Today’s post in the Fit and Active September series is about a frustrating side-effect of becoming fit and active – when successful workouts change your body and create bra fit problems.
I love working out. Moving my body is my go-to prescription to decrease muscle aches, clear my head, balance my hormones, and improve my personality. I won’t argue with the positive side effects to my physique, either.
But inevitably, one morning I wake up…and none of my bras fit (neither do my pants but that’s another post). I’m not talking about old, worn out pieces of elastic I’d be happy to retire, I’m talking about brand-new (and expensive) pieces of lace and highly engineered sports bras. You can safely assume a tirade of curses accompanies my grab of the measuring tape, while I stand naked in front of my bathroom mirror, squinting through my glasses while I try to figure out what exactly happened this time.
Here’s an example of my conversation with myself (and my husband, if he happens to be somewhere in the house).
Did my cup size decrease? No, apparently there’s a larger difference between underbust and overbust now…
Did I lose more fullness up top? Sigh. I think I lost fat but increased muscle? And why are the straps fitting differently now?
WHAT is up with the band and WHY is it so wrinkled? I’m still trying to figure out how underbust circumference decreases and yet I need a longer band.
Why, if my underbust is smaller do I now now have more side boob? This is when I start considering a shot of tequila.
Is my butt bigger? This is when my husband runs away….
The truth is a woman’s bra size and fit can change many times, so every woman will experience bra fit problems at some time in her life. A successful workout routine is just one of the many events that can quickly change our bra fit – pms, pregnancy, birth control, hormone therapy, illness….all can contribute to permanent or temporary changes.
So how do I cope with my changing body and bra fit problems? First, I hang on to good bras I no longer wear. While this strategy has been mostly unsuccessful so far, I find it helpful to try the not-so-great-fitting bras to determine if my fit has returned to a previous shape (that I know how to buy for). I’m still clinging to the hope I can wear one of those bras, and I’ll update you next year…
Second, I try not to panic for a few weeks. I play with strap length, tighten and loosen bands, try extenders, etc. to see if anything will resolve the new fit issues. When I think I understand what has changed, I try to find a well-fitted bra at a retailer near me. While this approach is generally unsuccessful for me due to my cup size, I generally get a feel for band length and design during this process.
Third, since I live with two autoimmune diseases I try to make peace with changes in my body. Today, I may be lean and mean but tomorrow I may be puffy and in pain. I try not to consider a change permanent unless it sticks for a month. While dealing with physiological changes is routine for autoimmune patients, I’ve learned I must carefully monitor these changes, since they can signal changes in my autoimmune status – rapid weight loss can indicate a hyperthyroid period of Hashimoto’s Disease, weight or inch gain can signal that I’m inadvertently glutening myself. I have learned that positive and noticeable changes size or weight are rare for me, and they do tend to happen overnight if they happen at all.
Bra fit problems happen for many reasons, and when changes are associated with a successful workout regimen they are bittersweet. This is my third round with these changes and I know it won’t be the last. Building a bra wardrobe can be challenging, and having to reassess bra fit can be frustrating. I do try to stay forward-focused and instead of dwelling on the styles I have lost due to my new bra fit problems, instead I try to think about new styles I may fit in today.
This post is a part of the Fit & Active September Series. Check out posts from other bloggers in the series:
By Baby’s Rules
Braless in Brasil
Two Cakes on a Plate
Les Gros Bonnets
As always, I welcome (and hope for) input from my readers and fellow boob bloggers! Please comment on this post or drop me a line at info[at]widecurves.com.