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each to their own

This article is bound to spark some debate as has the subject in recent weeks around the world.

In the last few weeks two women have posted images on social media that have attracted global attention. Here are those images:

skinny mums

Caroline Berg Eriksen, a Norweigen fitness blogger and soccer wife, posted this image in her underwear 4 days after giving birth, prompting angry outbursts from bloggers and readers in Norway and around the world as the image spread. The caption Berg Eriksen posted with the picture said, “I feel so empty and still not… 4 days after birth”. Talk about asking for trouble!

Maria Kang is a fitness enthusiast and former personal trainer. Kang insists she posted the photo to be an inspiration to other mums and was surprised when she received so much negative feedback. One reader commented that she cried when she saw the photo, knowing that without surgery she would never be able to look that way after the birth of her children.

So why did Berg Eriksen and Kang feel the need to post these images publicly? Are they trying to inspire and motivate others or simply show off and feed their own egos? Is it not possible they’re simply proud of the fact that they have been able to maintain their fitness and their figures throughout pregnancy which is an absolutely gruelling challenge on the female body? Are they not entitled to show off a little at the end how well they came through it?

I made it through my pregnancy only putting on 13kgs which was the weight of my baby and the associated fluid etc. A few days after I gave birth to my son I was actually lighter than before I got pregnant. I have a terrible pregnancy to thank for my post baby figure. I lost 10kgs before I even started showing! Even so, am I proud of my body after the journey I had to parenthood, absolutely! Do I feel good when people are shocked that I had a baby 2 months ago because I am so slim, heck yes! Should I feel bad about it that the majority of women struggle to ever get their body back after baby? Well, sure, I feel sorry for them… but I know in a lot of cases they gained excess weight thinking that pregnancy was their excuse to “eat for two” and stop exercising for 9 months.

You can’t control the cellulite and stretch marks that appear with normal and healthy pregnancy weight gain, but it’s totally in your control to keep excess gain to a minimum. If you’re chowing down on pasta servings for two at every meal, don’t be surprised by the end of your pregnancy when you’ve gained the weight of a small human being. And don’t put down women who work hard to stay fit while promoting your own weight gain as a healthy and beautiful part of creating life, it’s not.

Sure, maybe posting these images is a tad insensitive and certainly provocative, but these women have every right to be proud of their bodies. I am not in the least bit offended, if I had gained 30kgs over my pregnancy and was finding it impossible to shift maybe I’d feel differently… but any resentment would be purely driven by jealousy.

In the end, we all have to be comfortable in our own skin. If you are the sort of person who is offended or upset by images you see on line or in magazines ask yourself why. And if you are truly turned off and disgusted, change screens or turn the page. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own self-worth and happiness, you should never let it be determined or influenced by someone on the other side of the fence, let alone the other side of the world.

And if you still can’t get passed the resentment when you look at these kinds of images, just remember that not everything is as it seems and often the people who feel the need to share this kind of information often have the lowest self-esteem of all.selfie

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