A mom-of-six has taken to social media to spread a body-positive message we could all use this bikini season!
"I used to not see the point in exercise because my body was covered in stretch marks," Kieser writes in the post, which is quickly gaining attention online. She goes on to say that she would always decline invitations to the beach or a pool party because she felt ashamed of her stretch-mark-covered physique.
"Then one day I overheard my loving husband explaining to a bunch of his friends why he thought stretch marks were beautiful," Kieser writes. "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."
Her husband's words were a turning point for this mom, who explains how her thought process about her body was suddenly flipped on its head: "My body wasn't ruined or disgusting, it had transformed from a selfish girl's body into a selfless mother's body and the scars were a symbol of that transition."
This is when Kieser began to see her stretch marks with pride, and as a daily reminder that she was a mom. She began to love herself for who she was, and embrace her hard-earned mom bod.
"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," Kieser ends her post by writing, adding, "I want all mums to realise how perfect their bodies are. Stretch marks or no stretch marks, IVF or no IVF, vaginal or C section. Breastfeed or bottle feed... You're perfect. Your kids love you. You should love you."
"I think a mom can still have the perfect body," Kieser told Parents.com. "Stretchmarks don't change that. Stretchmarks are something we can't change. So it's important to embrace them. Be proud of the story they tell. So many people have them! By embracing them, being proud of them, showing them off, they become normal and society sees them as no different. It gets tiring being embarrassed and stressing about them. It is so freeing to just embrace them and love them!"
As a soon-to-be mom-of-four, I'll admit that it hasn't always been easy embracing my body after babies. My biggest issue is the pooch of skin on my belly that won't go away no matter how much I exercise. Sometimes I find myself wishing I had the flat tummy I took for granted from my pre-kid years. But then, I wouldn't have my kids, would I? Hmmm...
I love Kieser's take on her body post-kids, and hope I can embrace some of her positive mindset as I continue on my journey toward body acceptance after the birth of our fourth child. Who knows; maybe I'll even have the courage to wear a bikini next summer!