I’m writing this sat in my home with the air conditioning on full and a cold glass of water on my desk.  It’s roasting outside!  Summer has well and truly arrived for us here in Dubai (I’m already counting the weeks until it starts to cool down as this heat is ridiculous)

Summer was always a time of dread for me when I was worrying and stressing about my weight and my body.  The thought of wearing shorts paralysed me (I had such as issue with my wobbly and cellulite legs and all the stretch marks I had), a bikini used to send me into a full blown anxiety attack (wobbly cellulite legs, all the stretch marks AND a flat chest…!) and the idea of wearing this when people could see me used to send me over the edge.

I remember trying to hide in summer.  Literally.  If I didn’t go out then I wouldn’t have to wear ‘revealing clothes’ so best to stay inside.  I could turn down invitations to meet friends at the park.  I’d turn down trips to the seaside with friends/family for the same reason.  It seemed easier to just stay at home.  Or if I did venture out I would cover my legs in long trousers and wear a cardigan, it was crazy behaviour…….

 

 

My biggest challenge, as for most women especially in summer, was the shame and embarrassment I had about my stretch marks.  You see I went from being a ‘girl’ to turing into a young woman really quick and by the age of 12 my body had grown and along with that growth spurt came weight gain and stretch marks.  All over my legs.  All over my thighs.  Behind my knees.  On my back.  Everywhere.

I hated them and myself SO much for having them.  It seems crazy now but I truly believed they made me less beautiful, not perfect, not loveable.

Most women have stretch marks.  It’s nothing to do with size and shape and weight.  It’s genetics and nature.  Some of us have them and some of us don’t.

Why do we feel such embarrassment and shame around them?
Why do we feel we have to hide them?
Maybe you can relate to that?

I’ve come a long way since then I truly believe that body shaming has got to stop!  WE are all PERFECTLY IMPERFECT.  What is perfect anyway?? It’s certainly not what the media have us believe (many models have stretch marks too but they are airbrushed away – this will be a future blog post so stay tuned!)

What if we could all start to love and embrace our stretch marks (which I have since lovingly called my stripes!)
What if we could all be proud of them and no longer feel the need to hide them from others and ourselves?

I’m proud of mine.  They belong to me and they are part of what and who I am.  They are my souvenir of developing into a woman.  They show and remind me how amazing my body truly is – she grows, she develops, she changes.

I invite you to SHOW YOUR STRIPES today my lovely!  Get out of your own way and get those shorts on!  Find your swimsuit!  Get a summer dress! The more we hide who we are, the more of an issue it starts to become.

I know I’m grateful for showing my stripes in summer now without feeling anything other than it’s who I am.  Dubai in summer hiding in long ‘stretch mark covering’ clothes would not be fun!

In the comments below I would love to know why your stripes have challenged you.  How do you feel about them? What do they mean and represent to you?

Much love,

Rachel xox

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