Let's talk about my breasts, shall we?
I've never been shy about sharing my life on the internet, so why start now?
So, my breasts.
I knew a lady once who described her small breasts as fried eggs. That image has always stayed with me. I think it's a pretty accurate description for me, too.
And let me tell you, bra shopping for fried egg breasts is a nightmare.
Because nothing fits. No bra on the planet is made to fit my itsy-bitsy and oddly shaped breasts.
Over the years, I've spent a lot of time and energy traipsing around the shops trying to find something that fits. Even good old Marks and Spencer (it's a British thing) couldn't come up with the goods.
No matter where I went and what I tried, I had the same problem. Even in the smallest cup size known to wo(man), I still had horrible gape at the front of the cup.
Sexy this was not.
I want to wear those pretty, sexy, delicious-looking bras that other women wear. Grrr.
I gave up on trying to find bras that fit a long time ago. So my bra collection had started to take on that grey tinge that underwear gets after a while. You know, when you've accidentally put it in the wash with the wrong colour one time too many.
My bra problem is actually one of the gazillion reasons I love working for myself from home. Half the time I don't even wear a bra (like now, whilst I'm typing this) and when I do, it's just a nice soft bralette which isn't really a bra at all and doesn't give me any of the horrible gaping problems.
But then one day last year, my fried-egg breast world was turned upside down and sent into turmoil. Over dinner at a friend's hen party, one of my other friends told me that she'd gone from wearing a 34B to a 32D and all her bra problems (which had been similar in nature to mine) had disappeared.
I was shocked, confused and disbelieving.
According to my friend, she'd first come across this discovery some years earlier when a friend of hers at university had attempted to pass on this wisdom to her. But in the same sort of disbelief in which I now found myself, she didn't act on the information she'd been given.
It was only years later, still suffering as I did from the gaping bra cup, that she remembered the words of her friend and decided to test it out.
It goes like this:
Bra cup size means nothing on its own.
Cup size only takes on meaning when it's paired with the band size.
So an A cup could actually be the same as a B, C, D, E or F cup, depending on the band size it was coupled with.
Check out this quote from a mumsnet thread on the topic:
DD!!! I find it impossible to think I could be a D cup, never mind a DD faints in shock I don't actually fill the A cup I am currently wearing, so I would never have thought I needed a bigger cup. However I now realise this is probably because my band size is far too big ... I can easily pull it 6+ inches away from my body and can feel everything escaping underneath. For the first time ever I am actually keen to go bra shopping!
Even though my friend had sworn it was true, I was still dubious. It might have worked for her, but it wouldn't work for me.
But recently, on the verge of a possible new romantic encounter in which I might have to reveal my bra to a member of the opposite sex for the first time in forever, I decided to plough some energy back in to finding the perfect bra.
Using the information my friend had given me, I took my new measurements. If you want to give it a try, this is the website I used. Now, apparently, I was a 30C, instead of the 32A I'd been wearing all my life.
I found a shop that had a good selection of bras with a 30 inch band width (not an easy task) and took every 30C I could find to the changing rooms.
And low and behold, they fit! Not all of them, of course. Some brands were better than others (Calvin Klein came out on top for me). But there was no question that this was my perfect size. No more gape. No more straps falling down. Just a comfortable snug fit that made me look good.
I did a happy dance in the changing rooms and said a little prayer of thanks to Calvin Klein.
What has this got to do with you and your happiness?
Look, this information is gold. I can't believe for a second that I'm the only woman left on the planet who was living in such ignorance. So first off, if it can help transform your bra-wearing life, that's good enough for me.
But there are a couple of deeper points I'd like to make with this tale of lingerie...
1. Always question the accepted system
Before I knew about the different (and correct) way to measure myself, it never occurred to me or crossed my mind that the whole bra-measuring system as I knew it was flawed.
Instead, I assumed that there was something wrong with me.
And that's usually the way it goes. We always assume there's something wrong with us rather than something wrong with the system.
But just because everyone does something a certain way, doesn't mean it's the right way.
Too often, we feel broken, abnormal or somehow wrong when in truth, the problem is that we're trying to fit ourselves into a broken system.
And it's the same with work and these monotonous, soul-sucking jobs we all do. You wonder why you can't just get on with it like everyone else. Why you can't just count yourself lucky and be grateful for having a job at all. You think there's something wrong with you and that you have to push those feelings away and follow what everyone else is doing.
But in truth, our work system is broken too. Too many of us are unhappy, stressed out and depressed. And yet we continue to force ourselves into a system that's horrifically out of date.
What if, instead of continuing to force yourself into the mould, you realise that the mould is broken and it's up to you to make a new one for yourself?
2. You get what you believe is possible and what you want
I always thought that the smallest band size was 32 inch. And for sure, unless you were really looking for something smaller, you'd be unlikely to ever spot it, since smaller bands aren't widely stocked.
Our brains naturally filter for information that's important to us and which supports where we want to go. If it didn't filter, we'd have way too much information to ever deal with.
The reason I'd never seen a size 30C bra in a shop before is because I didn't even know they existed. Even if I had, I had no idea that's what I wanted and needed. There was simply no reason for my brain to filter for that information.
Once I'd let in a sliver of possibility that the new sizing might work for me and set my intention on what I wanted, all the 30Cs in the world were jumping out at me.
That's why, to create a life you love, you must first open yourself up to believe that it's possible. Then, you must know what you want. After that, your brain will do what it does best, and filter for the information that will help you achieve your goals.