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.”

 

 

SHE FIT - The Ultimate Sports Bra?

Hey heifers! What is it about me and sports bras?! I recently reviewed the ENELL SPORT bra and have been happily running along in my new fancy bra.  

Then a twitter friend messaged me and said, "Yeah, but have you tried SHEFIT....?" To which I said, "wait whaaaa?" I'd never heard of it. Maybe you haven't either.  I figured, what the heck, I'm willing to give it a try.  Let's face it. When you've got 34DDDs... you need to know ALL of your options, right? 

All options are good.  I can't saunter into WalMart and grab a 32A sports bra from the rack and go home happy.  I wish I could, y'all. Life would be so much easier and I think I'd have a million more dollars in the bank, given how expensive a GOOD sports bra is when you've got major melons.  Humungous Hooters.   Tremendous Tatas.  Don't make me go on. I had to google slang words for boobs.  It's not pretty.

I digress.  I do that a lot.

Imagine my excitement when SheFit messaged me and told me they'd be happy to send me a sports bra to try and review.  I was skeptical, as I usually am on these things.  I mean, I have this Enell bra. It's working for me. It's not super cute (definitely not a DATE NIGHT bra wink wink) but it gets the job done. It is one SERIOUS over the shoulder boulder holder. 

But if you have read my blog for a while y'all know I like CUTE things.

I want to be cute.

I want to be a styling heifer, running down the road feelin' fly about my funbags.  Feeling like if Ryan Gosling ran up to me and said "hey girl, show me your Bopsy Twins... I'd whip them out faster than my visa card at Christmastime.

Thus, I was pretty stoked when my Shefit bra arrived in the mail.  First impression up on opening - OH EM GEE, it's orange and pink.  Two of my favorite colors! Girdle-be-gone, this is a really CUTE bra.  I can rock this out for SHIZ!

Let's talk about ease of putting it on. It's great to look cute, but we well-endowed heifers KNOW that when we buy a new sports bra, it's going to burn some serious calories just GETTING INTO IT.  Can I get an amen?

sportsbra.jpg

Here's the thing on this bra.  It's VELCRO. The back closure is velcro, as are the shoulder straps.  This intrigues me because if you have heavy hooters, you KNOW that velcro makes you nervous.  Will it hold? Will it wash well?  How long before it disintegrates and I have to replace it.  This is all legit fear when you've got ginormo jugs.

Let's have a look at the bra, shall we? 

screen shots from their website

screen shots from their website

why don't my arms look that muscular?

why don't my arms look that muscular?

The hardest thing for me was putting the bra on.  This one is TRICKY.  Here's why.  I have carpal tunnel in my wrists.  My fingers just don't DO what they're supposed to, nor do my wrists cooperate.  The front zipper closure is a pain in the rear end (don't make me google 99 names for Uranus, ok?) Behind the zipper are clasps, as seen below.

Here's a view of it.

shefit6.jpg

It's tricky because you're supposed to loosen the straps and then kind of tuck your tatas in and have at it.  Zip it up.  Well, easier said than done.  I couldn't make my hands/fingers work hard enough to zip it up.  I had to work REALLY hard to get the clasps shut first, then zip it.  The zipper then separated from the bottom, causing me to scream the F word really loud.  In fact so loud that it woke up my dogs.

They're lazy though.  They like to sleep past 4am. Whatever.  I had to put it on over my head (cue the circus music) because that was the ONLY way I could do it.  So I did.  I adjusted the velcro shoulder straps and went on my merry way.

Shoulder straps - all velcro

Shoulder straps - all velcro

Here's a look at the back strap, too. All velcro.

I can't lie. I'm skeptical of the velcro and its ability to last. I realize no bra should have a birthday.... but I am REALLY hoping this is quality velcro. I sweat a lot. This bad boy is gonna go thru many washings.

I can't lie. I'm skeptical of the velcro and its ability to last. I realize no bra should have a birthday.... but I am REALLY hoping this is quality velcro. I sweat a lot. This bad boy is gonna go thru many washings.

Once I had it securely fastened, like an airplane seatbelt... I wiped the sweat from my brow and got on with my day.  I met my friends at the park, whereupon I immediately pulled up my shirt to show them my new bra.  Hey.  We're chicks. That's what we do.  To my amazement, my friend Andrea lifts up her shirt and says HEY LOOK I HAVE ONE TOO!  Cue the laughter.  Bunch of girls, running at o'dark thirty at the park, all shining flashlights on their headlights.  Come on now.  Find the humor in this with me, please.

The BIGGEST plus of this bra is that the cups are padded. Ain't nobody got time for nipple parades. Nobody wants to see that, not me, not you (and if you do, eew, you need to go play on another website, not here).  Padded cups are where it's at.  

The cute-factor on this is pretty high-up also. It's HARD to find a great bra that supports the sisters, while still being cute.  This bra delivers.  I had my trusty running friends help me adjust the strap in the back so that it felt comfortably snug, and off we jogged, into the sunrise.

Final thoughts on this bra? Love it.  It's HARD to situate it if you're alone getting dressed without help (I have a shoulder injury which prevents me from adjusting the back strap once it's on) but if you can manage that - your colossal milk monsters (don't blame me, I learned that one from the internet) will stay locked and loaded, right where they belong.

Here's how it fits on a real woman, not a bra model.  The top zipper flap here is not pulled over the zipper just so that you could see how it looks.  The cup size could be a TINY bit bigger and I felt like maybe I was bulging out of it just a little - but beyond that - I will definitely wear this bra again for running and I would definitely recommend that you give it a try. Your cha-cha's will stay where they belong - no bouncing, no movement at all, and you'll never give them a second thought while you run off into your own sunrise or sunset.

The bra comes in several colors, which I also liked.  For all the information, check out their website at SHEFIT.COM and tell 'em I sent ya.

shefit3.jpg
I believe the gray strips on front are reflective too.

I believe the gray strips on front are reflective too.

Me and Shefit. It's a match made in heifer-heaven.  I hope to get lots of bounce-free miles out of this bra.  If anyone wants to know what's on my holiday wish list --- this is for sure up at the top!