I’m sitting here, at the Problogger Conference on the Gold Coast, Queensland, by the pool, sipping a cocktail (I know, you think that this is my everyday “bloggerati” life, sadly not so) and thinking about just how much having had my breast reduction 2 1/2 years ago has changed my life.
Why think about it now? Well it’s the fact I’m sitting by the pool, out in public. That was something I rarely did pre-breast reduction as I was too conscious of constantly falling out my swimmers (if I could find swimwear to fit) and so I avoided pool-type situations in public and would only go away to places that didn’t require swimwear (Paris, London, New York, Prague …. all fine places, no swimmers required).
I get emails from women asking me about my experience, as they consider having the same operation, and so I wanted to share just what a positive impact it has had on my life.
My health has improved
I’m now the fittest I’ve ever been since I was a kid! I know, hard to believe that nearing 50 I’m probably fitter and healthier than I was in my 20s and 30s. Those big old boobs made doing strenuous exercise uncomfortable (and also often very self-conscious). Two serious sports bras was not enough to hold them down, and to make anything high impact appealing in the slightest.
Now I regularly run (and if you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d be running regularly, I’d have laughed til I snorted). This has improved my cardio fitness as well as my cholesterol levels. Both super important for my ongoing health.
Plus back pain has improved and headaches are far fewer as there is not such a strain on shoulders (bra straps) and my posture has improved (though there is still a way to go there!
My self-esteem has improved
You’re thinking “Seriously Imogen? You had poor self-confidence?” and the answer is yes.
For most of my adult life I feel that I’ve been kind of “defined” by my large breasts. It was my ‘defining feature” what people noticed (and often commented on. They attracted lots of attention (and not always positive).
Having a breast reduction has meant that I no longer feel self-conscious thus actually going to places where I may sit by a pool in swimwear, and just in daily life, not feeling that I’m being judged in any way around my figure.
My wardrobe choices have improved
I can shop, and fit into clothes. For the 30 years prior to the “anti-boob-job” it was rare that I could actually find something to wear, that fitted me properly. My choices were so limited.
I love the freedom of actually being able to go shopping in a way I’ve never experienced for me. Sure everything doesn’t fit, and I don’t expect it to, that would be crazy (and I’ve written about that very topic here already) but at least I have so much more choice now in both shapes and styles available to me that I can on and I’m not busting out of.
I don’t regret for one second having my breast reduction. It wasn’t nearly as painful as I’d expected and the recovery wasn’t so bad either. Finding a good surgeon is an important part of the decision to take such radical surgery, but I’d do it again in a flash.
My overall wellbeing has improved
Feeling fitter, being more active, not feeling like something holds me back means that I am more able to take advantage of situations. To try physical things I might have avoided in the past. I am happier within myself.
I’d spent so many years defined by being a woman with very large breasts, and it took years of thinking and pondering before I did take the plunge to have the reduction as it meant a change to my identity (and it’s not a small operation so requires careful consideration). I know, for me, it was absolutely the right decision to make.
Read up on my breast reduction journey:
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