A special thank goes out to Melanie Hawskley today for emailing and asking me if she could share her journey of body acceptance with Beautiful You readers. I of course said yes when I learned more about Melanie’s life experiences and her desire to share her story with others in the hope they may learn something from it; especially if considering cosmetic surgery. It’s a true and raw tale of learning and self love and I thank Melanie for sharing it with us.
My name is Melanie. I’m a personal trainer, C.H.E.K (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology Institute) Holistic Lifestyle Coach, massage therapist and mother to two lovely kids. In 2005 I got silicone gel breast implants to improve my very saggy post feeding breasts. I was 34 years old, 3 years out of my marriage and in a relationship with a guy that definitely didn’t think much of me as a woman.
As a young woman I was always very self conscious about having almost no breasts, often making bras and bikini tops so I could pad them out. All my friends wore bras and I wanted to be the same. This desire was something I thought about lots as I grew up. In 2002 my marriage ended and I found myself in a relationship with a self centred man. He was breast obsessed and often commented on mine being small. He wasn’t the only one. Other women would comment too. I can now see if I’d had any self esteem I would not have cared what they thought but their words cut deep.
It was 2004 when I met the guy who supported my decision to get breast implants. I knew he was poor partner material but he had a way with words and knew how to keep me down. My breast implant obsession began one night in a club. I saw a woman with the most perfect breast implants, but when I looked at them I also thought how stupid it was to have them. My partner laughed and said something about how bitchy women were. I thought this meant he wanted me to have implants and that I wasn’t good enough without them.
I spent the next 6 months thinking about it obsessively until one day I announced I was getting them. Again he laughed but never once did he say it was a dumb idea or worry about the implications for me. I choose one of Sydney’s top surgeons and decided to get a ‘C’ cup breast (3 sizes bigger than natural) and was very excited. The surgery cost me $11,500 and was the beginning of a very interesting life journey. My partner came with me and took me home. He was a pig; wanted to take my sleeping drugs and got so drunk he left me alone in the house un-able to change my own dressings. I was very sore and swollen and even from the start felt they looked REALLY fake.
I now had ‘DD’ size breasts, 5 sizes bigger than my natural breasts. It was a love hate relationship from the start but we got along OK for about 3 years. 3 years after surgery I went back to university and ditched the bloke but was beginning to develop unexplained fatigue. I ignored it. I had two children to rear, a business to run and studies to complete.
Eventually my health was too poor to continue doing what I’d come to love; working out at the gym. I was studying to be a personal trainer, was lean, exhausted and in need of help. I decided to study C.H.E.K Holistic lifestyle Coaching and was sick throughout the course; but what I learned changed the course of my life. I learned why I was unwell which included excess stress on my immune system, how to get well, and how to share that with others. After a workout one day I developed acute swelling around my left breast. Investigations revealed nothing but it happened again much worse a few weeks later. This time I felt ill and went to a great GP who discovered I had excessively high levels of ‘C Reactive Protein’ – a sign the body is rejecting something.
It took me a while to find a surgeon I could trust but in May 2011 the implants were removed. It’s been a journey of mixed emotions. I was truly relieved to be bringing my body back into balance and good health but it’s been a big challenge with clothes as my breasts look a lot worse now than they did before the implants. I also discovered that due to the original implant surgery and my love of fitness, I’ve torn a lot of chest muscle tissue off the bone so now only have half my chest muscle left. I also have lots of breast distortion when I exercise which means I need to hide my chest more than I want to.
To be really honest though, I’m happier than I’ve been in years. The implant removal was such an awesome experience in that it enabled me to see just how much I have grown as a person. Right now my breasts don’t look awesome but I can handle it far better than I could handle my wonderful natural body before implants. I have grown into a self confident woman who’s following her path in life doing what she loves.
I look back at the whole experience and wonder who I’d be without it? Where would I be, what would I be doing now? So much good has come out of something so bad. I’m now helping other women understand the value of their health. We can’t take our health for granted; it’s not for free. Through fitness, holistic lifestyle coaching, massage, meditation, good food, self appreciation and appreciation for the world we live in; we are able to bring our lives back into balance and experience our birth right…..optimal health and fitness.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and fulfilled life.