• lucyjeczalik

Let's talk about breasts

I saw a tweet a few weeks ago about yet another gorgeous item of clothing ('the Fleabag dress') designed exclusively for those of minimal breastage (ie. with a handy open area where a bra strap should go). Me and my sizely bust heaved a sigh. We identified, heavily.

My breasts have been bothering me lately.

They played a brief part in Learning to live: running and ED recovery as a kind of messed-up self-selected-weight-measurement method. The truth is I have a real love/hate relationship with them. Mostly the latter to be honest, particularly when it comes to sport.

I'm not a huge fan of my breasts: I don't wear clothes that show cleavage, I hate bras with any kind of padding or accentuation, If I'm wearing something that makes them visible I am very uncomfortable and self-conscious.

Lately they have been more noticeable (to me anyway). In my ED brain this means one thing:

Your breasts are larger because you have gained weight and gaining weight makes you worthless.

I have become a lot better at addressing this voice in my head and saying, with varying degrees of confidence:

Not today Satan! Not today!

But it doesn't always feel possible. With large breasts I feel too obviously womanly, they feel cumbersome, like a reminder of my essential worth in life - to procreate. I hate it. To clarify, I don't have a problem with other people's breasts. They're beautiful, wonderful, magical things of all shapes and sizes - when they're on other people.

We always want what we can't have and I always wanted (and still want) smaller breasts. My existing issues with them feed nicely into my insecurities around sport. I almost exclusively see smaller breasts in athletics and triathlon and I am unreasonably jealous. Wear a trisuit without a sports bra underneath? THE AUDACITY! (and the pain!)

Of course, I know that there are people with larger breasts that are incredible athletes. I see body shapes I recognise all over my instagram feed doing all kinds of amazing things. But that's the clever thing about our brains: they like to tell us that the evidence we're seeing is wrong and our fears and insecurities are right. They like to shout at us, as we undertake a physical task: Take your breasts back to the kitchen woman, where you both belong!

I'm doing a Sprint Triathlon in Windsor (big up @tryingtotri for the spot) this weekend. I will be trying out some positive breast-affirmations. Repeat after me:

You are strong, independent breasts. You are loved. You are powerful. You will not compare yourself to others. Today you are choosing joy.


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