Are Breast Implants Compatible with an Active Lifestyle?

A common area of concern that many women have while considering breast implants is how implants are going to impact their active lifestyle.

It was definitely one of my biggest concerns, especially after I heard that Lisa from Bodyrock had her breast implants removed because they were impeding her extreme personal fitness goals. Fortunately, we've also heard from incredible fitness personalities like Jen Heward and Hope Beel that breast implants have been perfectly compatible with their fitness routines.

Today, I'm excited for us to hear from one of my favorite, emerging ladies in the fitness community. Her name is Jemma Arscott, and she knows first hand what it's like to have an active lifestyle with breast implants.

Jenny Eden: Before we dive in and talk about boobies, tell us a little bit about yourself and why you're so passionate about personal fitness.

Jemma: Im 26 years old, live in the South West of England, and I'm a marketing manager in a law firm whilst studying to become a personal trainer. Fitness has been my passion since January 2015 – I wanted to get fit to lose weight for my wedding, and I ended up totally falling in love with it!

In the past, I had suffered from two spontaneous collapsed lungs, which meant I stopped working out and became very unfit and a little overweight. I had extremely low self-esteem and went through the process of eating to make myself happy... which obviously doesn’t work!

On January 1, 2015, I joined the local gym and started a regime to lose the weight. I lost 2.5 stone (35 pounds) and 3 dress sizes – amazing!!! Not only this, but I could tell I was becoming a better person.

My determination to succeed sky-rocketed.

I was promoted at work, and I began to share my journey with others on my Instagram page. I felt incredible (the power of health and fitness!)

However, I lost what little boobs I had. My bra size shrank from a 30C to a 30A.

I was devastated.

I had worked so hard on my body, mindset, and nutrition, and I was finally happy with everything – apart from my boobs. They were the one thing I knew I couldn’t fix myself. So in January 2016, I got a boob job!

Jenny Eden: What an awesome reminder that confidence in one area of our lives increases confidence in ALL areas of our lives!

Talk about your Boobie Journey... what lead you to getting breast implants, how big did you go, and how was that experience like for you?

Jemma: Breast augmentation has always been at the back of my mind, even from a young age. As a teenager, I was always small. But when I got sick (with my collapsed lungs), I did have a small amount of breast tissue from putting on weight.

After I shed the 2.5 stone, I felt incomplete.

I was lucky enough to have the support of my husband and family. They too believed that I had worked so hard to get my body in shape, why not finish it off by adding the boobs of my dreams.

In December 2015, I had my first consultation. I had NO IDEA what sort of size or look I wanted to go for (wish I had found Eden Knows Implants and Bustmob before my surgery!!!) but my plastic surgeon was amazing.

I explained that I wanted enough boobs to be feminine, but not too much that they would get in the way of my fitness. He took a look at me and explained I had mild scoliosis and breast asymmetry, which meant that he wasn’t happy placing the breast implants behind the muscle – so I went with overs.

To correct the asymmetry, he recommended 255cc in my larger left breast and 285cc in my small right breast. We decided on ultra high profile Natrelle textured round breast implants. All that was left to do was book my surgery! I went in on 24th January 2016, and I am know measuring 30DD.

Getting breast implants has been the best decision I’ve ever made.

My recovery was faultless, and I am still surprised by how little pain and discomfort I felt. I had so much support from my family and friends and I felt totally back to normal by 14 days post op.

As a fitness nut, I honestly thought it would be horrendous not being able to workout for 6 weeks – but I am HONESTLY telling you, it was totally fine. I ensured I ate well, and after 2 weeks I began some low intensity walking on the treadmill.

At my 6-week post op appointment, I was cleared to go back to the gym and my usual routine with the caveat that if it hurt, don’t do it.

Jenny Eden: I'm really glad you brought up getting back into the gym, because you're obviously super passionate about personal training (you look great BTW!!!). What was it like getting back into the gym after having your breast augmentation?

Jemma: I won’t lie – my first session back at the gym I was nervous. Not because I was worried about my fitness levels, but I was nervous about what people would say or think.

The truth? No one make a big deal about it.

My closer gym buddies commented on how I was like a different person and came in with my head held high.

I went straight back to normal in the gym. I like to lift weights, and my first session back was shoulders and back. I could still do press ups and bench press – I just used a lighter weight. I felt like I hadn’t even had a 6 week break!

I would mention here however, to take the advice of your plastic surgeon as much as possible. I was cleared to go back to normal after 6 weeks, but if your surgeon recommends longer, you should stick with their advice. This time period and ability to go back to normal may also depend on whether you have chosen to go over or under the muscle.

I really believe that the closer you are able to follow your PS’s advice, the better you will feel and the more successful your recovery will be. Personally, I literally did NOTHING for the first 14 days (I have a desk job).

Jenny Eden: I love how seriously you take your active lifestyle! Having gone through it, would you say that breast implants are a good decision for active women? Also, what advice would you have for women getting breast implants to help them ease back into their gym routine?

Jemma: I want to make sure to say this loud and clear. Whether you like to lift weights, run, swim, or Crossfit...

In my personal experience, breast implants are 100% compatible with an active lifestyle!

And to help all of the BA gym bunnies out there, here are my top tips for getting through recovery and easing your way back into your workout routine:

  • Take your time – I had 5 days off from work. My first day back after my breast augmentation was really tough, and my hardest day of recovery by far was day 8. Take as much time as you can to recover in those first 2 weeks, because they are critical to ensuring a successful recovery

  • Do not think about the gym – Unless you are thinking about all the cute new tops and bras you’re going to be wearing, try not to think about going to the gym. It’s hard, but I found ignoring the gym made me feel less guilty about not being there.

  • Fuel your body – I stuck to my clean eating diet about 70% of the time. Not only to prevent any weight gain, but because doing so made me FEEL good. It’s also vital to fuel your body with vitamin rich, nutritious food when helping recover from major surgery.

  • Walking is your new best friend – After the end of week 2 post op, I went back to my regular LISS training. LISS stands for "Low Intensity Steady Speed" and can be completed on a treadmill or outside. Essentially, it is just walking at a steady speed for between 35-45 minutes.I did this from the comfort of my own home on the treadmill 3 times per week. I took it slow at first, and if I felt pain I slowed down or stopped. LISS training usually involves walking at a pace which puts your heart rate in fat burning zone (you can find the zones applicable to you by googling "heart rate fat burning zones"). For me, this was between 125BPM and 160BPM (this is different for every person). In the first few weeks, I made sure my HR didn’t exceed 125BPM as there is an increased risk of internal bleeding the higher your HR is. If in doubt, please PLEASE consult with your plastic surgeon. I completed LISS 3 times per week from 2 weeks post op to 6 weeks post op.

  • Eat the cake – As I said above, my diet stayed clean 70% of the time. But ladies, I cannot stress this enough – one bad meal will not make you fat just like one healthy meal will not make you skinny. I still had cheat meals every week ranging from Chinese takeaway to McDonalds (sometimes 3 times per week ha!!!!) I didn’t put on weight and I honestly feel like I didn’t look any different after 6 weeks of not working out (apart from now I had the most amazing boobs!!!!) So please, don’t feel guilty. You are in recovery and if you want a treat, have the treat and don’t feel guilty. :-)

I want to send a big thank you to Jemma for being willing to join us today! I hope you got as much inspiration out of her experience as I have, and be sure to follow her on Instagram :-)

Thoughts from Dr. Michelle Roughton

Almost all of the women that we see for breast augmentation have very active lifestyles.

There may be some unique circumstances, such as competitive body building, that may impact some of the decisions that we make together in planning your surgery, but the bottom line is that you'll be able to return to any level of physical activity and exercise that you would like once the healing portion of the recovery is finished.