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At Uber Headquarters, Project HEAL Raises More Than $500K To Fight Eating Disorders

Recovering from an eating disorder is an often long, painful and difficult journey. But what many people don’t know is that it is also an extremely expensive one.

It is estimated that 30 million Americans struggle with eating disorders and that it is the mental illness with the highest mortality rate. Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffran met while in treatment for their eating disorders as young teenagers. By the time they were 15, they vowed to do something to help others with the same disease who didn’t have the money to pay for treatment. They founded Project HEAL in 2008 and have since sent 36 patients to treatment.

At Project HEAL’s fundraising gala in San Francisco on Friday -- which was co-hosted by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington -- Saffran told the audience about being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa when she was only 10 years old. She was hospitalized four times during her freshman year of high school for a total of seven months.

“I didn’t think recovery was possible for a long time and I had many lapses along the way,” she said. “But I was lucky, with an awesome support group, top-class treatment and frankly, a great insurance plan, I got there. Full recovery from this disease is possible. That said, the journey that enabled me to get my life back cost upwards of $200,000 -- something that most Americans simply can’t afford.”

According to Project HEAL, it costs $30,000 for one month of full residential treatment for a patient with an eating disorder. Project HEAL says it is one of only three organizations in the United States that funds treatment for eating disorders. 

For Kalanick, who co-hosted the event at Uber headquarters in San Francisco, it is a deeply personal cause. Kalanick’s longtime girlfriend, violinist Gabi Holzwarth, is currently in recovery from an eating disorder.

“Unlike Liana and Kristina, I am still in recovery. Every day is really hard,” she said on Friday. “But I fight every day and I’ll never give up. There are a lot of girls out there like me who can’t afford treatment like I can.”

The theme of the gala was “Fighting for 500.” Each year, Project HEAL receives around 500 applications from those who are motivated to recover, but lack the financial resources for treatment.

The goal this year is to support all 500 applicants. Of the millions of Americans who suffer from eating disorders, Project HEAL estimates that only 10 percent of them get treatment due to inadequate insurance coverage.

Kalanick began the night by saying, “This is tough.” He met Holzwarth at a Silicon Valley party, and soon after becoming involved, she told him that she needed help. He opened up to the gala audience Friday night about what it means to be a supporter.

“We all have a sister, a daughter, a mother, a partner or a best friend who is going through a tough time. There is light at the end of that tunnel -- and they don’t always see it themselves," Kalanick said. "As a supporter, it’s our job to make sure that they know that our love is unconditional, that their beauty starts from the inside and that our support will always be there to help them get back up, no matter what.”

Huffington, too, came to the evening with the experience of being a supporter. Her youngest daughter, Isabella, was diagnosed with an eating disorder when she was 11 years old.

“Anybody who is a parent knows that there is no fiercer love than that of a parent to a child,” Huffington said. “When your child goes through something like that, especially when it comes to your relationship with food -- which, as a Greek, is something that is sacred -- you just cannot imagine anybody refusing to eat. I kept thinking of my mother as I was dealing with my own guilt, thinking how did I bring this about? What did I do to make this be a condition for my daughter?”

Huffington remembered seeing her daughter reject her birthday cake, and watching her hair come out in clumps as it was washed in a London salon. “Even after you move into recovery, a lot of the symptoms continue," Huffington said. "She’s now 24 and gratefully, she’s doing well. But it’s something that you’re always on watch about.”

The gala honoree was documentarian and activist Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who has made it her life’s work to shed light on gender inequality and how the media has contributed to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power.

Her relationship with eating disorder awareness is also a personal one. “The issues of struggling with an eating disorder hits close to home,” she said at the gala. “It’s been a long journey since my personal struggle at the age of 18, but like Project HEAL tells us, recovery is possible."

"Still, though, as a mother, I have tremendous concern for the future -- that our girls and boys will grow up with a strong sense of personal empowerment, self-confidence, a healthy body image and a wealth of healthy role models -- so that our children do not experience the pain that I and many of us suffered in our earlier years,” Siebel Newsom said.

Siebel pointed out that eating disorders do not just impact women in America. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 10 million men struggle with eating disorders today.

“How do we remedy this unhealthy culture?” Siebel Newsom asked. “A culture that limits our boys and girls by seeing women’s value in our youth, beauty and sexuality only. And men’s value only in physical strength, power, control and the ability to dominate others. For starters, it requires each and every one of us to challenge toxic norms in public culture, private culture, the media and daily life.”

Project HEAL raised over half a million dollars on Friday evening, which will go a long way toward its fight for 500. To donate or learn more about their mission, visit the Project HEAL website.

Also on HuffPost:



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Everyone Is Wearing Face Sheet Masks, And So Should You

K-beauty, aka Korean beauty, has quickly expanded to the rest of the world over the past five years thanks to life-changing products. From BB creams (beauty balms that make you look like you're not wearing any makeup) to essences (highly concentrated, yet lightweight topical treatments that go on before serums and moisturizers), you can't walk into a Sephora or Ulta without seeing a display highlighting Korean skincare. 

But one of the most popular K-beauty trends to have taken off this year has been face sheet masks. Supermodels Chrissy Teigen and Karolina Kurkova, comedian Chelsea Handler and actor James Franco have uploaded photos of themselves on social media sporting face sheet masks, which make them resemble Jason Voorhees from "Friday the 13th." 

A photo posted by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on Jul 13, 2015 at 3:41am PDT

According to Christine Chang and Sarah Lee of Glow Recipe, an online destination for natural Korean beauty products, brands hailing from the East Asian nation have been the key driver in popularizing face sheet masks in the U.S. "Many of the sheet mask manufacturers that global brands are using are also based in Korea and we believe that it set a precedent for the quality of products available in the market," say Chang and Lee.

While the beauty pros note that it's been well over a decade since face sheet masks have become a staple for Korean women, it remains a vital part of their regimen. "[They] use sheet masks up to three to four times a week, depending on their skin condition," adds Chang and Lee.

But are they really worth the hype and adding to your skincare routine? 

Heidi Waldorf, the director of laser and dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told HuffPost one of the biggest benefits of face sheet masks is that they deliver product deep into the skin in a concentrated way. "It is, at its most basic, applying product with occlusion (a cover) to increase penetration," she says. "However, not all masks are created equal."

Waldorf believes masks that contain hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid are fantastic for anyone with dry skin or to use for added moisture because of cold, winter weather. They are also perfect to pack inside your carry-on for a long flight to combat the dry air experienced at such a higher altitude, giving you a nourished glow. The derm also points out that when hyaluronic acid is combined with depuffing ingredients like caffeine in a concentrated manner, they can work to minimize swelling and irritation. 

Before you go tossing out creams and serums from your medicine cabinet, Waldorf says the caveat to face sheet masks are that they do not take the place of a regular skincare regimen. "Think of them as adjuncts to moisturizing or applying anti-aging ingredients and sunscreens, not replacements," she explains. "They can help get you off a skin plateau or recuperate from a procedure. Just be sure to speak with your dermatologist if you have a skincare regimen about how best to incorporate."

Shop our editors' picks below for 11 of the best face sheet masks for every budget.

Also On HuffPost:

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Build a Bigger, Stronger Back with This 55-Rep Row Ladder

Rodale Inc.

The dumbbell row is one of the oldest and most effective ways to build muscle in your upper back. But the bent-over row ladder takes the old staple to an entirely new level.

With this routine, you can target your entire back, your hamstrings, and your glutes, says Men’s Health Fitness Director B.J. Gaddour. As you climb the ladder, the time your muscles are under tension continues to increase—which is key to building a bigger, stronger, back, he explains.

Related: Try the Get Back in Shape DVD—30-minute strength and cardio workouts that will transform your body in just 28 days!

Here’s how to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend at your hips, and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length.

Without moving your torso, row the weights upward by raising your upper arms, bending your elbows, and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause, lower the dumbbells, and stand back up.

Repeat, but do two rows this time. Continue to add one rep every set until you do 10 reps in a row. That’s a total of 55 reps for the entire ladder.

If you think you can handle a little more heat, try descending the ladder, working your way from 10 reps down to one rep.

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10 Reasons You Must Pick Up the December Issue of Men’s Health

Rodale Inc.

1. You’ll Learn Secrets from the World’s Fittest Men!

Men’s Health selected dozens of the world’s toughest men (and women)—guys like CrossFit Games winner Ben Smith, Ninja Warrior champ Isaac Caldiero, All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, and terrorist tackler Alek Skarlatos—and asked each person for their top muscle, weight-loss, and performance tip. Plus, they all shared their general guidance on being a badass. Get the issue here.

2. You’ll Build an Action Hero’s Body!

We asked Jason Walsh, C.S.C.S., the Hollywood trainer who transformed Bradley Cooper for American Sniper, to create a workout that will help you pack on up to 45 pounds of muscle. Rip it out and take it to the gym!

3. You’ll Steal Success Tips from Idris Elba!

Actor, director, DJ, race car driver, and designer: Idris Elba does it all. Learn how you, too, can tap into your creative side, multitask effortlessly, carve a Bond-worthy body, and put the double-o in cool.

Plus: Steal the recipe for the party drink that fuels Idris’s good times!

4. You’ll Discover Tons of Scientifically Proven Tips for a Stronger, Smarter, and Healthier You

Beat diabetes, live to 100, and improve your mood—all within the span of a few pages.

5. You’ll Devour All 56 Grams of This Protein Power Burger!

Chef Joey Ward’s lamb burger is not baaaaaaaa-d for your belly. (Sorry, we had to.) Plus, 4 other life-changing meals!

Image by Men's Health

6. You’ll Find Stress-Busting Strategies That Could Save Your Life!

Learn the deadly truth about procrastination—and discover the tools you need to overcome it.

Plus: Your guide to the perfect stress-free day.

Image by Men's Health

7. You’ll Lust after the 100 Best Tech Toys!

Speed and performance: It’s what you really want, whether you’re running or cycling, watching Netflix, or shooting video. The 2016 Tech Guide has you covered.

Bonus: Driver’s Ed in the new Tesla S P90D. Yep, the e-rocket with “Ludicrous” acceleration mode. Your instructor? Idris Elba.

8. You’ll Laugh at the Flu!

Top doctors, researchers, nutritionists, and trainers reveal the rules they live by to fend off the flu.

9. You’ll See How to Sleep with 2,500 Women Tonight!

Ever wonder what she’s thinking in bed? Us, too! That’s why we asked 2,500 women for second-by-second specifics—right up to her orgasm.

10. You’ll Cook the Best Turkey Ever!

First, follow our instructions for smoking the turkey. (Extra man points: Hold a beer in one hand and toss a football with the other.)

Then, whip up healthy, delicious sides with our quick, easy recipes: a “glug” of this, a “handful” of that.

Hey, we’re men—we don’t need any stinking measurements.

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3 Ways to Use the Band Pull-Apart during Your Next Workout

Photograph courtesy of Thinkstock

The band pull-apart is a simple exercise, but a genius one, too, says Men’s Health Fitness Director B.J. Gaddour, who demonstrates the move in the video above.

(Take your fitness to an all-new level with the fitbit Surge super watch. It’ll help you train smarter, go farther, and work harder.)

That’s because the movement strengthens the muscles in your upper back and the stabilizer muscles in your shoulder joints. Building these areas will improve your posture, and increase your bench press, squat, and deadlift, Gaddour explains.

There are three ways you can program the exercise into your workout routine.

1. Use it as part of your warmup. Do 10 to 20 reps.

2. Perform it as an “active recovery” between other exercises. Do 10 to 20 reps.

3. Do an upper-back finisher at the end of your workout to get a great pump. Do 50 to 100 reps as fast as possible.

Too easy? Can create more tension by using a thicker band or placing your hands closer together, says Gaddour.

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These Are the Kinds of Porn Men and Women Watch the Most

Photograph by Thinkstock

Ever wonder what kind of porn turns her on? Some of her faves might be the same ones that get you hot too, new research from the Journal of Sex Research suggests.

In the study, more than 2,000 men and women reported how frequently they consume 27 different genres of porn. When looking at the top 5 most viewed types, two categories showed up on both straight men and women’s must-watch list: oral sex and threesomes.

Related: How to Pleasure a Woman—the ultimate how-to sex manual from the editors of Men’s Health.

But the other kinds were pretty different. Here’s the breakdown of what they watched the most:

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The Fastest Cure for Heartburn

Photograph by Thinkstock

You may have heard that eating or drinking certain foods—like milk, bread, or apple cider vinegar—will ease heartburn.

But when the burning sensation starts, will these home remedies actually work?

Nope, according to Patrick Hyatt, M.D., a specialist at The Center for Heartburn and Reflux Disease at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. They’re just old wives’ tales, and they might make your heartburn worse.

Related: The Better Man Project—More than 2,000 Small Steps That Will Transform Your Life!

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid—the fluid that’s produced when you eat to help break down food—backs up into your esophagus, Dr. Hyatt says.

It’s often triggered by consuming acidic foods, like wine, coffee, or spicy meals, he says. The acids in those foods combine with your stomach acid, resulting in an extra potent mixture that burns if it seeps into your esophagus.

Overeating can also prompt heartburn, says Dr. Hyatt. When you’re stuffed to the point of bursting, your stomach contents press against your esophageal sphincter, which can cause the mixture to leak through.

Related: 6 Sinister Reasons You Overeat

In either of these cases, eating extra bread or milk would only add to the bulk in your belly and prompt your body to produce more stomach acid, Dr. Hyatt says.

So what does work?

Your drugstore is stacked with options, but Dr. Hyatt says the quickest relief comes from over-the-counter histamine blockers like Pepcid or Zantac.

Those drugs work by blocking histamine, a chemical that triggers the production of stomach acid, he says. They can provide relief in 15 to 30 minutes, according to the drugs’ websites.

If you get heartburn more than twice a week, tell your doctor, Dr. Hyatt says. Frequent heartburn can increase your risk for esophageal cancer, but your doctor can monitor your symptoms and give you preventative treatment if necessary.

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20 Tips for Your First Marathon

Co-authored by Tammy Tibbetts, President & Founder of She's the First

I couldn't run a mile in high school gym, but a decade later, I completed the NYC Marathon! It was one of the best, most triumphant days of my life. I'm proof that anyone can do it! It all comes down to training. Here are my tips for crushing your first marathon.

1. Download a training plan. I used one by Popsugar Fitness.

2. As the plan says, cross-train. Let me repeat that: CROSS-TRAIN! To avoid injury, particularly IT band syndrome that comes from overuse of the thigh and knee, you must do exercises that strengthen your abs and core. I took an abs class at the gym one to two times a week and downloaded this free injury prevention course for suggested exercises.

3. Study the race course. If the course is not flat ground, make sure that you're doing practice runs up hills or bridges.

4. Stretch out with yoga one to two times a week. I took advantage of the free classes at Lululemon on Sunday morning before the store opened. I also use the Yoga Studio app for iPhone.

5. Reduce inflammation! After a run, or at night when you're watching TV, be sure to ice the knee and joints. Pop an ibuprofen if needed (not Tylenol -- can bad for your liver), but don't become too dependent on pain relievers.

6. Pick a cause and fundraise. I raised $13,000 to sponsor girls' education for She's the First, the non-profit I founded. On days when the training gets tough, thinking of your beneficiaries will give you endless motivation.

7. Raise money with Charity Miles. Turn on this free phone app when you run, and it will donate a quarter per mile that you run to your charity of choice. You'd raise $120 at least from all your mileage in training!

8. Do a long run without music at least once. What if it rains on race day and you can't bring a phone, or what if your headphones break? Get used to running without music so if you ever have to run in silence, you won't freak out.

9. Do at least one long run in the rain. Just so you know you can. Wear a waterproof watch that tracks your distance, a baseball cap to protect your eyes, and put some vaseline on your toes to prevent blisters. When you get home, remove the soles in your sneakers and put crumbled newspaper in your sneakers to help them dry inside.

10. Listen to podcasts. When you are running with your phone, make time go by faster by listening to a podcast. You'll get absorbed in conversation and forget how far you've ran. It's magical.

11. Join a running group. For my longest runs, I joined the Dashing Whippets in NYC. Chatting with women who ran my pace made the 18-mile and 20-mile distances much less intimidating--and then we celebrated afterwards at brunch.

12. Stock up on GU. Purchase GU Energy Gel or the Clif Energy Gel and take one every six miles for a burst of energy. They're like superpowered candy.

13. Keep your GRID roller close. Foam rolling is key to avoid IT band injuries. I like the GRID best, because while it'll make you wince as you're kneading tight muscles and knots, you'll be avoiding greater pain in the long run.

14. Get fitted for sneakers. I go to Jack Rabbit and run on the in-store treadmill, so a specialist can tell me what type of sneaker is best for me, based on how my feet hit the ground. Wear the same sneaker in the race that you trained in. Buy a new pair mid-training.

15. Learn what food your body likes. You never want to try new food on race day. I always went with a rice cake with peanut butter and banana before a run, or a Health Warrior chia bar. I carb loaded at Dig Inn the nights before my longest runs. Many runners have a go-to pasta dish. Drink more water than you normally do--even try to have some electrolyte-enhanced water.

16. Read running books. I recommend Anything for a T-Shirt, a biography of Fred Lebow who created the NYC Marathon and made long-distance a sport for the everyday person; What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami; and for humor, The Oatmeal's The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distance. You will understand them on a very deep level now.

17. Avoid long runs in cotton socks. To prevent blisters, get sweat or moisture-wicking socks at a sporting goods or running store.

18. Wear your marathon day outfit out on a run. Never try new clothes on race day!

19. Put your name on your marathon day shirt. It's the best feeling when cheerleaders call out your name. It truly makes a difference.

20. Enjoy every moment. There is a feeling of incredulous wonder you get when you go the longest distance you've ever ran, which you will not feel again in the same way after you run your first marathon. Remember that when you're dreading your 20-miler. It's the only time you get to experience your "first" distance like that...and I guarantee you, it won't be the last.

Want more good advice? Head over to Avelist. Learn from others. Adult together.

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Join the Conversation and Raise Awareness About Antibiotic Overuse

Next week, two of the world's premiere organizations whose missions are to protect human health will focus on educating health workers, the agricultural sector, policymakers and everyday citizens on the dangers of antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organization is championing World Antibiotics Awareness Week and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hosting its annual Get Smart About Antibiotics campaign. Both awareness efforts are greatly needed because antibiotics are losing their effectiveness due to excessive overuse by doctors, patients and industrial farming operations. This means these miracle drugs are on the brink of becoming an obsolete tool in protecting human and animal health.

Losing antibiotics to fight bacterial infections is nearly inconceivable. Gone would be the days of organ transplants and joint replacements, routine surgeries could become life threatening and a simple cut on the knee could kill. That's a dire prediction of the future of medicine, but it need not come true. If we rein in overuse in all sectors we can turn the tide of this looming public health crisis. Antibiotic resistance is everyone's problem so we all need to work on turning this issue around.

That's where you come in: Do your part. Start by visiting the websites of these two organizations. Test your knowledge by taking the quizzes they have created, print the infographics and hang them in your lunchroom or on your company bulletin boards, watch the new videos they have created and distribute their fact sheets to friends and colleagues. And join the conversation: follow the campaigns on Facebook (CDC and WHO) and Twitter (@CDCgov and @WHO) and tweet and post often. Use the hashtags #GetSmart, #AntibioticResistance and #antibiotics. Help spread the word because the clock ticks on life-saving antibiotics.

Then make it your mission to put into practice what you've learned. Cold and flu season is upon us and antibiotics won't help you one bit if you contract either. Get your flu shot. Don't demand an antibiotic unless you are absolutely sure you have a bacterial infection. If your doctor gives you an antibiotic prescription, ask if you really need it. We all have a job to do in stopping antibiotic overuse and misuse.

And still there is more you can do. I've written about this many times: Central to slowing antibiotic resistance is ending the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food-animal production. So as you gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, which very likely will involve turkey, consider a few things before purchasing a bird:

● About 237 million turkeys are produced in the U.S. each year and the vast majority are given antibiotics throughout their lifetimes to help them grow faster (called "growth promotion") and/or to keep animals from getting sick from their overcrowded, unsanitary living conditions (called "disease prevention"). Come January 2017, under FDA guidelines, antibiotics used for growth promotion will be banned; however, the drugs could still be used on a massive scale for disease prevention.

● The sheer volume of antibiotics used in food animals around the world is staggering. According to a new report, The State of the World's Antibiotics 2015, two-thirds of all of the antibiotics produced globally each year (65,000 tons of 100,000 tons) are used in animal agriculture.

● In the U.S., clear goals and timelines (as described in the White House's National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria) have been developed to help address antibiotic overuse and misuse in hospitals, by doctors and patients. Yet the president's plan did little to address antibiotic overuse in animal agriculture. This is disappointing because the most recent data shows that 32.6 million pounds of antibiotics were sold for use in food animals in 2013 compared to 7.7 million pounds of antibiotics sold in human medicine in 2011 (the most recent data available).

As I noted in my last post, it will be a bit more challenging for the turkey industry to reduce antibiotic use like a few of the big players are doing in the chicken sector. Consumer demand has driven that change, so we need to push for the same thing across the entire meat and poultry industries by voting with our wallets. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving consumers should try to purchase turkey, ham or other meat products from producers who use antibiotics responsibly. The labels you can trust say: "No antibiotics administered," "Raised without antibiotics," "Global Animal Partnership," "Animal Welfare Approved," or "Organic."

Antibiotic resistance is a serious, global threat to modern day medicine. Medical leaders warned us for decades that if we didn't stop our serious love affair with antibiotics that we would love these miracle drugs to their death. We're almost there, but it's not too late. We all need to move this issue to the top of our agendas, advocate for change and emulate the change we seek.

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Hillary Clinton Proposes Reclassifying Marijuana As A Less Dangerous Drug

Hillary Clinton wants to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous substance in order to allow more research into the drug's medicinal properties, the Democratic presidential candidate said Saturday in South Carolina. 

Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous of five substance categories listed in the Controlled Substances Act. According to the federal classification, Schedule I drugs have "no currently accepted medical use." Other Schedule I substances include heroin, ecstasy and LSD. 

Under Clinton's proposal, marijuana would become a Schedule II substance, which are considered to have "less abuse potential." Cocaine, OxyContin, Adderall and meth are Schedule II drugs. The move, Clinton said Saturday, would allow federal researchers to explore how to best use marijuana as medicine.

"What I do want is for us to support research into medical marijuana because a lot more states have passed medical marijuana than have legalized marijuana, so we've got two different experiences or even experiments going on right now," Clinton said after being asked about marijuana prohibition during a town hall. "And the problem with medical marijuana is there's a lot of anecdotal evidence about how well it works for certain conditions, but we haven't done any research. Why? Because it's considered what's called a Schedule I drug and you can't even do research in it." 

"If we're going to have a lot of states setting up marijuana dispensaries so that people who have some kind of medical need are getting marijuana, we need know what's the quality of it, how much should you take, what should you avoid if you're taking other medications," she continued. 

Clinton has said previously that she does not support legalizing marijuana, but believes in the medical use of cannabis and reforming the criminal justice system to keep low-level drug offenders out of jail. 

"We have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana," she said last month during the Democratic primary debate.

Clinton's proposal is similar to policies floated by some medical marijuana advocates. Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics called on the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify cannabis in order to promote medical research. And in July, members of the U.S. House introduced an amendment to the 21st Century Cures Act that would make it easier to conduct marijuana research. 

"The rescheduling of marijuana is a step in the right direction, but only going down to Schedule II is mostly a symbolic move," said Tom Angell, the chairman of Marijuana Majority. "It may make research slightly easier, but on its own wouldn't do anything to protect seriously ill people who are using marijuana in accordance with state laws from being harassed by the DEA. Only changing the federal criminal statutes can effectively do that."


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Clinton's main rival in the Democratic presidential primary, has called for striking marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act all together. Earlier this week, he introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act in the Senate, which would allow states to move forward with legalizing marijuana without federal intervention.

"Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use," Sanders said at George Mason University in October. "That’s wrong. That has got to change."

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is also running for the Democratic nomination, has proposed rescheduling marijuana as well.

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in four states and the District of Columbia, while 23 states and D.C. have legalized medical pot.

This article has been updated to include a statement from the Marijuana Majority. 

Also on HuffPost:

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Genetic Testing: A Key Campus Resource for Mental Health

Mental illness is among the biggest issues today's college campuses are struggling with. Often times it isn't until after something devastating happens -- a suicide, a shooting -- that we learn mental illness was a factor, but by then it's too late to give it the attention it deserves. Every day, there are students struggling with mental health issues, many undiagnosed until something happens to alert them or their loved ones to a condition.

Research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness found that one in four college students have a diagnosable mental illness. Half of them say they have been so anxious they struggled in school. Clinics on campuses are chronically understaffed and overwhelmed.

That's why it's important to point out as we have just held Mental Illness Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day.

This year there is indeed some revolutionary news to share on the mental health front as genetic testing is helping clinicians optimize treatment decisions for their patients with mental illness.

This testing identifies patient-specific genetic markers that indicate which treatments are likely to work as intended, have no effect or cause adverse effects.

It's an easily administered cheek swab test that analyzes key genes, selected based on hundreds of studies showing that variations in these genes can inform treatment decisions. The test results can help guide treatment for a range of psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, PTSD and schizophrenia.

Does it work? Genomind's Genecept Assay has been shown in peer-reviewed published studies to improve patient outcomes and reduce overall medical costs.

Imagine how empowering it would be for students, their families and campuses to be aware of potential predispositions and be prepared with the right support.

We don't need to wait for another student suicide or campus shooting to appreciate the value of this amazing breakthrough.


If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.

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Here's What Fort Worth, TX Is Doing Very Right To Promote Healthy Kids

What Does A Community Do When It Learns That Half Its Children Are Overweight Or Obese And That Their Life Expectancy Is Less Than The Current Generation? originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question.

Answer by Jean Tips, Health communicator, wellness advocate, certificate holder in Lifestyle Health, on Quora.

If it's Fort Worth, Texas, it takes action "the Fort Worth Way." That is, through a grass-roots, public-private partnership of engaged civic leadership, the business community and volunteers determined to solve problems collaboratively. The non-profit organization, funded entirely by corporate and foundation donations, is called the FitWorth Healthy City Initiative.

It's really a movement to create families who are healthier and whose lives are richer through programs designed for increased behavioral awareness and role model empowerment.

The "secret sauce" to FitWorth--and its differentiation-combines:

a committed, highly involved mayor
corporate funding from businesses and foundations that value employee health
a highly cooperative independent school district with strong physical fitness and culinary training leadership
passionate volunteers
generous media partners
user-friendly tracking technology and
an ability to make an immediate and sustainable "boots-on-the-ground" impact in the daily habits of children and families.

With this in place, and the understanding that lifestyle health and behavior change takes time, small steps make a huge difference. Just three years after its launch, FitWorth impacts nearly 30,000 people annually through programs themed "Fuel," "Work," and "Play." Even more impressive than the participation rate is the bottom-line impact.

The Fort Worth Independent School Distict's FitnessGram statistics, the official assessment of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, show a three-percent improvement in reducing the number of obese children in just two years.

The effort to improve the community's health kicked off in 2012, spearheaded by the city's First Lady of Fitness, Betsy Price (Mayor), an avid bicyclist and triathlete herself, Price understands the connection between children's health, adult productivity and the local economy. She and Councilmenber Dennis Shingleton gathered a multidisciplinary committee charged to build a program promoting healthy choices for children and families.

This committee is now being revamped into an advisory team representing a variety of needed expertise, led by a full-time Director and Board of Directors that will focus on governance and strategic planning to lead FitWorth forward.

Rather than starting from scratch, the program's first strategy was to promote the city's many existing healthy activities with the FitWorth brand, raising visibility for participation opportunities such as walks, rides and runs. This was achieved through a paid campaign with local media partners willing to add public service exposure beyond the buy. Primarily, this consisted of billboard and bus bench ads targeted to specific neighborhoods, and talk show interviews and spots on the local NBC/Telemundo affiliate in English and Spanish.

In addition, having the Mayor participate in these activities and having a FitWorth booth onsite with fun promotional items and information built brand awareness.

FitWorth leadership worked with a local advertising agency on a pro bono basis to conduct a comprehensive rebranding effort over the past year to fine-tune its messaging and identity.

Another first step was to involve the PE teachers across the Fort Worth ISD in a 10-week Fall Challenge for third- to fifth-graders that has come to be known fondly by the students as "The Mayor's Challenge." The PE teachers help students track their fruit and vegetable consumption as well as minutes of activity. At the end of the challenge, the mayor announces the winners during an assembly at the winning school and presents a small monetary donation toward new PE equipment, all of which gains coverage by local media.

With the learning now gained from several years conducting the school challenge, FitWorth leaders have shortened the challenge length to four weeks. This past Fall, participation totaled 20,055 children, and the FitWorth focus is on continuous program improvement and sustainability to make the most impact.

To maintain children's focus on healthy choices, another tracking challenge takes place during the summer months at the city's 22 community centers, this challenge is four weeks long and the kids track activity, fruit and vegetable consumption and optionally, sleep, screen time and water intake. In addition, there is a poster contest at the centers for young artists to encourage adults to make healthier choices. Winning posters are displayed at local corporations involved in FitWorth worksite programming. Mayor Price conducts periodic "drop-ins" at the centers to participate in movement activities with the kids and to reinforce the programmatic messages and city commitment.

Celebrity sports figures have also made special appearances at FitWorth "Play" events, including professional football players Jason Whitten, DeMarcus Ware and Ladanian Tomlinson. The Fort Worth Vaqueros FC, Fort Worth's professional soccer team, has also stepped up to help.

To assist the underserved areas of the community, FitWorth provides grants to children to participate in fitness activities such as The Cowtown C.A.L.F. Run and Fort Worth Zoo Run.

A culinary competition has been added for high school students enrolled in the district's culinary training programs. Teams of young chefs are charged to create healthy meals, a challenge which culminates in a cook-off at The Cowtown Marathon's special Fall C.A.L.F. (Children's Activities for Life and Fitness) Run for children.  Judging is conducted by local celebrity chefs and dignitaries.  Winners receive new cooking knives, aprons and are featured in a local charity food sampling event.  Recipes are gathered in a cookbook.

Work with the local restaurant association to establish special FitWorth-approved menu items was merged into the Fort Worth Blue Zones Project designation plan. However, a FitWorth restaurant crawl takes place in the spring, timed to an adult corporate challenge, which engages local restaurants throughout the city in highlighting their healthiest existing menu items, based on the standards required for the high-school culinary competition. Each restaurant can choose an appetizer, entrée, or dessert, and the design of the crawl encourages walkability and bikeability, so that participants can move more while enjoying a progressive meal.

Recognizing that children's healthy choices involve parents and other adult caretakers and family members, FitWorth established a Corporate Challenge. Similar to the Mayor's Challenge, employees of local businesses are encouraged to track their minutes of activity over a six-week period.

Companies compete against other companies, and can request Mayor Price to attend a "Fit15" onsite walk with their employees. The first year, Mayor Price even accepted a challenge from the City of Des Moines, Iowa, for an additional city-versus-city competition element. Fort Worth won, and the trophy was presented at a Fort Worth City Council meeting. Participation in the Corporate Challenge doubled in its second year, with a 59-percent increase in participation.

Next Steps
FitWorth leadership has worked from the start to find the best technology to track all of the challenges. IT solutions provide the tools families and communities need to successfully change their culture. FitWorth has learned its requirements for tracking have expanded beyond existing offerings and has worked to innovatively leverage a free tracking platform as a partnership tool with other organizations, such as the YMCA in Fort Worth.

Community interest has blossomed, and new program elements and partnerships are being added strategically. For example, the mayor's Tour de Fort Worth, a 21-day challenge for cyclists to ride each day and accumulate miles and friends along the way, is now a FitWorth project. The local medical school's pediatrics department has requested FitWorth partner with them on developing an exercise "Playscription" prescription for children. A mobile food market is also under consideration.

The leadership continues to determine unmet community needs that align with the FitWorth mission, determine funding strategies, strengthen its brand differentiation, plan for sustainability and deepen its impact.

This question originally appeared on Quora. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

More questions:

Lifestyle Health:: What Steps Can I Take That Will Have The Most Impact On My Overall Health And Well Being?
Childhood Obesity: How Do You Teach Children Not To Denigrate Fat People?
Longevity: What Are Some Simple Things You Do Every Day To Slow Down/Prevent Aging?

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Get The Core Of Your Dreams With This Plank Workout

Hello, core of steel!

Planks are the exercise move that many people love to hate, but it's hard to deny their ab-tightening powers. If the static plank isn't doing it for you, check out this easy-to-master variation from Refinery29.  

The best part? It only takes a minute.

Check out the video and add it to your next workout. Strong looks good on you.

Also on HuffPost:

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Screw the Gym! Do This Lower-Body Workout Anytime, Anywhere

Rodale Inc.

This iso squat ladder challenge pits you against gravity.

By adding an extended pause during the toughest part of the squat—the bottom—you intensify the exercise without adding weights. The isometric hold reduces the amount of “bounce” or elastic energy stored in your muscle fibers, which means you must work harder to push your body out of the hole.

You also increase the time your muscles are under tension. The result: bigger, stronger glutes and quads.

A video posted by Men's Health (@menshealthmag) on Dec 3, 2015 at 5:12am PST

Here’s how it works: Hold the bottom of a bodyweight squat for 30 seconds, and then stand up and perform one full squat. Then do a 30-second hold again, but follow it up with two bodyweight squats this time.

After each iso hold, continue to add one full squat to your rep count. Do this until you must take a break or stop altogether.

Your final score is your highest rep count. Try to beat that number the next time you perform the challenge.

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Healthy and Fit? So Is This Guy—but He Was Days Away from a Heart Attack

Rodale Inc.

My name is Kevin, and I’m a 49-year-old editor at Men’s Health. I’m 6-feet tall and 185 pounds, and I exercise regularly. I live healthy and look healthy.

But last month, I found out that I have heart disease.

A doctor unclogged an artery in my heart that might have left me dead or disabled before Christmas.

“I’d say I dodged a bullet,” I told a friend, “but that implies that I saw it coming.”

No, it was more like I was standing with one foot in the street when a city bus narrowly missed me.

I’m sharing my story because you could be at risk, too, and not yet know it. That’s because heart disease can sneak up on you, even when you’re doing most things right.


Seven weeks ago, I felt SOMETHING in my chest. It was not quite pain, not quite pressure. Mostly an awareness, usually on the extreme left side of my chest. Sometimes it would jump to the extreme right side.

Knowing now that I have heart disease, you probably think the symptom should have been obvious to me. But it wasn’t obvious at all.

I first noticed it after a weight workout. I thought I had a strained a chest muscle. It was more annoying than painful.

But a week later, the annoyance was still there, and I had to admit to myself that it wasn’t a muscle tweak. The discomfort was coming from within my chest.

The best way to describe how I felt: You know when the characters in a horror movie suddenly figure out that the maniac’s call is coming from inside the house? Like that.

It shouldn’t have been all that surprising. My family has a long history of heart disease. My dad had quintuple-bypass surgery in 1985, at the age of 44.

My dad’s father died at the age of 42, in 1944. An Irish immigrant driving a Duggan’s bakery truck, he flipped it over on the streets of New York. They pulled his dead body from the truck.

Nobody did autopsies on poor Irish truck drivers back then, so the cause of his death remains a mystery. But we’ve always suspected it was his heart, because that’s been the story on my dad’s side of the family all the way back to Ireland.

And still, I figured that if I did enough good things—stayed active, ate well, managed stress and my weight—that I could stay ahead of this shadow. But here it was.

I called my new GP, and asked him to move up a scheduled checkup by a week.


Things were going fine at my checkup. My blood pressure was a little high but that was understandable because I was nervous. My doctor and I talked about my chest discomfort and he thought it sounded muscular. They would give me an EKG just to be sure, and then I could go home.

Except that, after taking the EKG and disappearing for a second, the nurse came back and asked me to stick around. My doctor wanted to talk with me.

The shadow closed in.

Here’s a quick primer from EKG 101: In a healthy EKG, there are a series of waves, labeled as letters. P marks the contraction of the atria, and is a slight turn upward; QRS is a small-down, big-up, small-down movement that marks the contraction of the ventricle; and the T is a small upward movement that marks the re-set of the heart before it pumps again. The P, R, and T are all supposed to go up.

In mine, several of the leads showed the first two waves going up, then the third sagging downward. That’s an inverted T wave, and the T stands for Trouble. It can be a sign of blockage.

But maybe not. My doctor wasn’t sure what to do. We didn’t have a history together. In fact, this was our first time as doctor and patient. (We knew each other from his treating my 18-year-old son.)

EKGs are not exact science, he explained. In fact, I could have had this abnormality in my heart beat since I was born. “My gut tells me this isn’t something we should ignore,” he said. “Would you mind going to the ER?"

I didn’t, and I did. The doctors drew blood to check for specific inflammation markers and to run a blood panel, and they did another EKG.

The diagnosis: I wasn’t having a heart attack but I needed more tests, specifically a nuclear stress test. Before I left, the ER doc had one last request: “Don’t push it, okay?”

RELATED: 7 Medical Tests Every Guy Should Have

I woke up the morning of the stress test feeling better than I had in two weeks. No pain at all. A ghostly absence of sensation.

The stress test involved injecting a radioactive dye in my bloodstream, then imaging my heart before and after a period of activity on a treadmill.

It was pretty cool and strangely liberating. I’d been experiencing this long enough that my curiosity was now routinely trumping my fear. I was ready to run.

The ER doc had made a point of telling me not to go too hard until that test, especially after I told her I had pushed a 425-pound sled around the gym trying to trigger a reaction that would confirm this was angina. (It didn’t work.)

So the chance to exert myself on a treadmill—under doctor supervision—felt good. I was able to walk fast, then run, for about 9 minutes. I got my heart to 160 beats per minute. No pain.

Maybe this is going to be okay, I thought. I laid down for the after-exercise set of images and went home.

My brand-new cardiologist, Dr. Matthew Levy, called me on my cell that evening. I was shooting baskets in my driveway.

“It doesn’t look good,” he said. “You definitely have a blockage. I need you to come in two days from now to get cathed. We’ll take a look at it, and if the blockage is severe enough, we’ll perform an angioplasty."

We talked for a few more minutes, then he said. “I don’t know you very well, but you don’t sound surprised.”

I was, and I wasn’t.

RELATED: The Weird Symptoms of a 'Silent' Heart Attack

Two mornings later, I was on an operating room table in Paoli, Pennsylvania, the object of a cardiac catheterization. I was drugged but not knocked out; it was more dreamy than blotto. While I know that I was half-there, I have no useful memories from the operation or from the couple hours afterward.

I would later find out that my left anterior descending artery, which snakes down the front of my heart, was about 95% blocked. This particular artery is known in heart circles as “the widowmaker.”

A stent was put in place to open the blockage. I was out of the hospital within 24 hours of the procedure, with little to show for it other than a broken night’s sleep and a minuscule incision in my right wrist, where the catheter was inserted.

The site was a little swollen and bruised. That same afternoon, I sat outside on the deck of a local winery, sipping a half-glass of red wine, enjoying the sun, listening to a jazz band, and insisting to friends that I had indeed been a patient in a hospital that morning.

I have a new regimen of three pills—baby aspirin, the blood thinner Effient, and a generic version of the statin Lipitor—that I take daily. I’ve started running again and the biggest issue has been my balky left knee. In fact, I am about a minute-a-mile faster than I’ve been for the past two years.

I don’t know how long I suffered from a significant blockage, but clearly, it had impacted my physical performance. Yet I never noticed it, even though my cardiologist tells me I was days, or weeks—no more than a month or two—from a possibly devastating heart attack.

Now with a stent in place, and the artery clear, I feel like I’m turbo-charged. And pretty damn lucky.

RELATED: Sign the Petition for a Federal Office of Men's Health

The question, of course, is this: Shouldn’t I have seen this coming?

Medically, the answer is surprisingly equivocal.

How to treat folks like me remains controversial, according to Dr. Spencer Nadolsky, the medical editor of, and a practicing physician in Olney, Maryland.

"It really depends,” he says, "because someone with a low risk—a slightly elevated cholesterol level but not a family history, they’re clean, their blood pressure and blood sugar is all fine—they can have slightly higher lipid levels without as much of a risk as someone with those other risk factors. You may have to treat 100 people like that to avoid one heart attack over five years.”

But for someone with higher risk, you may be treating 50 or less people to prevent one heart attack in five years, explains Dr. Nadolsky. “It is one of those things we argue all the time. It’s primary prevention versus secondary prevention.”

Of course, what I’m doing now is secondary prevention. “You’ve already had a coronary issue and now you’re trying to prevent the second event, a heart attack,” says Dr. Nadolsky. “What we find is that statins may be more helpful in secondary prevention than in primary prevention.”

So there’s a medical argument that makes me look less like an idiot. Yes, I had a family history, but my blood panels over the years were borderline.

My cholesterol was right around the 200 mark, with not a lot of the good stuff (HdL). And my triglycerides were high, but not off the charts. Over the years, my doctor would look at the panel, then look up at me, then decide it all bore watchful waiting.

Here’s my recent blood panel, plugged into a popular risk calculator. I filled it out twice: once as I would have before this episode, and the second time knowing I have heart disease.

If I don’t know I have cardiac artery disease, my 10-year risk of heart attack is 6%. But it jumps to more than 20% when I include my current condition. That’s why you need to go to the doctor: to know. (Note that I acknowledged a family history in both examples.)

But here’s where I screwed up: I stopped watching. That’s because my longtime GP—the guy who said we should keep an eye on both my numbers and me—moved away, and for 6 years or so, I didn’t follow up with anyone new.

It’s the most obvious advice one could receive: Find a new GP. But I didn’t. I can say I was busy, that I was occupied by family and career and anything that could keep me from going to the doctor. That I felt fine.

But the truth is, as long as I was feeling good, I didn’t want anyone spoiling my party. So I didn’t look while I stepped in and out of that city street.

I’m not alone. In 2012, more than one-quarter of all guys avoided a checkup with a doctor.

Late this summer, with my 50th birthday just months away, I decided to find a doctor. I made an appointment with a general practitioner who impressed me with his care of my son.

I set up the appointment before I ever felt a twinge in my chest. In my blacker moments, after my chest tingled and before I got to the doctor’s office, I thought, Nice job, Kevin. You invoked this bastard.

Except I know I didn’t. My decision to move up my checkup may have saved my life.


If any of this story resonates with you, start at the beginning. If you don’t have a GP, get one. If you haven’t seen yours in a while, see her or him.

If you have a family history of heart disease, get a baseline EKG by 40, younger if you have other risks factors (obesity, hypertension, generally poor health habits).

Don’t avoid finding out the truth about your health. Because not knowing the truth is far more dangerous.

As I wrote before, I feel pretty damn lucky. Not lucky to have heart disease, of course, but lucky to know I have heart disease—because knowledge gives me choices, and a chance.

“Although having heart disease at a young age indicates a serious predisposition, proper lifestyle and medical management can largely control that risk and is compatible with a normal life span,” says Dr. P.K. Shah, of Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and a member of the Men’s Health advisory board.

Dr. Nadolsky adds: “People with conditions like yours live into their hundreds.”

Only it doesn’t happen by accident. You can’t be stepping in and out of that city street, oblivious to the danger. Something will run you down.

This scare has reinforced for me that my life is a gift. And I’m sharing my story with the intention that it helps me—and you—live a longer, healthier, more aware life.

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NEW STUDY: Men Eat 93% More Pizza When Dining with Women

Photograph by Thinkstock

Guys will go to great lengths to impress a woman—that’s no surprise. But here’s a courting tactic we were previously unfamiliar with: Men eat more when women are around, a new study from Cornell University finds.

Researchers stealthily observed people at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. The guys who were dining with women ate three slices on average—nearly twice what the guys who were eating with other men consumed.

It’s a form of showing off to the ladies, the researchers say. Like a peacock’s feathers or a mating dance.

Related: How to Pleasure a Woman—the Ultimate Guide to What She Wants in Bed!

Now, we hadn’t heard that a mouthful of pepperoni was the key to a woman’s heart. So we posed the question to our friends at Women’s Health.

Of the 1,500 readers who responded to our poll, 56 percent confirmed that, yes, stuffing your face with pizza is sexy. (For more reasons you may go overboard at meals, read The Common Reasons You Overeat to help you avoid the compulsion.)

Who knew?

The takeaway: If you're trying to watch your weight or don't want to overindulge, just be aware of this tendency. Skip the buffet on your next date, and hit up a pizza joint where you can order by the slice instead.

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Can't Get to the Gym Today? Try the Home Workout from Hell

Photograph by Michael Sneeden

Think it’s pointless to work out if you can’t make it to the gym?

Then you’ve never tried my Home Workout from Hell. (Note: It’s just as hellish in a hotel room.)

This devilish routine fuses two of my favorite rapid fat-loss training techniques: 5-minute death sets and deuces.

It’s the perfect solution for a snow day, during the holidays, or when you’re traveling. (So is The Get Back in Shape DVD—a combo of 30-minute muscle and cardio workouts that help you lose your spare tire.)

5-Minute Death Sets Protocol

The first technique is my 5-Minute Death Sets protocol, in which you do one exercise a minute for 5 minutes straight with no rest.

This protocol maximizes the density—the amount of work you do in a period of time—of your workout. And when you’re short on intensity (a.k.a. the weights you’d otherwise be lifting at the gym), you just bump up the density.

Since you’re cramming a ton of work in a short amount of time, you’ll create the most fabulous 5-minute fat burn you’ve ever experienced.

In my honest opinion, the hardest workouts of my life tend to be higher in density than intensity. I think you may agree after doing this routine.

Related: 10 Exercises That Burn More Calories Than Running

Deuces Protocol

Technique number two is my Deuces protocol, which will create the biggest fat-burning “dump” of your life (without the stench I might add).

You’ll seamlessly combine two different exercises into one mega-muscle movement. Combination exercises are unreal for increasing muscle activation and upping the minute-by-minute calorie burn.

Here are 3 of my favorite two-exercise fusions:

1. Combos: This one is simple. Do a rep of one exercise, and then immediately do a rep of another move that compliments it. (For example, the stepup—which works your glutes on the backside of your body—and the reverse lunge—which works your quads on the frontside.)

That’s 1 rep. Do a set number of reps or do as many reps as you can in a set period of time.

2. Flows: The choice is yours: You can either move between two exercises every 3 to 5 seconds, or you can move intuitively move between them (whenever you feel like it).

But you never stop moving for the length of the work period. This allows you to keep intensity higher on both moves, and thus increase the overall intensity of your workout.

Related: 5 Guys Who Wake Up at 4 a.m. to Work Out Tell You How They Do It

3. Complexes: Pick one exercise, and then do a certain number of reps or do the movement for a certain amount of time. When you’re done, follow the same protocol for the next movement.

The Home Workout from Hell

Combining these 5-Minute Death Sets and Deuces is as EPOCalyptic as it gets.

EPOC stands for “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” and it means the post-workout afterburn that happens from the oxygen debt created by intense exercise.

If you want to maximize your fat-burning potential, you need a workout like this one that burns calories both during your workout and long after it’s done.

Do this workout today and I promise you that you’ll never want to work out at home again. Ha! And the neighbors will know your name.

How to do it: Do each of the following exercises for a minute with little to no rest between moves.

Each exercise is a deuce, meaning you’ll combine 2 moves into one in a very specific way as outlined in the instructions below.

For the stepups, if you don’t have a bench or box, use a sturdy table, ottoman, chair, couch, or even the steps of a staircase. Find a way to get it done!

Watch the video above to see demonstrations of each of the exercises.

Minute 1: Squat to Skater Jump Complex
Do 6 reps of each exercise. That’s 1 round. Do as many rounds as possible.

Each jump counts as one rep for the skaters, so 3 jumps per side equals 6 total reps.

Minute 2: Pushup to Superman Hold Complex
Perform 15 seconds of each movement for two rounds.

Minute 3: Running Stepup to Reverse Lunge Combo (Left Side)
Perform as many reps as possible.

Minute 4: Running Stepup to Reverse Lunge Combo (Right Side)
Perform as many reps as possible.

Minute 5: Mountain Climber to Side Plank Flow
Flow back-and-forth between the two exercises, doing each one for 3 to 5 seconds before beginning the next one. Alternate which side you perform the plank every time you do the movement.

After completing all 5 minutes, either rest a minute or perform jumping jacks, mobility work, or foam rolling for a minute active recovery.

That’s 1 cycle. Do up to 5 total cycles for a 30-minute workout.

For more great home workouts like this, follow @metashred21 on Instagram! And stay tuned: You can check out Gaddour's new MetaShred DVD Program—which consists of 9 strength-building and fat-blasting routines—on January 4, 2016.

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Happy Couples Are Having This Much Sex. How Do You Stack Up?

Photograph by Thinkstock

You don’t have to get busy in the bedroom every night to keep a smile on your face—or hers. Couples who have sex more than once a week aren’t any happier that those who do the deed weekly, suggests new Canadian research.

In the study, people in relationships who had sex once a week reported greater overall happiness—and greater satisfaction with their partners—than those who had sex less often.

But those who had sex more often than that didn’t receive any additional boosts of wellbeing.

Once a week seems to be the average frequency among established couples, says study author Amy Muise, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto Mississauga. So it’s possible that people may feel happiest when they think they’re hitting that benchmark, she says.

“People may also feel this is enough to maintain their intimate connection with their partner,” says Muise.

Related: How to Pleasure a Woman—Make Every Time Her Best Yet with This Ultimate Sex Manual

Now, there isn’t much science behind this study, as the participants simply reported their satisfaction.

Bottom line: While you may want to have more sex, having it a few times a week isn't going to make you any happier with your life—or with your partner—than if you did it once a week.

So if your schedules make it hard to get busy more than once a week, you don't need to feel like you’re dooming your relationship.

“It’s not necessary, on average, for couples to aim to engage in sex as frequently as possible,” she says

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Aga Khan: We Can Achieve A More Cooperative World If We Understand Our Differences, Not Erase Them

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Aga Khan is no stranger to Harvard. But 60 years ago when he walked the crisscrossed paths of the university’s gated Yard between brick buildings as a young student, he wasn’t yet the spiritual leader of a religious community -- and the world was a much different place.

On Thursday when he returned to the university to give the Jodidi Lecture on “The Cosmopolitan Ethic in a Fragmented World,” he returned as the leader of approximately 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims.

He spoke of “endemic poverty,” of the poverty “manifested in … persistent refugee crises” and of the power of pluralism amid globalization. Differences between civilizations, he said, need not be reasons for discord if we take the time to understand and appreciate the value they offer.

The prominent Muslim leader traces his lineage back to the Prophet Muhammad, and during his junior year at the Ivy League university became the 49th hereditary imam of the subsect of Shias scattered across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America. He told a packed audience on Thursday that he rejects the age-old notion of a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West, instead arguing that many of the struggles humanity faces today stem more from “a clash of ignorances” and an inability to recognize that diversity can often be “an opportunity” rather than “a burden” for societies.

“It is perhaps in our nature to see life as a series of choices between sharply defined dualities -- but in fact, life is more often a matter of avoiding false dichotomies, which can lead to dangerous extremes,” the Aga Khan said. “The truth of the matter is that we can address the dysfunctions of fragmentation without obscuring the values of diversity. … The road to a more cooperative world does not require us to erase our differences, but to understand them.”

With Friday’s attacks in Paris and Thursday’s attacks in Beirut, along with many others in recent months, the message of solidarity over polarity is a relevant one -- and it is one that this Muslim leader embraces in his work as a spiritual leader and a philanthropist. While extremists who belong to groups like the Islamic State seek to eliminate difference, the Aga Khan seeks to celebrate difference by engaging with it. While ISIS destroys art and architecture in historic places like Palmyra, the Aga Khan rebuilds and restores them. While ISIS seeks out disenchanted youth to recruit, the Aga Khan seeks out youth to educate.

But the Aga Khan is not a political leader. In fact, he is not political at all -- he does not make overt statements or comment on state actions. But what he does is offer a nuanced voice and presence to a world in which the ethics and values of Islam are constantly put to the test.

He is a practitioner of what Ali Asani calls “silent Islam,” “the work that people do that’s driven by faith” rather than the power-driven “loud Islam,” in which people “are using Islam to justify hegemonic goals.”

“Oftentimes I get asked where are the moderate Muslims and why aren’t they speaking out. Well here is a Muslim -- listen to him,” Asani, an Ismaili Muslim and director of the Islamic studies program at Harvard responsible for organizing the event, told The WorldPost.

“There are some people who write novels,” Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core and also an Ismaili Muslim, told the WorldPost. “There are other people who make political pronouncements, and there are some people who over the course of a half century build sustainable institutions -- and sustainable institutions that advance new ideas and new ethics and build patterns of activities to those ideas and ethics. And I believe he’s in that third category.”

The Aga Khan has built the expansive Aga Khan Development Network and has advanced appreciation for Islamic art and architecture. He’s also inspired scholars like Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, who makes a point to highlight pluralism in parts of the world, like Andalusia, where Muslims have co-existed with other faiths and cultures. 

“In a world where two dominant ideas appear to be clashing at different levels and in different ways -- the clash of civilizations and the dialogue of civilizations -- the Aga Khan is a key player on the international stage for team dialogue,” Ahmed told The WorldPost. “His courageous and consistent projection of Islam as an intelligent, sophisticated and compassionate religion has allowed him to create a strong counter narrative to much of the nonsense that is propagated against Islam.”

It is this “nonsense” that makes it important, perhaps now more than ever, to pay attention to the guidance of those such as the Aga Khan, Asani said. That “religious illiteracy” helps create an “exclusivist mentality,” he said, and we’re seeing that across the globe when people lack the tools -- the education -- to deal with difference.

In France, far-right politician Marine Le Pen has railed against immigrants; in Germany, the PEGIDA movement has held rallies against Islam; in the U.S., presidential contender Ben Carson has said the country shouldn't elect a Muslim as president; and in Europe, some countries are hesitant to accept Muslim refugees. Given this climate, it is little wonder why Asani finds the growing anti-immigrant and anti-Islam sentiments concerning.

“This exclusivist mentality is creating such terror,” Asani said. “The geopolitical situation in the world has become worse, and you’re seeing not only what’s happening in the Middle East but also all these refugees surging to Europe. And it’s creating panic in European societies."

The Aga Khan, too, noted some of the same trends in his speech and acknowledged that grappling with these developments is not an easy task.

“Whether we are looking at a more fragile European Union, a more polarized United States, a more fervid Sunni-Shia conflict, intensified tribal rivalries in much of Africa and Asia, or other splintering threats in every corner of the planet, the word ‘fragmentation’ seems to define our times,” he said. “We have more communication, but we also have more confrontation.”

This problem makes the challenge of pluralism perhaps more daunting, the Aga Khan said because, “even for the most ‘tolerant’ among us, difference, more and more, can be up close and ‘in your face.’”

Truly understanding these differences is crucial today and not only “for Muslim communities adapting to societies but also within the Muslim world,” where sectarian conflict can be exacerbated if these issues are not addressed properly, John Esposito, author of Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, told The WorldPost.

This challenge of pluralism is of particular relevance to the Ismaili community, which has been persecuted during various chapters of its long history. In some areas of the world, practicing members continue to be the target of violence -- some sectarian, by those who consider the Ismaili version of Islam to be inauthentic -- including recently in Pakistan and Syria.

As he stood at the podium at Memorial Church looking over the pews of people gathered on the rainy afternoon to hear his message, the Aga Khan reminded them that despite the existence of different interpretations that run counter to pluralism, his religion has a history of cultural understanding.

“My hope is that the voices of Islam itself will continue to remind the world of a tradition that, over so many centuries, has so often advanced pluralistic outlooks and built some of the most remarkable societies in human history.”

For Patel, who devotes his own time to interfaith work, the words of the Aga Khan resonated strongly.

“What he is saying is the question of how human beings with different identities live together in the same societies is a defining question of the human race -- and it’s been with us from the beginning  -- and [he’s] going to spend 50 or 60 years advancing an ethic when it comes to that question,” Patel told The WorldPost. “And there are very few people in the world who focus on something for 50 or 60 years.”

Watch the full speech below:

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Man In Brazil May Have Contracted Ebola After Recent Guinea Trip

Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Costa said on Wednesday (November 11) that a 46-year-old man coming from Guinea is being tested for Ebola after officials shut down a public health unit where he first got medical attention.

The man, whose name officials declined to provide, arrived in Brazil on November 6 and developed high fever with muscle pains and headaches two days later, the minister read in a statement.

In a news conference in Brasilia, Costa said the patient sought medical help at an emergency room in the Minas Gerais state capital, Belo Horizonte, and that the unit was thereafter closed preventively.

"The patient said he arrived on November 6 from Guinea, an African country where the Ebola epidemic started and where cases are still ongoing. According to the patient, the first symptoms began last Sunday, November 8, and with a rising fever, he sought medical care at a health clinic," he said.

Costa said the man was quarantined and will be flown later in the afternoon in a military plane to Rio de Janeiro, where the government has set up a lab at the Fiocruz institute to test blood samples for Ebola according to international security protocols.

He added that a second round of tests would be run in case the first samples tested negative.

"Upon his arrival at the institute, they will collect blood samples to run tests, which will be sent to a lab in Fiocruz for analysis. The first results should come out in 24 hours. In case it turns out to be negative, 48 hours after the first blood tests, a new test will be run to double check the results, and once again the results will be available in 24 hours. Until then, the patient will remain quarantined and will receive all medical assistance at the Evandro Chagas institute in Fiocruz," he said.

Guinea is one of three impoverished West African countries, along with Liberia and Sierra Leone, that have suffered with the most deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus in recent years.

Medical workers and other patients who had contact with the man are being monitored by health officials, according to the ministry.

Castro said Brazil immediately informed international health authorities of the suspected case.

Also on HuffPost: 

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Dare to Be 100: LSD and Health

Not that LSD, not the dangerous hallucinogen in vogue not long ago. The LSD that I refer to are labor saving devices. A recent article in the Journal Diabetes Care by George Bray brought this issue to the fore again (1) His article was entitled "Diabetes and Obesity, Time Bombs to be Defused." One of the most alarming contemporary public health issues is a worldwide epidemic of obesity and its subsequent cousin, diabetes. The world is getting fat . Globesity is the National Geographic's term. Is this due to too much food or too little movement? that is the issue to be confronted.

This topic has been a focus of my attention for a long time. Just how active were we as a species in the past, how active are we now, and how active will we be? We have a very sparse data base in answering these important questions. My anthropological readings taught me that our ancient old, old ancestors Homo erectus and their like were very physically active. They were constantly running after or away from something. There was no obesity in our hunter gatherer era. Then maybe 10,000 years ago the world changed, and the Agricultural Revolution came in, and so we grew our food instead of chased it or were chased for it. This resulted in a marked diminution of physical activity. Also in this era we found the wheel and electricity which conspired to make us even less physically active.

There was almost no obesity when I was in medical school in the 1950s. Now it is one of the most common diseases in our clinics and hospitals. The reason behind the diabetes is obesity.

An important article in the British Medical Journal in 1995 asked "Obesity, gluttony or sloth?" this was in reference to the doubling of obesity in Great Britain in just a 10 year period. More recently a colleague of mine at Stanford Yuri Ladabaum wrote an article in the American Journal of Medicine echoing the British conclusion that inactivity was a greater contributor to our obesity. He found over just a twenty year time span that the prevalence of inactivity in America rose from maybe 10% to 50% of men and women. Small wonder then that diabetes skyrocketed.
Yet it was in this current issue of Diabetes Care that I found a more contemporary judgment in which a new measurement called "the modernization index." was mentioned. This now becomes at least some metric of how inactive we have become. It uses the ownership of refrigerators, telephones, television, cars, dishwashers, cell phones, DVD players, mixers, furnaces, fans, electricity, internet, solar panels, and radio as the index of modernity. The investigators make an inventory of these elements, and put it up against the incidence of obesity and diabetes. They find a very direct correlation between how modernized we have become in terms of technical dependence and the incidence of diabetes. (1)

So although we cannot finally say that the reason for our epidemic is due to our sedentary life style, the evidence is nearly indisputable. We need to move more.

I am now 85 years old and still running, so I'm convinced . I'm trying to convince readers of this blog and friends to avoid the couch and move as much as possible.

Reference: Bray, G. Diabetes and Obesity--Time Bombs to be Defused 2015 Diabetes Care 38: 1997-1999.

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How To Sell Your Art As An Introvert

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Artists often need to inhabit a dual personality in order to succeed. They need to be comfortable spending time in an inner, introspective space, but they also need to be willing to go out in the world and promote their art. I was really curious about how artists manage these often antithetical roles and the different skills that come with them. How can the introvert—to put it crassly—become more comfortable being the salesman without feeling inauthentic? I talked to artist Michael De Feo to get his perspective and advice.

I first met Michael at the end of January 2015. It was one of those winter days that was neither cold enough for snow nor warm enough for rain. The sky was a dishwater grey. I was wet and cold and over it. And then I walked into Michael’s studio, and the day instantly changed. It was like spring had arrived early, and there was real beauty in the world even if I couldn’t see it outside.

For those who aren’t familiar with Michael’s work, he’s best known for his iconic flower image and his bright, blooming colors. The flower is such a versatile symbol. We use it in our culture to express almost every emotion at almost every occasion. Some of Michael’s work is inherently cheerful, but other pieces have a more poignant, contemplative quality. For Michael as an artist, it’s important to have an image or an idea to focus on. “I find when you have something you can focus on and repeat, it helps you grow because you keep making variations on the same theme.”

One thing that is clear when looking at Michael’s work is that he’s making art for himself first. “Some artists, they think about their audience and even what might sell, which is such a bad thing to do. You might as well go into advertising…I honestly believe that if I focus on making what I love to make, other people will see that too.” He believes that one of the most destructive things an artist can do is worry about people’s reactions to their work when they’re making it. “Being true to yourself and being true to your heart and not letting any of the other bullshit get in the way. We live in a time where we have so many distractions and so many things begging for our attention, which can unfortunately steer your work one way or another.” In his work, Michael will give himself a problem to solve and then see where it goes. “I sometimes start by creating a problem that has to be solved. I make myself uncomfortable and have to find my way out via my own path in paint.”

Over 20 years ago, Michael started his career as a street artist. One of the uniquely wonderful things about street art is that the work evolves as the city changes. There’s a cycle of life with street art: it’s created and gradually, over time, destroyed, which so beautifully mirrors the lifespan of the flower. “In fact,” he tells me, “the most important part for me [is] that the work disappears.”

For Michael, there’s a difference between making art for the street and making art for a gallery. Many street artists enjoy a degree of anonymity that artists can’t get in a gallery space. Street artists can create and share their work with the public without necessarily having their name attached to it. “What’s hard is that I’m pretty private. When I do art in the street, I get to put up my work and run away. When you have a show, the feeling is exhilarating, but it’s also nerve-racking.”

But the more exposure Michael got, the more comfortable he became with the art scene. “Years ago, at the very beginning of my career, I became more comfortable showing and selling my work by doing it as often as possible. The more frequently I exposed and discussed my art with others, the more confident I became. I’ve always been proud of my work, and that made it easier.”

Michael has always wanted to share his work with a wide audience. “I’ve found that I’m constantly forced to learn new skills and get into experiences that take me out of my comfort zone.” He believes that in order for artists to feel comfortable sharing their work with others, they first need to learn to trust themselves and have faith in their own work.

If this is true—and I really do think it is—it means that the strength to share your work has to come from an inner source rather than something external. Which means that anyone can have the courage to put their work out there once they have faith in themselves and in their work. And once one’s trust is built and fortified, it means that rejection, though painful, shouldn’t cause that trust to crumble.

That doesn’t mean making art gets easier. “I’ll always be struggling—it will always be a challenge,” says Michael. “It’s not an easy thing to make art, especially art that I’m happy with. More times than not, I’m totally dissatisfied with what I make, which I think is a good thing because if I was always pleased, that would be a terrible position to be in. I wouldn’t grow as an artist.”

To learn more about Michael and his work, check out his website and follow him on Instagram.

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Why I Set Myself a Mindfulness Schedule

After going through an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) last year when I was pregnant I have struggled of late to integrate formal mindfulness practice into my routine. I can come up with all sorts of excuses of being a new mum, iron wife, pursing multiple projects etc., BUT instead I will take ownership for its demise. I haven't made it a priority and started to feel the tired, less attentive effects like when I don't find time for physical activity.

So being an action oriented, thoughts into action kind of gal I thought what am I going to do about it? On a recent walk I created space for this insight to emerge, I'm going to set myself a mindfulness schedule like I have for physical activity when training for a triathlon race.

Why? Having the accountability of a training program helps keep me motivated and focused. I also like keeping things varied with different lengths of activity, indoor/outdoor settings etc. Here's an example of a week's program I have pulled together to start with. To me, this to be looks achievable whilst being mum, ironwife, managing some mumpreneur projects and wanting to build up my physical training again:

Monday - 15 minute mountain pose (to start the week strongly)
Tuesday - 60 minutes of Yoga (mindful movement)
Wednesday - 15 minute body scan
Thursday - 30 standing movement practice
Friday - Rest day
Saturday - 60 minute sense and savour walk
Sunday - 30 minute body scan

*Mindfulness practices taken from the MBSR Openground training material

Throughout a weekly schedule, daily informal mindful moments like incidental exercise definitely will help too. For people who participate in events like a day of mindfulness or even the 10 day Vipassana you could design a program to build towards the event.

I hear a lot of people struggle after going through a mindfulness program like MBSR. From anecdotes, I think a lot of that is to do with the course structure and accountability having gone. So, why not try and set yourself a weekly schedule mixing up the different activities to keep it varied and even do some sessions with a buddy/small group?

Think about it, a lot of us have training programs for our bodies but what about our brains?

This may seem foreign for people who haven't trained in mindfulness practice. If you're curious or even skeptical and don't know where to start, a couple of suggestions:

Meditation for Skeptics App: Dan Harris, a correspondent for ABC News in the US has recently released an app '10% Happier: Meditation for Skeptics' which is a great entry for beginners (and skeptics, which he was one of!). This includes a two week introductory program. I was privileged to hear Dan speak at Wisdom 2.0 Business in New York last year. He likens what's happening now with the explosion of mindfulness (one of the most googled words of 2014) to the exercise revolution of the 60's and 70's. I believe in 5-10 years from now having a mindfulness training program as well as a physical training program will be commonplace in the western world. Funny it's taken so long for us to catch up with something that has been around for thousands of years with its Buddhist roots

Mindfulness Summit: Another exciting initiative is the free mindfulness summit, a not for profit event for the 31 days of October. Join me in registering to learn from over 30 of the world's leading experts on meditation and mindfulness including the legendary Jon-Kabat Zinn. I think the planned series of online interviews, practice sessions and presentations pioneered by Melli O'Brien of is a fantastic example of innovation and collective wisdom in action. To me this summit is a testament to the nature of mindfulness practice, people are willing to share and help others rather than hold on to and control material.

Through experience I believe a healthy mind, body connection is the ultimate step towards happiness. To finish I'll leave you with a thought: If you're physically very fit, are you consistently mentally in a good place to be present, accepting and non-judgemental to enjoy the benefits of a fit body? If not what will you do about it?

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I'm Scared of Gaining Too Much Pregnancy Weight

Reader More Common Than Women Admit writes:

I'm 28 weeks pregnant and I have become consumed with the idea that I'm gaining too much weight. I think about how much I'm eating all the time, even though I'm on track for the right amount to gain.  To be honest, I have always thought a lot about my weight, and worried about getting fat, but this is a new level of obsession. I feel bad, like I am hurting my unborn baby by stressing out so much.  Sometimes I try to cut calories all day and then I'm starving at night so I binge on ice cream.  My husband thinks my behavior is strange but he would never believe it if he knew how often I think about food, weight, and mentally calculate the calories in what I eat. Am I truly crazy?


No, you're not crazy, but you do show signs of disordered eating. It's not just you, though.

Many women become obsessed with their weight, not only during pregnancy, but throughout their lives. Pregnancy is particularly difficult because there is no way to really diet, since you know doing so would harm the baby, and your body is changing rapidly, dramatically, and, many feel, pretty unattractively.  But honestly, women often feel like crap about their bodies a great percentage of the time, and engage in semi-disordered eating constantly.  What do I mean by semi-disordered? Well, here are the DSM criteria for anorexia:

Refusal to maintain a body weight that is at or above the minimum normal weight for your age and height
Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though you're underweight
Denying the seriousness of having a low body weight, or having a distorted image of your appearance or shape
In women who've started having periods, the absence of a period for at least three consecutive menstrual cycles

You're saying, well, I'm a normal weight, I've obviously not anorexic. But if you leave out the criteria that have to do with weight and only focus on the ones that have to do with how you THINK about eating and your body image, do you fit the profile? You exhibit intense fear of gaining weight and I'm betting you have a disordered image of your shape (e.g., you think you look fatter than you do). The book Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One's) Relationship with Food a Problem? (The Almost Effect) talks about this issue in detail.  There are so many women (and, increasingly, men) who constantly count calories, feel bad about their bodies on a daily basis, have outsized fears of certain foods (e.g., pizza, ice cream), and who use the number on the scale as an indicator of whether they should feel okay about themselves that day or not. Just because you aren't below a certain weight, vomit up your food, or binge eat, it does not mean you don't have disordered eating.

Was your mother also very focused on being thin or not eating "bad" or high calorie foods? Often poor body image and eating issues are passed from generation to generation. Therefore, sadly, your  poor self-image in regards to your weight may be transmitted to your child, when he/she grows up and is old enough to realize that mommy is always worried about what she eats, or your child notices you looking in the mirror and frowning.  Even if you don't openly call yourself fat or talk about dieting, your child will pick up on the fact that you feel bad about yourself and that it has to do with eating.

However, the good news is that the cycle can end with you. If you focus on self-acceptance and focus on what your body can do (give birth, nurse, exercise, have sex, and so forth) rather than its measurements, this can be a start to changing your almost-eating disorder. A skilled therapist may be able to help you with this, because it is certainly not easy to change how you view your body and food. Read this guest post here about how the book Intuitive Eating changed someone's relationship with food for the better.

Good luck with this, and with your pregnancy.  Till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Tried to Eat 1000 Calories a Day For Three Months Before Prom And Didn't Think That Was A Problem At The Time.

This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family.

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