Letter of Love: You're beautiful

Dear Self,

You’ve always wished that somebody would write you a letter. It’s old fashioned and kinda romantic — apparently, something that most of the guys you are interested in don’t have time for. And in those imagined love letters, they start with something along the lines of “I have always loved you.” But I can’t do that.

Because the truth is, I haven't. You and I both know that.

I don't know when I stopped the first time. Was it in first grade, when I saw your school yearbook photo? You had your hair in a bun, so it was less than attractive. Was it at some other time in early elementary school, when I started thinking you were fat and ugly? Did I just never love you?

We’ve been through our fair share of challenges together, a lot of it simply being how I view you physically. I remember when you would eat as little rice as possible in high school, and stay up late doing two hour workouts. To this day, I don’t know how big of a role dance played in this sense of not liking how I looked, but being forced to constantly look in a mirror and being surrounded by girls who could eat french fries every day and not be affected probably did not help.

And I know why you would spend all those hours doing releves and stretching, at three times the intervals that you would do in class. You knew you couldn’t be skinny, so at least you could be strong.

Luckily, thanks to learning that your body changing is natural and you can’t just look sixteen forever, your relationship with exercise and food has improved significantly.

But even today, you were hungry when you got home after working out for a few hours. And you wondered whether or not to eat a steamed bun because you were going to bed right after. And going to sleep hungry would theoretically mean less fat gained overnight because less calories you would need to lose.

But after some thought, you realized you were too hungry to sleep without at least some food in your system. So you microwaved and ate that bun.

And I’m proud of you for that.

I’ve accepted that you’re never going to be conventionally gorgeous. I can, however, include another line you’ve always wanted to hear. You’re beautiful.

I know you don’t always feel like it — and the guys you seek validation from certainly don’t ever say it — but even on the days that you are bloated or slept for four hours, as long as you try to be a good person, you are beautiful.

And you deserve all of the love you are given. Including that from me.

With all my love,