Happy belated Love Your Body Day!  Celebrated this year on October 15th, this day was created by the National Organization for Woman in 1998 in an effort to speak out against negative, offensive and disrespectful ads that cause most of us to feel not so great about our bodies.  This day was created to encourage everyone to love their body for all of its beauty and all of its “flaws” and to truly accept your body for the amazing thing that it is.  Since its initial success ten years ago, this day has grown to be a true national day of recognition for the rockstar bodies that we all have and to embrace more positive marketing that encourages us to love ourselves. 

Locally, the Chicago chapter of NOW celebrates this awesome day by sponsoring an essay contest for high school girls around the city.  This year’s theme is “Why I Love My Body”.  A panel will choose 3 essay winners and honor them at our annual meeting.

Many in the blogosphere are celebrating by publishing their own letters to their bodies for all to see.  So, in the spirit of celebrating an amazing day, here is my own letter:

Dear body,

It’s been a rough week, I know.  But we really kicked some ass this weekend at the marathon.  I know that I’ve been pushing you a lot these past few months, but wasn’t it all worth it when we passed the finish line?  I’m sorry I wasn’t listening to you the whole time and caused us to get so dehydrated.  But, in the end, we came out pretty great, right?  This running thing is a whole lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more with you.

Thank you for being such a rock star body that can support an intense 4-month marathon training.  We really pushed ourselves to the limit, that’s for sure.  Thank you for withstanding that and standing up to the challenge and helping me grow stronger.  And thank you for letting me know when I wasn’t taking care of myself enough during training.  The extra pounds I put on were a little disconcerting, but once I found out that I wasn’t treating you right, I made sure to take better care.

We’ve had a rather rocky relationship, I know.  There are times when I still struggle to be at peace with us.  But I think I’m getting better.  Day by day, I can feel myself moving more towards a healthier place where I stop comparing us to everyone else and am just happy with how original and unique we are.   Sometimes I slip, but I think that I’ve come a long way from that poem that I wrote as a teenager.  And we’ll get there, I know we will.  It just may take some more time.  But I’m working on it.

But, because I’m in a good place right now in this moment, let’s take some time to appreciate us.  I love our blue eyes.  I think we have a rockin’ rack.  I appreciate our strong runner’s legs, our sturdy feet, and our healthy lungs that get us running in the mornings.  I think we sport our ink quite well and plan to adorn us much more with such beautiful art.  Apparently, we’ve got a pretty nice backside, too, and I promise to try harder to believe it when people tell me. 

I love you, body, and I promise to keep working on remembering how awesome we are when I get down as long as you promise to keep holding me up.

Love,
Shayne

Here’s more info on what you can do as well as facts on body image issues and Love Your Body Day.

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