By Amy L. Sullivan
Do you remember when we were friends?
When I ate a bag of Funyuns and a chocolate milkshake every day for lunch and you swore you liked it?
letterThink back to the belly ring years and an entire closet of midriff shirts. What? I didn’t realize this tiny piece of metal complete with sparkly bead was showing. Oh, yes, those were good times.
Do you remember when my arms contained defined muscles, and I told people it was from playing tennis, but you and I both know I lifted more glasses of beer than tennis rackets?
You were amazing to me after I birthed our first baby. I completed six sessions of Pilates, and you miraculously snapped back, two-piece ready.
But not long after, I started saying rude things about you. I fixated on your imperfections.
Too big, too small, too jiggly, and what happened to my tight thighs? Hair refusing to shine. Skin refusing to glow. Laugh lines and zits.
My perceived flaws dominated, and during the summer of 2008, I refused to wear shorts. Instead, I strutted around in jeans. Jeans in the summer. Jeans in the South. I blamed you every single sweltering second.
But then terrible happened.
The bodies of those nearest to me started breaking, in small ways with fractures and in scary ways with the “Big C”.
I found myself holding a strong shot of perspective.
Perspective, which propelled me to shower you with words of love. Love for your loyalty and love for your service.
You allowed me to nurse my babies, climb fourteeners, and bob around in turquoise colored oceans. You permit me to chase my naughty dog and sprint after my big dreams.
It’s for these reasons, dear body, I promise my words for you will be filled with respect, and on my honor (envision me holding my right hand up) those awful, hot jeans will remain in dresser drawers all summer long.
*This piece was inspired by the call of SheLoves Magazine to write letters to our bodies.
Amy L. Sullivan. Word lover. Book devourer. Music addict. Amy is a Northern girl who found herself living in the South. She drinks sweet tea, turns her nose up at okra, and attempts to tell her daughters “yella” isn’t a color. Amy writes for a variety of print and online publications.