I came across an Instagram post from Kayla Itsines the other day which inspired the topic of this blog post. If I asked 10 women from our Callanan Fitclub members, most of them will say they have stretch marks of some kind if not all, even if they aren’t mums yet. That would probably apply to the rest of Galway’s population. Why are we talking about them?
Stretch marks, also known as striae are a form of scarring on the skin of a different colour, normally lighter than the skin caused by excessive stretching and rupture of elastic fibers, especially due to pregnancy, excessive weight gain or because of yo-yo dieting. It can appear anywhere but are more common on the abdomen, breast, bum and thighs.
1. They remind you that change can be survived
Whether you got them from pregnancy or they appeared as a result of gaining then losing weight they will be there to remind you how you overcame a serious challenge in your life. For some women it would be multiple challenges, few children, losing a lot of weight or just growing up too quick. Bottom line is you are still here, your body is in one piece and still does that amazing 24/7 job it’s been doing your whole life.
2. They remind you how strong you are
There’s that saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Any challenges you have overcome in your life, may that be personal, professional or physical have made you stronger each time. Nobody can understand what it takes to give birth, only those who have done it at least once. Nobody will know what it means to lose 15+ kg of weight, only those who had to do it. Being reminded daily of how strong you really are will provide you with a daily boost of motivation that you can achieve whatever you put your mind into.
3. They re-set your definition of beauty
Media keeps trying to tell us what beautiful means, how gorgeous women should look and teach us how to hid anything that doesn’t fit that mold. Unfortunately trying to meet an “idol” that is not us may result in compliments from strangers but your loved ones will see your beauty when you are not trying to fit into that mold but cherish your own individual beauty.
4. They make your body more special
Your stretch marks make your body just as unique as a fingerprint. Even though most women will get them at some point in their life, everybody will have them ate different places, different shapes and colours which should make you feel even more special and the people who you trust to show them too.
5. They unite us
Humans are social creatures and as such we seek mutual grounds with others in an attempt to build relationships. There are many ways doing that and even though men who went through sudden muscle growth might have stretch marks, they are specific for women and as such it’s a mutual link between all of us.
These are the reasons I think we all should embrace our stretch marks, talk about them more and stop considering them as flaws or things we need to fix to become perfect. That’d be a failed attempt anyways as such thing doesn’t exist. I believe that all women should embrace their own maximum potential within their imperfect existence and become confident and empowered. It starts with accepting our flaws.
If you feel you’d like to discuss more topics on female health, fitness or body image or have a specific question, feel free to contact us and ask for me, Colleen to get in touch.