Sunday, May 6, 2018

Life is About Balance~ And a Good Bra #upbra

Hello, friends! I feel like I fell off the world for a while. But I'm here, I swear! I was feeling a little burnt out and trying to figure out ways to make me feel like myself again.

I've always been a big believer in having some kind of balance. Work hard, play hard. But recently I started taking a yoga class, which has a lot to do with balance figuratively and literally (Oh, hi, tree pose, I see you and you don't scare me...much). I love going to my class on Saturday mornings, I get a little meditative, practice some breathing, and stretch myself into positions I didn't think I'd be able to stretch into.

Mr. McKay and I have also been eating healthier. More salads, more veggies all around, less carbs, and I've been drinking more water. You would think between the healthier diet, yoga, and roller derby that I'd be wasting away to nothing. But, like I said, I'm a big believer in balance. So, maybe I get home from yoga class and then head out to a brewery with my husband where I drink beers and then polish off a cheesesteak. A girl's gotta live.

I honestly have a constant war in my mind between "You only live once" (YOLO, do the kids still say that?) and "You only get one body." I mean, seriously, I don't want to have a heart attack at forty but I also don't want to feel like I'm depriving myself because I've sworn off cookies. I'm not even a big sweets eater, but who can pass up a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie?

The result is, my waistline is not shrinking, but I can do a forward bend and put my hands flat on the floor, which is pretty cool. 

My flexibility aside (which is still amateur at best) I had the honor of celebrating the marriage of two good friends a few weeks ago. I love weddings. They always make me cry. And when you get to witness two people vowing their love for each other, how can you be anything but emotional?

Weddings also mean dressing up. I don't have many occasions to wear dresses and my closet shows it. (Also, please see above about the not so trim waistline.) I went shopping. The day before the wedding. Because who doesn't love a deadline?? The fitting room was hot and stuffy, those lights do not do anyone any favors, and a mother and daughter were fighting in a room adjacent to mine. It was a miniature version of hell inside of a mall department store fitting room. 

I settled. I purchased the first dress that didn't squeeze too tight on my hips and I could zip while still taking a breath. I didn't think it was the best dress I'd ever seen. I didn't even really like it. But every other option either looked like I rolled in sequins and spandex and was about to get on the pole or like I was ready to conduct a meeting about budget cuts. I did remind myself that I wasn't wearing the best bra. It was a glorified sports bra so it was kind of smooshing my boobs down in a weird and unflattering way. 

I made my purchase with the enthusiasm of someone getting a cavity filled and decided to figure the rest out in the morning—the day of the wedding, because why would I give myself time to figure out another option?

The next morning I went to yoga (because I heard there was going to be really good food at the reception and, ahem, balance), then painted my nails, and trudged upstairs to deal with the situation. I pulled open my dresser drawer in search of a miracle. Control top pantyhose? Why do I even own those anymore? I've sworn them off. I had one very unfortunate incident, at a wedding no less, where I ended up trying to peel off my pantyhose in a tiny bathroom stall just so I could breathe after dinner. No one needs that in their life. I actually don't even wear pantyhose at all anymore and my life has only been better for it.

Bypassing the hose, my hand fell upon a bra that was sent to me. It's called the Upbra. I didn't really know what to think when I first received it, it came with an instruction manual. It definitely seemed more high tech and complicated than any bra I would ever explore.

I can happily report that it isn't that complicated. It works just like the regular bras I've been wearing since puberty. The only difference is that it has some hooks at the cleavage so you can enhance and lift even more (or less) if you so choose. I was so eager to try it out when I first received it that I threw it on before heading out to run some errands with Mr. McKay. I didn't bother changing my clothes, I was wearing jeans and a hoodie. Once we got out in public I looked down and realized that my bust looked noticeably enhanced, at least to me. I've been a C-cup since I can remember so I have never bought a push-up bra. But this isn't really a push-up bra. It actually gives a lot of support. And yes, it does enhance what you already have, but on the lowest setting it really just gives a little bit of a helpful lift.

I wore it around for a bit, testing it for comfort. I was pretty convinced the straps would start digging into me and it would be one of those bras that you could only wear for an hour or two tops. My pre-judgment turned out to be wrong. I wore it for the better part of a day and didn't have an issue with the straps or the band digging into me.

Upbra sent me their strapless version as well as the regular convertible bra (has straps but they can be moved or switched around). Up until the point of the wedding I had only worn the regular bra with straps. Now, I stood before my open dresser drawer and it was like a light from above was shining down on the strapless bra. I was going for broke. I was going to wear this strapless bra that I hadn't even tested out yet and I was hoping for the best. Maybe it would be the bra my last resort dress needed.

I don't know if anyone else has had the same checkered past with strapless bras as I have, but I've always ended up with something that was too uncomfortably tight. That stayed where it was supposed to for about fifteen minutes and then as the night progressed would inch lower and lower until I was wearing a cumberbund with cups underneath my dress. 

I wish I could have sent strapless bras to the same land that I banished control top pantyhose to, but I'm not stupid enough to think I can go braless. And a lot of dresses don't let you wear a bra with straps.

So here I was, all my eggs in one basket. It was do or die (okay, it wasn't that dramatic, but I really was out of options and we were leaving in like thirty minutes). I took the strapless Upbra out, unwrapped the fancy tissue paper it was still wrapped in and maybe I crossed my fingers while I snapped on the right hooks and got myself situated.

Do you know what? It was just as comfortable as the one with straps. It didn't dig in and it somehow defied gravity and stayed up. All night. Through the whole wedding, reception, and after party. I feel like I could conquer the world in a good bra and this is it. Do you know what the best part is? When your boobs look amazing no one is looking at your stomach.

Life is about balance. Wear a good bra, eat the cookie. (And ditch the control top.)


  1. Good to read your post. Been missing you. Too funny you mention a bra- having come out as agender, I've been wearing a chest binder some days. When I went for a fitting at Victoria's Secret, my one comment was "I don't want to lift and separate- minimize." The attendent accidently put me in a strapless bra when we were figuring out my correct size LOL; those things are definitely evil.

  2. I always love your posts. I'm extremely busty so I am always on the lookout.for a good bra. I'll have to check out the Upbra

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