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Dear beautiful, curvy, delicious Earth Body,
I am so, so sorry.
I’m sorry for the 10-plus years of hell that I put you through: trying to change you, control you, and turn you into a shape that you never wanted to be.
I’m sorry for ignoring you, abandoning you, and punishing you—when all you’ve ever done is patiently love and accept me.
Do you remember when we learned that sugar is synonymous with a mother’s love? Do you remember when mom died and all that we were left with was feeling her love through the sweetness of dessert?
We were so young, Body. And I’m sorry for believing all of it.
For all of the times I left you. For stuffing you with food when you weren’t hungry. For not giving you permission to move those emotions through us. For not relaxing into your sweet, sweet wisdom.
Do you remember when we were told that we wouldn’t make any friends in high school if we were “fat”? Did you know that incident would mark the beginning of our 10-year battle with various eating disorders? I bet you did, Body. And yet, you loved me, held me, and worked with and for me all the way through it.
I’m sorry for starving you. God, I’m so f*cking sorry. For years you were crying out in hunger and I ignored you. I ignored you until you turned into a skeleton. And even at your smallest, I still didn’t love you.
I’m sorry for every damn time I stuck my fingers down our throat. For all the times spent bent over the toilet—hating you…wishing you were different…hating me.
I’m sorry for every diet I forced you through. For taking systems and structures that could have been healthy for us and turning them into more disorders. For forcing you to be a raw vegan when you were cold and starving for meat. For sending our dear nervous system into fight-or-flight every time we ate something that wasn’t “healthy.” For depriving you of every craving you cried out for.
I’m sorry for how I tried to change you. For forcing you into the gym for hours each day, struggling to climb to the top of a mountain that you knew we were never going to reach. For turning exercise into a punishment, instead of a choice and a gift. For all the times I looked at other women’s bodies and used them as fuel to push you even harder into diminishing, contorting, and changing.
I’m sorry for the things I’ve said to you, the ways I’ve looked at you, and the thoughts I’ve imposed onto you. I’m sorry for every time I looked at our delicious feminine belly and hated it. Every time I felt our beautiful baby-bearing hips spilling over a pair of low-cut pants and despising them. Every time I turned our beautiful, strong, thick volleyball thighs into gross elephant legs. Every time I looked at our sexy, round, Oakland booty and wished it didn’t take up quite so much space.
But you know what I’m most sorry for, Body? All the time I spent outside of you.
It makes me sad to think about all the time I spent abandoning you, living in my head—dictating what went into you, how you should move, and what you should look like. I hope you can understand that for a lot of our life, being outside of you was easier. The last time I remember fully inhabiting you, I was a little girl.
Boy, was I missing out though. Missing out on your deep, deep wisdom and dripping well of love. On the safety you give me. On the emotions you’ve been patiently storing for me, all this time. On the food that you’ve been craving. On the movement that excites you.
Have you felt that things are changing, Body? I hope you have. Now that I’m practicing coming back to you, I am in utter awe of you. You are a f*cking miracle.
I want you to know that since I’ve been cultivating my descent back into the temple that is you, there have been so many gifts.
There has been acceptance—an acceptance I have been starving for, through every binge and every barf.
And in that acceptance, a confidence has emerged. A confidence that is not contingent on being 120 pounds or having a flat stomach—a confidence that lives in our beautiful belly and our big, strong thighs. A confidence in all of our sexy curves. Curves that ebb and flow like the mountains we’ve climbed.
You have exposed me to new levels of intimacy that I didn’t know possible. I am closer to myself. I am closer to others. I want to share you in new ways: to hug, kiss, cuddle, and share your powerful, healing touch.
And wow, Body—do you love to move! I see now that you love to dance as a practice, not a performance. I thought you loved to dance just in certain settings, but it seems like something you like to do everywhere. I can no longer deny your urges to shake it at the grocery store, to flow in front of a sea of confused looks, and to let our inner child out through some of the most ridiculous movements I’ve ever witnessed.
Body, you are the container for a “wild woman.” You love to be primal and stomp, you love to shake, yell, and moan. You love bare feet. You love getting really dirty. You love armpit hair, leg hair, no bra, no makeup, and jungle goddess hair. You love meat. You love raw cheese. You love ice cream, and celery juice, and motherf*cking cheeseburgers.
There are so many things you love—things that I denied you for so long.
I just want you to know how grateful I am for you. Do you remember that day we spent crying on the balcony at our old apartment? We were suffering through another spell of anorexia when the realization emerged that no matter what I did to you, you would always do your best to keep me healthy.
Body, it has taken me a while to ground into this knowing. And it has taken me even longer to finally practice coming back to you.
You are a powerful vessel—my entire reality changes when I inhabit you. I want you to know that now, more than ever, I am willing.
I am willing to show up for you. To stop abandoning you. To commit to never abusing you. To bring awareness to every time I feel myself wanting to go—and to come back. I am willing to practice listening to you more and more. I am willing to love on you, exactly as you are—whenever we need it.
And I want you to know that I’m not perfect. There will still be moments when I feel less than sexy. Times when I feed you something that you don’t want. Times when I force you to move longer than what you needed. And times where I look in the mirror and wish we looked just a little less curvy. But I promise to always return. No matter how far I go, I will come crawling back to you—raw, messy, and willing.
Can I tell you something? I have been coaching and guiding other women on their own embodiment journeys. Can you believe it, Body? Me! I’m composting all the time I spent avoiding you and the pain I put you through into wisdom for others on the path.
You and I, Body, we’re in it for the long haul. You are my truest partner in life. You are the vessel that I chose to inhabit. You are what makes me oh-so-deliciously human. And for the first time, in a long time, I’m choosing to play this game with you—not against you.