Me too.

Seeing almost every single woman on Facebook posting this as their status makes me feel sad and angry. I’m upset. I have let so many things slide and just shake them off like it’s no big deal. IT’S A FUCKING BIG DEAL. I think back to how many times in my life a dude has said something inappropriate to me, made me feel like I was less than him, over-sexualized a non-sexy situation, made me feel shame, or flat out assaulted me.

Up until last year, I had lived with pretty huge boobs my whole life. I was approved by OHIP for a Breast reduction that changed my life. Aside from the physical pain of huge boobs, I hated/hid them because of the negative attention I would get from men.

It made me feel disgusting. I was ‘blessed’ with a chest before I started grade 7. The next two years were really hard. Going through puberty, trying to figure out things with boys, get good grades, and fit in.

There was a group of boys in my grade 7-8 school who really made it their entertainment to torment a few of us. Tom, Nathan, Dan were notorious for unzipping the front of our shirts (zipper shirts were in style it was the 90s).  That boy gang had no shame, they would walk home with us and tell us we had to flash them our boobs in the forest or they’d have Monique beat us up. We didn’t know any better. We wanted to be cool and liked.

I remember a specific incident where this guy Aaron had just gotten a cast removed on his leg and he was known for throwing water on you if we wore a white shirt. Why or how they thought this was ok beyond me. I had ENOUGH, he did it to me one last time and I kicked him HARD right in the cast-free leg. He fell to the floor and told me years later his leg never healed properly.

In grade 8 this guy James was razzing me to the point where I lost it. I dropped my books in the hallway and gave him a nasty right hook to the jaw. I had been in the Ontario Tae Kwon Do championships that weekend. My punch laid him flat out in the hallway. Mum was not happy I hit someone and said ‘you could get suspended‘ and my reply was ‘you think he’s going to tell anyone‘. Mum and I ran into him at a bar a few years ago and he said he still gets made fun of. That same asshole used to call me BBSB for ‘big boobs small body’.

I had a creepy geography teacher in grade 8 who used to massage the girls’ shoulders and look down their shirts. I feel like so many of us have had a man in a position of power, like a teacher, do something like this. It’s gross. I was 13.

In high school, I was on the youth city council working alongside city council to govern out issues. We opened a drop-in centre, skate park, and started a music festival. One of the city councillors sons at school kept calling me ‘fatty’ because I had ‘big’ fat tits. I hated it and him. One day at a basketball game I had ENOUGH. I punched him right in the face too. Violence is not the answer but I was young and it felt like it was the only thing I could do. Speaking out to a wasn’t going to help.

I’ll never forget my mum coming home from a high school parent-teacher interview and slamming the door hard behind her. She’d asked my counsellor to inform my teachers my dad had left recently and to keep an eye out of for a change in behaviour. When mum went to the interview, none of my teachers knew the situation, when she confronted the counsellor he replied ‘well I’ve been a bad bad boy haven’t I‘. SHE WAS LIVID.

I didn’t expect this post to be so long. It could be so much longer now that I’ve opened a few doors in my mind to things I’d been hiding back there or shaking off. Haven’t mentioned college, university, my first job, most jobs, and all the little things here and there like creeps on the subway or not feeling safe walking at night. I don’t feel like talking about that stuff right now.

This just scrapes the surface of the kind of bullshit we have to put up with because some men and boys haven’t learned how to be decent humans.

I am angry and sad but also feel good this is coming out. Hopefully, years from now, my own kids, or their kids, won’t have to deal with the bullshit all of us have for so long.

I’m here for you and with you. If you have a comment or want to share, you can email me or write below. Me too.

 

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21 Days Till the New Year – Why Wait to Make a Change?

Went for my first yoga class in a while today. I feel so good. Found a studio that’s a 7min walk and beside a great coffee shop. I also downloaded a countdown app for my next trip (California!) and set a countdown till the New Year. There’s 21 days till 2017 and since it’s been such a sh*t year for heaps of reasons, I’m gonna try and make the last bit  really great.

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

In case you’re just tuning in, I had breast reduction surgery this summer and have been a bit slow getting back to it. The recovery was not too long/hard but big stretches with arms over the head were not in my favour. I did some aerial yoga about 3 months after but not full on yoga-yoga.

Today was the day. 

Registered for a noon class at YOGA YOGA and set out to make it a good one.

A couple weeks months ago I picked out some great yoga gear from the new Gaiam website as a gift from the brand. THANK YOU! Today I opened all the packages and put on new stuff for class. WOO HOO.

YOGA YOGA  is a vinyasa yoga studio in the Junction Triangle super close to my house. Had it not been a snow storm I’d totally have been there in 2mins via bike.

Felt good to stretch. The class was warm and it was nice to see a familiar face in our teacher Sandy Braz (owner).  Namaste, girl! 

One of the items from Gaiam was this non-stick yoga towel (turquoise) for extra grip. I didn’t use it today, but the thing I like about it is you can pack it for travel and use instead of a mat. As you can tell it’s pretty new…  😊 

The yoga carrying bag (black) is great. You can also wear backpack style. Has a small zipper to easily fit a wallet and keys. For $15 makes a great gift for the yogi in your life! [see here]

Gaiam has a big sale on rn FYI: $10 off $50, $25 off $100

Wore my entire Gaiam outfit and the bra is definitely my new fav thing. It doesn’t move and holds your bits all in one place. This is the FIRST yoga class since surgery and I’ve not been able to wear just 1 bra to a fitness class in a VERY LONG time. It felt so good.

  • Luxe Yoga Pant  – These are pretty thick as they’re ‘compression’ fabric. Great leggings for around town but a bit hot for hot yoga. I was sweating A LOT.
  • Iris Layering Bra – This is the best sports bra I’ve had ever. It’s also good for running! Had worn this before today.
  • Clover top – Love the back details on this top (below). Will be so nice for spring/summer. 

gaiam yoga gear

Feeling pretty good over all that I went for a workout. I also set intentions for the week and did some meal prep/baking.

Other things I’m really feeling right now: 

  • Signed up for ebates and bought a pair of glasses at eyebuydirect.com. Wasn’t sure about it but then I got back $2.39 on my $30 purchase. Ebates also gave me a 20% discount code.
  • Still loving AmazonPrime and made a whole list of things to order for the 3rd floor bedroom reno. You can use ebates there too!
  • Beach Body 21-Day – I saw my friends from Instigator Communications were reppin’ this workout so  I asked for a copy. It arrived JUST in time for 21 days till New Year.
  • Photo Studio is A+ – had my sister over for a photos shoot and I can make headshot magic at home anytime now. I’m so impressed with this ring light (Amazon obvs haha).
  • CALIFORNIA – In January I’m spending a few days in vegas then a week in California. I can’t WAIT. On my own schedule this time to checking a few things off my bucket list!

The next 21 days are going to be GREAT.

casiestewart, blog, blogger, toronto, canada, travel, tech

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Post-Op Update 

It’s been just over a week since my surgery and I’m feeling more like myself today, finally. I didn’t realize how much having huge boobs affected my mental health. Everyday when I got dressed I’d try an find an outfit that carefully hid them enough not to be obnoxious but also looked cute. I actually feel a big weight off not only my chest but my shoulders in an emotional way.

It was so easy for me to make a huge mess trying to find something to wear each day. Clothes mountain was a regular occurrence, I’d try things on then toss ’em on the bed or floor with frustration. I’m so glad I didn’t get rid of clothes that were a little too small, I can wear them now! Last week I wore a jacket from Nasty Gal I ordered online about 2 years ago and it fit like a charm. Before last week, it looked unbalanced and too small to sit nicely on the chest.

I’m a size 4 at most stores and often I’d get a tops size L or a 10 just to fit them in. Now, so many of my dresses, button down shirts, and T-shirts actually fit. They’re not stressed at the buttons or stretched. It feels amazing! 

The whole process of going through surgery was less horrifying and painful than I imagined. My surgeon, Dr. Rice, was really great and his staff helped calm my nerves through the whole process. For the first 3 days I was really in pain, couldn’t move much, needed pain killers. The next 2 days I was feeling good, able to walk around. On the 6th day I felt so great after my post-op appointment. I went out for dinner, then met up with friends, stayed up late, and had a few drinks. In hindsight, this was not a good idea. I was SO SORE the next day. Had a wee hangover plus the bruising was starting to get worse. I spent the next 3 days barely leaving the couch. Thank god for Netflix, iTunes, and a BF who loves to relax.

I’ve got about 2 weeks until I can do regular exercise. I’m so excited for this! Working out has been a huge sense of anxiety and me feeling uncomfortable for the last few years. I could never just throw on something cute and go for a run outside, working out meant finding the right bra (or 3!) to strap the bubs in, then covering up with something baggy to avoid unwanted glances. I’ve had dents in my shoulders from straps for years and thankfully my back/shoulders felt better almost right away.

I’ve booked a session with a trainer but if anyone has exercises they recommend, please LMK!

Also, if you’ve been considering a breast reduction and want to ask me about going through the process and how it was covered by Ontario Health insurance, send me an email casie[at]casiestewart.com. It was just over a year ago when I got a referral from my doctor and booked my first appointment to discuss with a plastic surgeon. I’m happy with the results and can’t wait till the bruising and swelling disappear and we can start our new workout regime together.  😜 🏋👙

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Getting this Off My Chest 😊

I’m not really sure how to share this with the world but since I’ve been documenting here for a decade, it’s probably the best spot! 

About a month ago I got a phone call that changed my life. Today is the first step before a HUGE life change. I’m getting a breast reduction.

I’ve been talking about doing this since I grew them 20 years ago. 🙆🏼  Last year I went to a doctor and got a referral to a great surgeon. At my appointment he took some measurements and sent the info to OHIP. I didn’t hear anything for about 6 months and then I got the call.

Today my sister is coming to my pre-op appointment. I’m not feeling too nervous because I’ve actually waited a lifetime for this. I’ve had back pain and dents in my shoulders for too long!

I was considering not writing about it but reading other people’s stories on the RealSelf forum has really helped with anxiety and motivation.  Hopefully at least one person reading this finds it helpful or inspiring.

Hopefully the appointment today goes well. Nervous excited is my favourite feeling. 💐

UPDATE: My appointment was amazing! My sister and I loved meeting the staff, we had a bunch of laughs and felt like the nurse was one of my friends. I’m pleased to know I won’t be on bed rest and will be totally ok to walk around post surgery, it’s even encouraged. The stitches dissolve which is good bc I’ve seen some gross photos. They take out 50% of the weight and I can’t wait (haha) to know what THAT feels like. I’m soooooo looking forward to being able to run without having them bounce around and exercising in normal exercise not wearing a pile of bras/clothes to hide/secure them.

Feeling very thankful to live in Canada where Ontario Health Insurance Plan covers this. Legit #blessed! In 2 weeks I’m gonna be a new woman. I might even start doing outfit posts!

💕 CASIE

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It’s a rainy day and I’ve been working from my bed office. It’s just so warm and cozy! I recently made some big changes to our loft bedroom upstairs where I do most of my work. I’ve got the Y&R on my iPad Pro and I’m typing away on that great little table I made (this one).

I’m leaving any minute now  to a shoot at Spokehaus for their #spininyourskin class in partnership with knixwear. They’re hosting a first-ever class focused on body positivity, while giving back.

Anyone who choses to #Spininyourskin (aka your knixwear bra & undies, ah!) multiple undergarments will be donated to CAMH Foundation (Center for Addiction and Mental Health). They’re really in need of  bras for incoming patients so if exercise with a bunch of rad babes can help them out, I’m down. Also gets me out of the house for a good sweat!

They’ll still donate a bra if you do the class in your clothes. It’s hosted by model and body-positivity spokesperson Elly Mayday.  There are more classes tonight if you want to sign up.

This is the bra we are getting. I hope it fits gahhh.

Knixwear is hooking us up with boy shorts and a sports bra and we are going to spin in our skin. The thing is I’ve never actually done a spinning class and I’m a little worried I might PUKE. I’m kinda NERVOUS ABOUT THIS OMG WHAT AM I DOING.

I feel more confident about my body since my surgery this summer. Before the new boobs, wearing a sports bra, or any bra was uncomfortable, not to mention how much I hated working out with those things. I’m going into this workout with an open heart and maybe, just maybe, I’ll like it?!

UPDATE NEXT DAY: I loved the class. It was so intense! I sweat A LOT. My bike was beside a girl who teaches spin at SpokeHause so I had a good lead to follow. Gonna go again. Feeling it today in my arms and kinda all over. Not dying but I feel it! 😃

I was invited to join this class and wanted to write about it because that's what I do. I wrote about things I like. Love this partnership and supporting to a cause that's actually close to my heart, physically. ❤️

Read about my struggles w/ huge boobs most my life and how I feel now.  Spoiler - amazing! 

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