Surviving to Thriving

2019 has been the year of personal growth and change.

  • I discovered how strong I am when faced with some unimaginable challenges.
  • I’ve learned that it’s okay to walk away from people who bring me heartache.
  • I have found new friends who have become family.
  • I connected with a person who brought me closure to a very scary situation.

Lori PolandOn September 24th 2018 I received several phone calls from people that I had grown up with. Text message after text message, voice mail after voice mail went something like this:

“Heather, did you see the Megyn Kelly show today?”

“Hey, did you see Lori Poland on the Megyn Kelly show? Call me back.”

I hadn’t seen the show since I was consumed with my husband’s battle with his terminal blood cancer. I was living and breathing all things chemo related and didn’t have time to watch television. Later that night when we got back from the hospital I found the episode online. My mom who was visiting us for the week was upstairs in her hotel room. (We were in the hotel for a year and she would frequently come into town to help us and to give me a break from the 24-7 care giving.) I sent her a text with the link and suggested she take a look and I was going to do the same.

I watched the episode and like a cork busting out of a champagne bottle, my eyes filled with tears and a lump the size of the large chicken nugget blocked my airway. The images and the story came flooding back. I went upstairs and knocked on her door. She hadn’t watched the story yet and was shocked to find me standing there sobbing while trying to catch my breath.

I sat on the couch attempting to regain my composure while she watched on her iPad. After the episode finished we both had a glass of wine (or three) and I explained that I didn’t need this shit right now. I was trying to gather every single ounce of positive energy to get through the possibility of losing my husband to his cancer. I wasn’t going to do anything about it and just ignore it… or so I thought.

The next day I talked about it with someone very close to me and they said, “This is personal and it’s nobody’s business.” I agreed. I completely agreed. It was no one’s business and as far as I was concerned, everyone could just F-right off.  The only thing I was concerned about was saving my husband’s life. But something wasn’t right. This nagging feeling kept tugging at my soul. I was trying to ignore it and push it off but I just couldn’t shake it.

After sitting with it for a few days and talking it over with my husband and mom, I decided to pick up the phone and call Lori. I left a message and figured if it was meant to be she will get the message and if not, I would let it go.

I was driving when I received a call on my cell phone and on the other end of the line was this sweet sounding voice, the same voice I heard on the outgoing voicemail message. “Hi Heather, this is Lori Poland. I received your message and I wanted to call you back.”

The chicken nugget was back in my throat. I felt like I was on a first date, not knowing what to say or how to say it. In that moment I said, “For the past 35 years I have known who you were. There were many times I wanted to reach out but I didn’t know how. I received several calls after the Megyn Kelly show aired and I thought now that I am 40 years old, maybe this was the time.” Lori was quiet on the other end of the line. She would gently acknowledge what I was saying. Then I said, “I wanted to thank you for bringing me closure to an event that happened when I was 5 years old.” She said, “Okay. What event?” I continued on, “In 1983 I had an incident with your kidnapper before he took you. I was shown several photographs of men but I didn’t recognize him until I saw his face on the television after you identified him.” We both sat quietly. I didn’t know if she was going to hang up on me or think I was crazy. Her response was nothing but love and compassion. We talked about the incident in more detail and decided to connect later on in the week. We both needed a moment (or two) to process what I had just said.

In the following days, weeks, and months, it was if we had NEVER not known each other.  We connected on so many levels it was a little freaky. I was honored to have been asked to join the board of her non-profit organization, EndCAN, short for The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect. However, due to Gary’s illness and the time I was spending at the hospital, I wasn’t able to dedicate the time she or the organization deserved.

As time went on we talked about how we could join forces to share her story and break the silence on child abuse and neglect. As a screenwriter and producer in the film industry, I wanted to volunteer to help share her story. We both thought that developing a screenplay would be a great idea. After securing the film rights to her soon-to-be published memoir through my production company, Feisty Fox Productions, Lori and I have been co-writing the script and we’re excited to move forward with this adventure in 2020.

Make no mistake, this isn’t about going into detail about what happened to me. This isn’t a “poor Lori” or “poor Heather” story. This is a story about how Lori Poland survived being abused and dropped into the pit of an outhouse where she survived for 3 1/2 days alone, 10 feet below the earth’s surface. This is a story about how a 3-year-old little girl identified her kidnapper and brought him to justice. This is a story about how Lori went on to become a thriving mother, daughter, sister, friend, therapist, motivational speaker, co-founder, author, and screenwriter.

This story is about surviving to thriving.

In 2020 we will be #LouderThanSilence


It’s Not What You’ve DONE, It’s What You KNOW!

Shhh... Woman with finger on lips, silence gesture, pop art style woman banner

I have spent years and years racking my brain to understand why certain people in my life have treated me so badly. It all became very clear a few months ago when I was talking out loud and said, “I just don’t understand what I have done to warrant this kind treatment. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”

My husband, who I thought was nose deep into one of his Archie Double Digest comic books, looked up over his glasses and said, “It’s not what you’ve done, it’s what you know.”

I asked him to explain and he said, “With all of my years of being a cop in the military, 90% of the investigations I have been involved with focus on what people know not exactly what they have done.”  I sat quiet for a moment thinking about what he said. Then I thought of the thousands and thousands of dollars I spent on counseling trying to answer this simple question that was casually solved on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

He went on to say, “After reviewing your documentation, witness statements, pictures and the proof you have against these people, they are intimidated and defensive that you have the ability to reveal their truths. They want you as far away from them as possible. They also know you’re married to a cop and that alone may scare them.”

There it was. He was spot on! Everything started to come into focus now. I felt this unbelievable power of no longer feeling unworthy. When you’re able to connect the dots and make sense of something that has literally bothered your soul for as long as you can remember, you can’t help but to feel empowered. I felt stronger and more confidant than I have ever felt.

I looked at him and asked, “Do I call them up and say this? Do I send an e-mail?” He smiled and said, “You can do whatever you want, but I will say this… once they hear from you, they will feel threatened. Once they feel like they are losing control they will either threaten you or attempt to file a restraining order against you.” I laughed and said, “No way. That would never happen!”

A few weeks after I had shared my thoughts on the situation and that I was no longer going to be involved with the drama, I received a text message threatening me with a restraining order. My husband…was right…again.

So, if you’re in a place where your punishment doesn’t fit the crime, maybe it’s not what you’ve done, but what you know!

Dropping Weight Fast!

My friend Lagea posted on Facebook a few weeks ago where she mentioned something about fasting. I glanced at her picture (she looks amazing) and was curious to know what this “intermittent fasting” stuff was all about.

I sent her a private message and she was kind enough to share videos, links and book titles.

This is Dr. Jason Fung.

He has changed my life. I wish I would have known about him YEARS ago.


I will post more about my progress and how Intermittent Fasting or “IF” has helped me to drop weight safely and in a healthy manner.  

If you fast or have any suggestions or tips, please share!

Happy Fasting!



A Recipe of Goodness!

If I visit one more weight loss blog and all I see are selfie after #selfie of the person at the gym, or striking a pose in those lame ass bathroom mirror photos, I’m going to scream! If you’re one of those people, knock it off.

I get it! We ALL get it! You look amazing now…but I want to SEE and learn about your journey.

How did you get to this point? How did you start working out? What tricks did you learn to help eat better?

I want to share tricks and tips on how to eat healthier and on a budget. I don’t give AF about how you can finally fit into your size 4 jeans. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks that way and if so, that’s cool. 👍🏼😁

If you’re looking for a filling, cheap and easy salad, check out this concoction I make for lunch. It keeps me full until dinner and I don’t need to take a loan out to afford the food. Change the ingredients to what you like, it’s okay to experiment.




Taylor Farms Salad – $1.33 per serving

Daisy Cottage Cheese 16oz – $.75 per serving

Kraft Thousand Island Dressing – $.12 per serving

Kroger Sunflower Seeds – $.48 per serving

Total cost per serving – $2.68 per serving


Portion Control…

is like the Spanx of eating. It keeps your portion within reason and helps you to not feel like a total pig.

2 Cups of Taylor Farms Salad – 30 calories

1 cup of low fat Daisy Cottage Cheese – 180 calories

4 tablespoons of sunflower seeds – 60 calories

2 tablespoons of bacon crumbles – 25 calories

Kraft Thousand Island Dressing – 130 calories

“My bowl runneth over.”



When, “I don’t have time!” Is No Longer An Excuse


One of the benefits of staying at this Marriott Residence Inn, is that we were upgraded to a LARGER hotel room. Thank you God, Buddha, and Universe!! I’m no longer prisoner in my sleep to the toxic, most awful smelling #chemo farts known to man. (Sorry honey, I love you but OMG!) 🤢

The other up side of this move is the fact that I am literally steps to the gym. It doesn’t matter if I squat too much or bend the wrong way. Chances are good that one way or another I will be able to waddle back down the hall to our room after a good workout.

So here we go! I signed up for Peloton Digital and already found several “boot camp” classes for beginners, because let’s face it…I grunt just getting up from the couch.

I’m a total newbie. So please share any advice you may have.


I’m a REBEL!


I’m not going to lie, I’ve sucked down many a quart of ice creams in my life. The taste, the consistency, the sugar, the act of eating ice cream because I’m bored…you get the idea.

That’s how I felt when I destroyed this container of Rebel Ice Cream. I let the container sit out for about 20 minutes and once it became a little soft, I hogged down! (Yes, that is my dog in the background silently judging me.)


The consistency was a bit “chalky” at first, but that didn’t matter one bit! The taste was well worth it and the longer it melted, the creamier it became.

The coffee chip flavor was a great combination and wasn’t watery or mushy. There was a slight aftertaste that didn’t last long and certainly didn’t hurt the overall flavor.


If I was a spokesperson for this ice cream, which I’m not, but if I was…I would say this flavor is down right SCRUMMY! (That’s a good thing!)

Here’s all the important stuff…