I’m a 31 year old mother of one beautiful tween girl whose now 11. I really miss the baby days. I had her at 20 and I had gained 85 pounds. I have stretch marks in every conceivable place a woman can have them. I have them on my flanks, my buttocks, my hips, my belly, my breasts, my underarms, the back of my knees, my thighs (inner and outer), near my groin area, and I even have faint ones on the outside of my upper arms. It’s been a constant struggle over the years to live in this body and be happy with it.
I’ve bought into the idea that women aren’t supposed to get older and lose their shape and for years I’ve been my own worst enemy. And having a couple of jerks for boyfriends in the past didn’t help matters much either. I haven’t gotten over it yet and I’m not sure I ever will. Maybe when I’m really old, feeble and gray, it won’t matter anymore. Some days I hate myself, and others, I have incredible self-esteem. I no longer want to diet, or obsess about exercise, but at the same time, I don’t want to let myself go either. I want to find a happy medium if it exists. But I am blessed and thankful I have a wonderful husband of 9 years and a terrific daughter who thinks I’m beautiful no matter what.
Reading your stories and seeing your pictures really inspires me. Although it makes me cry, it has compelled me to show myself to you so that maybe I might find some peace in this inner silent but screaming turmoil. Maybe together we can feel strong and empowered and proud of who we are and by the long journeys we’ve traveled to arrive here. Thank you so much.