I was gonna have to answer this sooner or later…

Q: What happened to your stretch marks? I know you’ve got some.

Q: What’d you do about stretch marks? My daughter is 11 months old and it wasn’t until after I gave birth that I started getting them. I WANT THEM GONE!

Q: I already have tons of stretch marks, and I currently use bio-oil.  I was considering switching to mederma, but i just wanted to know your thoughts about this, and possibly what you used.  Also, did you have a problem with sagging skin or anything along the way?

Q: when u lost the bulk of ur weight did ur skin go back in the stomach area? I have a lot of stretch marks and the dr said it won’t!

Q: My question is… stretchmarks… what are you doing about them or did you have any? Because I have the most inelastic skin, and I get a new stretchmark just thinking about eating, and even while I’m shrinking I feel like the shrinking is make the stretchmark more noticeable.

Q: i am not sure if you ever answered the ladies question about the stretchmarks I would like to know too

Sigh.

I avoid “The Stretch Mark Question” because, really, I don’t care.

That’s right. I said it. I don’t care.

I don’t care if it looks like I-95. I don’t care if it looks like I-65. I don’t care if it looks like I-465. I don’t care if I’m rocking a small version of the Atlanta Metro system across my behind. I just… I don’t care.

When I was in high school, I realized that I had developed stretch marks all alongside my hips. When I was pregnant with my heathen — er, daughter… I developed stretch marks all across the front of my stomach. I looked down at my thighs and realized my stretch marks had extended all alongside the front and sides of my thighs. None across the booty though. The one place no one was really seeing. That’s just great.

When I first really started losing weight, I had the “sagging skin” issue. If you don’t have some grand amount of weight to lose, you might be spared from it. However, if you have a lot to lose? Face facts. You’ll deal with it too. I can remember doing the downward-facing dog pose in yoga and seeing all my skin sagging and feeling pretty sad about it. I even felt, sometimes, like I wanted to give up because I didn’t want to make it worse… especially since I knew I couldn’t afford a surgery to fix up my skin. I just felt like I was screwed.

That “I’m screwed” feeling didn’t overpower the feeling I got from working out, or the peace I felt from yoga, though. It just wasn’t powerful enough. I still got up every morning, participated in my routines and just filed the skin situation in the back of my mind. I was really and truly embarking on a new life that focused on my wellness above all else… even if it was saggy and strange-looking skin.

But then, I started adding strength training to my workouts and began developing muscle. Sure enough, I wasn’t looking like a deflated balloon anymore. I wasn’t as “moldable” as I used to be. I was becoming more solid. And as the time was passing, I was burning fat, developing muscle… and my skin was slowly shrinking.

I wasn’t even paying attention to my skin like that… and I’ll admit it. I’m horrible with my skin. I just didn’t care. I was too excited by all the other developments to notice.

I guess that’s why I’m so annoyed by stretch mark talk. I don’t even understand why this matters. I just.. I don’t. I’m literally throwing my hands up in confusion, here. I mean, I know why I don’t care… because this isn’t a conversation about wellness. It isn’t a conversation about fitness. It’s a conversation about appearances… and I’m no longer someone who cares to impress others with my appearance. No offense to anyone else, but my opinion about me matters sooo much more… and I’m not impressed by a lack of stretch marks (nor am I turned off by their existence.)

I mean, I get it – there are no chicks in lingerie catalogues or on TV rocking it out in their stretch marks. And guys, ohhhh guys hate stretch marks. We all have “The Photoshop Diet” to thank for that.

But really… come on, man. To what degree do these matter? To the point where you’re willing to not begin, give up or let it color your attitude about yourself? I truly hope not.

Can stretch marks fade? Yes. Are they going to go away completely? Don’t bet anything valuable on it. As a matter of fact, depending on your size.. if you decide to go full blast into lifting weights it’s highly likely that you’ll develop stretch marks on the places where your muscles bulge the most!

Can you go on a three-time-a-day moisture routine to try to prevent the marks? Yes. You’re still 2 to 1 that you’ll get them anyway. Can you go on a successful regimen to rid yourself of them? It is highly unlikely that that’d work for everyone. I don’t like uncertainty. Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. So really… I don’t care.

I’m also willing to admit that perhaps I don’t care so much about skin because my skin has actually began trying to tighten up. Had this not been the case, I’d imagine I would still have the same attitude I had in the beginning – “this isn’t enough to make me stop pursuing better health.”

And lastly… I know this is a bit of an arrogant point – and it’s not really my style to talk like this publicly – but I’m just going to put it like this. I used to look like this:

…and a long journey of hard work brought me here:

So yeah, you might see stretch marks… but trust me. It’s not the most important – or even the first – thing you (or any person who likes girls, really) see, there.

Hey… I’m just being honest.

So, in short… prioritize your concerns. Stretch marks should be the last of ’em.