(You Sexy, Flawed, Resilient, Imperfect Palace of Wonder!)
I think it’s fair to say we’ve been through a lot together. A Rock n’Roll road trip…And I really don’t think I’ve shown you enough appreciation en route.
You were there as I developed, while I learned to sit, crawl, walk, run and swim. You were around for me when I (finally) learned to dance, I put you through hell learning to walk in heels. You carried me shaking and with a bellyful of jittery winged insects to first dates.
With the dates came relationships, encounters and the tricky business of my sexuality. Whilst circumnavigating their choppy waters, you got me into – and out of – a whole lot of scrapes! You taught me way more about what floats my boat than any number of “What’s Hot in The Bedroom” magazine articles. Not to Mention the Fifty Shades… triology, still sitting in my room half read.
We leapt around like crazy at gigs and concerts, pogo-ing, moshing, pulling rockers and muscles. You more than proved yourself a force to be reckoned with in my clubbing years…Countless all-nighters, arse-shaking on podiums, bone-crushing hugs from friends n’ strangers…followed by long treks in ragged gaggles of human traffic, off in search of parties…Then the subdued walk of shame home in the afternoon!
We survived the adrenaline rush of warp speed, near misses with moving vehicles and epic falls rollerblading brought. Considered surfing but made content with the sun-kissed skin and salty hair of body-boarding. We went the wrong way at aerobics but felt at home in Burlesque lessons.
Remember when I fell backwards off the banister and bounced down the stairs at a club in Cardiff? Took a 12 hour flight to Tokyo alone, to meet up with my ex for NYE 97/98? Met another ex’s parents the day we both returned from our first festival (and then slept for almost a week afterwards!) You were bruised, knackered and feeling slightly broken…But while you gave out, you never gave up!
You saw me through 4 city moves in my teens and early 20s, and finally the big one to Nottingham aged 30. You carried on resolutely whilst I lusted, loved, hated, fought, forgave, forgot and moved on. You also kept me alive through depression, an eating disorder, drinking, smoking, substance abuse, self-harm, risky behaviour and a long list of other less than wise decisions.
I remember the times when I hated you and feel ashamed. My weight has been linked to feelings and emotions since I was a little girl. I lost and gained ounces, pounds and stones…By means foul and fair. You shrank and grew accordingly. I appreciated you when my ribcage showed and hip bones jutted briefly, though evidently never enough. I thought beauty was measured by dress size and how much flesh I could get away with baring. I feel foolish knowing the truth. Confidence is where beauty begins. Wisdom and experience too. When you get to know your body – and give it what it really needs – you’re on the road to giving your self esteem a break and feeling better.
I’m sorry for all the binges, for the diets, for the angst. I look at your entirety in the full length mirror and see the improvement healthy eating and exercise is already bringing. My inked arms starting to show muscle tone. My legs looking strong and shapely. My waist more defined than even a month ago. You’ve started to reward me for taking care of you…It’s a fair exchange, thinking about it. I feel bad for the mistakes I made before, but they’re done with and we’ve come a long way.
I feel proud of the results effort brings. I’m on a high after each gym class and workout. I love it when I learn something new, complete those extra repetitions, manage to zip or button a garment which refused before. The low ache of muscles worked makes me feel I’ve achieved something. I’m happy to be worn out and sleep through.
I want to say thank you for triumphing over my neglect in previous years. To yell
“Let’s fucking do this!”
And to continue to grow fit and strong.
And I promise to shut up and listen in future when you’re trying to tell me something.
Body, you fucking rock. I can finally say I’m truly proud you’re mine.
I’d high-five you, but it’s physically impossible!