Sharny Kieser and her husband, Julius, have six children together: Josh, Alexis, Dante, Emmett, Hugo, and Magnus.
Sharny and Julius are self-proclaimed “fit parents” — they even gained copious amounts of weight in just a short time to prove their eight-week fitness programs work.
Though Sharny takes pride in being a “fit mom,” she has had her fair share of confidence issues in the past.
The 35-year-old mother took to her Instagram account to talk about her refusal to wear a bathing suit because she was self-conscious about her stretch marks.
I used to not see the point in exercise because my body was covered in stretch marks. “What's the point in having a great body if I will never wear a bikini,” I'd think.
If I was ever invited to the beach or a pool party, I'd always decline. On the odd occasion I couldn't avoid it, I'd stay inside, helping with the food or the cleaning. I would only wear board shorts and t-shirts.
Sharny wished that one day, she would be able to wear a bikini without hesitation.
Then, that day came. Sharny overheard a conversation her husband was having with some of his friends about stretch marks.
She explained on Instagram:
One day I overheard my loving husband explaining to a bunch of his friends why he thought stretch marks were beautiful. They were a sign of being a woman. They are a [the] 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 girls body into a selfless mothers body and the scars were a symbol of that transition.
Quickly, Sharny began looking at her stretch marks as a reminder. They were a reminder that she is a mother, and that she is loved by her husband and her children.
Her stretch marks were signs that each of her children were nurtured by “those scars for nine months.” She looked at her stretch marks and started feeling “pride,” “love,” and most importantly, self-love.
Sharny talked about her change in attitude:
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 I loved.
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.
Not only was Sharny now confident enough to rock her stretch marks, but her confidence helped motivate her to get the body she has always wanted.
All she needed to do was count her blessings instead of simply “wishing for something better.” Sharny wants other moms to learn to love themselves, too.
You can learn more about Sharny's weight loss journey here: