• Deborah Charles-Nelson

'“Love the Skin You're In”... Even the Stretch Marks.'

Updated: Nov 2, 2018

I was 'triggered' by a post that said, There's nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty”,

and it got me thinking. I battled a lot with my weight growing up, and it has long since been a touchy topic for me. My weight has always fluctuated, and it's something I've been trying to work on for a long time. Unfortunately, we are living in an age where we constantly compare our bodies to the 'Teyana Taylors' or 'Kylie Jenners' of the world, and while that's probably okay to aspire towards, it's not realistic, and the average woman will almost never look like that, just after giving birth. After my son was born, I still looked about 5 months pregnant, and I looked like that for about 3 months post-baby! I was extremely swollen after pregnancy from all the water retention, and my stretch marks got worse after giving birth. If I'm honest, this 'snap back' culture really affected my perception of who I was, and what I looked like as a mum. After giving birth, I lost a lot of confidence in my appearance, and this was starting to show in my relationship with my husband. I would watch countless videos on 'What to Eat in a Day for Fat Loss'. I would obsess over old pictures of my pre-baby weight and tell myself: “I will do whatever it takes to get back there!” I would research different diets that propose to help you 'lose weight fast!', but then at the end of the day I would look in the mirror and cry, because I was so unhappy with the way I looked. And then I realised I was looking at it all wrong! There's absolutely nothing wrong in watching what you eat and exercising, but it cannot consume you! It is just ONE element of your life; there is so much more to you than this. For the first time in 'forever', I'm learning to love myself through the journey! I'm learning that even as I'm making the right food choices and working on my fitness, I still need to love every part of me whilst trying to attain my goals. So I will love my thicker thighs. I will love my bigger bust. I will love the skin I'm in - even the stretch marks - because this is me right now, and I am worthy of self love. Beauty goes far beyond just the aesthetics; it is truly about character.

“Am I a kind person?” “Am I a forgiving person?” “Am I empathetic?”

More often, we need to focus on getting our minds and our thoughts healthy, in order to work on our physical health. Being a mum is so much more than changing nappies and taking the little one to baby groups.

It's about the lessons and behaviours they learn directly from you, and who you are. So, to all the mums out there who are just hating their bodies right now. To all the mums that are depressed because they don't look like what they see on their timelines. And to all the mums that haven't yet 'snapped-back'. You are beautiful, just the way you are. xo