My Boobs and Me

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I want to take this opportunity to be very honest and vulnerable with all of you. If you’ve read any of my past posts or know me in person, you know that I tend to be brutally honest about a lot of difficult topics: depression, anxiety, grief, suicide- the list goes on and on. However, there is something I tend not to be as open about, and that is my chest. I have written a few posts meant to be funny regarding my chest, however I never get very deep about it. The truth is, my chest has always been one of my biggest insecurities and is something I have struggled with for most of my life. Because of that, I would like to take some time to share my story with you. If you are reading this because you get some disgusting pleasure from reading about boobs or are hoping to get some nasty details, you are reading this for the wrong reasons. I want to share my story for anyone else who is on this path, because it’s a tough situation to be in and not one many people are able to relate to. I’m writing this so people can understand on a deeper level what it’s like to have a giant chest.

I started growing boobs when I was 10 years old. By the time I was 13, when most girls are starting to sprout a chest, I was already a full C cup. I don’t know how many of you remember what 13-year-olds are like, but my classmates were not kind. I went to school every day to have boys poking at my chest with their fingers or pencils or anything else they could manage. I had boys “accidentally” brushing their hands against my boobs and constantly making jokes and comments about the size of my chest. I never said anything, because I didn’t realize what they were doing was harassment. I just laughed along and pretended it didn’t bother me. Boys weren’t the only problem; the girls were just as bad. I can remember a day that I wore a pink camisole with a gray button up sweater, and one of the girls in my class told a teacher that I was dressed inappropriately. I was wearing more clothes than most girls at that age, and to be totally honest, I dressed like a 35-year-old house wife. Almost every girl in my school wore camisoles all the time, but because I had a larger than average chest someone felt the need to call me inappropriate. A girl once wore fishnet stockings, a tiny denim mini skirt that barely covered her ass, and knee-high boots in the seventh grade, and no one said a thing to her. No one said she was dressed inappropriately and somehow, I was the one being held after class by the teacher to be talked to about the way I was dressed.

At that time, it seemed like as soon as I bought a bra it was only a matter of time before it didn’t fit anymore. It seemed as though my boobs would never stop growing. By the time I was a junior in high school, I was a triple D and could barely find bras that fit. I was self-conscious about what I wore, because I didn’t want anyone to think I was showing off my chest. I had to give up running, which was something I loved and was very passionate about, because it caused me so much pain in my boobs. I never told anyone, including my coaches for Cross Country and Track, the real reason I stopped running. Instead, I said it was because I didn’t like it anymore, or my knees and ankles were too messed up (which wasn’t exactly a lie, but not the main reason), or that I had other things to do. How could I explain that running even short distances caused my breasts to be sore for hours afterward? That taking off my bra after a run was agonizing? That the bouncing of my chest made it hard to breath evenly? I was so self-conscious about my chest, I was constantly checking to make sure my cleavage wasn’t showing. I starting getting frequent headaches that I managed with copious amounts of ibuprofen, but they ended up just getting worse.

By the time I was a freshman in college, my back would hurt so bad at times that I could hardly move. Just inhaling sent shooting pain across my back and shoulder blades. I had terrible neck pain that made school work difficult and my headaches had increased in pain and frequency and were becoming harder to get rid of. By that time, I was bursting out of my triple D bras, but didn’t know where to go to get new ones. I wore clothes to try and cover my chest as best as I could, because I didn’t want to be subjected to the same ridicule I faced growing up. That year, I also began rugby, which I fell in love with almost instantly. The problem was, several of my teammates could not understand the situation my chest put me in. Long runs and any type of jumping workouts caused me intense pain. Push-ups were difficult for me because of the strain that position would put on my shoulders. They would tell me to just wear a second sports bra, but wouldn’t hear me when I told them I couldn’t even find one that fit, let alone two. I endured the pain it caused me because I loved the sport too much to quit, but I definitely paid the price with the soreness I felt in my boobs.

When I was a senior in college, I had spent a great deal on bras that ran from $60 to over $100, grown out of a $250 swimsuit top that I had worn a handful of times, and was sized at a 34J. I had experienced the clasp on my only bra snapping apart halfway through a work shift, headaches that left me unable to get out of bed, and constant back and shoulder pain that would cause me to lay in bed and cry from the pain at times. I couldn’t ride in a car without the seat belt creeping up around my neck and finding clothes had become an Olympic sport. I finally decided to do something about my chronic pain, so I made an appointment with a local chiropractor. She told me that my insane headaches and my back and shoulder pain were a result of my large chest. During my first adjustment, she told me that my back and shoulder muscles were on fire- which meant that they were in a constant spasm which caused them to be extremely tense and tight.

I started getting regular adjustments, and it did wonders for my back pain and my headaches began to disappear. I wasn’t making progress as fast as I should have, so I started coupling my adjustments with weekly acupuncture to relieve some of the tension in my shoulders and neck. While the chiropractor provided me with a lot of pain relief, it didn’t last forever. About a year into my adjustments, while some things, such as my lower back, vastly improved, my headaches began to come back, although they were less frequent. My shoulders and back started to get tight again, and I felt like I was going backwards. As my headaches worsened, I decided to go to my doctor to see if she had another solution. She told me that the cause of my headaches was that the muscles in the right side of my neck were all in one huge knot. This knot was caused by the weight of my boobs pulling down on my shoulders, causing the muscles all the way up to my neck to be strained and tense. She recommended physical therapy and referred me to plastic surgeon.

I started physical therapy the next week, and there I was told that I had so much tension in my muscles, that it would take months just to work it out before I could start doing the exercises and stretches. During that time, I had a consultation with the plastic surgeon. At the end of that appointment, I was told that I was an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery.  Things moved very quickly after that, and before I knew it, the surgery was scheduled. This is not a decision I came to easily, as many may think. I spent a lot of time going over the pros and cons in my head before I reached a decision. I know it may seem like it should have simple, it was far from it. I’ve spent half of my life as “the girl with the big boobs,” and it had become a part of my identity; a huge part of who I was. I had to seriously consider if I was ready to completely change who I was physically and the way I was treated by others; could I give up a part of myself? After a lot of obsessing and sleeplessness, I decided to go through with the surgery because I knew it was the best thing for me.

Now, something I want to bring attention to is the reaction I got from several males concerning my surgery. I heard from several of them that I was “doing a disservice to guys everywhere,” and “such a disappointment to men,” by choosing to make my breasts smaller. As if my body’s sole purpose is for males’ viewing pleasure; as if what men thought of my body played any type of role in my choice. Never mind the physical and mental problems I was having as a result of my body or the fact that I was choosing to have life changing surgery; people still found a way to make this all about men. My job is not to give men something to look at and I am not here for male entertainment. I will do whatever I choose to do with my body for ME, and a man has absolutely NO right to tell me what I should do with my breasts.

With that said, it has now been almost a week since the surgery. My boobs are about half the size they were before, I’ve gone from a J to a small D, and it has taken some adjustments. When you look in the mirror at the same body for your entire life and then suddenly that entire image changes, it takes time for that shock to wear off. It doesn’t help when you also look disfigured and feel yourself being revolted and disgusted by the sight of your own body- my self-esteem has taken a few hits. However, I am still confident I’ve made the right choice. My clothes fit better and my shoulders are already less tense than they usually are. Every day comes with more healing inside and outside. I’m anxious to see how different things are a few months down the road; I am confident that my self-esteem will increase as I am more comfortable in my body and am able to do things I used to love, such as running. Even though right now, I have pain from incisions, can’t do a lot of things for myself, and have breasts that look like they were made by Dr. Frankenstein, I do not regret choosing to undergo this procedure. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for my boobs and me.

My Rescue Dog

Today marks a very important day in my life; one year ago, I became a dog mom! Anyone who knows me at all knows that my dog is a huge part of my life and one of the things I value most in this world. Adopting Koda was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I have never regretted it. I wanted to use this post to talk about the adventure Koda and I have taken together in the past year. I also wanted to advocate for rescue dogs. A lot of people shy away from this because they aren’t usually pure breeds, they tend to be older, and you can never be sure what you will get, however I think that rescue dogs need loving homes the most. They need humans that are willing to be patient with them and work with them and love them unconditionally. This past year with Koda has come with a lot of struggles and frustrations, however those struggles were beyond worth it. Watching the progress he has made has been so fulfilling, and I cannot wait to see how much he continues to grow. Rescue dogs can be some of the most loyal and loving dogs I have ever interacted with, and rescue has become my favorite breed.

I don’t know a whole lot about Koda’s backstory, but here’s what I do know. Koda had been abandoned and left in a Walmart parking lot in Alabama. He had several scrapes and scratches all over his legs and was terrified of people. He was rescued by a shelter there and would just spin around in circles in a panic whenever someone approached him. The shelter that had rescued him was a kill shelter, and due to his age and behavior, no one wanted to adopt him, so he was meant to be euthanized. Thankfully, a shelter in Minnesota rescues dogs from kill shelters in the south. They brought him up here and named him Ice because of his blue eyes. He spent one week at a foster home while I was back at home, scanning a website for adoptable dogs. He happened to catch my eye, and after reading about his anxious personality and looking at the picture of his big blue eyes, I knew I had to apply to adopt him. I felt that an anxious dog would be perfect for me, as I also struggled with anxiety. I was approved to adopt him and set up a time with his foster mom to meet with him, but I knew then that I would be taking him home with me that day. I scoured through lists of dog names, and eventually decided on the name Koda.

When I finally met him for the first time, he sat several feet away from me and shook with terror. His eyes were wide with fear and he flinched whenever I reached out to pet him. After sitting with him for nearly an hour, we decided to try taking him for a walk. He did not want to leave the house and the further we got from it, the harder he tried to pull away and go back inside. His foster mom explained that he had been dehydrated and very overweight, and she had been working on getting him rehydrated and back to a healthy weight. At the end of our short walk, I was dead set on taking him back home with me. He laid down on the floor of my backseat, shook with fear, wouldn’t eat any treats, and didn’t move the entire drive.

When I finally got him home, he went into his new kennel and would not come out. He didn’t try to explore the house or come out to see me, my roommate, or her dog. He didn’t relax, even when he was eating his food. When he finally started coming out of his kennel a few days later, he wouldn’t leave a certain corner of the living room and was even afraid of laying on his bed. It took a week for him to approach me on his own, and he would nervously allow me to pet him for a few seconds before retreating back into his corner.

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(Koda’s first night in his new home in the kennel he wouldn’t leave.)

As frustrating as the first few weeks with Koda were, I didn’t give up on him. Within that time, he began exploring my apartment and sleeping in my room with me. He was happy to see me when I got home, and soon started laying in my bed with me. Taking him for walks was extremely difficult at first, but he soon started to love them. He even started playing a little with my roommate’s dog.

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(Koda, about six months after he was adopted, being all smiles.)

Now, a year later, Koda has made a lot of progress. He has learned how to play with other dogs (for the most part), and isn’t so scared of them. He loves to go on walks and play in the snow. He is so cuddly and is full of love. He gives Koda hugs, follows me everywhere, enjoys car rides, and absolutely LOVES belly scratches. He still gets nervous around unfamiliar people, but has found a few that he is comfortable around. He greets new people (after taking some time to himself to adjust) and will accept treats from just about anyone. He walks around the house like he owns it, tells me when he needs to go potty or when it’s time to eat, and has acquired a little bit of confidence. While he still gets very anxious around new people, still flinches when I pet him unexpectedly, and still gets scared of unfamiliar noises, I cannot believe how far he has come. Watching him change and grow has been one of the best parts of this past year. Helping him work through his anxiety has also helped me work through mine. He has also showed me how much power there is in love and kindness, even with dogs. Rescuing Koda was one of the best things I have ever done, but in a lot of ways, Koda has also rescued me.

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(Koda right now as I type this, laying in my bed, on my feet, and snoring.)