Author Archives: Sharny
Author Archives: Sharny
Have you ever wondered what your husband really thinks about your stretch marks? You would have seen the pictures about tiger stripes, or the hashtag LoveYourLines, but those are created by women for women.
I love stretch marks. I think that nothing symbolises womanhood more than a tummy criss-crossed with those pale crescents of beauty.
I understand the attraction to young, flawless models. People are interested by perfection. But what is more valuable than perfection? What is more interesting?
As a boy, I always preferred the company of people older than me; there is something so appealing about life experience.
I can appreciate natural gifted perfection, but wow, the intrigue and depth of character of age and experience gets my soul singing.
Maybe that is why I love athletes so much. If I were to pinpoint it, my attraction to someone is directly proportional to how hard they have had to work, how much they have had to sacrifice.
And when I say sexy or attractive, I don’t mean that I want to jump on you and dry hump your leg. Because there is an electricity that a man or woman of life experience emits. An edginess to their voice, a deep sense of self that emanates from them. An attractiveness that cannot be faked by immaturity.
Think about Seal for example. Facial scars like his cannot be hidden. The personal torment he has had to go through to just show his face at a young age, when they began, has created a strength of character that is magnetic.
Millions of women around the world find him irresistible. Sexy.
Real, deep beauty is a direct result of hard work, of sacrifice. Be it emotional or physical. Being born perfect is an amazing gift, but hard work leaves signs. Scars. None sexier than stretch marks.
Sharn has had 5 kids so far (one more to go), and each time, in the aftermath of the birth, I feel like she has been reborn. Not physically, but her soul has gone on a journey alone – to a place where great experience is earned.
She has this deep monk like calmness and contentedness that I find irresistible. Intriguing… sexy.
I for one am jealous that she (and you) can have the profound experience of something so intense and satisfying as birthing a child. Your child. I’m sure if you ask your husband, he’ll choke back tears at the thought of how tough you are to have done that with such grace.
Maybe that’s why men go to war. No act by a man will come close to matching the courage, strength and toughness carrying and birthing a child does, so we battle. But battle destroys lives. You sacrifice to create life.
Apart from a beautiful baby that hopefully looks more like her than me, Sharny has earned a few stripes. When the belly has gone down and the shape has returned, she’s left with her mummy badges.
And I love them. I wish she’d wear midriff shirts all the time. I’m so proud of her. No bikie patch, no war wound or tattoo will ever come close to the perfect symbol of strength that a mummy badge has.
A little bit of a tan and they change colour from purple to a pale brown. And it’s not just her. If I catch a small glimpse of another mums mummy badges as she bends over to pick up her baby I can’t help but look, take a moment and think about how powerful she is.
I have a scar on my rib cage. Not very big. I tell the kids I got stabbed there trying to save a baby from a great white. Men show off their scars with pride.
All our scars are pathetic compared to birth scars. But women feel like they should be ashamed of them? You should hide them?
I hope for your sake that as the intensity of birthing a child wears down to normality, you can have some stretch marks. Mummy badges. I hope for the sake of women around the world, and especially men who appreciate hard work as sexy, you show those beauties off like your new cleavage.
Mummy badges: HOT!
Originally published in the book Fit, Healthy Happy Mum by Sharny and Julius
Do you hate to gossip?
Do you sometimes find yourself gossiping even though you wish you weren’t?
Do you hate how social occasions tend to turn quickly to gossip sessions?
Do you wish you could just stop gossip in it's tracks?
We had to come up with a solution to idle, nasty gossiping because we used to feel so dirty afterwards, especially if we thought about what would happen if the person found out what we’d been saying about them.
It is hard though, to stop gossip once it has begun. It's so much easier to bitch about someone else's life than face our own, or listen to someone talk about their latest MLM scheme.
Our initial solution was to just fess up to everyone we had gossiped about (talk about an uncomfortable conversation!), but prevention is far more comfortable than cure.
To shoot down gossip, so we don’t have to apologise to anyone ever again, here are the magic words we’ve learnt:
If you want to take it further, but border on the chance of being confrontational, you can add:
Some of the best, most meaningful conversations we’ve EVER had with people have come after these two sentences.
Because without gossip, conversations HAVE TO be about something meaningful, positive and constructive.
We hate gossiping, and if we do catch ourselves gossiping, we know that it is to cover some kind of insecurity in ourselves…More about that in another post; but until then…
Try it out next time you’re feeling like you’ve been dragged into the net of a destructive ol’ gossip session. You’ll be amazed at how many people thank you for freeing them from something they themselves don’t like to do!
PS… the irony of this is that word will get around, and you’ll be know as the person who refuses to gossip, so given a bit of time, you’ll never have to!
What do you think?
I get asked all the time if exercising pregnant, particularly running pregnant is harmful to you or your baby. This opened up a can of emotional worms...
I see pregnancy as an opportunity, like a holiday to India. I can either spend time exploring the culture, discover myself, maybe get some perspective on my normal life. Or I can sit at the hotel buffet, complaining about the heat and eating myself stupid.
Most women get only one pregnancy in their entire lives, some more, some none. Yes, there are things to complain about, but for every bad thing, I can think of a hundred good ones.
I was once blinded by my own self doubt, seeing pregnancy as a curse. I ate for two, and stayed home, afraid to do the things I wanted to do, things that felt right. I was afraid that I might inadvertently harm the baby.
If I have one regret is that I cared about what the faceless crowd thought. I was afraid to run pregnant, in case I was judged for it. I was afraid to dance, to chase my kids, to go out in the sun. I was afraid of fun.
Now, I love it. I’ve learnt more about myself in each pregnancy than my entire life before. The idea that this may be my last pregnancy ever is scaring me a little, I love the vitality of being pregnant, the hormones, the excitement, the love people give and I don’t want it to end. Strangers look and talk to pregnant women with love and care, they subconsciously know that the future of the human race is inside her glowing belly.
This time, like the last two pregnancies, I’ve trusted my body more. Centuries of the continuation of the human race, in much more confronting times than these, have led me to believe that my body knows what it’s doing.
If I feel like running, I’ll run. If I feel like dancing, I’ll dance. If I feel like warming my belly up in the gorgeous sun, I’ll lay in it for a few minutes.
I nourish my body and my growing baby with clean food and lots of water. I’m convinced that this alone has been influential in reducing unhealthy cravings. I have found that it’s just as easy to eat healthy food as it is to eat junk food. Changing from one to the other, breaking the habits is the hard part.
People who shell out negative comments when they see a photo of a pregnant woman running, exercising or just being happy are like cockroaches exposed to the light - they want to hide under their rock, believing that they are a victim. I understand. I was one of them, until one day instead of hiding behind hate, blaming the very people trying to enlighten me. I sat up and took notice of the opportunity. I thought “why can’t I be happy?”
After all, it’s so much easier to be the underdog. Point out and focus on the bad stuff. The “poor me” stuff. It’s so refreshing when a mother-to-be says “I feel amazing! I’m growing a baby inside me, what’s not to love about it?”
I guarantee that even in the darkest days, the toughest days, there are a thousand women struggling to fall pregnant who would trade places with us in a heartbeat.
Pregnancy to me is not only creating a life inside of me, but an opportunity to recreate myself. The hormones and untapped emotions coursing through my body can be put to good use. At no other time in a woman’s life, do we get that indescribable glow, the pregnancy glow. We radiate health, vitality and opportunity. That is what I choose to focus on, rather than the small uncomfortable things.
I know that there are women who feel something more, something special about being pregnant. Women that are standing at the crossroads, deciding what to do.
They look down the road of empowerment and get excited. Inside, they know it’s the right choice. The road is empty, so they check the other way. The safe way, the way everybody else is going. This way requires nothing of you, except to give up your identity, your power, your self. Let someone else tell you what to do, what to think, how to be.
For some women, this is the right road.
As Julius says, most people are just looking for a place to plug their umbilical cord in. The safe road is where you plug your umbilical cord into society and hope for the best.
The top road though, well, that’s for the adventurers, the believers. The mums who plug their umbilical cord directly into their own souls and start dancing down the road less travelled.
These women, I don’t need to talk to. They’ll be alright.
The women I’m trying to get to, at the risk of losing all of my “likeability”, are the women who feel like dancing, or running, or exercising, but are too afraid to. It’s these women who I want to get to, to tell them that it’s OK. You’ve got this. You know your body and your baby better than anyone else in the world. Trust yourself, you’re not stupid, a bad mother or dangerous, you’re capable.
Your baby chose you, ahead of every other woman on earth for a reason.
And you know what that reason is?
It’s because you’re perfect.
So if you feel like running while pregnant... run. If you don't feel like running... don't.
You see, when you take all of these things together, it’s so much more than being “fat” or being “thin”. Fat or thin are a small part. But fat or thin (or fit) are important, because like the iceberg, they are usually all that we can see - and give a pretty clear picture of what is going on under the surface.
"My baby feels like a big creamy doughnut..." I'd say. My baby liked doughnuts. Nearly every day. Then he came out. And I was still eating doughnuts.
I stopped breastfeeding and was still eating doughnuts...
It took me that long to realise that maybe it was just my fat ass that felt like eating doughnuts.
Back then, we didn’t have “squatters arse” to hide behind. If you had a fat arse (which I certainly did) it was because you had a fat arse. You couldn’t pretend you’d been doing squats your whole life.
I hated my arse. In fact I hated everything. My outlook on life was fat on every level there was.
I can remember my teenage son avoiding eye contact with me so that I wouldn’t go off at him. That was when he was around. That poor boy avoided home… I barely saw him, and when I did, I just unloaded all my anger on him. Everything he had done or hadn’t done became bones of contention I’d carry around all day (with my packet of biscuits) so I could use them on his “arrogant teenage attitude.”
Julius has a mate Aaron who has 4 kids, and I laughed when he told me how Aaron said one day that going home after work was scary.
“It’s like having a monster in the house. The closer to home I get, the more anxious I get. By the time I get home I'm on edge. I sneak inside nervous about what mood she is in, and what part of the house she is in.”
I laugh now, but that monster was me.
My husband would avoid me because he didn’t want to fight, but I saw it as he didn’t care about me. So when I saw him I'd just be even more angry. Angry at myself for eating so much, for hurting and for yelling at him yesterday. So angry that I’d just scream at him again.
I blamed hormones, I blamed him, I blamed pregnancy, I turned against everything but myself. Because I was the victim. I was the one that this pregnancy was happening to.
Then the children were born and my behaviour had become habitual.
I blamed breastfeeding and lack of sleep. I blamed having too many children and not enough money. These were all real things, and to me they were valid. But they just amplified the truth underneath.
…and the behaviour continued.
I got pregnant again. The cycle repeated for 3 pregnancies and then one day I decided that enough was enough. The house only ever saw joy when I was asleep. My husband didn’t want to come near me, my children were scared of me and I hated myself.
How could this have happened? Was I always this much of a bitch?
I remember having fun. Being fun. It was as if I had forgotten how to have fun. And when I thought about having fun, I just felt sad. “You’re a mum. You’re pregnant again. You’ve got bills and stress and… It’s all just too hard… you need to take this seriously Sharny.”
And there it was.
I knew that to be good at anything, I had to take it seriously.
But did I need to be so serious?
To take something seriously, do you need to be serious?
To take something seriously, do you need to be serious? #pregfit
In my pursuit to be a good mother, I had taken serious to a whole other level - I had become an aggressive dictator.
I realised then and there that I could take mothering seriously and have fun at the same time. I’m in the fitness industry. I’m surrounded by and working with world class athletes all day. They take their sport seriously. But they also have fun.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that to be at their best, a professional athlete needs to be having fun. Being in the zone, feeling it. Being in that state of perfection requires you to take your job seriously, but to do it with love, and to have fun.
See, not once was body fat the real issue. Fat and Fit are my language, the language I speak. I’m in the fitness industry. PregFAT was not about body shape, it was about being a monster, while believing I was the victim.
#PregFAT was not about body shape, it was about being a monster, while believing I was the victim.
Sure, I had put on 30kg, but what I looked like on the outside was just indicative of what I felt like on the inside.
And when I changed my inside, not only did my body change… my whole world changed.
I get emotional when I see another pregFAT mum. I can see myself in her and I just wish I could reach out and hug her and tell her “you’re not a monster…”
Think of it like this.
Does the butterfly see herself as a monster because she is no longer a caterpillar?
Pregnancy and birth are a complete transformation. From beautiful girl to beautiful woman. See, it’s not just the baby that gets born. The girl is reborn, transformed. The girl becomes a woman.
All I did to go from pregFAT to pregFIT was to see myself for what I had become. I wasn’t a deformed caterpillar, I was a perfect, beautiful, magnificent butterfly.
“I am pregFIT”
It’s literally that easy.
Say it out loud.
Once you see yourself as pregFIT, you’ll be pregFIT. You’ll do pregFIT things.
You’ll eat to support your pregFIT body, which will become stronger because it supports your pregFIT mind… You’ll love the people around you. and you’ll love yourself.
When I finally transformed, I felt as though I had been given a gift. A second chance at life. I was so lucky that I changed when I did. If I’d kept going the way I was, I would have caused irreparable damage.
the journey from pregFAT to pregFIT is so exciting and so individual and personal for each mum. If I could wish for anything it would be that every mother gets the chance to experience a pregFIT pregnancy once in their lives.
Your journey, your transformation starts within. The joys of which will fill an entire book. I sat down to write my journey down one day and it ended up becoming a book.
Women have read my book and felt inspired by it and began their own transformations.
The love and joy I get from them on a daily basis literally floods me with happiness.
If you’re pregnant now, I URGE you to get the book for yourself. It’s not a long read and I promise you that you’ll be a different person by the time you’ve finished reading it.
You’ll be pregFIT. But to be it, you've got to believe it's possible, then see that it's possible for you. That's what the book does. You deserve to know.
PregFAT is a product of fear. Fear of doing something wrong. Fear of hurting your baby. Fear of being judged as a bad mother.
PregFIT needs to be born from courage. Know and BELIEVE that it is all inside you and you have all the tools and all the knowledge you need to do the right thing by your baby.
Your baby chose you for a reason. They believe in you so much, that they put their entire life on the line. They gave you total control. Now you need to stop giving away that control to your fears. To someone else.
That picture I started the whole post with... that's me. That's how I feel and that's how I am.
I am physically and mentally fit. I am emotionally stable and optimistic. Internally and externally healthy. People tell me I am exuding vitality and they are right!
I'm spiritually connected to my baby, my husband and 5 children. I'm connected to myself, which is something I never knew I had been avoiding.
I'm self confident and I'm just in LOVE!
I made a whole infographic on the changes I've seen in myself. Below you'll see them, and the ones I've listed are the most remarkable ones. So many little things have changed for the better, but I'll leave them for you to discover for yourself in your journey.
The choice is truly yours.
All my love