Stop Telling Me to Love My Stretch Marks.

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Stretch marks and loose skin after pregnancy or significant weight loss are a common issue. Before I say my little piece, let’s get a couple of things out of the way. First, I am proud of every person in the world who is comfortable in their own skin. Go you! Our bodies go through drastic changes in our lifetimes, and to have a positive attitude along the way can be tough. I would never tell anyone to dim the light from within them, or to be any less proud of their appearance. Second, I am not against any particular way of dealing with one’s own body. If plastic surgery is the route you take, go for it! If you use wraps, that’s great. We are all allowed to cope with things in our individual ways and not feel invalidated. Each of us, at some point or another, has had to learn how to “self-love”, but we learn this in different ways, and sometimes on multiple occasions. For this reason, I don’t like being told to “love” my stretch marks.

As many of you know, almost 7 months, ago I gave birth to our twins, Hudson and Hunter. Like many new moms, I’ve been battling to feel as good as I did prior to my pregnancy. Believe it or not, trying to produce enough breast milk to keep two little tummies happy can be mentally and physically taxing. After scouring the internet for ways to “get my body back” or just feel better, I realized that nothing I found could suit me. As someone who had invested hours per day into weightlifting prior to having children, tutorials on losing weight or banishing loose skin, just weren’t what I was looking for. It just so happens, neither were motivational posts about loving my mom-bod.

After exploring the deep realm of “self-love” articles on the internet, I came across countless posts on social media about learning to love stretch marks or what is referred to as the “mom pooch”. Women crusaders were claiming to have “earned their stripes” through pregnancy, and are proud. That’s fine, if that is what helps them. I can totally understand that posting a picture of your stretch marks can offer relief and even feel empowering.

For me though, I thought, “Why do I have to love my stretch marks?” Why do I have to put these parts of my capable body on a pedestal, as if my gorgeous babies would not be here without them? Can I just accept them and move on? It’s almost as if these posts are trying to convince me to thank my stretch marks for the ability to welcome new life into the world, when really, I should thank my pre-pregnancy body for being physically fit enough to carry children.

And there was my epiphany. After failing my search to find the magic key to getting my pre-baby body back, I found what would help me feel better. Instead of reading how much I should value my new scars, I should remember how proud I was of my physical strength before. That strength, is the strength that assisted my 5’0″, 110lb body in carrying my babies.  I have never been overly concerned about my appearance, instead, I was more concerned about what my body could do. All of these “self-love” posts, reminded me that MY version of self-love has no more to do with my appearance now, than it did before my babies came along. So, in short, for me to feel better about my post-baby body, I just need to water the right flowers in my little garden. If I give more attention to the good stuff, then the good stuff will grow.

I hope that there are other women out there like me, who would rather focus on what their bodies can DO instead of what they look like. I know appearance is hard to ignore, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t completely mind the stripes, but I just think some of us would be better off to shift our energy to something more positive. Negative thoughts grow like weeds, but positivity is the flower that blossoms. Believe it. It feels great, to feel great. It also feels great to feel strong.

Feel free to comment or e-mail me to discuss the issue, or give feedback on my little rant!

 

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40 thoughts on “Stop Telling Me to Love My Stretch Marks.

  1. Love love love this. The idea that self love doesn’t have to be solely connected to physical appearance, but our physical capabilities and power instead. Noice.

  2. Loved it!! Your post was truly inspirational! My little one will be 5 months in a week and it is not in my cards right now to get my pre-baby body back because I physically cannot do it.. after pushing out a 9.5lb bsby in less than an hour.. from start of contractions til baby was out… all of my pelvic organs prolapsed… my bladder has dropped so much until I have constant UTI’s from not bring able to void completely.. my uterus has dropped…and I have a grade 3 rectocile and cystocele… major surgery is in my near future.. the doctor’s in Kansas City was going to do it but we leave in December to pcs to Kentucky…. needless to say it’s hard to stay positive when I walk around daily with my insides falling out…very depressing… but I’m going to try your method and think about how strong I was before..and know that with time I can and will get back there… for now eating clean is my best friend.. because it is definitely possible to lose weight with nothing other than eating right…thanks so much for the inspirational message!

    • Glad you loved it! I hope that things work out, I know your situation has to be tough. Keep me updated on everything and definitely let us know if you need anything! Keep up with eating well! I definitely lost most of my weight by just not over-eating afterward. I couldn’t work out for a little while, so I had to focus on what I could control. Try and stay positive!

  3. Loved it!! Your post was truly inspirational! My little one will be 5 months in a week and it is not in my cards right now to get my pre-baby body back because I physically cannot do it.. after pushing out a 9.5lb bsby in less than an hour.. from start of contractions til baby was out… all of my pelvic organs prolapsed… my bladder has dropped so much until I have constant UTI’s from not bring able to void completely.. my uterus has dropped…and I have a grade 3 rectocile and cystocele… major surgery is in my near future.. the doctor’s in Kansas City was going to do it but we leave in December to pcs to Kentucky…. needless to say it’s hard to stay positive when I walk around daily with my insides falling out…very depressing… but I’m going to try your method and think about how strong I was before..and know that with time I can and will get back there… for now eating clean is my best friend.. because it is definitely possible to lose weight with nothing other than eating right…thanks so much for the inspirational message!

  4. Hi, I found you through ellen page. Well to begin with I am a mother of 6 month old twin boys and we have a 3 year old Havanese too. 🙂
    I agree to your post. One thing I decided to focus on is my strength. I am 5 ft 1″ and 113 lb pre-pregnancy and carried my twins to term. Now I used to run half marathons and bootcamps before. Instead of focusing me what my shape is I decided to take a slow route of building my strength and eating healthy. If I am not in shape after that I am not going to sweat it. It is not worth losing the precious life I have with the boys. I am so glad I found your page.

    • Oh my goodness, hi! First, congrats on the boys! It’s great to connect with someone with twins around the same age as ours:) I agree, not worth losing the life with our babies! I competed in olympic style weightlifting in the 48kg weightclass and competed in/qualified for national competitions, so you could say that there has been a strength bias to my training, and there still is. I think that fitness looks and feels different for everyone. I still prefer weightlifting and probably always will, whether I dabble in other things or not. So, I’m excited to feel strong again and I hope that you enjoy focusing on your strength too. Feel free to reach out whenever you’d like, whether it be on here, IG, or however!

  5. I totally feel you. I didn’t have twins, but I had my two kids 18 months apart. I felt like I was pregnant forever! It’s hard to feel like you did before the kids and before getting pregnant. But there are small moments for me, like fitting into pre first baby jeans and such. Take the time for you! You totally deserve it!

    • Thank you! Wow, two in 18 months! I imagine that feels long! You’re right though, we small victories are something to feel great about!

  6. I think everyone expects us to love our flaws and imperfections, but that is way easier to say than do, and we don’t have to love our whole self to be a happy and healthy person, it cann be a motivating factor.

  7. I had three kids in three years, then five years later, twins that were born full term at 6 pounds 14 ounces and 7 pounds 1 ounce. To say I have a few stretchmarks is being kind. I have a million, it seems like! But my body did something amazing, and they’re slowly fading. They don’t bother me too much any more.

    • Oh my goodness, you have a have a basketball team AND you are a superhero! I’m glad they aren’t bothering you! Thank you for reading:)

  8. I’ve been one to roll my eyes at the #earnedmystripes, not because people shouldn’t be proud of them, but for a (mild) reason that it then makes women that have them for non baby related reasons feel like they aren’t as good because they don’t have a “reason” and (mostly) because it feels like we’re overcompensating for “body issues” from the media instead of ourselves and that there just can’t be a happy medium of actual satisfaction and contentment. (That was a little longer than I intended! – Summary: I love this post)

    • You make a great point! What you said definitely resonates with me. Thank you for reading and I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and “add” to my post in a way!

  9. Totally awesome insight, I remember feeling that way after I gave birth to my daughter. I took a little while to feel “myself again” and once I stopped obsessing over it I felt so much better. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Oh I agree entirely! I think people spend too much time trying to change their feelings about things rather than dealing with their feelings about things so they can live free, joyful lives despite the things that made them unhappy. In my eyes, stretch marks will never be a positive, good thing lol – they’re a sign of broken, scarred skin! But, we CAN learn to accept those things we cannot change and choose to focus on the things that ARE good. You go girl!

    • I love this comment! I’m happy you understood where I was coming from! Definitely something I think women benefit from dealing, instead of masking or looking to others for approval!

  11. I know what you mean! Some of those messages don’t really resonate with me either. I am coming up on 2 years post-partum and I really want to lose some weight, but I think being pregnant/nursing for almost 5 years straight really did a toll on my body. Right now, I am just focusing on getting a return of energy and I hope the rest will follow 🙂

  12. I am so glad to read this!! I thought I was the only one who felt this way! Thanks for putting into words what I’ve been thinking ever since my first son was born!

    • Aw, I’m so glad you could relate! Thank you for reading! I don’t often find many women who truly understand what I’m saying here!

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