Where did my boobs go?
Let’s take it way back to 2013. I was still a physician assistant (PA) student doing my clinical rounds at a medical installation in Georgia. At the same time, I decided then would be a fantastic idea for train for my very first body-building (bikini) competition. I had lost a lot of weight and put on some fantastic muscle mass. I remember my masseuse gloating over how well my deltoids had developed. I was pretty excited about my progress and was looking forward to hitting the stage for the very first time in about three more months. I went shopping for new bras and of course, the good ole Victoria’s secret representative came around and offered to measure my bust. When she was done… she told me I was an A cup.
Now don’t get me wrong, my bust had always been small. I used to be a barely B cup so when I was told I had lost that much breast mass I literally had a significant emotional event. I remember talking to other friends about what I had experienced and they explained that was why they or other women sought out breast implants. The ugly side of bikini competition is that although you lose an insane of fat-mass, judges somehow expected you to have nice breasts at the same time. How fucking sway? But take a look…. Have you ever seen a flat-chested bikini champion? I’ll wait.
At any rate, the decision to look into breast implants was not for the stage but for my own self-esteem. I was built like a shit-brick house without the boobs to match. I wanted to enhance my curves and had the means to do so, and with much enthusiasm from the ex-spouse I gave it a go. I got the surgery sometime in April 2014, and all was well. I went under the pectoral muscle (for a natural look) via an arm-pit incision. I went from a 34A/B to a 32DDD in a matter of hours. I am still to this day very happy with my implants and would do nothing differently.
“For someone that hardly eats, I don’t understand how you’ve gained weight”.
My ex-husband and I had problems WAY…WAY… before 2014. Honestly, we had problems the moment I left for PA school in 2010, so how the hell I thought marrying this man was going to work was beyond me at the time.
At any rate, he and I ended up separating early September 2014. Because of stress eating, lack of exercise, a new job, new life as a commissioned officer and the life of an (emotionally abused) wife, I had no concept of a healthy work-life balance. My ex had no idea that I comforting myself with fast food before I got home. Imagine having panic attacks as you pull up to the driveway of your four-bedroom home with manicured grass. Home was hell, not a sanctuary. On the outside, people would think I had “it all” but didn’t really know “at what cost?”
The relationship between me and my ex-husband took a serious toll on me; I was constantly harassed about seeing my (male) patient’s nude, he fetishized my medical practice with female patients, hated that I outranked him, postulating over the concept of me telling him what to do at home because of my rank. He was constantly reminding me of how much money I was making as an excuse for lack of fiscal responsibility. I never heard “I’m proud of you”, “I’m happy for you”, or any type of compliment or praise. I spent days listening to him about his work life and he never wanted to hear anything about mine. I was living in a four-bedroom house physically married but spiritually ALONE. He had issues with all of my friends, so I was socially isolated. I was starving for approval that I would never receive unless it had something to do with him. I had no sense of self-worth, or confidence. I begged for but continuously lacked a king in my own kingdom…and felt lost and worthless. He gaslighted and *narcissized the fuck out of me and I had no clue.
My childhood trauma along with the trauma in my relationship with my ex-husband left me reeling over a (very wrong) idea that I was not desired, that I was not beautiful. Beauty and intelligence are an unwelcome anomaly in men’s eyes. Men just want women to be arm-candy and nothing else. Keep your mouth shut, just be pretty. A prop. Don’t be too smart. Don’t overshadow a man’s presence. Don’t shine bright. Otherwise, you will be unloved, hated and undesired. You’ll be left for someone that doesn’t threaten a man’s ego. That has to be what men want, right? But I couldn’t undo the three degrees on my wall and there was no way that I was not going to give up my hard-earned rank. So, I came up with an idea. Plastic surgery.
In November 2014, my plastic surgeon removed about ten pounds of fat from my thighs and hips. Let’s talk about the absolute WORST post-operative pain I have ever been in, even with Demerol on the clock. Between the bruising and shitting bricks because of the narcotic medication, I was in pure hell for about ten days. But I thought that things would get better between me and my ex if he saw that I had put in the effort to change SOMETHING about myself. Something. We did get back together, but it wasn’t because of the surgery, and we ultimately got a divorce in 2015. I remember in 2018 running into a friend of his that became my patient. When I explained that he and I divorced he said, “I’m not sure if I should say sorry, or congratulations”. I sat in my khaki’s and polo shirt, legs crossed with red bottoms on my feet. I said with a smile, “Oh, it’s definitely a congratulations”.
Since then, I have had some other procedures done, mainly liposuction in those difficult areas such as the back of my arms and the knee complex. It’s not that I wasn’t putting in any type of work, it had everything to do with full blown genetics.
When pain is your professor.
- PS won’t make your personal problems better. It won’t get your man back. It won’t make people treat you better. It won’t get anyone to honor or value you if they didn’t beforehand. Do PS for yourself and yourself only.
- PS will not replace lifestyle choices. ESPECIALLY if you are looking to get liposuction. Even after I had the surgery on my problem areas I was still not totally happy. If you think that liposuction procedures will eradicate the need to work out in the gym, are going to be insanely disappointed. You still need to consider diet and exercise. You can undo a surgeon’s work with lack of good choices. Speaking from personal experience.
- PS won’t give you much definition without muscle mass. Reference #3.
- Don’t do PS in a mental space of hating your body. If you’re investing thousands of dollars in a procedure just understand that the self-investment doesn’t stop once you swipe your credit card and go under. Speak to a surgeon about the beauty you have that you wish to enhance, not about what you do not like about yourself.
- A PS will make you look great in clothes but your own work will make you look great naked. Remember that models that have had plastic surgery STILL get photoshopped so have realistic goals and expectations.
By all means, I am not against plastic surgery, but our bodies are complex yet truly miraculous machines that deserve celebration pre-and post op. This is why I love carnival because I feel so alive no matter my size on the road. A lot of people want to be silent about plastic surgery as if it is something to be embarrassed about, and it really is not. You can still love the body you are in and want to enhance it. You can pierce it, tattoo it, but not get PS? How sway? I think that if people were more transparent about plastic surgery we would eradicate all these incidences of botched procedures, death and lack of emotional support (because plastic surgery can be a significant emotional event). Just something to think about.
Find a plastic surgeon that is capable of providing you the service that you desire. For example, Arm-pit incisions for breast implants are not very common but I kept looking for a surgeon until I found one. The reason why is because I personally I leave bad scars and didn’t want to risk it, even under my breasts.
Don’t let a PS push an aesthetic on you that you are not comfortable with. At the end of the day, find a PS that says no to risky/questionable requests. Carefully evaluate his portfolio. Do your research and trust your gut. Set realistic expectations and seek out what you want. Develop a support system. Appreciate the body that you are in, and set yourself up to do your part of the work. If you’re looking for a great resource that has feedback from real patients and engage in discussions with prospective surgeons, I highly encourage you to visit realself.