Jan. 6, 2016, 8:29 p.m.
I am writing to you today to address our relationship for the past 10 years, which I feel has been rather strained. I loved you when we were kids. You were always there for me no matter what. We grew together. We laughed, we cried, we played, and we danced. You helped me discover who I was in this world.
I remember the day when things changed. I was sixteen years old, and someone in my life told me that you were not good enough. This was a person who I trusted, and wanted to impress, and I was naive and vulnerable enough to believe them. Combined with societal messages about the meaning of beauty, I was convinced that you would never be adequate for me.
Since then, I have been extremely mean to you. I have insulted you, shamed you, critiqued you, starved you, overworked you, and have rarely accepted you for who you are. I deprived you of the love and care that you deserve. I denied you food, and I forced you to go to the gym many times when you didn't feel like it. I have laughed at you. I have called you "ugly", and "gross", and I have wished that you were different. I have pushed you to points of exhaustion, and then yelled at you, calling you “lazy”.
I have been a bully… a mean, horrible bully. I know that a simple apology doesn’t even begin to make up for how I have treated you, so I have come up with a new list of promises to you…better late than never right? I promise to treat you like the most valuable thing on the planet. I will stop talking over you, and let you tell me what you need. I will give you anything that you want to eat, whether it is spinach, or a cupcake, or coffee, or a huge piece of chocolate. I will tell you that you are wonderful every day, and I will thank you for allowing me to go outside, breathe, smile, and hug the people that I love. I will take care of you when you are tired or sick and I will only make you exercise when you feel like it.
I'm sure that we will have days where we don't get along, and I might say something mean to you, but I promise that I don't mean it. I am still letting go of the idea that I shouldn't love you. It continues to be a struggle for me, but I will not let you down. We have amazing friends and family who are constantly supporting our friendship. We are also incredibly privileged, as NEDIC has given us the means to advocate for body positivity in the community. I am forever grateful for the ability to tell our story, and to hopefully contribute to the prevention of body shaming, fat phobia, and struggles such as ours.
I love you body, no matter what you look like, and what size you are. We will continue to change together, and I promise to be here for you, as you have always been for me.
Amanda has been an outreach volunteer for NEDIC for the past year and a half, and has loved every minute. She has a diploma in musical theatre, and is currently working on a Bachelors of Social Work at Ryerson University. Amanda is very passionate about the prevention and treatment of eating disorders, and believes in the importance of eliminating stigmas surrounding mental health!