An Open Letter To My Body: You Are Perfect As You Are

You didn’t deserve those cruel things I did to you.

Dear body, 

I owe you an apology, and I’ve owed you one for years.

It wasn’t your fault — no matter how much I thought that it was. It was mine. And I’m finally able to take responsibility for that now. So, yes, I’m sorry. Deeply sorry and I regret the words, thoughts and actions I’ve taken against you.

You’ve always been perfect — no matter how much I denied that perfection because I was busy comparing myself to others, or because I listened to slanderous remarks others made about you.

You’ve supported me and given me the physical strength I needed to become the confident woman I am today. For that I’m deeply grateful — and deeply ashamed that I’ve treated you so poorly.

When I was born, everyone celebrated you as perfect and ideal because I had all my fingers, toes and limbs and no obvious imperfections.

And yet as you grew and changed dramatically over the following childhood years, something shifted. Instead of being celebrated for your beauty, you were harshly scrutinized and found lacking.

Even dearly loved family members said you’d “never be pretty.” 

They said that your butt was “too big,” that your walk was “unbecoming to a girl.” They denied your perfection.

Yet, I wasn’t innocent in this. I was an accomplice to that betrayal because I believed the lies they said about you. And then, I created more lies of my own. I was wrong.

I was wrong to look at the stretch marks on my hips and breasts as ugly scars that made you hideous to look at. The truth is that the stretch marks are just testament to the miraculous changes you accomplished as I grew from infant to woman.

As an adolescent, I was wrong to hate the pilling on my pants from my legs rubbing together. Just because the “beautiful girls” had thighs that didn’t touch, didn’t mean mine were fat or ugly.

I was wrong to feel embarrassment when others teased me about having a big butt. You deserved my courage. I should have defended you. Today, I know my rump is a glorious curve that perfectly fits my frame.

I was wrong to search high and low for anything that would miraculously erase the bumps and bulges of cellulite. Especially now that I know it was just your response to all the sugar and salt I was feeding you. But the self-judgment, embarrassment, and misplaced focus were nothing compared to what I did to you when I got divorced. And for this I am the most regretful.

I made you feel pain you didn’t deserve — I’m sorry. 

It wasn’t because you weren’t beautifully attractive, that I was alone again. You didn’t deserve me dieting to the point of emaciation as I tried to look like the women in the magazines. Denying you what you needed to function and thrive was horrible. But somehow you forgave me as soon as I started caring for you again.

You filled back out. The sexy slopes of my breasts returned. The sensuous curves of my hips and legs returned. And as you came back to life, so did I.

But the biggest change of all happened when I finally decided to love you — by giving you the rest, exercise, hydration and nutrition you require. I suppose this was my unspoken apology for all of the wrongs you’ve suffered because of me.

Your generous and forgiving response of giving me the energy, mental capacity and enjoyment of living in a strong, powerful body deserve more than an unspoken apology. They deserve this very public proclamation — I love my body!

No, it’s still not air-brushed magazine perfect. It’s better than that! My body is perfect for me in all of its supposed imperfection because it houses me and allows me to live my glorious life. 

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach helping people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly adviceAnd, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

This article was originally published on YourTango.com.

Dr. Karen Finn

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