I grew up in the early 90’s when watching MTV music videos before school was still a
thing. At a young age, my view of women and body image was influenced by these
music videos, magazine covers and whatever I watched on TV. This was before the
days of MySpace and Facebook, cyber bullying and what we know today — yet I was
made aware that I didn’t look like other women on TV. I felt out of place and
uncomfortable in my own skin from an early age.
Throughout middle school and high school, I constantly compared myself to my friends.
I felt like I had to be someone I wasn’t among these beautiful girls. I would cry often
thinking about ways I could be thinner or dress better to make myself more attractive. I
battled with low self-esteem and as a result wasn’t very happy for many years. I
resorted to being the class clown or the “funny one” because that’s where I naturally fit
It wasn’t until I met my husband in high school that everything started to change and I
realized my true worth. He’s always made me feel beautiful and sexy in my own skin.
He would tell me on a daily basis that I was undeniably gorgeous. I would hear his
words and compliments, but I still denied each and everyone one of them.
“Wow, you look beautiful,” he would comment. “Shut up… No, I don’t,” I would reply.
Why did I feel this way? How is it possible that someone could find me beautiful? Why
couldn’t I take a compliment?
After some soul searching, I started to realize that it wasn’t an issue with me all these
years, but an issue with the world we live in and the stereotypes we’ve all accepted. I
had been told my entire life that I need to look and act a certain way to be attractive. If I
wasn’t a size ‘0’, I wasn’t beautiful.
After going to college, getting married and starting our careers, my husband and I found
out that I was pregnant with our son in the spring of 2017.
Pregnancy is such an incredible experience and I feel truly fortunate for having
experienced it. It was humbling, knowing many women aren’t able to experience
pregnancy. It wasn’t until my belly started growing and my body started to change that I
really started to see the beauty of my body. Stretch marks, scars and other marks are
difficult for every mother, but for every mother who has them and wishes they’d go
away, there are 10 who would kill to have them. Pregnancy is a miracle in a lot of ways
and it’s one of the most special times in my life.
The moment I learned I was pregnant was a day I’ll never forget. My husband and I
cried as happiness filled the room of my OB’s office. I was going to have a baby.
Feeling Benjamin’s little kicks, driving to the many doctors appointments and the
delivery were life-changing.
While my pregnancy was fortunately uneventful, I can still remember my ‘movie-like’
In was a normal Saturday that started out like many others — a trip to Costco, Fry’s and
a few other routine errands. I remember how tired I was that day and how terrible I slept
the night before. I was huge and sleeping wasn’t easy back then. After putting away our
groceries and making something to eat, I laid down and fell asleep on my husband. An
hour later — I sat up — afraid I had slept the day away. It was then when I shot up from
my husband’s lap that I noticed that my pants were soaking wet.
My water broke.
We grabbed our bags, drove to the hospital and four hours later, our son was born. You
can image in those fours how frantic we were as we ran through the hospital before
being placed on a hospital bed and rushed to labor and delivery. It happened all so
quickly and is one of my favorite stories to tell.
Seeing my son for the first time was a feeling of pure joy. Knowing that this little human
relied of his father and I to take care of him was such an awakening moment. He was
finally here in my arms and I was his Mom. I needed to learn how to become a mother
just as he was learning what everything was around him. I was more myself that than I
had ever been before. I found my calling and took on this new role with pride. It truly
made me realize what’s important in life.
I would never wish parts of my body away. Every scar, pimple, freckle, bruise and detail
of my body makes me unique and beautiful. My body was a home for my son for 9
months. I was able to provide him with a safe haven and give him life. With something
that traumatic, I knew I was going to see those experiences stretch across my belly. My
goal toward self-love really kicked off from here.
I started looking for other women who were feeling the hardships of postpartum and
wanted to see what I could do to lighten the load. I began seeing this connection about
our bodies “post-baby” and I was reacquainted with my younger years in that moment. I
could see that women were being told to “bounce back” after pregnancy. We need to
“lose the baby weight” so we can get back to how we were before.
How I was before? Before what? I am not the same person I was before. Yes, I am still
me and I still love to eat pizza, but I’m not who I was before.
After the constant nagging to snap my body back into place, I decided to start sharing
my story with other moms who were being told to lose the baby weight. I was getting
messages from so many health and fitness companies who wanted me to lose the weight.
I finally made it my mission to change this negative stigma and give women a
way to shut out the world’s negative views of the female body and start giving them
inspiration to look in the mirror and love what they see staring back.
Here I am today. Loving life and loving the skin I am in. I have taken control of my
happiness and work every day to shift my mindset. I surrounded myself with positivity in
every sense of the word by using social media as a tool to find motivation and
reinforcement. I continue to push myself in a positive direction while empowering not
only me, but others as well.
The small amount of backlash that I have received has been hateful messages and
comments from internet trolls who are doing everything in their power to try and push
me down. Sometimes those harsh words stick. Ugly. Fat. Worthless. At times I believe
them. It’s hard to come out of a hole when others can’t put down the shovels.
Regardless of how strong they think their words are; mine are stronger. I fight their
negativity with positivity by proving my worth.
All bodies are good bodies and I am enough.
I'm Kristyn from sunny Peoria, Arizona. I'm married to my amazing husband Jeremy, a mother to our incredible boys Benjamin and Bowen. I love inspiring and empowering others to see their true beauty and fight against the stigmas that society has created about beauty.