The Machine that Powers My Life: A Love Letter

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’re aware of how I am an advocate for body positivity. With my history concerning food & exercise coupled with having a disease that abuses my body, how could I not be? I’ve got to constantly have my head in “the right place” to keep myself from feeling emotionally miserable from it all, which is simultaneously exhausting and rewarding. 

As women we are almost taught by society that we are to hate our bodies; to believe that perfection must be the end goal, and if we fall short {we always do}, then we have failed; we’re undesirable.

The scale is simultaneously the best friend and the worst enemy, protruding collarbones have become a good thing, “you look skinny!” is now one of the best compliments to hear. {That was huge when I was in high school. Girls would always say that to each other, not realizing that about half of the girls who hear that are anorexic or bulimic; that compliment becoming fuel for their already-debilitating eating disorder.}

In a day and age where loving your body is unpopular {unheard of, really}, I’m standing up to say that, yes, I do love my body. Right now. In this moment. Just as I am. 

I’m not skinny. By looking at me you couldn’t tell that I run as much as I do. My skin isn’t clear. My fingers have small dark marks from pricks, my stomach bulges from scar tissue build up due to injection sites. My body is covered in scars and residual adhesive from medical equipment.

Nonetheless…

My body is strong.

My body is resilient.

My body is the machine that powers my life. 

In this body, I have experienced joy, sorrow, anger, contentment. I have felt love in its purest form with this heart. This mind has bred creativity and earned a Bachelors degree {and potentially more degrees down the road.} These legs are strong and propel me past half marathon finish lines. These hands create art for others to enjoy and prepare meals for loved ones.

I personally don’t want to be preoccupied with the size of my hips or my lack of a thigh gap. Sometimes I certainly am preoccupied by these things, but I just don’t want to be. I would much rather spend my time being lost in a project {anyone who knows me well knows how easy it is for this to happen}, accomplishing tasks on my to do list {seriously, there’s no greater feeling}, going on a run, laughing with my family. I am the most happy when I live in the moment, essentially forgetting what my body looks like.

I mean not to neglect healthy eating/living habits. I’m not like, “I don’t care what I look like so I’m going to eat whatever and not exercise!” I do value fueling my body correctly and treating my body kindly. However, I never want to be so caught up in looking a certain way that I lose sight of what’s important. Lord knows I wasted too many years letting my low self esteem and preoccupation with my body rule my life. No more. 

The number on the scale won’t tell you how special your soul is. It won’t factor in your ability to love with your whole being, to care for those who need it, to pursue your thirst for adventure. It won’t tell you how much you matter, how much you are loved, or what you are capable of.

If you must, use the scale as a guideline, a check in. If you want to weigh yourself, do so occasionally, all the while remembering that all it will tell you is your relationship with gravity.

“Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.”

You are strong. You are brave. You are fearless.

Love each other.

xo

Audra

be gentle with yourself