Self Love and Varicose Veins

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Hey friends! I hope you had an amazing weekend and for many of you it may have even been the start of your Summer! We spent the weekend in all of the ways you might expect- yard work, barbecuing, swimming and attending a fireworks show. I'm so happy to report that we finally got our pool open and clear and balanced and swimmable! They aren't lying when they say pools are a lot of work and money pits, but we sure love the fun reasons to have one, so I'd say they are still worth having. This season the pool was particularly cloudy and hard to get clean, but we did it! Rush and I snapped some pics in our matching suits and when I saw how they turned out I knew what I was going to write about in this post. Not the cutie in the shades, not my fav white Birkenstocks, but those huge, visible, gnarly vericose veins!
SHOP THE POST









SWIMSUIT (currenty sold out, here, here and here are similar suits) // WHITE BIRKS // SUNNIES // EARRINGS // RUSH'S SWIMSUIT // RUSH'S SWIMMIE // RUSH'S SUNNIES 
There has been a lot of body positivity talk on the internet and on Instagram especially over the last few months, or years- and I love it. I believe in it and I'm really happy with the conversations it has started. But I've never really felt like I personally identified with it. I have always been pretty slim and although I battled with an eating disorder in high school and college, I've been recovered for the last ten years. I've got good genetics so that I bounced back after having kids. I like my body and I don't think much about it besides being grateful for it. It works, it's relatively healthy and although I wish I had more stamina and strength, I don't have negative feelings about it. 
Except for one thing. The varicose veins on my legs. Even those I do a pretty good job dismissing, but I prefer not to show them and when I see them, I always have the thought that I'm going to get them removed. The veins on my legs showed up during one of my pregnancies and have gotten worse with each one. They are the worst on my right knee and thigh and after Rush was born, they didn't shrink back down like after my previous pregnancies. They have actually gotten worse, showing up on my calf and the back of my left leg too. My kneecap is always swollen/squishy, and they are gross. I get restless leg syndrome when I lay on the couch to watch a movie and they can throb when I'm on my cycle. So yeah, I guess I don't really like showing my legs these days. 
Let's see- what else? I've gone to a consultation for my veins and have been approved by my insurance to have them removed, but I haven't made any appointments after that. From what they told me it hurts like hell (think hundreds of bee stings) and it will take multiple two-hour appointments. My excuse for not going to treatment is that I don't have two free hours- ever- much less to go do that- but I'm also scared! I planned to get them fixed this Spring, before Summer and before our insurance renewed, but I didn't. I didn't get them fixed and here we are at the beginning of Summer and pool season and shorts season. Yikes! 
I shared one of these pool photos on Instagram the other day and I knew my veins were pretty obvious. I didn't mention them, but I hoped the pic was cute enough that no one else would either. Well they did. One person straight up asked me about my leg, but what surprised me was the number of DM's I got about them. So many women were messaging me telling me that they have huge veins too and have also been worried about swimsuit season. They were relieved to see me have a visible "flaw" and it made them want to wear cute suits at the pool too and not care about hiding their imperfect legs. Well, that sealed the deal for me! I'm ready to talk about the elephant sized veins in the room.
I've been wearing suits and shorts and jeans with ripped knees but was hoping no one would notice my legs. And now that they did- I'm actually feeling even better about it! Am I still going to get them fixed someday? YES. But am I going to be embarrassed about them in the meantime? NO. I'm going to wear the suit, wear the shorts and say, "so what?!" I got these veins from having all of these babies and they are part of my story. I hope that not photoshopping my veins make you feel more comfortable in your skin too. I could easily smooth them out, but I'd rather just be real and not care. I'd rather not hide them, and I'd rather talk about them than pretend they don't exist. 
I think it's great to do the things that make you feel even better about yourself whether that is vein treatment, losing weight, a boob job or whatever- but I think it's even greater if we can choose to be happy in the skin we're in now and in the future. 
To be honest, these are things I've thought about doing someday:
Breast Augmentation
Vein Treatment
Invisalign
Laser Hair Removal
Botox for Migraines
But thinking about all those things doesn't rob me of my self-love today. I would be totally okay if I didn't get any of those things done, ever, and maybe I will, maybe I won't. In the meantime, I'll keep rocking the bumpy legs and the flat chest and I'll fist bump you through the internet when you do the same. :) Let's wear the suit, show up for each other and support the other women in our lives. We all have flaws and the less we hide them the more normal we all feel!

PS- Self tanner is really the key to self love. It even makes vein-y legs look better! #kiddingnotkidding
PPS- This stuff hides everything!

11 comments

  1. Thank you got this honest post! And thank you for loving yourself like you do! I really appreciated your honesty. I have never noticed yout veins before. I love your style and enjoy all your posts.

    I am a mom of 4 young kids, ranging in age from 4.5 years down to 4 months. Life is very full. And it is good. But my body and my mental/emotional health have taken there toll. I'm so grateful for physio to help my body physically heal. And will soon start counseling to help my emotions and mind to start healing.

    I loved your list of what you might one day do for your body. A lot of what is on your list is on mine as well. But it's your spirit of self acceptance that is so catching. That's what I want for me to. My body shows the love of having birthed 4 beautiful children. May I now love my body.

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  2. Firstly, I absolutely love Rush's hair colour - so blonde!!! I saw your Instagram posts of your pool pics and I did not even notice your varicose veins. I also had big, puffy, bulgy veins on my right leg, as of 4 years ago. I went to a vein specialist here in Canada, and I opted for the glue procedure. I have gone in for injections after the procedure, and I am now finally comfortable wearing dresses without wearing leg makeup. I can show you some before and after pics, if you'd like.

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  3. Thank you for this post! I also have some nasty veins in my legs. I got them from my momma, and they got worse with pregnancy. They seem to less apparent some days, but they have never gone away. My husband always asks "What did you do to your leg! What a bruise!". Forgetting that they are my veins. I fantasize about getting them fixed, but am thankful that they have not become too uncomfortable. So cheers to you, to summer, shorts and swimsuits! Do you have any favorite suits that are breastfeeding friendly?

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  4. I have the same apprehension about the vericose vein on the inside of my left leg. I also got mine during one of my pregnancies, however have not looked at it in a positive way. So, thank you for making me realize I should embrace it because I have 3 healthy kids and that is more important. P.S. I do have invisalign right now and am not in love with it, but hopefully will love it more once my teeth are all straight...

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  5. You rock sister! I am in a different season of life than you (college aged kids) but love your style, and appreciate your realness. All of us have things we would change about ourselves, but acceptance is the key. Accept what we have, change what we can, but mostly just be a good wife, mom, friend, human being who loves and supports others. Great example you are!

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  6. I honestly never noticed your veins! I'm too busy admiring your freaking amazing fashion sense. haha! I'm rocking the flat chest, too. I'd love to get them done so I can fill out dresses, but I'll just be thankful that they don't cause a back ache for now.

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  7. Just wanted to let you know that I had my varicose veins lasered a year ago and it did not hurt as much as I imagined it would. I had to have 5 treatments total;2 on one leg and 3 on the other. I was so nervous about how painful it was going to be that I was almost in tears when I showed up for my first (of 5) appointment. I felt so silly when they started the procedure and it barely hurt! It didn't hurt anymore than getting blood drawn and maybe a little burning when the medicine goes in. I would recommend doing it during "non- shorts" months because the procedure leaves some pretty massive bruises! All in all, it was very worth it. No more restless, heavy feeling legs!

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  8. I saw that Instagram post and literally did not notice the veins at all!! When I saw the comment asking about your knee, I had to go back and look and I still didn't really see anything! So, I agree with your post here totally about loving the skin we're in now, but I honestly didn't see it. They're not that visible to all apparently! ;) I do think I tend to see people as a whole, though, because I often don't see flaws others comment about -- like someone's wonky teeth, for instance. I guess I'm noticing the person, not nitpicking. I guess that's good! Happy end of May to you! :)

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  9. What kind of procedure did you get a consultation for? I was told I needed to have mine “burned” and I am so freaked out by that!?

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  10. I also used to have awful veins on my legs which were very painful during pregnancy and just uncomfortable and unattractive during my cycle, long car rides, etc. I did end up getting the surgery after my 5th pregnancy and for me, the long term comfort after the surgery was soooo worth it! (In fact I had one leg which was worse that I had done first and when I realized how much better it felt after recovery I scheduled surgery for my other leg.). If that’s what you decide, you can definitely do it! It’s more just very uncomfortable, not unbearable pain or anything.

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  11. I've had gross veins since I was a child due to an injury. I finally bit the bullet and did the whole nine yards last summer (DO NOT recommend summer for this btw!!!). It really didn't hurt much at all (I had a phlebectomy and 3 sessions of sclerotherapy). The Phlebectomy was just a lot of pressure and massive bruising and the sclero was like just a bunch of pinches, some hurt, some I didnt' even feel. The results have been pretty good though! The bruising and staining lasted about 8 months but things look good now. Not 100%, but an improvement. Love this post though, I know how horrible it is being so self conscious!

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