For better or worse, I've been rather busty since about age 17, but always proportionate to the rest of my body. Then I gained major weight, had kids, and have been basically fighting my way back to a more manageable bust ever since.
“I wish I had boobs.” I hear this a lot. I’ve often said to my friends who have uttered this line, “If I could share, I would.” A classic case of the grass is greener. Except in this instance, the grass is also heavier and knocks stuff over inadvertently.
So here are some of the realizations and lessons learned over the years about the effects of large chesticles:
- When I wear a bra, by hour seven, I’m ready to tear it to shreds because of the pain from it digging it into my shoulders and the band pressing into my ribs. Taking it off is a sweet release. Freedom.
- Alternatively, perhaps we'll try a lazy Sunday going braless..for maybe 20 minutes. Then it’s like I’m being slowly pulled closer and closer to the ground by the two 5 lb. kettle bells hanging from my chest.
- My posture is terrible. Growing up, I was taught to hide and cover, so the larger I became, the more shame and embarrassment I felt. Hunching is one of the ways we (think we) combat “flaunting”. (More on shame in an upcoming post…)
- People stare. Men and women alike. It’s human nature, and I am mostly used to it after a couple of decades. But it’s usually the kind of staring that is followed by whispers, and that is not awesome for one’s self-esteem. (See bullet above.)
- I was measuring myself all wrong. I assumed for years that DD was as big as it gets. The bras never really fit comfortably, and I would get the dreaded “double boob”. Last time I was professionally measured, I was a 38G. Yeah.
- I did discover an amazing thing called sister sizes. You guys. This kind of was an Oprah, "A ha!” moment for me. If they don’t have your standard size, you now have a cheat sheet to other sizes that will fit you correctly. Game. Changer.
- I can’t shop for bras anywhere but specialty stores or stores for ladies of larger composition, and bras are already crazy expensive. Because of this, I get a new bra something like once every five-to-six years. (Not recommended.)
- I struggle finding tops that take breasts into consideration. It may say large or XL, but it’s not made with breasts in mind. Thanks to the shelf, they become belly shirts, and no one needs to see that. (Side note: The shelf is super helpful when you want to eat a snack lazily on the couch; it’s a great resting place for a plate.)
- Cute workout tops aren’t so cute when this is the bra you have to wear under them. (You should see the back.)
- Also note, with a built-in sports bra already in said top, I am showcasing the practice known in the Busty St. Clair community as “double-bagging it”. We like to keep it classy here.
- Working out, particularly something that involves running or jumping, is just harder, plain and simple. Bouncing flesh hurts. Tight bras hurt. Boobs get in the way of the correct form of some exercises. A study published in the I really do.
- Sports bras. Le sigh. For me, they are like the Holy Grail. I am on this relentless search for the right one that maintains support, decreases bounce, and is made from a breathable material. Recommendations welcome as I am still on the hunt for this unicorn of a bra.
- The current sports bra I use for running is this: 50 Shades of Grey with all its hook-and-eye clasps. It does a decent job as far as support, but the bounce is still an issue, and it doesn’t breathe or pull moisture from my body. Since I sweat like an Olympic wrestler, that is a problem, both for chafing and for the health of my skin. I’m almost 35. Bacne is not something with which I want to be dealing.
- The chafing. Oh, the chafing! This is a real (albeit blurry)yes, I am that pale) rubbed raw and bleeding from chafing. And it hurts like a b***ch. When it starts to heal, it's time for another run and it splits wide open again. Body Glide helps, but I sweat so much, it's usually gone by the time I really need it (Seriously, I should be nicknamed "C+C Sweat Factory" [You're welcome for that dated reference. Again, almost 35.]). Scarring is imminent. This ain’t no picnic, y’all.
So to all the Chesty La Rue’s out there, I feel your (literal) pain. And to my girls who wish their girls had some more meat on their bones, don’t worry too much about what you don’t have. We are just as envious of you.