Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wiggle Less Wednesday: An Open Letter to My Body.

Dear Body,

I owe you an apology. For years I have been an unappreciative jerk. I have put you down, used you as a punch line and denigrated you. Instead of celebrating your beauty and strength (because as you can see from the image below, I clearly know how to celebrate), I have wished for a body that came in a taller size, with the ability to tan. I have complained about being curvier than I would like. I have looked in the mirror and hated you. I have covered you up in baggy t-shirts. I have looked at other bodies and wished you away. I have put you on stupid diets, and overfed you too. Then there was the red wine, spaghetti and licorice incident - a million apologies for that - it won't happen again.You have given me the greatest gift, not once, but twice, in the form of my children. And you didn't stop there, you nourished them for over two years all told. And how did I repay you? I criticized you for the stretch marks that occurred as you made room for their growing bodies. I lamented that you weren't "quite the same" since you'd  been busy creating life. To top it off, I publicized my displeasure with you on my blog - where I focused on a number on a meaningless inanimate object as a way of determining if you were worthy of being loved.

Every day, you get out of bed. You are healthy and strong, lifting my children up as if they are light as feathers. I put you through long days, and you don't complain. I don't always eat right, definitely don't give you enough water, and abuse you with too much caffeine and other liquid substances. Yet day in and day out, you stand by me. I have not been a good friend. I don't know how to make it up to you except to do better by you, respect you more, and celebrate you.



There will be no more "Weight Loss Wednesday" posts. And don't think for a moment that I have given up on having that fit physique I have coveted for so long, because that is the furthest thing from the truth. I am going to try a different approach, because clearly the one I've been trying isn't working. Letting a number on a scale dictate how I am going to feel on any given day is asinine and I know better. There is so much more to health and fitness than what you weigh.  From now on I am going to focus on making my body strong (hence the "Wiggle Less") and that is what I will be writing about on Wednesdays moving forward.   

You may wonder where this is coming from, and I'll give credit to the "Blogs & Body Image: What are we teaching our kids?" panel at BlogHer for giving me a good quick kick in the pants on this subject. They helped me give my head a shake and think about how my attitude towards my body will absolutely shape how my children, especially my daughter, feel about their bodies. I need to change my attitude now so that I don't burden them with the negative body perception that I have carried with me since my teens.   So thank you to Heather, Carla, Claire, Kate, and Roni.   We are the real deal.  It's time for me to start using my power for good.


  1. Vanessa9:19 p.m.

    Wow, I think this is my favorite post, and there's a lot to choose from because I think I've read them all!

    I love the style and the message; I can't quite put my finger on what it is that makes me smile and feel satisfied as a reader, but thank you for posting this, it really made my day :)

  2. Anonymous9:39 p.m.

    Me too!

  3. Kat - You are an inspiration to those of us curvier gals out there :)

    Lots of love to you and the fam

  4. Good for you. I finally started running again after my 5 month pity party.

  5. Anonymous7:51 a.m.

    I'm glad that you mentioned the effect on Cameron - it's only recently that I've realized that my attitude towards my body came from watching my Mom complain about *hers* as I was growing up and seeing all the crazy things she did to try to lose weight (the orange juice and Perrier diet comes to mind). I look at pictures of myself when I was 16 and I clearly remember thinking that I was fat and being unhappy with myself. I look back now at that size 10 body and shake my head. I too have resolved to love the way I am, to dress it up (instead of promising it new clothes only when it's lost 5/10/50 lbs)to look after it a bit better but to also feed it good cheese every so often and in short, to enjoy life without worrying about what I look like. That's the resolve but it's hard to break, especially with that early years example - so, go Kat!!!

  6. Anonymous8:59 a.m.

    Good girl, Kat. It only took a lifelong ED for me to get there... glad it didn't take that for you!


  7. Anonymous2:24 p.m.

    A really terrific post. It made me reflect on how my body is a temple, and I need to stop focusing on short-term solutions, and think more about how to treat it with much more respect everyday. It ain't just about the diet - it's so much more.
    thank you for reminding me of that!


  8. It seems that you were inspired all around at the conference. Great idea to send a love/apology letter to your body :)