Thank You, Body. - Brittany Lesser

Thank You, Body.

October 30, 2017

I sit here and look at my pregnant body and get disappointed….

Disappointed in myself for treating this body so badly for so many years. All it has ever done for me was love me and try to keep me alive.

There were times that I wasn’t nourishing it properly and not feeding it. Times where I pushed it past it’s limits with exercise and ran it into the ground. Times where I looked in the mirror and picked apart every single “flaw”. Times where I was ashamed of it and disappointed with how it looked. Times where I hated my body and wanted to hide it. Times where my body has begged and pleaded to please treat it with respect.

It gave me so signs that it needed my help and needed my love, but I selfishly ignored it all. I was aware, but I ignored. I tried so hard to be healthy, but in reality, I was being the opposite. Self-love is a part of health and I was certainly not practicing that. How my body looked was much more important to me than how it was functioning.

I struggled physically. The point in my life where I was running tons of miles per week and not feeding myself properly, I was very underweight. My body fat was low, my weight was low, and my mental health was even worse. I isolated myself, I under ate and over exercised, my hair was falling out, my nails were shit, and I was freezing all the time. I was constipated and suffered terribly from IBS and severe stomach issues. Plus, I didn’t get my period for almost three years at this time. Even after I stopped being a long-distance runner, I was still hyper-focused on my body. I had an unhealthy relationship with food – I would only eat what I thought was “clean” and “safe” and I would rarely eat out or allow myself the pleasures of various foods. My period went in and out at this time in my journey, too.

I didn’t care that I didn’t have a period for 3 years, or that my body was giving me these signs. You know why? Because I was lean and “fit”.  Sometimes, I even thought I wasn’t lean enough.

I struggled mentally. First, I only wanted to be skinny. I would see how low I could get the scale to go. At one point I remember stepping on the scale multiple times a day and seeing 118 pounds at 5’9 and I was stoked. After that, I wanted to be fit and toned but lean. Muscular yet feminine. I competed in a few shows and loved the way I looked shredded, even though my body didn’t love it. Whenever I was in my “off-season” I struggled hardcore just because I had to gain some weight and some fat. I always felt like nothing compared to my stage body. Any ounce of fat made me look terrible (which wasn’t true). My mind wasn’t right. I picked myself apart constantly, and was never happy.

Thankfully through all of this, my body has always treated me the way I should have treated it – with love and respect.

It has done its main job – keep me alive. Once I truly started treating it with respect, I was thriving. When I got my mind right and my physical health right, everything was working the way it should be. Sure, not every day is perfect. I still struggle at times. But I’m in a heck of a better place than I ever have been. I know better now, and I know what’s important. Health.

My body has now blessed me with the biggest blessing of my life and it is growing my mini human and keeping him safe. My body has always been my home and unfortunately, I haven’t always appreciated it.

Now, it’s my baby boys home, too, and I am so grateful. So incredibly grateful for this body and all it has done for me.

Thank you, Body. I love you.