How This Woman's Husband Helped Her Embrace Her Stretch Marks

Despite being generally happy with her body and the way it looks, personal trainer Sharmy Kieser used to turn down invitations to go to the beach or the pool because she didn't want to wear a bikini in public and thereby show her stretch marks.
But after overhearing her husband and fellow personal trainer, Julius, talk about how much he loved her stretch marks, she began to think about them differently.
"If I was ever invited to the beach or a pool party, I'd always decline," Kieser admitted in an Instagram post on Tuesday. "On the odd occasion I couldn't avoid it, I'd stay inside, helping with the food or the cleaning."
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"Then one day I overheard my loving husband explaining to a bunch of his friends why he thought stretch marks were beautiful," she wrote. "They were a sign of being a woman."

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. πŸ‘‰[see comments for more]πŸ‘ˆ

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

"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 recalled. "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."
Hearing her husband talk about her stretch marks, she said, inspired her to be kinder to herself and to her body.
"I felt pride," she wrote. "I felt love. I felt love for myself. [...] 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."
As confident as we may aspire to be, we won't always feel 100% positive about ourselves. While we're sure Kieser doesn't need anyone else to validate her, her husband's comments made her reflect on what she always knew: her body is already beautiful and bikini-ready as it is.
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