Boobs are a big issue for me, for obvious reasons. *looks downwards* For years, I hated mine because bras never felt comfortable. This was, in part, due to going to a bra shop once, asking for a fitting and the woman looking at me saying "You're a 34DD" and handing me a bra. I took her word for it but seriously, I'm not that dumb, I could have figured it out for myself that it was not right.
Then, one day, I discovered Bravissimo. I love their bras and they opened a shop near us in Manchester. I went and it was a revelation. They didn't use a tape measure, and they fitted by eye. Unlike that woman in the bra shop, they don't just look at you and hand you a size. They look at the bra you're wearing, check the fit of that, and based on what size they think you are, bring bras for you to try on. If they don't fit, they move up and down the back or cup sizes until it fits, just right. I wear a totally different size to what I measure, and it was lovely to have pretty bras that fitted me properly. I went back after I lost weight and my size changed slightly but they sorted me out again.
And then I got pregnant. We all know what happens to your breasts in pregnancy and I knew that the after effects vary. Thanks to my two being quite close together in age, I think I wore maternity or feeding bras solidly for nearly 3 years. I thought - or at least I hoped - that I would go back to nearly my pre-pregnancy size after I'd lost some weight. I seemed to fit into my new bras and after I'd lost a bit of weight, I got fed up with the ones that were starting to fall apart and decided to go back to Bravissimo and get a couple of bras to tide me over.
I was wrong. The fitter kept bringing me bigger and bigger cup sizes until she got one that was obviously too big so we reverted to the size below. It would appear that, despite losing a good half of my "baby" weight, several cup sizes extra have taken up residence on my chest, and they seem to have no intention of leaving.
A substantial décolletage can get you unwanted attention at times which can make you self-conscious when you are displaying any kind of cleavage at all - because I don't seem to do a little bit of cleavage. It's slightly uncomfortable when someone is having a conversation with your chest instead of your face although it can often be much more subtle than that and its only when someone makes a sideways reference that you realise. Or that's just me and I'm a total innocent.
With weight loss comes greater confidence - or at least it does with me - so I'm wearing closer fitting tops that might be considered more "revealing", particularly since I bought my new bras - and another one since, oops! I don't want to look all Carry On or Page 3 model, but I do want to look like a woman with a feminine shape. And I can't hide these, she says, pointing at her bosom, so I may as well work with them. So, expect pictures of my cleavage in future on this blog. S'alright, there won't be any topless ones. I am not yet that confident, nor will I ever be.
And don't start me on sports bras. I am not built for running. Fact. I did have a great bra called an Enell which kept everything as still as it's ever been or likely to be - even if it doesn't look that attractive - but I don't think I'll ever fit into it again. Looking at their fitting guide, I am not sure I will fit into any size! I'll just have to stick to short runs as part of my workout combined with lots of lower impact stuff. I don't need the black eye, thank you.
Why am I wittering on embarrassingly about my boobs? Because, now I've got your attention, I wanted to tell you that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Breast Cancer Care, who support breast cancer sufferers, say that 46,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. My friend and fellow blogger, Nickie from Typecast is running a series of posts called Pink Fridays to coincide with Breast Cancer Care's fundraising initiatives. Nickie runs a series of guest posts on her blog called Cancer - Your Story, inspired by her own family's encounter with cancer, so it seems fitting for her to feature posts and information about breast cancer in this series during October. The first post is about how to check your breasts, known delightfully as Cop A Feel. It's a humorous name for a serious subject, for I'll bet there are times when we all forget to do it when life gets in the way. I know I do, for shame, but I'm trying to get in more of a routine with it, particularly ever since my sister found a lump, which later turned out to be benign.
If you get a chance, please check out Nickie's post and the rest of the series as they appear. Helping to raise awareness means earlier diagnosis, which improves survival rates. That has to be a good thing. Even one life saved is worth it.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go and try to get these two balloons out from under my jumper...
(I didn't get paid to mention Bravissimo, Breast Cancer Care or Typecast, by the way. I mention them all, because I think they're all bloody brilliant.)