I Have Some News.

Body image is a funny thing, isn't it? I don't think I know anyone who is 100% happy with their body 100% of the time.

Even when I was really thin with a young, fresh face and generally feeling pretty good about myself, there was one thing that always tugged at the back of my mind. There was always this one thing that made it difficult for me to feel really comfortable in clothes. This one little thing that always made me feel like people were staring at me.

Well, really, it wasn't one little thing. It was two things. Two big things.

And therein lay the problem.

There's no delicate way to say this so I'm just going to come out with it.

I have always been self-conscious about my breasts.

I developed on the earlier side, which resulted in a lot of unwanted attention in middle school. I know that there were girls who would have loved it but throughout all of the years that I was dating, there was always a part of me that wondered whether the guys I dated were really into me or just fascinated by how big my boobs were.

This is true:

In high school, I failed gym. I failed gym because I didn't want to change my clothes in front of anyone and because I was so self-conscious about the way my chest bounced when I ran. I was more willing to take an F in gym that to continue to put myself through that humiliation.

Eventually, I grew up, got married and started investing in really good sports bras. But my problems weren't over.

I ran my first half marathon in January and, throughout my training, I was really worried about my knees. I ran a 10-Miler in November that nearly killed them and I didn't know if they would hold up through another 3.1. I lost some weight to take the pressure off, got some inserts for my sneakers and started wearing a knee brace to run. Problem solved.

What I did not anticipate and could not have prepared myself for was the debilitating pain in my neck following that race. I couldn't turn my head for days afterwards. My doctor had absolutely no doubt that the problem was my breasts. Their weight pulled me too far forward while I ran, resulting in a strained neck.

Around the same time, I realized that my back hurt all the time. So consistently, in fact, that it had become my new normal. I was inclined to blame it on Adeline, who sleeps in our bed and kicks me in the back most nights but, after speaking to my doctor, I realized that it wasn't her fault at all.

I went to see my doctor about the back pain. She took one look at me and said, "Well, your breasts are definitely too big for your frame."

Oh. Of course.

I had been so self-conscious about the way my breasts made me look for so long, it didn't even occur to me to worry about what they were actually doing to my body.

And so, on June 19th, I am finally going to be getting a breast reduction.

I have never been someone who wanted unnecessary surgery but this finally feels like a necessity, both physically and emotionally.

Of course, I deserve to be physically comfortable. I deserve to be able to wake up without back pain and to run without neck pain.

But I also deserve to feel comfortable in my skin.

I lost 50 pounds and still can't find a bathing suit that fits me properly. In fact, losing weight made it even harder because every bathing suit either fits around but the cups are way too small or the cup size is kind of okay but the band is way too big.

I carried, delivered and nursed two babies - one of them for two years. My body has done its job for them. It's time to make it feel like my body again.

I am, of course, nervous about having a major surgical procedure but, more than anything, I am excited for what feels like a new lease on my life. I am excited to wear strapless dresses and to play in the pool with my kids without worrying that I'm falling out of my bathing suit. I'm excited to run comfortably.

Stay with me over the next several weeks for updates on the procedure and the healing process. I can't wait to share this new part of my journey!


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