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Dear Body

deep breathAugust will mark 3 years since I started this journey with my body. I’m 6lbs heavier today than the day I started. The scale has been up and down. When I started this journey I wanted to get in the best shape of my life. Physically, that hasn’t happened but I’m in the best spiritual shape of my life. This path took me in a direction I didn’t expect. I am grateful for the growth I’ve done in this area but I’m restless in this body. I don’t want to feel restless, I want to feel at home in it!

IMG_0228I’m no longer attached to the number on the scale and my worth and value are not etched in my body size. I can look in the mirror, see past my flaws and see beauty. That being said, my body is not healthy. The last several weeks have seen numerous visits to the doctor, a visit to emergency and a slew of tests & diagnoses. I haven’t been listening to the messages my body is trying to send me. Now, she is no longer whispering and wants me to pay attention!

I am listening. I have been unkind to my body for sooooo many years. I’ve judged her, I’ve been lazy, I’ve abused her, I’ve fed her things I shouldn’t have. I take full responsibility for my choices and I hope there is still time to reverse the damage I’ve done.

I chose poor food & ate my feelings

I chose the couch & hours of tv

I chose take out

I chose judging my body

I chose speaking & thinking negatively of my body

I chose condemning my body

I made the wrong choices for myself. I am grateful for all that these choices have taught me but I wish I had made different choices. I can’t go back, I can only move forward.

IMG_1467Recently, I was given an incredible surprise of a kayak experience on a beautiful lake in the mountains. I was so very grateful and my soul was singing with excitement! Hours later the only thing I could think of was if I could still fit in the kayak and if I fit in it, would I be over the weight restriction? I felt embarrassed to squeeze into the largest settings of the life jacket. The past choices I’ve made for my body were prohibiting me from fully being in this most incredible moment.

I fit in the kayak. It didn’t sink. I knew change was coming.

Dear Body,

I’m so sorry.

You’ve been a home to my soul for 43 years. I will only ever have one of you and I haven’t treated you right. You did the best you could with little help from me.

I’ve said terrible thing about you, I’ve judged you, I’ve abused you with food, I haven’t moved you enough because I was too lazy or sore. I’ve lacked love & kindness towards you. I’m sorry for what all this has caused & the work that now needs to be done to repair it.

I want to be your friend. I want to treat you kindly, support & love you. I’m sorry it has taken me this long to realize the consequences of my choices and how they have affected you. Can we move forward in a new way? In a way that allows me to respect and honor all that you are. I never really thought too deeply about a relationship with you – this was an error. I shouldn’t have ignored your calls for help and signs you were trying to send me. I will listen more closely & take action.

Let’s align body & soul so our outsides match our insides. So we can live a long and happy life. So we can hike, jump & play. So we can love fully.

SO much love & gratitude,

Melsha xo

What would happen if I did something radical….like, love my body? I don’t mean a superficial kind of love. I mean a ‘grateful to be alive’ kind of love. What would that look like? What would that feel like? How would my choices shift? How would my body shift with all this love?

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I choose food that fuels my body

I choose moving more and getting outside to spend time in nature

I choose spending time in the kitchen over take out

I choose to celebrate my body

I choose to speak and think of my body with love

I choose to thank her for all she is capable of doing

I choose to love my body unconditionally

I choose to focus on the positive

I know this isn’t an easy shift and it’s going to require a lot of work to undo all that I’ve done over the last 43 years. I am ready. I will take baby steps. I will give myself some grace.

IMG_0208My first baby step will be to show my body gratitude! For the next 100 days I’m going to show my body some love/gratitude every single day. Notes of love & gratitude. I’m going to focus on the good things, the positive things, the things she’s able to accomplish already! You’ll be able to follow the daily notes under #bodygratitude100 on Instagram & FB. Please join me, if you feel called to do so, I’d love to have some company! xo

10 Comments on "Dear Body"

  1. Antoniette Saunders says:

    OH Melsha, what a gift you give us all with your words of insightful truth! Thank you for opening up this conversation. Just recently, I thanked my body in front of my older daughter (now 8) instead of saying something angry to it. I had aches and pains and she noticed and asked how I was feeling. I wanted to say, “stupid body is betraying me again” but for once, I caught myself before the words came out and said, “this body is feeling the wear and tear of all the years it’s carried me on this earth. This body has done some pretty amazing things, I can understand why it’s a little creaky today.” What a difference I hope to make in her life and her younger sister’s life as well. Thank you for this reminder – it in no way is a habit to me, to thank this body of mine, but with your example, I hope to make it one! <3 XOXO

    • Melsha Shea says:

      Thank you for your kind words Antoniette! It is my wish for you, your daughters and all women that we can love the only body we will ever have & cherish it in ways we haven’t in the past. xo

  2. Oh, Melsha… I feel that a lot of the beautiful words written here mirror what I have been thinking, feeling, and speaking about my body. Thank you for putting to paper much of what my soul wants to say and be, but hasn’t been brave enough to DO. Sitting at Vancouver airport waiting to fly home, I feel called to dig the small journal and gorgeous teal colored pen out of my purse (packed specifically in the hopes that this trip to visit BC and old friends would inspire me) and write – something — anything!

    Much love and gratitude,
    Rhonda

  3. Susan Nichols says:

    OH MELSHA!!! I SO LOVE YOU for THIS!!! THIS. THIS is exactly where I am and didn’t know how to say it all! Thank you for being so BRAVE and for sharing your gift of words. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and love with us. I am grateful and inspired to write my body a letter as well. DAY ONE.

    BIG LOVE TO YOU AND ALL THE OTHER BRAVE GIRLS ON THIS PAGE,
    Susan

  4. Morning Melsha,
    Thank you so much for sharing xo
    When I met you back in April 2015 I was feeling the same way, uncomfortable in my own skin; that weekend sparked a belief and trust that I could change where I was; I just didn’ know how at the time. In Sept I found out how to make the physical change that my mind was desperately trying to do!
    You have been such an inspiration to me; posting your challenges (burpees for a cause) and sharing your heart & soul to everyone. Believe that change will come for you xo

    • Melsha Shea says:

      Thank you for your kind words Kimberly! I’m so happy for you that you found the right fit, for you, to make the necessary physical changes for your body – you go girl!!

  5. Cynthia Holzapfel says:

    Melsha
    Your beautiful statement on how you feel have resonated within me for so many years. Why do I do this to my body? Have not found the answer but there is quite a list! I am still fighting the battle at sixty eight and still will not give up!
    We have to keep moving and when we stumble pick are feet up and start again. Life is a journey and our bodies are so part of it:)
    Thank you! A better body and soul for all of us
    Cynthia

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