Dear Body

By Maddie Young

Dear body,

You are the only tangible thing that has been with me my entire life yet I’ve treated you like complete garbage. For 22 years you’ve embarked on this journey with me, and honestly, I think I’ve put you through far more than you deserved. You’ve become something that holds such deep shame and unworthiness and in my mind I’ve removed myself from you. This is all so beyond my comfort zone.

I can’t help but look at you and instantly feel disgusted. Two of the nastiest words smear across the mirror when I try looking in its reflection. Fat and ugly. Two words that have circled my brain countless times and their power strengthening each year. My face reminds me of a chipmunk whose cheeks are constantly filled and never fully empty. I see two extra neck rolls like sausage busting out of the casing and the stretch marks on my stomach seem to continuously grow. My chest is heavy and when I lay on my back I feel like I’m being suffocated by my own body. There has never been a thing called a thigh gap nor have I been toned and fit. My stomach the least favorite part of my body, I hide behind baggy dark colored clothes in hopes I blend in and remain unnoticed. It’s difficult to accept any sort of compliment let alone try to believe one. Swimsuits have never been on my side and the majority of the time I am the “thicker friend.” Chocolate has held its control and my self discipline is nearly in the negatives. I tend to hide when I eat, in fear that someone will judge. Athleticism does not run in my genes and society tends to fuel my fire of brokenness. You have been violated and abused. I’ve taken advantage of you and hold quite a few battle scars. Honestly I could probably keep going but this is where I draw the line in the sand.

I should be treating you as a friend rather than an enemy. You do not define my worth. I am an heir of the almighty king and need to be acting that way. I was created in HIS image. Not my image. Not society’s image. But His.

Matthew West says it best. “I am no longer defined / by all the wreckage behind / the one who makes all things new / has proven it’s true”

Jesus take off this shame that’s over my life. I am filled with God-given purpose. I am unique and precious. Loved and forgiven. Protected and chosen. Free and whole. Righteous and light. Washed clean and created new. I could go on and on as I dig deeper into His word.

But I was only given one body and it was created to be treated like a temple. I’m sorry for not caring for you like a precious jewel. I promise to work harder in being more mindful in caring for you and living in a season of thanksgiving. My hope is to build a better relationship with you.

I’m going to love you.

Maddie Young

Maddie Young