Destinations Magazine

A Love Letter To My Bod (And Yours)

By Colleen Brynn @ColleenBrynn

Arches National Park, Utah

This is not my best angle. Nor is it my best work posing.

It’s easy for me to look at this photo and pick apart my flaws.


Simple… years and years of conditioning.

It probably started growing up in a society consumed with physical appearance, a lack of cellulite, flawless skin, the perfectly balanced and proportional form. It probably wasn’t helped by the fact that I danced competitively for many years, and since I didn’t have a dancer’s body, I picked, analyzed, criticized.

I have lived, for far too long, in a continuous pattern of body shaming.

I know I’m not alone.


I’ve had gray hair since I was 7 years old, cellulite and veiny legs since I was 14, I’ve battled pimples most of my life, and I have scars and wrinkles galore.

But I also have an incredibly capable body.

I have two strong legs (thanks, hockey) that will undertake any hike I tell them to. I have two feet with great arches (thanks, ballet), that will, though shaky at great heights, carry me where I want. I have two powerful lungs that can breathe in the fresh mountain air. My arms, though thin and not overly strong or defined, balance me when I walk, help me to express myself, and allow me to carry out so many daily tasks: brushing my hair, showering, cooking, eating, driving, examining my patients’ eyes, and my biggest love in life: writing. My back may cause me some trouble from time to time, but it holds me up proud. My shoulders may sometimes feel stiff, but they allow me to carry the stresses and worries in my life (literally, ask my chiropractor). And my eyes, well, a lot of people have to wear glasses to achieve 20/20. I’m one of the lucky ones who gets that level of vision without specs. With specs, I get life in HD.


But what if you’re someone who doesn’t have all these things? Two strong legs, a useful pair of arms, healthy eyes and a heart that wills you on? What if you’re battling disease or injury or mental illness?

Sometimes, even for me, with my strong and capable body, getting out of bed in the mornings is triumph enough.

Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, let’s consider what we do.

Were you able to take an extra step today? Did you manage a smile, or even a laugh? Have you lost yourself in a daydream?

Please, please, everyone. Love your body and love what you do have.

Thank your mind for its good days, and give it space for its weaker days. Thank your feet for carrying you one step farther, or your arms for maneuvering your wheelchair.


I don’t have a perfect body. I never will. I will also never have a perfect mind. None of us will, so I don’t understand the senseless pursuit of what we, as humans, define to be perfect. In fact, all of us are perfect… perfectly capable… just as we are.

Life is too short to spend energy fretting over such things.

Because I’m going to eat and drink and taste what life has to offer. I’m going to smile and laugh when I can, and cry and break down when I need to. I’m going to fall apart and build myself up stronger than before. I’m going to jump and climb and dance until my back screams for me to take a break. I’m going to see the world thanks to my body, the enabler. I’m going to do what I can, while I can.

Who’s with me?


Find me on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.

PS – Can we PLEASE drop terms like “real women”? We are all real, and insinuating otherwise is ludicrous.

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