also will try to take some time to honor you on a regular basis and appreciate you for the wonderful life you give me.

You are an incredible thing, my body. You are strong, resilient, healthy and amazing, and I thank and love you.

Sincerely,

Amy
(Crunchy Domestic Goddess)

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19 thoughts on “A letter to my body

  1. What a lovely post. I really like the idea of writing a letter to your body. As soon as I can see my feet again and walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded I will write one to my own body, but right now we’re not on the best of terms. (four weeks to go)

  2. An awesome letter, Amy. You are a wise woman, my first born child, and an inspirationn to me, your 58 year old mother, who still struggles with this issue on a daily basis. Thank you!

  3. i need to do this! additionally, i need to take a cue from you and not be so hateful to my body. we’ve been at war with each other for many, many years, and it makes me sad.

  4. Wow…you really do rock! :) Very inspirational. I spend most of my time hiding from my body because I think she wants to put the smack-down on me! :p

  5. A truly great way of looking at the MOM body! Funny you added a picture of your upper arms; I think that’s probably the only part of my body that looks better after having my children.. (caring them around) :-) But still – thinking of what all our bodies have gone through with pregnancy, childbirth and surviving lack of sleep etc our bodies are absolutely fantastic!

  6. Woo! Kudos to you for those incredible births! I love to hear about other women having natural births. Footling breech? Yowza!

    Funyons did rock. I wonder if they still taste good?

  7. Just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know that I really loved this post. It made me think about my own post-twin pregnancy body in a completely different way. Thanks for the shift in perspective.

  8. I especially like the comment from your mom. That just made me smile. You are very lucky to her.

    Perhaps if more of us wrote letters to ourselves and reminded of how amazing they are, we could pass that same feelings down to our daughters.

    Remember, it is women not men that have children because we are the ones with the strong resourceful bodies! After the birth of 4 kids, I just wish that extra hanging skin would just melt away, and I would not have to go to the bathroom so much! Oh well. Look what I received in return. Nice letter! Anna http://www.green-talk.com

  9. Great letter! My body has been through the ringer but now I feel I’m wiser and more mature and I respect my body. Before I took it for granted but getting older and feeling the changes makes me realize I have to take care of it!

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