A Letter to My Body

This is my essay on the topic A Letter to my Body for the Blogher initiative.

Dear Body,

You rock.

I have been completely and totally amazed at what we've accomplished together this past two years.

Twenty six months ago, I was a couch sitter. Walking around the block caused my asthma to flare and forced me to sit on the curb for fifteen minutes until my pulse returned to normal. I abused you with whole milk on sugary cereals, brownies with ice cream, twice daily trips to Starbucks, and gallons of sugar soda. You, my body, were in complete disgrace. You were full of aches and pains and in many ways, very much older than my real age. You were tired and run down and seemed to be set on the road for a shorter life.

Hearing that I was now known as the "fat one" left me embarrassed of your double chins, your hefty thighs and your belly rolls. Yes, you'd done a wonderful job for me - six healthy pregnancies with only minor complications. I decided that I'd start to treat you better. In the beginning it was all about becoming a smaller size, but slowly my focus has changed and now it's about being strong. A strong woman.

You have taken every challenge that I've thrown at you - kickboxing, boot camp, punishing pushups and situps, 200 pound leg presses and even heavier squats, running for miles and learning to do back flips - all with very little complaint. Even when I've failed to prepare you properly and caused injury, such as when I tore your IT band and broke your toe - you healed quickly and with very little reminder of the injury. Yes, you've gotten slimmer and quicker, tighter and firmer along the way, but that's not the best part.

You've helped me to realize that bodies are for doing, not for looking. You were created to help me DO. You helped me to see that the number on the scale isn't the most important thing, but the real value of you, my body, lies in the strengths that are found inside. The strengths that help me face the fears of not being able to do those difficult tasks, the strength to shatter those roadblocks and put on the boxing gloves and go for it. Even when I'm so scared that the tears prick my eyelids, I can still find the strength in you to push through the tough times.

We've done a tremendous job together, coming further than I'd ever dreamed. With your help, we'll stay strong and do things that I can't even imagine today.

I'm looking forward to it! You could try a fogyasztó szalon in Hungary, Budapest!

Love,
Carmen

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This is my entry for the Boca Burger/Blogher giveaway

2007 was a banner year for me. I met my 75 pound weight loss goal in April and was able to keep the weight off all year. I competed in 8 5k's and a half marathon, overcame a torn IT band and a broken toe, and was able to add in heavy weight work with a trainer and Brazilian martial arts classes, both three days a week. All while working two part time jobs and raising six kids with a husband who works 15 hour days. I've definitely come a long way, baybee.

There is so much more to do, though - more to help me live a healthier lifestyle, more to challenge me and stretch me and really make a difference in my life. That's why I've decided to challenge myself by adding in a Total Defense class two or three days a week. Total Defense combines sparring, Thai boxing, stretching, cardio, heavy boxing bag and pad work. This class will be more difficult than anything I've ever tried. It scares me silly.

But scaring myself is part of living a more healthy lifestyle. Being a fat person was safe. Being lazy and hanging around on the sofa meant I didn't have to work hard. Living a healthier lifestyle means constantly looking for ways to pry myself out of the dark hole where I was hiding and get out there. Total Defense will force me to work harder than I ever have in my life, to stretch myself, and really, that's what it's all about.

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A Letter to My Body