I'll go ahead and say it.

I have stretch marks.

I remember the first time I saw one on my upper thigh; I had just lost some size in my legs after leaving the high school dance team and was left with a few silvery lines. After having my children, I was left with more of those little lines. I know that I'm lucky in some aspects; I don't have any stretch marks on my stomach due to pregnancy but, still cringe when trying on swimsuits and see the stretch marks on my upper thighs.

Unfortunately, the ultimate decision in who gets stretch marks is left up to mother nature and genetics. There are, however, a lot of things that a woman can do to try and prevent or get rid of stretch marks that appear from pregnancy or rapid weight gain/loss. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I used the cocoa butter balms every single day. Another way to try and prevent them is by making sure you are eating a diet high in vitamins A, E and C, as well as zinc and essential fatty acids. I've recently found a fantastic website called Stretch Marks Guru that provides a lot of really valuable information on ways to help prevent stretch marks and has some great tips on ways to treat stretch marks.

I used the cocoa butter during my pregnancy but, haven't ever bought any stretch marks cream products since my pregnancies because I, like many others, just don't know if they are worth it. Stretch Marks Guru really breaks it down into easy to understand information on what to look for when you are looking at the stretch marks cream products. They've even got a list of some of the best brands.

In the end, women should love their bodies for what they are and maybe someday we can all bear those marks as a sign of the proud act of bringing new life into this world. But, for those of us who would still like to be able to rock those bikini bottoms without being mistaken for a subway map, check out Stretch Marks Guru and the great tips there.