I am doing something that a lot of people find controversial and are going to have an opinion on: I had a breast reduction. No, I’m not sharing pictures of my breasts pre- or post-surgery yet, and definitely not on here. This is a family-friendly blog, but these things happen in families and everyday life, so I will talk about it without pictures of boobs but only with medical terminology. Sorry to the perverts who clicked wanting to see my boobs <not really>.
This has been a long time in the making for me, and I am relieved. I’m awaiting people telling me I'm not doing everything I need to before doing this, like weight loss, getting better bras, etc.
I stopped asking people for their opinion on it and instead looked to myself on this choice. I am not my boobs. They are not my best feature (far from it). I've worked really hard on building up my self-esteem to see the best parts of myself that have nothing to do with my body parts. I don't want to date or be with a man who would dump me if he found out I had a breast reduction, either.
Why I'm doing it:
Breast cancer runs in my maternal family and that’s scary enough. Even with proper self-exams, I fear I'll miss a lump in my breasts until it's something like Stage 4. I’m also living with chronic back pain that gets so intense at times, I vomit from it. I’ve even had bruises as a result of them. My shoulders have permanent divots in them from my bra straps and all the weight they'd supported. I usually get red, itchy lines in my skin from the bra elastics.
Did you know that it's expensive to have big boobs? Did you know how much I've spent on bras that actually keep my breasts standing up and looking decent? Mine are usually $65 a pop. And then the underwire usually breaks within three to six months, so I have to buy the same bra in the same size and same color AGAIN.
The amount of sexual harassment I’ve faced from having them sucks, too. Where do I put them? Sometimes, it's impossible to cover them up. I've even had people (ADULT men and women, not just kids) throw things at me when I'm minding my own business in an attempt to get any object lobbed in my cleavage and then burst out laughing at me when I'm stunned. It's embarrassing, and most of the time, I've been so stunned, I laugh in shock. Other men have assaulted me by groping my breasts in public places without my consent and catching me off guard-- as if that's not violating enough!
And let's be dead honest: having big boobs doesn’t come with confidence.
I've tried to be okay with them. I've taken burlesque classes with some really great feminists who have been so encouraging. I exercise. I read body-positive literature. I go to therapy. I LOVE LIZZO! I take dance classes that help me find ways to grow what I can do with my body and find it's strength. I try to care for myself more now than ever, by eating nutritionally what someone with insulin resistance needs. I rarely feel the need to binge and purge anymore, I try to avoid self-starvation, too. I try to get adequate rest, but that hasn't been easy in grad school while working full time. I've even tried my hand at modeling. But I still find myself shying away from having my picture taken (not that I expect this surgery to be a miracle and make me look like a supermodel, I'm not that naive).
This hasn’t been an easy decision: I’m giving up a lot to do this- not just money. It's SURGERY. Scalpels have cut into my skin and have opened up my body. I went under anesthesia for several hours. Tissue was permanently cut out and removed from my body. I have had some pain, but it’s not anything serious. I might lose the ability to nurse a baby, if I ever got the opportunity to have one with a loving husband. These are sacrifices you have to be okay with when you have this procedure. I also had to get to a point where I made this choice on my own without the help or opinion of my family. I had to be willing to power through a lot of insurance red tape, too. This has been deemed a medically necessary procedure on me and insurance is paying for it— I have company insurance from work for once and a job to come back to from taking time off for surgery. Many of the other symptoms, like red mark indentations and shoulder indentations, since I was twenty and earlier. Imagine living like that without a lot of relief. It’s taken me out of work at times. Right now, I’m hoping the benefits outweigh the risks in the end and I get some relief.
If you are thinking of having a breast reduction or have already had one, and want to talk, I'm here for you. Please email me and I'd be happy to chat with you. I'll try to keep everyone up to date on surgery through my blog and what recovery is like. Take care, everyone!