The Dirty Truth About Stretch Marks
Stretch marks happen to the best of us, alongside cellulite. It just happens. Sure, a lot of factors goes into them both, but honestly there is just no way to tell whether or not it will happen to you.
I get so many questions on a daily basis regarding stretch marks or as I like to call them, “Tiger Stripes,” and how to prevent and get rid of them. The truth is that I have them too! They might not be on my tummy, but they are surely on my hips and thighs because that is the area that I rapidly gain weight first-especially during pregnancy. Some of those marks are also a result of weightlifting as my leg muscles have grown.
At one point, I was so upset over my new stretch marks from doing strength training that I actually STOPPED. Yeah… I quit and became a cardio bunny. And my body became skinny fat and I was once again unsatisfied. I finally said to hell with it, I will learn to embrace these damn marks since they’re not going anywhere and I went back to lifting a few months later!
So, what are these marks exactly?
Stretch marks are long, narrow streaks, stripes or lines that develop on the surface of the body with an off-color hue. They are the result of a sudden stretching of the skin. Stretch marks are extremely common, and anyone can get them, although they tend to affect more women than men.
Stretch marks can be visible on body parts including the tummy, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms, and lower back. The marks form in the middle layer of the skin; when there is a constant stretch, the layer tears, leaving stretch marks.
What do stretch marks mean?
Stretch marks happen when the skin is pulled by rapid growth or stretching. Although the skin is usually fairly elastic, when it’s overstretched, the normal production of collagen (the major protein that makes up the connective tissue in your skin) is disrupted. As a result, scars called stretch marks may form.
This type of scarring happens when the skin cannot bounce back after pregnancy, weight gain, or extreme weight loss. At first, stretch marks may show up as reddish or purplish lines that can look indented and have a different texture from the skin around them. Stretch marks often turn lighter and almost disappear over time.
How do I get rid of them?
Although some creams and oils are said to be helpful in preventing stretch marks, ultimately there isn’t much you can do after developing them. However, the good news is that they can and will fade with time. There are laser treatments available for a pretty penny at a plastic surgeon’s office that can dramatically reduce the appearance; however, the good ole antidote is always and will always be time.
One final note...
Just because you have stretch marks does not mean that you aren’t beautiful. Your stretch marks do not define you so don’t allow them any control over how you feel. I once let them control my life, but then I realized how silly I was being and now, I could care less about them! Nobody is staring at your stretch marks because almost each and everyone one of us has them to some degree. So, embrace those tiger stripes to the fullest!
Your trainer and friend,