A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.

A Love Letter to My Belly



Often I find meditating on my self and my body is exactly what I need to get grounded. My body is a place that, for a long time, I had separated from. I distanced myself from the random reflections I would catch in a mirror or a window and always be shocked at what I would see. I disassociated from my body, I was not present in it as if I was an alien inhabiting a vessel not my own. The impact of documenting my yoga journey can not be reflected on enough. It has changed my life.

Yoga has changed my relationship to my body. It has again, connected my sense of being and self to my body and spawned a body love and self acceptance journey. Other people’s shaming  can’t compare to my own constant shaming of myself. That will never excuse the bullies out there. I learned that I wasn’t good enough from TV ads, and TV shows, teasing classmates and my well meaning parents, and strangers looking me up and down. The daily microaggressions. The weight loss equals happy life rhetoric became the nasty voice inside my own head beating me down. And its time to let it go. It’s not easy but it is time to reject the “well meaning critics”, the “concerned citizens” and just plain assholes. It’s time to rid myself of my own biases. For me radical self acceptance begins with my big belly. So here is my beginning lovelies.


Dear Belly,

You have been the bane of my existence for my entire life. I struggle with you, you poor neglected friend. I have ignored you, covered you, never able to hide you but tried in spite of that reality. I have wished you away. I have wished for rolls where I have mass, jiggle where I have girth, most of all I have wished you flatter like the mainstream fashion magazines of my youth, like even the plus size magazines of today.

10903645_1546658305615253_2136387726_nThat cute little fleshy area on others is a mountain on me.  I have been asked when am I due too many times. I have been told that I would be perfect if I could slice off this belly of mine. I have believed it too. I am sorry belly. I allowed myself to give in to judgment, the shaming and the littleness of a nation indoctrinated into myself. I gave in to comparisons that serve nothing and no one. Comparisons, do not honor me, my journey and my unique body. Enough is enough. It is time to embrace you fully, as you are. As we are. As I am.10903412_799409473467023_748313952_n

I am sorry for the neglect and admonishment I have directed at you. I see You and I will not turn away from you again. On hard days I will remember the potbellied 3 year old in the bikini at the pool I once was being adorable loving myself and smiling.


I am grateful to you belly for warming me, providing comfy cozy hugs, holding muscles that support my frame and being so responsive to the efforts to strengthen myself. Thank you belly for allowing me to deepen my self love practice and my radical self acceptance journey.                Love, Vanessa.

If you are also in a self acceptance journey, what body part would you write a forgiveness letter to? How do you let go of the inner critic inside?


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Author: sweetvanessaleigh

I am Vanessa Leigh, maker, writer and witchy goddess in training.

12 thoughts on “A Love Letter to My Belly

  1. Pingback: ReFashion 2015: Crop Tops & Bellies & Visible Belly Outlines, Oh My! | S w e e t L e i g h

  2. You are a really thoughtful and eloquent writer, I am really drawn to your style. The yoga poses that interspersed your letter were a perfect juxtaposition!
    I am not on a journey of body acceptance, I know I’m fat and I know I’m not really going to bother doing anything about it so one day I just decided to accept it if that’s the case. Apathetic I guess is what I am in truth. I’ve never hated on a body part ceaselessly, however if I was to write a letter to a body part for finding it a total hindrance to my life it would be my disproportionately humongous boobs. They hurt me, make me look fatter than I am, get in the way of anything even remotely sporty and make golf impossible. They’re expensive to hold up because bras for circus-cans cost an arm and a leg, and they make me feel embarrassed when it’s time to be intimate with someone because there’s no way they could be seen to be nice. They humiliate me when that’s all people I’m dating or talking to want to talk about “what size are you, you’re really huge” and I resent that it is even a topic people feel comfortable bringing up.
    I don’t hate them but I wish I didn’t have them!

    • Thanks for your kind words Melanie. I so get feeling apathetic about my own body. I am so sorry people are so consumed by body size and body parts in general. It is disappointing at best and scary at worst when people actually don’t bother to see you to the point where it interrupts how we see ourselves. Whatever their excuse shame on fucking them not us. I can relate to that feeling of I don’t hate them but I wish I didn’t have them. I am now just hoping that to get rid of that wish I didn’t have this belly feeling. Because being a spectatcular badass woman isn’t precluded by big bellies or huge boobs. LOL ❤

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