Updated: Nov 12
I wore a 34D bra before I started high school.
Fast forward. Two decades later my chest was heavier than my petite five-foot four-inch frame could support. Adding insult to injury, my body never snapped back after pregnancy. My boobs hung down to my navel and nine years after my son was born I could still pass for an expectant mother entering her second trimester. I wore baggy, unflattering clothes, purchased expensive bras, and suffered from back pain through most of my thirties. On more than one occasion, I expressed my desire to undergo breast reduction surgery to family and significant others but was met with a wave of the hand or told, "The bigger, the better."
I was encouraged to join a gym or to start walking. As if my body problems were simply a matter of unwillingness to put down the donut and hit the track. It didn't matter that I'd suffered a knee injury that required surgery or that a car accident left my right foot permanently disfigured. While Lisfranc fractures have sidelined professional athletes, not much sympathy, was given to this divorced, single mother of two.
At thirty-eight I scheduled a consultation and set the appointment to reduce the size of the boulders attached to my chest. I slept like a baby afterward. I forgot what a good night's rest felt like; I hadn't had one in a long time. TLC's 1999 hit, Unpretty, played on repeat in my brain. I rejected the body I was born with and embraced the one I wanted.
When I turned forty I stepped on the scale and was appalled at the numbers starring back at me. I'd ballooned. Intermittent fastening didn't work; neither did starvation diets. I weighed close to one hundred ninety pounds when I gave birth to my second child in 2014. My current weight rivaled this. I immediately scheduled a consultation for a tummy tuck. It was the second-best body decision I made. I am three months post-surgery and I feel better than ever. I embrace my figure, buying clothes that fit rather than conceal.
I'm in love with crop tops, ya'll!
A new journey has begun--Keep The Weight Off. I promised myself and my family the tummy tuck was my last optional surgery. My diet hasn't changed much. I was always conscious of the calories I consumed. Now, however, I eat smaller portions. I don't have much choice in the matter. I'm still healing and I get full faster. I also choose healthier snacks in between meals, like protein bars, fruit, and yogurt. I haven't incorporated as much exercise as I would like, but, it is something I try to do in the moments between mom-time, teacher-time, and sleep-time. Those moments are scarce.
I'm a work in progress. TLC disparaged cosmetic surgery. I'm an advocate for doing anything that makes you feel better about yourself.