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Dear Body,

I apologize. Wow, the shit I've done to you!

Our relationship has always been rocky. I remember being 8 years old and standing sideways in front of a mirror with my teenage sisters. They lifted up their shirts and exclaimed, "I'm so fat," which was confusing to me because they were absolutely NOT fat. But if they were saying they were fat then it must have been true... and if my belly was rounder than theirs, I must have been fatter than they were. And clearly fat was bad. And thus began our tumultuous relationship.


Although I secretly hated you I managed to treat you well for about another 9 years. I put good food in my mouth— healthy food and even treats that made me happy— and kept you moving. And for fun! It wasn't like "Oh, I'm going to join the soccer and softball teams because I want you to be smaller," it was like "I really like to play soccer and softball. Sign me up, coach!" The fact that it made you work better was just a bonus for you.

Then... well, I'm not sure exactly. My life began to spin out of control and I realized that even though I couldn't control my relationships or future or sadness I was damn good at controlling you. I became drunk with power. I stopped feeding you properly, then I pretty much stopped feeding you altogether. I continued with the sports that had once made you healthy, but now I was using them to hurt you instead of strengthen you. And the power, oh the power! It felt AMAZING. As I tracked your disappearance by the scale I felt so good, I felt high. So high. And I chased that high until I crashed. Hard.


Then it didn't feel so great anymore. I realized that I had lost the control I had longed for and now my obsession with you was controlling me. I decided to get my life back together.

And 7 years later I treat you better, but not great. I still don't care very much about keeping you happy and healthy, I just want you to look good. I still undernourish you at times, I still use chemicals to manipulate you, I still make you sick. And please believe me when I say I really don't want to be doing this— I'm just not sure how to stop.


So, I can pledge to try and do better in the future, but actually doing better is a promise I'm not sure I'll be able to keep. In an ideal world it would be 2001 when taking care of you came naturally to me, instead of now, 2o13, when I've read thousands of pages and spent thousands of hours discussing how our relationship is supposed to function and I still have trouble putting it into practice.

So please accept this letter as the best I can do right now. I admit I was wrong. I admit that I am doing wrong. And it sincerely hurts me to know that I've hurt you. You deserve a lot better, even if at times I'm unsure if I deserve better. I'm so, so sorry.




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