Breast Reduction, Physical Wellness, Trail running, weight loss, Working Mom

Learning to Dress my Body After Breast Reduction and Finding a Fashion Sense after Three Babies.


Breast reduction, weight loss and fashion… All in one post.  Wow.  Coffee is kicking in today and it’s not even 9am!

So one of the things I bought for surgery last week was a black button up shirt dress (my FAV wardrobe staple and it was really just an excuse to buy another one haha.)

For 15 years I’ve been wearing long black button-up shirts.  They look awesome on busty and curvy women, especially if you are tall.

So last night was 7 days post breast reduction surgery. After drinking smoothies and not having an appetite all week, I was absolutely voracious yesterday.  My husband and I decided it would be a nice opportunity to go out and grab dinner (and get me out in the world after my week of being ensconced in the house.)

Putting my black button up shirt dress was a trip and I am beginning to realize there are a lot of psychological shifts with a breast reduction surgery.   Up to today (day 7) I had been wrapped up in how freaking awesome I felt, how small my boobs were and all the potential I have to workout and run in comfort now.  I feel that with week two, I’m settling into some of the psychological adjustments of a new body (I am also walking around in a body that is 50lb lighter than last summer, and am only 20 lb away from my goal weight.)

Last night was when the magnitude of body change hit me on a deeper level.

The exact same shirt, my go-to for feeling sexy and put together for the last 15 years,  is a completely, completely different look.  It actually went from bangin’ body flattering, show-off-the-curves shirt, to a loose drapey shirt tucking in at a very weird place in a way that no longer flattered me.


The two images at the top of this picture are exactly how, for 15 years, this black button-up shirt fit me.  The bottom two images represent how it fits now.  Totally different right? Tbh it didn’t feel right as a long tunic.  I realized that the days of long button up shirts have shifted and I will be (gasp) tucking into my pants.  I am so used to using the top part to hang down over the abdomen.  I think I am used to covering up my body in general.

One of the things I am really looking forward to doing in the fall is getting some help understanding this different body and how to dress it because *I love* style and fashion.  Winners is my happy place lol.

My plan is to work with Espy experience here in Calgary to get some basics and understanding of what to choose to highlight this new shape, and also define my style.

One of the things I am coming to appreciate is the combination of defining your unique style with the functional needs that you have as a mum with 3 kids.  As much as I want to go back to my pre-kids style, I need a “version” of that, that allows for me to chase, pick up and go out and play with them.

One of the things I was struggling with, before surgery, was dressing in some “grownup” clothes again.  I was excited to get into them, but then I’d get frustrated because they weren’t allowing me to spontaneously go out for walks or adventures with the kids.  So I’d come home, change out of the clothes and go back into my Lululemon crops, tank and runners.

I need to find a nice place between fashion for work life (I like classic British equestrian style, I have an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to it lol ) and function for family life (being a very active mumma.)

So here I am, in my housecoat with a coffee, realizing that one of the Great Maternity Leave Projects coming up is…. FASHION.  Who knew?!  I never thought I’d blog on clothes and style in Calgary.  The closest I ever got to the fashion world was an offer from Ford Models to go to New York when I was in high school around 2000, I believe at the time they were starting their plus-sized division.  The fashion world at the time seemed so scary and cut-throat at the time, and the scouting agent was so honest about it, and what it would be like, that I was like, mmmm I’ll go do university instead, sounds way safer and admittedly, kinder.

Funnily enough, as I near the end of my weight loss and body transformation journey I was thinking “shit, I don’t have any Great Maternity Leave Projects in the pipeline” and thinking I need to do some brain storming . Well, the next project just came and landed in my hands. Which goes to show you that sometimes, you just need to trust and let the universe bring you things.

It also means I need to start saving up a bit of money to dive into this endeavor.

My plan is to work with the amazing stylists at Espy Calgary who are all fashion stylists.  I’ve always steered away from the fashion world – it intimidates me to no end – but going into Espy a few weeks ago to find jeans for my 6’9 husband, I found that it really isn’t!  It’s not about trying to fit into a style or keep up with fashion. It’s more about gaining clarity about what you like and what flatters your body.  Yes, there’s an industry of defining and setting trends, and high fashion where it’s about art + creativity + pushing the boundary. I think that’s what I associated with fashion.  But there’s also an industry for the rest of us mere mortals and 36-year-old moms who just want to get out of their lulu crops some of the time, haha!

I write this post with gratitude though. I observed the last 5 years of body changes in utter astonishment. It gave me an appreciation for what the female body can do.  Have you ever thought about how many lbs of change, expansion and shrinking your body has gone through in pregnancy? You’ve even grown entirely new organs (the placenta.) And these changes are not just in body fat – your skin has expanded, hell,  even your internal organs have cumulatively moved SEVERAL FEET in your pregnancies.   Wow.  Just wow.  I can’t feel bad or regret wearing leggings + tunics for the last 5 years.  It’s what I needed to do as I did the more important work of human building. 🙂

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Please let me know in the comments if this is something you’d like me to share!

Shall we call this the “dressing a body after babies” journey?  Or perhaps “dressing a body with no babies or boobies” – hmm.

Instagram will be a fun place to share the journey with you as well, so if you haven’t followed The Great Maternity Leave yet on Instagram, head on over.  Admittedly my writing is 1000% better than my photos, but as always, my goal is authenticity, sharing a life coach perspective, and (hopefully) inspiring all of you to continue expanding and elevating your life, even in early motherhood.

The early years of motherhood and mat leave are a perfect time to undergo deep personal growth and expansion in your life.  With the arrival of a baby, you are cracked wide open, the deepest parts of you are exposed.  You find yourself reflecting and taking all of those beliefs and values, deciding which still serve you, and which no longer do.  You find yourself changing, as well.  Building new beliefs and values, and perhaps even new identities.  And a new wardrobe, apparently!

I get excited about new motherhood.  It is a time for immense growth, learning, and reflection.  It forces you into a growth mindset, and in that first year you are so brave and courageous.  Please don’t deny yourself that acknowledgment.

You are thrown into completely new situations and experiences with a new baby.

EVERY day you, my friend, learn something new, face something new and work through fears.  One day you are you-tubing how the hell to wrap a baby in a Moby wrap (and practicing with a real life, sqwawking human which you can’t make mistakes on) and the next day you’re learning about brain development and taking a crash course in developmental psychology.  By the way, there is an amazing FREE online course called Brain Story, where you learn about your baby and child’s brain’s story and what they are going through.  Highly recommend this resource. 

That is NOT something that everyone can say they do. Some people live in safety, security, and stability. They are happy with the knowledge they have and most definitely feel no need to change. They don’t want to acquire more knowledge or test their limits.  They are in a fixed mindset.  We all know plenty of people like this.  It’s not wrong, or bad, it’s just one of many ways to live.

You? you’re most certainly not in that place if you are here on this blog today.

We’ve chosen an extraordinary adventure, and it is definitely none of those things, but it’s WORTH IT. The rewards are incredible when you work through the challenges.

It is exactly why I went from no kids to three in five years.  It’s all so worth it.

While the shell is cracked, why not think about your beliefs, your values, the life you want for you + your family.  Why not undergo the process of taking all of those and elevating your life? 🙂




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