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An Apology To My Body

Although it seems like a distant memory, just one year ago you were slim, toned, the hard-earned product of many hours sculpting you to the way I thought you should be. You had the faintest pink pedicured toes, straightened hair and freshly shaved legs. Yet I gave you a hard time; I wanted more. Today, one year and one baby later, I’m struggling to understand how it was physically possible for you to fit into those jeans. Your strong core and lean legs have disappeared under a wobbly exterior, striped with shades of purple and red still shouting to me in the mirror through the layers of Bio Oil and cocoa butter. And as I peer down at the scales in disappointment and frown at you in the mirror, I am beginning to realise that I owe you an apology.

I owe you an apology, not for putting you through the ups and downs of the past year, but for the lack of respect I have given you. I took for granted at the time how well you were doing because you just got on with it. Before I’d even realised, you’d begun to work on a secret miracle; creating exactly what I wanted. You kept going with your task despite the three months in which you were fuelled by little other than jacket potatoes, strawberry yoghurt and chocolate milkshake.

And then you started to expand; slowly, slowly at first but then accelerating beyond expectation, the secret life inside no longer a secret. You were aching knees, aching back, aching hips. In fact, every part of you ached. You were a compressed bladder, squashed ribs, swollen hands and feet. You became public property, your expansion the subject of many a conversation. Despite this, you kept going, kept growing perfection.

There were moments when I doubted you, agonising moments when I was convinced that you weren’t strong enough. But once again, you proved my mind wrong. You went through the most intense pain imaginable, but it was never too much for you to bear. Not only that, but you healed yourself so well that the pain was forgotten. There was no time for you to recuperate; you were neglected and sleep-deprived while every ounce of energy was consumed by the life that you grew.

Forgetting all of this, I poke and prod and sigh with disappointment when the zip of the jeans just won’t do up.

I owe you an apology, not for what you have been through, but for how I am treating you now after everything that you have done. I promise that from now on, I will spend more time cherishing what you have accomplished than what I’d like to change. I will do my best to look after you, because that is the least that you deserve. And more than anything else, I promise that when you are complimented, I will simply say “Thank you”, because it simply does not seem fair that the only criticism you are now being subjected to is coming from me.

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