• 8 Things to Do Before You Start a Weight Loss Program8 Things to Do Before You Start a Weight Loss ProgramLike most things in life, before you start a weight loss program you need to prepare. I know there are a lot of you out there who probably had "lose weight" as one of your New Year's resolutions, whether you wrote it down or just said it to yourself in your head doesn't matter, it was still something you wanted to do. But more than half of you have either not gotten out of the starting gate yet or did, but didn't make it past the first lap. Don't worry, you aren't alone. Losing weight has been one of my resolutions for years now. I have made some headway but have always fallen off of the horse for one reason or another … or three if you count my children. (Yes, of course I blame them. It's incredibly convenient, if not 100 percent true.)

    Honestly, I wasn't even going to try again this year I was so burnt out, but then a friend hooked me up with a national weight loss program to try for free. How could I say no right? Well, I didn't. I started without much fanfare. I lost a few

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  • Photo: #itouchmyselfproject
    The hit song “I Touch Myself” spread a message of female sexual empowerment around the world back when it topped the charts in the early '90s, but today the tune is telling women to be in touch with their bodies for a ery different reason.  

    In a tribute to Chrissy Amphlett, frontwoman for the Australian rock band the Divinyls who passed away last year, 10 female recording artists remixed the band's original hit for a breast cancer awareness campaign.

    The music video is performed by artists Sarah McLeod, Connie Mitchell, and breast cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John, to name a few. The original hit, which reached No. 1 on Australian charts and reached the top 5 in the U.S., is stripped down and sung mostly a capella. Commissioned by Cancer Council NSW, the organization is also hoping to spread the self-exam message worldwide with the social media initiative #itouchmyselfproject.

    Advocating for self-exams was a particularly important issue for the singer because of her personal

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  • Your future self will thank you
    By Annie Daly, Women's Health

    Of course your twenties are a time to live it up, explore your options and do what you're crazy about. But they're also a time to get into the habit of, well, practicing healthy fitness habits--because doing so will ensure that you're healthier later on, according to a new German study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

    For the study, researchers tracked over 500 adults for over 18 years, and found that people who were healthiest in their young adult years were also healthiest over time. So we reached out to some fitness experts to find out their best tips for what 20-somethings should pay attention to. Your mission? Start doing all of these things--right now. Your future self will thank you!

    The experts we spoke with: Greg Justice, an exercise physiologist and author of Mind Your Own Fitness; Ellen Breeding, an exercise physiologist at AYC Fitness in Kansas City; Irene

    Read More »from 15 Fitness Habits You Need to Establish in Your 20s
  • Forget sit-ups, and don't bother with marathon runs. Simple stretches can help you prevent pain.Forget sit-ups, and don't bother with marathon runs. Simple stretches can help you prevent pain.

    By Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, Everyday Health

    Back pain is the most commonly reported type of pain - more than a quarter of all U.S. adults experience back pain at some point, according to a National Institutes of Health survey.

    While you might not be able to completely avoid back pain, you can control its intensity and its duration. The way to do that is to build a strong core, said Patrick Roth, MD, the chairman of neurosurgery at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Stretching is an integral part of building that strength.

    RELATED: 7 Bad Habits That Cause Back Pain

    "[These stretches] are the simplest thing you can do that takes almost no time," said Dr. Roth, who recently wrote a book, "The End of Back Pain," on this topic. "It'll help reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of back pain, and you can do this while you're watching TV."

    So forget sit-ups, and don't bother with marathon runs. If done correctly, Roth's three stretches will

    Read More »from Couch Potato Alert: 3 Back Stretches to Do in Front of Your TV
  • By Maggie Puniewska, Refinery29

    .So, unless you've been living under a rock, you've definitely heard of oil pulling - the time-honored trend that's taken the Internet by storm. It claims to aid digestion, up your oral health, and clear your skin. But, where, exactly, does oil pulling come from? It's part of an ancient practice, Ayurveda, that extends far beyond a coconut oil swish; we're talking about thousands of years of wellness tradition. Unsurprisingly, quite a few of our other favorite health crazes have their roots in Ayurveda, too - from yoga to neti pots to massage.

    RELATED: The Dirty Truth About Calories

    The practice places a strong emphasis on overall lifestyle, explains Kulreet Chaudhary, MD, director of Neurology at Scripps Memorial Hospital in California. Ayurveda takes into account your daily Starbucks habit, those tiffs with your boss, and those times you skipped SoulCycle in favor of happy hour. The concepts behind Ayurveda can sound a bit new-agey, but make no

    Read More »from Beyond Oil Pulling: 5 Ancient Secrets that WORK
  • ..For last July's special issue on the Boston Marathon bombings, we interviewed dozens of people swept up by the events of April 15, 2013. A year later, most of them are healing, reflecting, and (yes) running Boston again. Read on for the inspirational stories that we're sharing on the first anniversary of the tragedy.

    Interviews by John Brant, Charles Butler, Caleb Daniloff, Scott Douglas, Christine Fennessy, Caitlin Giddings, Megan Hetzel, Jon Marcus, Katie Neitz, Clara Silverstein, and Nick Weldon

    PHOTOS: Dear World, Boston Marathon

    Ellen Hunger Gans
    30, writer, Edina, Minn. Was stopped near mile 25. Will return to run this year (guaranteed entry as a nonfinisher).

    "I was 12 weeks pregnant at the marathon last year [with her first child]. In fact, when I was in Boston, I didn't know I was going to have a son, and now that I have one, it's impossible not to think of that little boy, Martin Richard. I have a new perspective of his parents' loss, not that I can begin to

    Read More »from Boston Strong Stories, One Year Later
  • Protesters in London's subway system. (Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)In London, women are going underground to protest the Facebook group, Women Who Eat On Tubes.  The page, which features photos of women eating and drinking while riding London's subway system, has been slammed as a body-shaming platform for bullies, and a place where women's photos can be posted without their permission, violating Facebook's terms and conditions. To protest, women have taken to the Tube (London's subway system) carrying their lunches, to show they're not ashamed to eat in transit. 

    Although Facebook originally shut down Women Who Eat On Tubes over privacy violations, they later compromised and agreed to make the group private — with 23,000 members. Now, anyone whose photo is posted on the group without their permission will have to join the group in order to see it and lodge an official complaint.

    The group's founder, a British filmmaker named Tony Burke, insists that the page is "art" and claims that it led to many "tributaries," or spinoff conversations. However,

    Read More »from Facebook's Subway Body-Shaming Group Sparks Controversy
  • Getty ImagesThe View” co-host Jenny McCarthy is under attack again — not for her infamous anti-vaccination stance, but her apparent lack thereof. In a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed titled “The Gray Area on Vaccines” published Saturday, the 41-year-old television personality claimed she is not “anti-vaccine,” despite practically becoming the celebrity face of the cause. 

    More on Yahoo Shine:  Celebrities and the Vaccinaction Debate

    “I am not ‘anti-vaccine,’ writes McCarthy. “This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted. For years, I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, 'pro-vaccine' and for years I have been wrongly branded as ‘anti-vaccine.’ What happened to critical thinking? What happened to asking questions because every child is different? I believe in the importance of a vaccine program and I believe parents have the right to choose one poke per visit. I’ve never told anyone to not vaccinate.”

    More on Yahoo: Jenny McCarthy Faces Twitter Backlash For

    Read More »from Jenny McCarthy Clarifies Vaccine Stance. Too Little, Too Late?
  • Refinery29By CeCe Olisa, Refinery29

    On her blog, Plus Size Princess, CeCe Olisa has detailed everything from what it's like to be the only big black girl in a yoga class (fine, thanks!), to her adventures in plus-size dating in the Big Apple. Now, the New York City transplant is lending her poignant, often-hilarious voice to R29.

    As I turned the corner to get my morning coffee, my peppy coworker was already smiling in my direction. "I always know when you're coming down the hall, I can hear your feet dragging!"

    Although it was embarrassing to be accused of dragging my feet by a girl who wears stilettos every day, it was more embarrassing to explain to her that the noise she heard was not my feet dragging.

    RELATED: Why Is There Such A Debate About Plus-Size Mannequins?

    "That's the noise my jeans make when my thighs rub together," I replied, a little too loudly because one of the executives looked up at me through his office door.

    "Oh…," she said, confused and slightly

    Read More »from Yep, My Thighs Touch — but I Still Wear Shorts
  • Just when you couldn't take one more day without your fix of office smoking, sky-high hems, and Don Draper's amazing apartment (with the sunken living room), "Mad Men" returned Sunday night to kick off its final, booze-and-adultery-fueled season. Here's what we loved most from the new ep ...

    Mad Men/AMC

    Megan is happy living amongst wild animals (literally).

    When Don enters wife Megan's new L.A. home in the hills, there isn't a hint of Hollywood glamour, only a kinda' creepy cabin. As the two gaze out at the twinkling lights amid howls from coyotes in the distance, Don asks what we were thinking, "Are you sure don't want to move into a more populated area? It's like Dracula's castle up here."

     

    Mad Men/AMC

    A clogged toilet may have just pushed Peggy over the edge.

    Her new boss has let her know he's not all that impressed with her, her married ex-boyfriend just showed back up at the office, and Peggy is quite possibly facing a not-so-midlife crisis. Oh, and her side gig as a landlord doesn't seem to be

    Read More »from Our 5 Favorite Random Things From the 'Mad Men' Premiere

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