I went bra shopping yesterday. Yup, BRA shopping.
Feel free to stop reading now if you don’t have boobs cause, yea, I’m going there.
First of all let me say my "girls" have quite an interesting history.
In 8th grade I was nominated as the second honorary Miss. "TT." That’s what the boys in my class would call one of the girls for a month until focusing their attention a new "TT" to torment.
What did "TT" stand for?
At 13 this was NOT a compliment.
Already painfully aware I was on the chubby side of things having, such a sensitive topic being talked about amongst my peers at that age was emotional to say the least.
As I put on more weight "the girls" grew even more with me. I easily fit into and sometimes flowed out of D cups. Maybe, if I was skinny with non-proportional breasts I wouldn’t have minded as much, but I was chubby with very proportional ones.
Fast forward through 15 years of yo-yo dieting (sometimes with weight swings of 50+ pounds,) and my first baby who I nursed for 6 months and then a fairly quick 70lb weight loss.
I’ll give you a nice mental picture of "the girls."
Image 2 balloons taped to a chest which suddenly…. popped.
I’m not exaggerating.
At 30 I felt like I had the breasts of an 80 year old.
In 2006 it was an easy decision for me to have them lifted. No implants. Just skin removal to frame the natural breast tissue I had left after the weight loss.
Post-surgery I was an average size B cup and again very proportional to my now smaller physique.
6 years later, new baby, more nursing, more weight gain then loss.
There’s no doubt my breast aren’t the same. I’ve lost some tissue. None of my bras prior to getting pregnant fit correctly and my nursing bras are all too big.
It was time to get sized.
As the sizer wrapped the measuring tape around my chest I cringed a little not wanting to see the number.
Why does this bother me so much?
Why am I holding on to insecurity about my bra size?
The women told me what I expected to hear in a surprised tone.
"You’re a 38?"
Why so surprised? Do I look smaller than I am? Bigger?
She measured me again.
"Yup. A 38. Probably a 38 A or B."
That number bugs me more than then the cup size. It makes me feel broad and thick and masculine.
I’ll never be a 34. Ever.
For some silly reason that is the number I always thought I should be. I don’t know why? Maybe because I had cute, skinny, friends that size. Maybe because 34-24-34 has been shoved down our throats from the modeling industry for years. Maybe because I just always wanted to be small, petite, skinny.
I realize how ridiculous my obsession with this number sounds. I’ve come to terms with the scale and my dress size but a 38? REALLY?
I’m probably in the best shape of my life. I’m practically smack dab in the middle of my weight range for my height. I’ve maintained a healthy weight loss for almost 7 years now. I gave birth to 2 children. I run. I weight lift. I’m training for a Tough Mudder event. For Pete’s sake I just ran 9 miles and then hiked with my boys on Sunday and still had enough energy to hang out with my friend and cook dinner.
I, well, yea I’ll own it, I ROCK.
But tell me I’m suppose to wear a 38 A bra and it throws me down a path of self-loathing? This experience has brought some lingering insecurities to the surface and it’s so much more than about my bra size.
Sometimes I feel like a fat girl in a fit body. There, I said, again. You’re probably sick of hearing it but it’s true. Yes, even after 7 years I feel as if I don’t quite fit in the fat or fit world. If I dig a little deeper it’s my fear that fit people see me as fat and fat people see me as fit. I can’t win in my own head.
I also never quite feel connected to other moms. I stay at home but I work. I have a grade school kid and a toddler. I feel older than moms with toddlers and younger than the moms at the bus stop. It’s all in my head, I’m sure, but the feelings are very real.
Even here in the blog world. I started off as a weight loss blogger now I’m what? A mom blogger? A fit blogger? A food blogger? I have my foot in so many niches yet don’t feel quite accepted in any one of them.
Let’s not stop there. Am I even good enough at this blogging thing to even justify it as a “career”? Why do I constantly feel the need to defend myself when it comes to my work?
These are the silly things that go through my head. Then I ask myself…
Why do I have to call myself fat or skinny? Or carry a certain mom label? Or define what I do in one single word?
When is just being ourselves –without comparison or self-imposed expections– enough?
I’m a 5’8”, 150lb, 38 B bra wearing mommma who makes a living blogging about whatever the heck I want to blog about.
Why should I be insecure about that?
So I shall wear my new 38 B bra proud because it fits, it’s comfortable and IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE TAG SAYS.
Regardless of my size, the scale, my mom label, or my job, I’m doing what I want to be doing and will continue to do what I want to be doing. THAT’S what matters.
Side note: I debated what picture to use for this post. I was going to grab a stock image of a bra. Then it occurred to me I wrote this before photographing a new recipe while Little Bean was napping. Then I showered, put on my new bra (the inspiration for the post) and will now spend the afternoon with my baby. So here you go, the 5’8”, 150lb, 38 B bra wearing mom doing what she wants to be doing despite her insecurities…
Really, nothing else matters besides that?