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Getting back to Sport after Breast Surgery.

Breast Care Nurses are actively encouraging patients to return to the gym and the pool after surgery to boost recovery, improve general fitness and aid emotional healing. Chemotherapy can cause depression and feelings of lethargy which can be combatted very successfully by a suitable exercise programme. (www.macmillan.org.uk)

 

 However, this poses a problem for many mastectomy patients who are afraid of wearing swimming suits/ bikinis or sports gear after surgery, worrying that they no longer fit properly or worse, that their breast form may not stay securely in place.  Finding a decent stockist with a good selection of mastectomy lingerie can also be a challenge.

 

 Anita understands these very real concerns and has responded by creating Centres of Excellence within lingerie shops across the UK. Staff at these stores are trained to expertly fit lingerie, swimwear and specialist sports breast-forms that are designed specifically for swimming and for sports activity.  For example, the specialist swim breast-forms have grooves built into the back to allow the water to drain freely reducing movement and discomfort. Mastectomy Sports bras and swimwear like the Vivana sports bra or the Venedig swimsuit  from the Anita care collection, give breast cancer patients the freedom to get back to the gym with confidence that they look great and are fullysupported.

 

There is absolutely no reason why a lady with a breast form (prosthesis) cannot swim, horse ride, run or exercise in any way she chooses. Why not browse our selection of swimwear today…

 

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How to keep your new year’s resolutions

 

It’s that time of year again. Whether it’s losing weight, eating healthier, getting a grip on your finances, or just sorting out the house we’re all doing it, making New Year resolutions.  

 

We start with gusto and good intentions on January the 1st or 2nd as the 1st is a Bank Holiday ha ha… The first week goes amazingly the second goes well but by the third we’re waning and by the end of January we’ve all but forgotten what we started. Some of us manage get to the middle of February but then it all goes to pot as we’ve taken a well-deserved winter holiday because we need some sun and as we’re on holiday we should enjoy ourselves as it is all-inclusive.  

 

To help us all along and hopefully reach our goal here’s some tips on how to keep our New Year’s resolutions.

 

 Be realistic with your goals 

The Independent newspaper says “You need to begin by making resolutions that you can keep and that are practical. If you want to reduce your alcohol intake because you tend to drink alcohol every day, don’t immediately go teetotal. Try to cut out alcohol every other day or have a drink once every three days. Also, breaking up the longer-term goal into more manageable short-term goals can be beneficial and more rewarding. The same principle can be applied to exercise or eating more healthily.” 

 

Most of us what to change more than one thing but that can cause us to panic and give up because it seems an impossible task. In the same article The Independent tells us to  

 

“Do one thing at a time. One of the easiest routes to failure is to have too many resolutions. If you want to be fitter and healthier, do just one thing at a time. Give up drinking. Give up smoking. Join a gym. Eat more healthily. But don’t do them all at once, just choose one and do your best to stick to it. Once you have got one thing under your control, you can begin a second resolution.” 

Many of us have the same resolutions every year, such as losing weight, and we fail every year. One of Verywell.com’s tips is to

 

Avoid Repeating Past Failures

 

Another strategy for keeping your New Year\’s Resolution is to not make the exact same resolution year after year. \”If people think they can do it they probably can, but if they\’ve already tried and failed, their self-belief will be low,\” explained Wiseman in an interview with The Guardian.

 

If you do choose to reach for the same goals you\’ve tried for in the past, spend some time evaluating your previous results. Which strategies were the most effective? Which were the least effective? What has prevented you from keeping your resolution in past years? By changing your approach, you will be more likely to see real results this year.” 

 

So, with a little planning and effort it is possible to stick with and succeed in our New Year’s resolutions.

 

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The British Love of Tea

 

We’ve had a lot to celebrate in 2016. We’ve had the Queens 90th, and Prince Phillips 95th birthdays and the humble bikini turned 70 on the 5th July. But that’s not all we Brit’s have to celebrate. This year our favourite drink will be 385 years old.  Yes TEA!

 

 It is still Britain’s favourite drink, even with all those coffee shops sprouting up everywhere.  According to the UKs Tea & Infusions Association we drink “165 million cups daily.” They say “thenumber of cups of coffee drunk each day is estimated at 70 million.” Their website has some fascinating facts about tea for example we’ve all been told that tea and green tea contain antioxidants but: –

 

 Does tea contain antioxidants?

 

Tea like fruit and vegetables is a natural source of polyphenols and flavonoids which have antioxidant activity?”

 

 So “What is an antioxidant?

 

 An antioxidant is a compound, which retards oxidation. In the body antioxidants can soak up free radicals.”

 Next question “What is a free radical?

 

Free radicals are unstable substances which can disrupt biochemical processes in the body and have been implicated in cancer and heart disease” 

https://www.tea.co.uk/tea-faqs

 

 They also have a counter which tell you how many cups of tea have been drunk so far that day in the UK (not sure we want to know how they know we have had a cup of tea?). 

So what is it that we Brit’s love about tea? We couldn’t put it any better than William Ewart Gladstone who penned this poem about tea.

 

If you are cold, tea will warm you

 

If you are heated, it will cool you

 

If you are depressed, it will cheer you

 

If you are excited, it will calm you. 

 

Yep whatever the problem it can be solved with or over a cup of tea. Here are some interesting facts for you, tea bags were invented by accident:

 

“In around 1908, Thomas Sullivan, a New York tea merchant, started to send samples of tea to his customers in small silken bags. Some assumed that these were supposed to be used in the same way as the metal infusers, by putting the entire bag into the pot, rather than emptying out the contents.”

 

Black and green tea comes from the same plant,it’s known by its botanical name Camellia sinensis”

 

Tea is also a very sociable drink we love to sit around the table having a good gossip around the table with family. We still have tea breaks at work and who of us wouldn’t want to have afternoon tea at the Ritz or Betty’s tearoom Harrogate.  

 

Why don’t you stop what you’re doing and put the kettle on, it’s time for a Tea break… That’s what we’re going to do 🙂

 

 

 

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The Importance of Vitamin D

 

October 24th to 30th was Vitamin D awareness week. And as we are hearing more and more about Vitamin D deficiency we thought we’d look in to it. Earlier this year the Government recommended that all in the UK over the age of 1 year should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement daily during the autumn and winter.  

 

 What is Vitamin D and why do we need it? 

 

The NHS says

 

“A lack of vitamin D – known as vitamin D deficiency – can cause bones to become soft and weak, which can lead to bone deformities. In children, for example, a lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets. In adults, it can lead to osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and tenderness”

 The Vitamin D Council says the following about the link between lack of Vitamin D and breast cancer.  

 

Preventing breast cancer

Some studies have been conducted which have found that women with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop breast cancer.  A recent review of many studies found that post-menopausal women with low levels of vitamin D had a higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to post-menopausal women with high levels of vitamin D.

 

Other studies have found what is called a dose-response relationship, where for each increase in vitamin D levels in the body, there is a decrease in breast cancer risk”

It also says “There are four types of studies that are used to see whether UVB exposure and vitamin D reduce the risk of breast cancer: geographical studies, observational studies, laboratory studies and randomized controlled trials. All four types of studies have found strong evidence that UVB and vitamin D reduce therisk of breast cancer.”

Vitamin D has also been linked with weight loss according to sfgate.com

 Although there is no magic pill for weight loss, vitamin D does play a role in maintaining healthy weight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is stored in your body’s fat cells. The link between vitamin D and weight has not been completely explored by researchers and is not fully understood, but several studies have shown a connection between vitamin D and status and weight.”

So, putting it simply 

“Vitamin D is important for good overall health and strong and healthy bones. It’s also an important factor in making sure your muscles, heart, lungs and brain work well and that your body can fight infection.”  Vitamin D Council

So where do we get Vitamin D from?

We get Vitamin D from a few foods such as oily fish & red meat, but our main source is from the Sun. Which we don’t see a lot of in this country and is why vitamin d deficiency is sometimes called the “English Disease”, and why it is advisable to take a Vitamin D supplement especially during Autumn and winter.

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Organised for Xmas

 

Getting Organised for Christmas 

 

You’ve been putting it off for ages, but there is no getting around it, Christmas is getting closer. Every year we say next Christmas I’m going to be more organised and ready earlier so I can relax and enjoy Christmas. But then it catches us out again, even if it’s the same time every year, and we’re running around like mad trying to find the perfect gift and getting more and more harassed as we battle the supermarket crowds. So, as the days are diappearing fast we thought we’d give you some tips on how to get organised for Christmas

 

 Good Housekeeping magazine recommends: 

“Start the process early
Break down the ‘one giant job’ into lots of manageable little ones, and try to keep smiling!  
Shop right 
Make a simple shopping list, and if you have a crammed schedule, buy online. If possible, have all presents delivered on the same day when you can plan to be at home.      
Put a date in the diary to do your Christmas food shop
Or even get a rough idea of your menu. Again, organising an online delivery is a wonderfully easy option. 

Start your home declutter 
Clear space for new toys – encourage your kids to clear out one or two toys per weekend.
Clear that spare room you need for guests
Don’t look at this as a giant job, as you’ll only put it off. Try doing 20 minutes each evening instead.   
The week before the day
This is the time to shop for any fresh ingredients. Can you start preparing/chopping veg or making sauces? How much easier would the day be if you did this? Get the family to help, too
.”

 

These may be simple obvious things but they work. By separating or breaking down the tasks will make life much easier for you. Why not treat yourself to a lovely note book (you can do this on the computer but we think there’s something nice about a notebook), divide it up into sections write the job to be done on the front of each section for example, Presents, Cards, Shopping, Housework or anything else you think of. Then spend a little time listing, filling in what you need for each section. By doing this you free you brain of a lot of clutter as you don’t need to remember everything anymore. Keep your notebook with you so you can add to it when something or someone pops into your head and don’t forget to cross off each task as you do it. This helps you to relax, as you see more and more things being crossed off there’s less to do and you realise I can do this.

 

 Whatever you decided to do, relax and enjoy spending time with the family…if it all goes wrong there’s always next Christmas!

 

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Is All This Exercise Worth It?

 

Take the Olympics this year for instance. Coming Second in the medal table winning 27 Golds, 23 Silver and 17 Bronze at Rio 2016 was Team GB’s most successful Olympics ever. Just watching the Olympics can be an Olympic event in itself as we go through all the emotions with the athletes, willing them on and then, with the euphoria of the win you feel you’ve had a work out yourself by the end of it. Then usually we get that pang of guilt (mainly because we’ve either got a bar of chocolate or glass of wine in our hand) and tell ourselves, I really should do more exercise. But is it really worth the effort? Why should I exercise?

 

 Well the NHS Live Well web article “Benefits of Exercise” calls exercise

“the miracle cure we’ve all been waiting for.” It goes on to say “Whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life.

 People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and even some cancers.

Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.”

 And who of us doesn’t want to live a happier healthier life.

So the next question might be “How can I be more active? What exercise should I do?” We can’t tell you which is best for you, and remember you should always consult a doctor before you start any new form of exercise of course, but as they say the possibilities are endless. Why not have fun trying out as many as possible until you find the one that suits you best.

 Walking is one of the cheapest and easiest. What about cycling? If that fills you with dread and fear of traffic, don’t panic there are a wealth of traffic free cycle paths in the UK for example the Bath to Bristol railway path.  The great thing about these paths are that they are usually flat and many have old Railway station buildings that have been turned into Tearooms. Very nice for a quick stop…(try to resist the cake though)

 Running is another great exercise but can be daunting. The NHS Couch to 5k is a great tool for beginners as it is designed to gradually build up your running ability, so you can eventually run 5K without stopping over the 9 week program.  

Swimming is also a great exercise and doesn’t require going far as most towns have a swimming pool. But have you thought about synchronised swimming or Scuba diving.

 For the more adventurous of us there’s also Mountaineering, Rowing, Sailing, Fencing, Archery or skydiving.

 So why not use the Rio 2016 Olympics as an inspiration to do more? We’re not saying you should go out and train to be the next Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farrah or Katherine Grainger. However just a little more exercise is good for you honest.

 

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The Art of Relaxation

 

When was the last time you did nothing? We’re not talking about sitting watching telly. We’re talking about having some me time. Stopping sitting in a quiet place with a cup of tea admiring the view and drifting off, meditation on what really matters. Coming up with new plans, working out ways to fulfil your dreams.

Life today seems to be controlled by deadlines whether it’s, work, picking the children up from school, paying the bills on time. Then there’s the noise from all those time saving devices, everything bleeps, text messages, the washing machine, tumble drier, microwave. Not only are there not enough hours in the day but peace and quiet doesn’t seem to exist. Doing nothing seems to be a luxury nobody or very few people can afford.

We’ve all been told at various times we need to relax and have been shown articles that remind us that relaxation is very important for us mentally, physically and emotionally. 

The Huffington Post says relaxing “protects your heart, lowers your risk of catching a cold, boosts your memory, lower’s your stroke risk, keeps you safe from depression, helps you make better decisions, keeps you slim, eases acne, will keep you in a good mood, and could slow breast cancer: While research on the effects of cancer growth are largely inconclusive, there is some evidence pointing toward the link between stress and breast cancer aggressiveness. Relaxing not only seems to delay the progression of the disease, but may also speed recovery.”

 We have heard the benefits but how do we do we relax. It does come easier for some than others.

 Life Hacker has some good tips it suggests:

 Keep a journal to think things out, boost your self-esteem, and also help you deal with stress in your life, even if you can’t directly act on them.”

Or

 schedule time to worry about things that are bothering you. Doing that kind of compartmentalizing could reduce overall stress and anxiety”

It also suggests

“Find activities that help you recharge, such as reading a book, going for a walk, or simply listening to music. Or take a brain-boosting power nap.”

Relaxation doesn’t have to be about something big it could just be a few minutes to yourself, reading a good book, just sitting in the garden watching the birds or watching the world go by with a coffee. Or our favourite, especially this time of year, a walk in the woods enjoying the autumn colours. The important thing though, whatever you choose is to make some time to relax regularly.

 

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Walking A Mile A Day Can Save Your Life

 

Listening to the radio a while ago a well-known DJ was talking about ages. She asked if we knew our Earth age, Show Biz age & Behavioural age.  She said your Earth age is your real age, your Show Biz age is the age you want everyone to think you are (especially when us ladies can no longer say we are 21).  Your behavioural age depends on what you enjoy doing, for example do you enjoy spending the afternoon looking around a garden centre followed by a cup of tea & slice of cake in their café, or do you prefer traipsing around the shops all day looking for the highest heels & tightest dress for the perfect Friday night outfit. Can you cope staying out till 2 am or are you back home tucked up in bed by 11pm? Our excitedly sitting on a 1950’s bus going to visit a national trust home in Devon, then realizing the average age on the Bus was about 70 was quite a revelation, especially as this made our behavioural age about 30 years above our real age!

 Through the conversation the DJ mentioned she was shocked to find her behavioural age had changed when she realised she enjoyed going for a walk, not to get somewhere, just going for a walk. Something she would never have dreamed of when she was younger. It’s true there comes a time in our lives when we think what shall we do, I know I’ll go for a walk, I’ll go for a little stroll around the park and we enjoy it! For some of us this then turns into an obsession with walking maybe even hiking. We chose holidays because we’ve read of a must do walk or two with amazing waterfalls nearby.

 We tend to underestimate the value of walking. It’s not just about getting from A to B because we missed the bus or haven’t got a car. It’s actually good for us according to Macmillan Cancer Support who say : “Walking just one mile a day could save lives” They go on to say “Patients diagnosed with two of the most common cancers (breast and prostate) could reduce their risk of dying by walking just one mile a day, according to new calculations by Walking for Health, run by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Ramblers [1].

 Walking one mile at a moderate pace (3mph), or for just 20 minutes a day, could reduce breast cancer patients’ risk of dying from the disease by 40% while those with prostate cancer could reduce their risk by almost a third (30%).”

 One mile is not that far from your home. It may be the shops or even a garden centre so it doesn’t have to change your behavioural age. But it will help your health. Another great thing about walking is you get to explore and see places you’ll never see by car. That amazing waterfall you keep hearing about but think is not worth the effort or that feeling of achievement when you reach the top of that hill you’ve been looking at for years. Walking is great whatever age you are.

Psst…Dont forget your WellBeing Bra for walking in!!!

 

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/aboutus/news/latest_news/walkingjustonemileadaycouldsavelives.aspx

 

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

October is a month we celebrate at Eloise since it traditionally marks Breast Cancer Awareness month. To be honest we think that every month should mark Breast Cancer Awareness as latest figures show that one in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during the course of their lifetime. The more publicity that Breast Cancer recieves then the more fund raising will be done to suport those who are diagnosed and to aid research into a cure. So October is a very welcome month on the Eloise calendar as events take place up and down the country and across the world to mark the month and raise money for Breast Cancer Charities.

For our part this month, Eloise will be donating 10% of the profits from the sale of the Safina Bra  to Breast Cancer Care. We chose Safina as it is one of our best selling mastectomy bras, super supportive and comfortable. Its a perfect everyday bra with stretch panels at the neckline and around the arms for a perfect fit with wide flatly padded straps and skin-friendly discreet cotton jersey pockets on both sides for a prosthesis. You can buy Safina in Black, Crystal or Nude so it will work with pretty much everything you haev in your wardrobe whatever the colour. Nude is the best colour to choose if you are wearing a white top by the way, white bras under white tops still show through where a nude coloured bra will remain invisible.

You will also likely have seen our previous post letting you all know about the open evening we are hosting on October 26th at our Fitting Room here in Milton Keynes at the Eloise head office. The event is called \’Restoring Curves and Confidence\’ and we will be welcoming post-surgical ladies from across the region.Whilst enjoying a complimentary glass of Bucks Fizz and canopies visitors can take advantage of a Bra fitting by specialist fitters from Eloise, a bespoke ‘Eye Brow Bar’ with Clarins make-up experts who will be transforming eyebrows that may have been damaged or lost through chemo, a demonstration of important exercises to undertake after surgery from Pilates instructor April Tarabella of AT sports injury clinic  and a charity raffle in aid of Bosom Pals, a local  Breast Cancer  charity which will include a fabulous Spa Day kindly donated by Champneys Henlow Grange.

There will also be a short section on planting and growing Peonies with a premium Peony kindly donated for the raffle by Primrose Hall Nursery, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Award winning Peony growers based in Befordshire. Gardening is encouraged as a gentle form of exercise after surgery as it is good for the mind and soul as well as the body and Peonies have long been one of the nations favourites .

We look forward to seeing you later in the month but in case you cant make it, why not treat yourself to Safina and do your bit to help us raise valuable funds for Breast Cancer Care 🙂


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What to wear when exercising after surgery

 

It’s that time of year again and whether we like it or not the festive season is fast approaching. We’re beginning to think about trying on that little black dress. The big question being will it fit? So the thing to do is try it on, if it fits you can sit back and be smug. For the rest of us it’s time to don our trainers, sports gear and start running or at least walking. It can be daunting starting to exercise again after surgery especially knowing what to wear to feel secure and look good. Here’s somethings to keep in mind when choosing your prosthesis, swimwear and sports bras.

 Prosthesis

 As with bra fitting, each prosthesis is different so it is important to find the right one for you. There are different weight, colour and volume options to choose from and we can help advise you on which is most suitable. We would recommend you visit our Fitting Suite if possible for a personal fitting. If you can’t we have a fitting guide on our website which will help. Things to keep in mind are the shape, weight, style and what you are going to be doing. For example, our Active Ocean Swimform prosthesis is waterproof and designed not to be harmed by salt or chlorine and has vertical grooves for water draining, perfect for all water activities.

 Mastectomy Swimwear

 Our post-surgery swimsuits and bikinis have been designed with discreet modifications which are so subtle that they can be worn by anyone, whether you have had surgery, or not. All our swimsuits have pockets to accommodate your breast swimform or prosthesis. The slightly higher necklines and closer underarm fitting give good coverage, and the soft pre-formed cups provide maximum support and natural contour to flatter your figure.

 As well as your bra size, take into account your height and hip measurements. It is best to choose your swimsuit by dress size so that you know it is going to fit your entire body. If for example, you wear a size 36C bra but are a dress size 12, then you should choose a size 34 swimsuit which will give you the equivalent of a dress size 12. All of our mastectomy swimsuits are fitted with pockets to hold your breast prosthesis securely in place. As the pockets fit right into the front of each cup, like a lining, they are suitable whether you wear a full or partial prosthesis and if you use a self-adhesive form.

 Sports Bra

 A good fitting sports bra is a must for any sporting activity. It will help avoid pain and over stretching the sensitive connective tissues. Our sports bras such as the Vivana sports bra have pockets on both sides, soft breathable fast drying microfiber that keeps the wearer cool and comfortable.  The soft edgings and deep felt lined under band anchors the bra without causing pressure on the skin.

For more information, have a look at our fitting guides or call Julie Hardcastle on 01908 340 094 at our fitting suite for advice.