Happier Grey Podcast

Episode 8 - With Lisa Boyd

May 10, 2024 Helen Johnson Season 1 Episode 8
Episode 8 - With Lisa Boyd
Happier Grey Podcast
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Happier Grey Podcast
Episode 8 - With Lisa Boyd
May 10, 2024 Season 1 Episode 8
Helen Johnson

In this episode I chat to Crossfit enthusiast Lisa Boyd, about going grey and staying fit and healthy. 

Absolutely in awe of how fit and strong Lisa is!

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode I chat to Crossfit enthusiast Lisa Boyd, about going grey and staying fit and healthy. 

Absolutely in awe of how fit and strong Lisa is!

Happier Grey Podcast with Lisa Boyd

Helen: Hello and thanks for joining me, Helen Johnson, for the Happier Grey podcast. I'm pro-ageing and love my grey hair, but I know it can be quite intimidating to take the plunge, so each week I'll be chatting to other women who've chosen to embrace the grey in the hope of inspiring and supporting you, whether you already have silver hair, in the process of going grey, or just considering ditching the dye.

Today, I'm joined by Lisa Boyd, a 50-year-old dog mam, CrossFit enthusiast, and Diet and Nutrition Therapist with a passion for helping folk change up their lifestyles.

In January 2020, she made a pact with her best friend in New York to ditch the dye.

And four years later, the transformation is complete and the hair freedom she feels is one of her most significant personal achievements. 

Hello, Lisa, how are you?

Lisa B: I'm good. Thank you. Hi, Helen. We meet at long last.

Helen: We do, we're both in the North East, but we've never met. 

Lisa B: No.

Helen: So, I just want to start by asking you, what motivated you to decide to stop dyeing your hair?

Lisa B: What motivated me? Dodgy hairdressers that were playing games on my hair and, you know, every 28 days I was ticking off on the calendar, my grey roots would be showing through. I need to get these covered. 

Then I thought about, maybe I'll start along the lines of having my hair highlighted and see what that looks like and that just created a whole host of problems for my hair, it was kind of going crispy, we were getting some orange roots, we were getting areas of hair that just weren't getting covered in colour.

And I was paying a lot of money, and I just thought enough is enough, I cannot keep going down this route, paying lots of money, having hair that looks like steel wool, and dodgy colours, and I just thought I have to do this.

I want to be my authentic self. This is not how I want to be represented. And yeah, four years later, we have the transition complete. Not that you can really see it because I do tie it up a lot with going to the gym, but, yeah, I feel liberated. I feel hair freedom.

And I look at other women that are still, you know, booking off on the calendar, their hair appointments to get the grey covered. And yeah. I do feel a little bit sorry for them. 

So yeah, I am in a good place with my hair right now and I'm enjoying it.

Helen: Okay, so you have very long hair. Did you have it that long before you started growing it out?

Lisa B: So, when I started with the transition with my friend, there was a lot of damage on my hair. So, there's, there's no point keeping that if you've made the decision in your head, you know, you're committed. And I would just wanted to get rid of the rubbish hair that was going on and start from the beginning. And let's see. Just see where this journey takes me. 

So that meant, I did a buzz cut up the back with some shavers and, I left like a bit of a long fringe so I could play with that. It was cut around the ears and that was January the 1st, 2020. And then what came not too long after that was COVID and lockdowns, which aided me immensely.

I was able to, transition quite nicely through those times because, you know, we were behind doors a lot of the time, I wasn't in a public face. And I just got jiggy with lots of nice hair accessories and scarfs and, a few winters wearing hats. They went on, you know, many, many months so I got some nice hats. I was on YouTube quite a lot, looking at hair tutorials for braiding.

The first nine months were miserable, you go through a lot of, self-doubt, thinking, you know, you're ugly, and when you see that first chunk of grey coming through against the darker bits. I mean, yes, I had lost a lot of hair, so I wasn't seeing so much of that. But you do go through a lot of emotions and, I was feeling a little bit ugly for a while. But once you push through those first 9, 10, 11 months, and you've got some growth, and you can twist your hair and do some different hairstyles, I found it quite easy after that, that first year, to be honest.

And then you see the colour coming through and, it's kind of, warming. You know, you look at your own skin colour. You look at the colour coming through. And then there's just one day I woke up and I thought, this is good. It's like starting to look good. You know, it's not so bad. And, yeah, I was embracing it after like the first year. 

I also, as you mentioned, was doing this in tandem with my best friend in New York. So, we had, kind of backup from each other. We were able to, send a lot of supportive texts. We were sending photographs of our transition. 

She didn't go as far as to shave any of her hair off. She just let the transition come through and then start cutting, you know, an inch off an inch off. There's a lot of women. I think, they're not so brave as to go down that route to shave it all off, but I just wanted to do it. I wasn't afraid to do that in the end.

Helen: Okay. I was more like your friend. I've had very short haircuts in the past and I don't really like them. I never went shorter than a jaw length bob with some layers in it. So that took about a year, so I had the stripe and I also hated the stripe. I just spent most of the time with my hair in a ponytail.

Lisa B: Yeah, that's good.

Helen: Thankful that I didn't have to see anyone.

Lisa B: And if you can tie it back, great. If you've got that length, and my hair was growing fast, like I say, I kept like the long bits at the front and I was able to, you know, twist those back. And pretty hair accessories, everybody sells them online. You can pick them up everywhere. So, I was quite lucky in that respect.

And, when the fresh hair, the new hair started coming through. You know, you're never sure what it's going to look like, but you just go with the flow and, it was nice. I liked what was coming through, and it was easy to tie up and do different things with. Yeah, it was, it was quite pleasing. I liked what was happening.

Helen: So, I'm guessing also that it is in much better condition now than it was when you were dyeing it. 

Lisa B: Absolutely, I don’t even need conditioner now. It’s almost silky. The consistency has changed it’s gone through a change in I'd say the last six months, which signifies to me that my hormones must be changing as well at a cellular level. 

So, it's, always been quite straight, my hair. But it's started to go a little bit kinky the last couple of cuts that I've had. The hairdresser's having a little bit more of a job like trying to straighten it out with the hairdryer and the brush. 

You know when they say Dog owners, they start looking like the breed of dogs that they have. I have two salt and pepper Schnauzers, and it's true. I think I'm morphing into my Schnauzers because I have some of these wiry white grey hairs coming through, poking through, and yeah, they look like my dog's butt. 

So, it is changing a little bit, the consistency, but It's manageable. I don't care. This is my hair. This is how it's supposed to be. I can't do anything about that.

As you can see, the style that I have It's kind of my go to style. It's a bun on top of my head. I'm in the gym most days lifting weights, so I need an easy, manageable style and this is kind of how it looks. If I go anywhere, out to any occasions, I will invest in a blow dry and it is a little bit extra work for the hairdresser with these kinky changes that are going on in my hair.

So, we'll see. We'll just see where it takes me. I'm just quite happy on the journey to be honest. I'm not too bothered.

Helen: And your hair looks pretty thick as well?

Lisa B: I think there's a lot of hair. It looks thick. I think I sent you a photograph and you would have looked at that. There's a lot of hair. It's definitely not thin, but it's not like super thick like it might look in a photograph. There's just a lot of it.

And that's probably to do with my diet as well. I eat quite an animal based, carnivore keto diet. And I think it just helps with the hair. I take collagen supplements every day. I really think they help with hair, skin and nails. Bovine collagen supplement. So yeah, that is definitely something to think about when you have your own natural hair is also supplementing it to make it as healthy and as strong as possible.

Helen: Okay, because obviously you work as a nutritionist, any advice for people as they start to age in terms of nutrition, things they should and shouldn't be doing?

Lisa B: I think for women approaching perimenopause the number one thing that I would recommend would be your protein macros to be hitting, good amounts of protein three times a day. And a lot of women might not be thinking about the protein content in their food, but it is something that you need to be looking at, and hitting the numbers for your height and weight, and your lifestyle, because that is what is ultimately going to help with your hormones.

And just to make you feel better all over. Supplementation vitamins, look at those, your antioxidants. And then alongside of that, start lifting some weights. If you can create any decent muscle mass on the body, then that is going to help you, you know, with movement, with bone structure for the future. Just helping you ease through menopause. Definitely look at protein. Definitely look at collagen supplements.

 But good supplements, bovine sources are better than, anything from the ocean. They, they sometimes have collagen supplements from the fish. But yes, , definitely go for the four-legged animals the bovine supplements for collagen, and lift weights.

Helen: Okay. And what about carbs?

Lisa B: I would recommend for transitioning to menopause for the older ladies is definitely take a low carbs approach to your diet, for sure. And the right kinds, you know, your vegetables. Look at if you've got too much grain in your diet, maybe reducing. If you're having bread, think about more quality types of bread like sourdough that have been fermented 48 to 72 hours so they have the digestive enzymes in.

They can help with your digestion. But, you know, we should really, as a nation, be reducing, the grains and the carbs that come from, the wrong sources. So, it is something to definitely think about. 

And you can release a lot of water weight from your cells as well. The more carbs that you eat, you tend to retain water. That's why you can sometimes feel a little bit spongy, around the mid-section. 

So, just going first for good quality animal protein if you're not a vegetarian. And, complimenting that with some simple carbs on the side. Just don't really need to be eaten as many as the average person does.

It's just looking at what's going to help you as opposed to what's going to work against you with your diet. And there's many, many things you can do.

Helen: Just want to ask you something about your fitness journey. So, when did your fitness journey start? 

Lisa B: I've always had fitness in my life and, my parents were quite fit growing up. My dad was into footballing, and he would always have us, me and my brother, as kids in the back garden, like lifting weights and doing press up competitions with the kids in the streets. So, I think that set up a fitness mindset with me, and then I used to play netball at school. I was always roller-skating, skateboarding. 

But later on in life, I lived in the Middle East for 21 years. I had a very good gym that I was training at. There was a lot of the trainers from the UK that would be over, training the armed forces there, and I hooked up with a couple of these guys in the gym. And then before I knew it, we were doing a lot of fitness competitions around the Middle East, and that's just carried on throughout my life, that kind of mentality, lifting weights, staying fit.

Alongside that, you know, when you are lifting weights and you're in the gym, you actually want to eat healthy food. You don't want to eat bad choices. 

 I moved back seven and a half years ago from the Middle East. Ended up, in Felton, Northumberland. My local CrossFit gym is up in Alnwick. And, yeah, there's no faster way to make friends than joining a gym.

You know, you've all got the same mindset. You're all there to get fit and healthy, and have a good crack when you get there, and get a sweat on. And it's a good, way to be in life, yeah, working out, lifting your weights, and doing that with your mates, adult play, it's recommended.

Helen: Okay, the question then, so if someone wasn't currently exercising and wanted to get into it, what would you encourage them to do to start with? Because I know going to the gym could be a little bit intimidating.

Lisa B: absolutely it can be quite daunting if you've just, you know, not really, ventured out more than doing a few walks, or whatever, around your neighbourhood. I would definitely say just grab a pair of dumbbells, doesn't have to be anything heavy, just something that you can do six to eight reps with.

You can even sit on the sofa and watch your favourite TV show whilst you start getting jiggy with any programs, just sitting there. Some bicep curls, some overhead presses.

Learn how to do a press up on the floor. Obviously, you're not going to go straight into doing press ups off your feet. You can modify that, and do them from your knees. 

But just doing something moving, you know, if you're cleaning your teeth, say, right, I'm going to get in 20 press ups off my knees before I clean my teeth. You finish cleaning your teeth, then you're like, okay, I'll do 20 sit ups. It's not going to the gym and doing like an hour and a half's exercise.

Around the house you can do so much. If you need to walk to your kitchen, get in 20 walking lunges, you know, before you put the kettle on. Same on the way back. You can move your body, just move your body. But first, grab yourself a pair of dumbbells and get going with those. There's a lot you can do, and there's so many programs online, you know, there's no excuse to say, oh, I can't go to the gym. I can't exercise. 

Everyone's got 15 minutes in the day, 15, 20 minutes, and you can achieve a lot just in that short of time.

Helen: Okay. I'm still scared by the thought of 20 press ups. 

Lisa B: Well, you start small. Numbers of 5. 5, 10, 15, 20. You'll, you'll reach 20.

Helen: Okay, I have joined a gym and I do run and I've

Lisa B: Excellent, well done.

Helen: done yoga for years as well.

Lisa B: I love yoga. And it's good to have that as a balance on the side as well. But I do believe that if you can create some muscle mass in your life, as you're transitioning through to, your latter years, it is free health insurance to have that muscle mass. You're a lot more stable, and you can walk better. And it looks good in the mirror, if you can go like this and you've got a nice bicep.

Helen: Cool. I want to come back to grey hair. When did you find your first grey hair? Can you remember?

Lisa B: Yes, it was in my twenties. It was actually quite early. I got married in Dubai to my husband, John, an Australian, when I was 27 years old. And I remember, I was a flight attendant for Emirates, and I remember being in lots of different hotels. Maybe 18 months to two years before getting married and those stark lights, you know, in the hotel rooms and you would just see like the odd hair sprouting out or around the ears.

So, I used to carry like numerous pairs of tweezers with me, and before bed I could just be standing in the hotel bathrooms just pulling out grey hairs all over the place. So yeah, about between 24 to 26, I would say that's when I started having the random, odd random grey hair poke through.

Helen: And when did you start dying it to cover it up?

Lisa B: well, I did put some red highlights in my hair for my wedding day. Which wasn't the best look, but it happened. 

And I think I was probably starting to do like root touch ups, about 27, 28 years old.

Helen: Okay. So, you dyed your hair for quite a long time then?

Lisa B: Yes, I just felt like hairdressers were experimenting with my hair, you know. There's a lot of them, they do like a blanket approach for everybody.

So, you go in and you're like, yes, can I have my hair coloured? You know, somebody else with a different coloured hair will be going in and it's, I don't know, it's like you end up with the same thing and it's not right. I just didn't find there was an individual approach to my hair. It was just getting worse and worse.

Not good look at all.

Helen: Okay, so I'm going to ask you one last question. If someone came to you and said, I'm thinking about going grey, what would you say to them?

Lisa B: Congratulations! You're thinking about it! Go for it! You know, when I see people make the transition. You have to be careful when you say the transition, what we're talking about, we're talking about grey hair here, I could get in trouble. 

When I see it more or less complete, I never see a woman that doesn't suit it. It's like, it's the right thing for them. That's what they are supposed to be wearing. You see this silver coming through and against their skin colour, they are exactly where they need to be at that point in time in their life. And I have not seen an ugly transition as of yet to the grey silver. It's just beautiful. 

And when I see women out and I see them, you know, with their silver-grey hair, I go over and I say, your hair looks amazing. The same way women come over to me if I've got like a long sleek ponytail, you know, people will say, wow, your hair is lovely. And I think it's good to celebrate that and tell women that they look good.

Helen: Agreed. I've not had anyone who's not been happy after they've done it, and decided to dye it again.

Lisa B: It's freedom. It's just hair freedom and it's exactly how you're supposed to look.

Helen: Cool, well it's been lovely chatting to you, I'll let you get on with the rest of your day. Thank you.

Lisa B: Okay. Thank you, Helen. Take care. Thanks. Bye.

Helen: Thanks so much for joining me for this week's show. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. I'll be back again next week, but in the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram at happier. grey. Have a great week.