All Articles Tagged "health"
On Saturday I’ll have my last personal training session of the year. It’s a big step for me since I’ve been training ever since November 2014 and this will be my first attempt at continuing my weight loss journey on my own. I’m nervous, but I also know at some point I have to take off the training wheels, and after one year and 92 pounds lost, now seems like the right time. But there’s another reason I’m also ready to take the leap. Though personal trainers exist to help you reach your goals, they also have their own goals in mind. Or rather, ideals of what the finished product, i.e. you, should look like when your training is complete and those ideals can be a bit burdensome, to say the least.
A couple of weeks ago I attended a wedding of a co-worker in New Orleans. I had to miss a few sessions because I was out of town and when my trainer asked me how the celebration was, I sent him a few pics from the festivities. I was proud of myself, mostly for fitting in this dress that would not be possible without the help of a strapless bra, Spanx, the Holy Spirit, and lots of hours in the gym. And he acknowledged as much, saying he saw me “stylin'” as usual. Fast forward to my return when my trainer was anxious to get back to work — and sell me a new package of sessions by the end of the month — and he said to me, “I really want to see you kill it in a dress or just show up with a pair of pants that are like a size too big now.”
Wait, haven’t I already done those things?
On one hand I didn’t fault my trainer because we’ve only worked together for the past six weeks or so and sometimes I think he forgets that I started this journey long before we met. I wanted to remind him I’m not new to this, I’ve lost about four pants sizes now.But I just nodded in agreement because I do still have a few sizes to go and initially wouldn’t have minded his help in getting there. The dress thing bothered me though. On top of not being here for the implication that a plus-size woman can’t look amazing when she steps out, I thought, I know you’re trying to motivate me to keep going, but did I not just send you a pic of me killing it in a dress? And as much as I tried to remind myself that trainers’ standards of the ideal body are on some next level ish — after all I’m dealing with men who have single digit body fat — it still brought up unhealthy thoughts of the progress I’ve made thus far still not being good enough and was a reminder that while I’m no longer obese (or morbidly so as I started out), an overweight woman is still what many see when they look at me.
I know that because of other comments my trainer’s made like “you’re going to be killing it in a bikini soon.” Again, I thought, been there, done that. But I also thought, who said wearing a bikini was my goal? I’ll be the first one to admit looking better and feeling better about myself were stronger motivators to losing weight than my health, but I’m also not here for the constant insinuation that I need to strive to look like a model or the assumption that I even want to. I set out to be a size 12, maybe 10, when I started working out last year and I need to work with someone who supports what a realistic goal weight and look is for me. The more my trainer pushes his ideals of perfection that are so far off my radar, and not even realistic, the more I realize it’s time to take matters into my own hands and craft the next chapter of my weight loss journey for myself.
Several months ago I wrote about things you should know before hiring a personal trainer. Though it wasn’t a concern for me at the time, I’d now add to the list that you need to work with someone who respects your standard of beauty and appreciates you as you are in the moment. I’ll never forget the day I was being unnecessarily hard on myself with my first trainer and he looked at me with complete sincerity at about 205 pounds and told me, “You have a great body. You just don’t see what I see.” It was the most genuine compliment he’d given me and I can’t lie and say hearing that from someone with 6% body fat and abs for days who worked with women with bodies much fitter than mine didn’t put a little more pep in my step. But more importantly it reminded me I needed to speak as kindly about my body as he did and I didn’t have to assume the first thing everyone sees about me are my flaws. That’s the kind of trainer you want: someone who knows the difference between pushing you past your perceived limitations and projecting their perceptions of perfection on you.
Public hair: We all have it, even those of us who choose to undergo cruel and unusual punishment every 4-6 weeks to get rid of it all.
But do you really know the best practices when it comes to maintaining the bush, and more importantly what it's there for? Allow us to enlighten you.
Did you know that there was a wrong way to wear underwear, or that those underwear mistakes could be causing you serious health problems? Let us help you get your panties out of a bunch.
“Don’t Like Abortion? Then Don’t Have One”: Twitter Tackles A Challenging Stigma With #ShoutYourAbortion
All over Twitter, women (and even men) have been fighting back against the stigma attached to abortion by telling their own stories with #shoutyourabortion. What do you think of this new Twitter movement to support reproductive rights? Check out what these individuals had to say about being pro-choice.
Did you know that you don’t have to have your period? From stopping your period before you go on vacation to stopping it for good, here’s everything you need to know about pausing your period.
Is a bloated belly threatening to ruin your weekend outfit? Cut out these everyday habits and you can banish belly bulge in no time flat.
What’s the best way to get back at an ex? These celebs would suggest showing him exactly what he’s missing with your post-breakup body.
Ready for fantastic health? I know I am. For many of us, loving life tends to include giving in to things you love to indulge in. This summer for me was no exception. Whether it’s a couple mimosas at brunch, a Netflix binge with wine and popcorn, or putting in late hours at work, a cleanse can help your body get back to healthy.
Dr. Gabrielle Francis, the backstage tour doctor to The Rolling Stones, actor Adrian Grenier, and musician Mark Ronson (“Uptown Funk”) has a simple and safe RxStar DETOX that’s extremely gentle. It’s designed to support the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal organs BEFORE toxins are removed. This means no crazy side effects, no hunger, and no mood swings.
Reap the benefits of the RxStar DETOX by starting each day with a nutritious RxStar Shake. Dr. Gabrielle Francis also sent us tips on cleansing your body, mind, and even your home. Check them out below!
Today I woke up just knowing I was going to be writing a post announcing I had officially dropped 90 pounds. And then I stepped on the scale and saw that I was still only down 89.2 pounds and, like the simpleton that I sometimes am, allowed myself to feel defeated. There really was no reason for me to expect to hit the 90-pound mark today other than the fact that I still haven’t broken the terrible habit of weighing myself daily and so I was hoping that from Sunday to Wednesday the universe would allow my calorie deficit and the alliteration of weight loss Wednesday to collide because 90 pounds sounds better than 89, but no dice.
I looked at the picture above several times throughout the day thinking, that’s a damn good illustration of your weight loss efforts, but what do you really have to say about where you are in your journey since you don’t have a (so-called) milestone to discuss? And then I remembered back to the day I took that picture on the left.
Last August, Atlantic records put together a workout class for Tank’s latest album release, Stronger. All the editors of MadameNoire attended what we thought was going to be a cute little pre-work gathering in which our heart rates would increase more at the site of Tank than any type of workout, but alas we were wrong and the event turned out to be a full-fledged bootcamp, personal trainers and all. I can’t even tell you when the last time was that I’d worked out prior to that but the class was a serious struggle, for me at least, and perhaps what was even harder was knowing that everyone else knew as much.
When I look back on pre-weight loss pictures, it really is startling to see my size. As crazy as it sounds, I really wasn’t always aware that I was as big as I was. Case in point, when I approached those green bars you see in the pic above which we were supposed to jump over during the bootcamp last year, I remember one of the trainers saying something to me along the lines of, “take your time; you can just walk over them if you want to.” I thought to myself, Why is he assuming I can’t do this? Then I see how snug that t-shirt in the largest size available was over my stomach and I think Because you look like you could barely breathe, much less jump over anything. And that was pretty much the case as I kept fumbling around trying to stretch that mandatory t-shirt over my lumps and bumps, and had to walk over those bars when everyone else could jump them, and skipped the Bosu ball balancing because, well it just wasn’t an option for me at that size, and periodically pretended to have to talk to our videographer about work just so I could take a break because I couldn’t keep up and I was ashamed. I’m pretty sure the half-hearted smile I have in that picture confirms as much.
It would be two months later before I entered a gym again and actually started the routine responsible for my current weight loss but when I see the girl in the picture a year and a day later from that strugglefest, I realize I do have a milestone to celebrate. On Sunday I woke up 89.2 pounds lighter. When my old trainer called me to workout as his new gym, I walked an hour and 20 minutes to get there instead of taking the train so I could burn extra calories. When we started training, I swung a 44-lb kettlebell for 12 repetitions three times, I did deadlifts with the same weight, I did three 45-second plank holds, I did 1-minute rowing intervals in between pushing a metal cage with 135 pounds of weights on it across turf six times, I did lunges while doing sandbag chest presses, I did chest presses with 20-lb dumbbells while balancing myself on a stability ball. I did a lot of s-h-you know what. Stuff I couldn’t do a year ago; stuff I didn’t imagine I would be able to do 10-and-a-half months ago when I set out on this weight loss journey.
Tonight when I worked out with my new trainer I complained for more than half of the session about my stomach and how we’re going to fix it and why it’s not going away when everything else — like my breasts — are. It wasn’t until about the third time that he looked at my confused and said “I think you’re being a little hard on yourself” that I realized he was right. In the midst of doing 75 crunches on an ab machine and another 36 while catching a 15-lb medicine ball in between each rep I couldn’t see past the need to still fix my body to actually relish in my progress and enjoy the process of getting stronger and being able to do things I’d never been able to before. There’s a cliche saying about how a year from now you’ll wish you had started today. I posted a meme saying exactly that 66 weeks ago and it still took me another four months to actually start. Had I known all this goodness was on the other side, I really wouldn’t have procrastinated another day. Not only am I just 14.5 pounds away from reaching the goal I set when I joined Crunch October 4, 2014, I’m only 45 pounds from the ultimate goal my first trainer and I set when we began working out at the end of November. I’m not a fan of the “slow and steady wins the race” mantra and though at some points in my journey I felt like things were taking forever, when I realize I haven’t even been at this a full year yet, I feel proud. I really did become a “Stronger U” and that, my friends, was worth writing about.
Oh, and if by chance my little spiel did nothing for you, here’s a pic of some fine fit brothas who might be at a gym near you just waiting to whip you into shape when you’re ready to be about that life. Don’t procrastinate!
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved the narcotic painkiller OxyContin for pediatric use. The regulatory agency reported the drug is safe for children as young as 11 who are experiencing chronic pain that cannot be treated successfully with other medications. OxyContin is an extended-release version of oxycodone.
Physicians have been prescribing OxyContin to children for some time but without the safety and efficacy data. The FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine, which means drugs such of OxyContin may be prescribed for off-label use to children once a caregiver has provided consent. An FDA representative stressed that the drug’s approval is not intended to expand or change the way it is used for pediatric patients.
The approval is for children 11 and older who are already tolerating a minimum daily dose of at least 20 milligrams per day. The agency says that with extended-release OxyContin, a child may require two doses a day, versus four to six of the immediate-release version of the drug. The approval comes after Purdue Pharma, the drug’s manufacturer, submitted data to the agency that indicates the drug is safe for children if used correctly.
But the very fact that pediatricians are prescribing the drug to children is troubling to some experts, since rates of opioid addiction are on the rise, especially in young people. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 2.1 million Americans are struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers. Abusing this class of drugs is often a precursor to heroin addiction.
Pediatric specialists primarily prescribe opioids to children to manage chronic headaches and migraines, as well as for the treatment of musculoskeletal and abdominal pain. However, some experts argue that the specialists are too quick to prescribe these drugs to kids.
Would you allow your child OxyContin if they were suffering chronic pain?