We're all too used to seeing photos of fit moms with their crazy ripped abdominals both during and after pregnancy.
Sure it's inspiring, but it also leaves us average moms wondering what's wrong with our bodies.
In a series of images posted to her Instagram account, this brave mama has documented her struggle to reclaim her mid-section post-babies. And we couldn't be more impressed with the truly honest way she's telling her story.
Recently, Steph shared the brutally honest photo above of her rumpled belly at seven weeks postpartum, along with this caption: "I can stick 3 fingers in between my 2 ab walls. But it's not about asthetics [sic] it's about functionality." She went on to share a reference to a post on her website about diastasis recti, a condition in which the abdominal muscles separate, hilariously titled, "My abs are separated contemplating divorce."
It's refreshing to see a mom, and an athlete at that, who isn't hiding the effect pregnancy has had on her body, or trying to show off how little growing a human being has impacted her physique and lifestyle. But Steph's admirable willingness to share is only rivaled by her amazing attitude about her Olympic dreams postpartum.
Last week the mom-of-two shared this inspiring image of herself crossing a finishing line, and wrote:
"Had to let the day set in before I got deep. Today was a day where I got 2nd in my first National Championship after having my kids. 51:13 15k on a muggy morning. (5:29 pace) I felt like I won my own race. Coming back from pregnancy has been extremely humbling, embarrassing at times, but extremely rewarding. Not many women I raced today were pumping breast milk pre race. But it can be done. I hope more pro runner ladies don't wait for their careers to end to have babies. I hope runner mamas everywhere find belief and stength and humor in their post baby comeback. I hope men runners aren't weirded or grossed out by the realities of a mom runner. Because the mom strength and power is real ya'll."
This brave series of posts proves it's not what your body looks like, but what it can do. I know I need a reminder about this from time to time, so thanks, Steph! And good luck this summer!
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.