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