Yes. That dreaded by every woman word. Especially pregnant women.
Ladies, Im not immune.
Last week I found my first stretch mark, I won’t tell you where or show you, but I started to get bothered by it. I literally thought I was immune and it was going to get by me. I am entering month 8 of pregnancy, so close to the end, and already having a really big belly I thought I was the lucky one! My weight gain was consistent and I didn’t do anything special to prevent the stretch marks.
And here they are. In two spots. Just hanging out.
Immediately my mind went to that time when I will be on the beach next summer, in a two piece bikini, looking super hot with my new body and the cutest little boy running around. Just as immidiately that vision blurred into something horrid where I haven’t lost the weight and start hiding behind a full on moo moo in the middle of the summer heat just to hide these tiny stretch marks like they were shaming my body.
To all the women with stretch marks, the scars of life, the proof of REAL life, to every woman with a real body and the deep desire to be accepted for the beauty that she is, I FEEL you. I’m part of the stretch mark club now too.
Being in this exclusive ‘you have to have been there’ club I’d like to invite you on a new journey; instead of letting your mind go to the shame department on your body that’s full of life and stories, and often miracles, take time to celebrate your body, honor it and treat it for the worth it is! A miracle maker. It gives you life and it gave life to the children you have, or will have.
I am realizing that stretch marks have nothing to do with the lotions and oils you use or don’t use. It’s more genetic then anything. Ultimately there is barely anything you can do to prevent them, but you can help your body recover well and make them less apparent by the food you intake, the exercise and honoring your body. I eat organic food, take walks for exercise now while pregnant which is as much as I’ve told myself I can do during the summer heat, and still I’m in the club.
How about we worry less about the ‘battle scars’ and worry more about the way we feel about them transferring to our children, our daughters’ security and self esteem, our sisters, our friends and our own self worth that directly effects confidence and even work performance. How about we take the time to celebrate our body as a temple where God can live and heal our hearts from all the negative and the beating we give it?
I wish I could tell you that I have a secret weapon, a way to get get rid of the stretch marks or the negativity about self-worth inside your own mind. I have nothing except words of encouragement that you’re not alone.
I do wish to tell you what my secret potion is, my secret strength and constant; and it’s not my husband, or friends, or food diet. It’s the confidence in the God who loves me, created me the way I am, heals my heart and helps me win these battles daily. Because let’s face it if you’ve been in a battle inside your own head, against yourself, you know you would lose. Don’t let the enemy take away your joy.
Embrace every freckle, every stretch mark, every mole, every single imperfection that perfectly makes up you as a whole! You’re beautiful.