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This Mom Shared Photos of Her Cellulite and Stretch Marks to Talk About Postpartum Self-Love

Photo: meg.boggs/Instagram

Influencer Meghan Boggs used to spend her mornings doing what she thought would help her finally love her body: weighing herself and obsessing over the number that stared back at her. She was convinced if she got to a certain weight, she would have the confidence she needed to become a mother. But that confidence didn’t come–until she actually did become a mother, that is.

“I used to weigh myself every morning. I would always make sure to go to the bathroom first,” Boggs wrote in a recent Instagram post alongside a photo of postpartum stretch marks on her stomach. “There would be a rush of anxiety as the scale blinked while I stared down in anticipation. It was the moment that would depict how I approached my day.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I used to weigh myself every morning. I would always make sure to go to the bathroom first. There would be a rush of anxiety as the scale blinked while I stared down in anticipation. It was the moment that would depict how I approached my day. Would I be positive and embrace the day happily because the number was a whole .1 lower than yesterday morning? Or would I angrily start brushing my teeth and threaten myself to only eat a salad for today because the number was a whole .1 higher than yesterday? This was how I lived. It was destroying me. And I was completely convinced that this was the only way to be happy. This was the only way I would get to where I was supposed to be in order to become a mother. I repeated to myself that the only way to be happy was to be skinny. So I lost weight. And it never felt like it was enough. I worked out only to lose weight, rather than the way I do now where I focus more on how it makes me feel. But then I had Maci. For the first time, I felt thankful for my body. There was a moment after she was born that I stood in the hospital bathroom just before I took my first postpartum shower. I was only in my robe as I stared into the mirror. I almost remember it in slow motion because I had avoided a mirror for years, even throughout most of my pregnancy. Locking eyes with myself, I tugged the string and the robe separated a few inches. I froze for a few seconds before I let the robe fall down to the ground. And there I was. I saw me for what felt like the very first time, but after another few seconds, I closed my eyes. I turned around and walked towards the shower. This moment was just the beginning of my self-love journey. It doesn’t happen quickly. But it never would have happened had I not tried.  #this_is_postpartum

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She went on to explain if the number was .1 pound lower than it was the day before, she could be positive and embrace the day. But if it was .1 higher, she would angrily brush her teeth and punish herself by saying she could eat only a salad that day.

“It was destroying me. And I was completely convinced that this was the only way to be happy,” Boggs wrote. “This was the only way I would get to where I was supposed to be in order to become a mother.”

In her mind, skinny equaled happiness. So she lost weight. But to her surprise, it never felt like it was enough. No matter how low the number on the scale got, she always felt like it needed to be lower. (Related: 7 New Moms Get Real About How They Learned to Love Their Postpartum Body)

Then, one thing changed everything. She brought her daughter Maci into the world. “For the first time, I felt thankful for my body,” she wrote.

Boggs remembers a moment in the hospital bathroom, just before she took her first postpartum shower. She stood in front of the mirror in her robe, which she remembers so vividly because she had avoided mirrors for years, she wrote. She let the robe fall as she kept looking at her reflection.

“I saw me for what felt like the very first time, but after another few seconds, I closed my eyes,” she wrote. “This moment was just the beginning of my self-love journey. It doesn’t happen quickly. But it never would have happened had I not tried.” (Related: 19 Women Sum Up What Postpartum Depression Mean to Them In One Sentence)

Now, Boggs documents her relationship with her postpartum body on Instagram to show other new mamas they’re not alone.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#this_is_postpartum - 52 weeks. I came home from the hospital with a newborn exactly one year ago today. I was swollen and everything felt out of place. I thought my body would never be the same again. I feared that all the work I had put into becoming strong and healthy had officially disappeared forever. I walked slowly and couldn’t even think about exercising. It seemed impossible. But four weeks later, I just tried. Attempted to move my body however it could move. Another month later, I kept trying. Moved my feet fast enough to consider it a jog. Lifted a light dumbbell the best I could. Two months later, I packed some weight on my shoulders and squatted down. I grabbed the heavier set of dumbbells anytime I could. By the summer, I was adding more and more weight to the bar. Passing personal records from my “skinniest” days pre-pregnancy. I was changing, but the mirror wasn’t. What I saw in my reflection wasn’t looking any different than the day I looked at myself in the hospital bathroom mirror for the first time. My stomach still hung down low and frustrated me. I had the choice to give up and cave into self-hate. Or to add more weight to the bar, get up off my knees when I do push-ups and enjoy how it felt when I beat my own records. So I added the weight and got off my knees. I showed up proudly, threw my gloves away, dusted chalk all over my hands, got dirty and crushed my records. Because I’m strong and capable no matter what my body looks like. Because it makes me feel SO GOOD. I am stronger right now in this moment than I have ever been in my entire life. And that right there is more than enough for me to celebrate. Stomach flab, muscles and all. 

A post shared by meghan (@meg.boggs) on

In this post, she says when she first came home from the hospital, exactly one year ago, she thought her body would never be the same. “I walked slowly and couldn’t even think about exercising. It seemed impossible.”

But four weeks later, she attempted to move her body. Another month later, she was moving it even more, and by the time summer rolled around, she was even passing personal records from her “skinniest” days pre-pregnancy. (Related: Influencer Reminds Us That for Every Woman Unhappy with Stretch Marks, There’s One Wishing She Had Them)

“I was changing, but the mirror wasn’t,” Boggs wrote. “What I saw in my reflection wasn’t looking any different than the day I looked at myself in the hospital bathroom mirror for the first time. My stomach still hung down low and frustrated me.”

She had two options: give up and cave under the pressure of self-doubt or accept her body for all of the new ways it was amazing. She mustered up all of the strength she could and kept working at her goals, and she’s sure glad she did. (Related: 9 Things You Should Know About Postpartum Exercise and Probably Don't)

“I am stronger right now in this moment than I have ever been in my entire life. And that right there is more than enough for me to celebrate. Stomach flab, muscles, and all.”

This story was originally published on Health.com by Samantha Lauriello.

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