Happy happy happy Monday!!! Welcome back to the Foxhole! I hope every single one of you has had an amazing and exciting week…I know I have!! Also, I wanted to thank every one of you who have clicked your way to this site somehow (5,000 readers…whaaaaaat?!?!) for taking time out of your day to read and respond! My heart is so so happy and so grateful for you!
I’m finally back at school after a 46-day winter break, and I am so happy to be here. (Technically I was here last Monday too, but my classes didn’t start until Tuesday…having no Monday classes is the best thing ever) My academic schedule has kicked into full swing already. I’m in four different psychology classes and a Spanish linguistics class. It’s so cool to be done with core classes and start learning about things that I am actually interested in. My homework doesn’t seem like much of a burden because I enjoy doing it.
I’m right smack in the middle of Sorority Recruitment: Round Two. If you had told me a year ago that I would be at a completely different school going through rush again, I would have probably wiped my tears and snot (ew) and told you that you were lying. No one wanted me in their sisterhood the first time around, so why would the second time be any better?? I can’t really talk about the details of rush, but I can say that I am shockingly having fun with the process. On Thursday night, the night before rush officially began, I was having majorly scary flashbacks to being curled up in a janky hotel bed with my mom in Dallas. I was feeling really hurt and embarrassed and really really sorry for myself…needless to say, I was pretty dang nervous to get going again. (Yes, my mom was in Dallas for rush…pretty much all SMU moms go down for recruitment to basically be their daughters’ pit crew and emotional support system…weird, right?)
I guess the point I am getting at is that the vibe this time around is positive. I don’t feel like it’s me against the world. I don’t feel like a Bratz doll fighting for a spot in the toy box against an army of Barbies. That was kind of a stupid analogy, but if you ever played with dolls, then you know that Bratz dolls aren’t the cutest, and if you know anything about SMU, you know that the girls there are all real-life Barbie dolls. Making the change to come to Miami has been such a happy and positive experience, and that’s what I want to talk about today…
Making changes out of love.
Yes, transferring to Miami is one of the biggest changes I have ever made for myself, but that isn’t the one that I want to write about today. The most profound change I have ever made was the breast reduction I underwent in June. So, fair warning, there is going to be some boob talk in this post. If that makes you uncomfy, I’m sorry and feel free to stop reading. But I must say, more than 50% of the world has boobs, whether they’re real boobs or man-boobs, so it’s really not that big of a deal!!! We’re all adults here!
I can vividly remember when my mom took me to the mall in third grade to buy my first bra. I got a plain white one and one with little pink and purple stars on it and they were the cutest dang things ever. If you think that third grade sounds early to be wearing a bra, it kinda is, but I’ve always been an early bloomer. I mean, I started shaving my legs in first grade and was a bona fide woman by fifth grade if that gives you any indication. I was suuuuper proud of those 30AA bras that I got at the mall…so proud that I pulled my shirt up at the dinner table that night and flashed my dad. God bless that man, honestly. It’s 12 years later, and he still gets flashed at the dinner table on occasion, except now it’s by Emma.
I was proud of those bras for a little while, but I was also a kid. It would be a few years before I started comparing my body with the bodies of my friends. It would be a few years before I would start to feel like a stranger in my body. It would be a few years before my friends would buy their first bras, but by then I was already approaching a D-cup.
In sixth grade, I transferred to a private school for middle school, leaving my public elementary, and all of my best friends behind. I literally didn’t last the year. I switched back to public school after spring break that year. (It is worth noting that SMU is private and Miami is public…clearly, something about me and private schools doesn’t really vibe). I was pretty relentlessly bullied and would come home crying almost every single day. It wasn’t until after I left private school that I found out about the cherry on top of my shit show of a year…all of the kids called me “Big Rack Maggie” behind my back. Looking back on it, it’s sort of funny, but at the time it was humiliating and hurtful. Kids can be so freaking nasty.
Finding clothes that would fit my changing body was nearly impossible, which I’m sure every single person who has gone through puberty can relate to. I was no bean-pole like my sister. I had an equally curvy butt to match my chest and a narrow waist with wide hips. It’s pretty dang hard to find kids clothes for a woman’s body. Anytime I would wear a shirt with buttons, the buttons would pull apart and you would be able to see through the gaps. I hated wearing jean skirts and shorts because they were always so tight around my butt and I didn’t want people to see my legs. I was so nervous and uncomfortable in my clothes that I would have massive, sexy pit stains to top it all off. Bathing suits were the WORST. I’ve never bought a bikini that was the same size on the top and bottom. When I would walk around the pool, I felt so inappropriate and exposed. I didn’t really go anywhere without a coverup on and avoided swimming at all costs. Not to mention, my face was speckled with acne, and I had braces with MAGENTA RUBBER BANDS. My teeth literally always looked like they were bleeding. I was truly a face, and a body, only a mother could love. I mean, someone had to because I sure as heck didn’t.
Flash forward to high school. I was noticed by the upperclassman boys for my figure. I basked in the attention, but I also put so much pressure on myself to dress a certain way to impress them. I started playing varsity field hockey as a freshman and had to wear two sports bras to hold my chest down. I could never wear the cute flowy tank tops from Free People that my friends would all wear because I couldn’t go braless or even wear strapless bras. Strapless bras were honestly the bane of my existence. They were ridiculously uncomfortable, and I had to hike them up every 5 seconds to keep them from falling off. And you can just flat out forget about sticky boobs. Those things slid off the second I broke a sweat, rendering them forking useless. The search for a dress for school dances was a process that began months in advance. I couldn’t wear anything that was backless or strapless or low cut. Backless or strapless would mean wearing a strapless or sticky bra, which was simply not an option. Anything low cut would look unintentionally sexy because of my large chest. I couldn’t wear anything tight or short and risk showing my legs. If I did end up finding a dress that would work, it usually took my mom and Katie together to get the dress to zip over my chest. One person would pull the sides of the dress together while the other would try and yank the zipper up my back. And I would have to close my eyes and hold my breath and pray I wouldn’t bust a seam.
On top of all of the surface level implications of having a large chest, they were just downright heavy. In actuality, boobs don’t weigh that much. But there were definitely times when I would weigh myself and then subtract 20 pounds to account for my chest and make myself feel better for the rapidly increasing number on the scale. Boobs literally weigh like 2 pounds. If you’ve read my previous posts, then you know that I have chronic back pain. Gravity would pull down on those 34E mother forkers and all of the stress and weight would be on my shoulders and my neck. When I sat down, I would practically fold in half until my chest was resting on my lap. That’s gross and a really unattractive image.
I’m not asking for pity or saying my situation is in any way unique. Everyone has things that they are self-conscious about. Mine was my curves. My beautiful, womanly curves.
When I came home for my uncle’s wedding towards the end of my freshman year of college, I remember looking at my mom during the rehearsal dinner and saying, “Mom…I think I want to look into getting a breast reduction.”
I’m so grateful for my mom because she gets it. She didn’t judge me or ask me a million and one questions. She could see the pain and discomfort in my eyes. She knew I was in a really dark place and she understood that in order to grow and evolve, I needed to shed some weight…physically and metaphorically. So, she called a doctor.
I’m not going to lie, I almost chickened out. I’m not scared of needles or anything like that. I have to get 10+ tubes of blood drawn every month or so for my back, so I knew I could handle the IVs and the anesthesia. I had never had surgery before…I have never so much as sprained an ankle (knock on wood!) but I knew I was in the hands of experts and it was a relatively routine procedure.
Part of my identity lay in my oversized chest. That sounds really weird to say, but it’s true. They had been a part of me for nearly 12 years. For 12 years, my big boobs were one of the first things people noticed about me. I have really pretty eyes and a beautiful smile, but I always caught people glancing down at my chest. I had been dressing myself to accommodate my chest for 12 years. Who would I be without them??
Post surgery, I can tell you I am the same person without them. Well…sort of. I am more confident. I can make bolder clothing choices. I am happier. I am lighter. I feel free.
Me, my mom, and Katie all huddled in my bathroom a few days after my surgery when I could finally remove the bandages. We all cried. Not because the scars were gross (they were), but because I finally recognized myself in my body, and they both knew that. (And I was pretty hyped up on Oxy too so I was feeling pretty loopy and emotional.)
I’m not saying if you have an insecurity to go ahead and get plastic surgery. If that were the case, I would have a totally different nose too. What you decide to do with your body is none of my business. I’m also not saying I chose to get a breast reduction because I hated my body.
I chose to get a breast reduction because I was ready to love my body.
To move forward, I needed to let go of the things that were weighing me down. SMU was one of them. Depression was another. My chest was another. (I recently got fitted at Victorias Secret and they told me I was a 34B…I literally squealed with happiness)
Even on days where I feel like a bloated lard, I can look at my body in the mirror, scars and all, and say, “Damn body, you’re hot.”
The other day, my yoga instructor started our practice by handing out positive affirmation cards to set as our intentions if we wanted to. Mine said, “I choose to practice gratitude.” I decided to thank my body for carrying me through my practice. Thank you body, I’m grateful for you. (I’m also grateful my new little boobs didn’t hit me in the face during Downward Dog…that has happened before)
If you need to make a change in your life, try to wait until you can do so from a place of love. Don’t chop your boobs off because you hate your body. I can tell you from experience that my new bra size didn’t do anything to fix my pants size. Chop them off because you love your body and you don’t want to be in pain anymore. And obviously, life changes don’t have to be physical or require surgery. They just need to be made with love.
Until next week, in grace and gratitude, in love and light… xoxoxo!