Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Letter to my Body

Over at BlogHer, Suzanne started an interesting conversation. And, being the consummate joiner, I'm playing along.

Dear Body,

We've been through a lot together. Things seem to be better these days. Maybe because of that radioactive pill I took a few summers ago. It felt strange, conspiring with the medical establishment to kill part of myself, but that part was malfunctioning so much, fighting against the rest of me, that it had to be done.

That summer was hard on us, body. We suffered through high doses of steroids and still sport the changes it caused in our face and belly. Sometimes my face still surprises me when I look in the mirror or at photographs. I don't think of my face as being as round as it is, has been since the summer of 2004.

Up to and including that summer, a lot of my adult decisions were influenced by that pesky thyroid gland. I was afraid to exercise more than walking and a little yoga, because my heart was already working itself into a frenzy, just sitting still. I approached my first pregnancy with more than a little fear: fear that I wouldn't get pregnant, fear that the physical stress of pregnancy would cause my thyroid to spin even farther out of control.

But you worked it out, didn't you? You had no problem getting, and staying, pregnant. You kept me safe, kept the baby safe, even through a car accident. You built two healthy and strong babies and more than enough milk to nourish them beyond a year.

The changes my body experienced during pregnancy were exciting while they were happening, and I was delighted with my new curves. I even let art students share the joy. But after the babies were born, I looked at my rapidly-deflated belly and didn't know what to think of it. The art teachers called and I didn't want to model anymore. I was happy to share my pregnant body, but my postpartum body wanted privacy.

But all that is behind us, at least for now. And I started taking you to the gym. After all, we're not getting any younger, and I want to keep us around for a while. It seemed fair enough that with all you've done to take care of me and my kids, I could spend some time taking care of you. Working out with you feels much better than I expected.

And I'm reveling again. No, we're not 22 anymore. Some of those soft places will stay soft. But we feel stronger, and we're looking pretty good. Craig appreciates and enjoys you.

So thanks, body, for a pretty good 36 years. We've been through a lot together, and I can't wait to see what happens next.



winslow1204 said...


Ms. Theologian said...


CindyPTN said...

"Working out with you feels much better..." I like to remind myself about that feeling when I don't want to get up and get moving! Thank you for sharing.

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