I keep having these conversations with you, mostly in the gym, or while looking in the mirror.
In a time that more and more women seem to lose track of where their bodies are (most are saying that it is time they get their bodies back), I have never been so glad that I have not lost you. Yes, sure you have changed appearance a dozen or so times over the years. But, lately I have become more aware of your awesomeness.
I am sorry. Because of taunting by other insecure and vindictive little girls, when you were six years old, I started to think that you were fat, and that there was something wrong with you. I remember how tears streamed from your eyes after coming home from school because of their comments.
Your teenage years were spent with fat eyes inside a thin body. You could always see where you did not measure up to the more popular girls’ bodies. You dressed awkwardly (mostly because mum had the wallet and paid for the clothes). But you were fit! You cycled, played netball, swam (running has never been a strong point and it is not surprise that it still isn’t). And your brain was among the top performers in school. Not too shabby. We fell in love, you and I a number of times. One love was deeper than the rest and haunted you deep into your late twenties.
When you were at university you discovered new eating habits (without mum’s cooking and dad as cycling companion to keep you on track). You did however still possess something called metabolism in those days.
Early twenties and you took on a much more womanly form. Fuller hips… the term “things going pear shaped” got a new meaning . During the early years of marriage I discovered a new dimension in the passions you experienced (I think my husband would agree) and that keeps growing, even though you are fast approaching forty.
But, it was in the act of pregnancy and child birth that you surprised me most. Suddenly I looked at you differently. I had a bit more respect for you. You were harbouring new life, our children. I cringed as your breasts hurt with the preparation in the first couple of weeks of pregnancy. We immediately went maternity wear shopping, even though it was not even necessary. Your hips started widening, your tummy protruded more and one day I could see my little boy kick in you.
Even though they cut him from you, and you could not push him out, I still marvelled in your transformation. What you were capable of. But I was also shocked about the discovery of things never told. It felt as if I suddenly lived in an alien. These changes drained you. How I longed to live in a tribe of women sitting under shady trees, the older ones teaching the younger ones. I needed someone to tell me that everything would be all right. That you would be all right and that what was happening was normal.
I do not know how you coped, but you did. And thank God, I did not lose you in those times!
You know Body of mine, you have been walking this journey with me for the past 38 going on 39 years. You do not look the same any more. Then again, I am definitely not the same either. I have changed so much, I think it would be unfair to expect you to stay the same.
Thank you for sticking with me, through thick and thin (literally and figuratively). There is no other quite like you. Thank you for taking me on some of the most awesome adventures of my life. You rock! (Maybe a bit slower than years ago… but at least you can still rock a baby to sleep.
I also want to apologise for the fat eyes thing.
I promise that I will look at you and know that you are the only one I have, and that I have to love you. When you love someone, you accept them with negatives and positives.
What I will do however is to start taking better care of you. That is something I wish I had done through the years. I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I never picked up the bad nutritional habits. But, I did. And I am the only one who can change it.
I will feed you proper nutrition. I will exercise you regularly. I will laugh and I will love. I will think positive thoughts and speak positive words. And hopefully you can recover from the damage I did and will walk the next steps of the journey with me.
Because let’s face it… until I meet my Maker, you are the only body I have, and I can’t lose you!