A Love Letter To My Body

A Love Letter To My Body

It's long overdue.
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Dear Body,

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry all the days I sought perfection from you. I'm sorry for all the complaints I have issued about you over the years. I'm sorry for the dirty looks you've received from me. I'm sorry for all the bad words I have called you and the times when I insulted you. I'm sorry for telling other people how you weren't good enough. I'm sorry that I have made you feel unloved and unwanted.

You didn't deserve any of it.

You didn't deserve to feel unloved by me. Of all people, I should have cherished you. I should have lifted you up and let you know how much I appreciate you. After all, you do everything for me. Some people would be grateful to do half the things you can do and here I am complaining about a fully capable body. My mind can only want to walk or dance, but I need you to make it happen and you have without fail for almost twenty-one years. There are some things that you can't do yet, but that does not make you any less competent and efficient.

You have never failed me.

You have always been there for me. We have had ups and downs but in the end, you have never done anything wrong. I blamed you for any unwanted weight that I would see. But I forgot that I was the one that wanted the foods and you were just doing your job. I blamed you for any imperfections I saw such as stretch marks or cellulite, but it's not your fault. You didn't give me those things to punish me. It's natural, plenty of people have those things and yet I blamed you.

I don't always listen to you.

You've yelled at me several times but I have ignored you. Any pain that I have had was usually caused because I did not listen to what you were trying to tell me. You didn't deserve that either. You were only trying to warn me.

I did listen to the media though...

I listened and consumed everything that they told me was considered beautiful. Because of that, I put you down and hated you for years. I looked in the mirror and picked apart every little thing that I had that supermodel didn't or everything I didn't have that supermodels did. I let the media make me believe that you weren't beautiful. I let the media make me believe that my body would hinder my career and make me undesirable to a potential husband. I thought no one would find me attractive and I blamed you for that.

However, you never made me unattractive...

What did make me unattractive was my hatred towards you. It made me hide myself. It made me close up and not want to be looked at by anyone. It made me cold and distant. It made me sad and angry and most of that stemmed from my feelings about you. It made me look for validation in the wrong places when I need to look for it within myself. It made me waste years not seeing how wonderful you truly were for years.

But I know that now.

I know how beautiful you are. I see how much you do for me. I love you now. I couldn't say that for years. I didn't want to see you. Instead of trying to improve you I complained. I considered surgery to remove things or enhance them. But now I've decided that if I can't naturally change it, then I'm supposed to have it. I don't cringe at the thought of you anymore. I instead love you and work hard to make sure you know how much. I try to feed you good things and exercise so that you are in your best form. I don't put harmful things inside of you and I say nice things about you. You've been due for several compliments and I'm going to spend the rest of my life making it up to you. I don't care if other people don't see how gorgeous you are, I see it now, and I'm the most important person because we are together every single day.

I'm just happy I realized it now.

Now, while I'm still younger and I can appreciate you. I'm happy I didn't wait until it was too late to fall in love with you. I'm happy I can still use you and I didn't have to find out the hard way, that you were always there for me. Like all relationships, it's going to take work. I might have days where I revert back and lose confidence in you slightly. But I make you this promise, that I will never go to bed angry at you again. I might forget how great you are, but it will only be temporary. I will continue to love you and make you feel special. You are the only body I will ever have and quite frankly you are the best body I could ever ask for. Your job is to make sure that I survive life on Earth and you are the best at your job.

I love you,

I love you,

I love you!

Oh and thank you!

Cover Image Credit: Silvana Denker / Facebook

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Second Person Has Achieved Long-Term Remission Of The HIV Virus

A second man has had long term remission of the HIV virus.

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Over a decade after the first man, known as the Berlin Patient, was declared HIV-free, another patient may also be cured. Though it's too early for scientists to say for sure, the London Patient has been in a long term remission for around 18 months without the help of medication. Both men were treated with a bone marrow transplant. However, these stem cells carried a rare mutation in the genes that affect the production of the CCR5 protein, which HIV viruses latch onto to enter the cell. The virus cannot latch onto the mutated version of the protein, thus blocking its entry into the cells.

With the transplant of these HIV resistant genes, the body effectively builds a new immune system free of the virus.

After the Berlin Patient went into remission, scientists tried and failed to replicate the cure and were unable to until the London Patient, whose HIV count has reduced into undetectable numbers. While this is extremely helpful, bone marrow transplants are not a viable option to cure all HIV infected people, as it is an extremely risky process and comes with many side effects. Even so, scientists are developing ways to extract bone marrow from HIV infected people, genetically modifying them to produce the same mutations on the CCR5 gene or the inability to express that gene at all, and then replacing it back into the patient so they can still build resistance without the negative effects of a bone marrow transplant. There have also been babies whose genomes have been edited to remove the CCR5 gene, allowing them to grow up resistant to HIV.

This does not eliminate the threat of the HIV virus, however.

There is another strand of the virus, called X4, that uses the CXCR4 protein to enter the cell. Even if the editing of the CCR5 allows immunity against one strand, it is possible for a person to be infected with the X4 strand of the virus. Despite this, immunization against one strand could save a countless number of lives, as well as the vaccine that is currently in the stages of development for HIV. Along with the London Patient, there are 37 other patients who have received bone marrow transplants, six of which from donors without the mutation.

Of these patients, number 19, known as the Dusseldorf Patient, has been off anti-HIV drugs for 4 months. It may not be a complete cure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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