Episode 32: So What If I Have Stretch Marks

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Sarah Nicole (known as thebirdspapaya on Instagram) is a positivity powerhouse. She is an advocate for body positivity, authenticity, and spreading light. Sarah’s platform, community, and mission help women claim authority over and love their bodies - just as they are. In this episode, Sarah and Elizabeth have a wonderful conversation about challenging and changing our thinking, especially when it comes to how we think about ourselves.

6:15 - About Sarah

She was born and raised in Ontario. When she was 19 she got married and popped out three kids before she was 25. She was a stay at home mom for 10 years, and says she kind of lost herself in that process. When Instagram became a thing, she started using it to share photos of her kids and the things she was making. She was at a point in her life where she was struggling with her weight and related issues. She decided to do something about it, and start to eat healthier and lose weight. Throughout the process of her weight loss, she started growing a following in Instagram.

There was a point where she was unhealthy, losing too much weight, and in the midst of divorce, she realized that she still had the same amount of self-hate that she did when she was overweight. She began exploring what the source of it was and made that her next big project. She wanted true wellness in a whole new sense of the word.

On Instagram she began openly discussing her problems with her self-image, and things she was working on. She says it’s been an incredibly healing process, and feels like her platform now truly has a purpose.

13:09 - About Self Love

How do you treat the people you love in your life? Are you treating yourself with the same care and attention. To improve our relationships with ourselves, Sarah says that we need to get intentional about treating the relationship with ourselves like a real relationship, which it is! The relationship with ourselves is the most important one, and it impacts every facet of our lives and the people in our circle.

15:05 - Where the Heck to Start?

All of us have struggled with self-hatred, but what is the starting point for starting to take care of and love ourselves? Sarah said that the first step in her self-love journey was actually doing a social media detox. She went through the people she is following and asked important questions about why she is following that page and if it is serving her, or hurting her because it puts her in a comparative mindset. Paying attention to those things and actively making changes to consume content that doesn’t hurt us is an important first step. And once you’ve detoxed, fill your cup back up. Find people and pages online that help you change the conversation and hear new ideas.

17:00 - It’s Time To Flourish

Sarah brings up scientific research that has been conducted on plants and positivity. If we speak love and nourishment into one, and speak hate to the other, the one that is is spoken to with love actually grows stronger and more beautiful. If that is what it’s like for plants, imagine what it is like for humans!

17:28 - Start the Conversation

Even if you’re not there yet or don’t believe it yet, what if you just stood in front of a mirror and tried radiating love and acceptance to yourself? It might feel crazy at first, but it’s a great place to start. Sarah remembers being in such an avoidance phase, but as soon as she started bringing her body into the light, things started changing. Sometimes we can’t always see the best parts of ourselves because we’ve been so trained to default to non acceptance of our bodies.

20:00 - Bring Awareness In

At the end of the day, there are lots of things we can begin practicing that will help us on the journey to greater self-love. However, it all begins with being aware of how different things make us feel. What makes you feel good? What makes you feel insecure and not confident? Actively paying attention to this can help us make important changes.

20:50 - Put On Your Oxygen Mask First

Sarah said that through the divorce, and progressing on her personal journey, she’s been able to have open discussions with her three kids about growth and self-care. She recounts a story where her mom helped the family understand self-care through the oxygen mask analogy. Prioritizing your needs isn’t selfish! If you aren’t nurturing yourself, how can you expect to be the mother, partner, or friend you are supposed to be? Simply put, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Sarah says that filling up her cup has brought so much light into her family.

25:58 - Other Projects

Sarah was a stay at home mom for 10 years, has worked at a chocolate shop, created a jewelry Etsy store, worked as a server at a steak restaurant, and worked at a publishing company (where she actually ended up meeting her now-husband). She says all of those experiences have helped her develop skills for what she does now.

36:20 - The Hot Seat

Sarah says the funniest mom moment she’s ever had was when her now ex-husband bought her a puppy. At the time she was working two jobs, living at her mom’s house, and it was really hard. She still has the dog, though.

When it comes to blending a family, Sarah said the biggest challenge was overcoming the fear of “what happens if this doesn’t work out?” She said merging the living situation was pretty wild. When Shane walked in her house for the first time to meet the kids, she says her son shot him with a Nerf gun and her daughter said his butt was juicy.

Sarah’s goal is not to become rich - it’s to continue her mission on this planet of spreading positivity, having important, challenging conversations and transforming the world.


You can follow Sarah on Instagram here.

Elizabeth Manuele