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Aug 2

Is there a responsible way to make a movie about eating disorders? – The Week Magazine

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As a rule, we love watching actors push themselves to dangerous extremes for their craft. Dramatic physical ordeals become the stuff of Hollywood lore: Leonardo DiCaprio sleeping inside an animal carcass to prepare for The Revenant, Robert DeNiro gaining 60 pounds for Raging Bull, Daniel Day Lewis damaging two ribs after spending the entire shoot of My Left Foot in a wheelchair. (Female bodily transformations like any time an actress appears to undergo plastic surgery tend to be more fraught.) Yet To the Bone, Netflix's recent film about a young woman, played by Lily Collins, battling life-threatening anorexia, has sparked a different kind of public conversation about performers and commitment. This time, the question is where Method acting and and psychological self-harm intersect, and at what point one actor's discipline becomes a public-health issue.

In the film, directed by Marti Noxon, Collins plays Ellen, a severely anorexic teenager who is sent for treatment at an inpatient clinic run by an unorthodox therapist (Keanu Reeves). Both Noxon and Collins grappled with serious eating disorders when they were younger the film is loosely based on Noxon's own experiences and for both, the film was born of a very personal desire to elevate the artistic treatment of an issue typically been relegated to Lifetime movies or after-school specials. Collins was offered the role just as she was opening up about her eating disorder for the first time in her 2017 self-help book slash memoir, Unfiltered. As she told The Independent, "It was like the world in a kismet situation saying 'this is something that maybe you need to expand upon, something you can maybe bring to more people start a larger conversation.'"

Like 13 Reasons Why, Netflix's last take on a serious mental-health Issue, the film has quickly become mired in controversy over its shortcomings as an educational tool. And many of the criticisms in addition to critiques of its focus on suffering over recovery, and of its focus on a thin, white, conventionally beautiful protagonist have centered on Collins' decision to lose weight for the role under the supervision of a nutritionist. In the view of eating-disorder specialist Jennifer Rollin, who wrote a critical op-ed about the film for HuffPost, the notion that someone recovering from an eating disorder can safely lose weight is "one the most concerning" things about the film.

"Lily Collins saying she lost weight in a 'healthy way' with the help of a nutritionist for the role is like someone with alcoholism saying they drank responsibly for a role," Rollin told me.

Noxon has said that she did not ask Collins to lose weight, and that it was a choice she took on with careful consideration. "Both Lily and I in deciding to make the movie had to evaluate, well, where are we in our recovery? Are we in a good place to make this? And we both felt really strongly that it was something we wanted to do and that would be good for us," Noxon told the Los Angeles Times. In her memoir, Collins calls making the film "the best form of creative rehab," saying that it helped her to face aspects of her disorder that she had failed to fully reckon with, and that she fully recovered from the weight loss she endured for the film.

But for some of the experts I spoke to, Collins' decision was more than an arguably reckless personal choice; it poses a genuine threat for the sort of vulnerable viewers who have already begun sharing photos of her character on "thinspiration" web pages. "We know for somebody with the underlying genetics for anorexia that weight loss, regardless of intention, can trigger their brain to start to get activated. It has put her recovery at risk and it's sent a really dangerous message to other people in recovery," Rollin said.

"If people think, Oh, well, Lily Collins did and it didn't harm her, maybe I can, it becomes a salient example in peoples' minds," adds eating-disorder specialist Lauren Muhlheim. "Hollywood celebrities carry a lot of weight because people will remember that versus a clinician who 10 years in the past told them 'you're at risk if you diet in the future.'" (Muhlheim advises anyone dealing with an eating disorder to contact the National Eating Disorder Helpline. She also recommends a video the cast made called 9 Truths About Eating Disorders, which helps debunk a number of myths and misconceptions that the film doesn't tackle.)

Still, others in the ED community have given the filmmakers their support, arguing that To the Bone stands to do more good than harm by simply existing in the world. Kristina Saffran, co-founder of eating-disorder support charity Project Heal (which has partnered with the filmmakers to help "guide them on how to have this conversation in a responsible way") says it would probably have been impossible to make a realistic movie that wasn't triggering to people with eating disorders, because "when you're dealing with an eating disorder, literally everything is triggering." While Project Heal has said they do not support Collins's weight loss and their involvement with the film took place after the fact Saffran suggests we should "take [Collins'] word" that she is in a better place after the shoot and that it was actually therapeutic for her to go through this process.

Even if Collins hadn't lost weight for the part (and some of the film's more harrowing visuals were the result of prosthetics), eating-disorder therapist Carolyn Costin who moderated a panel on the film alongside Collins and Noxon, in partnership with Project Heal thinks that critics would have found fault with the film's method no matter what. "I think you have to take the basic understanding that you can't have a film about a troubling topic without troubling some people," says Costin. In her view, the absence of realistic representations of eating disorders onscreen means that any attempt to do so faces a disproportionate amount of scrutiny.

"I've been racking my brain, what would be the alternative?" Costin asks. "If you're going to make a realistic movie, I don't have an alternative. if you took an actress who wanted to portray someone with anorexia and they tried to lose weight, you could risk that person getting an eating disorder. And if you took someone to play Marti's character and you kept them at a normal weight, I think you'd be accused of glamorizing the eating disorder because nobody would see anything bad."

Some of this comes down to the different schools of thought on whether you can ever be fully recovered from an eating disorder, which Costin believes is possible. "[Where] the philosophy [that recovery is lifelong] comes from is more like a chemical dependency where people would say 'you can never have a drink because your chemistry is different,' and that's not been proven in eating disorders," she says. "People do this all the time, lose weight, gain weight, smoke, put themselves in compromising positions, yet there's something about the eating-disorder field where people get very upset about it," she says. (In an op-ed, Costin said she too was "was concerned and unsettled upon hearing the leading actress had suffered from anorexia in the past yet lost weight to play the part." Still, she adds, "the important thing" is that Lily has recovered and did not relapse.)

Lost amid all the consternation over eating-disorder pathology and triggering imagery is the question of what it means for an actress like Lily Collins or a filmmaker like Marti Noxon to revisit her own traumas onscreen. Plenty of art has been born out of individual suffering, and it's clear from Collins' memoir that she sees being an advocate and an actress as two sides of the same coin. Her weight loss was, in its way, an attempt to access some sort of autobiographical truth even if doing so threatened to put her back in the path of the same dangers she sought to communicate.

"My experience helped me be able to tell Ellen's story in a true and genuine way, which benefited not only the character but also myself," Collins told The Cut via email. "If I didn't feel I was ready to take on this role, I wouldn't have. But I knew in my gut it was for a greater purpose than just my own healing." She continued:

"In preparing for the role I wanted to pay tribute to the suffering 16-year-old girl I once was and portray a young woman in her situation as best I could, tapping into the mind-set but also keeping a fine distance for the woman I've since become. I chose to help tell this story, one woman's story in search of recovery. Every single person's journey is different. As was mine."

In her book, she writes about how taking the role was by no means an easy choice, about the fear that she wouldn't be able to separate herself from the role or resist old triggers, as well as her struggles post-shoot, filming Okja in South Korea, where isolation from friends and family and a lack of familiarity with the food presented potential triggers for relapse. And she writes about how, ultimately, she took the part along with all the risks it entailed because she felt it was a creative and ethical obligation to bring her story to a wider audience.

"I remember driving home the night we wrapped filming on To the Bone and passing my high school where many of my insecurities, relationship problems, and eating issues had begun," she writes. "I looked out the window and smiled. Little did I know that the troubled Lily back then was going through it all for a greater purpose. To one day share her story as part of a much larger one. To have her voice join the voices of so many other young women. It's a weight off my shoulders, a self-inflicted burden relinquished."

Get more smart coverage of everything from politics to relationships at The Cut, or follow The Cut on Facebook.

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Is there a responsible way to make a movie about eating disorders? - The Week Magazine


Aug 2

Senior sun safety requires extra vigilance – The Daily Courier

Senior citizens have a lower tolerance for heat, so they should take more care to avoid heat-related illnesses. (Metro Creative Graphics Inc.)

As a child, you may have spent numerous hours outdoors during the summer. Now that youre an adult, you may find the summer months to be far less enjoyable because of the heat. This is normal, according to Monica Durocher, RN, CRRN at Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital.

As you age, the bodys mechanisms that help regulate internal temperature become less efficient Durocher explains. This means that you lose some of your ability to adapt to heat, leaving you with a lower tolerance and making you more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

Durocher says that this is caused by a few different reasons one being that an adult older than 65 doesnt sweat as much as a younger individual. Sweating helps to cool the body. Also, an older adult may be more likely to have a chronic condition or be on medication that affects the bodys ability to respond to heat.

Called hyperthermia, heat-related illnesses can include heat exhaustion, cramps, fatigue, and stroke (also called sun stroke). Symptoms can include a flushed face, high body temperature, headache, nausea, rapid pulse, dizziness, or lack of sweating.

Hyperthermia is caused as blood rushes to the skins surface as the body tries to cool itself, Durocher says. As a result, less blood reaches the brain, muscles, and other organs, which can interfere with muscle strength and mental capacity. In severe cases, this can be dangerous.

According to the National Institute on Aging, if someone is suspected of suffering from a heat-related illness, you should:

Get the person out of the heat and into a shady, air-conditioned, or other cool place. Urge him or her to lie down.

If the person can swallow safely, offer fluids such as water, fruit or vegetable juices. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Encourage the individual to shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water

Apply a cold, wet cloth to the wrists, neck, armpits, and/or groin area. These are places where blood passes close to the surface of the skin, and the cold cloths can help cool the blood.

Call 911 if you suspect heat stroke.

The best defense with a heat-related illness, however, is to prevent it from ever occurring. The best way to enjoy a warm day is to arm yourself with some heat-related knowledge and take sensible precautions, Durocher says. To enjoy a warmer day safely, she suggests:

Stay hydrated. Drink water often, even if you dont feel thirsty.

Check your medicines. Some may make you more sensitive to the sun. Ask your doctor.

Wear sunscreen. Apply before you head outside, and reapply often.

Wear proper clothing. Wear light-weight, breathable clothing, long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat.

Wear sunglasses. Look for those that protect from UVB and UVA rays.

Go indoors. Mid-day sun is the hottest. Plan indoor activities for those times. Stay in air-conditioned areas when its hot outside.

Take cool showers or baths to cool down.

Information provided by Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital.

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Senior sun safety requires extra vigilance - The Daily Courier


Aug 2

What is the ideal weight for women? – Reports Healthcare

Who doesnt like fitting into that old pair of jeans that was super expensive? Are you someone who wants to shed those extra pounds safely and quickly? Does that extra layer of fat spoil your mood whenever you try to fit into that leather skirt?

According to some researchers at the University of North Carolina, men tend to lose weight more easily as compared to women especially the belly fat around the midsection. This doesnt mean that losing weight is impossible for women but it highlights the fact that women have to work a little harder than their male counterparts to shed those extra pounds.

Remember losing weight will not be an easy task unless you have iron willpower. It will make you hungry and leave you craving for sugary snacks that you loved and yes there will be tears. Most importantly, no one is losing a pound without any exercise and a healthy workout routine. It doesnt necessarily have to be boiled chicken and beans all the time, if you eat smartly and keep your calorie intake in check, losing weight can actually become a fun task. Below are four easy steps to keep in mind before you start your weight loss regime.

1. Eat Breakfast like a Queen

It all depends on how you start your day. A healthier start leaves you motivated to make healthier decisions for the rest of the day. Breakfast jump starts your metabolism hence add a source of lean protein (e.g beans), fat (e.g, olive oil, avocado oil, nut butter) and fiber(e.g fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) in your breakfast. A bowl of oats topped with fresh raspberries and a glass of milk is an ideal breakfast.

Your breakfast calorie count should range from 400 to 500 calories which will not only keep you satisfied but will help you lay off the urge to munch.

Processed foods are rich in sodium which is added to it for preservation purposes. Excess of sodium is bad for your health even when youre not on a diet.

Processed foods may seem an easy to grab option, easier to cook and less effort consuming but at the expense of your health. They are less filling and are more likely to cause over-eating later in the day. The trick while grocery shopping is

3.Say Hello to Lean Proteins

How often have you heard that fitness guy talk about that delicious protein shake? Ever wondered why all the fitness lovers talk about proteins all the time? Heres why proteins help you lose weight, protein takes up more energy of your body to burn and digest as compared to carbs and fat hence including proteins in your diet will help you boost your metabolism. Moreover, proteins will also provide nutritional support for the workouts and help you maintain a lean and toned muscle tissue.

Try to eat 80 grams of protein per 100 pounds of your body weight and include a palm size dense portion of protein in every meal like a piece of chicken, tuna or salmon.

4.Workout!

No one is shedding any weight without moving and starting a healthy workout routine. Cardiovascular exercises help you torch more calories. A cycling session, a ballet lesson or a swimming program is excellent for beginners as it will initiate the weight loss program with a zing of entertainment.

Remember workout is not all about lifting weights and exercising in uncomfortable positions! They have a different purpose in the game but not in the initial days of a beginner. Consult a trainer at the gym, he/she will recommend the proper workout routine that will get you started and help you head towards your fitness goals.

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What is the ideal weight for women? - Reports Healthcare


Jul 31

Your obesity may be killing you – The Oakland Press – The Oakland Press

A recent study out of the Cleveland Clinic found that obesity robs us of more years of our lives than any other preventable health issue. That means that of all the top lifestyle-related killers that are in our power to modify or treat including smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol obesity shortens life the most.

That is bad news for the 13 million adults aged 65 and older who are obese, which is more than a third of that age group. While a few extra pounds on older adults are not a health issue and may even be beneficial, too much excess weight can contribute to a variety of health problems, including inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, joint problems and even cognitive impairment.

Additionally, obese older adults are admitted to the hospital and emergency room more than their non-obese counterparts.

The good news is that while obesity can lead to lost or unhealthy years, you have the power to get those years back. Even losing as little as 3 percent of your total body weight can make a difference if you maintain it.

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Over the past 30 years, we have seen hundreds of people revive their life and their health through learning or recommitting to making good choices regarding their weight, says Patricia Jurek, manager of the Henry Ford Center for Weight Management at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital near Detroit.

Who is considered obese?

Usually, people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more are considered obese and those with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are overweight. Your BMI is an estimate of your body fat based on height and weight.

However, there are other factors to consider in addition to, or instead of, your BMI.

Defining obesity can be tricky for older adults. With age, older adults tend to lose muscle mass, which weighs more than fat. So, while your weight or BMI may not change, your body fat stores may increase as well as your risk for obesity-related diseases. On the other hand, older adults often lose inches in their height and may be classified as obese because their BMI has increased but their weight has stayed the same.

Patients at the Henry Ford Center for Health Management take the REEVUE breathing test. The test assesses your resting metabolic rate and creates a daily calorie goal to lose or maintain weight. Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, the Henry Ford Womens Heart Center and the Henry Ford Center for Athletic Medicine also offer Bod Pod analysis, which provides a medically accurate fat/muscle evaluation when you enter a small chamber for testing.

Why are many older adults obese?

Some adults have always had weight issues. Others find the number on the scale climbs as their metabolism and energy levels slow and their eating habits change or perhaps, unwisely, dont.

Lifestyle changes may be a factor as well. For example, if youre a widow or widower, you may not cook or visit the grocery store as frequently as in the past. Low energy levels and even a fear of falling may prevent some older adults from shopping regularly for fresh produce and healthy food.

Instead, they may stock up on unhealthy processed foods that have a longer shelf life or resort to fast-food options. Additionally, medications for other health issues, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, may cause weight gain.

Many people of all ages are getting away from cooking at home, which can lead to increased calorie intake, says Jurek. Create your own convenient meals and snacks. Keep a bowl of fruit out. Cook on the weekend and create freezer meals for the week. Look for ways to avoid processed or high-calorie, take-out food.

How to lose weight safely

Losing weight for older adults can be slightly more complicated that your basic eat less, exercise more formula. Seniors need to work with a doctor to determine a safe and effective weight loss plan. Additionally, a physician can review medications to see if any may cause weight gain. Some general guidelines to help older people lose weight effectively and safely include:

Cardiovascular exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. If you havent exercised before or in a while, its important to start slowly. Its not necessary to strap on running shoes or grab a tennis racquet; walking or even gardening can be beneficial.

The best way to increase your energy is to increase your movement, says Jurek. It doesnt have to be a 5k. Go for a 10-minute walk.

Strength training. Its important to make sure that any weight-loss program includes strength training (at least twice a week, recommends the CDC) to prevent muscle loss. Again, no need to bench press dozens of pounds. Simple exercise bands or even lifting household items such as soup cans will have an effect.

Protein. Its essential for preserving and building muscles, and some research suggests that older adults need more protein than their younger counterparts. Try eating a serving of protein at every meal, including yogurt, eggs, nuts or beans.

Whole Foods. People often mistakenly believe carbohydrates are the enemy to healthy diets. But carbohydrates eaten as whole foods are a necessary part of a healthy diet, says Jurek. People need to eat more whole foods in their natural state, whether its fresh, frozen or canned with lower sodium amounts, she advises. That provides food with higher water and fiber content and less calories per bite.

The issue with carbohydrates is processed carbohydrates; its the difference between having a potato and potato chips, or an apple or an apple muffin, says Jurek.

Hydration. Its important to stay hydrated for health reasons and also because thirst is sometimes confused with hunger. Drinking water all day long can help you feel fuller and prevent dehydration. You can jazz up your water by adding lemon, lime or another type of fruit for a boost of flavor.

Portion control. A simple way to remember how much of each type of food you need per meal, or what constitutes a portion, is to use the U.S Department of Agriculture My Plate visual. Fill half your lunch or dinner plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice and the other quarter with a lean protein. If you buy packaged goods, read the label so you understand the portion sizes.

Only 1 in 25 people eat enough vegetables to meet the daily recommended amount, and in the past 12 years, the obesity rate has increased 23.2 percent, says Jurek. When we really look at the impact, we need to look at our lifestyle, increase our activity and make healthy food choices.

READ MORE: Check out NextAvenue.org.

Debra Kaszubski, Vitality Special Writer, contributed to this report.

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Your obesity may be killing you - The Oakland Press - The Oakland Press


Jul 31

Kris Harris: Unleash you’re fitness animal – Longmont Times-Call

Kris Harris St. Vrain Valley Voices

I read a story in the Times-Call on July 2 regarding the "Mother Ranch" north of Longmont providing goat yoga classes. People participate in a yoga class while baby goats crawl on them, play with their hair or just act precious, as you'd expect from tiny goats. This got me to thinking outside the corral. "What other exercise/healing therapies could incorporate animals to maximize our experiences?" The following might be less cuddly and nurturing than goat yoga. Please consult with a physician to determine if you're fit enough to participate and be prepared to sign numerous activity waivers.

Potbellied pig core lifting: Five pens contain these cute little hamlets. You'll compete against others in the class to complete the five core exercises lifting the pigs who get progressively heavier with each advance to the next pen. With no handles like kettle balls to grasp, you'll have to figure out how to "pull the pork" and complete the circuit with these fine swine.

TaiChi with cobras: This strength and flexibility program requires slow controlled movements with consistent rhythmic breathing. A few king cobras have been strategically placed around the room with their handler (whose been bitten only a few times) nearby. Sudden movements can alarm the snakes and they will absolutely strike if you're talking on a cell phone. Ha ha, just kidding. I meant to say they'll strike if you're texting.

Boa constrictor fat wrap reduction: Looking to take a little off the tum-tum? Lop off some lard? This fairly safe procedure is taking the back alleys of Beijing by storm. "Huggy" the Boa is a sweetheart, very docile and his handler, Lefty (whose been bitten only a few times, losing just a pinky finger) are ready to help make a slimmer you a reality. Pricing is very reasonable and based on number of inches you want to lose. Please keep properly hydrated prior to this procedure as having a 100 pound snake wrapped around your torso can cause you to lose water weight along with other bodily contents.

Relocate and radiate prairie dog triathlon: Prairie Dog extermination is viewed publicly as unsavory and too final. Ask many in private and they'll anxiously propose a hunt or a solution for utilizing M80s left over from the Fourth of July. This event can serve as a community service and help solve the cost of relocation. Competitors will pick up a captured prairie dog and miniature life raft at Union Reservoir prior to the start of the swimming leg. The PDs must make it safely to shore with their human competitor after the swim leg. Competitors transition to their bikes for the ride to Boulder. Each bike is retrofitted with a PD sized "hamster wheel." Imagine the sight of competitors peddling furiously on their bikes while their PD buddies are also spinning their little hearts out. Once in Boulder, the competitors transition to the run to Rocky Flats with PDs secured in a mini-mesh backpack. With the finish line in sight the participants complete the grueling race with their little race mates. Medals are passed out, pictures taken and the PDs are fitted for custom made Geiger counter collars before being released basking in the glow of their new Rocky Flats digs.

Kris Harris moved here in 1960 and is a product of Longmont public schools and the University of Northern Colorado. He believes sarcasm deserves to be taken seriously.

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Kris Harris: Unleash you're fitness animal - Longmont Times-Call


Jul 31

Schools helping students get active during free time by offering fitness equipment, facilities – The Straits Times

Concerned about how sedentary their students are becoming, schools are unlocking their athletic equipment cupboards and facilities during recess and after school, to encourage young people to pick up a ball or a racquet and play for fun.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) told The Straits Times the move is to inculcate the good habits of an active lifestyle, which has many benefits such as reducing obesity.

It comes from a recommendation made by NurtureSG, a task force set up to encourage young people to adopt healthier habits, to give students greater opportunities for play.

MOE said: "Facilities in most primary and secondary schools are available to students to encourage unstructured play with their peers during recess and after- school hours."

Schools such as Fernvale Primary and Greendale Secondary are already letting students use equipment and facilities, previously available only during physical education (PE) classes or co- curricular activities (CCAs).

Students welcomed the go-ahead to take a break and de-stress after hours sitting in the classroom. A few quipped that they would also get to lose weight.

At Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Primary), pupils can borrow equipment such as frisbees, badminton racquets, skipping ropes and roller racers - a scooter that is propelled forward by swinging the handlebars from side to side. Parent helpers and school staff are on hand to supervise and ensure the children are using the equipment safely.

Primary 3 pupil Nicole Soh, nine, who likes going around on the roller racers with her friends, said: "Instead of sitting in the canteen and doing nothing, I can go outdoors to play, bond with my friends and try out different sports."

Mrs Emily Han, the teacher in charge of the school's recess free play, said it gives pupils the space to run around and unwind between lessons, adding: "We want them to have fun and experience the sheer joy of playing."

At Fernvale Primary, pupils can use equipment such as basketballs as well as badminton nets, racquets and shuttlecocks.

Mr Willy Ong, head of the school's PE, CCA and aesthetics department, said unstructured play creates opportunities for pupils to make friends and pick up social skills. They also learn to be responsible, handling the equipment with care and returning it after use.

Primary 5 pupil Lance Liu, 11, spends no more than five minutes of his precious 30-minute recess time to eat, so he has the rest of it for a game of badminton with his friends.

"It helps us de-stress and we can focus better in class," he said.

Getting children to be more active has benefits, as obesity rates among schoolchildren have risen in recent years, from 10 per cent in 2000 to 12 per cent in 2014.

A recent Health Promotion Board study found that if a child is overweight at age seven, he has a 70 per cent chance of growing up into an overweight or obese adult.

All mainstream schools also now offer healthier food under the Healthy Meals in Schools Programme, launched in 2011 to foster better eating habits in the young.

Jalan Besar GRC MP Denise Phua, who heads the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, said children are more likely to make exercise a lifelong habit if they can be active regularly, and not only during PE classes.

National University of Singapore lecturer Kelvin Seah said parents need not be concerned that their children are exerting themselves instead of resting during recess.

He said: "Since regular physical activity provides both physiological and mental health benefits, it will have a positive impact on the children's development."

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Schools helping students get active during free time by offering fitness equipment, facilities - The Straits Times


Jul 30

Meet the woman who lost an incredible 7 stone so she could fulfil her dream to skydive with her pensioner mum – Mirror.co.uk

As Lorraine slipped into position, with her legs dangling over the side of the plane, she felt a rush of adrenaline.

She may have been thousands of feet above the earth, but there were no nerves just pure excitement as she leapt out of the aircraft towards the ground.

Given her cool calmness, you might assume that adrenaline junkie Lorraine had done this before but nothing could be further from the truth. Though the mum-of-two had long dreamed of making the exhilarating leap, there had always been a problem at 20 stone, she was too heavy to jump safely.

Lorraine had been overweight since her sons Ben, 28, and Lee, 25, were born.

"I had tried and failed to lose weight so many times I just accepted I would be fat forever," she says.

Depressed about the oversized clothes she had to squeeze into, Lorraine suffered low self-esteem and rarely went out.

Her only interest was cooking, so she usually loaded her shopping trolley with double cream and cheese to whip up tasty treats for her family, finding comfort in cooking up giant portions of pie and buttery mash.

Her evenings were spent glued to the box, and, because she never went out, she felt she deserved a treat or two, thinking nothing of tucking into two or three Creme Eggs in front of the evenings television before going to bed.

Lorraine dreamed of a more adventurous life. Her son Ben was a skydiving instructor, and she loved hearing his tales of wind running over his face as the ground raced towards him.

But she got out of breath just walking up the stairs, and knew there was no way her body would cope with such an enormous challenge.

"Id always known I was too fat to even think about a jump, but that hadnt stopped me wishing I could," she says. "Watching Ben jump filled me with longing and I couldnt stop thinking about how amazing it must feel."

It was only in 2015, when she began to feel unwell, that she decided to see her GP for blood tests. When the doctor gently broke the news that she was on the verge of diabetes, Lorraine was horrified.

"He sat me down and explained that I was just one point away from being diabetic," she recalls. "It was no surprise, really, given my size and the fact diabetes ran in my family."

But the grim news was enough to spur Lorraine into attempting to tackle her weight again. So in May 2015, at a dress size 24, she decided to join Weight Watchers.

"Walking into the first class was terrifying, but my mum Margot came with me and was supportive," says Lorraine. "I wanted to do it for her too."

Lorraine stopped cooking high-fat meals and switched to low-fat stir-fries and salads instead, even changing her route to work so she didnt have to walk past her favourite shop Greggs the baker. Looking at the rows of warm, comforting pastries was just too tempting.

Within weeks the pounds had started to melt away and Lorraine had lost a stone. It was the boost she needed to keep going.

"If I thought about all the weight I had to lose it was overwhelming, so I set mini targets instead," she says.

Four months later, shed lost a whopping 4 stone. As the compliments from friends and family flooded in, Lorraine became more determined to keep going.

"I went shopping with Mum to celebrate and to be able to pick up clothes in normal shops was so exciting as I usually had to find the plus-size section," she says. "I picked up a pair of navy slim-fit jeans in a size 12 and when they slipped on easily I could have cried. I hadnt been a size 12 for 30 years. I was 50 and in better shape than I had been in my 30s that felt amazing."

Lorraine admits it wasnt all plain sailing: there were days when the cravings took over, and she just had to have pizza or fish and chips. But she always got back on track straight away, not allowing herself to sink into a negative spiral of overindulgence and guilty feelings.

Feeling and looking like a new woman, Lorraine decided it was time to do the thing shed dreamed of for so long the skydive.

"Mum had always said how much she would love to do it too, but with her age and my weight issues I had thought wed missed the boat," she says.

But when Lorraine told her mum she planned to make the jump, she was thrilled when Margot vowed to jump with her.

"I was so, so happy. It was something we had always wanted to do together but I guess we had both accepted it might never happen now here we were," she says.

The pair told Ben their idea and he agreed to jump with them three generations jumping from the plane at once. They decided to make the jump to mark Margots 75th birthday in September last year.

"As the day approached, rather than feeling nervous, we were both so excited we couldnt wait!" says Lorraine. "When the day came, it was amazing. Ive never had a buzz like it, it felt great to be sat there with my legs dangling over the edge. Jumping was the most incredible experience and to share it with my mother and son was fantastic. Weve never had so much fun."

Watching the tiny, patchwork fields below and the bright blue skies stretching endlessly around her, it was so beautiful and startling that Lorraine had to remind herself to breathe. As the parachute opened and she glided effortlessly to the ground, she knew she was hooked.

With their feet back on firm ground, the pair began planning their next adventure.Missing the adrenaline buzz they got from the skydive, the pair are planning a wing walk on a soaring plane and have also crossed off another ambition, to go up in a hot air balloon.

"I wasted too much of my life letting my weight and low confidence hold me back, but not any more," Lorraine says. "Since losing weight Ive gone from being a couch potato to adrenaline junkie and I couldnt be happier."

Now she has her sights set on swimming with sharks something Margot draws the line at. But theres no stopping Lorraine.

"I proved that after years of obesity, life really does start at 50 or 75, in Mums case!"

Breakfast: Frosties

Snack: Chocolate biscuits

Lunch: White bread sandwich and chocolate

Dinner: Homemade chicken pie with buttery mash or creamy carbonara followed by cheesecake or choc ice

Snack: Creme Eggs

Breakfast: Porridge made with yogurt

Lunch: Tuna wrap

Dinner: Homemade lasagne with courgette instead of pasta sheets or chips made in an air fryer with salad and chicken, followed by fruit for pudding

More here:
Meet the woman who lost an incredible 7 stone so she could fulfil her dream to skydive with her pensioner mum - Mirror.co.uk


Jul 30

‘There’s nothing more annoying than a friend on a diet’ – 9Honey

Image: Supplied.

Is there anyone more annoying than a friend who has just lost weight and feels amazing?

Rhetorical question.

Because while some of us are still safely ensconced in layers of clothing, snug and warm in the comfort of denial about the inevitability of summer while eating carbs with sweet abandon, OTHERS are making their summer bodies, right as we speak, IN WINTER.

I found myself dying midway conversation with a friend who was on week three of the new version of the HCG Diet [an extreme diet involving injections of HCG, the hormone women make when pregnant].

She had just lost five kilos and was now perched high on a soapbox and offering unsolicited diet advice.

Not wanting to rain on her parade at all, because as if I would want to do that, I carefully enquired: hadnt she been on the old HCG roundabout before? And hadnt she, after she returned to eating like a normal person, regained all the hard earned lost kilos with maybe a couple of extras for good measure?

Oh, pardon me, sorry, this is the HCG you get from the doctor. Right. Is it still 500 calories a day? Hello obviously thats why it works. My mistake. And how fabulous that were giving it another go the third time is always the charm.

Look, I dont mean to be negative-Nancy but I was born a Size 14 and I certainly know my way around a calorie-restricted, protein-laden diet and exercise program like the very best of them.

Which is why I was a little surprised when Missy continued in her sermon. Do you know why French women dont get fat?

Um, because they are on drugs and they smoke?

No. Because theyve identified their food culprits. What are your top five food culprits Aleesa? Oooh. The big questions. Champagnefood, which has cheese on it and is like not a protein?

Well that answer opened a can of worms: Champagne sure have that glass but then get on the treadmill for half an hour to burn it off. Because thats how much it takes to work off the calories of just one glass of Champagne.

Firstly, what idiot is going to sit on one glass of Champagne and then excuse herself as she darts upstairs to the home gym filled with washing to do a quick sesh on the treadmill, WITHOUT having another glass of said Champagne on her return as a reward? Spare. Me.

I then get a follow up text message with the suggestion to "Find a PT and do weight resistance training at the gym because it will burn fat and tone". Knock me down with a feather weight training burns fat and tones! I had no idea. And Im kind of pissed that not one of my six trainers over five gyms during this last 15 years told me this. Seriously. And I paid these guys good money.

See, people like myself and my dear friend who have always had that extra 10kg plus to lose, have done it all the fasting, the meal replacements, the tablets instead of food (hello Herbal Life cant believe that wasnt sustainable), the shakes, the drops, the potions and lets not forget exercise (I mean were not idiots).

Weve bounced up and down through the step classes of our youth, done the grapevine right up to Body Pump, intermittent training, Spin and Barre I mean I have had a Fitness First membership for a generation. Indeed we seasoned dieters have been around that block many, many times. Which begs the question: Why, after having made a career of dieting and exercise, are we are still not our taut and trim best?

So, I did my Googles, found an article that really spoke to me, and guess what? I discovered that diets dont work (I bet you didnt know that either. GIVE ME BACK MY LIFE)!

Well, of course the basic science of eating less than your body burns, works you will lose weight.

But keeping the weight off for the rest of your life? I think we all know the answer to that one. However, there are some people who have been very successful long term.

A few of my friends have lost weight and kept it off for many years (I dont speak to those people anymore) but the data reveals that this is the exception, not the rule. Is it lack of motivation, will power, discipline? Why do our bodies kind of spring back to their natural size 16 states in no time at all?

Scientists have found that a weight-reduced body behaves very differently to a similar-size body that has not dieted it is metabolically different (like not good different).

Dieting puts a person who has gone down this slippery road into a state of always wanting to eat while their metabolism is slower than someone at the same weight who has never dieted. I kid you not. Its pure biological sabotage from the get-go.

After youve lost weight, your brain has a greater emotional response to food, Rosenbaum says. You want it more, but the areas of the brain involved in restraint are less active. Combine that with a body that is now burning fewer calories than expected, he says, and youve created the perfect storm for weight regain.

How long this state lasts isnt known, but preliminary research at Columbia suggests that for as many as six years after weight loss, the body continues to defend the old, higher weight by burning off far fewer calories than would be expected.

The problem could persist indefinitely. This doesnt mean its impossible to lose weight and keep it off; it just means its really, really difficult.

Arent we up against it, friends? Our very own bodies literally setting us up to fail. So, do we just abandon that second round of Michelle Bridges? Cease the Ketosis?

Stop donating money to various fitness establishments? Or do we just press on with that dream, and keep chipping away at our lifes work of actually losing weight and keeping it off? Its very tempting to throw in the towel. But Im no quitter. It does make me wonder thoughmaybe ignorance really is bliss after all.

Excerpt from:
'There's nothing more annoying than a friend on a diet' - 9Honey


Jul 8

If Roxane Gay’s vulnerabilities motivate, what could her strengths do?: Paradkar – Toronto Star

To the multiplicities of characteristics and identities ascribed to Roxane Gay writer, author, New York Times bestseller, bisexual, woman, Black you can safely add giver.

Gay showed up at her sold-out event at the Trinity-St. Pauls United Church in Toronto on Wednesday evening, and she gave.

She gave herself to the rapt, mostly female audience, with whom she was in turn coquettish and serious, flirtatious (Im into ladies) and vulnerable (Ive hit a wall) at the launch of her book Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.

Read more:

Roxane Gays deeply personal hunger explores relationship with her body

Today, I am a fat woman. I dont think I am ugly, she says in the book, about her six-foot-three frame and a few hundred pounds of weight. I dont hate myself in the way society would have me hate myself, but I do live in the world.

Yet you might also wonder if a woman who has put so much of herself in the book, despite describing herself as a shy, awkward person, would have anything left to give.

She does. She gave her time, telling organizers she would stay as long as it took to sign copies of her book, and the long line that snaked along the aisles for that signature suggested she wasnt doing it just for the publicity.

Gay also gave something less visible but powerful to her readers, who on Wednesday night came in various shapes and sizes: the permission to not be perfect, and the language with which to navigate those imperfections.

This is a memoir of (my) body because, more often than not, stories of bodies like mine are ignored or dismissed or derided, she writes in the beginning.

What she is not writing is a confessional, nor is it a diary; what she is not offering is a book that takes the complexities of size and race and sexuality and reduces them to sound-byte-sized morals such as love yourself as your are.

In a world where kindness is labelled as political correctness and cruelty is labelled freedom, she brings brave, raw honesty.

Its not just the gut-wrenching story of being raped as a 12-year-old, after which, she writes, I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe.

Its also the consequences of having to live with that body.

I am always uncomfortable or in pain. I dont remember what it is like to feel good in my body, to feel anything resembling comfort, she writes.

In the mating game, there is the gaze, the slight smile, the unconscious double take from a stranger, the lingering eye contact and countless other ways people find their attractiveness acknowledged by other men or women.

So much of that is challenged at the intersectionality of race and size.

People never ask me out. People never approach me, Gay said. I wouldnt know you were hitting on me unless you held up a sign. Im so used to being ignored. People are not interested in dating women like me. Part of it is dealing with the constant indifference. When people are interested in you, oftentimes they have specific ideas of how you are meant to be sexually. Theres this sense that your pleasure that you dont want to be pleasured. Thats not the case!

Only in my 40s have I been able to articulate I, too, have needs. This body is not a fortress. I need you to touch me like you mean it . . . like Im a person.

For victims of any kind of discrimination, baring your soul comes with risks attached, mostly the risk of ridicule from the cruel, the risk of having your trauma dissected and the risk of being disbelieved and challenged in insensitive ways.

Then there is also is the cruelty of unthinkingness. The people who insultingly equate the worth of this intellectual academic to her size, the mind-blowing amount of diet and exercise advice she gets, the man who wrote to say I dont know if you know this but exercise helps to lose weight, or the psychiatrist who asked her if shed heard of bariatric surgery (a chapter deals with that), and a reader from Montreal who offered buy her something for a modest $100 if she lost weight by going vegan for three months. (And if she didnt she would have to give him $150.)

Read this article:
If Roxane Gay's vulnerabilities motivate, what could her strengths do?: Paradkar - Toronto Star


Jul 6

NSC: 8 Tips for Safe Driving this Holiday Weekend (and All Summer Long) – EHS Today

The Independence Day holiday weekend begins on 6 p.m. ET Friday, June 30 and ends at 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 4. During this period, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 582 people will lose their lives in traffic accidents.

The estimate is the highest the NSC has released since 2006. The organization says an additional 66,900 people possibly could be injured.

"The Council issues these estimates to empower drivers to make safe decisions behind the wheel, because the only acceptable number of deaths is zero, said Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC president and CEO in a statement. We hope Americans will spend their holiday safely watching fireworks and celebrating with families rather than sitting in an emergency room."

According to the NSCs State of Safety report, the number of preventable deaths on the roads, in homes, communities and the workplace are at an all-time high.

The organization recommends the following tips to ensure a safer holiday weekend:

Additional information about the NSC motor vehicle fatality estimates for the July 4 holiday period can be found here.

More here:
NSC: 8 Tips for Safe Driving this Holiday Weekend (and All Summer Long) - EHS Today



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