I saw the #exposed hashtags on Twitter but didn’t quite understand what all the buzz was about. Then I clicked the link to read the post that started it all. And then I found myself unable to stop reading the stories behind these women. These women who bared it all – literally and emotionally. I wiped a few tears, laughed at my computer screen and sat back with a new appreciation for the power of words. Words that can bring relief, empowerment, confessions, laughter and love. Words in the hands of women who often spend far more time focused on those around them but in this case took a few minutes to focus solely on themselves. That’s beautiful, powerful stuff.
And with that – I decided to start my own participation in the exposed project.
A thank you letter to my body:
Dear arms: To be perfectly honest, I think you’re a little on the beefy side. Strappy tanks and halter tops are not the most attractive on you. However, you deserve more than a passing glance. You hold my children. Hug my husband. Give my friends high fives. You pull me through lap after lap in the pool. You drive my car on countless adventures. Fold lots & lots of laundry. Type the words that allow me to work from home. And you stir, mash, chop and cook for my family. For that and more, I thank you.
Dear mid-section: You & I are not always on the best of terms. I spend a lot of my day trying to figure out how to best disguise your unattractive folds. Your tummy often causes me to sleep sitting up on nights when I’ve overindulged. But putting those battles aside I have to appreciate the lungs and heart that support my runs. The chest where my children rest their tired heads. And of course, the body that carried them for nine wonderful months. For this and more, I thank you.
Dear legs: Oh, I have so abused you this past year. You make the worst noises when walking up & down the stairs – noises I’ve never heard you make before. And yet, you never (okay, rarely) complain when I lace up for yet another run. You’ve literally taken me places I never thought I’d go. You walk my children to school. You hiked mountains & canyons this summer. You are the perfect resting spot for a book when I’m sitting at the beach. You have pounded me past the miles of a half marathon. Kicked and pedaled me through two triathlons. And you’re still ready to train for more. For this and more, I thank you.
Now maybe the next time I grimace when trying on jeans or a swimsuit, I can stop and remember that this body of mine – imperfections included – is actually pretty damn great.