My Stretch Marks Are a Stark Reminder of Where I Was 70 Pounds Ago
by Emily Abbate
Everyone has their insecurities. For some, maybe it's chubby arms or an eyebrow that's a little thinner than the other. For others, it could be self-proclaimed thunder thighs or a toe that's longer than the rest of 'em. For me, mine are my stretch marks.
I shudder just saying those words. They're something no one talks about. Seriously, when was the last time your girlfriend called you on a Tuesday night to chat about her torn dermis? Exactly. But I have them. And no offense, but I bet you have one or two, too. Mine tell a story. A story that involved a lot of tears, hard work, zillions of miles of running, and an ultimate loss of 70 pounds.
I lost 70 pounds. That's not what I think about when I look at the straggly stretch marks on my sides, though. I think how ugly they are. I wish they weren't there. I wonder if other people notice them, if my ex-boyfriend ever thought they were disgusting, and then I feel self-conscious.
It's hard. It's hard because I'm skinnier now. A woman of my size and shape shouldn't have these marks on her sides. It's hard because I can finally now say that when I look in the mirror, I don't see that larger version of myself anymore. It took me a long time to get to that point. But still, I see those marks, and then I remember her. I remember how she felt being trapped in that body with those same marks.
The reality? I know I'm probably the only person who pays any attention to them. I know that at the end of the day, it's better to have these and be where I am today than to not have them and be back where I was seven years ago. I know all I can do is try my damnedest to embrace my body for what it's become. These marks, they're a part of me. And just like the rest of me, I've gotta learn how to embrace 'em in whatever way I can.
Do you struggle with stretch marks? Can you relate?