A Canadian self-love advocate is opening up about her struggle with body image after having babies.
Ariana Christie said despite the self-reminders that she's a different person now, she doesn't always love herself the way she wants to. But, she's letting her followers know: That's OK too.
Christie, who also works in real estate in Guelph, Ont., took to Instagram on Wednesday with a carousel of herself, topless in a scenic sunflower field.
The mom-of-three posed, clutching a sunflower bunch over her chest in two photos, and showing off her Knix leopard-print set in the third.
She paired the post with candid note on her journey.
"We talk about self love like it's something you must have, that if you have bad thoughts about yourself, it's not OK, that you must have a positive self image, especially after kids," Christie began.
"But I would be lying if I said I always love my body. The truth is, I am struggling. The negative thoughts outweigh the positive ones when it comes to my body right now."
Christie said she often reminds herself that her body "grew and sustained life," hosting her three young children. But she admitted she still struggles.
"We have such a mindset in society to 'bounce back,' to get my 'pre-baby' body back."
What she tries to remember is that she's not the same person as she was "pre-baby" — both in body and in mind, she wrote.
I am different, I am new, and that's a good thing — not bad.Ariana Christie
Self-love journeys are not simple, Christie reminded herself, adding she's doesn't have to love every part of herself all the time.
"I'm allowed to feel bad sometimes and I don't need to hide that," she penned. "But I do need to show myself grace and compassion. I need to be patient with myself and honour my feelings."
She ended her note encouraging other new moms to not be ashamed of their body image and self-love.
"If you're struggling, you're not alone. If you have negative thoughts, you're not alone," Christie wrote. "Don't feel shame about this. Know that you are loved."
"Love is not always warm fuzzy feelings. Love is showing up day after day with action," wrote fellow body-confidence influencer Sarah Nicole Landry, also known as Birds Papaya. She added she loved Christie's last snap in the carousel.
"I appreciate this so much!," another Instagram user commented.
"Thank you for sharing this post and most of all your beauty, because posts like these change the narrative of what beautiful means and reminds us all that confidence, strength, openness, truth and integrity are far more beautiful than body shape," they added.
"I am a new mom and I can so relate to this. I am struggling every single day to accept my new body. Thank you for your honesty," a third wrote.