Getting Fit | Big Boobs & Body Pain

August 20, 2014


My fitness and physique has bothered me for a while.  Suffering periods of low self esteem and falling into depressive crevices, I realised my unhappiness had begun to reflect in my appearance.  Confining myself to the comforts of home had taken its toll, both physically and mentally, as I subconsciously allowed my fibromyalgia the permission to abstain from doing much, if anything.  I was worn out and felt defeated.  Taking control over my body and mind came to the crunch – I’d become addicted to marshmallows and already beginning to resemble one.  Things had to change.

Creeping toward the end of July a gym membership suddenly appealed.  My doctor was happy I suggested it and agreed that joining some classes would do me a lot of good.  I’d tried running and cycling unsuccessfully (living in the hilly Yorkshire Dales doesn’t make for a gentle workout) and establishing a proper exercise regime seemed the logical way forward.

The problem with getting fit whilst lumbered with a chronic pain condition means it’s not as simple as pounding the gym til the fat drops off.  I would love it to be that easy, but with pain thresholds and the concern of overdoing and damaging muscles puts limitations on the type of exercise that’s suitable.  I had to be ruthless but also realistic with myself.

Then there’s the issue of the big boobies!  Where exercise is concerned it’s important to make sure boobs are well supported, for comfort’s sake and your health.  I knew keeping myself in one piece and under control would be a high priority.


I decided to commit myself to 3-4 sessions per week: pilates, aqua fit, and zumba (or aqua zumba), with at least one swimming session.

I’ve never been that great at swimming, but the pool was definitely the way forward.  I decided to get back into swimming and work on my techniques and ability as my capabilities increase.  I’ve been going a few weeks now and already I’m swimming further and able to try different styles to target more areas of my body, with front crawl and back stroke being my favourites!  Whilst I’ve not yet had chance to compare zumba as it doesn’t start until September, aqua fit has been a good option for me, as it incorporates motion with exercises using weights and floats.

Pilates is proving to be the most challenging, as I’m recovering for a few days after.  Last night’s class was especially painful, and I’ve been feeling pretty down about it today.  But, I’m persevering with it because even through the discomfort and pain afterwards, my tummy muscles feel really good.  The strengthening poses and techniques will, in time, benefit my muscles, and hopefully increase my pain threshold.

Wardrobe was a concern for me from the beginning, and it’s been a learning curve as I’ve engaged in the activities.  For swimming I decided I needed to purchase a new suit for the most comfortable fit.  My big boobs have proved an issue though, especially once I began my aqua fit.  My swimsuit is more suitable for leisure, such as general swimming, but for vigorous activity it’s not up to much!  The lifeguard being male added to my insecurity, as I just knew I was bouncing all over the place.  I tried to dip down into the water to hide myself, spending more time being embarrassed than concentrating on my class.


For my pilates I’ve been wearing my yoga pants with a quick wicking exercise vest.  The first time I wore a regular balcony bra underneath but I’ve been wearing my Panache sport bra since, as I found the construction of the normal bra wasn’t particularly comfy for movement.  I needed something less irritating and more solid.  My Panache sport bra is more like a really supportive crop top, with a good firm band that doesn’t dig in under the boobs.  I wish it wasn’t underwired though, and I could do with a 30GG really, not the 28H it is.

Even though I’m aching after my gym visits and I’m so tired, I am noticing the changes already.  I’m feeling more capable and fitter in general, and it’s encouraging me in terms of my confidence.  Right now I just really need to fine tune my clothing: get a firmer swimsuit that’ll keep my boobs reassuringly in place and establish a comfortable yet supportive outfit for my pilates and for when I venture onto the gym equipment.


Do you have big boobs and/or a chronic pain condition causing a barrier to your fitness?

Do you find the difficulties posed with chronic pain and exercise discourages you from working out and getting healthier?

Or maybe you’ve established a really good regime that keeps you on top of your pains?

I would love to hear your tips and own experiences!


  1. Jacqui

    August 21, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Hiya. Just to let you know that the Panache sports bra is now also available non wired

    1. BeckysBoudoir

      September 2, 2014 at 1:08 am

      Hi Jacqui, thanks for letting me know! Yes I think I shall have to try the non wired.

      Becky x

  2. Alicia

    August 23, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Good for you! It can be so hard to just get started, after depression or injury has kept you down for a bit. I had knee surgery and am doing physical therapy (Brit term is physio, I think?) And it can be discouraging when pain or swelling forces me to stop mid exercise. It’s 2 steps forward, one back. But so exciting to see small changes & watch your body grow strong again. Keep going!

    1. BeckysBoudoir

      September 2, 2014 at 1:13 am

      Hi Alicia, thank you! I’m with you there, it is totally frustrating when you personally want to push yourself but your body’s having none of it. I’ve been trying various different classes since joining the gym over a month ago now, some classes have been absolutely terrible that I wish I’d never done. But, it’s all a learning curve, and sometimes pushing barriers shows us what we’re really capable of and ready for. I’ve not yet toned up what problem areas I see but I do feel fitter in myself which is a huge encouragement. Best of luck with your physio!

      Becky x

  3. Shell Robshaw-Bryan

    August 29, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I was diagnosed with Fibro a few weeks ago, along with a rare form of Rheumatoid Disease which means I spend a lot of the time in pain. I have always had a gym membership, I run a camping and outdoors blog and i’m a snowboarder. As my I got poorlier and poorlier I had no choice but to stop going to the gym.

    It was awful as my self esteem and mental wellbeing is very closely linked to how fit and healthy I feel, so I find exercise is absolutely necessary to stop me getting depressed. It came as a massive shock to no longer be able to do the things I enjoyed and to no longer have the routine.

    I mourned, and cried and got depressed and tried to come to terms with the fact that until I start treatment, I won’t be able to do any of the things I love and snowboarding is out of the question.

    I got so down that I realised something had to give, and I remembered swimming. I didn’t want to swim as it felt like a soft option; ‘gentle’ exercise to me in the past always seemed pointless but after 4 months away from the gym, I went back. This time I didn’t do a class or weights or run, I swam, and I loved it because I’d finally found something my broken body would allow me to do.

    That was 8 weeks ago and i’ve swum 4 days a week before work every week since then. My fitness has increased loads, week on week I see changes and the weight I was slowly putting on due to not being able to be active, isn’t going away, but i’ve stopped putting weight on now, at least which is something.

    I feel happier and I feel so much healthier and it’s done my head the world of gut. I am still massively upset and angry that at such a young age I’m so limited because of the pain and the condition of my joints, but it’s better than nothing and for now, it’s good enough for me.

    Well done to you, it’s very hard to do when you have a barrier like a chronic pain condition in the way. As Alicia says, it’s brilliant feeling stronger and seeing small changes in your body. Keep up the hard work, it is worth it.

    1. BeckysBoudoir

      September 2, 2014 at 1:22 am

      Hi Shell! I always find it amazing to follow people on social media for other interest reasons only to find there’s more commonality. We’re (not so blessed) to have fibro!

      I never was a gym bunny before, I liked some sport and hiking but it was always out of leisure and never a regular keep fit programme. I was always relatively fit but the fibro really caught up on me lately. I struggle with depression often which makes the controlling of conditions all the more swings and roundabouts.

      I knew getting out and joining some fitness classes would help me in terms of tackling the fibro pain and fatigue but also my low mood so I’m just glad I actually did something about it! It is hard working muscles that are stiff and pained but I feel better in myself just being proactive about it, rather than sitting on the sofa all evening feeling beaten by it. It is absolutely very psychological learning to deal with chronic pain. Allowing ourselves to stay positive and push for fitness improvement is as important as accepting our bodies are ill, and being kind to ourselves is probably the most difficult lesson in it all.

      Becky x

  4. Shell Robshaw-Bryan

    August 29, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Sorry for typos above. I blame the brain fog and sore wrists 😉

  5. merrie m

    September 1, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    …the hassle of big. Boobs and exercises like jumping jacks, ropes, running , on the treadmill.I tire quickly.sometimes wish somebodys hands will gloriously hold them whilst doing such exercises
    …..a day without big boobs..

    1. BeckysBoudoir

      September 2, 2014 at 1:25 am

      Hi Merrie! Ah yes, some gym classes and exercises are so challenging when you have a full bust to keep in place. I can’t cope with fast paced movement and swimming seems to be suiting me the best at the moment!

      Becky x

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