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Old School Body Hacks

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M/30/5’10” [185 > 178 = 7lbs lost] (8 weeks DDP Yoga and Hiking) seeing muscles I haven’t seen since high school!

M/30/5’10” [185 > 178 = 7lbs lost] (8 weeks DDP Yoga and Hiking) seeing muscles I haven’t seen since high school! View Reddit by thatsnomoon87 – View Source

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Instagram photo by Weight Loss • Mar 7, 2016 at 6:14pm UTC

– Awesome Transformation by @cristinadown96 – I wasn’t always heavy but slowly gained weight after high school over the years. Next thing you know, I’m weighing 245 lbs and my blood pressure was through the roof. My doctor wanted to prescribe me blood pressure medication but I insisted that I try regulating my pressure by getting healthy before going to that extreme. My desire to live a long, healthy life fueled me to completely change my eating habits and get off my butt! I lost just about … Source by…

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Amanda's Secret to Losing Over 100 Pounds Wasn't a Diet

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/130-Pound-Weight-Loss-Story-37209787

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Our next Before & After story comes from Amanda Fraijo-Tobin, who blogs about life after losing 130 pounds on her blog Friday Love Song, which is part of our POPSUGAR Select Fitness network. Below, she shares how she lost the weight and how she keeps it off.

Amanda: Before

Growing up, I wasn’t severely overweight — sure, I had a pudgy stage, but a lot of people did! My weight wasn’t something I thought much about being a kid (as it shouldn’t be). My parents had good intentions, like most, but we certainly did not grow up eating very healthy. Snacks, soda, meals prepared without nutritional aspects considered. Soda became a very bad habit for me, especially as I got into my teens and didn’t have anyone stopping me from drinking so many.

Fast-forward to high school — like most high school girls, I thought I was fat. Even though, in retrospect, I clearly wasn’t. I didn’t let it consume my life, though I was a little on the chubby side (so I thought) and I was OK with that. Looking back, I think senior year is when the trouble began for me. Stress, changes in my life, poor eating, and not exercising (hello, gym-class-not-required-after-ninth-grade!) led me to pack on some weight. Again, I already felt like a “fat girl,” so I kept going with the mind-set of “This is me — this is who I am.” I was married young, had my first child at 20, and of course, packed on more weight. Divorced, remarried, and two more babies later — more weight.

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My weight wasn’t something I paid attention to. I never weighed myself. The only time anyone took my weight was maybe once or twice a year when I had a doctor’s visit — and even then, I didn’t think much about it. This is me — this is who I am . . .

Amanda: Before

My husband is a type 2 diabetic. He had already been on tons of medications for several years to control his blood sugar and other problems associated with the disease. He got to the point of having to add insulin injections to his enormous list of meds. His doctor kept urging him to consider weight-loss surgery, telling him that, if he lost some weight, there was a possibility he may be able to stop taking some of his medications. This seemed like a great solution to my husband — I, on the other hand, disagreed. I told him repeatedly, this wasn’t the solution. If you don’t break bad habits that got you to a certain point, you could not possibly make a real change.

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Insert light bulb moment. Pot calling kettle black. Even though it wasn’t something I monitored, I was surely at the heaviest point of my life. I was waking up to get my son to school and collapsing on the couch for a nap once he was off. I was having random pains in my foot. I felt gross. I knew I needed to start making changes. I needed to make changes for myself, but also for my husband, for my kids. I needed to be a better example. This wasn’t about vanity. This was about life, making a better life for myself and my family.

I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. I had packed on the weight over the course of 10 years. I knew it was going to take some time to take it back off. I knew there would be times I would feel like quitting. But from the start, I adopted a “Today I will do what I can” kind of attitude. This went for exercise as well as eating habits. I knew all my bad eating habits were not going to disappear overnight. Slowly but surely, I made mental lists of things I was doing that were awful for my body and thought of ways to change them. Drink more water, read labels of items I was eating, etc. I had been having such severe pains in my heel that some days I could not even walk on it. Some days, I may not get through an entire workout like I wanted to — that’s OK. Today I will do what I can.

Amanda: After

I chose not to be vocal about my weight-loss journey from the start. I didn’t mention it to friends. My husband and my father were about the only people who knew what I was trying to accomplish. There were many days of whining on my part to my husband about aches and pains from making my body do things it wasn’t used to doing. I admit I have no idea for sure what my starting weight was. I have a general idea based on the last time I had been weighed at the doctors — but my journey began about six months, and what I’m guessing, may even be more pounds later. I did not start out with a goal weight in mind. I didn’t want one. I wanted to be healthier. Period. Healthy is not pounds on a scale. This is not a short fix; this is a change I will continue to make for the rest of my life.

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How Did I Do It?

This is common sense, things we have heard a million times again and again. Change the way you eat. Exercise. Repeat. It’s amazing to me when people want to know my “secret.” I have no secret. And I find it even funnier when people feel let down by my answer. There is no magic pill. I have not dieted. I have not counted calories. I knew from the start that was not the way I wanted to live my life. This is a lifestyle change. Know that it’s going to be challenging, but have faith that you can make the changes you want to.

Amanda: After

About two years later now and around 125 to 135 pounds down, here I am. Still chugging along. Still making it part of my life to make better decisions for my own as well as my family’s health. Honestly, I still feel a little silly writing this. I have had people tell me that they think I am an inspiration, which blows my mind. But I am here to tell you: if I can do this, you can do this. All it takes is a true commitment. Am I a superfit person? No, of course not. But every day, I strive to be a little better. I am a real person who did this. I am a mom to three children with a full-time job, a husband, two dogs, and a million other things going on. It takes work. It takes time. But you can do this. Start today, one small change at a time. This is me — this is who I am. Today I will do what I can. Will you?

Do you have an inspiring Before & After story to share? Message us on Facebook, and give us a few details about your journey. We might even profile you on the site, like Amanda!

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Dr. Heimlich, Creator of Antichoking Technique, Dies at 96; Here's How to Do the Move

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You've seen choking scenes performed to dramatic effect in practically every sitcom. But the reality is no joke. According to a report by the National Safety Council, choking is the fourth most common cause of "unintentional injury death" in the United States; statistics show it killed nearly 4,900 people in 2013.

The number of deaths would be even higher, however, if it weren't for the Heimlich maneuver, the standard antichoking technique that involves sharp abdominal thrusts to force air from the lungs into the windpipe, to dislodge an obstruction.

Henry J. Heimlich, MD—the thoracic surgeon who developed this groundbreaking and life-saving procedure back in 1974— died on Saturday, a week after he suffered a heart attack. He was 96 years old. 

The New York Times reports that just eight months before his death, Dr. Heimlich used his namesake maneuver on an 87-year-old woman who began choking at his table in their senior residence in Cincinnati; the famous technique forced a piece of meat and and a little bone out of her airway so she could breathe again.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, do your best to stay calm, and remember these instructions from the American Red Cross. They are meant for conscious choking victims over the age of one.

RELATED: 5 Times You Really, Seriously Need to Go to the ER

If the person is coughing, encourage them to keep coughing

Coughing is a good sign—it means they can still breathe. And the act of coughing may help dislodge whatever is stuck in their throat. But if they're not making any noise and can’t breathe, ask, "Are you choking?" Assure the person you know what to do. 

Get help

Send a bystander to call 9-1-1.

Give five back blows

The Red Cross recommends this step before starting the abdominal thrusts: Have the person bend forward and hit them on the back between the shoulder blades five times with the heel of your hand. 

Do five abdominal thrusts

Make a fist with one hand and place the “thumbside” just above the person's belly button. Grab your fist with your other hand and give five quick thrusts.

Repeat the back blows and abdominal thrusts

Continue performing five back blows, followed by five abdominal thrusts, until the object comes out or the person starts to cough. If the person loses consciousness, however, lower them to the ground and begin CPR.

 

To become more familiar with the Heimlich maneuver, and brush up on CPR, it's a good idea to take a first aid course. You can look up classes in your area at RedCross.org.

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I Refuse to Work Out, but I Do These 4 Things Instead

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Exercise-Alternatives-37187340

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I truly hate running. I’ve tried every fitness class my city offers — and living in one of the fittest cities in the country means I have a lot of options. And at-home workouts? The living room in my tiny San Francisco apartment is about as wide as my wingspan. I don’t work out, but I am still the healthiest and most fit I’ve been in my adult life.

I know that fitness means something different for everyone, and I am not saying that working out is something people shouldn’t be doing, either because they want to, because they need to, or both. But when it pertains to my own fitness regime, I can knock it, because I sure as hell have tried it all.

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Growing up, I was active and athletic. I participated in an array of sports — from basketball, track, dance, and gymnastics to swimming, diving, and horseback riding. I was also an active nanny for years, and anyone who has kids or works with them knows that keeping up with two toddlers is more work than running a marathon. I loved it all and never once thought of what I was doing as a workout or as something that I had to push myself to do. Then my focus shifted significantly. No longer was I a high schooler with time to spare and a metabolism the speed of light — I was a determined college student dedicated equally to my GPA and happy hour, and then I was a postgrad professional looking for a job. When was I supposed to be squeezing in a trip to the gym, especially considering the fact that getting myself there was like pulling teeth?

Still, I tried everything to stay healthy and in shape. I bought fitness videos and watched countless online workouts for people who hate working out, for people who live in small apartments, for people who don’t know body balls from barbells. I signed up for individual classes at yoga, barre, and cycling studios, experimented with different gyms, took boxing lessons, and even tried my hand at aerial silks (which were by far my favorite!). Still, nothing quite did it for me. I skipped classes, made excuses, and ultimately felt worse about myself because I simply couldn’t muster the motivation everyone around me seemingly had for fitness.

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What I realized about myself is this: I hate exercise that feels like effort. For me to get a good workout, the results need to be incidental, not intentional, which is why fitness activities that aren’t focused on the workout aspect, but more on the fun, appeal to me most. So I stopped working out. I implemented a few simple things into my daily routine — simple being the operative word here — and I have never felt healthier, more in shape, and happier since letting go of other people’s idea of what fitness should be and instead doing what really works best for me. Here’s how I did it.

I stay constantly active and on my feet.

I am never, ever idle. Seriously, it’s to the point where I risk running into people (and poles) daily because I read while walking through the city. I am constantly on the move, even at work. I get up and down several times an hour and take my laptop to places in the office that allow me to stand (standing desk is next on the list). On the weekends, I make sure to allow myself some downtime with Netflix or a good book, but I don’t waste beautiful, sunny California Saturdays sitting on the couch.

I walk everywhere I can.

I am lucky to live in a place where walking is not only possible but also very practical. I honestly think this is the key to staying in shape for me. I walk everywhere. I have a Fitbit, but my biggest thing about having one is to not let myself dwell on the nitpicky parts of the device. I don’t log every calorie I eat, and I don’t use it to lose weight. I just love challenging myself every day, and having it on my wrist reminds me to take the stairs instead of the escalator and to not waver at the sight of a San Francisco hill but conquer it so that I’m rewarded with an amazing view when I make it to the top. Just this weekend I caught up with my mom on the phone while walking the three miles from my house to Target (totally worth the trek!), then hopped on a bus on the way back home since I had bags. Two birds, one stone.

I eat healthy.

I have a very healthy diet. I eat what I think is probably most similar to a Paleo diet — but I don’t diet. I just try to stick to things that are natural, clean, and not overly prepared, like vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat. I also don’t overeat, mainly because I can’t stand feeling sickeningly full, so I am a huge proponent of multiple small meals throughout the day. It makes the workday go by faster when you get to snack on something every couple of hours, anyway! Sweets aren’t my thing, but I swear by a rare steak every now and then and a postwork glass of red wine. I avoid mixed alcoholic drinks because, to be honest, I can’t stand the sugar, and I drink my coffee black unless I opt for green tea instead.

I make fitness fun.

I’ve stopped pushing myself to go to classes and join a gym, but instead I save my energy for activities that I can get really excited about. I ski, I swim, I dance, and I ride horses any chance I can get. I’m planning my next biking trip across the Golden Gate Bridge, and my last hike took me on a five-hour adventure through a redwood forest in Northern California. I make fitness fun for myself, and in doing so, I’ve learned to love my version of a “workout” so much that I am more in shape than I’ve ever been in my adult life. I am climbing toward my 30s feeling incredibly fit, and what’s more, I’ve finally found a way to stay healthy without hating it.

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Even Optimists Tend to Expect the Worst

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Even if you consider yourself to be pretty upbeat, it’s easy to get caught up in feelings of dread as you wait to hear about uncertain news. As the moment of truth draws nearer, people often find themselves increasingly convinced that bad results are ahead.

These emotions may feel stressful and unhealthy, but a new study suggests they’re totally normal. In fact, this instinct to brace for the worst can actually be protective and serve as a buffer against potentially bad news, say researchers from the University of California Riverside.

In previous studies, it’s been recognized that, as individuals wait for their respective results, students become increasingly convinced they’ve failed an exam, patients become increasingly convinced they have a terrible disease, and voters become increasingly convinced that their candidate will lose an election.

RELATED: Optimism Can Help You Live Longer

Kate Sweeny, Ph.D., a psychology professor at UC Riverside, wanted to see if this was true of optimists and pessimists alike. “Intuition might suggest that some people are more likely to brace than others,” Sweeny said in a press release. “In particular, happy-go-lucky optimists would seem immune to the anxiety and second-guessing that typically arise as the decisive moment draws near.”

So she and her co-author performed nine different experiments in their lab and in real-life settings. Some involved college students anticipating rankings of their attractiveness from peers, for example, while others involved law-school graduates awaiting the results of their bar exams. All participants answered questions beforehand to determine their natural disposition.

The researchers’ findings, published in the Journal of Personality, were “counter to intuition,” Sweeny said. “Optimists were not immune to feeling a rise in pessimism at the moment of truth. In fact, not a single study showed a difference between optimists and pessimists in their tendency to brace for the worst.”

RELATED: Happy People Make Their Spouses Happier

There was a difference, unsurprisingly, in overall predictions: Optimists started out with more positive expectations than pessimists. But everyone in the study tended to shift those expectations downward over time.

This may be because not getting one’s hopes up can be a natural defense. “If you expect the worst, you can lessen feelings of shock and disappointment if things don’t go as you hoped,” Sweeny told RealSimple.com, “and you’ll be pleasantly surprised if they do.”

So if you feel down right before a big announcement, Sweeny says you shouldn’t necessarily fight those feelings. Rather, she says, we should all try to be more like the optimists in this study, and save our pessimism for these strategic moments.

“It’s generally good to be optimistic about the future,” she says. “Optimists are happier and healthier in lots of different ways, and it’s true that worrying too much or for too long can lead to anxiety and rumination. But in these final moments before you get big news, optimism can be really treacherous.”

In other words, she says, making sure you’ve done everything you can to ensure your chances of success—and then putting off your worries until those final moments—may be the best balance you can strike. And if you do feel like the world’s about to end while you wait, take heart in knowing that that’s normal, too.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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There's a Lump in My Armpit—Should I Be Worried?

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Q: There’s a painful lump in my armpit. What could it be?

Does it look red and inflamed or filled with pus? If so, it may just be an ingrown hair or infected follicle from shaving or using antiperspirant. Avoid shaving and applying product there, clean the area gently with soap in the shower, and apply warm compresses several times a day for a few days, and it should clear up.

RELATED: Viral Photo Is a Reminder That Lumps Aren’t the Only Breast Cancer Symptom to Look Out For

Another possibility: You have a lipoma, which is a knot of fatty tissue that commonly grows in places like the shoulders, neck, and armpits. While you can get them at any age, they mostly form in adults between 40 and 60. They’re almost always harmless and painless. However, one may cause pain if it lies on any nerves. If it bothers you, your doctor can remove it, typically by making a small incision and taking out the tissue.

Or you could have a swollen lymph node. Predominantly located in the neck, groin, and underarm areas, lymph nodes act as filters to trap “intruders” in your body (think germs and cancer cells). They can become painful and enlarged when you have an infection, like strep throat or mononucleosis. The swelling and discomfort usually go away when the infection does. Some women also have small amounts of breast tissue near the armpit, so if you notice soreness just before your period, it may be due to the same hormonal changes that cause period-related breast tenderness.

RELATED: You Found a Lump In Your Breast. Now What?

If the lump doesn’t disappear in a couple of weeks or gets bigger, or if the pain seems to worsen, it could be a cyst, a breast infection or (very rarely) a tumor. See your doctor to get it checked out.

Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.

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18 Nutrition and Fitness Experts Reveal Their New Year's Resolutions

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Eat better, join a gym, drink more water, get eight hours of sleep every night…many of the most popular New Year's resolutions are focused on living a healthier, more balanced life. But what do those people who are already extremely healthy (in fact, it's their job to be) want to improve upon? We polled 18 wellness influencers, from nutritionists to celebrity trainers to healthy start-up founders, to find out what their self-improvement goals are for the upcoming year. From being more mindful to carving out time for themselves to working out a little less (if only we all had that problem), here are their resolutions for 2017.

RELATED: 21 New Year's Resolutions You'll Actually Keep

Embrace mindfulness and live in the now

"Be even more mindful with the words I use, making sure they are influential in a positive, hopeful, and inspiring way; not just for the clients I train, but for everyone I interact with, including myself." 
—Tanya Becker, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Physique57

"Furthering my meditation practice. I find that mindfulness not only allows me to react more calmly in stressful situations, but it also helps me feel happier overall and more in the moment, whether I’m eating, being active, or spending time with my hubby and pets."
Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor

"I resolve to listen closer, breathe deeper, and be more present. I hope to think less and risk more. And while focusing on all these things, I hope to empower others to do the same. I'm very excited for 2017!"
—Olivia Young, founder of box + flow

"My New Year's resolution is to commit—to be more instinctual and trust my gut. To work harder, and to live in the now."
—Derek DeGrazio, celebrity trainer and managing partner at Barry's Bootcamp Miami

RELATED: 13 New Year's Resolutions You Shouldn't Make

Pay it forward

"My New Year's resolution is to advocate on more result-oriented ways and less social ways to educate and support people's lives. This is an important year in health and I feel a strong commitment to providing people tools that help them invest in their health and their futures. I feel that the trends in fitness will be taking a backseat to people wanting life-long solutions that pay it forward in a really meaningful way."
—Tracy Anderson, Health contributing fitness editor, celebrity fitness trainer, and founder of the Tracy Anderson Method

"To do a random act of kindness every day. [It] forces you to think about how you can be more compassionate all day, so you can realize the perfect moment to act on it."
—Danielle DuBoise, co-founder of SAKARA LIFE

Carve out more personal time

"I want to make sure to spend more quality time with my closest friends and call my mom and sister more often. I’m going to work on improving my cooking skills. Professionally, I’m going to hire an assistant. And physically, I’m going to take more rest days. I’m on my feet working six out of seven days a week. I’d like to change that to five days a week." 
—Lacey Stone, celebrity trainer and founder of Lacey Stone Fitness

"Put more 'me' time on the calendar. It can be difficult to manage the work/life balance when you own a business because you're emotionally invested. This year, I'm going to make more of an effort to put the computer away and take time for myself."
—Tracy Carlinsky, founder of Brooklyn Bodyburn

"I am so busy and pulled in so many directions—single parent to twin girls, business owner—I don't take enough time to decompress. I know doing so will make me more grounded, balanced, and ultimately more productive."
—David Kirsch, celebrity fitness and wellness expert

RELATED: 28 New Year's Resolutions to Look and Feel Better

Schedule in restorative workouts

"Take it down a notch! As a fitness pro, I often push myself as hard as possible in every. single. workout, choosing the most advanced poses or sequences. Movement is my 'drug of choice' and I'm working on sometimes allowing that movement to be peaceful or restorative rather than only the most intense."
—Amy Jordan, founder and CEO of WundaBar Pilates

"Being an athletespecifically a boxer and a runnermy body is always tight, and I often don't take much time to stretch and recover, as I'm in a go-go-go mentality. I want to try out new yoga classes a few times a week and get into my own stretching routine so I can feel better doing what I love."
—Ashley Guarrasi, founding trainer of Rumble Boxing

Stress less

"Learn to only focus on controlling the things I can control. Too often we stress about things we really can't control, and it just makes us put unnecessary worry and pressure on ourselves."
—Skylar Diggins, Dallas Wings guard 

Fuel up the right way

"Be more mindful of how I'm fueling my body. Being 38 years old, it's getting harder to bounce back from eating badly consecutive days in a row. My goal is to incorporate a more Paleo-based way of eating, with lots of chicken and fish!"
—Alonzo Wilson, founder of Tone House

"Most resolutions focus on things to cut out. Here's what I plan to add more of in 2017: more colorful veggies on half of my plate, more outdoor workouts, and more books (for fun!)."
—Erika Horowitz MS, RDN

"I like to set my New Year's resolution to be realistic and achievable, so my nutrition plan is based on the 80/20 rule: stick to the Ketogenic diet six days a week, and one day a week splurge with my cheat food of choice (rhymes with "rasta")."
—Ross Franklin, CEO and founder of PureGreen Cold Pressed Juice

RELATED: 57 Ways to Lose Weight Forever, According to Science

Take a risk and try new things

"Trying new sports and workout classes. I want to break out of my comfort zone a bit more! I've never been rock climbing or snow skiing, so I'd like to try those. I would also like to make more of an effort to prioritize recovery. I work out hard and throw around some pretty heavy weights. Somewhere along the line I've started to skimp on stretching, foam rolling, and resting. Not okay!"
—Melody Scharff, instructor at the Fhitting Room

"I'm going to find a better balance between my strength training, mobility, and Jiu Jitsu. I tend to hyper focus on one type of training and my body needs the variety to perform and feel optimal. I'm committed to sitting down before the new year and re-structuring my schedule to reach my goals. If you don't plan, it won't happen!"
—Ashley Borden, celebrity fitness trainer

"Although I work out (and I'm lucky to LOVE working out), my exercise was all over the place in 2016 and I want to take it up a notch in 2017. This includes getting in a few races, planning a few hiking trips, and being consistent with four intense workouts a week."
—Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of Nutritious Life and the Nutrition School

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