A Thank You to my Body

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I’m not sure if this is a universal experience, but surviving this COVID-19 business has clarified a lot of things for me. I am so fortunate that I and most of my family and friends were able to be vaccinated before any of us got seriously ill, and I know that many, many folks are not so lucky. Nevertheless, I am starting to realize that I think it will take years, or maybe the rest of my life, to unpack the toll that this collective trauma has taken on my body and mind.

Maybe it’s getting older, maybe it’s having kids and gaining a new perspective, or maybe it’s just the sheer fact that my body has literally survived, but I have such immense compassion for her these days. And I am slowly waking up to the ways that I take her for granted, how damaging my off-hand comments or thoughts are about her pooching belly, or the need to buy slightly larger pants after staying at home most of the year.

body of a person with pale skin wearing black panties measuring their hips with a yellow measuring tape
Yes, I need to buy bigger pants. Who cares?

My body’s changes are a testimony of her resilience. She has birthed two children (one of them about 2 months before the world changed forever) and fed them. She woke up every day and worked a full-time job to support the family. She laughed, cried, became angry, became exhausted. And through all this, she survived.

So how am I going to thank my body? I’ve decided that I’m going to cut her some freaking slack.

I’m done talking trash about her or pining about how I wish she was different. I am never dieting again, because diets don’t work. Instead, I’m learning how to eat intuitively and trusting that my body can handle it. I am insisting on time to take care of her, like going to medical appointments and committing to regular exercise and movement that feels good to her. I’m learning to stand up for her when she signals to me that her boundaries are being violated. I’m embracing her graying hairs and sagging skin, because growing old is a privilege that not everyone gets. And I’m learning, perhaps for the first time in my life, that my body is miraculous and beautiful.

She was with me when I was born, and she will be with me when I die. She has carried me through so much, and I’m sure she’ll carry me through even more.

She is my body and she is GOOD.

mint green background with "thank you!" in white neon letters
She deserves my thanks, every single day.