Trigger warning: Eating disorders
I am sorry.
After years of abusing and neglecting you, I am finally learning how to love you and respect you for all that you have done for me and all that you will continue to do for me.
For years, I have been running a never-ending race towards a forever-moving finish line, one that was always in sight but seemingly one step away and out of reach. The finish line carried the promise and false belief of being enough, but I would never be worthy enough to cross that line. Though I tried, I ran faster, quickened the pace, and sacrificed more with each step I took, it was never enough. I would never be good enough. I was forever running, chasing after that image of perfection. I would never stand in that frame of thin and tall, with sharp collar bones and chiselled elbows.
Too wrapped up with the promise and false belief of being enough once I reached the finish line, I kept running. I kept chasing after that image of perfection by putting you, my body, through hell, and until I could no longer stand on my own two feet. I was determined to reach that finish line. But I never did. Another stride, another leap, and seemingly always out of breath, I was always just one step away.
Dear body, I signed you up for a race you never wanted to run. From the start, you told me that this wasn’t what you wanted, but my mind overruled my heart, and we ended up in a love-hate relationship. A relationship that was pure hatred for the most part, as love seemed something that was always too far away to grasp.
I pushed you. I promised you a life worth living by making sacrifices that were not worth it whatsoever. I ignored your cravings and deemed you too much. There needed to be less of you—more skin and bone, less defined muscle and much needed fat. I needed to be less of you and more of me. I was slowly killing you, stripping you of every inch of fat that my mind (and the eating disorder voice) deemed unnecessary until I was skin and bone—hungry and exhausted.
I lost you. I lost sight of who I was as a person and devoted every second, minute, and hour of my then-miserable life to the eating disorder, ignoring you completely and unapologetically so. I was convinced that if there was less of me, I would feel better, so I deprived you of your basic needs. I needed to shrink as much as possible, preferably until there was nothing left for me to hate.
I was wrong, because by diminishing you, I lost all that I was before I got so wrapped up in the vicious cycle of the eating disorder I wished I never had.
These past few years, I have deprived you of your basic needs. I have been selfish and vengeful towards you, and for that, I am terribly sorry. I am sorry for all the times I told you that you weren’t good enough and that no one would love me because of you—I saw you as obese while you were skin and bone. I am sorry for all the things I did just to make you smaller, hoping someone would love me and tell me I was beautiful. I am sorry for all the laxatives I took in futile attempts to lose weight and for putting you in harm’s way. I am sorry for all the times I tried to make you throw up, whether I succeeded or not—it was wrong to do so. I am sorry for all the futile attempts to make you shrink more and more.
You are enough, and I am sorry I made you suffer because I thought otherwise. Because I was taught to hate you, to diminish and shrink you. I know better now than to starve, abuse, and neglect you, all due to the false belief and empty promise of being enough. I should have never signed you up for a race you never wanted to participate in to begin with, but I did, and for that I am genuinely sorry. I never needed to change you, and I should have embraced and loved you from the start—well, before I swore to never eat pizza and work out for hours on end. I am so sorry I got you all wrapped up into all these years of self-hatred and loneliness you never deserved.
You already were enough, and you always will be. There is no need for me to treat you like I have been treating you for years.
From this moment on, I will treat you right, simply because that is what you deserve (and because that is what everyone does). Forgive me, for when I relapse or feel like I am close to relapsing and forgetting to take proper care of you, I am learning how to love you and myself again, unconditionally so.
Learning how to love you again will take time, and there will be several relapses and hiccups along the way. I know that it will be worth it in the end, as it was always supposed to be. I will love you for all that you have done for me while I was both abusing and neglecting you, and I will love you for all that you will continue to do for me. I am taking you back.
Flaws and all, I will love you forever, even when I feel like hating you again—especially when I feel like hating you. I will no longer deprive or starve you. Instead, I will give you the nutrients you need to keep you (and me) alive. I will no longer resent or hate you; instead, I will love and embrace you.
I will stay away from starvation and I will break-up with the eating disorder I deemed a friend—my best friend (and worst enemy). Though there might be times of weakness where the eating disorder and memories linger, I will not give in or give up. I promised to love you, and I will do so even when I feel like you are something I should feel ashamed of.
I will love you and take care of you, especially in moments when I deem you too heavy and too much and I feel like relapsing. I will take care of you like you have taken care of me when I was full of self-hatred and disgust, when I tried my hardest to diminish you and made you run on a treadmill for hours on end.
You are so much more than what I presumed. You are my own safe haven, the one I tried to destroy; you are perfect and strong. Your strength amazes me. It is a reminder that you deserve so much more than what I have given you over the past few years.
I do not need to change you, nor should I ever have wanted to change you. You are beautiful—a miracle, even.
Forgive me for when I feel too ashamed of you, so much (or little) that I feel like I need to change you again. Forgive me for when I am too weak to resist all that is in my head and refuse to eat lunch, cut up my dinner into tiny pieces, or swap breakfast options.
I try to resist, though I may not be strong like you. So please forgive me when I seem to have relapsed or seem to be on the verge of one.
Please know that I will do everything to keep you healthy and strong instead of miserable and weak. You are my home, and you deserve so much more than what I have given you. I will no longer put you on FAD diets, extraneous and extreme exercise routines, or hold you to unattainable standards. Instead, I will take you on dinner nights with friends and order a large popcorn when going to the movies. I will eat pasta and have bread as an appetizer, because carbs are not the enemy.
I will accept and love you, even when I feel like you are not good enough. But please know that you always have been worthy enough—you always will be.
With regret and love,
The girl who treated you like shit when you deserved the world and more