One of the biggest revelations for me is understanding and fully accepting that my subconscious was causing the pain. It blows my mind that this "inner bully" is responsible for years of countless maladies, pains, rashes, infections, whiplash, migraines (maybe), etc. So, as suggested in one of the readings, I wrote a letter to my inner bully telling it to kiss off. Doing this exercise made me feel so strong and empowered--for the first time since I started this program 4 days ago, that I thought I would share my letter with others. (Be warned, I use another word besides "kiss" off Please share your letter to your "inner bully" too! Dear Bully, It’s time we had a long, overdue talk. I understand this letter might take you by surprise. You’ve had quite the go of it, this longtime control over my behavior and my body and, I must say, part of me commends you for it. I am in a bit of awe that you managed to stick around all these years, despite the fact that I have spent most of my adult life trying to be a good, honest, sincere, and kind person. For whatever reason, I understood at an early age that being honest with one’s self is one of the most difficult yet ultimately rewarding traits that a human being can develop. And I tried to embody this sense of self-honesty and self-respect through a number of ways, such as reading meaningful novels, devouring self-improvement books, practicing art for healing, traveling solo so I can meet new people and see different cultures, getting a bit of therapy, keeping an open mind, practicing yoga, eating a clean diet, watching Oprah, and simply having an open heart. And yet here you still are. You have still managed to linger and bully me into submission to the extent that I am practically bedridden and disabled. However, I have now—finally—learned from the same bullying techniques you have inflicted upon me. And I am going to throw it right back in your face. You are persistent; I’ll give you that. This is why I plan on taking inspiration from you; specifically, the relentless drive you use to achieve your goal, which for you has been bullying me into fear and cowardice to such an extent that it has prevented me from living the full, active, brave, and limber life I deserved all these years. You must be a little angry about hearing this, since you are approaching the 40-year mark on continuous, nonstop, successful bullying. That is huge! Four decades of subconsciously degrading and inhibiting the very same person whose body you share. So I hate to break it to you, but you are NOT going to reach your 40-year bullying goal. I am putting an end to it, right here and now, and this is not going to continue. I turned 46 at the end of 2016, and I have reached my limit. I am beyond ready to start living the life I deserve. To enjoy all the activities my wonderful, dear husband wants me to do with him. To hike up mountains with all my gear on my own back and to plunge into icy lakes when I reach the top. To cycle for dozens and dozens of miles and only complain about saddle sores and sore legs because that’s normal when you bike across miles of Italian wine country. To sit nine hours on a plane to Paris, so I can meet my mom and sister there for the first time, and we’ll walk around the city and sit in very hard chairs in cafes for hours and hours and drink as much as we want and eat as much as we want and I'll never worry that I’m ingesting something that will give me mysterious eczema or hives or a migraine or an infection. I’m going to do all of these things in 2017 because I realize now that you are bullshit. You had your fun but I finally wised up to you. You are done, my friend and, yes, I do consider a friend because you are a part of me and you know me better than anyone and we have shared a lot together. In fact, you have pretty much mapped out my life for me for far too long. But you are done. Finite. Finished. So I’m telling you this now, and I’m going to keep telling you every day, over and over again until you get the message and go the fuck away: 2017 is the year I become a strong, active, self-reliant person. I’m going to kick-ass in 2017. I’m going to go on marches, volunteer for groups in the evenings, work on special projects, stretch into any position I like, sit on the floor, and work out with heavy weights, just like any real woman does. Oh, and another thing I’m going to do in 2017: I’m going to get a job. A real job in a real office. Not some part-time, stupid, penny-ante gig where I set my own hours and can call out sick if I’m feeling bad and don’t get paid my worth for my brains and talents but that’s the sacrifice I make because of my “Victorian-style” health. Nope, those days are over. You’re finished. Your work keeping me from working is done. Now I’m taking over, and I’m calling the shots. You’ve been fired, laid-off, you are accepting early retirement. Oh, and you should know: You’re not allowed back in the building or you will be rapidly and firmly escorted off the premises. Again, I really do admire the hard work you put in all these years. But the truth is, you’re a complete asshole and you don’t know me as well as you think you do. I’m stronger than you. I’m smarter than you. And you, my friend, can immediately go fuck yourself. With deepest sincerity, A.