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I have always had a curvy body, always. I went through puberty early- before I even hit double digits & boom! My hips came out to play, my waist shrunk, my boobs suddenly emerged, my thighs became best friends & it's been that way ever since. It's who I am on the outside. I have always fluctuated with my weight, my pant sizes and my shirt sizes. I have felt a range of emotions no matter what size I have been- I have felt awesome & I have felt not so hot.
These past few months, I have finally found something I love to do to workout- kickboxing! I don't have to force myself to get excited to be there. I've noticed my body change quite a bit since the fall and it's in ways that I don't think other people would necessarily notice. I see that the muscle right above my knee (which is a totally random muscle) is now really defined. My arms are seeing more shape now that muscles are actually growing there. My butt, was long & kind of flat, and now lets talk about round!
My body is changing as you would expect and because of that I'm looking at it so much more regularly. I'm so proud of the changes & I can't wait to see how my body will continue to change. I've been able to wear jeans that I haven't been able to squeeze into for 2 years. Some of them are even becoming a little loose as my body tightens up. I love seeing that, but there are some days where all I can see are my stretch marks.
Now I've had stretch marks- thanks to hitting puberty so young- literally forever. They've always been on my body- on my breasts, on my hips, my thighs, my stomach. Everywhere. Many of them are faded & I don't even notice most of them, but from gaining weight again over then past few years, I'm seeing them so much more clearly. The ones that have made residence on my hips & breasts are so faded, I don't really care that they're there. The ones on my thighs are just eh, but my goodness the ones on my stomach are now so dark & they're all I can see sometimes.
I've suddenly become so self conscious about these even though they're covered up majority of the time. I was venting about this whole thing to one of my best friends last week & I just loved her response that now sticks with me. She basically told me that my stretch marks are a part of my story, the same way all my tattoos are. I just never thought of it that way but I am so thankful she told me what she did.
It's only been about 2 weeks since she's told me that & I'm not going to lie and say that I feel 100% better about them being so present on my stomach. I still look at them every day with mixed emotions. But I am feeling better about them. I've been thinking about it so much because I usually take so much pride in my confidence & feeling so comfortable in my body. So, why am I letting these dark lines on my body take me down so much? Why should I let them make me feel bad about the way I look at times even though like I said earlier, they're covered whenever I'm out.
What I realized is I have to be more proud about where I am right now. Because 6 months ago I was 2 pant sizes heavier, struggling to fit into my wardrobe because I just kept growing. Now, I am seeing muscles I've probably never actually really had. I can do 40 push-ups in 2 minutes, I can do 38 burpees in 3 minutes, I can move the kickboxing bag off the ground on my punches & kicks, and SO much more! I still struggle with lots of things in class, but 6 months ago- I could maybe do 10 push-ups in 2 minutes, maybe 5 burpees in 3 and my punches & kicks definitely weren't powerful enough yet to move my bag.
I have to realize that those are really amazing accomplishments & that it's even more amazing that I want to do better. I want to be able to do 60 burpees in 3 minutes (weird goal, I know, because burpees are silly!). I want to be able to hit my punches faster. I want to be able to hold up my bag for a minute straight (it's a lot harder than it sounds). I want to get back into my 8 jeans- and I'm getting so close to being there. So I can't let something as simple as a handful of dark stretch marks get me down.
I think that simple things like stretch marks, are things that make so many of us so critical about ourselves. These are the little things that if I were to go out in a bikini right now- you might notice, but would you really care? Probably not. I do think that most people, including myself, will always be critical & will always feel self conscious from time to time. But we don't have to be.
Will I ever truly fully accept & love these stretch marks? Probably not. But I'm really working on embracing them & I'm really working on appreciating that they're part of me. I really want to get to the point where 99% of the time, I could care less about them. I'm not there yet- but I know I will be because I have so many other body positive things to fixate on now.
As part of embracing my stretch marks, I'm going to bare them & share them with you which you can see at the end of this post! My stomach (especially my lower stomach) is not what I want it to look like right now- but I know it'll change as I work hard toward that. This isn't the prettiest image of me, it's not one I feel awesome about. It's completely unfiltered & but it's completely me right now!
I want to encourage all of you to really think about the parts of you that get you down, but then think about the parts of you that you love. Because I promise you, there are SO many wonderful things to love about yourself. Work toward feeling better about the things that you'd rather hide & try to embrace them as much as you can. Make yourself, the way you see yourself & how you treat yourself a priority. Because when you're happy & confident, you'll radiate even more than you ever thought you could.
So here's to moving forward & away from those negative self thoughts. Here's to loving our flaws as much as we can. Here's to loving our bodies & our minds even more than we did before. Here's to growing our perspective of ourselves into an overwhelmingly positive one. Here's to spreading the love, the support & encouragement to others around you too who might need it- just the way my best friend did for me!
My name is Kristina and I'm the founder of Love Struck. Read about how Love Struck came to be, see how I make it happen or just read a random thought I just might have! Anything can happen at our blog & I wouldn't have it any other way! It's time to get Love Struck, and what better way to start than right here!