Case in point: US woman Caleh Cristler. After losing 34 kilograms following the birth of her second child, gaining 23 kilograms with her third pregnancy and losing it all again, Caleh was naturally left with some excess stomach skin. The mum-of-three – who has garnered a significant social following thanks to her candid account of her fitness journey – recently shared a video on Instagram showing exactly what it looks like with an important message for her followers.
“I’ve also got stretch marks because genetics and I’ve also got abs because I workout and eat well,” she wrote in the caption. “I’m a hodgepodge of goodies!”
“So why am I sharing this? Because it’s time we stop comparing ourselves to every airbrushed, filtered to Jesus, perfect model we see on tv/magazines/social media. It’s FINE if you have some jiggle when you wiggle. It’s FINE if you choose to have it removed. It’s FINE if you decide to do whatever because it’s YOUR body.”
What’s not fine, she says, is letting fear hold you back from doing anything in life.
“Don’t let fear keep you from wearing the bikini, or running the marathon, or WHATEVER. Fear shouldn’t ever win...not even fear of making a video that’s super unflattering.”
The video has since gone viral with over 11,000 views and thousands of comments from women praising her message. Caleh told Women’s Health that she never expected such a huge response.
“The women who have shared their own experiences has been so positive and encouraging,” she said.
“After finally losing the weight with my first two children, I felt good about myself, but still struggled with my self image. You see so many “perfect” bodies and I felt like I had no one to relate to. After having my third daughter, I now feel so empowered by all the women you see standing up and sharing their own true body shapes. I wanted to be a part of that and help the women I speak with; I wanted someone to feel like they could finally relate to another postpartum mum.”
And kudos to you Caleh, you've definitely done just that.