Professional runner Stephanie Rothstein took a break from her training to have children and decided to document the journey on Instagram. The 32-year-old started the Instagram hashtag #journeywithsteph to keep her family and friends updated on what it’s like to be a professional runner and a mum at the same time.
Stephanie and her husband Ben now have two sons who are 21 months and 6 months old. Stephanie is currently training for the Olympics, hoping to qualify to run the 10,000m race as part of Team USA.
The photos she shared of her post baby body were to encourage other women to not be embarrassed of their own stomachs following birth. The images are untouched and raw and show a very real picture of what a stomach can look like after it’s given birth to children only 15 months apart.
“Not many elite pro runners stop their careers to have babies and I decided to take a break to have a child in between Olympic cycles,” Stephanie says. “It’s a journey not talked about very publicly as many women see elite runners as these superhuman women with super fit bodies and sometimes can’t relate.”
“Going through pregnancy and childbirth was very humbling and I felt that not many women shared the real and raw part of it,” Stephanie said.
“I can run 5:20 pace for a half marathon, but I still pee my pants, have diastasis recti [separation of your outer most abdominal muscles], stretch marks and other postpartum issues.
“I share this so mums and soon-to-be mums know you can still get back to your athletic self, have big goals, be a mum, have imperfections, don’t be embarrassed by them and have confidence in yourself.”
“When I look down I see stretch marks that are here to stay,” Stephanie wrote on a recent photo she posted of her stomach.
“I see ab muscles that need continued strengthening, legs that are powerful, and feet that are ready to fly.”
“Sorry to those who find this pic gross but this shit is #keepitreal,” Rothstein wrote on one of the first photos she posted of her stomach.
“I have stretch marks from two babies born 15 months apart.
“I am partly self conscious but you’ll still see me rocking my stomach in my sports bra and race kit when my body is ready.
“Lots of work to do to get these abs back together and rebuild my core. Please feel confident to post your PP bodies.”
Stephanie, you’re a rock star!
Photos courtesy of Instagram.