‘I removed my breast implants. Within minutes, I was attacked by a man. ‘You look like a little boy. Where did your breasts go?’ It felt like a punch in my gut.’

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“In 2011, I made the choice to get breast implants. There were many reasons surrounding my decision including a major weight loss that left me completely flat to my now ex-husband telling me that it would help to perk up our sex life and marriage. I wanted to feel feminine and sexy again as I had been insecure for most of my life.

Growing up with a mother who had large breasts made me feel like I missed that ‘magical’ gene (I would later find out she actually had implants, though she denied it to me for years). Sometimes I feel if she would have just been honest with me, I would have felt better about being smaller chested. Being young and naïve, I did not think twice about a breast augmentation, and so I went for it.

Courtesy of Sia Cooper

Over the course of the next 7 years, I began experiencing strange medical symptoms that no doctor or lab test could explain. It started with slight fatigue that progressed over the years to the point where in 2018 I was sleeping 12 hours a night with naps during the day in order to function, but I still felt tired. My hair started falling out in clumps, I gained 20lbs that would not come off. My skin became scaly and I could not remember things due to severe brain fog. I even had trouble breathing at times. I literally felt like a 29-year-old trapped inside of an 80-year-old’s body, but nobody could tell me why.

It wasn’t until my social media followers told me about breast implant illness that I began doing research. I joined a group on Facebook calling Healing Breast Implant Illness which now has over 80,000 members. Each story that I heard, I felt I could resonate with. These women were developing the same symptoms as I and chose to remove their breast implants. Upon removal, most reported their symptoms going nearly or completely away! Though there is no test for breast implant illness, I knew it would be a leap of faith to remove them. At that point, I was willing to do anything to get my life back and so I made my consultation for an explant.

On December 4th 2018, I went under the knife once more and had my implants removed completely. Within a few minutes of waking up, I felt like I could think clearly for the first time in years. I also felt so much lighter and that I could breathe more deeply.

Courtesy of Sia Cooper

Once we got home, I remember weighing my breast implants and they were 1lb each. I could not believe I had two pounds of extra weight sitting on top of my heart and lungs. I started wondering why I even got them in the first place as I squeezed them in my hands. I was honestly in disbelief and vowed to never mess with my body again.

Courtesy of Sia Cooper

The feedback since removing my breast implants has been super positive. I have received so many messages from other women who have inexplicable illnesses and believe they have finally made a connection between their symptoms and their implants. It makes me so happy to be able to spread knowledge about what can truly happen and possibly save a life or two. We trust the FDA and these doctors, but unfortunately, there is a lot of money involved in the cosmetic surgery industry and a lot gets overlooked.

I have never felt sexier and more confident with my smaller chest. I thought that I would cry upon seeing them after unwrapping my bandages, but I didn’t. Most women praised me for my decision and said it helped them to relate and accept their own bodies. Hearing this made me feel so happy and thankful. Another factor in me removing my implants was to set a better example for my daughter. It was hard preaching body confidence when I was not 100% confident and natural. I want my daughter to grow up never questioning the way she was made because God does not make mistakes.

Courtesy of Sia Cooper

But all of my feedback hasn’t been 100% positive. I was recently attacked and trolled by a man regarding my breast size on social media. I had posted a before and after of my weight loss and he commented, ‘Where did your breasts go?’ I went on to respond that I had my implants removed and asked why should it even matter to him. He proceeded to tell me that smaller chests were meant for middle school and that real women want ‘grown up’ bodies. Ouch.

Courtesy of Sia Cooper

When I blocked this man, he went on two other usernames and harassed me, saying that I looked like a little boy with my smaller breasts and that no man wants that. I was absolutely angry. It felt like a punch in my gut. Even though I am happy with my new body, it is very disparaging to hear comments like that. This journey is still so very new to me.

I sat for three or four days and mulled it over before penning a post on my Instagram page in response to this troll. I wrote a lengthy post beside an image of my ‘new’ body in a bikini to encourage other women who have been trolled for their looks to never feel ashamed. It wasn’t so much me giving this man the time of day, but more of me taking the rocks that were thrown at me and turning it into a positive message for all women out there. I want women to feel empowered no matter their chest size and also no matter what people may say about them. The harassment and trolling happens too frequently and it’s not okay.

It’s 2019 and people need to stop policing women’s bodies. Our bodies and breasts were not made for menn’s entertainment and it is time to focus on better things. Had I not listened to my ex-husband years ago, I probably would have never gone under the knife to even get a boob job in the first place. However, I consider it all a big learning experience and I’ve got no regrets. Just lessons learned the harder way. It just strikes me as bizarre that we focus so much on the size of our breasts. What about our minds? What happened to caring how an individual act instead of looks? We’ve got our priorities all wrong.

Courtesy of Sia Cooper

If someone makes you feel inferior about your breasts or looks, please unfollow, block, or ignore them. Your mental health is more important and if it costs you your peace, it’s way too expensive.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Sia Cooper of Diary of a Fit Mommy. You can follow her journey on Instagram here and Facebook here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Sia:

‘My husband told me breast implants would help ‘spice things up’. I was 22 and wanted to feel feminine. I constantly found him viewing pornography, which made me feel undesirable.’

‘The ultrasound said, ‘It’s a girl!’ I cried on the way home and tried to hide my disappointment. I felt so guilty I couldn’t bond with her in the womb. My dream fell apart before my eyes.’

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