#NEDAwareness Week: A Thank You Letter To My Body

Dear Body,

This might seem totally out of left field, but I just wanted to recognize the fact I don’t thank you enough for putting up with me.  For being game. For accepting all the challenges my mind and heart feel you can handle.  I don’t even stop to pause and take it in, let alone THANK you.  In my [insert number here] years, you have never been as strong as you are now, and I am proud of you – yes, I am PROUD! – because you are only getting stronger.

You’ve dealt with a lot, Body, and I would fully understand if you had decided to rebel against me like a 14-year-old girl who decides on a whim to dye her hair blue.  I’d even get it if you had decided to break up with me altogether.  Abusive relationships are no good!  But hey, you’ve stuck with me and you’ve given me chance after chance to redeem myself and treat you right, which, despite previous evidence, I sincerely attempt to do.  I’m trying.  I really am.  And I think you’ve taught me… something.  I don’t know what yet; I’m still trying to figure it out.  But you’ve taught me something about unconditional love… on YOUR end.  I have talked smack about you up and down the wall and gotten so pissed off that I literally wanted to take you and rip you apart.  I have ridiculed you for decisions that weren’t really yours to begin with, they were mine – you were just left to clean up the mess and figure it out on your own.

But somehow, I think we’re having a breakthrough, you and I.  We’re able to do things together that we have never been able to do before.  In the last couple months, we’ve broken many of our own running records, we’ve built strong lats and delts, we can lift heavier, we’re mastering new formerly-scary plyometric moves and yoga balances, we went from 5 pushups on our knees to 20 real-deals, we are spinning stronger than EVER.  I express my appreciation by fueling you healthfully and trying to pamper you daily (I’m taking you for a pedicure this weekend, I promise!)… but then there are times I get all rebellious and throw truckloads of sodium your way.  Or overstuff you with toxic gunk that vaguely resembles food, and expect you to figure out what it is “good” for (because I certainly have no clue).  Or don’t wash away make-up and sweat and dirt before bed. After neglecting you in all these ways, like a poor helpless puppy, what do I do?  I ream into you for not dealing.  For not just hopping over this obstacle course I’ve placed smack dab in your path out of nowhere.

And you know what, body?  You love me in spite of all my schizophrenic tendencies.  You know the path we are on together, and even if I throw the concrete man-made LA River in your path, you don’t just throw your hands up and call it quits.  You ford that thang.  (Which reminds me, we should find a copy of old-school Oregon Trail somewhere, don’t you think?)

I think for the very first time in my adulthood, we’re finally working together.  Teamwork is awesome, don’t you think?  But I do realize I’m not being as MUCH of a team player as I COULD be. Team players don’t abuse their teammates with harsh words.  Team players don’t make a mess and order the rest of the team to clean it up.  Team players don’t sit on the sidelines drinking mojitos while the rest of the team scrambles just to make time somewhat worthwhile, let alone victorious.  You are showing me that I am getting better.  Showing me, for the first time in a very long while, tangible signs that you are liking the way you are being treated.  And body, in this very moment, this very second, I promise you to keep it up, to be your best friend and the most trustworthy team player you will ever have.  Together we can capture sunbeams and reach beyond the moon….I certainly do not expect you to be able to on your own.

This post is Part Two in a series honoring National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which runs from February 26 through March 3.  For more information about NEDA, visit their home on the web at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

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