There’s no getting around one undeniable fact: physical recovery after a mastectomy or other breast surgery is HARD. For those of us who love working out, it can be devastating to lose our strength and our ability to do all the things we used to do. A lot of times we want to be as physically active as possible after surgery, but our bodies have a completely different idea. Limited range of motion, loss of muscle tone and overall fatigue require a lot of grit and self-belief to work through. It doesn’t help when our doctors unintentionally discourage us by predicting limits to our future physical abilities, without giving us a chance to see what our bodies can do during and after the healing process.
For two-time cancer thriver and fitness junkie, Bianca Muñiz (aka @bperformer on Instagram), hearing from her doctor that she would not be able to lift anything heavier than five pounds after surgery was heartbreaking. “I love being active in every way. I love weightlifting, yoga, hiking, running, sweating. I heard so many stories about not being able to move like I used to, and it really upset me! Working out is a part of who I am, so as soon as I was cleared by my doctor I was ready to give it my all and prove that I could do all the things they said I couldn’t.”
The Bianca Sports Bra is breathable enough for weight training, yoga AND cardio.
We always recommend that you take your medical team’s advice. We also believe in pushing boundaries where we can and seeing what we are truly made of. That’s why we designed The Bianca Front-Closing Sports Bra: the bra designed to get you moving as soon as you are ready to prove to everyone just how badass you are. But first, you may need to overcome a few mental blocks to start working out...
“I remember my body being in such shock when I was on my first run 6 weeks after my mastectomy… I had lost so much of my endurance, strength, and muscle. It was super discouraging. Even though it was really hard, I decided I had to be diligent in being active throughout my healing process. Working out not only helped my physical health, but it also helped my mental health. Working out, no matter how beginner-level my workouts were, helped me feel like myself again.”
Bianca knows just how rewarding it can be to push the boundaries of what your body can do. She also understands that accomplishing big physical victories after physically traumatizing surgeries requires a lot of patience and self-love as well, so we asked her what advice she would give to people who are facing mental and physical blocks after their own surgeries:
“First, you have to be so kind and gentle with yourself. Obviously you aren’t going to be where you want to be right away. It takes time and baby steps. Second, start off really slow with small, incremental steps every single day. If your goal is to run a 5K, start by taking easy 5-minute walks every day. Increase that time gradually until you can begin jogging. Then slowly build your jogging stamina. Listen to your body, go slow. Over time you will be able to accomplish your goal! Finally, just start. Don’t turn your goal into something huge and intimidating.”
Your first bra after your mastectomy was the Rora Front Closure Bra, because it made getting dressed so easy, and it comforted your sensitive surgical skin. Your first post-mastectomy sports bra should be The Bianca Bra. This revolutionary active style comes with the same front-closing design as your trusty Rora Bra, but with buttery-soft, sweat-friendly active fabric. We love this style, because it makes getting dressed for your workouts that much easier. This sports bra was designed to make you as comfortable as possible by easily accommodating pads for expanders, prostheses, or light-weight breast forms as needed in the pocketed cups.
The Bianca offers front-closing hooks for easy dressing as soon as you are able to get moving!
We know that looking badass helps you feel badass, which is why we designed The Bianca with an all mesh back panel. It’ll keep you looking cool and feeling cool all while getting back in to the groove of your new workout routine.
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Recovering from breast surgery can be challenging. Whether you’ve had a mastectomy, reconstruction, lumpectomy or augmentation, there’s bound to be some soreness and limited range of motion during this time. By prioritizing your comfort, however, you can make the process a little bit easier as you feel better each day. One of the best ways to make sure you’re comfortable during recovery is by choosing post-surgery clothing designed specifically for breast procedures. This will allow you to feel better as you heal and adjust to the changes to your body.
Our mission at AnaOno is to make sure patients, survivors and thrivers feel their best during recovery and beyond. Learn more about what makes for the best post-operation clothing and find out where to order some pieces for your own recovery or that of a loved one.