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“I said to my body,  curled up softly on the leather sofa , stockinged feet on the purple ottoman…”Body, it’s time to give you a break. You’ve been through a lot, you deserve it.”

 It replied in a firm voice, “Whew it’s about time. I never thought you’d get to this place.  I’m so tired of every damn diet you’ve been on,  and I’m ready to kick back.  What made you come to your senses?”

 “OK Body, here goes. You know we haven’t always had a love affair. I think it started in junior high. I didn’t like my big feet. I didn’t like I was a “big” girl. First day of junior high I met my ideal. We were both wearing the same camel wool jumpers with loafers and knee socks, except we didn’t look alike at all. I was 5’6”, probably a size eleven, and she was 5’, a size three, with her blonde hair in a perfect flip. She knew how to put on eye liner, even in seventh grade, and if I tried eyeliner I looked like a sad raccoon.

Her locker was above mine, and we had the same homeroom. She was as nice as she was pretty, and she knew the ropes. We became fast friends, but to be honest I always envied her. She was the “it” girl of junior high and high school, and had more crowns for being princess or homecoming queen than Queen Elizabeth, not to mention dates every weekend.

My first diet was in high school when I wanted to slim down for my cousin’s wedding. That was the beginning of a lifetime of never being content with you …Body. I thought if I could only lose that ten or fifteen pounds I would like myself more, have more confidence, more boyfriends, be happier, be better at everything even though I was successful in many segments of my life despite the extra weight.  I was attractive; I was a great student; I had friends and met my sweet husband at age nineteen.

Yes Body, you know I tried so many diets and programs over the years…Weight Watchers, cabbage diet, grapefruit diet, Atkins, diet therapists, nutritionists, whatever the diet du jour. And I lost that same ten or fifteen pounds again and again. And when I was successful,  I looked really good. My clothes fit better and whether it was for a special event or wedding or Bat Mitzvah, I was elegant with a great outfit and matching shoes. I thought I had it licked, but I gained it back, time and time again starting over so many Monday mornings.

I was hard on you Body, chiding myself for being weak, berating myself for falling in to the same patterns, admonishing myself for hurting you when I knew better. After years of this seesawing, I realized that there was not a new diet under the sun that I needed to try because I had done them all, and there was no magic formula despite what the diet gurus said or what Oprah preached.  

Then unexpectedly I put you through the ringer going through a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Breast cancer was no picnic for you Body. Remember all the rough times? I couldn’t eat for almost three weeks when I had a whopper canker sore on my tongue. Yeah, I lost weight every day but that was one diet I never wanted to be on. Everything tasted bad and the food didn’t want to go down. I was scared.

After everything I went through with my cancer treatment, I put my continuous diet saga in a new perspective.  It was no longer important. I have accepted that I will be ten or fifteen pounds overweight , and it doesn’t matter. My husband adores me. He tells me I am beautiful all the time. I get compliments  frequently on my clothes because I know how to dress. I look good; I carry myself well.

Yes, Body we have had our moments.  I am grateful to feel well and be able to chase after the grandchildren, grateful I can dance in my Zumba class,  and grateful when I have a good mammogram. I try to eat healthy and keep up my exercise. I have removed that four letter word starting with “d” out of my life. I’m over it, I’m over myself. I just want to live a long life and be healthy.

My Body sighed and snuggled on the sofa, ”I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.”

A Letter To My Body was last modified: by

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