Many women get stuck resenting their bodies, sometimes for no real reason (though plenty of imagined ones). We’re here to show you how to beat the negative self-talk and start looking and feeling great.

1. Friends Can Bring Each Other Down, or Hold Each Other Up

According to Robyn Silverman (Ph.D., body image expert and author of Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls) women who talk to their girlfriends about their body in a negative manner create an increasingly negative feedback loop. She says that if one woman points out how fat or ugly she feels, other female friends feel like they need to reply in kind, lowering their own body image.

Silverman suggests dealing with the problem by simply stating that as intellectual, wonderful and creative women (you can add more superlatives…) it’s incredible you are discussing your bodies in a negative light. By doing so you can put an end to discussion and move onto topics like what’s great about being a woman, or about you two in particular.

If that doesn’t work and your friend(s) keep pointing out how ugly, fat or skinny they feel, simply tell them you aren’t comfortable discussing that with them, as you’d prefer talking about the good things in each other.

2. It’s Not About You, It’s About Them

Most women wouldn’t feel so bad about their bodies if they stopped thinking about what others think about them. After all, is it your perception of your thighs that bugs you, or what you think others think about your thighs that get you down?

Hector Hill, a bartender in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, suggests you start paying attention to others instead of yourself. When you socialize or spend time with someone you are dating, pay attention to them. Chances are they would love for you to truly listen to them and be with them, rather than worry about what they think about your thighs. If anything, they are probably wondering what you think about their abs…

3. Look After Your Body

If you eat well, sleep well, exercise and spend time outdoors, you know you are really treating your body as best as you can. Add to that a few massages, natural body products and time set aside for a mani-pedi and you are really spoiling your body.

When you have peace of mind you are doing everything you can to look after yourself, it’s kind of hard to argue that you could be any better.

4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Airbrushed Images

Spending a lot of time in Los Angeles myself and having done several photo shoots I know all about airbrushing. I know how certain movies are edited to make actors’ skin look better (I kid you not – some actors have it as a requirement). And I’ve done enough photography myself to know that my models can look both great and appalling – it all depends on how I catch them, including the light.

I’m sure you’ve seen photos of yourself where you look as mad as a hatter, because you squinted or pulled a face just as the photo was taken. In real life no one would have seen this, as it was a quick movement, but the camera caught mid-action. Professional photography is the same thing, only the opposite way around: photographers catch people when they pull just the right face, in the exact right angle to make them look great.

Film and photography are art forms – you are looking to capture a person in an angle which makes them shine. You use the right clothes, make-up and light to bring out their features. And sometimes you enhance it further with airbrushing. Look upon photos and films you see as paintings – they don’t necessarily show a true reflection of what people look like in real life.

5. Stop the Negative Self-Talk

Try wearing a bracelet and every time you think something negative about your body, you have to change the bracelet to the other hand. Also, you immediately have to think about something you appreciate about your body and you as a person in general.

This will make you aware of your own self-talk and allow for you to change it. Often we are so used to thinking certain thoughts we actually don’t even notice we are thinking them.

6. The Attitude of Gratitude

Without your body you wouldn’t be able to move. Isn’t your body pretty amazing? Doesn’t it deserve some love and kindness for helping you live?

Gratitude became a famous concept much thanks to the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Another of her books, The Magic, is all about gratitude. In it she suggests you keep a journal of things you are thankful for. Why not start one for your body too? Every day write down something you are thankful for about your body.

7. It’s All About Attitude

Marilyn Monroe famously said she had to “put it on” to be noticed. She wasn’t talking about make-up. No, she talked about attitude. Your attitude changes how you see yourself and how others see you.

The very famous Marilyn Monroe could walk down a street unnoticed, but when she put on the right attitude, suddenly everyone noticed her. Her looks didn’t change. Her attitude did.

Likewise, think about the people you are the most attracted to. Is it their looks, or that “something” they have? Personally I don’t think Joaquin Phoenix is very good looking, but in the movie Walk the Line I think he’s hot.

It’s all about attitude. About personality. And if you doubt it check out Sean Stephenson – a man who is physically disabled, but who still found a way to love himself. And yes, he found a wonderful woman who loves him too. Ain’t he lucky?

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Just finished bringing your brand new baby into the world? If so, you might be itching to get back into the gym to find more energy, beat the tiredness and tone up the tummy!

There’s no question that your body has changed since you first became pregnant and now you might be wondering if you’ll ever get your pre-baby body back. The good news is that with the proper program, hard work, and a good amount of patience, you most certainly can get your body back.

But, there are some important points to know along the way.  Let’s look at some of the most important post-pregnancy fitness tips that all new mom’s should know and remember.


First things first, never rush into your program.  Remember that you will have had some time off of your workouts now and deconditioning will have taken place. You can’t expect to just dive right back in and be at the same place you were before.

Start with some easy, brisk walking and then slowly build up from there.  Now is not the time to really push hard and try to set some PR’s.  Do this and you’ll risk injury, not to mention possibly putting added stress on your body that may compromise milk production.


Next, you’ll also want to be sure that you avoid direct ab work as well.  Your abdominal region has been through a lot and needs to heel itself first before you can go right back to your usual crunches and other exercises.

The primary focus on core work for the first month or two should be on bringing back your pelvic floor strength. Focus on performing kegels regularly and this should help you bounce back quicker and get on to more intense ab work down the road.


You’ll also want to ensure that you’re making good use of low impact activity.  Remember that as you are slightly heavier now, doing high impact exercise can place excess strain on your joint.

This isn’t to say you can’t get back into activities such as jogging or skipping shortly down the road, but give your body some time first. You’ll want to shed a few more pounds and ensure that your muscles along with ligaments and tendons have regained some of the strength they may have lost.


Finally, with the new baby home, time is off the essence.   You likely won’t be able to get in full hour-long sessions, not to mention you might not have the energy to do so anyway.

Instead, focus on shorter, more frequent sessions.  Take a 10 minute walk with your stroller, perform a 10 minute circuit workout while the baby is sleeping, or use 10 minutes before bed to perform some stretching and yoga exercise.

Every little bit adds up, so focus on simply getting as much movement into your day as possible. If you do this, it won’t be long before you’re ready to kick the intensity up a notch and start in with your pre-pregnancy workouts.


There’s no doubt that breastfeeding can help dramatically when trying to lose your baby belly. While not all mums can breastfeed for different reason, if you are one of the lucky ones, then breastfeeding for as long as possible will help you lose the weight quicker than most other methods. Most breastfeeding mums know this from experience. It is recommended both for your babies best development to breastfeed for at least one year. The world health organisation recommends breastfeeding until 2 years of age – if this works for both you and your baby. What better way is there to help your child develop a strong immunity, develop and nurture their emotional needs, bond with your baby AND lose that weight. Along with regular exercise this combination is almost guaranteed to get you fit, toned and fabulous in no time. Oh and not to mention, giving you and your baby plenty of the feel-good hormone, oxytocin, in the process!

Got any great post-pregnancy fitness tips that worked for you? Tell us in the comments below…we’d love to hear them.

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Yoga offers a lot of amazing benefits: a healthy body, a calm mind, and a positive self-image to name just a few. But many wannabe yogis are sabotaging the potential for a powerful practice by committing these three common mistakes. Make sure you’re not one of them.

Mistake 1: Huffing and Puffing

The physical side of yoga is a dance between challenging ourselves and honoring the limitations of the body. Deep, rhythmic yogic breathing signifies that we’ve mastered this dance. On the other end of the spectrum, huffing and puffing are telltale signs that we’ve pushed ourselves too far.

The breath serves as a perfect system to measure our level of exertion; whether in a yoga class or during any other form of exercise. Is it smooth, causing the belly to expand, and flowing through the nose? Great. Then we haven’t pushed too hard. But if we have to inhale forcefully, if the breath is only reaching the upper body, or if we have to breath through our mouth, then we’ve overexerted ourselves.

If we don’t heed to our huffing and puffing and instead push on, we’re missing the whole point of asanas (yoga postures). Patanjali, the great forefather of classical yoga, taught yogis in his Yoga Sutras that “perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.” The ability to relax in an asana develops steadiness of mind, and steadiness of mind is exactly what we need to progress in our yoga practice.

The second we fall into bad breathing habits we need to back off. Balasana (child’s pose) and savasana (corpse pose) are two perfect postures for giving the body a mid-class mini-rest. Pausing in these poses allows the breath and heart rate to return to normal, and gives the body a chance to pay back oxygen debt.

Mistake 2: Competing in Class

When we’re surrounded by other yogis it’s easy to get caught up in the ego’s drama. If the girl next to us is in a gravity-defying arm balance while we can barely touch our toes, it’s hard not to compare ourselves. Add all of the bendy bikini-clad yoga beauties on social media into the picture, and yoga feels more like a competition to weave ourselves into pretzels than a spiritual mission.

But this is certainly not the spirit of yoga. Yoga has absolutely nothing to do with competition. It’s about one person only: yourself.

Yoga is a tool for self-betterment. It’s a practice that’s meant to be individualized because we all progress at a different rate. It’s not about how many advanced poses we can do or how good our booty looks in yoga pants. It’s not about who in class can hold the longest handstand, either.

Instead, it’s about taming the ego. Getting over competition. Understanding that we are doing this practice to grow; physically, mentally and spiritually.

We can overcome the temptation to compare by accepting other yogis as our technical teachers. If they’re in an arm balance that we’ve yet to figure out, we can observe their method to emulate later rather than perceiving their dexterity as competition. And if this is too difficult, we can simply keep our eyes on our own mat, or close them altogether.

As we grow, our competitive edge gradually fades and we appreciate yoga for what it really is.

Mistake 3: Skipping Savasana

Savasana (corpse pose) is arguably the most important yoga posture. Cutting class early or even just mentally skipping out during savasana robs us of all its yummy benefits, rendering our yoga practice incomplete.

Resting in savasana has a few main purposes: it gives the heart and breath rate a chance to return to normal, it allows lactic acid buildup to be released, it enables newly unblocked prana to free-flow throughout the body, and it relieves any physical stress that we’ve acquired during practice (especially if we’ve been huffing and puffing!) In matters of the mind, savasana improves our focus and concentration, which makes for better meditation.

Savasana is not a yoga nap time but a chance to seal in all the benefits of our practice. Although many students make this mistake, we shouldn’t cut class as soon as the teacher dims the lights and puts on her mellow savasana music.

This is our cue to get comfortable and relax. It’s our chance to give the body and mind much-needed rest by observing and releasing tension and simply watching the breath. A few solid minutes here and our yoga practice is officially complete.

Check in every now and again to see if you’re making any of these three common yoga mistakes. Are you huffing and puffing, comparing yourself to the yogi next to you, or letting your mind drift in savasana? Stopping these bad habits will transform your yoga practice into one that is beautifully beneficial.

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Whether you carry your excess weight along your belly or thighs, and no matter what you call it, one thing rings true: you want it gone. Maybe you’re hoping to drown your sorrows in chocolate and compensate for the extra calories with plenty of exercise. Or perhaps you hope you can altogether avoid exercise by selecting the right diet. While it’s certainly possible to lose weight with only one of the two, it’s also significantly harder. Healthy, sustainable weight-loss is more likely to come from a blend of healthy eating and active living.

If you’re like most people on a weight-loss journey, you want to expend as little effort as you can to get the results you want.

Burning Calories, Burning Fat
If you have a problem area, like most people do, you might be tempted to endlessly exercise just that area of your body. The truth is that you can’t spot-reduce, no matter how many crunches or squats you do. Instead, the key to losing fat is to create a caloric deficit—a fancy way of saying ‘burn more calories than you take in’.

A single pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories—almost two day’s worth of food. Burning this many calories is challenging for anyone, especially if you rely on exercise or diet alone. To successfully diet to lose a pound a week, you’d need to cut the equivalent of 22 sodas, seven hamburgers, 20 bags of chips, or 44 cookies from your diet. That’s no small feat.

Exercising the fat away won’t be much easier. The number of calories you burn depends on a host of factors. Generally speaking, though, you can expect to burn anywhere from 100-500 calories with an aerobic workout. That means you’d have to exercise every day at a very high intensity—by, for example, running for an hour—if you wanted to be able to lose weight with exercise alone.

The solution seems clear: If you want to lose the most weight possible, you can get ahead of the game by exercising and eating less.

What the Research Says
Of course, people opt not to exercise or diet for a variety of reasons. Maybe health or time constraints figure prominently in your decision, or perhaps you’re reticent to adopt a new lifestyle. If you’re bound and determined to try only one approach to weight-loss, you should structure your plan around substantive research, not weight-loss gimmicks. Most research suggests that people are more apt to lose weight when they diet, so if you have to choose between the two, dieting may be your best bet. Of course, if you can add in a bit more activity—such as walking more places, spending some time walking your dog, or enjoying a game of baseball with your kids—you’ll lose weight more quickly, even if you never hit the gym.

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Hoping to fall pregnant sometime soon but it’s not happening?  If you’re currently trying to conceive, there’s a number of things you can be doing to help improve your chances of conceiving. Taking good care of yourself at this time is essential in order to ensure you’re doing everything possible to increase your fertility.

That includes getting enough sleep at night, doing regular exercise, cut out the alcohol, and ensuring you’re eating the best foods.

The food that you eat on a daily basis can have a huge influence on how quickly you fall pregnant.

So, let’s go over a few of the best foods to eat for optimising your body during this time.


First up, start serving beans more often.  Swapping out the red meat you’re eating for beans a few nights a week can do wonders for not only for your fertility, but your health as well.

Those women who tend to have the lowest consumption of red meat tend to show the greatest level of fertility as they typically have fewer issues getting pregnant.

Beans are a rich source of protein, fiber, as well as complex carbohydrates, so are perfect for providing the energy you need. They’ll also provide some folate as well, which is a very important nutrient for optimal fetus development.


While most of your life you’ve probably avoided higher fat dairy products, now it’s time to add them back in.  Whole milk products can help increase your level of fertility while also providing the added calories you’ll need to ensure optimal health.

Women who have been using a lower calorie diet plan to lose or maintain their body weight for years may have a harder chance of conceiving, so upping your calories slightly can help.

One serving of full-fat Greek yogurt per day is perfect and will also provide another source of protein along with some calcium for strong bones.


Make sure you aren’t passing up the salad next time you sit down for dinner.  Leafy greens, including spinach are great for improving your ovulation, which can then lead to higher levels of fertility.

These leafy greens are also loaded with antioxidants and a variety of important vitamins and minerals, so will strengthen your immune system, boost energy levels, and may ward off disease as well.

Aim for two to three servings of leafy greens per day.


Finally, the last food you’ll want to ensure is making an appearance in your diet plan regularly is pumpkin seeds.  Not only is this food loaded with healthy fats, which will provide energy and help keep your sex hormones at optimal levels, but they also contain a good dose of iron, which is needed for conception.

Women who are suffering from iron-deficiency anemia will have a harder time getting pregnant, so if you are, make sure you take steps to increase your iron.


Now is the time to load up on nutrients that encourage cell growth. Beta-carotene, found in pineapple and also commonly found in leafy greens and yellow and orange foods such as carrots, melon and sweet potatoes, helps keep your hormones in check and prevents early miscarriage. In fact, the corpus luteum, which helps produce the progesterone necessary to sustain a pregnancy, is loaded with this powerful nutrient.

Pineapple is often highly recommended during the early stages of pregnancy. In addition to beta-carotene, pineapple contains a substance called bromelain, which has been shown to mildly support implantation through its anti-inflammatory properties. “There’s not a lot of research out there for the benefits of eating pineapple during the time of conception, but if you want to hedge your bets, you may benefit,” says Wright. “After all, pineapple is a healthy food with no downside.” Experts discourage taking bromelain as a supplement though because the dose may be too high, and anything that dramatically moves blood during this time could be counter-productive so stick with fresh Pineapple and you can’t go wrong!

So there you have it — a few of the best foods to optimize your diet as you prepare your body to conceive. Add these into your diet now and you will be that much closer to bringing a new beautiful addition to your growing family.

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Ever wondered how to look after your vajayjay? You need wonder no more. Here are our top 7 tips for a healthy vajayjay or whatever you like to call it!

1. You Are What You Eat

Even your lower department gets affected by what you eat. Some women suggest that drinking unsweetened pineapple juice makes you smell, well, sweeter down below. Whilst this has not been studied, there are scientific studies that have been done to prove body odor changes with what we eat (meat eaters smell different from vegetarians for example).

It is also true that eating well and having great health in general will help with your vaginal health. So start munching lots of veggies, get as much sleep as possible, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine and do your exercises if you want to keep your vajayjay happy and hygenic.

2. Exercise

Exercising your pelvic muscles, as well as your vaginal muscles will keep your vagina happy. Not to mention it will help keep you from peeing in your pants when you laugh! So keep them Kegels going and also do some effective pelvic floor exercises.

3. Good Bacteria Is Good for You

You may have heard about one of the latest crazes in the health industry: probiotics, or “friendly bacteria.” Our body has plenty of it if it’s healthy, especially our gut and vagina and it helps ward off viruses and harmful bacteria.

If you aren’t eating well, your internal bacteria might be unbalanced. And if you take antibiotics you actually kill off the friendly bacteria together with the harmful bacteria. As a result, your vaginal health may suffer – many women end up with thrush after taking antibiotics. Therefore, it’s important to always eat probiotics when you take antibiotics.

Probiotics are found in foods like sauerkraut and yoghurt and drinks such as kefir and kombucha. You can also buy supplements which provide these bacteria in large doses.

4. Keeping Clean

There has been a myth circulating that states doing internal douches to clean the vagina is good for you. Far from it. It might actually lead to increased risk of thrush, bacterial infections and STDs. The vagina is a self-cleaning part of your body and does not take kindly to being “cleaned.” Cleaning only leads to killing off the friendly bacteria or upsetting the pH balance, which is supposed to be acidic.

Using a perfumed soap, or any soap at all for that matter, on the outside parts of your vagina can also affect the area negatively and lead to itching and dryness. Some warm water is all you need to clean your lower parts. Maybe during your period you want to use a gentle, fragrance-free soap to clean the area due to unpleasant smells, but that’s about it and even that does not come recommended.

5. Condoms

It’s well-known today in most societies that condoms protect against an array of STDs. However, if you have oral sex with someone and don’t use a condom, you are still susceptible to many STDs. And even with a condom you can’t protect yourself from HPV, which can lead to genital warts and cancer in rare cases. This is why regular smear tests are so important as they detect cell changes early and can help prevent cancer. Also, bear in mind that if you use a condom for oral or anal sex, you need to change it before having vaginal sex.

6. Tampons and Mooncups

With the risk of tampons causing toxic shock, which, in worst case scenario, can lead to death. This is why it’s so important to change tampons regularly. Even so, there is no guarantee of not getting it.

Using a mooncup, on the other hand, is a safer option – at least no cases of toxic shock have ever been reported. What’s more, you don’t have to change it nearly as often as you do tampons – you just empty it once in the morning and once at night. Though some companies claim that emptying it three times daily is safer due to the potential of toxic shock syndrome, even if there has been no reported cases.

Another benefit to mooncups is that they are eco-friendly. One mooncup can last a whooping five years! Which also makes it a budget-friendly option if you compare it to pads or tampons.

7. Dryness and Discomfort

Many women experience dryness in their vagina, which can be because they are dehydrated in general. So ensure you get enough fluids every day!

It can also be due to hormonal changes, or taking various medications. If you experience severe dryness, it is therefore important to see a doctor.

A lot of women also experience dryness during their period due to wearing pads or using tampons. Tampons, in particular, can dry out the vagina, upsetting the pH balance, and therefore, causing thrush (though there isn’t scientific proof of this many women swear tampons indirectly cause thrush, myself included).

To avoid this, you can use natural oils like coconut oil, or olive oil, which will work as a moisturizer. Note that the oils have to be natural (no petroleum jelly, fragrances, etc.) and avoid any oils you may be allergic to. Even if you aren’t having your period, but are prone to dryness, a bit of oil can work wonders in preventing discomfort and thrush.

Oil does break down condoms, though, so don’t apply it before sex if you are using condoms as protection.

Another thing that causes discomfort is wearing underwear – thongs in particular. If you often end up itchy, or easily get thrush you may want to try going commando says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D. This leaves the area dry and well aired out. Though, if you are at the gym you should keep your panties on as gym equipment tends to be covered in germs and you don’t want those close to your most sensitive parts! And when biking you need padded shorts, or pants, so as to prevent hurting your sensitive bits.

If wearing underwear, opt for cotton as it can breathe.

It’s also important to change out of wet bikinis as soon as possible, as well as sweaty gym clothes.

And one last thing: sex if you aren’t properly lubricated can cause problems. You can use natural oils for this if you are not using a condom, and if you are using a condom opt for water based lubricants.

That’s it on the vajayjay hygiene tips. Got some of your own…tell us in the comments below!

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A good diet isn’t really a diet at all; it’s a lifestyle upgrade that is sustainable for the rest of your life. However, you could be expending effort, depriving yourself of the food you love — for no good reason at all. When you deprive yourself of everything you love, not only are you miserable; you’re also more likely to back out of your healthy living plans and fall back into bad habits.

The good news: Indulging isn’t bad for your diet; it’s an essential part of it!

Here’s some ideas on how to indulge in the foods you love without going overboard:

The real problem with indulging is binging. If you can keep your portions small, then a cookie or two won’t hurt you. If you’re eating out, remember that restaurants typically give portions three or four times a standard serving. Cut your dessert in half or even better – share it with your friend. Not only will you get to share the love with your companions; you won’t find yourself rapidly expanding.

When you’re bored, frustrated, or feeling depressed, it’s easy to eat half tub of ice cream before you even notice it’s gone. The answer is to this problem, is to simply not buy it in the first place. If it’s not there – you can’t eat it. Instead, keep some small, healthy snacks on hand like nuts, dried fruit, frozen fruits, coconut flakes, or yoghurt and leave the sugary and salty stuff at the grocery store, where it belongs.

If you can’t resist indulging in a sugary or salty snack, select foods with healthier ingredients. Replace your preservative-filled store-bought cookies with home-made cookies with organic ingredients. Alternatively, consider replacing some of your favorite indulgences. A few easy ways to do this:

  • Ditch the milk chocolate in favor of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.
  • Forget about salty potato chips. Try salted cantaloupe or some olives instead.
  • Craving chocolate cake? Try a truffle instead.
  • Feeling like candy? Snack on some frozen raspberries and blueberries.
  • Replace white flour bagels, bread, and pasta with healthier full-wheat alternatives.
  • Don’t buy something just because it’s sugar or fat-free. These products sometimes use unhealthy substitutes, so be sure to check the ingredients list before you buy into manufacturer claims that a product is “healthy.”

Th good news is: eating a few thousand calories doesn’t have to destroy your diet, and thinking that it does may serve as an excuse for even more overeating. If you find yourself overeating, a great way to counteract the bloating and form a new habit is to walk it off. Take a walk after your meals. Staying physically active, even for a few extra minutes each day, can help you stay in shape—and give you extra room in your caloric budget for the foods you love the most.

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