Meet Portia, a 37-year-old mom from Seattle. After struggling with her weight during childhood, and finding an active lifestyle in college, Portia realized she felt self-conscious about her chest and confided in her mom. So 11 years ago, she began looking in to plastic surgery.

“In my early 20s I approached my mom and I let her know that I felt really self-conscious about my chest. She knew what the concern I had was, and so she informed me that I actually had tuberous breasts, which is technically a deformity I was born with,” Portia said. “She offered to go to four consultations with me [to] meet with plastic surgeons and talk to them about my options. I realized that I was a really good candidate for breast augmentation — both implants and a lift”

The consultations, combined with hours spent researching online and her mom’s knowledge as a nurse practitioner, gave Portia the confidence to go forward with the breast lift.

“I would 100% say you need to be confident — confident in your research, confident in your doctor, confident that you have the support system at home to help you,” she said. “But know that you are 100% worth it, and you deserve to look and feel amazing.”

“The most important thing you can do is take care of yourself, and having that self-love, self-worth, and confidence — it doesn’t happen overnight but it is possible,” she added. “I think too often women and mothers —  whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a work at home mom,. work out of home mom or an in-between — there is space for you to feel confident and happy with whatever you have going on. You should be able to look in the mirror and know that you are beautiful.”

As a mother of two daughters, Portia wants to be open about her journey and experiences. That includes her decision to undergo plastic surgery, and the ups and downs along the way.

“When the time comes and they do ask questions I will 100% be honest with them because I want to have that. I want to be able to have the conversations with them and be honest with them,” she said. “Kids can Google anything and look on social media, and I want to be the first person they speak with if they have any concerns. I want them to come to me first and I will 100% and be supportive of them.”

The same goes for others, who Portia hopes are encouraged by her story and can find the help they need.

“I want to share my story because I feel that there’s too many women out there that are  unhappy when they look in the mirror, and they feel defeated, and they feel like they’re at the end of the road and there’s nothing they can do. I know for a fact there is — I’m a living proof that there is something that you can do, you can control, and something to make yourself feel better.”

Was it worth it?

“I will tell you to this day eleven years later it was the best decision I ever made — zero regrets.”

“I am the most confident that I have ever been,” she added. “I know a lot of people like ‘oh I wish I was this confident when I was 25.’ But I’m 37 and freaking proud of it, because I feel like I’m doing really well, I’m happy with my body, I’m happy with my relationships, I’m happy being a mom, and I think I am not perfect, but nobody is and that’s what makes us beautiful.”

The plastic surgery was only part of her confidence, and isn’t a cure all. But for Portia, it helped her on her journey and gave her newfound self-esteem to be who she is.

“I just wanted to feel really good when I looked in the mirror, and it met that expectation. I think there are there are a range of services that people consider that think that’s going to fix them. I didn’t feel like it was going to fix me. I feel like all it was going to do was help me grow, help me feel better in my skin.

It wasn’t the solution, it was just part of my journey and part of my path.”