Where Did These Boobs Come From?

(originally posted on www.createdbychance.blogspot.com on 12/14/14)

I braved the mall yesterday. I thought malls were dead. Apparently, I was mistaken. As it was the second-to-last Saturday before Christmas, the place was absolutely mobbed. It took me 20 minutes to find a parking space! I even held my pee for three hours because the line for every bathroom was 20 deep. Well, for the ladies room anyway. You men have it so easy.

Why on earth would I submit myself to this insanity? In a nutshell – to buy some new clothes because mine don’t fit anymore.

I’ve put on a few pounds this year. And by a few I mean 20. It’s been kind of a hard year over here, and I deal with it by eating my feelings. And eating my stress. And eating my boredom. And, hell, eating my happiness, too. Basically I eat everything for every reason. And now my clothes don’t fit.

I had a talk with a friend about this recent phenomenon lately. She, too, has gained some weight, although hers was a result of two little humans she incubated, birthed and subsequently nursed. Her reaction to not fitting in her clothes has been NOT to buy new ones because, as she says, it will inspire her to lose the weight.

I used to feel that way, too, but I don’t anymore. Because day after day after day of opening my closet, surveying the contents, and realizing I can only comfortably wear maybe 15% of what’s in there is incredibly depressing. Instead of inspiring me to lose the weight, it’s inspiring me to eat more. Because emotions. And I eat those.

When I went to Weight Watchers my meeting leaders would tell us to get rid of our fat clothes as soon as possible. This, supposedly, encourages us to keep the weight off. It just means I have to spend more money on clothes when I inevitably yo-yo back up. That’s how it has always been for me. I’ve gained and lost the same 30 pounds for the last 20 years.

So I said – fuck it. I’m not going to be a party to shaming myself daily. I am heavier right now than I’d like to be. But that doesn’t mean I can’t LIKE myself right now and FEEL GOOD about how I look when I gaze in the mirror. Those size 4 jeans staring at me from the bottom of my dresser do like to whisper to me, “you used to be so thin that we were getting too big for you!” But there is no reason I can’t have a size 10 pair of jeans sitting on top of them, shouting, “Girl, you still look fabulous! Don’t let those skinny bitches make you feel bad!” Thus the trip to the mall.

Even though I am trying my best to be good to myself and gentle with my psyche, it is hard to stare at your underwear-clad body in the harsh light of dressing room mirrors (except for Ann Taylor Loft which, blessedly, has soft, warm and flattering light). There are things that bulge and sag that didn’t before, and seeing it several times over the course of an afternoon is not exactly uplifting.

What I did notice, however, was that I was in desperate need of a new bra. Every time I took my shirt off it looked like my boobs were trying to escape. Some women gain weight in their face or their butt or their thighs. I gain weight in my boobs. Like, crazy, fucking weight. The poor bra I was wearing was waving the white flag of surrender. It looked really tired. And my boobs didn’t care how they got out of there, whether it was over the top, out the sides, or covertly underneath, they wanted out.

Usually, when my boobs get big I try to be economical by buying a new bra at Target. When I lose weight they are the first to go, and bras are expensive. But the thought of going to Target AFTER the insanity of the mall was too much to bear. I decided to step into Victoria’s Secret instead.

If you have never gone through the bra-buying experience at Victoria’s Secret, I highly recommend it. As soon as I walked in, a sales associate came over and asked it I needed some help. I casually mentioned I needed a bigger bra because I gained some weight. No sooner did those words leave my mouth than she went into action as though she had been preparing for this moment her entire life.

She asked what size I thought I was. When I’m thin, I’m a 36A. When I’m not as thin, I can go up to a 36C. So I told her 36C. She got out her measuring tape, made some calculations, and informed me that I was now a 36D.

WHAT?! NEVER in my life have I had a D cup! No wonder my poor bra looked like it had been to hell and back. Where did these boobs come from? Is that what aging does? No wonder my mom has enormous boobs. I can see my future, and backaches figure prominently.

Anyway, she asked what kind of bra I was looking for, which for me is simple – no push-up and no lace. She filled out this little card and escorted me back to the dressing room where another sales associate met me. This woman took a look at my card and then consulted this GIGANTIC wall of sample bras in every size. She pulled out four and sent me back to a dressing room. Every bra fit perfectly and felt like heaven. I bought two. I’m actually EXCITED to wear them!

(On a side note, the only other woman to come into the dressing room while I was in there also commented to the sales associate that she needed a new bra because she had just lost weight. Is that the only time women buy new bras? When we gain and lose weight?)

What does all this mean? Well, I’m still going to make a New Year’s resolution to take off some of this weight, because honestly it makes me feel gross. I didn’t just toe the line between a weight where I feel okay and a weight where I can’t stop obsessing over my body – I jumped over it with apparent glee. It’s time to reign it in. BUT – I’m not going to give in to the shame of it. This is where I am right now. There is NO REASON that I can’t celebrate myself, even with all my imperfections. I WILL dress in glitter this holiday and draw attention to myself, even if I don’t look like my ideal self. And I WON’T get rid of these clothes as soon as a lose a few pounds. Because I may need them again someday and that is OKAY.

Oh – and if you need a new bra, you absolutely have to go to Victoria’s Secret. They will HOOK YOU UP.

Venus at Her Toilet - Peter Paul Reubens courtesy www.peterpaulreubens.org creative commons license
Venus at Her Toilet – Peter Paul Reubens
courtesy www.peterpaulreubens.org
creative commons license
“Step Away from the Mean Girls…and say bye-bye to feeling bad about your looks. Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others.
This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says you’re too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.”