Amandla Stenberg: ‘I’m so tired of the word woke’

Amandla Stenberg is a rare Hollywood beast – an actor unafraid to mix her activism with her art.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Tired of Swiping Right, Some Singles Try Slow Dating

Younger daters exhausted by larger apps like Tinder have found ways to meet possible partners by considering fewer of them.
WSJ.com: Lifestyle

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Rupert Friend Is Tired of Killing

After playing a C.I.A. assassin in “Homeland,” the English actor stars in a new TV series, “Strange Angel,” as a mysterious neighbor.
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Schedule alert! Every game tired teams should lose in January

Next month features the most severe schedule disadvantage of the season. How much did the schedule affect teams in December, and who should be on alert in January?
www.espn.com – NBA

Schedule alert! Every game tired teams should lose in December

How much did the schedule affect teams in November, and who should be on alert in December for a rest-influenced loss? These 10 games raise red flags.
www.espn.com – NBA

Mark Cuban Is Tired of Your ‘Uber of Something’ Pitch

In his first Original Thinkers column, Adam Grant talks to the brash Shark Tank star and Dallas Mavericks owner about the ideas that shape him, from his take on ball hogs to the importance of after-work drinks.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Zara Larsson On Trump: ‘I’m Not Even American And It All Just Makes Me So Tired’

Zara Larsson’s week is going so good.

The pop star’s her first internationally released album, coincidentally also titled “So Good,” dropped on Friday and has already scored killer reviews, as well as the honor of being the most streamed debut album by a female artist on Spotify with over 1.3 billion streams.

The outspoken Swedish singer joined The Huffington Post Monday to chat about making her new album and how feminism has impacted her work and life, and to offer her thoughts on Donald Trump being president.

“I’m not American, so I can’t speak for the American people but I do have opinions,” Larsson said. “Looking at Trump, every day there’s a new thing that he did and new things that he said and tweeted … and it all just makes me so tired. I’m not even American and it makes me so tired to watch this … It’s just so much.” 

She also blitzed her way through a lightning round, with questions ranging from “alcohol or weed?” to her favorite body part on a man and a woman to which female superstar’s concert she’d attend if she found herself with a free night to burn in Las Vegas.

Watch the video above and then head here to check out more from Larsson.

Don’t go yet! Try out our Entertainment newsletter. You’ll get celeb tidbits, late-night highlights, and the latest on TV and movies in your inbox, six days a week.

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Tired Of ‘Pink And Princess’ Shirts, 5-Year-Old Writes A Letter To The Gap

Five-year-old Alice Jacob loves race cars, superheroes and science, and like many kids, she wants her clothing to reflect that. That’s why she wrote a letter to The Gap Inc. asking for “cool girls’ shirts.”

Alice’s mom, Beth Jacob, wrote for The Washington Post about how she has a difficult time finding clothes that her daughter wants to wear in the so-called “girls’ section” of stores. While Beth was doing some early spring shopping for her kids, she picked out some shirts online from the Gap for her son. Alice saw her mom’s selections and realized that the girls’ category has vastly different options. 

“She said it wasn’t fair that all her favorite stuff was only in the boys’ section, and when we looked in the girls’ section, the options were totally different,” Beth told The Huffington Post. “No ‘Star Wars,’ no superheroes, no race cars, wild animals or danger. Alice loves that stuff, and she’s a girl. She doesn’t get why the things she’s into have to be labeled for boys, when the things labeled for girls are nothing like her.”

This prompted Alice to send a letter to the Gap. She dictated it while her mother typed. In it, she explained that she is almost 5-and-a-half years old and that she likes “Superman and Batman shirts and race car shirts, too.” But she can only find those kinds of shirts in the boys’ section.

“All your girl shirts are pink and princesses and stuff like that,” the letter reads. “The boys’ shirts are really cool. They have Superman, Batman, rock-and-roll and sports. What about girls who like those things like me, and my friend Olivia?”

Then, Alice made two important suggestions:

“Can you make some cool girls’ shirts please? Or, can you make a no boys’ or girls’ section — only a kids’ section?”

Beth stressed to The Huffington Post that Alice doesn’t care about a specific brand over another. She simply wants clothes that “are comfortable and let her run” and also reflect what she likes. She loves bright colors like red, blue and orange and wants pictures of things “she thinks are cool” on her clothes. 

“Every parent has a story of their kid’s obsession with something ― dinosaurs, trucks, sea animals, rock ‘n’ roll, Batman,” Beth told HuffPost. “These passions aren’t divided by gender ― why do their clothes have to be?”

Alice sent the Gap two copies of her letter: one to corporate and one to its foundation. Each letter included a personalized drawing from Alice and her signature. Beth told HuffPost she heard from the Gap that the company has not received the hard copy of Alice’s letter yet, but she has not otherwise spoken with anyone from the company yet. 

In August, the Gap came under fire for a promotional email it sent to customers in the United Kingdom. The email included a photo of a boy wearing a shirt with Albert Einstein’s face (and misspelled name) on it and a girl wearing a logo sweater. The ad labeled the boy as a “little scholar” and the girl as a “social butterfly.” Many parents spoke out and tweeted their disappointment with the ad.

Beth is proud of her daughter for speaking out about gender stereotypes. Their family loves superheroes, and Beth has taken this opportunity to show her kids to “be brave enough not to be like everyone else.”

“As a mom, I want both my kids to be unafraid of liking what they like, being who they are and speaking up when things are unfair,” she said. “I’d say Alice wanting to send that letter accomplishes all three.”

The Huffington Post has reached out to the Gap for comment and will update this post accordingly.

The HuffPost Parents newsletter, So You Want To Raise A Feminist, offers the latest stories and news in progressive parenting. 

H/T Babble

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Tired of Being Tired? How to Re-Energize and Be Happy

You’re tired. You’re exhausted from the moment you get up in the morning. It feels like you’ve been plowing the field with a fork. You’re working too hard and not getting enough done. This can get a person down, especially during this busy season. Fatigue can trigger sadness and vice versa.

There’s hope! Short of a serious medical issue, there are several reasons for being tired that can be remedied with just a bit of effort. I’ll list them below and then offer seven simple solutions to help you get more energy and a positive outlook; a rejuvenated way to greet the New Year.

Emotions
Anxiety, depression, fear, grief from loss, stress and the feeling of lack control are all factors that may create a bio-chemical reaction (cortisol and other stress hormones) that if unregulated may wear a person down. With a new year you may be reflecting on the past year and come up with self-criticism and regret. Or you may be anxious about the future, your finances and/or your loved ones. Below are some suggestions on how to release some of the emotional weight so that you are not feeling so exhausted from carrying them.

Time does not heal all wounds but gives us the tools to endure them. ~ Singer Patti Smith’s father

Habits

  • Not enough sleep – Adequate sleep is needed to replenish our body and internal systems so that we are refreshed able to think and feel energized to deal with the day. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep and go to bed at about the same time each day.
  • Too much caffeine – feeling tired may trigger you to drink more caffeine and that becomes a cycle where the caffeine keeps you from getting quality sleep which promotes the desire to ingest more caffeine the next day and so forth.
  • Too much alcohol – taxes the body’s filtering systems, liver, kidneys and also changes the way one thinks and acts, all of which can be tiring.
  • Excessive junk food – empty calories makes the body crave for nutrients and also hinders the body’s absorption of the very nutrients that can replenish the body.

How to Re-Energize

  1. One of the most effective ways to feel less tired is to do something new, break out of your routine. Take a class, research a topic you’re interested in, ask for a new work project and/or develop a fresh hobby. Even small changes like walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or trying new food/cuisine may help. When monotony or a worry pattern sets in, it oftentimes drains our enthusiasm for life, which results in a feeling of fatigue.
  2. Physical Exercise. The positive endorphins that are created and released in the body from exercise make us feel good and less tired. Endorphins blocks pain receptors and also produce the same positive feelings in the body like morphine. Start or increase your exercise program; do something that is a slight stretch from your current state depending on your current activity level.
  3. Go outside. Being in nature is very healing and it can improve one’s mood. You can combine exercise with being in nature by going for a walk in a park or some other kind of outdoor activity.
  4. Connect with others. Human beings are social animals and we thrive when we have positive social interactions, particularly physical touch. Sharing your concerns with a trusted person may also result in assistance and solutions. Have a meal with others, hike with a friend, make an appointment for a massage, or combine three things that will make you feel better: do an outdoor physical activity with others, your body and moods will thank you for that.
  5. Reassess your priorities. Review the total demands on your time. Perhaps you have very valid reasons for being tired. If you have too much on your plate, decide which ones you can eliminate, delegate or postpone. Just the very act of assessing your commitments may help you relieve some of the tension and stress that comes from having too much to do. Prioritize your tasks based on what is important for you and let go of the ones that are just busy work.
  6. 6. Ask for help. Seek professional and/or spiritual guidance from qualified people if you have an emotional matter that you feel stymied by. Request for assistance to help you get some of your tasks done. If the work is needed, there will be others who can help get it done. Position your appeal as something that is for the common good.
  7. Ask for help from a spiritual source. The power of healing and rejuvenation that may come from a spiritual level has been well documented.

As you move into the New Year, know that you can choose different ways to improve your health and wellbeing. Just by acknowledging the possibility that you can be less tired, you have already started your journey. Here’s to your health, vitality and happiness!

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

I’m Tired Of Hearing How Bad 2016 Was

How was your year?

Whenever I get on Facebook these days I see an insane amount of bellyaching and newsfeed sh*tposting that’s quite frankly got me tired as hell.

Yeah, Mr. Trump is our president-elect, and yeah, the election had us on a figurative roller coaster that got worse and worse as the year went on.

However, despite all this insanity that kept happening around me (and the fact that I literally heard Donald Trump’s name 10 times per day), I had the best year of my life.

Turns out it’s actually pretty easy to have a great time despite what’s going on around us. Now, I don’t mean to say we should ignore what’s happening in the political sphere, but we shouldn’t let it decide whether we have a good year or a bad one.

I remember I met an English guy in Austin right around the time Brexit was happening. When it did happen he was pretty devastated — even though I could tell he was holding back from showing it a bit.

The crazy thing is we drove six hours that day to a beautiful spot up in Tucson, catching the sunset in a place called Sabino Canyon. I could post pictures, (which I will) but trust me when I say these images will never give you the same feeling I felt standing there in real time.

Arizona. #travelblog #digitalnomad #outhere #sabinocanyon

A photo posted by Tom Kuegler (@tomkuegler) on

Oddly enough I never heard one more word about Brexit the entire time we were together. Granted, we were only with each other for a few days after that, but come on — nothing??

The next day we saw Sedona in upstate Arizona, both absolutely fascinated by these beautiful red rocks jutting out of the desert. You should’ve seen our jaws on the drive up there.

The point is there’s more important things in life.

Now, how the hell could I say something like that about something like government?

I honestly think political issues get so blown out of proportion by the media (hypocritical, I know) that we lose track of the things that hold us together.

These issues are important to talk about, however are they more important than treating our fellow man with some iota of respect? Or standing in awe of this sophisticated planet we inhabit?

I mean, we aren’t the only beings that live here–and I get it, government can help (or not help) make this amazing world a better place. But I think often times we get so caught up in the fighting and sh*tposting that we forget about what we’re actually here to do, or what we’ve come to save.

There’s nothing like sitting at the end of the world while watching a sunset to bring you back to this realization. It definitely grounds you a bit.

As a side note, sometimes all we want to do is be heard. I try to hear everybody even if I disagree.

I had a wonderful 2016. I watched the first presidential debate in Bozeman, Montana. I watched the second one in Salt Lake City. I watched the last one in Denver.

I spent two and a half months with my best friend in San Francisco and met so many other people that made my year fantastic.

San Francisco, I'm officially and undoubtedly deeply in love with you. #travelblog #laborday #itiswhatitis

A photo posted by Tom Kuegler (@tomkuegler) on

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I believe I had a great year because I spent it in awe of this country (and world), while simultaneously trying to spend more time with the people that mean a lot to me.

And yes, the political situation this year had me down on a multitude of occasions, but I chose to focus on other things. I saw the beauty of this country (and this country’s people) while working on finding myself as a 23-year-old caught up in the world.

So, before we keep talking about the shitty year that we had, let’s take a look around us! The people and places that surround us are what we’re really here for. We can find the light in any situation. I hope we can all find it from here on out, wherever we go or whatever happens.

Like what you read? Find more of Tom’s writing at The Post-Grad Survival Guide. You can also follow him on Instagram, or give his Facebook page a like to keep up with what he’s doing. You can also follow him on Twitter, Youtube, or Vimeo, as well as cut out the middle-man to read his blog.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

‘Tired’ Robert Redford, 80, to quit acting

Robert Redford has revealed plans to retire from acting after a career spanning 60 years.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Tired Of Baby Questions, This Couple Took Pics With Their Pup Instead

Australian couple Matt Kay and Abby Lee were tired of people asking them when they were going to have kids.

With the the help of their photographer friend Elisha Collins of Elisha Minette Photography, the couple of two years came up with the idea of of doing a newborn-style photo shoot with their canine bundle of joy instead. 

“Our families joke around about when are we having kids,” Abby told The Huffington Post. “We thought the newborn shoot would be a humorous response.”

“We came up with the idea when we were on the long drive home from picking Humphrey up from the groodle (golden retriever-poodle mix) breeder,” Elisha told HuffPost. “Abby and I have the craziest sense of humor and we feed off of each other with ideas.” 

 

The pictures of the impossibly photogenic pup and his fur parents began to go viral after Elisha posted them to her Facebook page earlier this week. 

 

“We did this shoot just for a little bit of humor between ourselves and our closest family and friends that have the same sense of humor as us,” she said. “We did not expect this to get as big as it has.”

Elisha stressed that the photo session was not intended to make fun of new parents or those who enjoying sharing about their kids on social media. 

“This was just clean, simple Sunday afternoon fun,” she added. 

H/T BuzzFeed

Also on HuffPost

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Plus-Size Models on What They’re Tired of Hearing and Where the Conversation Should Go

Plus-Model-Collage
Top: Denise Bidot, Amber Tolliver, Bree Warren, Georgina Burke, Marquita Pring, and Felicity Hayward.
Bottom: Georgia Pratt, Jennie Runk, Justine Legault, Julie Henderson, Gia Genevieve, and Emme.

Are we talking about plus-size fashion in a productive way or are we stuck in a rut?

Before you think, “But plus-size fashion and its models have been getting lots of press lately,” consider this: Many of the industry’s top models insist that we have a long way to go to change the perception of what plus-size fashion is really about. Over and over, these models get asked the same tired questions. (Ahem: What do you think of the term plus-size?)

If we want to see the conversation surrounding plus-size fashion evolve and grow beyond a single facet, we have to stop asking its models the narrow questions. Model Felicity Hayward points out, “The more people keep asking those questions, the less we’re going to be able to be equal.”

So, we asked 12 top models about what they’re tired of being asked in interviews and how we can break out of the stunted cycle we’re in with regard to plus-size modeling and fashion. Take a look:

What are the challenges of perception that you face?

Denise Bidot: [I get asked if] I care if people call me plus-size…I don’t have any problem with you calling me plus-size, curvy, voluptuous, big—I don’t really give a damn. We represent plus-size women, whether or not some of the models are smaller or larger.

Amber Tolliver: The question of should a plus-size or curvy woman be wearing certain things is infuriating. When it comes to straight-size fashion, any and all styles are fair game. Clothing options shouldn’t be different for curvy women. They should be given options and not told they can’t wear something before it’s even designed.

Bree Warren: People will ask if it’s my full-time job. What a lot of people don’t understand is that there are a lot of working models that have done, and will continue to do, very well. They don’t really understand that plus-size models work a lot.

Georgina Burke: [I get asked] how I stay in shape. It’s almost like they’re asking, “Do you actually work out?” There’s a big thing right now with all the plus-size girls showing that they’re working out and I feel like all of the interviews are saying, “Oh you don’t just sit around and eat burgers, you actually exercise?”

Marquita Pring: [I get asked if] I ever considered being “skinny” or if I have wanted to go to the straight-size world. As if the way I am is unattractive or it’s not as good as being a skinny girl, therefore, shouldn’t I want to be just like them? Never once in my career was that an option for me—not even at 15-years-old when I started—and I have never been interested in being smaller.

Felicity Hayward: [People] asking if we’ve had any negativity regarding being plus-size. People assume that because I’m bigger, I have experienced people asking me to lose weight or if I’ve worked with people that are horrible to me because I’m bigger…. The more people keep asking those questions, the less we’re going to be able to be equal.

Now, hear what they say on where the conversation surrounding plus-size fashion and modeling needs to go:

Georgia Pratt: It’s great when we can be included in conversations and questions that go beyond positive body image. The conversation needs to start opening up and approaching people such as designers, editors, photographers and other creative decision makers and influencers of the fashion industry.

Jennie Runk: It’s really important to get a message out to young girls and kids. They need to know that not only do we have Photoshop working in our favor, we have a professional hairstylist, makeup artist, and photographer…. The picture that these kids end up seeing looks—in no way—what we actually look like.

Justine Legault: At this point, I’m trying to have people get to know me as a person— that’s where I’m at in my career. [For instance], what would I recommend or say to women or young girls?

Julie Henderson: We should be focusing on how people feel when they look at us. Not “She’s too skinny or she’s too big or she’s plus-size or she’s black or she’s white.” People should say, “This is a beautiful woman. I recognize myself in her.”

Gia Genevieve: Plus-size models should also be shown in a glamorous way. I don’t see a lot of plus-size models being shown in a very sexy way, and we are very sexy. [What] I’m pushing for is that there needs to be more glamour in plus-size modeling—and less toned-down, commercial [shots].

Emme: For 20 years I’ve been wondering, How do we get the department stores to get [contemporary clothes] to size 18? They could really make much more money if they would buy more fashionable things in the size category of 12’s, 14’s, and 16’s. [I work with] the junior class at Syracuse University’s Fashion Design program to create clothing on size 2, 4, 6 forms and in the same class on 16, 18, 22 forms. We’re teaching student designers to design for all!

What do you think is most important to discuss about plus-size fashion and modeling?





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Tired of Justin Bieber? Watch Him Get Pelted With a Lot of Eggs

Justin Bieber has long been due some payback for putting us through his antics—everything from egging neighbor's houses to on-again, off-again breakup cycles—so it's about time he gets his own Comedy Central Roast. And the…




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Fresh Face for a Tired Space | Home Made Simple | Oprah Winfrey Network

A husband dedicated to making his city a safer place transforms his water damaged den into a sanctuary with a remarkable accent wall, DIY nesting tables and a simple but beautiful wall sculpture. Plus, your fave Mexican staples get a garden-fresh twist.

Find OWN on TV at http://www.oprah.com/FindOWN

SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/1vqD1PN

Each week host Soleil Moon Frye and her team of experts meet a couple who find themselves stuck in their quest of making over a room, tackling a once-in-a-lifetime event or repurposing that favorite antique.

Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

Discover OWN TV:
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15 Things Single People Are Tired of Hearing

What’s that sound? It’s white noise blocking out the well-meaning person proclaiming groundbreaking news about where you can meet someone, asking why you’re still single, or bugging you about when you’re getting married already. Don’t be that person. Here are 15 annoying things all single people don’t want to hear.




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Tired Golf 8.75 Skateboard Deck

Tired Golf 8.75 Skateboard Deck


Tired believes the Golf 8.75 skateboard will likely be the best deck you’ll ever ride. You’re welcome to test the theory; but of course it will come at a price.
List Price: $ 54.95
Price: $ 54.95

Meet a Husband Who Says He’s Too Tired for Sex – The Oprah Winfrey Show – OWN

Original airdate: May 13, 1993
Catch up with Alice and Vern on Oprah: Where Are They Now? this Sunday, October 12, at 9/8c.
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Only four years into Alice Grove and Vern Worsham’s marriage, their sex life slowed to a halt. Vern wasn’t up for it. His go-to excuse, according to Alice, was, “Oh baby, I’m so tired.” Find out why Vern was always so tired and why sex therapist Shirley Zussman thought she could save the ailing couple.

About OWN:
Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

Discover OWN TV:
Find OWN on you TV!: http://bit.ly/1wJ0ugI
Our Fantastic Lineup: http://bit.ly/1qMi2jE

Connect with OWN Online:
Visit the OWN WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/1qMi2jE
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Follow OWN on PINTEREST: http://bit.ly/1u0CqR6

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7 Ways to Like Your Body More (Because We’re Tired of the BS)

This post originally appeared on Bustle.

By Rachel Krantz

If there’s one thing that’s become clear to me over the last few years, it’s this: Nearly every woman I meet, work with or assume is perfect probably struggles with her body image. No, we don’t all have eating disorders or even disordered eating habits. But, unfortunately, every woman I’ve ever taken the time to ask has admitted she has an issue with at least one part of her body, face or appearance.

Personally, I came to the disordered eating party a bit late. I had managed to mostly fixate on disliking other parts of myself (see: my personality) until I was 24, when I took a job working the night shift as an editor at a different website. I suddenly found myself under increasing amounts of stress, and (just for extra credit!) in a half-baked relationship with a guy who withheld his affection.

My body understandably freaked out. My stomach felt bloated and tense all the time. When I went to the doctor, she suggested I go gluten-free, which did help somewhat, but created a new problem. Cutting something completely out of your diet can be dangerous, and for me, it led to a cycle of restricting foods that fell into the “bad” category, only to binge on all my “good” foods when I got off work in the middle of the night.

Food became the cause, the reward and the punishment; the funnel through which I attempted to pour control over a job and relationship that left me feeling increasingly disconnected from my body.

Now, just two years later, I view the path to regaining a healthy relationship with my body as one of the most important challenges of my 20s. Therapy, a new job and a new relationship have all been essential ingredients. But the real work? I’ve been teaching myself — deliberately, and in small ways, everyday — to love my body again.

Recovering from an eating disorder, body dysmorphia or any kind of ongoing body image issue is no small task, and professional help should always be sought. But if you’re looking to supplement that help with some small, tangible exercises, I highly recommend using these practices as jumping off points.

Meditate for just 10 minutes a day

2014-07-01-7db78720dd4b01316cb00aa0f90d87b4.gif

For me, meditation has truly changed everything about my relationship with myself. I resisted meditating for a long time, because I thought I was failing at it if my mind wasn’t completely empty. But as I’ve learned more about meditation over the past year, I found out that those thoughts are actually an essential part of the practice. By simply sitting with yourself and focusing on your breath, you are forced to become friends with the voices in your head (and yes, we all have them).

Often, without even realizing it, we have a downright abusive relationship with ourselves. We tend to bark orders, judge and degrade ourselves (sadly, especially as women). By just sitting and attempting to reconnect to the present moment through our breath, we become reacquainted with our our mind and learn to drive it — rather than the other way around.

It’s nearly impossible to hate someone once you truly get to know them. Meditating has helped me foster a kinder relationship with myself, so that when my mind inevitably goes to self-hating places, I actually notice it, because that voice doesn’t sound like the friend I’ve come to know.

To begin, try this exercise: Sit cross-legged and upright. Place one hand on your heart, and the other on a part of your body you tend to fixate on (for me it’s my stomach). Close your eyes and try to cultivate a feeling of love and acceptance — just love and acceptance — for that part of your perfectly imperfect body.

When you feel done, open your eyes, stare softly straight ahead and try to focus on your breath for just five minutes. Don’t alter your breath or get mad at yourself for having inevitable thoughts and feelings come up. Just notice whatever is naturally there. When thoughts arise, note them and then try to come back to your breath.

If intense feelings surface, try to feel where they are in your body. (Where do you feel pain or fear? For me, it’s also in my stomach.) Let whatever feelings you’re having wash over you fully, if only for a moment. Don’t push the uncomfortable away. Instead, let yourself feel whatever it is you’re feeling and then, simply return to your breath.

It’s that simple and that difficult. Do this for five minutes in the morning and five minutes before bed and trust me, interesting things will begin to happen.

Confront your own image

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When I was feeling my worst, I’d often cast my eyes down when passing my mirror, just to avoid my own image. (Oh, and then I’d beat myself up for being so idiotic, which was super productive.)

One day, when I was really fed up with my mirror-avoidance, I got a crazy idea: What if I made a video of myself on Photobooth and described, to my own face, what I saw? What if I turned the inner mirror monologue out?

Here’s all I did: I turned on Photobooth’s video camera and looked at myself as I was speaking and recording. The result was super weird and kind of cool (who doesn’t like seeing what they actually look like when they talk?), and shockingly, it was also empowering.

I told the camera what I saw and what I did and didn’t like. The results were surprising: What I thought I hated (my stomach) was actually not what I found myself disliking in realtime. Of course, I found plenty of other things to dislike just as strongly, as well as some surprising parts of myself that I found fundamentally OK, even kind of adorable. I realized, once again, that no matter what I “fix” there will always be more parts of myself to change.

By giving voice to my inner critic and making myself basically say it to my own face, a funny thing happened: That critic lost a little of her power. She finally had her chance to say her piece out loud, and though she’s never one to shut up completely, she was able to step aside for the rest of the night.

Be naked more

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Oh god, I can just feel my roommates cringing. No, not naked in the kitchen or living room (unless you live alone, in which case hello naked cooking), but in your own bedroom. Since I’ve started sleeping naked, not only do I sleep better (your temperature is better regulated) but I’ve also starting appreciating my body more. When I wake up, I do some naked yoga and stretch in front of the mirror. Laugh all you want, but it’s a great way to greet the day; moving, breathing and confronting my own beautiful, healthy body. I highly recommend it. If you live with a partner, don’t be shy — they will love it too.

Make self-love dates

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Hey, you’re already naked, right? This is one we women somehow often forget to do, and believe me, it has repercussions. Just think of it this way: Almost every guy out there masturbates regularly. You think the fact that they walk around the world like they own it isn’t connected?

While I’m not much of a morning person, I do believe that making time to connect to your own body in that way (even if you are having sex regularly) is crucial to having a healthy relationship with your body. If you only have orgasms with a partner, you will, on some level, always need to have someone on the outside affirming that you’re sexy and lovable. Masturbating helps you connect with what you want and how damn fine you really are. Make a date with yourself, and if it helps motivate you, consider it exercise — it gets your heart rate up, flexes plenty of muscles and has numerous mental and physical health benefits.

Try a writing exercise

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I’ve found that even if I write for 10 minutes once a week, it can really help me tap into what’s actually going on. If words don’t start pouring out of you right away, try this simple exercise to focus on body image:

First, imagine your inner food critic. She’s the voice that tells you that you shouldn’t have eaten that second piece of cake or that says you look ugly when you’re brushing your teeth or that you would have a partner if you only lost 10 pounds.

Give the pen to her and write out everything she thinks about you and your body. Keep the pen moving for five minutes and don’t edit or stop writing. When you think you’ve run out of nasty things to say to yourself, just keep going until time is up.

When you’re done, hand the pen over to your “inner best friend” and write for five minutes. Your inner best friend is the kindest part of yourself — and not necessarily the voice you should always channel — but she is the other extreme. Keep writing in her voice until time is up.

So, for example, while the food critic might have written “You know you can’t eat that because when you let go you start getting fat,” the sweetheart writes “Eat anything you want! You will still be loved with 15 more pounds.”

Giving voice to both of these extremes may help you meet somewhere in the middle, where your actual opinion lies. Do this exercise with care and some caution, and remember — the critic is just that — a critic.

Don’t make plans on Sunday for a month

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I got this idea from my friend Natalie, and I liked it so much that I try to do this every weekend now. You’re probably wondering what not making plans has to do with body image. Well, for me, one of the hardest things about recovering a healthy relationship with food has been learning to listen to when I’m hungry again. I found that during my period of restricting and binging I had lost touch with what I really wanted.

Not making plans on Sundays has helped me get back in touch with what I actually want, rather than what I think I should want. When I wake up without plans, I actually ask myself: What do you feel like doing right now? Whereas in the past I would have already formed a list of errands or social obligations for the day, now I just do whatever it is I genuinely feel like doing.

Sometimes it’s sleeping another hour. Sometimes it’s running errands. Sometimes it’s cooking brunch or simply laying in the park all day. I try to follow each urge, moment to moment, and simply act in accordance to what I want to do, without judging myself. It’s incredibly liberating and relaxing, and has not only made my weekends a hell of a lot more fun, but has also helped me communicate with myself on a much more honest level.

View this as a communal struggle

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I saved the most important tip for last. Yes, meditating and all of the work you can do on your own is crucial. But one of the most suffocating aspects of struggling with body image is that we all think it’s our own dirty little secret. If you’re anything like me, you probably even feel stupid, guilty or embarrassed of having these “trivial” thoughts to begin with. You may even feel that if you don’t have a full-blown eating disorder you don’t deserve to talk about the ups and downs of your relationship with food and your body.

In fact, you must talk about it — not just for yourself, but also for other women. Talking to your friends about body image, and asking about their own experience, is crucial for destigmatizing what I believe is still very much taboo: Most of us are, on some level, struggling with this.

I’ll never forget one day here last year at Bustle, when we had our first company headshots taken. Looking at the digital images that day, I felt particularly awful about the way I looked. But instead of just keeping it inside, I admitted to my coworkers Meredith and Alex that I was feeling bad — and they chimed in with relief that they had been feeling annoyed about their pictures too. The joy we felt at sharing how we were actually feeling was palpable. So, naturally, we decided to take a whole bunch of flattering selfies on (once again) Photobooth.

I felt not only beautiful, but also empowered: We had taken our own image back.

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Talk to your friends about this stuff and you’ll quickly find that they too are probably struggling to figure out what a healthy relationship with their body looks like. After all, things have gotten mighty tangled: Because the language of female perfection has in many ways shifted from “being skinny” to being “healthy,” it can often feel as if we’re the only ones for whom “being healthy” doesn’t actually feel very healthy at all.

Every time we give another woman permission to talk about her experience openly, we reclaim a little power from a society that tells us we should just grin and juice cleanse it.

And that, much like my reflection in the mirror, is a beautiful thing.

More from Bustle:

Yes, Men Struggle With Body Image Issues, Too: Here’s My Story

Is Picky Eating an Eating Disorder? Living With Selective Eating Disorder and No Vegetables

Thyroid Symptoms in Women are Hard to Catch, But They Sure Messed Up My Life

Images: Tumblr, The New Yorker
Style – The Huffington Post
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