The Blindspot: A Letter From My Body To Me

Photo: Sarah Kunst

I HAVE THIS BODY BLINDSPOT. DO YOU? WHERE YOU JUST DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR BODY UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE? ALL THE SIGNALS ARE THERE. BUT YOU KEEP PUSHING. SURE ENOUGH, THE STRAW THAT BREAKS THE CAMEL’S BACK BREAKS YOURS. SUDDENLY, YOU’RE LAID OUT AND CAN’T DO ANY OF THE THINGS YOU’VE BEEN PUSHING YOURSELF TO DO. SOUND FAMILIAR? I FINALLY GOT THE MESSAGE. HERE’S A LETTER FROM MY BODY TO ME. LISTEN UP, YOUR BODY IS FRIEND’S WITH MINE AND IT WANTS YOU TO READ THIS TOO.

Dear Joyce,

I’m sorry you’re laid out on your couch with a heating pad again. I know this happens every summer. I’m sorry you’ve pulled your back and you’re in pain. I’m sorry you’re stuck inside when it feels like the whole world is out and about enjoying summer. I’m sorry you feel like you’re falling behind in your work and in your workout goals. But you just wouldn’t listen, so I had to do something drastic. I had to do something that would stop you dead in your tracks. #sorrynotsorry

I always give you warnings. The pattern is the same, year after year, time after time. It all starts innocently enough. You pile on the summer activities. You work hard and play hard. You get really focused on a project like the Get Go. You start neglecting your workouts because you’re working so much. You start blowing off steam by having a couple extra glasses of wine and eating more indulgently–because why not? You feel the stress mount and so you decide to take a vacation where you continue not to take care of me in the name of a good time. But I know you’re not feeling well and just going through the motions.

I know it because I’m your body and I feel everything!

When you return, you say, that’s enough! Then you crack the whip: Salad and workouts every day.

I don’t like that, but you never listen. I like salad and I like working out. I also like wine and going out. But not in such an intense cycle. It’s like feast or famine with you. Excess or punishment.

Who do you think you are? God? I know you’re not an ego-maniac. I know you don’t think you’re above the law. I know you’re actually a humble person. In fact, your problem is that you forget I exist. You forget that if I don’t exist, you don’t exist. You forget that taking care of me–taking care of you–matters. You don’t live to just take care of business or to make other people happy. Your happiness matters. Your health matters.

You ran into the famous fitness guru Anna Kaiser, founder of AKT in Motion today, at Dr. Smood while you were getting a smoothie to take the edge off your tweaked back. It was fate that brought you two together today.

“Do you foam roll?” she asked, as you complained about your plight.

Of course, you know you’re supposed to and you never do.

She noticed your lazy, hunched posture and said, “I was just reading a study about how our posture has been weakening our pelvic floors…”. Guilty as charged.

You offered a weak self-care protest: “But I just got a massage yesterday!”

“That’s one thing compared to the daily things we do to our bodies,” she said, shaking her head.

I was like, Finally, someone telling it like it is! She was saying all the things I know you know and tell other people to do, but you don’t practice enough consistently.

I don’t like to cause you pain. But you don’t listen when I ask you nicely. I want to make you look good. I want to take you places. I want to help you do amazing things. If you’re good to me, I’ll be good to you. Forever. Til death do us part. It’s that simple.

Also please get me an acupuncture appointment, this Theragun, and some of my favorite body-loving products below too… Thanks! You owe me!

With love,

Your Body