THE DAY I STOPPED ASKING WHY - A Guest Blog Post

Hello my fine-feathered Heifer-Friends (just go with me on that, I'm uncalfeinated).

A few days ago I shared another guest blog post from my friend Brett. It's called LIVE IN THE LIGHT.  Click that link to read it.  No really. Before you read this one, go click and read. (thank you!)  Gosh, I'm bossy today. I'm excited to share with you his next blog post: 

THE DAY I STOPPED ASKING WHY

It appears that after a certain point the realisations come thick and fast. This is the second in as many days.

Exactly when I stopped asking ‘why’ I’m not sure. But I know it was a conscious decision. Think about it, as a kid that’s all we do, it was certainly all I did. I was hungry for information. At any given opportunity I asked ‘why’? I was a sponge. But, sponges get saturated and maybe that’s what happened for me.  I don’t know.

What I do remember are episodes when asking ‘why’ seemed to set me apart from other kids in a way I didn’t enjoy. I remember once going to a party. There was a ‘punch and judy’ show which i was encouraged to watch. I knew that the puppets were controlled by a man behind the curtain. The other children seemed enthralled whereas I sat there dissecting the mechanics behind the facade. I knew this wasn’t ‘normal’ behaviour so, to please my parents I played along.

I’m in a car with my family. It’s late. My father has been drinking. A lot. He is driving home and doesn’t seem to care. My mother is worried. She is asking him if she should drive. He laughs a drunk laugh and says he’s fine. He isn’t. He can’t handle a corner and instead goes straight over a corner. I ask why? I’m young, but I’m not stupid. I understand the risks he is taking.

Years go by and I’m with my family. Conversations at various social gatherings inherently descended into ‘piss’ taking where the ability to apply any level of intellect was totally unheard of. Nobody seemed to want to ask ‘why’? They seemed content with just ‘being’.

We move forward. A friend commits suicide, the breakdown of a relationship, the Manchester bomb, the Victoria Station bomb..... the list goes on. My mind is now continuously whirring and the issues with my family that have haunted me for so long are added to the list. I hit sensory overload.

At that point, I decided to stop asking why. It was a totally conscious decision. There just too much input, too many unanswered questions. I wanted to understand everything and couldn’t. But as I stopped asking why I think the child inside me became sad.

For years, decades actually, this is how I existed. I was, in effect, dumbing myself down. My mind, or at least some of it, became quiet. But it didn’t work. My mind wouldn’t accept the off switch and every so often something bubbled up. To cope I started reinventing myself. It kept me busy. Metaphorically, and in some cases physically I ran. I moved cities, I changed jobs, I had girlfriend after girlfriend. I even travelled and ended up working in the Catskill mountains, north New York state, desperately trying to find peace. I even thought I found it once. I was lying on my back on a football pitch somewhere Catskills looking up at the bluest sky. The pitch was empty and for that moment I felt at peace. That moment is the reason for the tattoo on my back.

But you can’t run forever. You can’t keep reinventing. Sooner or later the mind finds a way to break through every wall you put up.

Eventually, whilst living in Leeds I hit rock bottom and finally sought out the help I so desperately needed. That was the start of the journey.

It’s got to be ten years later and I’ve stopped running. I mean properly stopped running. Yes, I run now, more than ever and love every step. But this is REAL running and I’m not running from anything, I’m running to a better place every step I take. Does the running still quiet my mind. Yes, absolutely. But that’s okay as it allows me to focus on things positively. Do I now ask ‘why’? Yes, all the time. Is the child inside loving being able to ask why? Yes, absolutely, yes. Can I cope if I don’t know the answer? Yes.  

Nobody can run forever. Nobody can shut down their mind forever. For me it was time to reboot and it feels amazing.

ABOUT BRETT: Brett is a father, a teacher, a runner. He completed his first triathlon at the tender age of 17 and has gone on to run every distance from sprint mile to marathon and aims to complete his first ultra marathon in 2018 at the not so tender age of 47. 

He is open about his battle with mental health and since hitting rock bottom 8 years ago has been on what he would describe as being a life changing journey ever since. He is a firm believer that through sharing and support anything is possible and that above all else we must strive to de-stigmatise mental health.   You can follow Brett on Twitter HERE.

 

Dealing With Loss - 110 Pounds of it

HEY HELLO and HAPPY MOO YEAR to everyone in the HeiferHood!

I know many of you are long time readers - but hoof-loads of you are brand new, too (so hey, howdy doo, and how YOU doin'?) ... therefore.... in case you're new to the hood, here's a little pic of me - before (and before, and before)  and now.

Big, Bigger, Biggest - and Healthiest

Big, Bigger, Biggest - and Healthiest

When I meet new friends for the first time and the subject of weight loss or weight loss maintenance comes up - my ears always perk up.  Why? Because I get it.  

I GET IT.

I was pushing 300 pounds and could barely make it off my couch for the next round of Mountain Dew and cookies. The only weights I lifted were double-stuff Oreos by the caseful. It wasn't a great way to live. Not at all.

One day I decided to make a change - it's like a switch in my brain was flipped on - and I decided it was time to lose the weight.  I subscribed to a popular weight-loss program after losing 40 pounds on my own and stalling out with any more weight loss.

I lost another 70ish pounds, and that was about 6 years ago - and I haven't looked back.

There's a common fallacy that losing weight is hard (which it IS!) ... but maintaining that loss should be easy, simple, no - hassle.

NOT. WRONG. NOPE. NEIN. NO WAY JOSE.

It takes HARD WORK to lose the weight - let's be real. It's really hard.  But for this heifer, maintaining the weight loss is even harder.  My weight loss program taught me how to eat properly.  For that, I'll be eternally grateful.  It taught me proper portion control. Proper nutrition.  All the tools I need to be healthy forHEIFERmore (haha see how I did that?)

But... you're talking to a food addict.  Someone who has an emotional attachment to food.  So even though I KNOW how to eat properly - some days it's harder than others.  Some days my body says YOU'RE HUNGRY, HEIFER! Eat (a 6pack of) donuts.  Eat 3 Big Macs. (well ok that may make me sick, but.....)

Enter.... one of the best weight management tools I've ever laid my little heifer hoofs on.  
(Cue the angels singing)

LOVIDIA....

WAIT WHAAAAA?

What's this little magical Lovidia you speak of, head heifer? 

Glad you asked. 

lovidia2.jpg

Here's a little bit of information on Lovidia - my favorite weight management TOOL in the history of weight management tools (and trust me, peeps, I've tried them all). This is directly from the company - it's got all the important bits and pieces of detail that I'd forget anyway: 

  • Lovidia Puts You in Control - Eat Less Without Feeling Hungry! Lovidia is a patented formula that uses Gut Sensory Modulation™ (GSM) to reduce hunger. In the simplest terms, Lovidia helps you feel satisfied with fewer calories, making you feel as though you’ve eaten more than you have. This allows you to reduce the amount of food you eat without feeling hungry. And when you can cut calories without feeling hungry, it’s easier to lose weight.

  • The Lovidia Difference! Lovidia is not a drug, and it doesn’t come with a long list of unpleasant and possibly dangerous side effects. It doesn’t contain caffeine or other stimulants, fat blockers or diuretics. Lovidia’s proprietary hunger-control formula contains only natural GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredients, so it does not cause jitters or other unpleasant side effects typically associated with weight-loss products. Lovidia is an easy-to-take pill that helps you control your hunger and lose weight naturally. Lovidia is not a “magic pill”, i.e., a pill that allows you to eat whatever you want and as much as you want. There is no magic pill and there will never be a magic pill.

  • The ingredients in Lovidia have been clinically tested in multiple double-blind, placebo controlled studies and have been shown to be both safe and effective.
     

  • Take one Lovidia tablet with breakfast and one Lovidia tablet with lunch. Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water.

Now.  Why do I love it? 

Because, crazy as it seems, THIS STUFF WORKS.  I was skeptical. I was.  I even told Marty, the prez of the company, that his little fancy skittle pills didn't interest me. :-) No really, I did.  Then a year later, I agreed to try them.  Imagine my shock when they actually worked.  
(Disclaimer: I received this product to sample in an exchange for my honest review). And I LOOOOOVE it.

Of course, I wanted to see some SCIENCE behind this magic pill. Because really, there is NO MAGIC PILL.  (And there's not, this stuff isn't magic - it's a TOOL).  If you're looking for the "how does this work" aspect - have a look HERE

Here's the breakdown, the heifer-dealio.  It controls my hunger.  Short and sweet.  I take it when I'm supposed to, and I'm just not hungry. Plain and simple.  Does it negate emotional eating? No.  But it makes life a WHOLE heck of a lot easier because my mind is not focused on food all the time.

The little carrying case is well-loved, I keep it with me in my purse and it's always got my Lovidia inside.  So yeah it's a little dirty.  I do love the case though - very small and goes everywhere with me.

The little carrying case is well-loved, I keep it with me in my purse and it's always got my Lovidia inside.  So yeah it's a little dirty.  I do love the case though - very small and goes everywhere with me.

It takes the guesswork out of eating for me - I eat right, I eat proper portions, and in between when my MIND would normally tell my body it's hungry (which, really it's not - it's thirsty, etc)... I'm just not hungry.  I don't THINK about food and therefore, I'm not eating mindlessly.  Lovidia helps control my hunger and is the best tool in my weight maintenance toolbox!


If you're on the fence about trying Lovidia - feel free to use my discount code runheiferrun20 for a 20% discount. Good thru 1/31/18.

 

To follow Lovidia on social media, here are their links:

 

  • These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

  • “Results vary based on program adherence. In the LOVIDIA Way study average weight loss was 13.6 pounds and waist circumference reduction was 2.7 inches.”

 

 

Diary of a Heifer...First Swim... #iKahn....

Oh hey again heifers.... 

I'm in the first full week of Triathlon Training (I'm trying to make sure I say no bad words when I call it this, because after yesterday, I have a few new bad words that I want to use...)

In short, below is a little clip of the fun I had yesterday...it was my first swim in the training plan.  It took courage to even GO to the pool. 

Let's lay it out for you step by step.  I wake up.  Ok that went well.  Happy every day that I wake up alive. (Because who wants to wake up dead?)

Take kids to school.  No problem there. Always happy to drop them off.  Oh come on! Every mom is nodding in agreement.

preach.jpg

Come home READY for the swim, mentally.  Go look inside my triathlon bucket where I kept all of "those things" hidden away up until yesterday. I KNEW my Speedo (ps why are speedo suits SO not sexy??) bathing suit would be in there with my tri kit, cycling shoes, body glide, etc.. Nope.  Bathing suit completely gone.  Contemplated taking that as a sign from the Moooniverse (haha see how I did that?! )) but too afraid to lie to my coach.   She's little but she's damn strong. She could take me out in one punch!

Search in vain for a few minutes, then declare "SCREW IT!" and put on a 2-piece bathing suit thinking nobody would be at the pool anyway.  Throw on a cover-up and head out the door. No problem. I GOT THIS.

Go to pool.  Had to sign up at a large "Box" gym because my gym doesn't have a pool. No big deal.  Walk in with SWAGGER, I'm telling you, swagggger.  The swagger of a heifer in charge. The BOSS heifer.  This heifer knows what's UP.

Look in the pool.  There are 59 of the world's finest Aqua Fitters in the world, right there, all Aqua Fitting right in front of me.  I have nothing against Aqua Fit. In fact, I think it's a great workout. 

But all I could think about.... (YOU KNOW YOU WOULD TOO!)  is that they are all probably peeing in the pool.  In my house we have a sign by the pool.  It says, "Welcome to the OOL. Notice there is no P in it.  Let's keep it that way!"  I mean, maybe it's just me. Maybe I am the only one who would have thought that...but whatever.  I don't feel guilty. I don't wanna swim in the urine of 59 of  the world's Finest Aqua Fitters this city knows. I just don't.

The class had just started.  I was lucky enough to go back into my car and have a call with a dear friend.  It's always comforting when other people believe in you and tell you as much.  Sometimes that little extra confidence is just what you need and sometimes it fills your heart up.  That helped pump me up.  I was READY

The hour passed quickly... I took a big gulp and got out of the car (I mean sometimes that's the hardest step, right?) and sauntered, heifer-style into the gym.  I sauntered so hard I may have hurt my hip.

I walk into the pool area, strip down to my 2pc like a boss, ditch the shoes, bust out the workout from my coach thinking "how hard could this possibly be?"

swimming is dumb

swimming is dumb

Yeah. Don't be fooled.  That workout was rough ... for someone like me - someone that doesn't identify as "an athlete" someone who is more comfortable on the couch with Oprah reruns and Halo Top  (ok who are we kidding, with french fries dipped in a vanilla milkshake... if we are going full disclosure here, I'm just gonna lay it all out...)... anyway, the workout was hard.  HARD.  

I got through it. And again, since I'm in full disclosure mode, I will add that I had to stop multiple times on each lap because I couldn't catch my breath, and I felt a VISCERAL heifer need to scream the F word (not foam-roller, either) at the top of my lungs. The pool area has a beautiful echo which aided in my frustration release.  Hearing the F word echoed so loudly made me feel better. So I did it a few times.  Thankfully the Aqua Fitters had gone back home by this point....  

Here's a video I recorded just at the end of my swim set.  Maybe you can relate to it.  Follow me on twitter if you're over there at MELISSAKAHN7  for more updates and whining.  

I sat down to write this blog post as a way to procrastinate because up next, today, is a "get to know your mountain bike" training day. 

I've got my AfterShokz headphones charging. Thankful for them, as the music will help keep me MOOOOTIVATED (ha! I did it again!)  while I make a fool of myself now in the 2nd sport, biking.  I mean, what could POSSIBLY go wrong? 

(You might want to stay tuned).

If you ARE on twitter, I'd love for you to follow my journey, and in your own posts where YOU need encouragement and inspiration, use the #iKahn hashtag. Let the world know we are one #heiferNation and that we are #heiferSTRONG.

Feel free to leave your comments below, you can laugh at me, with me, encourage me, point at me and whisper to your friends, whatever makes you happy.

#iKahn