Previous post here.
When I got my first stretch mark during pregnancy I would pour over this site trying to piece together an image of what I might look like after birth. And then, after I had my daughter I did the same thing, but in hopes of seeing updates and people’s bodies improving over time. I wanted realistic expectations and I also wanted hope. I felt like if people bounced right back they had pp belly/weight loss pictures all over the place, but if people got stretch marks/loose skin/c-section scars or anything considered “unsightly” they hid them from the world. I can’t tell you have far I’ve come in a year when it comes to my body image. I really feel for women when I see them dealing with all those emotions right after birth. It gets better, so so so much better. Sure.. you come across women who feel superior if they escaped pregnancy without major body changes, but I feel worse for them having that kind of mentality than I ever would for myself. My husband has been my rock through it all. He told me I was sexy, when I didn’t feel like I was. He didn’t ignore what I considered flaws, he embraced them. Having that kind of support (and the the support of a few friends who have been there) probably helped me the most. My biggest struggle throughout this whole past year was when I saw the pre-pregnancy number on the scale and my body still needed so much “work” in my eyes. I guess I had it built in my mind that if I could get that number again, than everything would look the same. I went through a bit of an emotional relapse when I realized that was not the case, but I got back on the wagon and I’ve been kicking butt ever since. I’m now below my pre-pregnancy weight and getting ready to start my journey into weight training (thanks to a weight training inspirational post on SOAM!). I included some pictures from the past 13 months. Hopefully they reach the right person struggling to accept their new body and gives them some hope/confidence. Beauty has nothing to do with a mark free body…work on loving yourself as a whole and I promise the way you view your stretch marks will change completely (or at least *most* days!) I still don’t find them attractive by themselves, but they are a part of me and I accept them. I work harder because of them, my relationship with myself and my spouse is stronger after facing the emotional challenges they brought on, and I am overall happy with my body. And seriously ladies, we have to stop hiding!! We’re just setting up our daughters, sisters, friends to do the same thing. Normalize motherhood and the changes it brings! Even if it means having a shot or two before throwing on that two piece for the first time haha. Do your part and encourage other moms to stop feeling ashamed and do the same! I’m wearing mine as we speak :)