So, in my my last post I said that I hate my body, but not in the low self esteem, I looks in the mirror and which I looked different sort of way.
While it’s true that I don’t walk around wishing I could have plastic surgery, and I don’t hate what I see every time I look in the mirror, I do have some body image issues.
I know what you are thinking “But you are tall and thin! How can you have body image issues? I’d kill to have your body”
Here is the thing. Just because someone has a body type you would love to have doesn’t mean they don’t have their own struggles and issues. Instead of trivializing or expressing lack of sympathy when someone vocalizes an issue they are having because of their body type, acknowledge that they are having a problem and fucking support them. Saying things like “bite me” or “I wish I had that problem” doesn’t help, in fact it can make matters worse because you are essentially doing the same thing as telling someone having a panic attack to “just calm down.” You are sending them a message that their problem is not a “real problem” and making them feel worse about themselves.
I went through all of puberty and my teenaged years without having any real body image issues. I was in some really conservative Christian circles, so “modesty” was an issue, so as someone tall and lanky, I was always wore jeans and teeshirts just so I couldn’t be accused of “immodesty,” but I was always confident and comfortable with who I was.
But my 20s have been a different story.
I’ve struggled a lot with being underweight weight (and don’t you fucking dare think “I wish I had that problem” because you have no fucking idea what it’s like).
I’ve consistently been 10+ pounds underweight. And my depression and anxiety didn’t help, because that stuff really fucks with your appetite and when you are already struggling with self care, it’s easy to forget to eat (or to not make yourself go eat something) when you don’t feel hungry.
It was pretty much embarrassing to be in a bikini top or otherwise shirtless, because I looked so emaciated.
And it didn’t matter what I ate, I never gained more than 2 or 3 lbs, and it never showed.
One of the positive effects running has had on me is that it forces me to eat more to be properly fueled before a run, as well as have the proper post-run recovery foods to make up for the calories I burned while running.
I’m now only about 5 lbs underweight and between the muscle I’m building and the extra weight I’m gaining I’m finally starting to not look like I’m skin and bones.
But there is one place I’m not putting on any weight, my boobs.
Again, back in my high school days, I didn’t care about the size of my boobs.
But that changed when I started dating one of my exes. He really messed me up. He was abusive, and I wish I had realized that and gotten out of the relationship sooner. He is really where a lot of my body image issues came from. He’d always make comments about how he wished my boobs were bigger, and how someday he would get me a boob job, and lots of other really great comments like that, constantly. Yeah he was a really great boyfriend (and let’s not even get into he sexual abuse).
I’ve recovered a lot from all that bullshit. While I still have some PTSD from it, it’s not anywhere nearly as bad as it was that first year after I left him and moved to Florida.
But one of the lasting effects that whole thing has had on me has been an unfavorable opinion of my boobs. And as had as it may be to believe, running has actually not at all helped that. In fact it has made it worse.
Since I breast fed EJ for a year and a half, the engorgement and all those other wonderful things that happen when you lactate did a number on my chest. There may not be much there, but they droop a lot. What little fat there seems to be is all on the bottom. So I need support when I run.
But finding a decent sports bra has been hell. Stores like Target, Kohls, Sports Authority seem to mostly have bras that fit the “S/M/L” sizing. But I have a problem with those. I have a fairly large ribcage, so what ends up happening is that I have to get a size L for it to fit comfortably around my ribs, but then the cups are too big and and do jack shit for my support.
And if stores do carry them with band/cup measurements, the smallest cup size they have is C. And this is frustrating, because I don’t want to have to order online and deal with the hassle of driving 20 minutes to the post office if it doesn’t fit. I just want to try on the fucking bra!
And this is made doubly difficult with my gagging/breathing problems, because I tend to like sports bras with adjustable backs, as it tends to feel less constricting, and feeling too tight across my ribs will increase my chances of having one of my gagging fits.
So this reduces me to going to Victoria Secret or other speciality stores and paying more for a bra than I’ve paid for all the rest of my running gear (besides my shoes).
I pretty much had a breakdown last night over this. I need a sports bra (I’ve been running without one because, thankfully, my tank top has a bit of built in support), but since I’m working out 5 days a week (3 days of running and 2 days of teaching Sunrise Fitness) I really need to be able to wear multiple outfits instead of the one outfit I currently wear. And the first step is getting a sports bra, because then I can wear my running shirts. But I really can’t spend $60+ on a bra right now.
And I’d be able to just buy a $20-30 one from Target if I only had bigger boobs.
And I tried to vent about this to some friends last night to not just have a breakdown. But instead of a “yeah bra shopping sucks” or “I’m sorry, I hope you find something,” I got “Bite me…I say with love” and “yeah, sorry I’ve got no sympathy”
I fought back the tears my whole run. And I’m still no closer to finding a bra.