Australian fitness star Emily Skye regularly inspires her more than 2.5 million Instagram followers with messages of self-acceptance and body positivity.
But behind closed doors, the mother of two often criticized her own reflection.
“When I looked at myself, I saw the so-called flaws first,” Skye, 35, told TODAY Parents. “My instinct was to go, 'I've got stretch marks on my bum,' and ‘Look at that fat on my thighs.’ It was just always all negative.”
The personal trainer is being a lot kinder to herself these days. She says the turning point came after her surprise home birth.
Skye and her longtime partner, Declan Redmond, who are parents to 2-year-old daughter, Mia, welcomed their second child, a son named Izaac, in June.
Though the couple planned for a hospital delivery, Izaac had other plans, and Skye pushed him out all on her own, without pain medication or medical assistance.
That's when Skye had a life-changing aha moment.
“I went in the bathroom to have a shower and I saw my body in the mirror and starting crying,” Skye recalled. “And it wasn’t because I was unhappy. It was because I couldn’t believe what my body had done."
As an exhausted Skye stood there staring at her naked reflection, she made a promise to herself.
“I said, ‘If you ever feel insecure or have negative thoughts, you need to remember this,” Skye revealed. "But the negative thoughts haven't even been creeping in this time. I'm really proud of myself."
Just as she did in 2017, Skye is sharing unedited postpartum pictures on Instagram.
"Having wrinkly, stretched skin, a core that’s not as “tight” & cellulite etc. are all a small price to pay to have my precious babies (as difficult as they are right now haha)," Skye captioned a recent post, which highlighted her stomach.
She feels she owes it to other moms.
“You see pictures of women straight out of the hospital in skinny jeans and you think, ‘How is this possible?’” Skye explained. “I’d compare myself, which is evil. It’s horrible. It takes away joy.”
“I’ve been talking about this for a long time, how you shouldn’t compare yourself, but now I’m actually taking my own advice,” Skye said. “I’m focusing on my own journey and feeling good.”