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Personal Essay | Dear Body: Love, Me

By Christy King

Today I had to go into a dressing room to try on a pair of pants. This meant I was sans pantaloons while in front of a full-length mirror. For the first time in many months.

I found it to be truly upsetting.

Now granted, the lighting was terrible — as it always is in those little cubbies of impending doom — but after four months of papers, ceramic studio, BIO studies, kid-schlepping, and my horrid addiction to Mountain Dew and Cheetos, I have no one to blame for my current status quo except for myself.

This is not my body’s fault, and I won’t — as I have in the past — shame and berate her for my poor choices.

Body-Flowers

I can provide a litany of excuses for why she has been so neglected, but none of them add up to it being my body’s fault for how I’ve treated her.


“Dear Body,

It’s me, not you. Okay?

Xo
Love, Me”


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Instead of leaving the stall of shame muttering all kinds of nasty and mean rants, attempting to scare my body into some forced compliance of what I thought she needed to accomplish to not be the worst, I mentally hugged her.

I have never tried this before in my life.

I told my body that I loved her, and that I was sorry, and that I planned to do my best to nurture her. “This time will be different because I’m different. I promise to be more kind to you, to use more gentle words. I want to cherish and honor you, and I have an entire month off of school to feed you tea and to do yoga with you. Remember how much you love yoga?”

As I made these vows to my body, another tiny voice snarkily remarked that I reminded them “…of a batterer who just wants one more chance to change their ways, but knows they never will,” and then they laughed and wished me luck.

I told that voice to fuck off.

I stopped and bought my body some special teas to help her detox and to make her feel calm. When I got home I put the kettle on and gave her some very comfy pants. I meant what I said. I didn’t tell her what I wanted her to hear, but what I believe we can accomplish together.

My 39th birthday is in two months and I am excited to grow with her. I can’t wait to see what we have done for each other by then.

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