Active Support

Liza's Journey: Losing 7 kgs and how I battled through chafe May 21 2018, 0 Comments



If starting a business is the hardest thing to do, running has to be the second hardest! Like running a business, running has been one of the most rewarding things that creeps into my gratitude journal only when I see the fruits of my hard work.

I didn’t start running to lose weight, I started running to do something for myself that required commitment and dedication. As a wife, mother and business owner it’s easy to commit to the outcome of those you love, and care deeply for, it’s a completely different commitment when you do it for yourself. This journey has taught me great lessons.

When least expected I lost weight that I have battled to lose for years and gradually gained while I lost myself in growing my business. I was fourth on the list and it was ok. The best advice I received while starting this journey was to set my alarm for 4:10am and just get up (Thank you Michelle Donne) Don’t think about it just do it (there is a reason this is a slogan for one of the most popular sports brands and recently one of the most read business biographies) And so I did it.

The first lesson was that the shoe does make the runner and that while this is small fortune, the physio bills are just not worth the cheaper shoes.  I love my Physio and we share a passion for running, we could’ve spent that money on a bottle of wine once a week. What I find so hard is that this expense has to be replaced every 6-8 months depending on your mileage. I eventually consulted with an expert in Johannesburg who assessed my weaknesses and gave me a shoe that has changed my running journey. I now have to invest in trail running shoes!

I always exercised in a good sports bra, I am the bra lady after all! Getting to know runners meant I was able to introduce ladies to their perfect fit in sports bras and watch their running journey change. The only problem was that when I increased my mileage I got the dreaded chafe.  I was watching Comrades last year when one of my dear clients shouted: “Liza you rock” and then went onto say how she had 90 chafe free km’s. Why was my journey so different and how could I sell a bra that ultimately caused chafe?

Being the problem solver I am, I had to find the solution. Was it the bra or was I just not wearing the right size? When you start increasing your speed and mileage you lose weight by default. This weight is fat, breast tissue is fat. While your breast's generally do not change size the ability to support themselves with dense fatty tissue diminishes. Please don’t think for one moment my 30G breasts are pert and firm, they never really supported themselves, they just used to fill a cup and when they were supposed to bounce up in the bra they do not move because of my amazing sports bra. When you lose adipose tissue, this bounce becomes profound without you realizing it. Chafe happens when skin rubs against skin or the skin rubs against fabric. To eliminate chafe, you have to eliminate movement, and this is why the bra has to be snug. It’s also one of the reason why a product that promotes movement can sometimes cause the chafe, these are lubricants that runners often use.

When you run long distances you dehydrate, this causes your body to become fractionally smaller which creates more space in your bra. It is best to make your bra tighter at that stage so that you eliminate any unwanted movement. While this is not the easiest thing to do on race day or while training, it does work.

I had to change my bra, after purchasing two bras to start with I now had to get a smaller one and this became the same coin-turning situation my shoes had created. I have two semi new bras and now I needed a third one. All I did was get a cup smaller which is different to when you lose weight normally as most women will go down in the back rather- there was no way I was getting a 28! The new cup seems to work well. As a precaution I always apply a super adhesive tape to a small area on my torso just in case. Chafe almost ended my running journey, there is nothing worse than the realization that you have rubbed skin off your body when you get into the shower.

With my new-found confidence and my new stronger body, I know running will be with me for life, just as I know I will always run a business and deposit confidence into each of the wonderful people I work with, and I will always share this wonderful life with my beautiful family. It will not always be easy, but the rewards are so worth it!

If you need advice on sports bras or simply need a sports bra to be fitted contact us on expert@lizaclifford.com or call us on 0861333779. We have fitting studios in Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria


Why A Good Fit in Your Sports Bra is Important May 06 2018, 0 Comments

Nothing impedes exercise more than your breasts getting in the way. Unsupported breasts during exercise can cause discomfort, impact performance, and are, ultimately, an annoyance.

After running shoes, if there is one thing you should be investing in when it comes to your sporting/workout attire, it's your sports bra! Here's why:

Bouncing boobs = saggy boobs!

What's the point of exercising the rest of your body into shape if you're just going to wind up with saggy breasts? The Cooper's ligaments in the breasts - also referred to as suspensory ligaments - help maintain the structure, shape and position of your breasts. When you expose these ligaments to stress (i.e. bouncing during a workout) you end up stretching the ligaments, and unfortunately the damage cannot be undone (it sucks, we know!). So donning a sports bra that helps separate, support, and reduce the pressure on the breasts can go a long way to avoid sag!

Forget The Gain When You Have Chronic Back Pain

Those unsupported, bouncing weapons of mass destruction can wreck havoc on your back. Bouncing, jiggling breasts cause extra weight and exertion to be placed on your neck, shoulders and back. So, instead of walking away with an endorphin high post workout, you walk away reaching for your medicine cupboard. This can be said for wearing a bra that is the incorrect size too, as the straps, underwire (if there is one!) and side-bands will do little to offer the support your breasts need. The correctly-fitted and sized sports bra will offer your breasts all the comfort, cushioning and support they need, thereby eliminating the increased risk of back, neck, and/or shoulder pain. 

The Solution:

Bouncing boobies don't have to be part of your weightlifting regimen, and we have the perfect solution for women of all shapes and sizes. In our Active Support range we feature two core product lines: the Panache Underwire Sports Bra and the Elomi Energise Underwire Sports Bra.

The Panache Sports Bra Collection:

The Panache Underwire Sports Bras are a studio and client favourite. These fashion-forward bras are available in a core range of colours: black, white, and grey, as well as a host of seasonal ones: Painterly and Grey/Mango are 2018's look!  These bras are designed with maximum support in mind, while still offering you a stylish design. The moulded seam-free inner cups encapsulate each breast, offering control while delivering a defined shape. The wide, cushioned shoulder straps, with racer back ring, offer additional stability and support by dispersing the pressure whilst exercising. This bra is perfect for both high and low impact exercise, and is available in a B to a J cup. 

The Elomi Energise Sports Bra Collection:

The Elomi Energise range of sports bras are designed to look like a crop top, and offer fabulous separation and support. Most sports bras currently available on the market are guilty of squashing the breast tissue, rather than offering real support. The Energise range is perfect for fuller figured women, and much like the Panache, is suitable for high or low impact exercise. The core colours available are black, white, and nude, with seasonal colours like Pomegranate and Navy available as limited-edition options. 

As always, we highly recommend that you get fitted by a Liza Clifford body-optimisation specialist before purchasing a sports bra. The correct fit is the only thing standing between you and an amazing, supported workout. Call us on 0861333779 (National Landline number) or e-mail us on expert@lizaclifford.com to find your perfect fit. 


The Best Sports Bra May 16 2015, 4 Comments

We can safely state that we have the best sports bra because this amazing sports bra has won the UK lingerie awards two years in a row.

The bra has been available up to a H cup from a small back (28) to an impressive 40, but soon it will be available up to a J cup!

We will always support the fact that a sports bra is only as good as its fit. If it's not your perfect fit it will not work! This means if you have not been professional fitted: where you had a one on one consultation with a professionally trained fitter who assesses your activity, fits you in a variety of styles and then educates you on how to make better bra purchasing decisions, you are not going to get benefit from this technical bra.

Supporting your breasts from the bottom (downward movement) and the top (upward movement) with its very clever design, this bra has clinically proven to eliminate your bounce and reduce chafing significantly.

So what will you pay for a bra that will support you properly?

We charge R1100 for this amazing bra; all our bras come with a free Professional Fitting (one hour consultation).

Want one?

Call us on 0861333779 (this is a landline so please do not sms) 8am-4pm Monday to Friday

Email us on expert@lizaclifford.com

You can only purchase our new colours through our trained professionals, if you feel your fit is great and you want to buy one online follow this link: SPORTS BRA Please note this is for our basic colours only.

If you want one of our gorgeous new colours Magenta or Ultra Violet, call our office on 0861333779 or expert@lizaclifford.com

 

So What are you waiting for? More uncontrollable bounce? Or more scarring from chafe? You cannot afford to take away from your hard training because you don't want to invest in a good sports bra.

 

 


Helpful Hints When Purchasing a Sports Bra June 30 2014, 0 Comments

Sports bras are amazing products if they are fitted correctly.

You cannot buy a sports bra on a simple measurement. You need to try them on and preferable practice a movement you would do in a sports bra. If you are a runner you will need to run on the spot or at least jump.

It does not matter how expensive the bra is, if the bra is the incorrect size your sports bra will not do what you need it to do.

It does not matter what the sports bra claims i.e. “clinically proven to reduce bounce” if the bra is the incorrect size it will not work.

If you wear more than one sports bra to exercise in you are wearing the wrong size.

How do you choose a bra given that there is a limit to the service available for professional fitting?

  1. Your sports bra needs to be snug, it will leave red marks, it will feel very uncomfortable initially, but this is where the support is.

  2. Your support needs to come from the band of your bra and NOT your straps. There is no way padded straps or thick straps can support as well as a snug band can. The constant jarring of the straps on your Trapezius muscle will cause more damage than the snug band that goes all the way around your body.

  3. Make sure the wire of your sports bra is in line with your arm pit. This means that the wire will not pinch your delicate breast tissue. If you do not like wearing a wire please consider that it may be because you are wearing the wrong size. The wire will give you a better shape and support.

  4. Make sure your bra is smaller than your pants size. Your hips are bigger than your back so if your bra band is bigger than your pants size, adjust your band while increasing your cup. If you buy a smaller back without increasing your cup your bra will be too tight and you will have difficulty putting it on.

  5. Always buy your sports bra snug on the loosest setting so that you can make it tighter as the bra stretches.

     

    If this seems a little too much our fitters are happy to help you choose your perfect sports bra. We will spend an hour assessing, educating and fitting you for the perfect sports bra.

 


Sports Bras Versus Running Shoes by Tenley Cummins March 23 2014, 0 Comments

Liza Clifford, of Liza Clifford Professional Bra Fitting Studio, is always amazed by women who start running or take up a new sport and do the right thing by buying a good pair of running shoes or cross trainers, but neglect to provide support for their breasts.

‘’The new athlete is so concerned about getting injured by wearing the wrong sports shoe, but what about the irreparable damage they will do to their breast tissue by wearing the wrong bra?’’, says Liza. ‘’I encourage people to get fit and lose weight, but why have sagging breasts when you reach your goal weight?’’, she asks.

‘’I often hear ladies justify not investing in a good sports bra from the outset of their fitness regime, by saying that they are going to lose weight and that the size of the bra will change. If you need to invest in buying a sports bra at the outset and then another one six months later, it is worth it. Think about it. The bigger your breasts are, the heavier they are and the more likely they are to sag’’, explains Liza.

Liza Clifford has teamed up with sports shoe expert Justin Hand of D. North Runner to educate women on, not only making sure that they have the right shoe, but also the correct fitting bra and not just the closest fit. This also applies to women who have had breast implants.

When a potential customer comes to see Justin, he asks them what sport they are planning to do, as well as the frequency and the intensity of their training. He looks at their stride and the way that their foot lands, by making them run up and down the walkway outside the D. North Runner shop. He then evaluates the structure of their foot and assesses whether they need a neutral shoe or one for supination or pronation. Only then does he choose a shoe to best suit their foot and their sporting regime. Shoe prices range between R950 and R1500 and, according to Justin, he has yet to encounter a customer who does not believe that the ultimate running shoe or cross trainer is worth this financial outlay.

‘’Although we are based in Durban North, our customer base comes from all over KwaZulu Natal, as they are prepared to travel for the right advice’’, comments Justin. ‘’Having run track, road races and cross country, and being a coach and competitor in Iron Man, gives me the experience and, in turn, the credibility to give sound advice’’.  

When you book an appointment at Liza Clifford Professional Bra Fitting Studio you will be fitted for your ultimate sports bra in a private and uninterrupted environment. The fitter will first measure you and use this measurement as a guideline. She will then use all aspects of your proportions, as well as your requirements of the bra, to base a bra choice on. The fitter will fit the bra on you, using a scooping action, and make assessments that you cannot make, such as whether the band is too tight or too lose, and whether the strap length is correct. The fitter will teach you how to put on your bra, how to scoop and how to take care of your bra.

Liza Clifford Professional Bra Fitting Studio has just imported a bra which won the sports section of the UK Lingerie Awards. ‘’I am terribly excited about this product because it is the ultimate sports bra and it completely ‘beats the bounce’’’, says Liza.

Liza Clifford Professional Bra Fitting Studio has standards of sizing that are unparalleled. If they don’t have your size, you are unlikely to find it anywhere else in this country. They stock the widest range of sizes in South Africa, 61 sizes in sports bras and many more in other bras.

The new Liza Clifford (LC) Sports Bra starts at a size 28 back (this is important for elite sportswomen who carry very little body weight) and continues up to a size 40. ‘’In my experience, if you are wearing a size 42-46 and exercising, you are probably wearing the incorrect size bra’’, explains Liza.

The LC Sports Bra sells for R950 (2013), and with its moulded cup giving a rounded shape and the practical “T-Bar’’ back, which can be adjusted to be a normal over the shoulder strap, it gives brilliant support and a great shape.

So if you are participating in the Two Oceans half or ultra-marathon on the 30th March, training for the Comrades Marathon, taking up a new exercise challenge or simply walking, running, cycling or gyming to keep fit, ensure that you are not only wearing the right shoes, but a correctly fitted sports bra for your size.

  1. expert@lizaclifford.com should you wish to book an appointment or if have any queries.

Sports Bras and Chafing March 17 2014, 0 Comments

One of the biggest concerns when we see a client, who exercises and wants to purchase a bra, is chafing.

Most women accept that this is a normal event and have taken certain precautions that may work for the short term but do not solve the very uncomfortable chafing.

Just to clarify what “chafing” means

The red, raw appearance of the skin around the breast after prolonged exercise where there has been excessive breast movement. This is often not obvious until the runner has a shower when an intense burning sensation is experienced. The red, raw flesh will often scab and look like a graze.

My biggest concern is that women have accepted that there is no other alternative as they have purchased a good, quality bra and expect that if their item is still chafing it must be a fact of life.

The reason why we chafe anywhere on our body is because there is excessive movement and things are rubbing against our skin causing irritation and trauma to the top layer of skin.

It seems the only way to stop this is to prevent the movement which is near impossible with bras claiming 75% - 85% reduction in bounce.

This will only happen if the bra is the correct fit, which as statistics have shown, is not the case in most South African Women.

These are my tips for reducing the dreaded chafe:

  1. Make sure your breasts are separated. This means that each breast is secure in its own cup and your gore is firmly fitted against your chest forcing this separation. If your breasts are not separated the weight of the two breasts is compounded into one with catastrophic effects. Shop-bought bras traditionally compress the breast into some form of support where as a well fitted sports bra should encapsulate the breast separately.
  2. Make sure your band is small enough. We often find that we may go smaller in the back for a sports bra, this means going up in the cup at the same time. This is what your professional bra fitter is trained to do. Big bands cause excess movement contributing to the chafing. Ways to test if your band is too big is to look at yourself in the mirror: If your bra sits away from your body creating a gap under your breasts.Can you pull your bra forward easily?
  3.  Make sure you do NOT get your support from your straps. If this is the case you will land up with more than chafing in the form of massive craters on your shoulders. The first thing you should be able to do when you buy a new sports bra is release the straps.
  4. Make sure that your bra is designed to carry the movement. If the bra has too much stretch in it, the stretch will only exacerbate the bounce. Most award winning sports bras will have limited stretch in them. Most cotton bras will not offer support as there is a natural stretch. While cotton is great to work out in for its breathability it is not ideal to have a cotton sports bra. Most modern fabrics have been engineered to breathe.
  5. If you suffer from Chafing and exercise in a crop top without a bra support its time to come to terms with the fact that you may not be able to exercise in a conventional crop top. Most new sports bras are designed to look like a crop top but are a high impact sports bra because of the cleverly disguised bra underneath. The price will be a good indication of whether it is a crop top or a sports bra designed as a crop top. Most crop tops will not separate your breasts.
  6. Do not buy a Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large sports bra. Most bras that do not cause chafing will only be available in bra sizes up to a J cup from an A cup.

It is always advisable to have a professional fitting done, one that encourages you to go for a short run in your new bra or makes you test the bra by jumping up and down in the change room.

If you need any further information please contact our expert fitters at expert@lizaclifford.com or nationally on 0861 333 77 9.