I’ve been recently asked by friends, “How do your boobs stay the same size when you’ve been hardcore dieting during prep?” and “How do I keep my boobs from shrinking when dieting?”
This seems to be a common question, at least, from what I’ve seen from just floating around in fitness discussions online. When I first started working out, I wondered all the time – how are all of these women so lean, yet have great boobs? I was also afraid to ask people if theirs was real – cause let’s be honest, that can be an invasive question.
So, in the spirit of full transparency, I did it too. I got a boob job, and only people who have seen me naked notice any difference because of how I’ve always worn my clothes (and push up bras). A good surgeon will help you pick a size and shape that looks natural on your frame, making it hard to tell if you’ve had one or not. If you know what signs to look for though, you’ll notice a ton of competitors had their boobs done. I don’t think it’s a good or bad thing, and I’m not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing with your body. Just trying to provide another *real* perspective.
Other perspectives can be found on various Reddit posts, such as this one.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, no amount of chest exercises will add more breast tissue. You can’t control where the fat comes off when you diet, and while your bust measurements get bigger and your chest may look better, it’s probably from your pecs and back growing – not more breast tissue.
Breast augmentation surgery isn’t the only way to add the curves you want, and those options are best left to a discussion with your doc. All of these options have their pros and cons, which should be discussed in depth with a qualified medical professional. I am not giving medical advice, just trying to discuss my personal thought process and recovery.
I haven’t found a ton of experiences on a published blog, so I’ll be talking about my experience here – I’m about two years out from my breast augmentation (Oct 2016), so I hope this helps y’all anticipate what’s to come.
Consultation & Pre-Op
I’ve always been tiny on top, but after my first prep, I was pretty much the President of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee – my A cups were only getting smaller. Essentially, I had been in bikini competition prep since May 2016 for two shows that fall, dieting all the way through late October. I liked my body and seeing my new muscles, but I was even more insecure about my boobs than ever. I knew that the October show would be my last show for the year, so I wanted to look into breast augmentation for the next year. It made sense to me to “take a break” from competition prep and just use the downtime from surgery to let my metabolism recover.
With that, I started looking at surgeons. I decided to talk to a surgeon based on his portfolio, talked to him about my options, liked him a lot, and just went for it.
He had this awesome 3D scanning machine that helped us ballpark what size would suit me – and then I stuffed the implants into a sports bra to see what it would actually look like with clothes on. I couldn’t decide between two sizes that were very close, but I knew I wanted medium-high profile – a bit rounder and “taller” in height than a lower profile implant, which blends into the breast more but is a bit wider and flatter.
Since I knew I would get fairly lean and I didn’t like the look of very visible implants, I went for under the muscle. The textured implants were also recommended as they’re less likely to slip out of the pocket that the surgeon creates – it sticks to the walls as it heals, so that chest exercises won’t mess with it as much.
Dr. Morales, a plastic surgeon that operates on many female competitors, recommends under the muscle for everyone except WPD competitors – more info can be found here in the FAQs and here in the research section (I haven’t worked with him personally, so I cannot provide input on his work).
I put my deposit down, scheduled, and two weeks before the surgery, I had a pre op appointment where we finalized the size and I got my medical instructions.
Final Choice: Natrelle Inspira 560cc
Operation & Immediate Recovery
I don’t remember anything from the day of the operation, other than that when I woke up, I felt this immense pressure on my chest (probably because I had a liter of silicone now sitting on my chest) and I was sore. I had pain meds and slept pretty much nonstop for a few days.
The immediate problem I noticed was – I didn’t have bras for my boobs. I wore these front closing surgical bras for the first two weeks (until my follow up), but then afterwards, not even my sports bras fit. They compressed too much – during recovery, you want gentle pressure and not so much that it’ll push the implants out of place. I ended up buying maternity bras – they’re stretchy but also have clasps in the back so you don’t have to pull anything above your head. This helped me be more independent early on. It hurt so much to raise my arms AT ALL. I felt pretty useless for a while.
Bit of an adjustment going from this:
What was also not great was my transition from working out almost every single day to not doing anything at all.
My exercise restrictions were:
- No cardio (or heart rate >100) for two weeks
- No legs for four weeks
- No upper body for six weeks.
You have to give your body time to rest during those two weeks because that’s when your blood vessels heal and create new connections. Working out during this time is trying to plug up holes in a water hose with duct tape… while it’s running. Bad idea.
I was really conservative with my recovery (I spent $5000 on these bad boys and didn’t want to ruin it), so I actually didn’t do upper body for eight weeks, and isolation exercises/machines for legs until then. It turns out that you use your upper body to rack and rerack your weights. Who would have guessed?
The first few months, the breasts sit kind of high on your chest, giving it a bit of a boxy appearance, but they should migrate down. A follow up with my surgeon assured me it would all be okay.
I also ate at maintenance, keeping my protein fairly high (140g protein out of 1700 cals). I didn’t put on fat or lose muscle, and I feel like maintaining my nutrition helped me heal faster.
Long Term Results
I’m really happy with the size I picked after I got over the sticker shock of how much silicone was going in. It looks fairly natural and keeps its shape well, even when I’m contest lean.
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The amazing thing about neuroplasticity is that, even as an adult, you can continue molding and shaping yourself. I’m working on becoming more unapologetically me, as well as being fulfilled by the process instead of being fixated on an end goal. In other words, I’m learning to have fun in what I do.✌🏻#growthmindset . Photography: @shermanmccain Thank you @powerhousehouston for being so accommodating!
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When I started my first prep, I had literally never done lateral raises, curls, or tricep work E V E R lmao. My delts took forever to grow, but I worked on them for months, hitting them hard with heavy weights twice a week and following up with feeder exercises. Doing the same for my glutes now and hopefully it’ll pay off as well. Photographer: Juan Maldonaldo Coach: @derock240 @loudperformancetraining Also did my own makeup and used @bareminerals #barepro (#complimentary from @influenster) to conceal. Very happy with how easy it was to put on and the photo finish it left. #rbodybuilding #npcbikini #npctexas #fitness #girlswholift #girlswithmuscle #fitspo #fitfam #fitgirl #workout #gymlife #preplife #bodybuilding #contest #fitnessmodel #fitnessmotivation #fitnessphotography
Lift wise, I still work upper chest to minimize how much rippling is visible when I’m really lean. Plus, the upper chest feeds into the delts. I don’t do flat bench anymore, but it took me about two years to get back to 85lbs for 3 sets of 8. I usually stick to incline work now. I actually don’t care too much about strength gains since bodybuilding isn’t based on that, but I know that some other female athletes haven’t been affected by their new implants in the long run – for example, SquatRackShenanegans.
Any other questions? Drop it in the comments below.