Study finds alcohol advertising rules may fail to protect Australian kids

Regulations introduced to restrict the placement of alcohol advertising are unlikely to reduce young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing in Australia, new research led by Curtin University has found.

The research, published in the Drug and Alcohol Review journal, critically reviewed the placement rules added to the industry-run Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) Scheme in November 2017 and evaluated their ability to effectively regulate the placement of alcohol marketing in Australia.

Co-author Ms Julia Stafford, from the Alcohol Programs Team at the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA (PHAIWA) based at Curtin University, said the placement rules do not meet the criteria for effective self-regulation and do not appear to have introduced any additional safeguards for young people.

“The placement rules were introduced to put some restrictions on where alcohol companies could market their products. The rules include requiring advertisers meet other industry codes that apply to the placement of alcohol advertising, market their products to audiences that are at least 75 per cent adults, and ensure alcohol advertising is not placed within programs aimed at minors,” Ms Stafford said.

“We found that they are unlikely to reduce young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing as they are very narrow in scope, exclude key forms of promotion, and place minimal restrictions on marketers. All but one of the 24 placement-related determinations published in the first six months of the placement rules were either dismissed or found to be ‘no fault’ breaches.

“The rules allow alcohol advertising to be broadcast during televised sport on weekends and public holidays, and do little to limit outdoor advertising. Alcohol ads placed in shopping centres, at sports stadiums, on public transport vehicles, and at bus stops or train stations outside of a 150m radius of a school are all consistent with the placement rules.”

First author Ms Hannah Pierce, also from the Alcohol Programs Team at PHAIWA, said the review also identified substantial flaws in the regulatory processes of the placement rules.

“The alcohol and advertising industries were heavily involved in the development of the rules, but there was no evidence of consultation with other stakeholders. There are also no penalties for marketers who breach the rules,” Ms Pierce said.

“Our findings support existing evidence that industry-managed systems fail to effectively regulate alcohol marketing and government intervention is needed if young people’s wellbeing is to be a priority.

“It has now been 12 months since the placement rules were introduced and our research shows that a comprehensive, independent review of the ABAC Scheme is needed.”

The research was also co-authored by researchers from the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA and the School of Psychology at Curtin University and Cancer Council WA.

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This 1 Hack Completely Saves My Sanity While Traveling With My Kids During the Holidays

Holiday travel is always crazy, but it’s especially chaotic and stressful when you have kids. The traffic, the crowded airports, the rest-stops, the long lines, and did I mention the traffic? No matter how you get around during the holiday season, it’s usually never entirely pleasant. When I was a kid, it was all about long road trips to visit family. And since I never enjoyed being in the car for long stretches of time, my mom came up with a genius idea to keep me entertained; every hour — if my brothers and I behaved — we would each get one mystery bag with some little activity inside that would hopefully keep us occupied until the next bag, and the next, until finally, we’d arrive at our destination. While I give my mom full credit on this one, I’m far too lazy to make individual bags for each of my kids for every hour we’re in the car, so I came up with my own hack to keep them happy: road trip baskets.

My family and I mostly travel up and down the East Coast by car, but this one big travel hack could work for planes and trains as well. It keeps my kids occupied, keeps me from hearing the dreaded “Are we there yet?” question a thousand times, and ultimately keeps me sane on the usually dangerous roads full of other holiday travelers. Each child gets one basket, and inside are crafts, books, activities, and snacks to keep them busy for hours. I put them in an easy-to-reach spot and my kids can take out whatever they want whenever they want without having to ask me. The first time I used these baskets on a six-hour road trip with two kids, it was the easiest trip we’d ever taken. Since that trip, I’ve made countless baskets and am currently working on a few for the upcoming holidays.

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Yoga and meditation is growing on Americans: Report

Yoga and meditation have been shown to provide physical and mental health benefits, and it seems that people are catching on to that fact, as a new report shows that more adults and children have been practicing the two over the last five years.

Between 2012 and 2017, the number of adults practicing yoga rose from an estimated 9.5 percent to 14.3 percent, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. Yoga was the most common form of complementary medicine reviewed. However, meditation saw the most drastic rise in use, with 4.1 percent of adults practicing it in 2012 versus 14.2 percent in 2017.

While adults were found to practice yoga and meditation the most, a separate report said that children were also taking part at an increasing rate. From 2012 to 2017, the number of children ages 4 to 17 doing yoga rose from 3.1 percent to 8.4 percent. Similarly, the number of kids who meditated rose from 0.6 percent to 5.4 percent.

“Yoga and meditation are practices which can make you feel better, improve your overall health and are generally safe,” said Dr. Anton Borja, Medical Director of Integrative Oncology at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. People who practice them,

Complementary medicine includes a variety of medical approaches that are not typically part of conventional medicine but are used in addition to it.

Though they can be practiced by anyone, Borja said that for patients diagnosed with a serious illness — who might be more inclined to feel helpless about their health — they can be useful tools to help patients “take back into their own hands some control over their health.”

With regard to meditation, for example, it’s “been shown to help improve anxiety and depression and help to control pain, including chronic lower back pain,” Borja said. “People who practice yoga and meditation have indicated a general feeling of improved health and wellbeing.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga is able to reduce stress, improve fitness and help people manage chronic conditions. Meditation helps people to gain a new perspective on stressful situations, focus on the present and reduce negative emotions.

If you think yoga or meditation would be a good addition to your overall health care, talk to your doctor.

Dr. Anna Jackson is a psychiatry resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

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The simple habit that could help you lose more weight

Struggling to lose those few extra pounds? New research suggests stepping on the scale every day could be the key to losing more weight.

Sarah Lord is one of the many Americans trying to shed a few pounds.

“I’ll weigh myself on Monday morning to start my week and then Saturday to see how I did at the end of the week,” she told CBS News.

New research backs up the idea that this habit can help dieters succeed. The study out of the University of Pittsburgh shows people who weigh themselves daily are more likely to lose weight compared to those who don’t weigh themselves at all or weigh themselves rarely. 

The study of more than 1,000 adults found those who weighed themselves several times a week had more significant weight loss in a year. People who never stepped on a scale, or who did so just once a week, lost no weight. The research was presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018.

Why would regular weight checks make a difference?

“It would remind you to eat healthy foods, watch your calories, portion sizes, maybe stay away from those tempting sweets in the office because you know you are going to be getting on the scale the next day,” said registered dietitian Martha McKittrick.

However, stepping on the scale everyday may not be for everyone. McKittrick says for certain people, weighing too often could decrease self-esteem and increase anxiety.

“If you find weighing yourself everyday helps you and helps you stay on track, helps you stay focused, then I would recommend you do it,” she told CBS News. “But if you find weighing yourself makes you upset or makes you lose motivation, or makes you obsessed with the scale, then I do not recommend you weigh yourself every day.”

As for Sarah Lord, she says she finds getting on the scale to be a source of motivation.

“If it goes down, great. If it goes up, you just know you need to be a little bit more strict,” she said.

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NC reports the first death from Hepatitis A outbreak

North Carolina has reported its first death from Hepatitis A, a virus-borne infection that can be prevented by vaccination.

The death, which occurred in October, is part of a multistate outbreak of the potentially fatal disease, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.

The state health agency does not provide any details about the death to protect the privacy of the family affected.

The hepatitis A outbreak is associated with person-to-person transmission primarily among three risk groups: people who use drugs by injecting or other ways, people who are homeless, and men who have sex with men.

To stop the spread of the disease in North Carolina, county health departments are offering free vaccinations to people who are uninsured and in the high-risk groups, said Heidi Swygard, viral hepatitis medical director in the Public Health Division at NC DHHS.

North Carolina doesn’t require vaccinations against hepatitis A, Swygard said, and many Americans haven’t developed immunity to the diseases because it’s not widely circulating.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection that can pass in a few weeks as a mild illness or develop into a serious illness and last several months, according to DHHS. The agency said hepatitis A is usually transmitted through food or water that has been contaminated by feces from a contagious person.

The outbreak, announced in March 2017 by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control, has caused a spike in North Carolina hepatitis infections, primarily in Mecklenburg County.

This year, North Carolina had reported 64 hepatitis cases as of Oct. 31.

The state’s annual average for total hepatitis infections between 2013 and 2107 was 41 hepatitis cases a year.

Of the 37 cases associated with the outbreak, 20 have been reported in Mecklenburg County. Six have been reported in the Triangle: three in Wake County, two in Johnston and one in Durham.

Hepatitis A symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and stomach pain. Some patients develop jaundice and discolored urine and feces.

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Mom Breast Pumps While Running an Ironman to Hit Her Goal Time: 'I Just Didn't Want to Stop'

Mom life never stops — even on the way to a personal record.

Air Force Staff Sergeant and mom of two Jaime Sloan was racing in her first Ironman 70.3 since giving birth to her 7-month-old son, when she realized she had to pump her breast milk. Sloan had planned ahead and expected to stop in between the bike ride and the run to sit and pump, until she saw she had a shot at a personal best.

“I knew that I would PR (hit a personal record) because I had a really amazing bike ride and a pretty decent swim,” she tells PEOPLE. “I had brought my hand pump and I just decided to go for it. I was making good time and I just didn’t want to stop and lose the time on my race.”

Armed with her hand pump, a CamelBak and a washcloth, the 34-year-old took off for the run and figured out how to pump as discreetly as possible.

“At first it was a struggle because I was trying to get the milk flowing,” she says. “It takes a little bit of work with the hand pump, and my legs were very tired. But once I got it going I was able to run, even though I was going really slowly.”

Still, Sloan managed to clear out the buildup in both of her breasts, pop the bottle in her CamelBak and keep on running the 13.1 miles — with all her equipment.

“Ironman races actually have a policy where you can’t take anything or hand anything to a spectator, so I had to run all the way through with the milk,” she says.

RELATED VIDEO: Jamie Lynn Spears Says She’s ‘On-Demand’ Breastfeeding Baby Ivey, Once Fed Her at a Softball Game

And Sloan made it through the rest of the Ironman 70.3 Arizona and on to a surprising personal record of six hours and 12 minutes, which she credits to her cheering squad.

“It was pretty incredible,” she says. “To be honest I wasn’t even sure that I would do that well. I was even concerned that I wouldn’t even finish. I hurt my shoulder about two weeks before the race, and I took two weeks off from swimming. But I came out strong and I guess I just took the triathlon one section at a time. Knowing that I was able to overcome all that and do so well in the race and get a PR was pretty awesome for me. But I definitely owe it to my family, because I saw them about four times during the run and they just kept energizing me and encouraging me.”

Sloan says it capped off a stressful training cycle as she learned how to manage life with a newborn and her 2-year-old daughter, along with going back to work and a parenting on her own for a period of five weeks when her husband was traveling.

“It was difficult, for sure,” she says. “I lost a lot of sleep. But I would just take the kids to daycare and run in the mornings or ride my bike. I just found a way to work it in.”

And Sloan says she thinks her experience shows that people can do whatever they put their minds to.

“Anything is possible,” she says. “I think it’s so cool that there are other people out there who seen this and who have been encouraged to not only do triathlons, but to continue they’re breastfeeding journey or whatever journey they’re on.”

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Witch hazel: Uses, benefits, and side effects

Witch hazel is a small tree native to the east coast of North America. Many people use it as a decorative outdoor plant.

In this article, learn about the possible benefits of witch hazel, as well as how to use it and whether there are any side effects.

Uses and benefits

Witch hazel is an astringent. People commonly use it topically, meaning they apply it directly to the skin.

Witch hazel may help treat the following conditions:

Hemorrhoids

Witch hazel may help heal hemorrhoids, which are dilated veins in the anus or rectum. Hemorrhoids can cause irritation, bleeding, and discomfort.

While there is not enough evidence to prove it is effective, some people get relief by adding witch hazel to a bath. This may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Similarly to sunburn, bug bites and stings can cause swelling and inflammation. Applying witch hazel to the bite may reduce itching and discomfort.

Sunburn

Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce discomfort from sunburn.

People can use a cloth or cotton ball to apply witch hazel directly to sunburn.

It may be especially soothing if a person mixes witch hazel with aloe vera, which is another plant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Stretch marks

Some people apply witch hazel to pregnancy stretch marks in an effort to lighten them and make them less noticeable. However, there is no research to support this use.

Bleeding

The astringent properties of witch hazel cause the skin to tighten and small blood vessels to constrict, which may help stop bleeding from minor cuts or nosebleeds.

Side effects

Witch hazel is safe for most people to use as an at-home treatment for some common skin issues.

Some people may have an allergic reaction to witch hazel, so it is best to test it first on a small patch of skin and monitor it for 24 hours. If there is no redness, itching, or irritation, it should be safe to apply to a larger area.

Takeaway

Witch hazel can be a great addition to an at-home medicine cabinet and is usually well-tolerated. It is safe for most people to use for certain skin conditions, even if the research has not yet proven its effectiveness scientifically.

However, using home remedies such as witch hazel cannot replace advice from a doctor or other healthcare provider.

If using witch hazel as a remedy does not work or the condition gets worse, it is vital that people consult their doctor for further advice.

Witch hazel is available in some pharmacies, health food stores, and online.

We picked linked items based on the quality of products, and list the pros and cons of each to help you determine which will work best for you. We partner with some of the companies that sell these products, which means Healthline UK and our partners may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using a link(s) above.

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Watching People Beatbox in an MRI Machine Will Blow Your Mind

When Nimisha Patil presses her tongue against the roof of her mouth and exhales just so, she sends the tip of her tongue rattling like a playing card in a bicycle spoke. This makes a sound that exists in no human language, except perhaps the nonverbal language of beatboxing.

Patil is a beatboxer, a musician who can create convincing drum beats and other percussive sounds using only her vocal tract. She's also a researcher at the Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL) at the University of Southern California (USC), where she and her colleagues are working to understand how beatboxers recruit their tongues, lips, jaws, larynxes and nasal passages — body parts normally used for speech — to mimic percussion instruments. [10 Things You Didn't Know About You]

In the ongoing experiments, Patil and four other beatboxers of different ages, genders and skill levels took turns lying down in an MRI machine while demonstrating their repertoires of homemade percussive sounds. While the beatboxers filled the MRI with rhythmic strings of clicks, kicks, rattles and trills, the machine recorded the exact anatomical movements occurring inside their mouths, noses and throats. The result is a literal inside look at the mechanics of beatboxing, captured in high-definition video.

Timothy Greer, a doctoral candidate at USC and a member of the SPAN beatboxing team, said these videos counter previous research that suggested beatboxers can create only those sounds that fit into the phonetic library of known world languages. In fact, it looks more like beatboxers invent a new language all their own, he said.

"Beatboxers are able to mimic percussive sounds that we don't know to exist in any language," Greer told Live Science. "They're learning to use their mouths and vocal tracts in ways that they have never had to use for speech, going totally outside of common articulations and airstreams and creating what we call art. It's incredible."

For example, Greer said, watch a beatboxer perform an "inward click roll," a sound that roughly mimics a rattling synth bass drum. To articulate this sound, the beatboxer needs to curl her tongue back on itself while inhaling just enough air to cause a trilling vibration. According to Greer, the resulting sound comes from an airstream "we don't hear in any known language."

By stringing together percussive articulations like these into cohesive beats, beatboxers essentially organize sounds into longer "words and phrases," Greer said, much like what happens in speech. The difference is that there are no native speakers of beatboxing; it's a nonverbal language that comes entirely from mimicry and experimentation. Luckily, Greer said, that means anyone who wants to should be able to learn it.

"A good comparison might be how we learn to make an elephant noise," Greer said. "We put our lips together and blow out. We don't learn that from the English language — that's not in our canon — but we figure it out through mimicry."

Mastering the young art of beatboxing obviously requires a lot more practice and patience than tooting one's lips like an elephant. Soon, Greer said, the SPAN team will try and make that pursuit a little easier for aspiring beatboxers by marrying their MRI footage with computer algorithms. These will describe the exact, pixel-by-pixel movements of a beatboxer's vocal organs for every sound in his or her repertoire.

Beyond their use as a teaching tool, Greer hopes that these data could also help tease out the similarities and differences between beatboxing and speech and whether beatboxing can reveal anything about how humans learn and interact with language. Stay tuned for more research papers — and sick, sick beats — dropping in a science journal near you.

Greer presented his team's research today (Nov. 7) at the 176th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, held in conjunction with the Canadian Acoustical Association's 2018 Acoustics Week in Victoria, Canada. The findings have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Originally published on Live Science.

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With 2 simple knee Exercises, you prevent joint pain

Our knees need to withstand quite a lot: every Day, we bow down to you, on average, more than 1000 Times. Each time you walk the multiple rests of our body weight on them. The largest and most complex joints in spite of continuous load fit, we should be active.

Millions of people complain of inflamed, swollen or aching knees. No wonder: No other joint is daily burdened and stressed like this. Not just Sprinting, or skiing, it must keep the face of tremendous pressure: At each knee flexion the largest and most complex of our joints wearing the Seven – to-eight times our weight.

So it crunches in the short or long-each time you Bend or stretch, pinches or hurts, movement is important. A good Alternative to the gym or sports field offer aerobics or Zumba: The combination of dance and Fitness brings the body into swing, can the pounds and promotes flexibility and strength.

The benefit not least to the knees: Regular exercise also improves the metabolism and blood circulation of the knee joint. In addition, a strengthened muscles protects the knee joint injuries and diseases.

In order to prevent Overuse of the musculoskeletal system, we recommend a moderate, age-appropriate and not too intense workout. In the case of existing complaints of the feet or knee joints, you should avoid, however, be on sports completely, or with an orthopedic surgeon, a gentle approach discuss.

Two Exercises for healthy knees

1. Flat on your back and raise one leg. The foot towards the buttocks. After a few seconds stretch out. The Whole thing a dozen Times with each foot repeat.

2. Sit on the table and the legs swing freely. As a result, the joint is spread grease over the entire cartilage surface of the knee joint. Cartilage nutrition is significantly improved.

The best sports for healthy knees

Whether Zumba, Running, or Jogging – regular exercise, without excessive ambition, the best medicine is “”. Muscles, Tendons and ligaments to be strengthened in a healthy way – a slow warm – up and training. As particularly knee-friendly apply

  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Gymnastics or water aerobics

    To the PDF guide

Simple measures in everyday life

Of the (knee)health and conducive to regular Cycling to work or for shopping. Improper loading, such as when Running can occur are virtually eliminated. All of the muscles that stabilize the knee, to be trained.

But smaller steps can achieve quite a lot. One of the simplest Precautionary measures: often times take the stairs instead of the lift. Each stage strengthens the muscles, invigorates the knee metabolism and thus prevents osteoporosis.

Long hours of Sitting in the car, office or TV chair increases the need to be active: Remains of a joint in a rigid Position, so that the cartilage layer is loaded permanently on a body and to lose excessive joint fluid. This happens more often in the day, so the risk of cartilage damage is increasing rapidly, as when a clothing is claimed always in the same place and a hole forms.

  • You can change as often as possible the work or the position of the seat.
  • Get up once in a while.
  • You are going short distances.
  • Stretch at your Desk more often the knee.

The less strain on the joints

In addition to a lack of exercise is a prolonged Standing “poison” for the knee. Because then the full body weight rests on the connection point between the upper and lower leg bones. Better time to take a breather in the Sitting load, and several times a day, the legs dangle. This promotes the formation of synovial fluid.

Should avoid, to the extent possible, longer Work in stop position (for example, when Mounting or crafts), as well as a strong knee flexion, so the cross-legged or with frequent Squatting. Problematic is also the following sports are:

  • Football
  • Handball
  • Squash
  • Tennis
  • Rowing
  • Skiing

In the case of rotational movements of the knee under load, typically for the Kick, or skiing, are the the cartilage protective menisci are especially prone to injury.

Instead of high shoes that make it difficult to straighten the joints, better flat shoes with soft sole wear. They dampen vibration while walking and protect the joints. The Same is true for an “acceptable” body weight. Because obesity is one of the main risk factors for osteoarthritis or other knee ailments.

About the expert

Sven Ostermeier Orthopaedics and accident surgery, sports medicine, chirotherapy and special orthopedic surgery. The shoulder and knee expert, works as a senior orthopaedic surgeon of the joint-clinic Gundelfingen. He is also the instructor of the German Association for arthroscopy.

'I Lost More Than 135kg After Cutting This From My Diet'

I was heavy my entire life, but honestly, I never realised how heavy I was until I lost the weight.

At my heaviest, I weighed 220kg and was eating at least 6,000 calories per day. Cooking at home was never the norm, and neither were vegetables. I was eating out multiple times a day, and because I Ioved anything fried, it was usually greasy fast food.

Yes, 6,000 calories a day sounds like a lot, but I don’t think I’m exaggerating: Fast food breakfast sandwiches were usually my breakfast of choice (with hash browns and a large soda), followed by fast food tacos for lunch (and even more soda). For dinner, I could easily eat half of a large stuffed-crust meat lover’s pizza, along with breadsticks, cookies, and, yep, more soda.

Nothing in particular sparked my decision to lose weight–I was honestly just fed up with being 220kg.

So, on January 1, 2016, my husband and I made resolutions to change our unhealthy lifestyle.

To help me meet my goal, my best friend challenged me to 30 days of cooking for myself (without cheat meals), cutting out alcohol and soda, and exercising five days a week—the complete opposite of what I was doing before. I figured I needed all the help I could get, so I accepted.

By the end of that month, I’d achieved every single goal she’d given me. I’d taught myself to cook, I was learning to count calories with MyFitnessPal, I was going to the gym and actually making progress using the elliptical (using it longer, adding resistance).

While, yes, I dropped some weight, the most important takeaway was that I had actually become addicted to my new, healthy routine.

During this time, I also started up my Instagram account, @FatGirlFedUp.

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Back at it after an active rest day yesterday! Feeling pretty confident about the work I've put into this body of mine in July. This month I set a goal to lift more weights. I think it's important to always set new goals and work on the things that may not be your favorite or that you're not comfortable with so that you can improve. We all start somewhere whether that's with weights, cardio, or even walking into the gym. This journey has no destination so never settle and keep moving on the path to be better than who you were yesterday. . Shirt available via link in bio or teespring.com/stores/fatgirlfedup ——————————————————————————– No more slacking this summer! Fedup & ready to spend the rest of this year fighting back for your health? Vacation time and Summer are almost over so time to get back to our goals! Next dietbet starts 8/6! I joined my first dietbet in January 2016 when I started my journey & it helped me change my life! Time to change yours too & make those resolutions stick! Lose weight, share tips/recipes, giveaways including skype session with me, @fedupfam tees, & get paid!  Link in bio or dietbet.com/fatgirlfedup #goals #motivation #fit #fitfam #obesetobeast #weightloss #weightlossjourney #motivation #fattofit  #dietbet #diet #plussize #fitspo  #motivation #fitness #gym #anytimefitness #fitspo #losingweight #fedupfam #weightlosstransformation #transform #gymlife #fitnessmotivation #fedupfam #fedup #fatgirlfedupsdietbet #extremeweightloss

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My account started off as a personal diary. Soon after, I started making T-shirts since a lot of us (me and my followers) couldn’t find clothing we felt good in, and my Instagram account just grew from there.

I consider my followers friends and family, and together we’ve created a community for people who, like me, were fed up with existing rather than living. I don’t ever want that to change. I make sure they know that it is okay to flaunt their bodies, as long as they’re being kind to themselves.

As I continued my new, healthy routine, my taste in food started to change, too.

As far as my current diet goes, I don’t restrict myself because that would make me want that food more. I just started taking the foods I loved and making them healthier (my go-to meal is oven-roasted blackened salmon and asparagus). I focused on tracking my calories to make sure I was eating more protein, a lot of vegetables, and fewer carbs. And because I wasn’t eating until I felt sick anymore, the weight just started coming off, and it still is.

Here’s what I eat in a typical day:

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Made my favorite healthy meal for dinner and leftovers for meals this week. Blackened Salmon & roasted asparagus! I love asparagus and I always roast it in oven with olive oil, garlic, and pepper. For the Salmon I always use blackened seasoning and cook in skillet or oven. 😍 If you are new here I count calories and currently eat 1400 calories a day. I dont follow a meal plan but aim to eat more protein, veggies, and less carbs. I do however still have carbs every single day. Find what works for you and remember it's a lifestyle, not a diet! Sharing more of what I eat in my next dietbet, link in bio! #weightloss #weightlossjourney #food #foodie #foodisfuel #salmon #fish #protein #gains #dietbet #fattofit #obesetobeast #fatgirlfedup #dietbet #fitspo #diet #losingweight #fit #fitness #goals #countingcalories #fedupfam #fatgirlfedup #extremeweightloss #lowcarb

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Maintaining all of this wasn’t easy. I had to start being able to say “no.” If my friends wanted to eat out, I had to find different ways to spend time with them that didn’t revolve around food, like hiking or watching a movie.

I also enlisted my husband to join me at the gym—a once intimidating place for me.

There’s no getting around it: When I went to the gym, people would stare at me—so I made sure to be the hardest worker in the room. I’d just remind myself that I was in charge of changing the rest of my life. I was there for me, not them.

When I first started out, the elliptical machine was my best friend—it allowed me to manipulate the intensity and incline of my workout. It was ideal because it didn’t hurt my joints like most other machines did when I was at that weight.

Once I got comfortable with that, I also started going to a local class called Pulse Fitness, which is like Zumba. I stood in the back of the class and did as many moves as I could. I challenged myself to be better every time.

Even today, at 78kg, I can’t say whether or not I’ve reached my goal—I’m still on my journey.

And it hasn’t been easy: I’ve often had to rearrange my schedule in order to avoid adjusting my weight-loss goal. I was working 10-hour shifts, for example, which meant that I’d have to work out before, or try to incorporate creative ways to get in extra movement throughout the day.

For example, I would leave my phone on the other side of the room, which forced me to get up to turn off the alarm in the mornings. Other days, I’d lay out my gym clothes the night before, or take them with me to work and forbid myself from going home until I exercised. I had to have a game plan in order to save my own life.

Also, as a result of my weight-loss, I’ve been dealing with lots of excess skin. Right now, my next step is having my loose skin removed through surgery, which I’m actually getting done in the near future. I’ll be getting the skin on my stomach, hips, butt, and back contoured, removed, and lifted. I’m nervous, but excited about the result. (Yes, I’ll be posting about my recovery process for the FedUpFam to follow.)

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My most vulnerable post EVER ON this account & dressing room reminders that this body has beautiful battle wounds of losing over 300lbs. I have a ton of loose skin but however my skin doesn't hold me back from the new life I'm living. My skin doesn't hold me back from being proud of myself, loving myself, or taking care of myself. My skin doesn't make me sad or regret I lost weight, but proud. My skin is a reminder of how far I've come and can be removed if chosen. My health however can't be replaced and is a reminder when I see my beautiful battle wounds. Speak nicely to yourself because you're always listening! Skin is skin so love the body you're in and don't let something so small be such a big excuse. Health is wealth! —————————————————————————– Lets get paid to get lean in  Summer 2018! Fedup & ready to spend the rest of this year fighting back for your health? Start summer strong with our tribe! Next dietbet starts 6/25! I joined my first dietbet in January 2016 when I started my journey & it helped me change my life! Time to change yours too & make those resolutions stick! Lose weight, share tips/recipes, giveaways including skype session with me, @fedupfam tees, @doughbardoughnuts, & get paid!  Link in bio or dietbet.com/fatgirlfedup #goals #motivation #fit #fitfam #obesetobeast #weightloss #weightlossjourney #motivation #fattofit  #dietbet #diet #plussize #fitspo  #excessskin #fitness #gym #anytimefitness #fitspo #losingweight #fedupfam #weightlosstransformation #transform #gymlife #fitnessmotivation #fedupfam #looseskin #fatgirlfedupsdietbet #extremeweightloss

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Overall, it took a long time to feel confident enough to post photos of my body on Instagram, but I’ve gotten to a place where I’m comfortable in my skin. Now that I am, I can motivate my followers, in addition to myself. Though my journey, I’ve realised it’s not about the weight you lose, but the life that you gain.

Lexi Reed as told to Aryelle Siclait. This article originally appeared on Women’s Health.

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