Fashion Lookbook

Here’s my big-chested secret to finding a supportive sports bra

I’ve never understood why it’s so hard to find sports bras or tops that are flattering on large chested women. From my experience, all of the cute ones either only come in smaller sizes, or are impractical. What I do find is never actually supportive, though, like a sports bra should be, and I wind up having to wear two sports bras just to feel comfortable while exercising. This is suffocating and not at all ideal, especially when sweat starts to build up in crevices that should just not be sweating. 

If I don’t go through the hassle of squeezing my chest into 2 sports bras at once, which is something that I think resembles a medieval corset, then I feel almost as if I’m being held back during my workout. It’s hard to push myself when I don’t really feel secure or comfortable. Not to be graphic, but if I’m going on a run or doing jumping jacks, the last thing I want to be thinking about is my boobs flopping around in every direction, basically an inch away from a wardrobe malfunction. Yet most of the time, that is all I can think about. Not to mention that all of that breast movement can also be downright painful during a workout. Frankly, it feels like my boobs are being torn right off my chest with every jump or swing. 

As a result, my exercise routine just doesn’t last very long because I’m so tired of having to deal with my boobs. Sometimes I even find myself holding my breasts in my hands to stop them from bouncing while I’m jogging. But I shouldn’t have to do that. Girls with larger chests should be able to find sports bras, or any other top for that matter, that are flattering, trendy, and fits their chest just as much as the next girl

But I also know that my big boobs are not going anywhere anytime soon. Neither are those narrow stereotypes of the ‘perfect’ female body that are the driving force of the fashion and athleisure industries. So, after a few years of dealing with this, I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks of my own for finding a sports bra that is comfortable, stylish, and that I trust to keep my chest in place and supported. 

Our boobs deserve the best — AKA not to be smooshed so I’ve always found it best for a sports bra to have some sort of light cupping on the inside. This ensures that our boobs have a designated place to go so as to limit movement. 

Freya Active Bra.
[Image description: Freya Active Bra.] Via
Another thing that is key when looking for a sports bra is a strong and substantial bottom band. This acts like a shelf for our boobs to sit on and helps keep them in place during a high-intensity workout. When looking for a bottom band that offers maximum support, however, it’s important to take into consideration whether or not that band will rub or cause irritation in the area. Rubbing is not good. For this reason, I usually try to go wire-free when picking out a sports bra. Adjustable straps and a flexible under-band are always my go to for comfort and ensuring minimal bounce. 

Natori Gravity Contour Sports Bra.
[Image description: Natori Gravity Contour Sports Bra.] Via
Another important aspect is the material that your sports bra is made of. Moisture-wicking or mesh materials are great for soaking up sweat and acting as a ventilator to keep you cool. 

Zella Body Fusion Sports Bra.
[Image description: Zella Body Fusion Sports Bra.] Via
It’s time we start taking a stand and taking care of our boobs, because if we don’t, we could be doing more damage than we’d like to think. 

Love Wellness

I always thought that I struggled with exercise because I was unhealthy, but it turns out that I was just wearing the wrong shoes

I’ve struggled with body image my whole life; I hated the way I looked and the fact that I wasn’t physically fit.

Recently, I decided enough was enough and that I wanted to get healthy because sitting around was just making me feel worse. I’ve been making lots of changes to my life to improve on health and basic self-care, so it was a good time to try and tackle this issue as well.

 addicted GIF

As an absolute beginner to exercise, I found it slightly daunting. I joined the gym and stuck to the safe machines, like the treadmill, the cross-trainer, and the rowing machine out of fear that I might embarrass myself on the ones that I wasn’t so familiar with. I also decided to start jogging at an unnaturally early hour so that no-one could witness the disaster that was me trying to run. Jogging is something that I’d always wanted to do but never thought I could. I looked at joggers in awe and envy, wishing that I had that kind of motivation.

When I started jogging on a regular basis, my ankles and legs were in unbearable pain. After some time my ankles actually started to swell up, which made the whole experience even more unappealing.

I booked in to see the doctors but the earliest appointment was over a month away. So, I did what every millennial does and turned to Google for answers. The internet told me that this kind of pain was common with newcomers to exercise and it would wear off eventually. I figured it was my own fault for living a lifetime without exercise and that I’d just have to work through it. So, I carried on with my quest for a healthier life.

Some days the pain would get so bad that I would be forced to stop my jog and sit down because I could no longer stand. Other days I was so determined to get healthy that I would just work through the pain, to the point where my jog left me in tears.

I desperately wanted to be healthy and I guess it was the stubbornness that kept me going. My legs were in constant pain, but I refused to quit or wait until my doctor’s appointment because I was scared that if I stopped I wouldn’t be able to find the will-power to get myself exercising again.

 tv parks and recreation rashida jones ann perkins jogging GIF

I was discussing this with a friend once, complaining that my body was taking forever to get used to exercising and that it was taking its toll on me. Funny enough, my friend used to work at a trainer store and suggested that the problem may have been with my shoes rather than my previous lack of exercise. I had been running in old worn out trainers that I’d bought a few years ago, so I figured she might’ve had a point.

I visited a local sports store. They had a fancy machine which analyzed my feet. It turned out that I had “pes cavus.” Don’t know what this is? I didn’t either. It basically means that I have a high arch; the arch that goes from my toes to the heel of my feet is raised more than normal. With this condition, more strain is placed on the feet and ankles when walking and running and it gets pretty painful. I had no idea that such conditions existed. To be honest, I never really thought about feet in depth.

The kind advisor at the shoe store explained a lot more about the condition to me, but it pretty much went over my head. He helped me picked out trainers that pushed back against the arch and would support me better. I also got some insoles to put in my other shoes so that walking would no longer cause me any pain.

All this time I had thought that the pain was normal. I mean, I always thought that I struggled walking long distances because I was just so unhealthy, but it turns out I was just wearing the wrong shoes. I was super excited to try out my new trainers. If I was getting through morning jogs with this pain, imagine how much better I could do when the pain was gone.

Exercise has definitely gotten a ton easier and I’m finding that I actually enjoy it. These new trainers have literally changed my life. I’m able to constantly push myself and the pain I feel is “good pain” of aching muscles and a healthier body.

Additionally, I’ve added insoles to the rest of my shoes and find that I no longer dread having to walk long distances. It is liberating to know that it wasn’t my lack of fitness that caused the pain, that my body is able to do so much more than I once thought. I never imagined that I could be someone who jogged or walked places for fun. I’m finally able to work towards the person I thought for so long I never could be; a healthier me. What once seemed like impossible, is becoming more and more possible.

I feel like an entirely new person and I have a pair of shoes to thank for it.

Science Now + Beyond

Here’s the truth behind stress eating

We all deal with stress in life… whether it’s too many exams at school, an unbearable amount of deadlines at work, or literally anything. Some of us internalize our stress and let it build up, while others are more effective in engaging in self-care activities. Each one of us copes with stress differently and some people, including myself, wind up stress eating.

I’m definitely guilty of resorting to a bag of chips or Sour Patch Kids, especially on the night before a big exam. It’s not that I’m actually hungry, but there’s something comforting about having food when you’re stressed out. But scientists say that if you manage your stress incorrectly, there could be detrimental consequences on both your physical and mental health.

What is stress eating?


Stress eating, or emotional eating, is turning to food for comfort, not because you are hungry. Doctors say stress eating can be harmful because not only are you eating more than you need to, but you can also put on more weight.

This happens because stress causes your adrenal glands (small glands that produce hormones) to release a hormone called cortisol, which then increases your appetite and makes you eat more. We crave junk food not just because it tastes good, but because it excites the brain.

Alternative options

Rather than resorting to food when you’re stressed, anxious, or unhappy, scientists recommend you do any of these:

1. Go for a walk or jog


Even if it’s just for 15 or 20 minutes, going outside for a walk and getting fresh air is a much better option than engaging in stress eating. This will give you a chance to clear your mind and get some exercise. Walking can help strengthen your heart, give your more energy and boost your mood.

2. Practice deep breathing or meditate


Rather than reaching for a bag of chips, consider meditating. This can help bring you inner peace and take your mind off of whatever has you stressed out. Deep breathing is scientifically proven to help lower stress in the body because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.

3. Keep a food diary


Keeping a food diary will help you keep track of what you are eating and when. It can also help you be more mindful of the food related decisions you are making on a day to day basis. You can also track patterns in your diet and see what you need to work on more. Keeping a food diary helps you helps you practice accountability and can assist you in eating more well-balanced meals.

4. Read a book or listen to music


Rather than finding comfort in a bag of candy, you can find comfort in a good book. Reading is also scientifically proven to help reduce stress. Psychologists believe that reading can help ease the tensions in muscles and the heart because of the literary world readers are put into. The same group of psychologists also found that listening to music can also help bring down stress levels.

If stress eating is a regular part of your life, you’re not alone. But it’s important you recognize the issue and actively work on finding better ways to manage and cope with your stress. There are tons more possible avenues for you to release stress. Find the healthy one that works best for you!