This is kind of weird writing a post like this, on a blog like this, but here’s the thing… my heart for this place when I started out on this Ave&Jay journey was to encourage and reach women in whatever stage of life they’re in. And no matter how old or young, a woman’s body image almost always needs some encouragement.
The other day my husband snapped a pic of me making a green tea latte, and when I looked at the pictures, I realized how bad off my body image situation was. I looked at the pictures he’d taken and immediately deleted all of them. There’s more than a dozen extra pounds on me right now, my abs are no where near as flat as they should be, and my thighs are making the thought of white pants after Easter unappealing. But, when I looked at that picture what actually stood out first to me was the situation I had my girls in: another sports bra. A cheap one. It was offering some support, yes, but that was the only positive thing going for it, and it didn’t make up for all the bad it was doing for my appearance.
I made a comment to my mom shortly thereafter about how I only had one “real bra,” which I had been measured for and purchased in my first trimester of pregnancy with my now 3.5 year old. So since then I’d carried to full-term and nursed, for at least a 1yr each, two babies. My body was a yo-yo: pregnant (gain 50lbs), nurse for a year (loose 50 lbs), pregnant (gain 50 lbs), nurse for a year (loose 30 lbs), and here we are almost a year after THAT.
My mother, learning of my situation, insisted, as only a mother can, that I go and buy myself a new bra.
But how? But when? But where would I go with two toddlers in toe??? To be measured by someone who probably doesn’t even know what they’re doing? To spend MORE MONEY on something??? … No. Not going to happen.
Cue ThirdLove. I’d filled out their questionnaire 9 months ago, but since I rarely ever wore the one real bra I had, I didn’t really know how to answer the questions. So I just guessed and assumed the best answer. I knew when the results came that I definitely wasn’t the size they suggested. So, I closed my laptop and made do.
This time around I was prepared with that old bra in hand and answered honestly. No guessing. No, “well, if I answer this way then…” Nope. Just straight up answers. When the results came in, I knew they were right.
I ordered the style of bra ThirdLove suggested for me in the size they suggested, and when the box came in the mail, I looked like a school girl on Christmas morning getting her first pair of pierced earrings.
When I put that bra on, I didn’t want to take it off! It fit better than any other bra I’d ever put on in my entire life. I put a t-shirt on over it and smiled BIG. I looked MUCH better than I had in that picture my hubby had taken. I immediately went to my t-shirt drawer that houses all the old bras in it, dug around for them, and threw them out. Then I ordered another style on the “you might like” list in a different color.
It came in, but after a day of trying to break it in, it still didn’t feel right. I couldn’t believe it when that evening a ThirdLove stylist texted me to see how I was liking my purchases. A few texts back and forth, she had a free exchange all set up for me and a pre-paid return label in my email’s inbox. Y’all, that’s service!!
I’m in the skincare/glamour business, and I’ve seen the power a positive body image gives a woman when she finally finds a foundation that matches or a skincare line that clears up her acne. Well, the same is true for a well-fitting, form-flattering bra!
As I started gushing to a few of my girlfriends about my new discovery with ThirdLove, I found out I wasn’t alone. Almost every other woman I talked to was living in one or two “regular,” ill-fitting bras or mostly poorly supportive sports bras.
So, that’s why I’m sharing my discovery here on a blog that’s about transparent, faith-filled living in every season.
Transparent: Uh, if you don’t know me that well, I was appropriately given a the gag award of “The Nun” during my sorority days. I am the epitome of modest. Showing you pictures of bras I purchased is nearly making me hyperventilate.
Faith-filled: No. But, I will use this section to say, our identity should not be placed in our body image. Our joy should not come from what we look like. Those two things are in and from Jesus. Identity and joy are different than finding yourself being frustrated with not being able to find a comfortable bra that does what your boobs need it to do. So, don’t read this post the wrong way. If you have a great-fitting comfortable bra that you can wear under whatever outfit it is you’d like to wear to church on Sunday, out to dinner Saturday night, all day at work during the week, and while you walk the dog, congratulations! Most of us don’t.
Every Season: Absolutely. No matter what season of life a woman is in, she’s balancing it all: every relationship from marriage to motherhood to best friends to coworkers to family members to her Maker, jobs (she’s most likely got multiple sources of income), finances and budgets (do you know how much time it takes to coupon?), some semblance of self-care, physical fitness (heart disease is real y’all; get your cardio in), etc. Every woman can use every bit of encouragement to take the few minutes it took me with ThirdLove to not only get myself into a comfortable bra, but one that does what it should, and helps me feel better about my appearance on top of that.
So, if you’re in the “I need a new bra” camp, Hi, you’re not alone. Go check these people out. I’m fairly confident they’ll help you find the best one for you.
PS They donate bras to homeless women so they can have this basic necessity met too. Seriously, check ’em out. They’re pretty cool.
Until next time,