As I logged into Mychart, the upcoming visits column made me sick to my stomach.
Next month, I remove my breast implants forever.
Not because I want to – I really don’t. I’ve had them my whole adult life and don’t remember any different.
But I will remove them because my health is demanding that I do and I desperately want to feel better.
5 years ago, I read an article about Crystal Hefner and breast implant illness [BII]. It caught my attention but I also said that’s not me, I’m fine.
Then I began to do research and realized that actually, it might be me.
A couple years ago, things really began to shift with my health and I realized that I had to stop saying it wasn’t the implants and accept that it very likely was the implants.
Thousands of women are suffering from BII. It’s undeniable to me at this point.
I’ve been afraid to remove them because while it’s only physical, this is how I’ve looked for almost 20 years and it’s going to be a shock.
None of us like to think about our body changing and yet I’m realizing it’s the best thing for my health.
I have to choose my health over how I look.
It’s a little bit like when you really want to lose weight desperately and you’ll do anything… but you realize you want your weight loss to last forever – so you take your time and focus on your health. You'll get there but it's not instantaneous like you may want.
Some moments I’m excited about explant and ready for it. I want less fatigue. I want my joints and muscles to not be in excruciating pain on a daily basis anymore.
Then on the other side, I cry about the change. I hate change and now the body I’ve been used to for the past 18 years of my life is going to be gone.
I’m scared I won’t accept my appearance. I still dream of the competitive physique that I used to have – I always compare to that bikini or figure girl standing on stage. It’s dangerous because that girl on stage didn’t have a life. There was mornings and nights in the gym. Sometimes lunchtime sessions too. I ate out of Tupperware, weighing and counting every bite. I checked the scale daily. I avoided parties, social events. At holidays I came after the food or left before the food to avoid it. I was obsessive and I don’t want that for me anymore.
I was also competing and striving for that appearance for the wrong reasons – I was looking for love and acceptance from others. Something you’ll never find competing; you must do it for you and only you.
When all these thoughts about how I used to look come up, I have to remind myself of all I missed during those years and all the freedom I have now. I enjoy life with my family and friends. I want to continue to eat out with them and actually eat the food, balanced with what makes me feel good. If I feel like having a drink, I want to be able to say yes. I want to continue to workout to feel amazing and gain strength rather than solely focus on how I look.
I want to stop waking up dead tired. I want to stop having joint and muscle pain that makes me want to just lay in bed. I’m sick of fighting through pain and exhaustion on a daily basis. I’m sick of wondering, that if like so many other women, I’ll find that without implants I get my life back.
My health matters more than my appearance. My boobs don’t make me who I am. I don’t need them in order to be the healthy woman I am and always aspire to be.
My identity of a healthy woman includes-
Someone who takes care of herself so she looks and feels her best. This means getting enough high quality sleep, eating enough but not too much, eating a variety of foods including tons of plants to fight disease and give me the nutrients I need. Eating fun foods when it feels good. It means exercising and moving my body daily. It means outdoor walks daily to move my body and decrease my stress [did you know outdoor walks are the only form of exercise that decrease stress on the body rather than increase it?]
A healthy woman has true balance – she knows that everything she puts into her body, whether it be food, drink or implants - will have an impact on her health sooner or later. She is thoughtful about her decisions because she knows that what she takes in matters, whether it be food, social media, drink or stress. She is committed to learning and doing better for herself.
Now that I know what I know, I'll do better. Being a healthy, happy, successful woman is what is most important to me and removing my implants supports that identity of mine.
If you or someone you know has breast implants or is considering them, please suggest that they visit www.healingbreastimplantillness.com to learn more about breast implant illness. Learning about it may protect their health💗 If you’d like to know more about my experience or symptoms, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.