A letter to my body…

Dear Rosie,

I’ve written a letter to someone else very important in our lives this week. It is probably one of the most important letters I could ever write. because my words to the letter’s recipient will ultimately shape how you view yourself as you grow. So, kick back, pop your feet up because you’re off the hook this week. I have some major apologising to do and it has to start now.

To my dearest body,

Hmmm, well this is a bit awkward isn’t it? It’s alittle like talking to someone face to face that you haven’t been very kind tobehind their back. I have said some pretty awful things about you over theyears. I’ve put you down quietly under my breath, I’ve put you down in front ofothers and made fun of you in front of crowds to get a laugh. Truth is, I’vebeen a real asshole to you and I think it’s time I apologize.

But before that let me just explain myself a littlemore and maybe it’ll be clearer why I was such a dick. You see, growing upcarrying extra weight wasn’t easy. The first time I remember feeling differentto other girls my age was when we were 6 years old.

young girl

I was in Prep at a very fancy all-girls school and Ihad just gotten changed in front of the whole class ready for sport. Theteacher wanted to do a quick math’s ‘game’. She asked everyone to get on thescales and write down how much they weighed and then stand in order fromlightest to heaviest. The line behind me got longer, my stomach grew tighterand I could feel the tears getting so hot behind my eyes.

“Sarah! You’re the heaviest! You’re just behind theteacher!” one mini beast exclaimed. It was the first time I felt differentbecause of my size, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

Now I think it’s important to note dearest body, that I’mnot blaming you. Sure, genetics played a role but as I got older, I definitelyused food as a way to deal with emotions and to make myself happy. Viciouscycle really. Go to shops, clothes don’t fit like they fit your best friend soyou say goodbye and get McDonald’s on the way home to make yourself happier.Cycle continues and all of a sudden, you’re 18 and you weigh over 100kgs.

body shame

Our teenage years were spent trying to fit a round pegin a square pair of size 12 jeans. Grandma Helen would get us countlessmemberships to gyms, swimming pools, weight watches meetings and desperatelytry to teach us how to cook and enjoy healthy food. None of it mattered. Iwasn’t treating you right. I was filling you with rubbish and you wereresponding accordingly. Our relationship was becoming toxic and I was gettingangrier. I put you though fad diets, shakes, starvation, binging and sugarlessmonths and I continued to be so angry with you. Why couldn’t we look like ourfriends? Why couldn’t it be easy like it is for everyone else? This kind ofnegative self-talk became my inner voice and the hatred I felt towards you wasconsuming. The eating continued, the sadness persisted, and the jokes wererelentless. You didn’t deserve any of it.

friendship

Fast forward to August 2018. Sitting alone in a crowdedshopping centre food court having a Coke Zero and some pork dumplings watchingthe world go by. It’s one of my favourite solo activities. No one talks to meand I just sit, and people watch. I’ve done it 100 times before but that day wasso different. That day was our last solo hoorah for a while. Come thatfollowing Monday, you and I were going to be facing our toughest challenge yet.One where I would be forced to place a hell of a lot of faith in you.

We had to get ababy out of you.

My mind was slowly working its way around to the ideaof how to support you and how we were going to come together as a team to bringour little girl into this world. We had been to birthing classes, we had beento massage therapists to loosen the rig up a little, I had been eating clean, exercisingand we were feeling the best we had ever felt. Shame and guilt over mytreatment of you turned to pride and elation as our belly grew, my eyes becameclearer and we felt strong. Every baby kick was a reminder that you, sweetbody, was performing your ultimate purpose, you were making my daughter.

On the afternoon Rosie was born, I looked into mybabies eyes and couldn’t believe what you had achieved. All those years ofbeing mean to you, calling you names, being angry you didn’t look the way I wantedor run as fast as you should, faded into the background. How could I talk badlyabout the vessel that made this incredible creature? 10 fingers. 10 toes. Beautifuleyes and a strong beating heart. You did that for us. You beautiful thing.  

Dearest body, I’m so sorry to have treated you poorlyfor so long. I wear my C section scar with pride and proudly tell people howgreat you are. Your toes are still crooked, your nipples are stillhilariously out-of-place, your ears are far too small for our head but hey, youalso give the worlds best hugs to people you love.

I promise to have more faith in you. I promise to remind myself of the seriously amazing life you have given me. I promise to fill you with better food. I promise to thank you for my questionable RnB dance moves. I promise to speak highly of you and love you in front of Rosie, because loving you will teach Rosie to love her body too. Because of you and all your pudgy wonder sweet body, I get to be a Mum.

mother and daughter

Love,

Sarah

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