To Lisa, Love Zoe

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Dear Lisa,

It’s Ok.  It hasn’t been easy, but I understand.  I was there too when your portions were monitored and I heard it too when your mom said it was a good thing that you were fat because it would keep the boys away since you were so pretty.  I remember too.  We were only six years old then, and six-year-olds don’t really have a choice but to believe that what their parents say is true.

I know it hasn’t been easy.  You and I have both been scrutinized about a lot for a long time.  We were the pretty one but we were the fat one.  Everything we ate was monitored and I, especially, was evaluated from the beginning.  Bodies were suspect; beyond having babies what was a woman’s body really for anyway?  The messages to you about me were so conflicting, it’s no wonder that it was hard to trust me.

Really, Lisa.  It’s Ok.  Life isn’t over and we have time to figure this out.  You have a life full of grace and love now.  We’ve been through a lot to get here, but we finally are.  There are some old hurts that will take time to process, but we are strong and we can do this.  One day at time; one feeling at a time.  We can be the strong woman on the outside that you and I both know we are on the inside.

You are so full of love.  You give love and grace to everyone you know. You already know how to do this.  Speak to me the way you speak to others.  Remind me — remind yourself — that you are beautiful because of who you are.  Remind us both of the strength we’ve already shown.  We had babies together, you and I.  We had to work together to do that because it takes a strong body and a strong spirit to have babies. We can bring that same strength to every day and quiet those voices that criticize and assess.  The scrutiny doesn’t have to continue. The assessment can end.  We can live based in love and grace from this point on.

Love, Zoe

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