• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Mike Haasl
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Kate Downham
  • Jay Angler
  • thomas rubino

Busty coping strategies - how to be comfortable living with a G-cup?

 
master steward & author
Posts: 18049
Location: Left Coast Canada
4547
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In school, they had this very boring class where they talked about health and stuff.  The teachers were uncomfortable teaching the topic and since it was co-ed, most of the classes we took the boys spent snickering, but occasionally it was the other way around.  Basically, it was a farce.

But we did have a lesson on what they called large breasts.  If you have the misfortune to grow into a D-cup, this is huge and you need to make sure you have ample support and not dress too slutty.  They didn't say what the support is or slutty was, but it was a time when people were less willing to talk about human biology.  As I was already the most endowed person in the class at a DD-cup and my peers were just starting to show a perky A-cup, I felt really bad about this whole lesson and decided that my breasts were bad and I had best not talk about them.

My breasts didn't like being ignored or shamed like this and kept on growing in revenge.  At a busty 34-G (swelling up to a 34-I depending on the hormones of the people/sheep around me), these breasts have caused some serious health issues and it's time I learned how to deal with them.  

The doctors suggested breast reduction surgery so I started a thread specifically about this.

But I'm also considering - what if I learned to live with the shape I am?

There are probably all sorts of things I never learned that would be useful.  Probably really basic coping strategies.  

Here are a few problems I wrote about in the other thread:

At 34-G (swelling to a 34-H or I during lambing season as birthing hormones emitted by the sheep do something weird to my body) I have a pair of very large melons on my front.  You wouldn't notice just how big they are as I hunch and choose clothes that don't show them off.  Doctors have told me never to run or jog as this puts me at extreme risk of a broken clavicle.

34-inch ribcage is an indication that I have a very small frame which makes buying a bra with a big cup difficult.  I have to special order or have custom made something that I won't spill out of.  I stopped wearing bras a few years ago for a few reasons.  At $600 a year, it ate up a huge chunk of my income.  Also, the bra would try to distribute the weight between my ribcage (which caused stomach problems and constant hiccups) and my shoulders (causing nerve problems in my arms).  But not wearing a bra has caused other health issues - different back problems, skin problems, self-image issues, different nerve issues in my neck... and so on.



Another big problem I have is carrying things.  I'm quite strong and I'm comfortable lifting things up to 30kg.  But the shape and size of my breasts mean I struggle to hold on to them.  I've got a sensitive mass on my chest that makes my arms 10 inches shorter than their length.  

I also need to change my body image.  Wearing 'support' means my breasts are more noticable to others which sometimes generates behaviour I don't like.  Most of my life I've avoided that kind of thing because I'm not looking for a partner or a playmate.
 
pollinator
Posts: 414
Location: BC Interior, Zone 6-7
68
forest garden tiny house books
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow. It's nuts they taught you that in your sex ed class about large breasts. We didn't have anything like that, quite the opposite. Lots of self esteem stuff. And the atmosphere was more like Monty pythons's sex ed class in the meaning of life. Total boredom. I remember one incident though. The woodworking teacher had made a phallus on the lathe so we could learn how to put on a condom. The CAPP (career and personal planning, as it was called then) teacher laughed at how small it was. Even at the time I was horrified. She's teaching 13-14 year old kids! Last thing boys that age need is to start comparing the size of their immature penises to, well, anything.

Here are some things I find really help me.

I mentioned core exercises on your other thread. These are good because your back is getting way more of a workout just carrying your boobs around than your front probably ever does. It's not good having unbalanced muscles like that. Slouching probably makes it worse :(  

Stretching out your back and neck is good. Having tight, short muscles is another imbalance that can cause problems. I often sit cross legged, push my knees down to the floor, and bend forward at my hips, keeping my back straight. Doing the right arm over the head and bend left (and vice versa) stretch is one I like. When I do it, I push my shoulder up towards my ear to get a better stretch down my side. Another really good one is to sit with a straight back and tilt your head forward. Put your hand on top of your head or on the back, depending how far down you can bring your chin. Let the weight of your hand pull on your head and you'll feel it stretching out all the little muscles going down your back. Changing the angle of your head just a little will change which muscles are getting stretched. I do that one at work all the time.

I'm careful to keep my back straight and bend at the hips when I need to bend over for any length of time.

I try to change positions and activities a lot when I'm working. I'll often use buckets instead of a wheelbarrow for certain things cause a bucket fills up faster and then it forces me to stop what I'm doing and deal with the full bucket.

I try to work each side of my body evenly. Shovel a little while one side, then switch arms and shovel using your other side, for example. If im carrying a bucket, I carry two, one on each side. I'm bad at this one, and end up working unevenly all the time, though.

Massage. This one is huge for me. For ten years i lived with a roommate who gave great massages whenever I'd ask him. My husband gives terrible massages and it's taking a toll.  If you have any friends who are good at massage bribe them in any way you can. I'm guessing you're not into people touching your body much, but this really is helpful. If you have to pay for massage, if you can get a doctor to prescribe it MSP will cover a portion (I think you end up paying $20 or something) of a certain number of massages per year. I think you just need to be low income, but you'd have to look into it. It's possible it's only for people on disability.

I have problems carrying things in front of me too. I hoist things onto a shoulder, put them in a backpack, or use a wheelbarrow. There's a thread about wheelbarrows on here and it sounds like a lot of people really don't like them.  You might just need to find the right one for your build, cause I love my wheelbarrow and could push it around all day. It's just a cheapo yardworks brand, so nothing fancy. I haven't tried it, but I'm guessing some kind of strap slung around yourself and the item might make it easier to carry on one of your hips, rather than in front.

Finding a bra you like might really help. I've stopped buying anything with underwire or what many would consider adequate support for my size. I go for comfort. That's it. So far that means synthetic stretchy fabric, which I know you want to avoid. I do too, but I'm not going to wear something that's uncomfortable, and as you've discovered, not wearing a bra at all causes its own issues. I'm not going to do that to myself either. I haven't spent $600 on bras in the last ten years, let alone one :o

As far as changing your body image... Well, I'm lucky to not give much of a shit what other people think of me anymore. I've had my own body insecurities in the past though. Unfortunately what started helping me to get over them was an ex boyfriend. I say unfortunately because I don't like that it took another person's approval. You're not interested in a partner, but maybe some intimate time with yourself would be good. Take pictures of yourself or have a bath in the dark and focus only on tactile sensations. I could get a lot more graphic, but I'll leave it at that ;)  Try not to be critical of what you see or feel, but enjoy your uniqueness. I saw you describe your hands as ugly in another thread. How about admiring your strong,  capable hands instead. You've birthed animals and woven fabric and written books with those hands. Your hands are amazing. Your hands are beautiful.
 
master steward
Posts: 11450
Location: Pacific Northwest
4880
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've ranged from a 32 DD to a 34 J while pregnant. In high school, I had quite a few back problems, and went to physical therapy. Being hypermobile probably didn't help things. I found that holding in my gut helped me use my stomach muscles rather than my back muscles....but this might not  be handy for someone who has abdominal pain. I just know that I was using my lower back muscles too much, rather than my whole torso, and for some reason just simply sucking in my gut helped.

I also slouch and hide my chestage. I don't want to be oggled at. I just don't want to deal with those interactions, in much the same way Jan White said in your parallel thread.

As even if it was, so what? It's not good to worry too much about appearance, but people look at big boobs A LOT. I know from experience you're not being overly self conscious. When it's something that can have that much of an impact on your interactions with people and how you feel  I think it's a justified concern. I shave my legs because I have thick dark hair and not shaving them turns into me making a public statement about female grooming rather than a simple it's time consuming and I just don't care. I don't have energy to be making that statement in the world every day so I just shave my legs (although sloppily ;p)



I just rather be known/noticed for other things... or just not noticed unless I want to be. Sometimes I just don't feel up to social interactions, and being bland looking helps avoid that. I do wear support (this is my favorite bra. It's a nursing bra, but it actually supports me, and I don't hurt while wearing it. As long as the strap is just the right tightness, I don't even notice my chest weight. I'll probably continue buying this bra for as long as I can, even when I'm no longer nursing. It's an underwire, but I don't even notice the underwire. I found something that works for me, so I'm sticking with it!). This does accentuate my breasts. BUT, I find I can de-accent them by wearing shirts with vertical lines (like plaid shirts), especially ones that aren't fitted. I also wear coats a lot, too (that doesn't help in the summer, but I can wear light-weight plaid shirts in the summer). I also have higher necklines--I think they're called crew neck? I wear those under the button up plaid, and don't button the plaid all the way up (that way there's no "bust gap" between the buttons of the plaid shirt). Also, dressing "dowdy" or at least not stylish and not wearing makeup seems to keep people from catcalling me, etc.  

I don't really feel too attached to my boobs, but I also would feel weird about chopping bits of myself off. Bur, I think it might be a really good option if there's no other way to remove the pain.
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 18049
Location: Left Coast Canada
4547
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My doctor recommended this tank top by knix wear.  

The idea is to offer some mild support and keep the breasts away from the skin of my stomach but without putting a lot of pressure on my ribs.

We did some measurements and went with a rib size up from my measurements.  The suggestion is that I should wear it for a few weeks and it will adjust to my shape.

So I got one.

The first time I put it on I got stuck partway and worried I would need to be cut out of it.  But I got it on okay and managed to wear it for five minutes before feeling claustrophobic.  The next day I made it half an hour.  Now I can wear it for about three hours.  

About a week in, I'm still having spillover issues on my larger side.  But it feels now like a hug rather than a boa constrictor.  

I also noticed that when I'm wearing it, I need more room to squeeze by things.  For example, the mirrors of two parked cars, I could normally fit through there, but I kind of couldn't.  But it makes my coat fit better and look better, so there's something.  


The other problem is that it changes my smell.  Wearing natural and breathable fibre means my BO is minimal to nill.  But with this synthetic fabric against my skin, I noticed the smell is back.  So I used some of that crystal deodorant and it made the smell go away.
 
gardener & author
Posts: 1059
Location: Tasmania
518
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I found when I switched to wire-free bras, they have been lasting a lot longer than underwired ones. I used to have to replace underwired ones every 6-12 months, but the wire-free ones I bought 3 years ago are still going well. The maternity/nursing ones I wear have been designed to be comfortable with fluctuations in size too.
 
pollinator
Posts: 183
Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
111
kids dog forest garden personal care trees foraging
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
R, I'm sorry the first message you got about breasts was negative. Those kind of negative stories tend to stay stuck in our head and can get worse over time.

I get a lot of looks and double takes here because I stick out with my foreign face and light hair and 36G breasts. I try to remember that I can't know why they are looking at me or what they are thinking about me, so I choose to think that it's nice, benign things. It's still distracting to be stared at for any reason though.

I exploded to a G from a C during pregnancy and breastfeeding and I do not like it. If they don't go back down after breastfeeding is done, I will seriously consider surgery also.

Even wearing a sleeping/nursing bra, I still get the "swampy unders". I've found that folding up a dish towel lengthwise and tucking it under the band and breasts so that there is no contact between breast skin and chest skin, if that description makes sense, has stopped me getting irritation. I change the towel whenever it gets damp, and in summer I flat out roll little ice packs into the towels. Whenever I leave the house it's with a little cooler full of little icepacks and towels. As long as my skin stays dry and cool it's happy.

I second the suggestion of massage for your back and your front and your chest and neck and any muscle really benefits from massage. I will also say, the best massage I ever got was from a tennis ball between my lower back and the floor, or the wall for the between shoulder blades. Tennis balls don't get tired either!


 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 18049
Location: Left Coast Canada
4547
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's something I've been wondering about for a while now:  When measuring for cup size, are we supposed to measure in a bra or unsupported?  
 
Amy Arnett
pollinator
Posts: 183
Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
111
kids dog forest garden personal care trees foraging
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've always measured for where I want my breast to end up, so supported. But I found this method for unsupported; it seems thorough:



Enter measurements into the calculator:
https://www.abrathatfits.org/calculator.php

 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 11450
Location: Pacific Northwest
4880
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think measuring in a thin bra works well. I think this depends on the person, too. I remember reading that we were supposed to measure with them hanging down...but I think that only works if the person doesn't sag too much. I measured leaning over while pregnant, and the bra came too large in the cups. But, maybe that was the brand? After giving birth and then stopping nursing, I wouldn't trust braless measurements too much. Maybe try measuring them in a bra as well as hanging, and then kind of average the measurements?
 
If you believe you can tell me what to think, I believe I can tell you where to go. Go read this tiny ad!
Permie Paradise for Rent in Mo. - 10 Acres w/ food forest & more!
https://permies.com/t/135489/Permie-Paradise-Rent-Mo-Acres
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!