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!