She wants other moms to love and appreciate their bodies too
A mom of six kids took to Instagram this week with some thoughts about stretch marks — namely, why she’s totally good with hers. With swimsuit season underway, it’s a message every mom needs to hear.
Australian mom Sharny Kieser and her husband Julius, a personal trainer, share their family life on the popular Instagram page Sharny and Julius. The account’s 130,000 followers are treated to photos of the Kiesers and their adorable kids along with advice on leading a healthy lifestyle.
Earlier this week, Sharny posted a picture of herself in a bikini looking absolutely amazing and included some wisdom about post-baby bodies.
“I used to not see the point in exercise because my body was covered in stretch marks,” she writes. Kieser details how her previous hang-ups about her stretch marks caused her to decline invites to the pool and beach. When she had to go to swimming-centered events, she made an effort to stay indoors and help clean up.
“I would only wear board shorts and t-shirts. I wished so hard that I could one day wear a bikini.”
It was loving and body-positive words from her husband that got Kieser to see her stretch marks a bit differently. She overheard him telling friends how he thought stretch marks were beautiful. “They were a sign of being a woman. They are a result of the great love a mother has, that she would scar her own body to bring a child to life… on and on he explained and the more he talked, the more I got it,” she writes.
Kieser realized she was looking at herself with a critical eye where her husband was seeing her only with love. “I had hated myself for the very reasons he loved me.” That’s what helped her see that her body after having kids was nothing to be ashamed of. “My body wasn’t ruined or disgusting, it had transformed from a selfish girl’s body into a selfless mother’s body and the scars were a symbol of that transition.”
Now, she looks at her stretch marks with pride. “I felt love. The love of my husband and the love of my children. Each one of them had been nurtured and lived behind those scars for 9 months.”
That way of thinking sounds a whole lot better than beating ourselves up, doesn’t it?
Kieser says that accepting her body the way it is also helped her start to treat it better. “I WANTED to eat healthy. I WANTED to exercise, I WANTED to do the things I loved,” she says.
Now, Kieser says she has the bikini body she’s always dreamed of, but she had to give herself a little grace first. “It started though, with me loving myself first. Being grateful for what I had, not wishing for something better.”
She ends her post with words we should all hang on our bathroom mirrors. “I want all mums to realise how perfect their bodies are. Stretch marks or no stretch marks, IVF or no IVF, vaginal or C section. Breastfeed or bottle feed, it doesn’t fucking matter. You’re perfect. Your kids love you. You should love you.”
“Stop beating yourself up and start loving yourself. For the magic that is a mothers body is what you have.”