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One Woman’s Love Letter to her Body in the War Against Body Image Issues

My guest posting badass for the day is Ms. Lori “Lavender” Holden (why didn’t someone name me Chartreuse?). I want to steal her love letter to her body for my body to add to my arsenal in fighting body image issues. A slice of inspiration. She writes:

“Dear Beautiful Body,

Remember when we read that essay by Annie Lamott? The one where she confessed she didn’t learn how to eat — how to tune into her body — until she was an adult?

That resonated for me. For in spite of the fact that I have inhabited you for, oh, a lifetime, I feel that I am really just now getting to know you.

We’ve had a turbulent relationship. I’ve often been quite angry with you and have felt ripped off that I didn’t get a better functioning body. The allergies, the asthma, the need to hunch over to breathe better, and, capping it off, the hormonal chaos that prevented a pregnancy.

And at other times I have felt so grateful. We are tall, with long legs and a high metabolism. We are relatively healthy, shedding most of the allergies and healing from asthma. We are strong and getting stronger, and I can feel us getting more flexible, too. I look at photos of us from 10 years ago, from 20 years ago, even from 30 years ago. ‘They’ (my parents) were right and ‘they’ (the popular girls) were wrong . I was beautiful. Why couldn’t I see it?

And in 10 or 20 years, when I look at photos from now, I will see how beautiful I am in 2008. I aim to know this now.

Truth is, I haven’t always been good to you. I haven’t always LIVED in you. I’ve lived in my head. I’ve spent many years moving into my heart, being more present, being in you. I’ve made progress. But my head tenaciously hangs on to power. Unlike you, o present one, my head lives in the future, making all sorts of contingency plans — and in the past, nursing old wounds.

Mostly, I want to have a love affair with you. I want to love every part of you, inside and out. I want to live in you, fully appreciate you, treat you the way you deserve (sorry, that might mean cutting down on the sweets), and play. I have this big reluctance to play. Please call on me to play.

Thank you for doing such an awesome job at being my body and housing this demanding mind. Thank you for carrying me around in life and for allowing me to experience myriad sensations, the delicious and the dreadful. Thanks for allowing me to in-corporate gorgeous sunrises and Mozart sonatas, lavender bushes and 87% dark chocolate, the tender touches of my husband and children. Thank you for the ecstasy on my wedding day and on the days my children arrived. I can even muster up a thank-you for for the devastation I have felt when there has been deep loss. You have given me the capability to feel, to experience, to be and to do. How great is that?

Thanks for partnering with me to be a spirit in a material world.

Let’s stay intertwined and ever more intimate for many, many years to come, shall we?

Your eternal love,

In the comments tell us 5 things you love about your body RIGHT NOW! And feel free to SHARE.

Lori_summer_2013postBio: Lori Holden blogs at LavenderLuz.com and can be found on Twitter @LavLuz. She lives in Denver with her husband and two tweens and is an aficionada of dark chocolate, red wine and good coffee. Her book, “The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption” was written with her daughter’s birth mom and is available in hard cover and e-format. Lori is an award-winning speaker and writer whose work has appeared on The Huffington Post, BlogHer and the Denver Post moms site.

Tags assigned to this article:
Body image issueshealing body image issues


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  1. Haralee
    Haralee 9 July, 2014, 09:09

    Great letter. Wish I wasn’t such an abuser in my youth because I didn’t know know any better!

    Reply this comment
  2. Carol Cassara
    Carol Cassara 9 July, 2014, 14:16

    Such a beautiful love letter,LL.

    Reply this comment
  3. Lori Lavender Luz
    Lori Lavender Luz 10 July, 2014, 07:45

    Me, too, Haralee. Me, too.

    Reply this comment
  4. Lori Lavender Luz
    Lori Lavender Luz 10 July, 2014, 07:45

    Thank you, Carol <3

    Reply this comment
  5. Cheryl
    Cheryl 10 July, 2014, 08:36

    Hey! I know you! And I think your body ROCKS!!

    Reply this comment
  6. Laura Klein
    Laura Klein 10 July, 2014, 09:01

    What an excellent idea! I’m going to post this on my facebook page, I hope I can get my friends to answer and try to think of things they love about their bodies.

    1. My body healed really quickly after my accident in February, it’s actually stronger now than ever and I’m 53.
    2. I have beautiful eyes, deep blue and expressive.
    3. My legs are shapely/strong/toned and are not riddled with veins despite 30 plus years of standing on them as a nurse.
    4. I have a lovely shaped mouth.
    5. My skin–despite too much sun as a young woman, living at elevation plus the harsh Denver climate, and smoking into my early 40’s–is remarked upon by my aesthetician as “very good despite the way you treated it in your 20’s and 30’s.”

    Reply this comment
  7. Susan Bonifant
    Susan Bonifant 10 July, 2014, 10:14

    “And in 10 or 20 years, when I look at photos from now, I will see how beautiful I am in 2008. I aim to know this now.” SO TRUE AND WISE!!!! I love that futuristic look-back kind of attitude.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 10 July, 2014, 18:14

      Susan– I love miss lori’s post. My grandmother lived to be 99-years-old and I remember her commenting on a friend’s 80th birthday and saying, “80, oh to be 80 again! That’s so young!” Puts things into perspective.

      Reply this comment
  8. Lori Lavender Luz
    Lori Lavender Luz 13 July, 2014, 14:55

    Mwah, my equally rocking-body friend!

    Reply this comment
  9. Lori Lavender Luz
    Lori Lavender Luz 13 July, 2014, 15:01

    Laura, we are kindred spirits as well as neighbors.

    I am especially grateful for your #1.

    Reply this comment
  10. Lori Lavender Luz
    Lori Lavender Luz 13 July, 2014, 15:03

    Hi, Susan.

    I find I make my best decisions when I time-travel.

    Reply this comment

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