{Guest Post} Crossfit or Boobs? The Choice that Changed My Life.

I’m excited to present today’s guest post by Karen Simpson of Sustainable Fitness. I first met Karen a year ago when she was finishing up her on-ramp program at Crossfit H2O. Now Karen is an avid Crossfitter and on her way to becoming a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Crossfit or boobs

Here’s something all of us women can relate to:


Even though all of us are different, I am currently a proud owner of many 34-A bras but there was a point in my life where my tiny little A-cups just weren’t enough for me. Allow me to elaborate…

The idea of getting a boob job probably stemmed from a long battle that I had with insecurity and low-self esteem in my early twenties) but I became obsessed with what I would look like with a fake pair of hooters.  I began researching doctors in the area and talking to other women who had implants to get a feel for how much they cost (and get an actual feel for them too).  These conversations included details such as what kind of clothing I’d have to wear to work, the amount of cc’s to ask for, sub-fascia versus sub-pectoral procedures, implications for breastfeeding, whether or not the appearance of my nipples would change and how my body proportion was perfect for a DD cup size.

Most of the women that I talked to were athletes, just like me.

Their new additions had not only made them feel more confident, sexy and feminine but it also made their upper bodies look amazing in sports bras and athletic tops.  One of these women that I interviewed for information was my very own sister.  I saw first-hand how her life had changed post-surgery and thought my life would probably be significantly better if I could just enhance my cleavage a bit.  In retrospect, with our similar upbringing it all makes complete sense now why we both wanted them so bad – but that’s a different story completely.

At the peak of my synthetic ta-ta obsession, the man that I was dating was clearly very interested and supportive.

He was also glad to help with my “research”.   He was, I might add, very against the whole concept of crossfit but quite interested in the half-naked, muscular women that came with it.  He didn’t think it was best for me, and was afraid that I would be sucked into the so-called “cult”.  I wasn’t strong enough to go against his recommendation, so I remained miserable.  Being still relatively new to the area, I didn’t have many close friends, was settling into my first big-girl job out of grad school, and was dating an unemployed, emotionally unstable anti-crossfit leech. As it turns out, dating men like this was a recurring pattern for me but I just couldn’t seem to muster up the courage to break the cycle. I had heard a lot of great things about crossfit, and the associated community but didn’t have the emotional or financial support to actual take the leap.

So I did what any sensible girl with a toxic boyfriend should do.

I dumped his ass and sent him back to live with his parents.

Even though breaking up with him was the first of many “best things” I’ve ever done in my life, I still took a major hit on my self-esteem and felt more alone than ever.  My dream of having boobs was now more prevalent than ever.  I wanted a full set of breasts so I could find myself a higher quality man.  Perhaps one that actually went to the gym more than once a month AND had a job?  Was that really too much to ask?  Thank goodness I had no money, because I probably would have made the decision to go through with the surgery at that point in my life.

Fast-forwarding a few months after the break-up, I attended a free class at Crossfit H2O with a close friend of mine.

I was instantly hooked.

I loved the other athletes and the coaches.

I loved the WOD even though I have no recollection of what it was.  I loved that feeling of accomplishment after the workout and I felt completely at home. I signed up the next week, and began my fundamentals class to learn the ropes (and later learned how to properly climb one).

After about a month of doing crossfit, some really amazing things started happening.

First, I had definition in muscles that I never even knew I had and I must confess that I started to actually *like* looking at myself naked to see my body’s transformation.  Who knew a tall, gangly girl could actually have muscles?  Secondly, for the first time in my life I was excited to get out of bed in the wee hours of the morning. I had miraculously become one of those athletes that wakes up at 5:15am in the middle of winter of to go to the gym.  I had experienced a shift in how I viewed myself inside and out, but also a shift in my energy level and lifestyle.

And somewhere between the 6am workouts, setting new personal records, get-togethers with new friends and all of the paleo challenges, I stopped wanting a boob job.

Like many others who have adopted the crossfit lifestyle at difficult times in their life, my life had changed significantly for the better.

I was no longer interested in surgically enhancing ANY part of my body and I was finally happy with being the way nature intended.

I now embrace my uniqueness rather than try to change it and continue to be fascinated by what I can push my body to do. I have nothing against women with fake breasts, but when you can deadlift more than your body weight or do a pull-up without assistance, who really cares how big your boobs are? Certainly not me, and certainly not the amazing, supportive, and loving man that I fell in love with several months into my crossfit journey.

Had I chosen to get boobs instead of doing crossfit, I would still have the same underlying emotional issues and would probably still be in the same cycle of dating toxic men.

To me, crossfit was a means of empowering and transforming my body AND mind, which was so much better than going under the knife to change one single part of my appearance. 

Plus, this physical change probably would have affected my overall athletic performance in terms of balance and movement, and would have got in the way while doing burpees! 🙂





Karen Simpson is an athlete, scientist, coach, blogger and complete goofball.  Her primary expertise is in biology and environmental science, but she is also a certified nutrition coach and personal trainer.  Karen is extremely passionate about living toxin-free (or as close to it as possible) in order to promote health and longevity. Connect with Karen through her website, www.detoxifylife.com, and on Facebook.


11 Responses to {Guest Post} Crossfit or Boobs? The Choice that Changed My Life.

  1. Emily December 3, 2013 at 5:48 PM #

    This totally resonates with me Karen!! I’ve got the same body shape; tall, gangly, no boobs. This past year though, my focus shifted to working on muscle building and just being comfortable in my skin. Best investment ever! I look healthier, I have a kickass butt and surprisingly, my boobs have actually grown a touch too but most importantly, I appreciate my body for what it is and I’m ok with that! WIN WIN.

    • Karen December 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM #

      Definitely a total win-win! Muscles are so cool. 🙂

      • Navajo April 7, 2015 at 9:45 AM #

        Yeah, there’s nothing as hot as a girl that looks like a guy with hips…just keep telling yourself that. I’m a fit guy and I want a girl that looks like a girl. Sorry.

  2. Jenny Drevnick Yelle December 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM #

    Great article and wonderful for you! I have large implants and also play competitive tennis. (I also have a rather expensive collection of max-support sports bras!) I had a “National geographic” situation and really needed some new “girls”. However, a lack of self esteem did not spur getting the surgery. I feel strong, empowered, and awesome. That should come from within! =)

    • Karen December 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM #

      Agreed! Perhaps plastic surgery should come with some sort of physiological assessment first? I feel like a lot of women who go under the knife see it as a solution to their insecurities. I didn’t see that before, but I definitely do now!

  3. julie December 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM #

    Very awesome of you to encourage other women in this manner. I was over 40 before I realized that true beauty comes from within but you “feel” beautiful when your healthy. I also thought surgery was the answer but fortunately God saw fit to ensure I would wait….what a blessing! Boobs cannot bring the happiness that real fitness can ( I had a great set at the beginning of my first pregnancy so I do know). I no longer focus on my A cups but on the weight on the bar! …and I now have super powers, just ask my 15 yr old son and 12 yr old daughter.

    • Allison December 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM #

      Awesome, Julie! Thanks for sharing your story 😉

    • Karen Simpson December 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM #

      Julie, you rock! Thanks for sharing such kind words. Keep up the great work, supermom! 🙂

  4. krista September 6, 2017 at 11:03 PM #

    I love your story, but i have to disagree in my case. I am also an avid crossfitter, working out several times a week and loving the physical, emotional, and mental benefits it has given me. But not everyone who wants to get boobs is trying to cover up underlying emotional issues. I simply want to look proportional to my body. I work hard on what the good lord game me, but he was a little less than generous with me when he was passing out tatas. It’s not a lack of confidence thing. I know i’m pretty cool, boobs or no boobs. Would I be happy without them? Sure! Would I be happier with them? Maybe but Probably not. But I’d sure feel great showing off how hard I’ve been working on my body, and with a little help from some implants it would look even better. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I respect your decision and obviously it was the right one for you. But I’m a bit tired of people making it seem like choosing elective surgery is just shallow and vain, or that people who do it are trying to cover up underlying emotional issues. Not the case with me. I like who I am! I’ve just always thought women’s bodies look better with some curves. And if I can afford them, and I’m realistic about knowing they’re not going to make or break my happiness or change who I am, I say why not??

    • Allison October 18, 2017 at 12:20 PM #

      Thanks for sharing your point of view, Krista! I’ll make sure to pass along your comment to this guest post’s author. I totally agree with you that everyone has to make their own decisions and there are absolutely no wrong decisions when it comes to your own body. As long as you’re making a conscious, mindful decision it can’t be wrong 🙂

    • Mae West March 19, 2018 at 6:31 AM #

      I also want to chime in. I went from a 34 A to a 34D. I have a petite frame, but I am curvy and felt the top half of my body did not match my bottom — that’s it. I’m a runner, a dancer, I do yoga and pilates and I recently joined CrossFit. I am happier than ever, fitter than ever and my clothes fit me better than ever. I was happy before my boob job, and I am ecstatic after having them done. THey have not held me back one bit and I did them solely and 100% for me and only me.

      You can be happy, psychologically stable, get implants and still be fit and active. None of these things are mutually exclusive.

      A Crossfitter in Brooklyn

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