Fitness + Well-being

Mom of 6 shares inspiring message about stretch marks: 'Stop beating yourself up'

Sometimes, all body acceptance requires is a simple mindset shift. Just ask Instagrammer Sharny Kieser, a mom of six whose husband helped her change her personal definition of beauty.

In a recent Instagram post, Kieser wrote to her 130,000-plus followers about her struggle to feel good about her body because of her stretch marks and how they held her back from achieving her fitness goals.

“I used to not see the point in exercise because my body was covered in stretch marks. 'what's the point in having a great body if I will never wear a bikini' I'd think,” Kieser wrote on Tuesday.

One day, Kieser explains in the post, she overheard her husband explaining to his friends why he thought stretch marks were beautiful, and his outlook changed her perspective.

I used to not see the point in exercise because my body was covered in stretch marks. 'what's the point in having a great body if I will never wear a bikini' I'd think. If I was ever invited to the beach or a pool party, I'd always decline. On the odd occasion I couldn't avoid it, I'd stay inside, helping with the food or the cleaning. I would only wear board shorts and t-shirts. I wished so hard that I could one day wear a bikini. Then one day I overheard my loving husband explaining to a bunch of his friends why 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. I had hated myself for the very reasons he loved me. My body wasn't ruined or disgusting, it had transformed from a selfish girls body into a selfless mothers body and the scars were a symbol of that transition. A daily reminder that I was a mother. I looked at my stretch marks and I felt 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. I felt pride. I felt love. I felt love for myself. The craziest thing was that when I started to love myself for what I had now, the body I had now, I began to treat myself better. I WANTED to eat healthy. I WANTED to exercise, I WANTED to do the things I loved. Just by changing the way I looked at myself with love and pride instead of hate, I had found the effortless motivation to care for my body. Because of this tiny little shift in mindset, magic happened... I got the body I had always dreamed of. The bikini body that I thought was not ever going to be possible for me after being covered in stretch marks, It has became a reality for me. It started though, with me loving myself first. Being grateful for what I had, not wishing for something better. 👉[see comments for more]👈

A post shared by Sharny and Julius (@sharnyandjulius) on

“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,” Kieser wrote.

NEW MOM SAYS STRETCH MARKS ARE 'NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF'

She realized she wasn’t appreciating the marks for what they are. Her stretch marks aren’t something she should be ashamed of or feel the need to cover up, but rather something to celebrate for why she has them.

“My body wasn't ruined or disgusting, it had transformed from a selfish girls (sic) body into a selfless mothers (sic) body and the scars were a symbol of that transition,” Kieser wrote.

The fitness expert isn’t the only public figure to embrace her body for what it is. Model and mother Chrissy Tiegen, known for being refreshingly relatable on social media, tweeted out a pic of her stretch marks with the caption “whatevs.” Her realness was praised by her many followers who expressed their gratitude for her post. 

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In her own social media post, Kieser reveals how she finally gained a new perspective on the body feature she once felt the need to hide. “I looked at my stretch marks and I felt pride," she wrote. "I felt love. The love of my husband and the love of my children.”