woman standing outside with a restored sense of self
Body Image New Mom Parenthood

A $30 Sports Bra Restored My Sense of Self

By Charlene Jimenez

Everyone knows that your body will be different after having babies. You can’t stretch your skin out that far and not see any effects. I knew my stomach would never be the same after having twins, and I was right. The loose, wrinkled skin is what I expected, and I haven’t had a hard time accepting and rocking that new part of my mom bod.

However, I wasn’t expecting to have such a change in my chest after only being able to breastfeed and pump for two months before they waved that white flag of defeat. After that, they were just plain sad, and so was I. I thought that level of droopiness only came after having a small horde of children over the course of ten years. Oh, how wrong I was.

Amazing how one little change in my body demolished my sense of self.

I felt disgusting. I felt flabby. The self-hatred from my past seeped back into my life. I let it overtake me. I let it win. I was unlovable because I couldn’t even stand to look at myself or to be in my own skin. I felt worthless.

I hid myself from my husband, and I avoided going out in public because I just didn’t look the same in shirts. I didn’t recognize myself, and I knew that I’d never recognize myself again. I was lost. I was a mutant, and not the sexy kind that they make movies about.

It probably didn’t help that the sports bras I wore were over a decade old and the elastic died a long time ago. I was basically free-ranging underneath that worn-out thing, and that was no good for anyone, especially for me. When I wore those nearly-antique sports bras, I was old and broken myself.

One day, I decided I needed a new sports bra.

I was tired of having my current bras slip all over the place, making it completely pointless to wear in the first place. Imagine the desecration during a workout. Actually, do yourself a favor and don’t imagine that.

When I put on my new sports bra to work out, I instantly felt different, better. The girls were where they used to be – where they are supposed to be. I was locked, loaded, and secure. The change in how I felt about myself was instant.

Wearing that sports bra reminded me that I am strong, powerful, and capable.

That ordinary sports bra reaffirmed that I am worthy of love. Once I realized that, my saggy chest didn’t bother me as much anymore. It was simply a part of me now.

I’m not defined by the state of my boobs. I’m defined by much more important things – my beautiful children, my talents and dreams, and who I’ve become as I’ve healed from the hard times in life.

It’s kind of silly to think of how attached we are to the current state of our bodies. We don’t want things to change, but it’s inevitable. Not all change is bad. Perhaps it’s less desirable, but my trade-off is having beautiful twins when I thought I’d never have the opportunity of motherhood.

Who knew that a $30 sports bra could give me back my sense of self and remind me of my self-worth? If I had known, I would’ve purchased one long ago. All it took was making sure my sweet chariots weren’t swinging too low.

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