My Striped Tiger Body (Ashley)

~Age: 21
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1st pregnancy and 1 birth

Im 21 years old and i feel as tho my body is completely ruined and ill never fit into my old clothes or be happy with my body again. Let me start by saying that i love my daughter with all my heart and soul. Im happy that she has entered my life. No regrets! My pregnancy was normal i had gain alot of extra weight i didnt need. I was 135 pounds pre pregnancy i gained 72 pounds which put me at 210 and now im at 164. Im struggling with my self esstem and my appearance. I guess im a little vain when it comes to myself. But i feel as tho i look horrible. Im married and have been with my husband for 7 years, married for one. I feel like ill never be good enough for him again. That im not beautiful and i can never wear feel comfortable naked around him again.

I had started exercising, because i felt so bad about myself. I did it for about 2 months and found no results and stopped at 172 then finally i started eating less and not excerising which got me down to 164 where i am yet again stuck. I feel like no matter how many crunches i do the little pouch from my c-section will never go away not only that but my stomach looks like a tiger gashed me all around. Ive even considered a tummy tuck and laser stretch mark removal but who has the money for that?

It’s just so hard seeing these other girls my age with babies who are back down to 100 pounds within a month or the moms who look like they didnt even have kids. Why couldnt that be me? What am i doing wrong?

I get so stressed about how i look but then i look at my daughter and think its all worth it. She lights my day. But sometimes its hard to get past the thought of horrible i look under my shirt. Im 21 this is suppose to be the best my body is suppose to look, and it doesn’t. I feel like i cant even be beautiful until i accepted the fact that im not going to be like the super models or the perfect girls on the beach ( i live in Florida where everyone has the perfect beach body). I just want to be happy with myself and my body and ever since i gave birth i have felts nothing about negative thoughts about myself. I think it also has a huge impact on my relationship. Im always putting myself down around him and when we are getting intimate all i can think about is how gross my stomach looks or how fat i am. Which completely ruins the mood..i just dont feel good enough..

So i decided to post on this site because it looks like maybe you guys can give me thoughts opinions and maybe help me get through this time in my life. Id like to feel good things about me.

24 thoughts on “My Striped Tiger Body (Ashley)

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Hello. you can search my under blessed&tortured.

    I am in the same exact boat you are in, my stomach looked the same when i first had my son. he is almost 4 now and im down to 135. the stretch marks dont go away, they do fade. As for crunches they will help nothing, start doing some cardio (walk 2 miles a day with your daughter) and BACK exercises and core strenth, you can slightly make a difference by tightening your core, i did. As for the self loathing- i am about to be 24 i have lived those 4 horrible years knowing that i have a beautiful face but hating my body, which led to a seperation in my marriage, try not to drift away from your husband, because he really does love you the way you are. try to focus on the things you love about your body, i see a nice shape to you, try focusing on that rather than your actual tummy. i know its hard, i struggle EVERY day, and we are saving for a tummy tuck. good luck you you!

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Hi Ashley, my name is Trista and i’m in the same situation. I’m also 21 and i have been with my husband for almost 8 years and married for one, and we also live in Florida. I am 9 months PP and my belly is all most identical to yours, and i know exactly how you feel but every time i get upset with the way i look i think that only a mother can have these scars, and the ones i love the most don’t care that i have them. Our scars will fade with time, but just remember you ARE beautiful, and our husbands and daughters will love us no matter what we look like. I’m not sure if this helps but i just wanted to let you now that you are not alone in this, and that as mothers we are beautiful :)

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I tell you what, I amo one of those moms (i have had 2 kids, and im 26)who have the body that looks like i never had kids, i have no stretch marks and my stomach is flat as a board…BUT…WE too have our insecurities,there is always someone who looks sexier, hotter, fitter…there is always another woman we think our man finds more attractive…and while most would kill to look like i do after kids, i have my issues too…like my butt is GONE! I have no butt anymoe, its like my back is just attached to my legs and i have an ass crack, not a bum, not even a little one :( when i wear pants theres nothing there to fill the backside, it just hangs there…and here iam one of the women who has “washboard” abs…see no one is pefect, everyone has there issues after a baby body wise…besides who really wears shirts that show their belly anymore? maybe at the pool or beach but anywhere else, nah…besides you would look totally cute in a sexy black one piece :) try it!

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

    RELAX!After having two babies I have learned that it takes months, even a year for you to get on a normal routine where your hormones arent bugging out and causing your weight to stay the same. It took a year with the first and almost two years with my second to get my weight down, and I gained the same weight as you with the first. Be patient, and healthy :)
    PS. you do not look like you weigh 164! And your stretch marks will fade a lot, since they are still red try treating them with a lotion that contains onion extract (most stretch mark creams have this) and binding your belly. That will help for your stretch marks to not scar as bad and may aid with weight loss. Good luck to you and enjoy your baby :)

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks ladies for the comments! I really apperciate the feedback!! Amber thanks for letting me know crunches will do nothing, ill stop wasting my time then and buy some running shoes! And i read your story you look great! And Trista thank you your post made me smile.

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    It sounds like you are suffering from post partum depression. I have been diagnosed and just started on some “happy Pills” I have the same thoughts, its like its all i think about every minute, i hate the way i look and it doesnt matter that my husband says he likes me anyway. it think it has more to do with the thoughts in your brain than actually the way you look. I bet a lot of the girls you mentioned who “went right back to 100lbs after their babies were born” are struggling and hate the changes they underwent too. I also know that nothing anyone says will make you feel better, it comes from within. I bet you get that ” you look great for having a baby”….I cant stand that either. Try talking to your doctor and getting some antidepressants.

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Your body has a nice shape

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks ladies for all the good feedback!!!! I’ll try to relax, i just get so worked up and stressed. I guess that happens when you become a mom tho. I have a new found respect for my mother. :)

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I think you look great! I do not know how long ago you had your baby…but I do know that I also had a cesarean (2 actually) and you do not have an overhang!!!! The stretch marks will fade, your tummy will get even flatter (but you look awesome now too!). You made a baby, and that is pretty darn cool! I realize that Bethany was trying to be nice…but I think her one piece bathing suit comment kind of defeats the purpose of this site! We need to realize that there is no law stating that just because you had children (and you can tell you had children), you cannot flaunt your body! I say go for the bikini…I am planning on it this summer…stretch marks, loose skin, and all :)

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    kATELYN- i suffered ppd SERVERLY, ive always struggled with depression and anxiety in general. I would suggest trying exercising before the happy pills. it does wonders for your soul. :D

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    i think you look fantastic! i was 19, 21, and will be 24 when i have this baby and i hate my tummy but i figure (thanks to this site) that im not the only one and my kids are worth it! keep up your hard work and be proud of yourself you brought a human into the world no man can do that!!

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Hello, I had my first baby at a similar age to you and had a similar experience, the stretch marks will fade and I hope that in time you will learn to accept and love you body for what it is. It has taken me 12 years to reach that place and looking back I realised I wasted my 20s worrying about it. Your body is certainly different to what it was but it is still a beautiful and sexy thing.

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I have 2 children (5 and 2) via c-section and your stomach is EXACTLY the same as mine :D. We are belly-twins!

    I honestly believe it takes 18 months after a birth to get to your “real” weight and shape. Medically, your hormones etc do not go back to normal until around 12-18 months after.

    I have always been around 7-and-a-half stones (don’t know how much in pounds) but it took 18 months after my daughter was born to go from 9 stones back to 7-and-a-half and the same – 18 months to go back after my son was born. Strangely, the theory worked in my case.

    You look lovely (-:

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks guys! You all really made my day! Its so nice to have the support of other women going through the same things i am. Its nice to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. <3 :)

  • Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 4:40 am

    my names ashley also, you can find my post a few down.. i think you look wonderful!! just keep working @ it, thats what im doing. ive been doing all kinds of excersises crunches being one of them and i have seen a difference..get a work out ball, its better to do crunches on that than regular ones off the ground..i also have been watching my carb intake, and walking 3 miles, and that has helped too, and if your interesed i bought this garder belt on it actually shrinks your belly u pull it tight around you, i wear mine to bed, and while im working out, my mom used it after she had me & my brother she looks better than i do!! and she has no stretch marks..but trust me i kno how u feel, knowing my mom @ 50 can wear a bikini but i never will again, also most of my friends had babies, and they look great but just remember everyone is different, and they could have worse flaws somewhere else.i bet you are beautiful on the inside, dont be too hard on urself,like someone had said it takes a year to recover, and sometimes even longer, be patient. i think u look beautiful<3

  • Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Amber, you are right on! Excersizing has helped me a ton, I have been trying to get though the PPD for 8 months with excersize ect. but i finally broke down and went on meds…my only regret? why did i wait so long?

  • Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    shannon i love comment about the bathing suit!! im going to florida im going to work my mommy body ;) and ashley you look great!! i know how you are feeling, i struggle with my weight too. Honestly you look great!!

  • Friday, February 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    :) Thanks loves.

  • Friday, February 18, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    TIGER STRIPES! Wow. Thats exactly what a million people commented on my post.

    I’ve been working out and the saggy twin skin (From one freaking baby!) wont go away. But lately I’ve been using a sugar scrub from SkinFree (google it) and it’s actually helped smooth out the stretch marks (they were awful deep before but now they don’t feel quite as much and they are almost white!

  • Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 1:04 am

    hi – just wanted to say thanks for posting this photo. my stomach looks just like this and it’s wonderful to see someone who looks like me!

  • Friday, March 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    they look just like mine! i call them birds of paradise. but yeah hun i have those exact same ones and i am a professional model. they are beautiful and unique to us moms and we should be proud of them. they are prettier than having some trashy tattoo there(no not all tattoos are trashy, I have 2 already!)and yet so many women have them. you are beautiful and they will continue to fade and shrink, it just takes a little time.

  • Friday, April 8, 2011 at 4:04 am

    That is exactly what my stomach looks like…I refer to mine as tiger stripes too! I have the flab as well, and I also feel that I cant be sexy again for my husband no matter what I do because the stretch marks dont go away, they just fade. My husbands reassures me that Im still attractive, even though Im not as confident. I have a daughter, and just like you said, she is worth every mark.

  • Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    My tummy is similar! Though I have a little extra on the lower part, or the “shelf” from the c-section. I think you look fabulous! I am really greatful for this site, and I have been reading many of the stories, and I am happy to know that what I am feeling, and what I look like is totally normal PP. :)

  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I feel just the same as you, completely down about myself, and yet my stretch marks aren’t THAT bad. And yours will not be the ugliest in the world, there’s probably someone only around the corner from you that has even worse! So we NEED to stop doing this to ourselves!! Because this is life and it is NORMAL to look this way.
    I think you may feel you dont have a body to be proud of right now but you sure have many qualities that should make you feel VERY proud of yourself, liking being a mum for a start, nurturing your baby and bringing her into the world, being thoughtful, caring and being completely selfless, you’d do anything for your little one right? You’d be painted in stretch marks if it meant your daughter had the best life, right? In time you WILL be proud of your body and the confidence will come back, I promise. YOU are being too hard on YOU! Now stop it!!

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