Again the conversation with my body had been taken out of my control.

How I felt and how others saw me were disjointed.

But this time I was in real risk, I could be hurt not just mentally but physically.

I had finally come to terms with myself and then something so unexpected happened.

I didn't recognize myself again, I was weak, in pain, I felt old and unsure. 

When I feel like an old lady and am embarrassed when I tell my friend; no I can't help you move, as it might put me at risk.

These are not things I should feel ashamed of as they are part of my life and part of me.

Now when I go to the ocean, I accept that my body curves are not confined inside a tight elastic swim suite, perky, fit and perfect. I bring an umbrella, dowse myself in SPF 95+, and enjoy my time.

I realized setting myself up for failure was never going to change the things I didn't like about myself. All I can do is try to be healthy both mentally and physically, and love myself because this is who I am right now.

I'm not a weight goal, a three-week program or a juice cleanse away from becoming the woman who deserves to be loved.

I am her right now and always. 

My relationship with my body always had the burden of fearing other's expectations of me as well as what I might actually want for myself.

When I was younger I had friends who were thin, short and beautiful. I towered over them, curvy and awkward, still coming into my body. Every summer, the goal was to sit outside in bikinis getting tan by the ocean. I spilled out of my bathing suit, barely making it a few hours before getting sun poisoning, with often a burn and absolutely never a tan.

We were supposed to be living in paradise, and I was miserable in it, my body rejected it.

My friends never made me feel like I was different but they didn't need to, it was so glaringly obvious. It felt like everyone around me had accepted my role, I was no "hot girl", and that was ok. But was it really? I wanted to be beautiful and desired. I saw my friends getting attention I never received. Why was I so unwanted? Why couldn't I fit into the mold? 

As a grew older I began to see past my younger self's expectations of what beauty meant and began to see how truly beautiful I was, exactly how I was.

I was strong and confident. I liked who I was as a person, and I had become a friend to myself. I treated me with the respect that I gave to others.

When I was 23 I began to feel pain in my back. I thought I have big boobs, it must be that. I work on my feet, it must be that. I don't stretch enough, it must be that. But the pain only grew, to the point where I could barely walk. To the point where my foot started to turn in.

Something was off, but the doctors would tell me, "You're so young"

they would say, "The way you are moving, you're fine."

When I described my pain, I received a reassurance that I was complaining about nothing serious. No one believed me until I suddenly couldn't walk. Even still the doctors kept telling me it was nothing, until my MRI came back and the conversation suddenly changed from casual reassurances to deciding if I would get surgery on my spine that evening or in the morning, or risk becoming paralyzed. 

Looking back now I have to forgive myself for being so hard on my body.

It's not exactly what I wanted, and I can't say I am in total harmony with it now. However, I do love myself and that is the biggest thing I can do.

I forgive myself when I accidentally threw out my back.