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."
"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."
"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.
It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach here.
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