When a woman becomes a mom, she goes through a transition mentally and physically that brings her out of maidenhood and into motherhood. It’s beautiful and special, but often the pressures that society puts on body image can be damaging to a new mother’s self-confidence.
While eating healthy and working out can do wonders for a new mom’s energy levels and body composition, there are some parts of your post-baby body that– try as you may– aren’t going to look the same as before.
Take stretch marks, for example.
It is estimated that as many as 80% of Americans will get stretch marks at some point in their lives.
Australian Fitspo Sharny Kieser has worked hard for her fit body. Yet she still felt she couldn’t wear a bikini anymore, for fear of revealing her stretch marks.
Stretch marks, I used to hate them. Seal showed us that scars are beautiful. They tell a story. They are unique. My scar story is that I carried 6 babies in my body. That's 4 and a half years of my life I spent pregnant. How can I possibly hate myself for that? What's your scar story? (share your photos with pride!) #scarstories #stretchmarks #scars #travellingfamily #nofilter #travelphotography #thekiesers #youtube #wanderlust #nomad http://sharnyandjulius.com/fitmum
As a mom of six, Sharny wondered what the point was of working out if she could never wear a bikini. She struggled to feel comfortable with her scars, until one day when she overheard her husband Julius talking to some friends about why Sharny should be proud of her scars.
Julius only saw her scars as beautiful reminders of her strength and sacrifice in motherhood. Hearing Julius talk about her stretch marks this way radically changed how Sharny looked at them herself.
Recently, Sharny posted an inspirational picture on Instagram of herself dressed in a bikini with her stretch marks proudly on display. Her caption is so encouraging; it challenges you to rethink the way you view these beautiful scars. Keep reading below for her powerful words.
I used to not see the point in exercise because my body was covered in stretch marks. 'what's the point in having a great body if I will never wear a bikini' I'd think. If I was ever invited to the beach or a pool party, I'd always decline. On the odd occasion I couldn't avoid it, I'd stay inside, helping with the food or the cleaning. I would only wear board shorts and t-shirts. I wished so hard that I could one day wear a bikini. Then one day I overheard my loving husband explaining to a bunch of his friends why he thought stretch marks were beautiful. They were a sign of being a woman. They are a result of the great love a mother has, that she would scar her own body to bring a child to life… on and on he explained and the more he talked, the more I got it. I had hated myself for the very reasons he loved me. My body wasn't ruined or disgusting, it had transformed from a selfish girls body into a selfless mothers body and the scars were a symbol of that transition. A daily reminder that I was a mother. I looked at my stretch marks and I felt pride. I felt love. The love of my husband and the love of my children. Each one of them had been nurtured and lived behind those scars for 9 months. I felt pride. I felt love. I felt love for myself. The craziest thing was that when I started to love myself for what I had now, the body I had now, I began to treat myself better. I WANTED to eat healthy. I WANTED to exercise, I WANTED to do the things I loved. Just by changing the way I looked at myself with love and pride instead of hate, I had found the effortless motivation to care for my body. Because of this tiny little shift in mindset, magic happened… I got the body I had always dreamed of. The bikini body that I thought was not ever going to be possible for me after being covered in stretch marks, It has became a reality for me. It started though, with me loving myself first. Being grateful for what I had, not wishing for something better. 👉[see comments for more]👈
Share Sharny’s story if you were inspired!