Monday, April 11, 2011

...B( . )( . )Bs...

I'm a private person. It doesn't seem like it, because I do A LOT of talking and seem like an open book...and I's just I don't share EVERY page. I'm like an onion with many layers. It takes a lot of time and determination to get to the center. It also takes the ability to withstand the "tears" that go along with peeling an onion. I haven't found many people strong enough to get to the center.

I recently posted a picture (see below) on the "Strong is the new skinny" Facebook page that was meant to be motivational. I think most people found it to be, however...some criticized it because the fitness model clearly has implants. Others criticized the fact that in THEIR opinion, she was near perfection, yet they felt it contradicted the quote. My sister...that does NOT have implants...but IS part of the SINS community...brought the comments to my attention. She was surprised at how judgmental some of the comments was I. Actually, I wasn't surprised...I was disappointed.
So here's where the whole "onion thing" comes back in to play...(drum roll)

I have implants. THERE! I SAID IT!

Although most people assume, I have never publicly admitted to that. I am blessed to come from a long line of "well endowed" women. Boobs are NOT in short supply in my family and I was no exception. I was a full C/small D when I was thin and flying out of a double D when I was heavy or breast feeding babies. Unfortunately, after I had three children, breast fed the last two, and lost 70 pounds...I was left with nothing...and when I say nothing...I'm not kidding. I didn't care that I didn't have big boobs anymore, in fact it was kind of nice to have a break from carrying those "girls" around. Unfortunately, I looked borderline disfigured so I went to see a few doctors about getting a lift and small implants.

I found a conservative doctor that I trusted and within 2 weeks, I was on the operating table. I ended up with boobs smaller than my "original pre baby/weight gain" boobs and I was satisfied with that. My recovery was difficult. I developed severe scar tissue around one implant that lifted it up high on my chest and was VERY painful. I could not even raise my arm up to shoulder height on that side. It had nothing to do with my doctor. It was MY bodies reaction to a foreign object. It was so bad that my plastic surgeon went back in and it took three hours for him to scrape the scar tissue that had built up around the implant in just a couple of months. It was a painful, scary recovery that we were not sure was going to work. The fear was that my body would make even more scar tissue following the second surgery and I would then have to have the implant removed for six months until my body could heal and we could try again. You can imagine how devastating and disfiguring that would have been.

That was one of the lowest points for me. I felt alone...wondering if I had made the right decision...feeling cheated that other women have surgery and recover with no problems. It was especially hard because NO ONE knew. I kept it a secret. Only my immediate family and a few of my closest friends that I completely trusted. I felt that I couldn't even tell my in-laws, because I knew I would be talked about incessantly and judged.

Some people may wonder why I kept it a secret. Is it because I wanted people to think I look like this "naturally"? Is it because I was ashamed of my decision? The answer to both of these questions, is "NO!". I was afraid of ridicule and judgement. I didn't want people to focus on JUST my boobs. That's why I went SO conservative with the size. I didn't want to hear the catty comments like "She only looks like that because she had surgery!" or "She's so shallow and only cares about how she looks!" or have people pay attention to or focus on what I was wearing or how my boobs looked. In my mind, it was reconstructive surgery.

So you can see why these comments made on Facebook (all direct quotes taken from the list of 42 comments) would get me fired up!
"How about posting pictures of real women with real boobs?!"

"It ruins the genuineness of being naturally fit when one has implants. I like working out and being muscular but I want to keep my curves. I have seen women who are very fit but you still need some fat or it will make you appear older than you are especially on the face."

"Not hating on...just my opinion. It's irritating to see blogs about acceptance about not being "perfect" and 99%+ of the time there is a picture to illustrate what "perfect" supposively looks like. It sends out mixed messages. I feel the same way about fake hair and fake nails."

""Do what you can with what you have." But she didn't, with her boobs. :P"

"I agree on the mixed message. Yes its an inspirational quote and yes that women is gorgeous, fit, and strong and it's not about the realness of her breasts that bothers me. Associating a photo of a woman who is damn near perfect in my vie...w while claiming "none of us are perfect" is really frustrating and counter productive. In a culture where women are beaten down by trying to achieve "perfection" and obsessed with body image, I would like to see this group champion what real, average, STRONG women look like. That lady is HOT and good on her, but that's not the reality of what us average gals looks like, even when we work our asses off."

"Okay- is this the message I'm supposed to get from this? "Do what you can, where you are with what you have.... But if you're not happy with what you HAVE, get a boob job." The message does not match the phrase AT ALL, it in fact contradicts it!!"

Obviously, there were many comments that were positive, but these few negative comments really bothered me and so I wanted to share my story and put my two cents worth in...because REALLY I could care less what people think of implants. That's not why these comments bothered me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's not about me personally or a debate on implants in general. What it IS acceptance...or lack thereof. Here was MY initial response:

"I try not to take things personally and I've sat on my response for a day because I didn't want to make people mad, but I'm ready to speak my mind and deal with the consequences. Implants DO NOT ruin the "geniuneness of being naturally fit"... NOR does this image contradict this phrase. It disappoints me that we preach acceptance of something that is different and of all shapes and sizes but rag on implants or the appearance of "perfection". Be accepting of ALL. It's easy to say "Hey let's be nice and accept people on the journey or that are not near perfection." but it's tough to accept people that look good or do things to enhance their body. If you don't like fake boobs, don't get em...but don't judge people that do. If you wanna have an opinion, fine...but don't GENERALIZE and be hateful. It's wrong and I don't want that here on our page."

So there you have it...the truth about me and how I feel about this. It was hard for me to share something that I wanted to keep private, but I felt like I needed to do it in order to explain where I'm coming from. Do I think people have judged me or will judge me because of my boobs? Yes. Do I regret my decision to get implants...even with the complications? No. It was right...for ME. I don't expect anyone to change their opinion on fake boobs because of me. I think everyone has the right to their opinions whether I like it or not. I do not however think people have the right to judge and bash on people because they don't agree with their decision and then generalize it out to everyone else. I think it's harder sometimes to accept people that look good...maybe even better than we do...than it is to accept people that don't. It takes true confidence to not see our own failures when others succeed.
It takes true strength to be able to accept EVERYONE. It doesn't matter whether or not you are buff. It doesn't matter where you choose to workout or how you choose to workout. What matters is that everyone is trying to be their best in their own way.
Forget about the b( . )( . )bs and focus on being strong!


  1. Thank you, Marsha! I believe that women need to continue to encourage and support eachother and stop allowing our own insecurities to bring other women down.

    1. Yes! Women are way too mean to each other!

  2. Marsha, thank you so much for sharing your story. I know it took a lot for you and I so commend you for that. I was also very disappointed in how a positive message got turned into something negative by some. As I said on the post, as women we really need to be better in uplifting each other but you know what, you're so's about acceptance. Questioning a woman's "realness" was the one that threw me off. How dare you?! I personally don't have implants and I found that comment so rude! Anyway, thanks for commenting on it =) I appreciate you courage! Rock on beautiful warrior!


  3. I agree with Marsha 100%! It may not be for everyone, but is was for me! I was disappointed with the comments just because my breasts may be fake, but my feelings aren't. My implants didn't change who I am on the inside and I happen to be a genuinely good person, mother, and friend.

  4. Way to go Marsha! I didn't see the original post when it came up but I applaud you for sharing something so private. Whether people get surgery or not, we are all trying to make ourselves feel better and become healthier and stronger and that's all that matters. To those out there hating on a beautiful girl, get over it! There's ALWAYS going to be someone bigger, better, stronger and prettier, focus on the positive. Congratulate not hate. Kick a$$ and lift heavy sh*t!! 3-2-1-GO!

  5. Thank you Marsha for this. I totally respect your choice. Plastic surgery is an individual decision, it does not make anyone a bad person or less genuine.
    I think some of the comments were more about the choice of picture that accompanies the quote. It is an interesting choice since she does fit the stereotype of a desirable socially beautiful woman. It might have been more appropriate to chose a woman that is in good shape but representative of a larger population of women. This model perpetuates the social pressure for women to be lean as all get out.
    But who are we to judge... maybe she went through a life change and got into incredible shape. And though she may be ideal, she too may feel inadequate at times.
    thank you for your post.

  6. Love it. Well said. It bothers me how people can be so quick to judge in the "are they real or fake arena. I guess when others decide it's "medically necessary" only then, if you have implant's are you cut you a break.

    I could care less what people think of me or what my decision was for getting mine. If anyone ever asks me "are they real"
    I always respond with a "YES they are...REAL expensive, that is"



  7. Oh, I so agree..... Even "damn-near perfect"-looking women have issues to deal with, and a commitment they make and choose to re-commit to nearly every day (or they wouldn't look like that, unless they're genetically very blessed). She looks fit and strong... which is (unfortunately) sure as heck NOT average. But who aspires to be average? Even if you are (as I am), do you not aspire to be healthier/stronger/fitter/better, in some way?

  8. It doesn't matter if you have real ones or not. you work hard and your body rocks !

  9. Great post. I think that part of accepting our imperfection is being willing to take steps to change what we want to change. Overweight people aren't ridiculed for losing weight, even if only for aesthetic purposes; those with vision challenges aren't insulted because they choose eye surgery over glasses... It's really important to recognize that we're not perfect, and to accept those imperfections, but it's equally as important to feel good about who you are and how you look. Call it an exercise in mental health, if you will. I say if it makes you feel stronger - mentally or physically - then no one else should have room to comment.

  10. Very honest...thank you! To me, the message of "Strong is the New Skinny" goes way beyond physical strength and weight; rather, it is about being strong in who you are, and about celebrating women for being women...whatever that looks like. Attacking someone because they are "too thin" or because they have had elective surgery is no different than judging based on being overweight, IMO. Feminism is about the freedom to choose what's right for you, whether that's a beauty pageant or a power lifting competition. Wishing everyone could accept themselves regardless of how they look is one thing; condemning them because they make a change is another. The point is not to transfer the judgement to a different's too eliminate it altogether!


  11. Let me say, as a lean, tall woman and as a woman with implants, judgement sucks. I get it all the time. I literally have to try to force enough food down to put on muscle. Believe me, I want to be about 7-8 lbs heavier. I've managed to gain 2 pounds of lean mass in the last year. Yet, when people see pictures of me, I get things like "You're so skinny! what do you know about working out" or "well not everybody can be built like a model like you."

    Those kinds of judgments can be just as hurtful when you're not overweight. I got implants for the same reason you did, Marsha. After breastfeeding my son, I felt like half a woman. Was it a little shallow of me to care about what my boobs look like? yeah, maybe, but it was my decision and I would never judge anyone that makes similar ones.

    Its easy to sit back and look at a picture of an attractive person and hate on them/judge them. We all do it at some point just because maybe we're not happy with ourselves at that moment. But did that person choose to look the way they do? Some of them, but not all. I was born with my looks and height, and I've worked hard to lift as heavy as I can and bust my ass in the gym to get to where I am physically.

    Just my .02!

  12. Amen, sister! Certainly some women get plastic surgery simply because they are shallow, self-involved trollops, but they are definitely in the minority. Many more get surgery because they have a nagging, lingering issue that they've been self-conscious about or gotten ridiculed over. I think if surgery makes someone feel better about themselves, that's a wholly positive thing!

    I am, admittedly, a bit biased. Genetics + obesity in puberty led me to have DD boobs by the time I was 16, probably up to an I or J cup at their peak size. I got them down to H cups through diet and exercise, but I was still massively uncomfortable with the size. So two years ago I had a reduction mammoplasty and got down to a comfortable D cup.

    Today I am SO much more comfortable with my body than I was a few years ago, and the surgery is a big part of that. No amount of Paleo diet and Crossfitting could've brought my boobs to the size they are now. That lingering belly fat, though? That's coming off the hard way. :)

  13. What a load of crap! After having three kids and breastfeeding them all, I have gone from perky DD's to well......something that needs help, lol. I'd do it in a heartbeat if the Army paid my husband more!

  14. Marsha, I want to thank you for your honesty, I appreciate that this post probably wasn't easy to publish and I admire your courage and honesty for sharing. You have shown integrity and respect, which are far more important than your body shape. I think that everyone has a right to choose HOW they shape their body, and everyone has a right to their opinion; however, it would be a much kinder place if people were discretionary about sharing their opinions. Many women struggle with low self esteem relating to body shape, a great deal of those consider surgical intervention, and sadly some with a low self esteem and lack of compassion resort to criticising others as a way of deflecting their personal dissatisfaction. Acceptance of others may help many women to accept themselves, after all kindness matters more than aesthetics, and beauty comes from the heart.

  15. VERY well said Marsha! People are very shallow and judgmental in their thinking no matter what it's about be it boobs, hair, belly, arm muscles, glasses, intelligence or whatever.

    If they feel uncomfortable in any way they will cowardly make fun of it to some degree.

    Bravo for you for sticking with it and being YOU.

    -Bob Garon

  16. Well done Marsha, as always!

  17. My first reaction to the picture was quite similar to some others...its a mixed message of sorts but ultimately we don't know this girls story...for all we know she has been through 2 rounds of chemo and is a breast cancer survivor. As a society we judge too hastily the perfect and especially the imperfect alike. I know that I am judged by strangers on my appearance and they are welcome to do so...after 30 years of thinking that strangers defined who I am - I have realized that only I define myself. Mine are natural...naturally spectacular - they match the rest of me :)

  18. I lost 115 lbs Marsha I appreciate the article and I hope one day I can have the curves naked to feel beautiful and sexy like I think I deserve to feel........I miss my breasts because they were part of me, I just want back what I had pre-weight gain. And I judge NO ONE for their hotness however they have to get there. Implants and fitness are separate should be able to have both.

  19. What's important is each person's own goals for health, and being comfortable in their own skin. Am I perfect, hell no, but what I am is me. Wonderful, flawed, outrageous me (and I like it that way).

    Getting stronger & healthier every day...

  20. i have them too marsha..and they are big. and i love them(and yes it takes me 2 or 3 bras to strap them in tight for what will inevitably be a bumpy workout). i love yours too..your boobs rock. you know why i have them? i lost nearly 50 pounds after having 3 kids...of course i lost the boobs too! you are strong and i love your blog and i love your boobs in a tight tank. let the haters hate! people that have issues with implants and photos of fitness models with implants clearly have much bigger issues then just that of fitness models with implants...if you know what i mean.

  21. Thank you for coming clean and going public with the "implant" issue. I too have implants (getting them redone next week, going from saline to silicone). I am proud to work hard on my body and not ashamed to say that ONLY SECOND TO PERFORMANCE, I enjoy looking good too.

  22. Thanks you for sharing - I feel bad sometimes because crossfit and a better diet have taken away many of the curves that I spent high school and college learning to love! I am not married yet, nor do I see kids in the near future, but I have already started a 'Boob Fund' for after all the breast feeding. But I feel thats right for me - and that each woman gets to make that choice herself!

  23. I applaud your honesty Marsh! I don't see your having implants any differently than my having a reduction...there are some things that are out of our control. We do all that we can, and for some of us, that means seeking the necessary help to make up for the difference. ROCK ON SISTA!

    xoxoxo~Michelle S.

  24. I say do your best for yourself and whatever it is that feels right for you thats where you direct your efforts. If you decide to get implants, work out 5 days a week, eat ice cream ~ whateva!!!! It's your life ... focus on that and not hatin on peeps that "appear" perfect whether from mother nature or Doctor Feel Guud ... I mean really ... who cares? Are peeps that emotionally unstable that they wanna tear down someone b/c they look "too perfect" lmao ... judge not

  25. Well stated ma'am, "upgrades" or "aftermarkets" (I don't care for the term fake) are a personal choice and have zero baring on personal fitness anymore than a choice to get tattoos, wear make-up, or wear designer clothes that make your ass look great. I have friends who have aftermarket boobs because they like having curves without the bodyfat, lots of my CF buddies, coworkers, cop-friends, etc have gotten implants, and most of them say the same thing "If there was a lift I could do to make my boobs bigger I'd be doing it twice a day, but there isn't". If you like your chest small, awesome, enjoy! Some women like to have more, it's a personal decision and has fuck-all to do with their commitment to fitness.

  26. I think any cosmetic procedure is totally personal to whomever has decided to go through it. I appreciate it, but at the same time, it makes me appreciate myself too! Even through losing 80lbs, I kept my boobs-they're smaller, but I've got them and I'm very lucky. I'm not at an "ideal" weight BUT, I am who I am, and that's it. I'm always going to have a big butt, and have an hourglass figure. It's just WHO I am. But, I'm strong and as long as I keep up with becoming stronger, that's what is important to me. We all do things for different reasons and judging people for it is a sign of insecurity. What others do should have no impact on you. Once you can defeat that, you'll become SO much stronger mentally. Letting go an focusing on yourself is truly empowering!

  27. I SO appreciate the kind words and support! Thanks everyone!!! <3

  28. this was great. i am going in for surgery a week from tomorrow, for a boob lift. i, too, lost about 60lbs and was left with what i affectionately termed, "rocks in socks" syndrome. my boobs look like they belong to an 80 year old woman. im 29. so im having surgery. and i tossed around the idea of implants and all of these same fears and thoughts came up. i decided against them, but im so glad to hear your story. i don't even know you and you have still been the most inspirational person in my little life for the last couple weeks, since stumbling upon the SINS community. thank you thank you thank you.

  29. Great post, MC. As you know from reading my blog, I totally identify with you on this one. And yes, it IS truly strange how strong a reaction talking about implants brings out. I got called a a lot of things...and I'm sure much more was said beyond my hearing. BUT, I also had a tremendous amount of support from people close to me and people I didn't even know, out there on the web. Proud of you for speaking your mind on this! Go girl!

  30. Hi Marsha,

    This is a great topic. I have only discovered your blog and I love the message!

    When I stood up against the "skinny", "you must be super lean to be fit" and "sexual marketing" message of another fitness blog, I was "attacked" because people assumed I had issues/jealousy of her fake boobs!!! Like - hello!!! Missing the point!

    Anyway, my point is that no matter what you do, there will always be judgement from those people who can't see far enough to understand the bigger picture.

    What do boobs have to do with strength and performance anyway?? It's not like you're cheating your way out of that. Like bigger boobs will make you stronger LOL! Plus, I agree that it is a very personal decision to make and I would never judge anyone for doing it...

    ... From my teens, I never had any - so when I was 21, I got small natural implants. I felt exactly the same way afterward and actually wished i hadn't done it. Now, I have just accepted them, though if I am perfectly honest, had I waited a few more years, I am sure I would have learned to accept my natural size. No point in regreting something I can't undo - I am still me and I am still STRONG!!

    Keep up the great work! :D

  31. Good for you!! You obviously work hard and if you want boobs, I say, get them! If I could have kept my nursing boobs, you can bet I would have, but I couldn't, and if I could afford implants, damn right, I'd get them-for me! But, since I can't I'll keep what I've got, and be happy with them-don't let the nosy ones get you down-I'm sure the majority of us have something we're not happy with that we'd gladly fix with or without surgery, you did what was right for you-more power to ya!!

  32. I gotta say, I don't think any of those 'negative' comments were negative at all! Just a different opinion than yours. We all act on things we believe are legitimate reasons in our own minds, so in your mind, you appeared 'borderline' disfigured and wanted to do something about it. Everyone has a line somewhere. If you were in a fire and were disfigured some might say 'of course you need surgery' and some would say 'accept what you have'. We all draw a line somewhere in the sand and that is all that's happening here. Your line is in a different place than others.
    Objectively however, there is a lot of contradiction happening in that picture and words, as well as in your own writing and reasoning that even you appear to not yet see. Not right or wrong, just where you are and where your line is. If it is a thoughtful and well-considered decision and feels right for you, have at it!

  33. Wow. Thanks for reiterating my point. The word Objectively starting the 2nd paragraph made me chuckle. Self righteously judge if you want but if you think I'm contradicting the mission of SINS, then this probably isn't the place for you and I think you should start your own page and run it and illustrate it as you please. It can be as perfect and as exclusionary as you please. It's funny to me to come to a person's page and then be upset by what YOU don't like or think is a "contradiction". It's like going to a bar and being mad that people are drinking. If you don't like a person or the way they think, don't go to their "house" so to speak.

    As for me...I'll keep being me, writing, and working every day to build people up rather than judging and tearing people down. Good luck.

  34. I rarely post - if at all, but this resonated with me. I agree Marsha with your post just above me (9/14 at 12:57pm).

    Honestly - there are so many 'righteous' people that color their hair, have had braces on their teeth or cap a broken tooth, get fake nails, put on make-up or false eye lashes - yet are against implants.

    What about those of us who had 'growths' (while perhaps benign or malignant) that had to come out? And, then left with lopsided breasts? I don't care how secure these naysayers may be, but it doesn't seem right to judge or pontificate when you don't know what it is like to be faced with that challenge or with that situation.

    I never thought about implants. Ever. When I was at my fittest (and I am not now for sure), my bodyfat level was decently low that the benign growth in my right breast was so noticeable, it looked like I had a grape sticking out of my skin. Removing it meant that I would have one breast significantly fuller than that other -- totally different cup size. I, too, elected surgery and decided to 'stay small' and keep with my pre-baby/pre-fitness size.

    I have had a lot of comments made by others -- attacking my character. Many of those people are clearly jealous is all - or clearly not centered and grounded individuals.

    My story is quite personal as well -- but I felt compelled to share it given the volatility and negativity this seems to encounter.

  35. So true! Thank you for sharing your story!!! I'm glad you are okay! Let the haters say what they want. It comes from a place of insecurity and unhappiness. We know who we are and why we do what we do! :)

  36. Thank you for your story.. negative people will always find a reason to hate or make negative comments about others even when they themselves could fit into the very characteristic they are commenting about...

    If we feel better about ourselves we can create our own perfect self, implants or not....

    The doctor's don't make us perfect, they just provide the catalyst to propel us down that road...

  37. I don't understand the hate on implants, people say they aren't natural or you're trying to be fake but if you get down to it consuming 5# tubs of protein and running for a hour on a machine isn't "natural" either neither is eating McDonald's

  38. Marsha, thank you so much for sharing, I know that was very difficult...the world would be a much better place if we would just stop judging each other and instead celebrate each others victories <3
    I commend you for your openness and honesty :)

  39. I have a sister who is very fit and naturally very thin. For whatever reason she never developed breasts. Ever. She simply had no breast tissue, not even enough to breast feed her three children. She had implants and I do not judge or think less of her for it. Watching her and her experience made me realize that body image is a very personal thing. There is no room to judge others when it comes to this topic. Support and encouraging healty choices is, in my opinion, what matters. But yhats just me.

  40. I believe beautiful people are subject to a reverse discrimination. Her implants have nothing to do with her fitness. I think people make nasty commentary out of self dissatisfaction. Happy self satisfied people don't emotionally shred others.

  41. I have to say Marsha... the more I learn about you, the more inspirational you are to me! I have been publically criticized for having rhinoplasty. What people don't know, is that it also included four other surgeries, to reconstruct my nose and forhead after I was ran over by a pick up truck. I was left disfigured, and still have a weird looking leg. I did what I needed to do, to make myself feel whole again. It is obvious, that this was also your reasoning to do your surgery. I didn't come out with a prettier nose, than I had had before. It is actually crooked now, but at least it's a nose that looks normal and makes me feel more normal again. I could see if someone was offended by finding out that you had had lipo, but this is ridiculous. They are just boobs. You can not build up your boobs by excersize(only pecs). So, why should it even be an issue, when the purpose of your FB page is to motivate to get off of their butts and go work out? Some people are just ingnorant and hurtful. Thank you for taking time out of your life to help motivate all of us.