Last July I made a decision that changed my life forever. I decided after two years of debating and weighing my options to finally go under the knife and have breast-reduction surgery.
Before my surgery I was 5’4″, 140 pounds, and had a cup size of 32E. If you want a visual, try to imagine an upside-down triangle. This was my body.
I decided that I wanted the surgery for a multitude of reasons. One of the biggest reasons was physical pain.
I had huge breasts and smaller shoulders and a weak back that was unable to support all of the additional weight. I’ve always been passionate about Zumba, yoga, running, any kind of exercise. When I have a bad day, the first thing I do to cheer up is go for a walk or head to Pilates class. It’s always been my stress relief.
Unfortunately, during this time, I was unable to do these things because of my breasts. The few times that I did work out or partake in physical activity, I was miserably uncomfortable the entire time. I had to wear two or three sports bras just to keep my chest under control and my whole body would ache. After the activity I would find myself sore and hardly able to leave bed for days.
Another big reason I had the surgery was because I did not like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I was a smaller set person with this massive, in-your-face chest that seemed to steal every spotlight from a room. I felt like my chest was the first and only thing people saw when they saw me, and I was sick of it. I was sick of buying dresses in a size 12 just to have them taken in to a 4/6 in the waist. I was sick of wearing a tank top to the beach because otherwise I would look wildly inappropriate. I was sick of the comments in the locker room about how other girls wanted boobs as massive as mine.
I wasn’t at home in my body, and I knew that I needed to be.
I caught a lot of heat when I went public about my surgery. Some people told me that I shouldn’t speak so publically about something so personal but I didn’t care.
It was important for me to be open about my surgery because I wanted to inspire other people to make the decision to have a better, healthier, more comfortable life too. I wanted to show girls that there is nothing wrong with this surgery and not wanting to have a large chest.
A lot of people, especially in the older generations, told me that I would regret my surgery. They told me that after a month or two, I’d be sick with regret and wish I had my breasts back. People also told me that I was just too young to be making such a huge decision and that I’d look back one day and laugh.
It’s been a year and a half since my surgery, and they were right.
I do look back and laugh.
I laugh at how nervous I was the night before the surgery. I laugh at how anxious I felt when I told my friends that I had gotten accepted for the operation. I laugh at how clueless I was to the benefits that were waiting for me on the other side of the operating room.
My breast reduction surgery was one of the greatest things to ever happen to me.
Now I am constantly in a class at the gym—cycling, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, you name it. And I can do everything (besides push-ups, still working on that one). I feel confident and strong and in touch with my body. It actually feels like my body and not like I’m living in someone else’s.
I can go to the mall now without leaving in tears. I can wear dresses and spaghetti straps and V-necks—whatever I want. Bralettes are my new best friend and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I love myself when I look in the mirror and not because I look physically different but because I can see the smile on my face and the glow on my skin from a long, beautiful hike through the mountains that I would not have been able to take two years ago.
I love myself when I look in the mirror because I am so proud of the things that I can do now that I never imagined doing before.
I am currently training for my first ever 10K race and I never could have done this before my surgery. Every day I am more and more certain that I made the right choice regardless of what anyone tells me because now I can pursue my passions without fear or discomfort or crippling pain.
Today I am a 32C.
But more importantly, today I am a yoga-loving, two-piece-swimsuit-wearing, fearless dancing, and happy woman. I’m the first person to jump into the water and the last person to leave the gym, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.