There is a place, buried somewhere pretty deep right now, where I know I still love you. I’ve spent hours, weeks, months looking for it, but it’s lost for the moment.

I used to love you. I’ve loved you when, to any outsider, it made sense, and I’ve loved you when it probably seemed crazy to some. In my head I know I still love you. I just can’t find it in my heart.

You used to make me feel energized, motivated, and light on my feet. I used to bask in the positive attention that your love brought me. I wanted to run, I wanted to sweat, and I wanted to feel everything. I wanted to look like a million bucks for you.

Now maybe I want to feel nothing. Maybe that’s why I can’t find my love. I spend my days in joggers or running tights, but without the running. I feel no motivation to move, to be the best I can be…to look pretty.

Not that you ever required me to look pretty. That was just my own thing…when I loved you, I wanted to. For you. For me. For us. I wanted you to be as proud of me as I was of you.

And then it changed. A lot changed. He left. My migraine treatment kicked in and my eating habits…well, I started to eat. And slowly, so slowly, you left me too.

I left me.

The box of clothes that don’t fit anymore sits in the corner of my bedroom as a taunting reminder of what we were. How I felt when I was fully with you. It was a massive difference emotionally, spiritually…physically.

When I was with you, I could manage the physical pain when it showed up. And it did show up. Not only that, but I actually addressed the emotional pain when it came along.

Now there’s just a constant dull ache, and at times, a wracking loneliness. Now my back hurts. My knees flare up. My ankle gives me grief. My head – my head still hurts, but now I’ve learned to eat anyway. Eat through it. Eat because of it. Eat to dim the feeling…eat to dim feeling anything.

There’s still a huge void here. Not being loved like that, not being wanted…rejection is painful. Part of it is because he’s gone, and the loss of that closeness, that intimacy, that level of caring and love has left a deep wound.

But then you went and left too. You, body, you.  The body I was so comfortable in. For the first time in I can’t remember how many years, I actually liked being in my body.

Now I weather being in my body.

Now I look at you with a thinly-veiled loathing. I talk about when you’ll be gone. I can’t find the love for you I once had. I can’t even find the love for you I had when I was much further down the garden path than I am now.

I can say it. But I can’t seem to mean it.

I know in my head that it will take loving you while you’re here before you’ll agree to move on. That how it works with you and me. That’s how it’s always worked.

So here goes….

Legs, I love you for carrying me everywhere I need to go, for keeping me moving forward, for supporting me.

Stomach, I love you for carrying my children and giving them a healthy home while they grew. I love you for using the food I eat to make me healthy and strong.

Arms, I love you for helping me reach for better. I love you for being strong enough to help hold others up, and enfold my kids, my family, and my friends with love.

Body, I love you for trying to protect me when I feel vulnerable and unable to protect myself. I love you for trying to keep a buffer between me and the rest of the world when I feel scared and alone.

And.

And I release you. I thank you and I love you. And I let you go. Let me be strong for myself. Don’t let food and weight and this body dictate how I feel, nor how I feel to dictate the size of this body. Let me feel pleasure in moving, joy in connection, and at home in this vessel.

Let me love myself, no matter the house I inhabit.