Sharny Kieser is half of the personal trainer couple Sharny and Julius that has taken the Internet by storm with books and online workouts, which boast before-and-after success stories as testimony to the workouts’ effectiveness. But Sharny wasn’t always the confident, fit mom that she is today.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Sharny said that there was once a time she felt helplessly insecure in her skin. “I used to not see the point in exercise because my body was covered in stretch marks,” she wrote. “‘What’s the point in having a great body if I will never wear a bikini?’ I’d think.”
Sharny recounted the times that she declined invitations to beach and pool parties or opted to stay inside, helping with the food and cleaning rather than enjoying the party and having to show her body. “I wished so hard that one day I could wear a bikini,” she said.
But a switch flipped for Sharny when she realized that her stretch marks are nothing to be ashamed of. “One day I overheard my loving husband explaining to a bunch of his friends why he thought stretch marks were beautiful,” she wrote. “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. I had hated myself for the very reasons he loved me. 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 moment shifted Sharny’s mindset to help her see herself the way Julius sees her. “I looked at my stretch marks and I felt pride,” she wrote. “I felt love. The love of my husband and the love of my children. Each one of them had been nurtured and lived behind those scars for nine months.”
She added: “The craziest thing was that when I started to love myself for what I had now, the body I had now, I began to treat myself better. I wanted to eat healthy. I wanted to exercise, I wanted to do the things that I loved.”
As Sharny’s mindset shifted, so did her lifestyle, and she began to see changes in her body that made her feel confident — not in spite of but because of her stretch marks. “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,” Sharny wrote.
She added: “I got the body I had always dreamed of. The bikini body that I thought was not ever going to be possible for me after being covered in stretch marks, it has become a reality for me. It started though, with me loving myself first. Being grateful for what I had, not wishing for something better.”
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Mom Lovingly Explains Stretch Marks to Her Daughter in Viral Post
- Mom Shares Stretch Marks in Beautiful Photo With Baby
- Model Flaunts Stretch Marks Lining Her Arms in Unretouched Portrait