Make A Better Breakfast: Your Breakfast Problems Solved

Mom, magazines, and the whole world can get behind the many benefits of a healthy breakfast, as it delivers the essential nutrients and energy you need to start a new day at your best. Your brain and body will thank you.

But sometimes, a great morning meal is easier said than done. With jam-packed mornings and a million things on your to-do list, that fresh-squeezed juice and those whole-wheat pancakes are but a pipe dream. Please don’t give up on a happy, healthy, and totally delicious breakfast—or resort to the drive-through. We’ve got you covered with these no-fail solutions. Start your day right. Good morning, sunshine…and bon appetit.

Problem: You’re Hungry by 10 AM
Fix: Plenty of Protein
Your granola bar or bowl of cereal is coming up short. Sorry. A great breakfast is packed with quality, wholesome protein, like turkey sausage, eggs, Greek yogurt, or nut butter. A protein-centric breakfast will satiate hunger, and give you the fuel your body craves to go strong all day long. And you can bid that mid-morning slump goodbye.

Problem: An Empty Fridge
Fix: The Freezer

Is your refrigerator a small tragedy? Stock your freezer with super-flavorful, protein rich, and calorie-conscious Jimmy Dean Delights. Anytime you crave some just-a-bit spicy, highly tasty Applewood Smoked Chicken Sausage, they’ll be waiting for you. They’re fully cooked, ready in minutes, and low in calories. Keep your favorite whole grain bread or English muffins in the freezer, too, and breakfast is served. Hint: Maple and Brown Sugar Chicken Sausage Patties are awesome as-is: or top with an egg and wrap in a tortilla. A slice of avocado or a handful of spinach is totally optional.

Problem: Time
Fix: Three-Minute Meals

Everyone has three minutes. Here are a few meals that take so little time it’s silly.  Stuff a whole-wheat pita pocket with an egg and your favorite chicken sausage. Spread a slice of grainy bread with almond butter, add half a sliced banana, and drizzle with honey. Dig into a Jimmy Dean Delights Honey Wheat English Muffin & Canadian Bacon. Or top Greek yogurt with berries and granola. If time is still short, grab and enjoy on your way to work, or savor at your desk.

Problem: Boredom
Fix: Riff on your Faves

Eating the same thing day in and day out can get old, fast, even if it’s something delicious. Simple switches can keep your taste buds happy. If you’re a turkey girl, try some lean and tasty smoked ham.  Always eat your egg whites plain? Add some spinach, feta, or diced tomatoes and a side of Jimmy Dean Delights Sausage. Addicted to almond butter? Try cashew butter, or sunflower butter. Breakfast shouldn’t be a snooze—it should be worth getting out of your comfy bed for!

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Weighing the Risks of Hormone Therapy

For over a decade, hormone therapy has been a hot topic in medicine. Unfortunately, women are still confused and concerned about using HT after two federally-funded studies linked HT to potentially serious health risks.

A coffee a day could keep MS at bay: Caffeine protects against multiple sclerosis, study finds 

People who do not drink coffee are one-and-a-half-times more likely to develop the condition, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, US, found.

Company Profile for Izun Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Izun's technology platform allows it to develop botanical drugs by optimizing and purifying the extracted botanical compounds to yield polymolecular drug candidates. These patented products are designed to impact on multiple specific receptor targets.

‘Appalling’ treatment of NHS whistleblowers must be investigated: Staff ostracised by hospital bosses demand independent inquiry after ‘whitewash’ Francis Report

EXCLUSIVE: Dr David Drew and Sharmila Chowdhury have, along with a third whistleblower, written to Sir Robert Francis raising concerns that no action has been taken to address their concerns about patient safety.

South Africa man becomes stuck inside his married lover after suffering ‘penis captivus’

Local media said that unfaithful Sasha Ngema, had reportedly been romping with toy boy Sol Qoboza at an apartment in the city of Johannesburg in South Africa when they became stuck.

Actavis and Medicines360 Announce FDA Approval of LILETTA(TM)…

Actavis plc , a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company, and Medicines360, a nonprofit women's health pharmaceutical company, today announced the approval of LILETTA by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use by women to prevent pregnancy for up to three years. LILETTA is placed in the uterus by a healthcare professional and works by continuously releasing levonorgestrel, a progestin, to prevent pregnancy.

As abortion bills surface, new debates over women’s health

Legislators have introduced half a dozen bills that place new restrictions on Minnesota abortion clinics, with supporters and opponents claiming to champion women's health from opposite sides of a perennially contentious debate. Two of the bills would require facilities that perform 10 or more abortions per month - a total of five clinics, by 2013 figures - to meet the standards of outpatient surgical centers.

Three cups of tea a day can cut your risk of diabetes even if you add milk

Two studies show that black tea has a glucose-lowering effect that could help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes which affects 2.3 million Britons. Three cups of tea could help control blood sugar.

Sentef Medical Centers Acquires Space in Cambridge Square

Joseph Sentef, M.D. and his wife Susan Sentef, NP-C, will open Sentef Medical Centers in Cambridge Square this spring.

62% of men and 40% of women don’t wash their hands after going to the loo

Initial Washroom Hygiene, which carried out the survey, has now launched a monitoring system in public bathrooms that 'shames' users into adopting better habits.

Cheesy, Delicious Eggplant Parmesan for Just 350 Calories

Are you drooling yet?

Each month, your favorite dishes get a healthy and delectable do-over with tips from Keri Glassman, R.D. This version of eggplant parmesan replaces breadcrumbs with naturally gluten-free quinoa for a dose of heart-healthy fats and lots of filling fiber. Eggplant's anthocyanlns, a.k.a. the compounds that give the veg its deep violet hue, may protect your noggin against aging. Even better, when you mix spinach with marinara, the sauce's vitamin C helps your body absorb more iron, a nutrient women consistently fall short on. Get the recipe below, and dig in. 

You'll need:

1 large eggplant
2 zucchini
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for roasting vegetables
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup low-fat mozzarella
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
3/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 jar marinara sauce (24 oz), no added salt or sugar
2 cups fresh spinach

Son of Alan

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel the eggplant and zucchini and slice each lengthwise.

Son of Alan

2. Brush both sides of vegetable slices with oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and roast until tender, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Son of Alan

3. Combine mozzarella, half the Parmesan, and oregano. Separately, mix quinoa, chia, remaining Parmesan, 2 tablespoons oil, basil, and pepper.

Son of Alan

4. Spread half the marinara in a baking dish. Layer with half the vegetables, spinach, and cheese-oregano mixture. Repeat. Top with quinoa blend and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 350 cal, 18 g fat (5g sat), 33 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 510 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 18g protein

For more healthy (and delicious!) recipes, pick up the March 2015 issue of Women's Health, available on newsstands now.

More from Women's Health:
Spaghetti and Meatballs for Less Than 350 Calories
12 Power Foods You Should Definitely Be Eating
What 200 Calories of 10 Different Foods Looks Like

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5 Things to Do After a Surprise Pregnancy

An unplanned pregnancy can be quite a shock, but there's no reason to panic. You're not alone.

UnitedHealth Restricts Use of Nonvaginal Hysterectomies

The giant insurer has joined the backlash against the use of laparoscopic power morcellators that have been shown to disperse undiagnosed uterine cancer in abdominal cavities.
Medscape Medical News

Test predicts woman’s chance of surviving breast cancer

Women whose immune cells were clustered together around breast cancer cells have a better chance of survival, said scientists at The Institute of Cancer, London.

What it REALLY feels like to be dead: Man who clinically died TWICE after a bike crash and then an accidental overdose gives a Q&A on Reddit

In an online 'Ask Me Anything' interview on Tuesday, Reddit user r00tdude, identified as Sasha Eliasson, from Sweden, shed light on what it feels like to be clinically dead.

High Costs Of HIV Drugs On Some Illinois Insurance Plans May Be Discriminatory, Say Advocates

Two major insurers are charging much more than others for several common HIV and AIDS medications in Illinois, drawing complaints from AIDS advocates that the companies may be trying to discourage high-cost patients from choosing their plans on the federal health insurance marketplace.

Several standard treatments cost more than $1,000 per month on many Coventry Health Care and Humana plans, while some of the same drugs cost as little as $35 on plans other insurers sell on the exchange, according to an AIDS Foundation of Chicago analysis.

“While certainly there are plans on the marketplace that offer good coverage, what we think these companies are doing is putting out a signal that people with HIV are not welcome on these plans,” said John Peller, the foundation’s president and CEO.

The AIDS Foundation warned Coventry, Humana and two other insurers in January letters that the way they are pricing the drugs may violate federal protections against discrimination. The Affordable Care Act forbids insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.

Coventry and Humana lowered the costs of some of the drugs in Florida after nonprofits filed a federal complaint there, but prices remain the same in Illinois. Insurers noted that Florida has a state statute that specifically regulates coverage for HIV and AIDS patients, while Illinois does not.

The Illinois insurers said drugs’ rising costs, a changing patient pool and shifting costs of medical services all affect the way they price drugs and design plans.

“Our goals are to help our members be healthy and access the care they need by assisting with the strict patient compliance that these specialty medications require while keeping our health plans affordable,” Coventry spokesman Rohan Hutchings said in an email. All plans on the marketplace include out-of-pocket maximums that limit patients’ annual spending, he added.

Placing drugs for AIDS and HIV, diabetes, cancer and other chronic conditions into higher-cost categories, or tiers, within an insurance plan is sometimes called “adverse tiering” and has been documented by researchers. Patient advocates say the tiering may be a new way for insurers to keep high-cost patients off their plans, a common practice before the Affordable Care Act prohibited it.

A recent Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found evidence that insurers were adversely tiering HIV and AIDS drugs on 12 of 48 plans sold on the federal exchange in 12 states. People with midrange “silver” plans that were adversely tiered would pay about $3,000 more per year for their drugs than those in other plans, according to the study.

“We can’t say that the intent of these formularies is to discriminate, because we can’t read the minds of the people who made it,” said Dr. Benjamin Sommers, an assistant professor of health policy and economics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and one of the study’s authors. “But the result of these formularies is to discriminate.”

When Washington, D.C.-based Avalere Health looked at drug costs on silver plans in eight states, the consultant found more than a quarter of plans placed five classes of drugs — for HIV and AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis — in high-priced specialty tiers.

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago looked at how insurers tiered seven standard treatment regimens recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. The foundation found that Coventry and Humana place nearly all of the drugs in the treatments in the fifth tier, their highest. Other insurers place some of the same drugs in lower tiers, resulting in lower treatment costs.

Because insurers don’t make public the discounts they negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, the foundation estimated costs based on average wholesale prices, which it says range from about $2,400 per month to about $3,300 for the seven treatments. Patients are required to pay half the cost of tier-five drugs on most Coventry and Humana plans, according to the analysis.

Nancy Daas, a partner at Chicago-based health industry consultant CMC Advisory Group, said the pricing of HIV and AIDS treatments is not the result of discrimination but a reflection of the costs insurers pay for the drugs.

“I’m not saying it’s easy for people (to afford them), but these drugs cost a lot of money,” Daas said.

A year’s worth of a common, single-pill regimen called Atripla costs $26,000 to buy wholesale, up from $14,000 a year when the pill was introduced in 2006, Humana spokeswoman Cathryn Donaldson said in an email.

“Humana is committed to working with pharmaceutical manufacturers and organizations representing individuals with HIV/AIDS and similar organizations for people with complex chronic conditions to develop longer-term strategies addressing these underlying concerns of pharmaceutical access and affordability,” Donaldson said.

Daas also noted that drug pricing affects the costs of other plan benefits, and vice versa. By charging more for certain drugs, insurers can lower monthly premiums for all planholders, she said.

The AIDS Foundation also sent letters to Health Alliance, which operates downstate, and to UnitedHealthcare.

Health Alliance places all single-pill regimens, along with a drug commonly combined with others to treat patients, on the fifth tier in a six-tier system, resulting in “mostly unaffordable” drug coverage for people with HIV, the foundation wrote.

Health Alliance spokeswoman Laura Mabry noted that the insurer places several of its HIV drugs in low-cost tiers. “Our goal continues to be providing choices that meet consumers’ needs, including their prescription drug needs,” she said in an emailed statement.

UnitedHealthcare classifies most of the drugs used in the HIV treatments as tier two but also marks them as specialty drugs. Daliah Mehdi, the AIDS Foundation’s chief clinical officer, said the insurer told her the specialty designation made those drugs more expensive than others in tier two. But a UnitedHealthcare spokesman told the Tribune the drugs were not more costly.

In Florida, the AIDS Institute and the National Health Law Program filed a complaint over the cost of four treatments with the Department of Health and Human Services’ civil rights office. The complaint is still under investigation, but Coventry, Humana and two other insurers voluntarily reduced prices after a Florida regulator questioned whether the insurers were violating state law.

Coventry capped the costs of the four treatments at $200 per month, while Humana limited patient payments to 10 percent of what the insurer pays for all HIV and AIDS drugs on its specialty tier.

On Friday, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a rule for 2016 that prohibits plan designs that place “most or all drugs that treat a specific condition on the highest cost tiers” and that charge more for single-tablet regimens than for treatments that require patients to take multiple pills.

About 37,000 Illinoisans had been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS as of December, with an average of 1,788 diagnosed each year from 2009 to 2013, according to the most recent Illinois Department of Public Health figures.

Information on how many HIV patients in Illinois have joined Affordable Care Act plans is not publicly available, but about 8,000 people who have received state help paying for their HIV or AIDS medication have signed up for a plan, joined Medicaid or are in the process of getting insurance, a health department spokeswoman said. About 9,300 people received help through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program last year, she said.

The state program now helps pay premiums and drug costs for the low-income recipients who have obtained insurance, along with those who are still uninsured, the spokeswoman said.

Patient advocates said lower drug prices would not only ensure access to treatment for HIV and AIDS patients but also help reduce the virus’ spread, as some of the treatments make transmission less likely.

Will Wilson, a 61-year-old Gurnee man who said he was diagnosed with AIDS 13 years ago, recently obtained insurance through his employer that covers nearly all the cost of his Atripla prescription.

After his diagnosis, Wilson said, he went broke paying for the 16 pills a day he took to keep the syndrome in check. Keeping his income low enough to qualify for state aid ultimately allowed him to afford treatment, he said. Now he works as an insurance navigator for a nonprofit organization, helping people understand their options.

Wilson said he thought the Affordable Care Act would bring a new measure of freedom for people with HIV and AIDS, but paying for treatment is still difficult for many. Even on health plans that pay relatively good rates for HIV and AIDS treatments, interpreting drug formularies and plan benefits to figure out a patient’s costs is extraordinarily complicated, he said.

“The system that was supposed to be easier for us is not easier,” Wilson said. “And once again we’re faced with (the question): We still have to fight for the drugs that keep us alive?”

High Costs Of HIV Drugs On Some Illinois Insurance Plans May Be Discriminatory, Say Advocates

Two major insurers are charging much more than others for several common HIV and AIDS medications in Illinois, drawing complaints from AIDS advocates that the companies may be trying to discourage high-cost patients from choosing their plans on the federal health insurance marketplace.

Several standard treatments cost more than $1,000 per month on many Coventry Health Care and Humana plans, while some of the same drugs cost as little as $35 on plans other insurers sell on the exchange, according to an AIDS Foundation of Chicago analysis.

“While certainly there are plans on the marketplace that offer good coverage, what we think these companies are doing is putting out a signal that people with HIV are not welcome on these plans,” said John Peller, the foundation’s president and CEO.

The AIDS Foundation warned Coventry, Humana and two other insurers in January letters that the way they are pricing the drugs may violate federal protections against discrimination. The Affordable Care Act forbids insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.

Coventry and Humana lowered the costs of some of the drugs in Florida after nonprofits filed a federal complaint there, but prices remain the same in Illinois. Insurers noted that Florida has a state statute that specifically regulates coverage for HIV and AIDS patients, while Illinois does not.

The Illinois insurers said drugs’ rising costs, a changing patient pool and shifting costs of medical services all affect the way they price drugs and design plans.

“Our goals are to help our members be healthy and access the care they need by assisting with the strict patient compliance that these specialty medications require while keeping our health plans affordable,” Coventry spokesman Rohan Hutchings said in an email. All plans on the marketplace include out-of-pocket maximums that limit patients’ annual spending, he added.

Placing drugs for AIDS and HIV, diabetes, cancer and other chronic conditions into higher-cost categories, or tiers, within an insurance plan is sometimes called “adverse tiering” and has been documented by researchers. Patient advocates say the tiering may be a new way for insurers to keep high-cost patients off their plans, a common practice before the Affordable Care Act prohibited it.

A recent Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found evidence that insurers were adversely tiering HIV and AIDS drugs on 12 of 48 plans sold on the federal exchange in 12 states. People with midrange “silver” plans that were adversely tiered would pay about $3,000 more per year for their drugs than those in other plans, according to the study.

“We can’t say that the intent of these formularies is to discriminate, because we can’t read the minds of the people who made it,” said Dr. Benjamin Sommers, an assistant professor of health policy and economics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and one of the study’s authors. “But the result of these formularies is to discriminate.”

When Washington, D.C.-based Avalere Health looked at drug costs on silver plans in eight states, the consultant found more than a quarter of plans placed five classes of drugs — for HIV and AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis — in high-priced specialty tiers.

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago looked at how insurers tiered seven standard treatment regimens recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. The foundation found that Coventry and Humana place nearly all of the drugs in the treatments in the fifth tier, their highest. Other insurers place some of the same drugs in lower tiers, resulting in lower treatment costs.

Because insurers don’t make public the discounts they negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, the foundation estimated costs based on average wholesale prices, which it says range from about $2,400 per month to about $3,300 for the seven treatments. Patients are required to pay half the cost of tier-five drugs on most Coventry and Humana plans, according to the analysis.

Nancy Daas, a partner at Chicago-based health industry consultant CMC Advisory Group, said the pricing of HIV and AIDS treatments is not the result of discrimination but a reflection of the costs insurers pay for the drugs.

“I’m not saying it’s easy for people (to afford them), but these drugs cost a lot of money,” Daas said.

A year’s worth of a common, single-pill regimen called Atripla costs $26,000 to buy wholesale, up from $14,000 a year when the pill was introduced in 2006, Humana spokeswoman Cathryn Donaldson said in an email.

“Humana is committed to working with pharmaceutical manufacturers and organizations representing individuals with HIV/AIDS and similar organizations for people with complex chronic conditions to develop longer-term strategies addressing these underlying concerns of pharmaceutical access and affordability,” Donaldson said.

Daas also noted that drug pricing affects the costs of other plan benefits, and vice versa. By charging more for certain drugs, insurers can lower monthly premiums for all planholders, she said.

The AIDS Foundation also sent letters to Health Alliance, which operates downstate, and to UnitedHealthcare.

Health Alliance places all single-pill regimens, along with a drug commonly combined with others to treat patients, on the fifth tier in a six-tier system, resulting in “mostly unaffordable” drug coverage for people with HIV, the foundation wrote.

Health Alliance spokeswoman Laura Mabry noted that the insurer places several of its HIV drugs in low-cost tiers. “Our goal continues to be providing choices that meet consumers’ needs, including their prescription drug needs,” she said in an emailed statement.

UnitedHealthcare classifies most of the drugs used in the HIV treatments as tier two but also marks them as specialty drugs. Daliah Mehdi, the AIDS Foundation’s chief clinical officer, said the insurer told her the specialty designation made those drugs more expensive than others in tier two. But a UnitedHealthcare spokesman told the Tribune the drugs were not more costly.

In Florida, the AIDS Institute and the National Health Law Program filed a complaint over the cost of four treatments with the Department of Health and Human Services’ civil rights office. The complaint is still under investigation, but Coventry, Humana and two other insurers voluntarily reduced prices after a Florida regulator questioned whether the insurers were violating state law.

Coventry capped the costs of the four treatments at $200 per month, while Humana limited patient payments to 10 percent of what the insurer pays for all HIV and AIDS drugs on its specialty tier.

On Friday, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a rule for 2016 that prohibits plan designs that place “most or all drugs that treat a specific condition on the highest cost tiers” and that charge more for single-tablet regimens than for treatments that require patients to take multiple pills.

About 37,000 Illinoisans had been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS as of December, with an average of 1,788 diagnosed each year from 2009 to 2013, according to the most recent Illinois Department of Public Health figures.

Information on how many HIV patients in Illinois have joined Affordable Care Act plans is not publicly available, but about 8,000 people who have received state help paying for their HIV or AIDS medication have signed up for a plan, joined Medicaid or are in the process of getting insurance, a health department spokeswoman said. About 9,300 people received help through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program last year, she said.

The state program now helps pay premiums and drug costs for the low-income recipients who have obtained insurance, along with those who are still uninsured, the spokeswoman said.

Patient advocates said lower drug prices would not only ensure access to treatment for HIV and AIDS patients but also help reduce the virus’ spread, as some of the treatments make transmission less likely.

Will Wilson, a 61-year-old Gurnee man who said he was diagnosed with AIDS 13 years ago, recently obtained insurance through his employer that covers nearly all the cost of his Atripla prescription.

After his diagnosis, Wilson said, he went broke paying for the 16 pills a day he took to keep the syndrome in check. Keeping his income low enough to qualify for state aid ultimately allowed him to afford treatment, he said. Now he works as an insurance navigator for a nonprofit organization, helping people understand their options.

Wilson said he thought the Affordable Care Act would bring a new measure of freedom for people with HIV and AIDS, but paying for treatment is still difficult for many. Even on health plans that pay relatively good rates for HIV and AIDS treatments, interpreting drug formularies and plan benefits to figure out a patient’s costs is extraordinarily complicated, he said.

“The system that was supposed to be easier for us is not easier,” Wilson said. “And once again we’re faced with (the question): We still have to fight for the drugs that keep us alive?”

How One Woman Dropped Nearly 100 Pounds and Became an Instagram Sensation

Snag Roxie McGillberry's savvy weight-loss tips to start feeling awesome!

Before: 312
After: 216

The Lifestyle
If you’ve ever been to the South, you know that everything revolves around food here. My parents are both overweight, so I picked up some bad habits from them like having cake for breakfast, eating a lot of fried food, and rarely consuming veggies. I also had very little self-control; I could eat a whole bag of chips without a problem and usually ate until I felt sick. As crazy as it seems, I haven’t weighed less than 200 pounds since I was 13. And since I went to a very small high school—my graduating class was 50 people—I was the biggest one in my class and was picked on pretty badly. Fitness-wise, I didn’t play any sports or work out on my own. I was a very lazy child, and that carried over into adulthood.

Being overweight really affected my life in random ways, like not wearing tennis shoes because it was so hard to bend over to tie them. Occasionally, little kids would point and say hurtful things, even if they didn't mean to be rude. By the time I got married in 2013, I weighed 312 pounds. 

The Change
One night, I was eating at a restaurant with my husband and my 1-year-old daughter, and she kept dropping her toy on the floor. We were seated in chairs instead of a booth that night, and so every time I bent down to grab her toy, the chair would come off the ground. It was embarrassing because I knew if I fell everyone would stare at me. I had to do something.

That week, my husband and I joined a gym and started going four days a week. We’d work out for an hour to an hour and a half per day. That may seem intense for someone just starting out on their weight-loss journey, but I was terrified of dying. I knew that if I didn’t make a change I was going to get diabetes or another obesity-related illness. That fear helped push me to work out.

Since you can’t run without the risk of damaging your knees when you’re 300 pounds, my workouts usually entailed walking, biking, or using the elliptical. Eventually, I started lifting weights—and I loved seeing that I was getting stronger and could do everyday tasks like picking up my daughter more easily.

 

A photo posted by Roxie's Fitness IG (@roxi_fitness) on

I tried dieting before, and it totally backfired on me because I was only eating salads and not enough protein to keep me full and satisfied. So this time, I decided to be less strict about the food I was eating and keep a better eye on my portions by measuring out or weighing everything I ate. I began baking chicken instead of frying it, totally cutting out sweet tea—which I would drink by the gallon every week—using whole wheat pasta, bread, and brown rice instead of the white versions. Plus, I recorded all of my meals on the My Fitness Pal app, which has helped a lot. Another trick I used to re-train my brain to feel full after a normal-sized meal was drinking a big glass of water afterward. Losing weight can seriously be a mental game.

 

Snack fruit I cut last night 124 Cals

A photo posted by Roxie's Fitness IG (@roxi_fitness) on

As I started losing weight, I used my Instagram account to post photos of me working out and cooking. Over time, my feed started to gain a ton of followers. Now, I have more than 8,000 and use @Roxi_Fitness to provide fitspiration. It makes me feel so good to help inspire others!

 

A photo posted by Roxie's Fitness IG (@roxi_fitness) on

Today, I weigh 216 pounds and am looking forward to being under 200 pounds—for the first time in more than 10 years—very soon. I have no plans to go back to my old ways.

The Reward
There have been so many rewards from losing weight, both mental and physical. I used to suffer from depression and anxiety attacks, but now I feel so much better than I ever did. Another bonus of my weight-loss journey has been that going to the gym with my husband has actually made my marriage stronger. We love having the designated time to ourselves, and it makes us both feel more confident. One more thing that I love about my life after losing almost 100 pounds is that I have so much more endurance. I can’t run a mile yet, but I’m working toward it and am so thankful that I can run at all.  

Roxie’s Tips
Allow yourself a cheat meal. I don’t eat super healthy all the time. I do allow myself a cheat meal once week. Usually it will be food at a birthday party over the weekend or a nice dinner with my husband. But I know that after that meal, I will get right back on track.
Weigh yourself daily. As a woman, I know that my weight is going to fluctuate a lot depending on hormones, but I try to weigh myself as much as possible so that I know that I’m staying on track. It helps keep me accountable.
Take measurements. Some might think this is crazy, but I measured different areas of my body before I started losing weight. Those measurements really came in handy when I went through periods of not losing weight despite sticking to my plan. Even if the scale didn’t budge, my body measurements were always changing because I was shaping my body by working out, and that helped keep me motivated.

Roxie McGillberry, 24, is 5' 8" and a stay-at-home mom in Sweet Water, Alabama.

More from Women's Health:
4 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE I Started Losing Weight
What 200 Calories of 10 Different Foods Looks Like
9 Easy Ways to Crush Your Food Cravings
 

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Vanessa Moss’ parents bid to raise £400k for pioneering treatment in New York

Vanessa Moss was just four-years-old when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer.

Only listen to music for an HOUR to stop yourself going deaf, warn global health experts

The World Health Organisation has revealed a billion young people are at risk of hearing loss from listening to loud music as more than half of 12 to 35 year olds listen to unsafe levels of music.

Mitochondrial Manipulation Technology in US Soon? Unlikely

The United Kingdom has moved closer to approving use of this technology to enable women with mitochondrial gene mutations to have healthy children, but the FDA is being much more conservative.
Medscape Ob/Gyn

High stress for new mothers increases secondhand smoke risk for infants

Mothers with a high level of prenatal social stressors -- including possibly less control over their own housing situation or economic distress -- had 2.5 times higher odds to have only a partial or no restriction on smoking in their home than those with no stressors, which increases secondhand smoke risk, a study has found.

Honey-Rae Phillips’ parents get red tattoos to support daughter with birthmark

Honey-Rae Phillips has the harmless mark up the right side of her body - and after neighbours pointed and talked in her home town of Grimsby, her parents decided to show she was just like everyone else.

Contacts lenses that define border of iris take years off your face, makers claim

The Acuvue Define lenses have a pigment inside that helps to define the border around the iris, known as the limbal ring.

7 Pictures That Will Make You Lose Faith in Your Ability to See Color

If dressgate freaked you out, you have to see these.

By now, you're probably well aware of (and have maybe even become an active participant) in the dressgate debate. Is it white and gold, or is it blue and black? The controversy is so maddening because most of us think of color as something concrete. But the thing is, it's not. Well, not exactly, anyway.

"The perception of color is strongly influenced by context," reads the portion of Neuroscience, 2nd edition about cones and color vision. That means that the exact same hue can look totally different, depending on the background it's on (this is called "color contrast"). These images help to illustrate this concept (slash will trip you out and make you question your life all day long):

nih.gov

The red squares (or are they pink?!) at the top of the "X" are the exact same color as those at the bottom.

 

UWGB.EDU

This one's actually part of a series of artwork by Kristy Deetz that's all about how the same shade can be made to look different.

 

ROBSON# VIA THE CREATIVE COMMONS

 

Neuroscience, 2nd Edition

From Neuroscience: "The brown tile at the center of the illuminated upper face of the cube and the orange tile at the center of the shadowed face are actually returning the same spectral light [a.k.a. color] to the eye (as is the tan tile lying on the ground-plane in the foreground)." Crazy, right?!

But that's not the only way colors can fool your eyes. There's also something called "color constancy": when two different colors are made to look the same. Here are some images that illustrate this concept:

asu.edu

 

pratt.edu
socr.ucla.edu

It's important to keep in mind that all of this is normal. In fact, to reassure you that there is actually nothing wrong with your eyes, here are some color vision tests just for fun:

Those were 12, 42, 74, and 6—if you got those, you're good to go. (If not, you likely already know you're color blind, but see an optometrist or opthalmologist if you haven't already discussed this with a professional.) 

But really, what color is that damn dress?!

 

A photo posted by Daminem (@daminem_) on

 

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