“Hi, My Name Is Fever Blister and I’m Not Wearing A Bra”

I was convinced those words were going to fly out of my mouth as I introduced myself at an event earlier this week.

I wanted to ask the panel a question, but had to walk up to the mic and do it in front of 300 colleagues.

Normally not an issue, but I’d been fighting a cold and had a spray of fever blisters blossoming around my lip.  Plus, the night before I got into my son’s stash of Pirate Booty (White Cheddar), so between sick and salt, I looked like a blowfish.

I figured I had enough time to deflate with a quick run at the gym, so I packed my stuff and headed off.  Surprised that I actually pushed thru a semi sick workout, I smugly began to get dressed in the locker room when I realized something was horribly wrong.

I forgot to pack my bra.

For some this isn’t a deal breaker, but for me it’s huge, because my boobs are big. I had a blazer with me, but it didn’t matter.  In my mind, going braless meant those two crazy kids might get ahead of me, bounce, flail and wave to the world in all their slightly uneven glory.

It didn’t matter that the drama was largely in my head.  I felt Beauty Bombed and had to figure out a way to MacGyver thru.  At my disposal were three manilla folders and two arms (mine) which I clutched against my chest in a death grip.  (Like that wasn’t weird, giving handshakes with only half an arm extended).

Back to the moment of truth.  Did I ask my super smart burning question to the panel in front of 300 people?

No.  I couldn’t overcome my self consciousnesses.

The irony is, I’ll bet no one would have noticed or cared.  They would have just seen a woman, asking a simple question while hugging three manilla folders.  I was starting to feel bad about feeling bad…when it hit me.

Do we take a sub conscious back seat when we feel we don’t look good?  Are we more likely to hide in our office after we’ve gained 5lbs over the holidays?  At the beach, do we hesitate to chase that Frisbee because we don’t want people to see us running in a tank-ini?  Who hasn’t ducked or pushed a small child in front of us during a candid snapshot?

I know I’m guilty!

Which brings me to this.  It’s easy to deprioritize what we look like on the treadmill of life, but the fact is how we feel about our looks has a big impact on our confidence.  The good thing is, I realized it’s not about pleasing others or looking like Heidi Klum.  It’s simply about Its about living up to my personal standards best so I don’t hide out.

Here on out, I’ll take an extra 5 to slap on a beauty balm, lipgloss and big sunglasses when running errands.  I won’t let the 5 lbs linger and will dive for the frisbee regardless of what I look like.

Most importantly, I’m buying back-up bras for my gym locker and office.