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Q: Question ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Question
Category: Health > Women's Health
Asked by: brokenrecord84-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 05 Feb 2003 20:34 PST
Expires: 07 Mar 2003 20:34 PST
Question ID: 157895
The facts: age: 18 weight: 124 height:5'3 bust:34D
Since around the time of my freshman year of high school, my breasts
have been too large for my body shape.  They have stretch marks, my
nipples point to the floor, I have occasional back aches, grooves on
my shoulders from my bra and self-consciousness.  Last year, I went to
a plastic surgeon regarding breast reductions.  He took pictures, sent
them to my insurance agency, resulting in their denial to pay for the
surgery considering that my breasts aren't THAT bad.  My question is:
if i exercise and lose about 5 to 10 pounds will this help with my
breasts and will my nipples rise?  or am i doomed to have sagging
breasts for the rest of my life? please help
Subject: Re: Question
Answered By: spot_tippybuttons-ga on 06 Feb 2003 01:17 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
I think I can help. Let me give you a few facts about breasts, and
then some tips about what will and won't work. In a nutshell, you
can't magically transform your breasts to a shape or size that they
aren't--but you aren't doomed, either.

Your breasts are composed of three kinds of tissue: fat, glands and
connective tissue. Breast sagging occurs when the skin and connective
tissue stretch or break down due to gravity or a loss of elasticity as
we age. Sagging may also occur after radical weight loss or pregnancy,
when the skin and ligaments have been stretched due to the (temporary)
increase in breast size.

While preventing weight gain may prevent your breasts from sagging
more in the future, a minor weight loss now probably will not do
anything to improve the appearance of your breasts. Because breasts
are composed in part of fatty tissue, weight loss often reduces the
size of breasts but it does not do anything to improve firmness. At
your weight and age, however, it is unlikely that losing weight will
cause a perceptible change in breast size, either.
More importantly, based on your height your ideal body weight is
between 121 and 135 pounds. A weight loss of 5 to 10 pounds would put
you at less than your ideal weight range. While 114-119 pounds is not
drastically outside the healthy range, you should be aware that being
significantly underweight can carry with it nearly as many health
risks as being significantly overweight--all of which should be far
more important to you than the appearance of your breasts. Some of the
risks include lowered resistance to disease, loss of muscle mass as
the body attempts to scavenge protein from other sources, and
increased risk of osteoporosis. In addition, reducing body fat to
outside the healthy range has been associated with decreased
production of estrogen... which, ironically, is one of the key
hormones that declines naturally with menopause and is believed to be
one of the causes of sagging breasts as women grow older.

Exercise, on the other hand, may help... but not in the way
popularized by many infomercials selling breast-toning gadgets.

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot "tone" your breasts. Because
the breasts are not composed of muscle tissue, there simply is no
muscle to tone. You cannot exercise the breast itself.

The breast is supported by the pectoral muscles, a large muscle mass
that fans across your chest from the center of your rib cage to your
shoulders. Some people believe that you can improve the appearance of
your breasts by building these muscles. There are mixed opinions on
the feasibility of this approach, with many people saying this method
is effective and many others saying it is impossible. The theory is
that building your pectoral muscles achieves more or less the same
thing as surgery. When breasts are surgically altered, either skin is
removed or the breast is augmented. Either way, this has the effect of
"filling up" the remaining skin and connective tissue to make the skin
tighter, and thereby the breasts firmer and more buoyant.
Theoretically, you can build up the pectoral muscles to fill the loose
skin in a similar way. However--and I think this is the root of the
confusion of whether this works or not--while I believe this could
work, you need to stop and think for a moment about how much muscle
mass we're really talking about here. Consider that you had, say, half
an inch or so of loose skin you wanted to fill up... rationally, you
would need to add several inches or more of muscle mass to your
pectoral muscles to make that much skin tight. That's not the kind of
mass you're going to build doing a few push-ups a couple of times a
week. There is no way the kind of workout a lot of women do is going
to get results. To make this theory fly, we're talking about heavy
lifting: high-weight, low reps (as much as you can possibly lift for
12 repetitions) of bench presses, dumbbell flys and machine dips.
While I believe this could work, obviously this kind of routine would
take a great deal of commitment and would create visible changes in
your appearance that would extend far beyond the appearance of your

If you don't want Schwarzenegger's chest (more power to you if you
do!) there are other less demanding exercises that may still improve
your appearance. Much of the appearance of a woman's breasts is
dictated not by her breasts themselves, but by her posture. Many
women, especially those with large breasts, tend to hunch forward
which makes the breasts appear to sag much more than they really do.
Conversely, keeping your spine straight and your shoulders back can
give even sagging breasts a big boost. Try posing in front of a mirror
to see the difference for yourself; the improvement is often dramatic.

One of the keys to improving your posture is building strength in your
back, abdominals and other core muscles. Fortunately, there are a lot
of great ways to do this. Pilates classes are still popular right now,
and this is an excellent way to build your core muscles. You can also
try replacing your desk chair with a balance ball. It will take some
getting used to, but it is very effective. Swimming is also excellent
for strengthening your core. As always, you should talk to your doctor
before beginning any exercise program.

Lastly, go out and buy a good bra. If your back hurts or the straps
are cutting your shoulders, then your bra is not providing adequate
support or it is not sized properly. A good bra can work wonders both
for your comfort and your confidence. You may need to go to a store
that specializes in undergarments to find one that really fits you
well. Many specialty stores, such as Victoria's Secret, will help fit
you and assist you in choosing a suitable bra free of charge.

On a final note, be confident in who you are. I am sure it doesn't
feel this way, but odds are everybody else thinks your breasts look
just fine. Even if they don't--which is astronomically unlikely--all
that really matters is how you feel about yourself. If you feel good
about yourself, other people will feel good about you too. Confidence
is _very_ attractive.

I hope this helps, and if you need any clarification, do not hesitate
to ask.

Have a great day,


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brokenrecord84-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thank you, Spot.  I really appreciate you answering my questions so
quickly and giving me an intelligent, accurate answer.  Recently, I've
started doing a 50-minute Pilates video and it has really helped my
back.  I'm going to continue doing pilates along with my other cardio
and circuit training exercises.  You're right, no one but me finds my
breasts to be ridiculous in size.  Thanks again.

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