“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”
- Brené Brown

 

Gottman Approved Member

verified by Psychology Today verified by Psychology Today Directory

Letters to Body

Dear Body,

I despise you with everything I have and am.  I do not understand you the least bit.  It is safe to say that we have the ultimate worst relationship.

I have tried trading you in over and over.  I've done just about everything harmful to you possible so that I could at last be free from you, but you never let go and fought back against me.

I wish I could learn to love you, but with our past and your presence, I'm not sure how I ever could.


Dear Body,
Please forgive me, for I have caused you an unforgivable burden. It has been a lifetime since my last expression of love for you.

These past three months have probably been a complete relief for you. I've sat and read others' letters to their bodies, including one of my own, where we repetitively trash you. I'd hope you're more than welcoming to my profanity when I say that that is such freaking bullshit. Yeah, that's right. When have you never worked for me? Never. If you'd complied countless times when I begged you, "Please work with me," I'd currently be able to visit my loved ones only in their prayers. There were a few times where I finally thought you were giving in, but you always managed to become stubborn at the right time. Seriously, thank you.

Recently I looked at pictures of me from senior year, about a month and a half before I almost got sent away. I was hesitant at first to sort through the pictures for the fear of being triggered, but I went through with it. The view I gained successfully broke my heart. Grey tint, too skinny, pale as a ghost, sickly. And now when I describe my feelings about my life back then my voice shakes, my eyes water, I cry. 

"Susie, this is how I've always seen myself. I've never liked how I've looked and I know I never will. This is pointless."

"Ashton, just because you've never loved your body doesn't mean you never will. Trust me, Ashton."

I jumped off the cliff, determined to fall again. But this time instead of hitting rocks on my way down, I reached the other side. After closing my eyes and taking a leap of minimal faith I'd learned how to fly, poking my head through the free-floating clouds on the way there. 

Body, you're the only one I'll ever get and I'm so sorry. After almost three months I still feel your cries. You pain me sharp in my chest. You've weakened in my knees and ankles. It's astonishing how the tables have turned. You've always been the strong one, my mind the weaker. Mentally I've surpassed you. Behaviorally I'm working for you. Taking you for granted shouldn't have been followed through so thoughtlessly. But, in retrospect, I'm now stronger than ever. I do feel empowered through my actions of being your ally and I now appreciate you and speak, as well as think, highly of you. If only I could have been as strong. Thank you for being the one that didn't give up on us. It's been amazing to get to get reacquainted with you.

Love you forever,
Ashton
September 12, 2007


Dear Body.
Well looks like we are still stuck together huh? I guess I am starting to accept the horrible fact that I am stuck with you forever. Still doesn't keep me from blushing with embarrassment every time I look at you in the mirror. Although I yearn for you to be more attractive…I wish you would start functioning properly. Stop fucking quitting on me and giving me problems when I am trying to make you stronger. All summer I have worked my ass off trying to build up the muscle and improve endurance so we could be successful on the basketball court together. Don't you know this is our last year to play basketball at such a high level of competition? How the hell do you think you are going to keep up with everyone when you are so fucking weak and don't do anything for yourself.

You really are a pathetic story. Not only can you not complete simple workouts, but you refuse to cooperate with daily activities. Now I have to have fucking surgery on my knee because you refuse to maintain proper strength. What the fuck!? How am I suppose to trust you when you yet again let me down and inhibit me from doing the things I want to do. Not only can I not run without my knee going out on me or feeling weak, but I can't even fulfill my volunteer duties to the best of my ability because you can't stand squatting or bending of any kind? How the hell am I suppose to appreciate you and care for you when you do absolutely nothing for me besides giving me more pain and more annoyances. I am so pissed off at you…I am giving you the nourishment you need, I have put the fucking weight back on and yet you still are dysfunctional.

Body…I hate you. You are fat, you are weak, you are lame, you are ugly. You are abnormal you disgust me. You are everything I detest. Your tummy jiggles, your legs are scrawny, you are weak you are unworthy. You reject everything I put in you; you make me sick both mentally and physically. You wake me up in the middle of the night with severe chest pains and shortness of breath. You cannot hold up during the simple workouts and you are cognitively impaired. How the hell are you going to get me through senior year, let alone three years of grad school? You don't use anything I put into you…you are so damn stubborn. Please start using the things I am giving you to get you are better. You do absolutely nothing for yourself. You are an embarrassment…one I try to so desperately hide…I am so ashamed of you. I cannot wait for winter months to come so I can hide you once more in baggy clothing. What the hell happened to you…you have fallen to bits and pieces…you are a disappointment and you will never be good enough because you refuse to be successful again. You are nothing but a complete and utter failure. When will you decide to cooperate with me and be strong and beautiful…stop being so fuckin stubborn.
 What the hell am I going to do with you? I know I am stuck with you and will you be with me forever until the day I die. It is one of the hardest things I have to accept, but I have. I wish I had a more positive attitude towards you but you make it nearly impossible to do so. Why do you have to be the way that you are…why do you have to be so disgusting? Why can't you just cooperate and do the things I want you to do and be the things I want you to be. How the hell am I ever suppose to recovery when you make it so hard to be loved. I had started accepting you again but ever since this summer and all the knee crap…you make it really hard. I like it when you are toned and have muscle definition and we were getting it back…now all the hard work is going to be loss and again…I will have to start again from ground zero. Thanks a lot…I'm glad the hard work has paid off. I fucking hate you. I wish you would die so I could be free to find a new body to be successful with. I want to take the few things I like about you and leave all the rest to die so I no longer have to live with it. You disgust me. When will I ever be able to trust you again…and why should I even bother trying?

Christine
July 30, 2007


Dear Body,

I haven't liked you since I was a child.  I remember your big stomach in the faded green and white flowered tank Speedo at Aqualetic - instead of experiencing the joy of summertime and splashing in the pool, I remember the ridicule of other kids and standing in line at the snack bar.  I remember the public weighing in 5th grade when I was one of the biggest girls, and horrible Dr. Greenberg asking me why I wasn't skinny like my asthmatic, rheumatic-fevered sister, Kristi.

I hate your shape.  The squatty, short-wasted body type with short, stocky legs, broad shoulders and big arms.  All I've ever wanted is to be long and lean.  Tall and thin.

I hate being conscious of you during every waking moment.   I hate seeing you in mirrors.  I hate ALWAYS sucking in our stomach to appear thinner than we are - and something that we're not. 

The list if things I dislike about you is long:
General Shape
Flab (stomach, legs, arms)
Short and muscular legs
Short height
Flat, wide butt
Wrinkled face and gray, wiry hair
Veiny, saggy skin

Yet - I realize that a body is a body, and you get one in this lifetime.  I have abused you.  It is a miracle that you have survived the years of torture which I have subjected you.  You are strong.  You are resilient.  You are a survivor.  And aside from the missing enamel on your teeth, you are remarkably healthy.  That must say something about your heart and your will to live.  I wish I could see beyond the hate I have for your external flesh and shape.

July 24, 2007


Dear Body,
I'm not sure that this letter will allow me to convey how much I hate you & want to change you, despite having just spent 2 months in-patient, half way across the country, trying to make you stronger. Part of me doesn't even feel like you deserve to be healthy again - all you do is continue to make me gain weight... a process I've shamefully allowed you to start again. Now I know why Remuda had half size mirrors, only large enough for me to do my hair & make-up. If I would have seen what you were once again beginning to morph into as my diet became more stable - well, let's just say I would have spent quite a few more days on transport and couch rest, thriving on your growling stomach, laughing to myself as I ignored it & proceeded to skip another meal. Unfortunately, I was unable to see it while it was happening, but I sure am paying the price now. I've been home for less than a week and every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a full size mirror or window, the urges to abuse, neglect, punish and starve you come back stronger than ever. Your pudgy stomach, thick arms, and enormous legs are embarrassingly revealed to me everyday. Hm... and you wonder why I treated you so badly? To be completely honest with you, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do when summer finally gets here. I can promise you one thing though - you won't be seen in a bathing suit looking like this. Period. I guess with the warm weather creeping up on us I'll have to become more clever in my ideas of how to hide you from the rest of the world. The typical looks of my baggy t-shirts & sweats will have to do for now until I can come up with something more creative. Hell, it worked in Arizona, so may I would be able to pull it off again here. It's funny... I don't know why I find myself trying to protect you so much all of the sudden. Fuck the baggy clothes. What you need is for me to go back to running 8 miles a day and giving you all the nourishment you deserve... NONE! Back when I was 10+ lbs lighter, all I got were compliments & people telling me how great I looked. And for the first time in my life I was beginning to believe them. The endless hours at the track and on tredmills had allowed me to make you more presentable to society... and I felt great. The only person who continued to bitch and complain was you. The more I worked you & tried to make you look good, the more you cramped up and gave me painful muscle spasms. Can't you see - all I was attempting to do was minimize your never-ending list of flaws. Instead of appreciating what I had molded you into, you ate away at my muscles, including my heart, leaving me with Mitrovalve Prolapse for the rest of my life. Now every time I workout, I feel the tightness and sharp pains in my chest that I will continue to have to manage for the rest of my life, so thanks for that. It was so nice of you to leave me with a permanent heart condition. Maybe now everyone will stop siding with you and see that all I ever did was try to make your fat disappear and limit what I put into you so you wouldn't immediately gain weight & put all my hard work to waste. But please, please just tell me why - why couldn't you have been naturally thing & beautiful? Everyone else's body seems to do a fine job of that, but no... not my body.
Anyways, what I'm trying to get across is that I hate you more than anything else in the world and I always have. What I hate even more is knowing that I have to spend the rest of my life with you, everyday, until I die. There's nothing more depressing that could be said or revealed to me than that. One look at you seems to be more painful than my laxative abuse, purging, starving and over-exercising all put together. Everyone tells me that I should love you, but I see no reason to. You've been no friend to me over the past years, that's for damn sure. Ana & Mia seemed to be the only real ones that I had to help me fight against you. Thanks to treatment I've lost them...but I haven't lost one thing - my disgusting with you.
I'm hoping and praying that someday our relationship will get better... but even spending 2 months away at Remuda didn't make like you anymore or hate you any less. All it did was allow you to gain weight. I hope you're happy now because all you've done is cause my emotions to be left out of control & make me feel like I'm going insane. I'm torn between letting Ed, Ana & Mia back into my life or letting you form yourself into what you want. I feel like I just can't win. I'm so lost - I HATE YOU.
 
Shamefully yours,
Ashley
April 2007


FOR THE ONE I CHOOSE TO HATE: 

I threw away pictures of adolescent times and purged the images from my veins. I no longer want to be reminded of what you look like. I hate your texture. I hate your color. I hate the way you react to everything that touches you as if you were never meant to exist in this environment.

I become uncomfortable when I have to unclothe you. I avoid looking in the mirror for fear that you will confirm all that I believe is true. I am angry that you have not complied with my requests and that I cannot awaken to true beauty. Sure, to others in this world you are beautiful, but they do not know you like I do.

The muscles are gone now because you have tired of exercise. Your bones are covered with flawed skin and that dreaded substance, FAT. Your hands are dry and cracking. Your legs are too short and your feet…need I even go there?

I don't understand why you have to exist in this form. I want your skin to be smoother, darker, more feminine. I want your face to glow without having to put on makeup. I want your eyes to sparkle. In my reflection I want to see a woman. A strong, sexy, beautiful woman.

I am continuously reminded of the organs inside of you that struggle to function.  Why can't you just let things go? Why can't you stop aching? You know I don't want to go to the doctor…I hate medical doctors.

Body, try to understand the world in which I live. You need to wake up rested and wake up energized because I am very busy. I need you to support me. I need you to try to be better. You cause me so much stress and I don't know how much longer I can handle you.

Meredith

April 30, 2007


Dear Body,

I am sorry for what I have done to you in the past. You have not deserved the severe starvation, binging, purging, cutting, laxatives or any of the other type of self destruction that I have taken out of you. I am sorry that I have let ED manipulate me and tell me that you are the most evil thing in the entire world and all you are is just evil unless you are a certain unattainable size. You are such a wonderful living and working system that, if I can get my stuff together, my brain and you can become best friends and just work wonderfully again.

Body, I wish that I can say that I can accept you, but I cannot. I am still not satisfied. ED has deeply engrained in me that my body is so unacceptable that I still believe it. I don’t want it to be like that. I am working really hard to change this. It makes me sad that I can’t look in a mirror without getting upset so I dodge all mirrors around the place. But I guess at this moment in time my mind doesn’t really know what a healthy person is supposed to be. I still have that black and white thinking. I am trying to come to the middle and make peace with that.

In the mean time, body, I am just putting trust in my treatment team. This is the only way that I know that I can eventually love you. I have fought against them so much and have only ended up hurting and hating you more. I know that this is the right way now, so we are on the right track to being back together. To making peace with one another and being able to work with each other and not be afraid of each other. I can’t wait for that day.

I hope that you know that I’m very sorry for all that I have done to you. I am working very hard to go against what I know and to do what is healthy for you and me. I know that it is very strange and hard at first, but I hope you are enjoying it. I know it’s hard for me, but it sure is helping me.


Dear Body,

I just got done writing a letter to ED and now I feel like I get to write to someone who is on my side. I’m really beginning to like you and appreciate you so much more than I used to. I don’t deserve you, but I’m grateful for you. So many people have health problems in this world and here I am in a healthy body and yet abused you for so long. Again I am very sorry and want to focus on the positive.

Physically, I know I am getting healthier because I no longer feel light-headed and weak all the time. I feel stronger and feel like I have energy for life. I like looking in the mirror and seeing the muscles develop in my arms and legs. I like hearing my parents comment on how much fuller (in a good way) my face is. I like that my clothes actually fit instead of sagging and falling off of me.

I’m not sure if my mind is included in my body or not, but I really am grateful for you too. I’m so thankful that you are able to sort out the truth from the lies now and have the power to stand up to ED. Emotionally I feel more stable. Because of all you have done for me over the past few months, and staying with me through the rocky parts, I feel that I have the strength, energy, and drive to be around people again. I no longer isolate myself and fill my time with abusing you. I focus on relationships and even enjoy food in social settings. I am also viewing working out differently. I still love a good run and want to take care of you, but no longer feel like a failure if I don’t make it to the gym. I am able to go with the flow of life and am more easy-going. I’m sure you have seen a lot of changes in me too and am excited to continue to lead a healthy life with you. . .

Love,
Erin


Dear Body,

There is no other way to begin then to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I've taken my mental problems and my issues with my eating disorder out on you. I've done it without even realizing it and now I am sorry. Thank you that for whatever reason, even though I've abused you, you haven't failed me. So many people with eating disorders have health problems, especially heart problems, and I had no idea the risk at hand until a couple of months ago. I knew I was thin on the outside but I didn't realize how I was destroying you on the inside. I know I still don't see things accurately all the time, but I'm really trying. It used to be that I didn't realize how thin I was until I would try on clothes and everything would be too big. But now I see that my spine pops out, my hip bones are gross looking, I have chicken legs, and my arms are too thin. I am also reminded of how thin I am when my butt literally hurts from just sitting in a chair.

I'm really trying not to abuse my body anymore and want to figure out what's healthy for me. Healthy for me, I believe is running two miles, three times a week and doing some weight training. Healthy does not mean I have to work out for 1 and a half hours at a time and run 4-5 miles at one time. Healthy means eating the foods I like, including some of the fear foods that I used to have and still do. Healthy does not mean I can never have dessert, and healthy does not mean I have to restrict myself throughout the day if I'm doing to go out to dinner with people. Healthy does not mean I always have to count calories or fear "going over." Healthy does not mean I have to plan out what I'm going to eat the next day because I can trust my body. Healthy for my body means eating snacks between meals. Healthy for me means eating a larger breakfast. Healthy does not mean I have to buy all the "reduced fat" or "fat free" foods. Some fats are even healthy and my body needs it to support my organs. Healthy for my body would mean weighing at least 100 pounds.

I also know deep down that everyone has flaws and that I only destroy myself when I compare you to others. I'm sorry for all the times I tell you that you are not as good as someone else because of the way you look. No, maybe you will never be perfect, but I don't have to look like a 12-year old to be beautiful. I'm even starting to think that being too thin is unattractive.

I really do ask for patience as I continue on this journey and hope that you do forgive me. I hope the damage I have done to you is nothing with lasting results and am grateful I'm not one of those people who have dealt with this for 10 years. I know there will be road bumps along the way but I commit to you that I will never again restrict to 1,000 calories a day. I'm actually grateful that "normal" for me can be more like 1,500 calories, even when I'm not trying to gain weight. I commit to you to continue this fight with ED and do not desire for him to rule in my life anymore. Thank you for not letting me down and I commit to getting you healthy!

Love,
Erin


Dear Body,

I am sorry for the way that I have treated you for the past eight years. It has been completely unfair to you. I never gave you an option. I just did as ED told me. I have hated you, wished you were different and never really cared about you. Yet, you have stuck with me and held me up all of this time. You never complained, you just let me do whatever it was that I needed to do. I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for hurting you so bad to the point that now you purge on your own. I wish that I could change things. I owe it to you to get mentally better. I will try my hardest to help you stand taller. to accept who you are and not to criticize your every flaw. Because no one on this earth is perfect and I should never expect that from you. You are who you are and I am so sorry for trying to change that. I love you and I hope that you accept my apology.

Love,
Shannon


Dear Body,

I feel really bad for you. I know that I never accept you and I'm really sorry for that. I know that I should just be thankful to have a working body and I am. I just always have trouble focusing on what's really important. It shouldn't matter to me what I look like, but I feel like that is my biggest focus and concern.

I hate that I don't appreciate you more. I know that for the most part, I can't control what you look like but there are so many parts of you that I hate. There are things that are good too, but I'm so obsessed with what I don't like that it seems to discount all the good.

I wish I could just accept you and be happy with what I have. I am constantly comparing myself to other people and finding things that don't measure up. Nothing is ever good enough, or normal enough. You always seem to be too fat, too short, too pudgy and weird looking. Nothing ever looks just right on you, even if it is good, it's not good enough, clothes, jewelry and makeup. It doesn't matter what it is, I can find a problem with any part of you. I feel terrible about that but it doesn't seem to be enough of a bad feeling to make me change. Everything from my hands to my toes has something I don't like. I'm always imagining myself with different or improved body parts. It's really pretty sad. When I see other people that feel this way about their bodies I think it's annoying and I feel bad for them. I know that I don't see them the way they see themselves. Just like I know that people see me differently than I see myself. Even though I know it, it still seems impossible for me to look at myself like others do.

It's so wrong, but I see people that are anorexic and get mad at myself thinking why can't you have the will power to do that. Maybe even just for a day every once in a while. I think you are just a disgusting eating machine that has a hard time having thoughts and concerns not revolving around food. How f**ked up you must be to be taking the maximum dose of Prozac and still be this obsessed! It's just gross! I just don't understand how you can have so little will power and be so weak all the time. It's pretty embarrassing. I guess that's pretty much all I have to say to you. Again, I'm really sorry I feel this way about you. I know you can't help it. We're just a f**ked up pair.

J.


Dear Body,

I am sorry that Mind is so awful to you. I'm sorry for all I've put you through. You should have spoken up louder and made your pain more clear. I know you weren't happy when you suddenly started being deprived of all the things I used to give you. It was such a mean thing to do. Thinking back on it, you were so young and innocent. But you were so shy and didn't fight back when Mind started ignoring your needs. You never complained, as a matter of fact, you pretended to not mind. You kept going, kept performing, and told Mind that everything was okay. Still, you have continued to act content.

I feel physically okay, but then I see you and I ask myself why I don't ever feel as miserable as I look. Not to be mean, but Body, you look pretty GROSS. I can't believe you were even alive and functioning, even at 25 pounds lower than you are now. That is just so unbelievable and scary. How did you continue to insist you were okay and "felt fine"? I mean, I must give you credit for being so strong. You kept my vitals and heart alive and I must thank you for not allowing Mind to kill you. But you need to help me fight against Mind. You need to give me signals again. You need to tell me what you need and you need to override Mind when Mind wants to make you miserable.

When Mind says to exercise, just refuse. When you want food and Mind says no, just grab food and eat! When you triumph over Mind (the ED part, that is), you will start feeling better, I promise. I bet that you don't even remember what being healthy feels like. Right now you tell me you're healthy and feel great, but maybe we'll feel even better with another 10 or 20 pounds. I know you'll look beautiful and you'll look like other girls your age. Just remember, I'm not taking you to college looking the way you do now! It's embarrassing.

Body, I'm embarrassed to even wear tank tops or shorts because you look so skinny right now. You scare people, and people look at you like you're a freak. And if you don't put on weight soon, we're going to have an awful summer, no pools, no swimsuits, no tank tops, no shorts, no shopping, AND at the end, no college. Plus, if you get healthy, we can be active again, and enjoy the sun and summer weather. One day you might even be able to be an athlete again. I just wanted to remind you that I am grateful to you for all you've put up with, but it's time for you to demand what you need. Just remember all the great things waiting for you once you're healthy.

Love,
G.


Dear body,

I know we've been through a lot, but not really together, as someone would normally say. Often times I have disconnected from you and I hated you so much it hurt too much to actually be present in the skin I was encased in. Through the years I have learned that, how do I say this? That people judge, love conditionally, criticize/make fun of me because of you. I was inferior to everyone else because I was fat, and every f**king day I was reminded of this, especially by the people that cared about me. You became my enemy because everyone hated me and belittled me due to my fatness. I was never allowed to be a kid because of you. It was always, "do this diet, exercise more, don't eat this." I was never allowed to be. I didn't know how to handle it so I abused you in order to emotionally survive. It wasn't and still isn't right. I am sorry.

I have finally found a therapist who is helping me deal with the inside, the part of me that has been isolated, curled up in a fetus, crying and afraid her entire life while I am tough, albeit, fat on the outside. I am doing my best. I am learning to express my feelings, to cry, that it is okay to cry and BE HUMAN. I AM human. It is okay to feel. You, my Body, have been through so much. You are truly beautiful for your strength and infinite trust toward me that I will one day truly take care of you, of us, with all my heart instead of the hate I have known and felt my entire life. Together we can actually be alive. But I can't do this alone. I need you in order to be myself, to reach my potential and radiate my love for us, for life, and for the beautiful creatures God created called human beings, perfect just as we are.

I can only forgive myself fully if I take care of you completely, and I WANT, with all my being to love you and help you heal, so that together, we can actually experience life and succeed, not merely survive, hour by hour. I love you, my Body, you are truly a temple of God...you are amazing, unbelievably courageous for sticking by me and brilliant as well as powerful for your ability to heal. It only takes love, love from within and we together can become fully human and love ourselves like God loves us.

All my love,

Jen


Dear Body,

I owe you an apology for all the abuse
I have bestowed on you all these years,
since I was five years old when I would
gather all my pennies together and go
off to the candy store.

In my day, 10 cents could buy a big
bag of candy and that was all I wanted.
I yo-yoed and took diet pills which changed
my metabolism and made me sick.

I would eat until I couldn't eat any more,
next day same story, day-in and day-out.
But you still carried me through and
rarely complained.

Eventually, you couldn't keep up with
this rapid eating and thousands of calories a day.
My gall bladder had to come out...Ugh!
But you healed and proceeded to take care
of me and of course I still yo-yoed and
proceeded on the suicidal path.

I started bleeding every day.
I went to the doctor.  He called me that night
with the dreaded call we all are frightened of.
Yes, you had uterine cancer which is the only
cancer that is popular with the very obese
because oxygen cant reach to that part
of the body. FAT squeezes out all the life-giving oxygen
from the poor cells and they grow tumors.

So, I went to radiation for eight weeks which
is very scary. This huge machine goes around
your body and all the technicians hide behind
a wall until the machine stops and you're all
alone.

The staff is especially nice because they
don't know who will survive and who will
live so I'm with a bunch of patients who
look doomed.

Okay, so far my body is still good to me
because I've been cancer free for
two years now.
I did manage to lose 80 pounds with eDiets
but did I stop bingeing after being frightened?
Hell no, ED doesn't scare easy....

Now my hip gives up. I'm now in my sixties
and my body is losing the battle to take
care of me. Now my hip goes because
my poor legs just cant do it anymore .

More doctors and more x-rays tell me I
desperately need a hip replacement.
It was by far the most painful operation
I had but again my body survived.

Lo and behold, my knees get jealous
and more operations.

I cant breathe. I go to another doctor.
I have deadly emphysema and asthma.

DO I STOP BINGEING?? AFTER ALL THESE OBESE DISEASES AND PAIN???? HELL NO!! ED IS STRONGER THAN EVER...

BUT I'm getting STRONGER TOO!!! Because I refuse to let this disease win..I GOT AN ED THERAPIST THIS YEAR AND IM BACK WITH A VENGEANCE and determined to kick ED in his butt and lose this last 50 pounds forever AND LIVE AND DANCE FOR ANOTHER 20 YEARS.

(AND THAT'S MY STORY AND THE JOURNEY WITH MY BODY)

Love,

Joan


Dear Body,

I suppose you've been my punching bag. My garbage dump. After I take advantage of you, like a criminal, or an abusive husband, I'm mad at you for what you've made me do. If you weren't so big, I wouldn't feel so bad and punish you. I'm sorry. You don't deserve to be doubly abused.

You have good qualities: long legs, pretty eyes, pretty hands, even a nice complexion. You have good fingernails. Some people bite theirs and they don't even grow. Not mine, they are really strong and pretty. All of those things, and me just me are worth taking care of. I am sorry for never seeing you as good enough. You are good enough. I am good enough to be taken care of.

Try and stay with me, I have a feeling the best is yet to be.

Nicole


Dear Body,

I'm not in a good mood, so I'm gonna cut the crap and get to the point. I hate you. With more passion than almost anything else I can think of. You are flawed in almost every way possible. I would list them, but the list is practically endless. I've never been proud of you. You've never done anything worth speaking of. I've always been the fat kid. I wasn't a horribly bad eater and I played sports with all of the other boys, but I was still the chubby one. And as time went on, I gave up on you. Nothing would stop you from this grotesque horizontal growth. I transformed from the chubby kid to the fat kid.

For a while, no one really noticed you. You could be as flabby and gross as you wanted and no one really gave a s**t, including me. But after a while it became painfully obvious that your imperfections were ruining me. I had to whip you into shape. I was mad at you, mad that I was being judged and restricted by your proneness to weight gain. I had to punish you and that's exactly what I did. I starved you day in and day out. I tortured you with bites of food and then purged them just before you could have it. It felt so good, my sweet revenge. You withered before my eyes and I couldn't have enjoyed it more.

I almost forgot, in all my glory, how much I need you. Despite how much I do hate you, I cannot live without you. But at the same time, you are nothing without me. We are in the same boat. I hate you and you are mistreated by me, but its something we must learn to live with. I have learned to tolerate you as best I can because I have to and though I hope its not true, I may never accept you for what you are, but I've got to take this one step at a time and tolerance is that first step.

Brian


Dear Body,

You and I have always had a love/hate relationship. I feel like I've been struggling against you for years-always trying to change you, to make you "better," and then getting frustrated and losing control of you, allowing you to suffer from one extreme to another.

I have made the mistake of equating how you appear on the outside with my self worth and I have tried for the last 10 years, every single day, to change you into some image-some standard that I have set for myself, that is unattainable. I have shoved pills down you, starved you, filled you to the point of pain, purged you, scarred you, wanted many times to escape you. But you are mine, you are me. You are what I was born with and it is futile to punish you for my insecurities. I no longer want to escape, you because you are so much more than just flaws and imperfections.

I am sorry for how I've hurt you. It's time to begin acceptance and growth. It's time to start being healthy together.

Love,
Alyssa


Dear Body,

I HATE YOU! I hate the way you look and how much you weigh. My legs jiggle and are so thick. My stomach sticks out so far and my arms are very thick. The number on the scale is way too high.

I also hate how you won't get any taller, even just two inches. Everyone makes fun of how short I am. If I was a little taller, then my body would look a tiny bit more slender. My friends then wouldn't be taller than me which means it would be okay to weigh almost the same as them. Since I am not their height I must always weigh less because I am shorter and have less body.

Body, you are so ugly. My face is gross along with my whole body. Even though I know I could not live without you I still hate the way you look.  If only you would cooperate with the weight loss and lose weight. If only you could look better.  I hate you body.

Saige


Dear Body,

These past four years, I have tried to be strong. I have tried to cover up my pain and tolerate your abuse. But as you can see, I'm quite confused now and I can't take this torture anymore. Now you're trying to feed me again, but it's too late for me to completely forgive you and just pretend like I haven't been badly hurt. I understand that you are sorry for what you have done to me and I accept your apology, but it is going to take me a long time to get used to kinder treatment. As you nourish me, I am waking up slowly, system by system. It is hard work to keep heart beating, to keep every system running and now that you're bringing me out of starvation mode, I need a LOT of food to get back to normal! Please understand that and don't get frustrated when Ann increases your meal plan every week. I know you don't like eating all the food that she tells you to, but just do it. If you are really sorry, then you will show me that you're sorry by feeding me. It is the only way you can make up for what you have put me through the past four years. And don't be frustrated with me for not responding exactly the way you would like me to. You need to be patient with me. I will need to regain trust in you and know that you are not going to abuse me any longer.

You need to consistently nourish me and treat me well, maybe even for a couple of months, before I can perform optimally again. I know you want to be strong again, to be able to run again, to be able to go outside and wear summer clothes again, but in order to do all that, you have to help me get back to a healthy point. You may think that since we are young, we are invincible, but I think you're just starting to realize that, by not taking care of me, you have lost out on so many wonderful opportunities. Now, if you don't take continue to take care of me, you're going to lose out on so many more things and I know you don't want that. I know that now you are trying to get me healthy again, but I just wish you had made this decision sooner. Well, no time for regrets now, because what's done is done. But remember all I have said and never, ever put me through so much pain again because I don't think I'll be able to take it.

We still have some hope of getting healthy. I still have a chance to grow into a young, beautiful, healthy woman if you give me what I need. I have started giving you signals of when you need to sleep, when you need to eat and sometimes, even what type of food it is I want. Just try to listen to me and don't be scared when you recognize these feelings that you have tried to ignore for so long. If you trust me, I can begin to trust you. And once we establish that trust, we can heal together. I have not given up!

Love,
G.N


Dear Body,

I wish I knew why you hate me so much.  I wish I knew what I ever did to you. You and I could be much more successful as partners. Do you remember when your grandma told you we were beautiful? We are. Do you remember when the photographer said you were like a young Sally Field. He saw our beauty, why can't you? Everyone has it Nicole. You have spent sonmuch time focusing on not being one of 'them.' Don't you get it? There is no them. Everyone has beauty, everyone is special. Why can't you embrace that?

All these years, all the crap you've fed me. Please stop. I hate it. It makes me tired, sluggish and it makes you feel sad. I know it tastes good initially, but it doesn't feel good to me. It doesn't feel good to have more to carry around. It doesn't feel good to be squished into clothes. Thank you for the efforts you have been making. Thank you for the green beans and the water. God, they taste good! Finally something I can use! Thank you for the yogurt, the cereal and the gala apples. When you give me those foods to work with, I can help you. I can help you fill more satiated, I can help you spend more time with the boys and less time in the pantry. I hate it when we stand by that pantry. You never give me anything good when we stand there. Its so nice to be resting and peaceful when you give me nourishment. Chew slowly, help me break down all the bits into energy.

By the way, I love the walks! Especially when we're outside, we can really kick some butt, you know? Two and a half miles! I am so proud of us.Please make time for us. It feels good when we walk. I know we've been down this road before, but this time it feels different, you can do this. Please keep taking care of me. We are going to beat the odds. We are going to be different than the others in your family and that will be a huge accomplishment! Way to go us!

Love,
Nicole


 

Dear Body,

Considering I don't even want to write this letter, I am going to make it short and sweet. I don't understand why you shut down on me. I give you enough to function every day. Sometimes we get to splurge and have a feast and other times a few pieces of fruit and a bowl of cereal with perhaps some pretzels is more than enough to get you through the day. Just keep it up, I will give you what you need to function, we just can't always overdo it.

Christine


Dear Body,

How ironic, addressing you as dear. I don't really treat you like a dear, do I? In fact, if I saw someone treating their child the way I treat you ("You are hideous. You disgust me and everyone else. You're so plain and ugly. If you eat that, you can't have anything the rest of the day. I would call child services!

When I think about it, I feel sorry for you, Body. No matter how much I curse you, deprive you and LOATHE you, my heart still beats, my legs still hold me up and my lungs still allow me to breath. I could never be that loyal, especially to someone who treated me like absolute s**t!

But there are things I hate about you too. Why can't you be prettier? Taller? Shorter? You're so AVERAGE (aka plain)! Why can't you let me eat like a normal person and not gain weight? Why do you defy the laws of nutrition and make me gain weight by eating what would be normal for other people? Why do you have to be curvy in some places (thighs and butt) and flat in others (chest)? Why do you have bad skin and big bones and cellulite and weird stray hairs? I'm not asking you to be perfect. Why can't you just be better than average?

I guess I should look at the positive, Body. While you're certainly not turning heads when we walk into a room, you're not turning stomachs either. Plus, no offense, but you're just a shell. I really should be focusing on what's inside. I try very hard to be a good person and I snagged a good husband and a few good friends so I can't be all that bad on the inside. You're not getting any younger and looks don't matter when you're old. What DOES matter is health, and if I keep abusing you like I have been, you're finally going to rebel and crap out on me.

The truth is, I'm petrified. You made me feel like I was invincible. People would tell me I could die, but my medical tests always came back fine. I secretly wanted them to come back NOT fine. I felt better when I was sick because it meant I was a "good" anorexic. Now I'd give anything to feel normal. Instead, I am in constant fear that you will get back at me for everything I have done to you. Dying is no longer an "if" but a "when." My mind is flooded with questions: What is to keep my heart from just stopping? What if I forget how to breathe? And even worse, the fears have gone into my food habits: What if I am allergic to this food (even though I have had it a million times)? What if I choke? What if, what if, what if?

So, after years of abuse and neglect, I am asking for forgiveness. I hope it's not too late. I will do my best to treat you the way you deserve to be treated, and I hope that you will continue to support me. Like it or not, we're stuck with each other for the rest of our life. I already know I'm miserable with ED, but I don't know if I would be miserable without him because I haven't tried. With your help, dear Body, I would like to give it a go! All in favor say "EYE!" (blue ones, and they're kind of pretty if I do say so myself)

Sincerely,
Krista


Dear Body,

I can't believe I'm actually going to make it to my 25th birthday in less than two weeks. I have used and abused you for eight and a half years now. Between the binging, purging and starving, I am amazed and baffled by the fact that you are still functioning and look healthy to everyone else. How have you not shut down yet? I am lucky to be alive. I want to be alive. I am sorry for the way I have and continue to treat you. I do love you and am trying to get better. Thank you for being so strong and not giving up on me. We'll get through this. Let's think positive. Think how healthy and happy we used to be. I want that back and I'm sure you do too.

Unsigned


Dear Body

I'm so sorry that is has come to this; I gave you no choice but to fail me and Ed's harmful ways. You tried so long to keep it together and to be honest; I'm surprised you lasted for as long as you did. There is no explanation for the things I have done to you, the days and days of starving giving you no fuel and yet expecting you to run on high, its no wonder you ended up passed out at the toilet of the bathroom floor. Not only did I not give you and energy, I also asked you to run 8 miles a day on top of being a full-time college student and division one athlete plus I gave you no time to rest, sleeping for only a few hours each night. I also made you take those stupid little pink pills that would empty out and food you might have consumed that day, and out with the food came all my minerals, vitamins and electrolytes. My mind was no longer able to take care of you and so the loving and caring family and friends I had decided that they needed to take care of you. They brought you to the hospital and nursed you back to health, a place you had not been for many, many years. And while there everyone got to see and meet Ed firsthand, not knowing what a little bastard he really was. He was ruining my life, my relationships and most importantly, he was going to kill me. But not anymore, I am not letting him take a hold of you again, I will fight him till the end and I will win the battle!
I apologize to you from the bottom of my heart and promise to keep you healthy and happy from now until forever.

Yours truly,
Chelsa
January 23, 2007


Dear Body
You are so disgusting…I cannot stand to look at you in the mirror and see scrawny arms and legs.  Even worse, the rolls in the stomach that you refuse to let go.  I remember the days when we worked well together as a team. After I got sick with mono and you became so weak, I worked hard so that you could be strong again. We had fun spending 3-4 hours in the gym every day lifting, jumping rope, cardio workouts and our favorite, boxing and beating the shit out of Shawn.  Then I would give you 165 g protein a day along with 200-250g of carbs a day so that I could repair and grow muscle to get ready for basketball season. Our planned worked and I definitely got more muscle mass and looked like a true athlete.  I loved everything about you; ok  the stomach bothered me a little bit, no matter how many ab workouts I did, you never gave me the flat stomach I have always wanted, but at that stage in my life I didn't care, I wanted to be a college athlete. 

You worked great for me, dominating preseason and then all of a sudden you quit on me. How the hell can you do that? I did everything for you over the summer…we were the perfect team and then you just quit. You became weak and for that I hate you.  Thanks a lot for giving me unbearable shin pains that would wake me up in the middle of the night and costing me endless hours in the training room and poor performance on the court. You fucking let me legs tighten up on me making it almost unbearable to run some days.  Then you tell your too weak from the serious concussion I had and decided to give me neck and back pains for half the season which only meant more treatments in the training room. How the hell could you be so weak after all the training we did in the summer. You used to be strong and last year you just quit on me and I resent you for it; you should have been stronger, should have given me more strength to get me through practices and games pain-free. What the hell is your problem?

I don't even know what to do with you right now. When I looked at the pictures of what you were like before all this shit happened I realized how beautiful you were and how much I appreciate you but now I have no trust in you. If I start feeding you like normal, you only demand more food sending me into an out of control binge and then you can't even fucking puke it back up so we are stuck with all the calories.  If I restrict and decrease the food intake you give me chest pains that make me short of breath and dizziness that causes me to be unbalanced.  So clearly anything and everything I do for you doesn't matter because you never function properly either way.  I can't give you  more calories because all you do will let the rolls go crazy on my stomach again but I also hate how fucking weak you have become.  Ug I am so frustrated with you! Why can't you just function normally again…what the hell did I do to you?!
 I really don't know what else to say. I am pissed that you quit on me and let all the hard work I did for you go to absolute waste. You failed me and let me down…you are so weak and I can't trust you to ever turn that around to being strong again. You won't even let me try to nourish you and you just quit on everything I do.  Body, I hate you; you're fat, you're skinny, you are going bald, you got dark circle on your eyes, your bones stick out, there is no muscle, you have inches of flab on your stomach and yet still remain flat chested…you look five years younger than you did one and half years ago…when are you going to shape up. Please let me know, it would be great if you would learn to work with me instead of against me all the time.

Regretfully yours,
Christine
January 25, 2007


Dear Body,

You disgust me. I hate you more now than I did 20 pounds ago.  Honestly I don't know what to say to you; I am giving you proper nourishment so you can be strong again and now all you have done is accumulate it producing nothing but fat and rolls that are absolutely embarrassing. Every time I look at you in the mirror I try to hurry and turn around because I am so embarrassed and humiliated by you. I am already freaking out as the warmer months approach because I don't know how I am going to hide you seeing that it would be slightly abnormal to wear baggy sweats when it is hot outside.  I honestly do not know what to do with you.

Body, I wish you would just cooperate and be normal again. You are still rebelling and I don't understand why. I have said it over and over again that we used to be a good team together, a team I was proud to be a part of.  We would always have fun together and live life to the fullest. Now as I am trying to repair the damage I did to you, you still seem resistant to cooperate. I just wish you would stop getting bigger, stop piling on the fat; I hate it with all my heart and I wish you would take it away so I won't be so tempted to starve you again and overwork you. It would just be so much easier if you would work the way I want instead of doing what you want.  I wish you would stop giving me urges to purge while I am trying to give you the nutrition I know you need in order to operate. I just don't understand why you are making things so much harder for me; you give me no hunger pains and you give me no appetite. Don't you know you would make things a tad bit easier if you could just help me out with your wants and needs? I hate you. You are not even trying to be a team again. How the hell am I suppose to put up with your shit for much longer?

Please, I am begging you, just start to work like you used to. I really don't know how much more I can take. I want to exercise again so you turn in to muscle instead of a tub of fat, I want to go back to my safe foods since you clearly don't know what to do with the food I have deprived you of for so long.  I want to stop feeding you and giving you supplement for weight gain (really you don't need me to give you food six times a day).  I don't want to get you to a healthy weight because it is simply too heavy and you look disgusting at the weight you are now; I can only imagine what you will look like if I added more weight and fat to you. None of my clothes fit…you have grown to such an enormous size! I don't even like trying clothes on anymore because I have to see the real you behind the clothes that cover you. The mirror in the dressing room laughs at you every time in every store because everything I try to cover you with is too tight and the rolls are the main attraction in the show room.  What the hell am I supposed to do with you?

I have so many questions, none you seem to answer. I have so many doubts about you, doubts that will keep ED around. If you would just function properly we could kick ED out of our lives and go back to living life to the fullest. I don't even think I can keep true to my commitment letter I made at Remuda because I am so ashamed of you. I don't know what you are going to do next or how you will deal with what I do to you. What are you going to do when I go out in the wilderness for two weeks in July? Are you going to quit on me like you did during my basketball season last year and make my trip a disaster and misery for everyone? Are you going to hold on to everything I feed you despite the fuel I put into you? Are you going to remain weak and fail to carry out certain task like you did in the past?  What about when I return from the trip and start training for basketball…are you going to give me shin splints again and sore muscles making it almost unbearable to workout?  I can't trust you anymore. I tried at Remuda and although I still didn't give you all my trust you didn't even do anything to prove to me I should trust you at all even when I did minimal exercise.

Apparently you changed since we've been to Remuda because you sure are getting the comments. Even my own mom said that you are looking big and then all the others…friends and family say that I am looking better, but don't be fooled, they are really saying that you, my body, has gotten bigger, and most likely they are thinking too big. I bet they would all laugh if I would have told them yeah and I am still supposedly underweight. If everyone thinks you look so great then there is no reason to keep pumping you with supplement and the heavy meal plan.

You are so fucking frustrating. There's nothing from the neck down that I like about you. I wish I could have another body-a body that is successful, a body that has a flat stomach not one that hangs over my jeans, a body that processes food and distributes it to all areas not just the midsection, a body that is fully of energy, a body that is strong. I hate that I am stuck with you for the rest of my life. I just wish you would cooperate. Why do you hate me so much and why are you so insistent on making my life horrible? I hate you.

Regretfully Yours,
Christine
April 10, 2007


Dear Body,

I fucking hate everything about you. I can't possibly express the pain you have caused me. You're all I care about, and all that I consume my mind too. I'm so involved with making you perfect, and you still have everything wrong with you. If I could simply find one positive thing about you, that would at least be a start. You've never been good. I've always hated you. You are the one thing that I can always remember hating. I'm a pretty accepting person, but you just simply aren't acceptable. You should be embarrassed of yourself. Your imperfections are far too many to list but just look at yourself. Your stomach bulges out, and your legs are huge. Your face is far too full, and you can hardly see the bones. You are disgusting.

If you can't cooperate and continue to lose weight, then why are you living? You don't give me any energy. You simply don't do anything you lazy fucker. So you're so “sick” that I'm not aloud to exercise, bullshit. Get over it and exercise with me. How come you aren't healthy?? You aren't too skinny by any means. But you are a wimp and tell the doctors that you aren't strong enough.  After everything I tried to do to make you happy, this is what I get in return. Don't you remember how much fun we used to have playing soccer, and running?! Don't you want that back?? Just try half as hard to be healthy as I am trying to make you look good. Think of how much better we could look if we could go back to exercising. We wouldn't have to hide anymore! You pretend like you're sick, but really you're so healthy! Maybe if you really were anorexic I could accept that, but stop lying to me, and to everyone else!

You have ruined my life. You have made me hide. I am scared to look in the mirror because of you. I am simply scared to live in you. I wish you knew the hell I've been through with you. You have made me scared to be myself. You are an embarrassment to live with, and I hope you know how awful you are. You have stolen my voice, and my life. Maybe you should just give up. You're never going to be anything. Is it even worth trying anymore? I don't think you should. I'm never going to give up trying to perfect you, so if you aren't going to work with me, than just give up. It would be easier for me too. We can just give up together, and see where that leads us. Death?? What the hell do you want? You only have two choices: work with me, or we are both going to end up in a much worse place. I'm not asking that much. I'm doing all the work; you just need to follow my lead.

So what are we going to do the entire summer while everyone is wearing shorts, tank tops, and swim suits?? We're not going to get tan, because you sure as hell aren't going in a bathing suit. And we're going to be pretty damn hot, because you aren't showing off your legs or stomach. Looks like we have to continue to hide your disgraceful self. Nice job, if you would have just been a little compliant maybe we could wear a bikini and have fun with everybody else. Fu ck you.

It’s so fucking frustrating to try to work with you. Its not fair how if I eat one thing, you gain weight immediately, while others can eat all day without gaining a pound. Why are you so ugly and big?? What have I ever done to you? I have only fought to make you better. Obviously you're out to make my life worse.  I hope you die. You don't deserve to live. You are disgusting. I fucking hate you with an unbelievable passion.

Oh yeah, and don't ever tell me you're hungry, you DO NOT deserve food.

April 19, 2007