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An Open Letter to My Body

Dear body,

Do you remember when we were 7 years old and I’d say, “Watch what I can do!” I’d lift up my shirt and suck in my belly as far as I could, so you could see my rib cage. All the other little girls would say, “Look I can do that too!” Comparing to see would win.

As if it was a game. As if being skinny was something to be proud of.

Years later, I still look in the mirror and try it.

 

 

Back then I was always winning the game.

“Sara you are so lucky you never have to worry about being fat.”

“Sara you’re so tall and skinny, you should be a model.”

I had always been the skinny girl, but I never saw what they saw.

I was just a girl who didn’t have curves, or boobs, but loved herself anyways.

Who danced her heart out, who ran around neighborhoods, who didn’t care what others thought.

But I had been told so many times a body was only worthy if it was skinny.

 

So when hips grew in they seemed foreign. Love handles were unwelcome.

I had a tummy that folded over when I sat down.

I learned how to position myself in front of the mirror to “look pretty.” I learned how to look at others and envy their bodies. There’s was always someone who was better than me; better chest, better abs, better butt. I was no longer winning the game.

I looked at you and didn’t like what I saw.

I’m sorry.

 

So here’s my love letter to you.

I love my legs, my back, the caved in part of my chest.

I love that you love pizza as much as I do.

I love to take you dancing, moving you to the beat of my favorite song.

I love you in skirts and pretty dresses.

I love taking a deep breath, filling my lungs with fresh mountain air.

I love to think about the miles that my feet have carried me.

I love the way you’ve always known me.

 

There will be good days and bad days, but you will still take care of me.

I promise to treat you better.

To stop worrying about how you look in the mirror.

To spend more time living in you, and loving you.

 

One day you will look different to me.

The freckle on my toe will still be there and the scar on my knee.

Parts of you will still be familiar, but you will be worn in from years of living.

You may be softer in some spots, you may have wrinkles in new places, and this will make you even more beautiful.

I will forget about the game. I will stop asking you to change.

You may look different, but you will always be loved.

Sara is a junior double majoring in Journalism and Enviromental and Natural Resources. She was born in Northern Kentucky but has lived in Laramie for 10 years now. She has a communications internship with the Wyoming EPSCoR program and writes for their blog. She also works as a lifegaurd and swim instructor at the local recreation center. To balance out her busy life Sara loves to read, do yoga, and plan her adventures abroad. She enjoys the small things that make life wonderful including rain, green grass, and coffee. One day she hopes to live in Seattle, write for an environmental publication, and travel the world to cover her stories.
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