How Can You Naturally Tighten Skin after Weight Loss?


Did you go through a weight loss regime recently? One serious problem faced by people getting rapid weight loss is loose skin. You might have loose skin on your stomach or on the thighs or arms. It is very important to tighten skin after weight loss. A certain amount of loose skin is present in the body of each and every person but you need to make sure that it is not excessive.

There are certain products like skin tightening creams such as skin tight, body sculpt and no more double chins and so on for this purpose. Body wrap is the other option available. But it is always better to use natural methods in the beginning because they are safe. In extreme cases you might have to go for surgery.
The surgery meant for tightening the skin after weight loss is risky as well as costly. Therefore, you should wait for at least 2 years before you consider the surgery. Here are certain tips which can help you start the process to tighten skin after weight loss.

1. Start with the right kind of exercises to tighten skin after weight loss. If you start toning your muscles it will make your skin firm. Some of the weight training exercises which can be of help are crunches, pushups, squats, sit-ups and lunges. You can even lift weights to build muscles. But before doing these exercises you need to talk to a fitness trainer. It is important to find out the right way to do these exercises. You might get injured if you do not know the right way.

2. Do you know you can use loofah to tighten your skin? Loofah is an inexpensive product which can exfoliate your skin. It has the power to dig deep inside the pores on the skin and clean the dirt, dead cells, grime and toxins. If you have loose skin then you should always keep it clean. It will also ensure a better absorption of the creams and moisturizers.

3. You need to pay attention to the food you eat. To keep your skin firm and elastic you need to stimulate the development of elastin and collagen. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, soy products and artichoke hearts have antioxidants, vitamins and biotins which are necessary for the production of collagen. You can also eat high protein food like legumes, fish, nuts, milk, beans and yogurt.

4. You can massage your skin with cocoa and shea butter to tighten it after weight loss. You need to cover the loose areas of your skin with organic cocoa butter. This is one of the ways to keep your skin moist as well as elastic. Shea butter can be massaged on the loose skin during the night as well as in the morning.

5. You must understand that you need to have patience to tighten skin after weight loss. Plastic surgery is an option but do not take hasty decisions regarding that. But surgery is one of the permanent ways of getting rid of loose skin.


Top Tips on How to Tighten Loose Skin on Stomach


How to tighten loose skin on your stomach is a common question among people who have recently lost lots of weight or among women who have been pregnant. If you are worried about the loose skin on your stomach then you need to find the best ways on how to tighten loose skin on stomach.

Some people have the idea of giving a call to the plastic surgeon to get rid of the skin but this is not the right decision. Instead of going the painful way you can always look up to some of the best abdominal exercises and yoga to get a perfectly shaped tummy.

Weight loss is a major issue and you need to deal with it cleverly. There are different kinds of weight loss programs available on the internet these days from,, fast track to weight loss, fit over 40, fat loss 4 idiots and the diet solution programs and much more.

But each of these programs might not offer the desired result in weight loss. When we are talking about the abdominal skin then it is important for us to find out some important facts.

The skin on the abdomen is different from the other parts of the body. This skin is known to contain subcutaneous tissue which stores fat. The skin can store at least 7 inches of fat. This is actually a natural method of storing food for the body in case a famine strikes.

A small amount of cushioning for the tummy skin is important for everybody even for the fittest of people. There are people who take up an excessive dieting routine to get rid of the loose stomach skin, and might fall seriously ill after a certain period of time.

Make sure you do not confuse the loose skin with excessive fat. You must always stay away from rapid weight loss programs. Rapid weight loss programs might be responsible for excessive loose skin on the stomach.

You should allow less than three pounds of weight loss every week. Do you know that you can help your stomach skin tighten with the help of a loofah? You can use the loofah twice every day. Lifting weights can also be a way to get rid of loose skin.

You can lift weights even as a method of weight loss. Practice stomach crunches because it is an important way to lose excessive stomach fat and tighten up the skin. There are yoga exercises which can tighten the skin just below the navel.

The two top exercises are cobra yoga which is the abdominal exercise and the upward facing dog exercise. The exercises might seem difficult in the beginning. In both these exercises you need to lie on your stomach and push yourself upwards with your hands.

Natural methods for how to tighten lose skin on stomach will have no side effects. You must follow a diet without sugar or sweet products. There are number of treatments available like the sagging skin treatment but the treatment can have bad impact on the body.

5 Natural Tips on How to Lose Stretch Marks


How to lose stretch marks is a common question these days. If you have stretch marks on your body then there can be two reasons for it. You might either have lost a considerable amount of weight recently or you have been pregnant. Women can have the marks for both the reasons while men will have the stretch marks only for the first reason.

We all are afraid of these marks because we know that it is not at all easy to get rid of them. These marks can either be reddish in color or even purple. When these marks start coming up they are not very bright but with time they tend to become visible. You should use methods to get rid of the stretch marks early because in the later stages it might not only become difficult to get rid of them but can also be expensive.

Rapid weight gain and loss can be a cause of these marks. The middle layer of the skin or the dermis is put under strain which in turn damages the supporting fibers. You must stay away from food which might result in rapid weight gain as well as from the rapid weight loss programs.

A balanced diet full of vitamin C and E can help you achieve a stretch mark free skin. Online programs like fast track to fat loss, 7 minute muscle, total body makeover and many more might offer great solution for weight loss but stretch marks might be common problem. Here are certain tips that can surely be helpful in losing stretch marks naturally.

    1.) Self maintenance is the key for getting rid of or preventing these marks. First of all, you need to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily to keep your body hydrated. You need to start the process from inside out. Drinking enough water will ensure that the toxins in your body get removed and the tissues remain hydrated.

    2.) Other than vitamin E and C your diet must also contain loads of protein and zinc. These nutrients will stimulate the creation of collagen in the body which can help you stop the growth of stretch marks after weight loss.

    3.) A number of anti stretch mark creams are doing the rounds in the market. Using the right kind of cream and lotion can be of some help. It is important to keep your skin moisturized regularly. Some of the top stretch marks removal creams are Revitol, TriLastin SR, Zenmed Stretta, Heal Stretch Marks, StriVectin – SD and many more.

    4.) To find out how to get rid of stretch marks naturally you just need to get vitamin E oil and massage it on the affected areas. Vitamin E has antioxidants which can prevent the damage. You can also use wheat germ, avocado and rose hip to get rid of the marks. Now you surely know how to get rid of stretch mark. Cocoa butter can also be used.

    5.) Aloe Vera gel can work because of its anti inflammatory effects.

What are the Top Steps for Firming Skin Effectively?


Are you worried about the loose skin on your body? Do you want to have a firmer skin? This is a common issue and lots of people want an answer to this problem. You usually get loose skin after sudden weight loss.

But loose skin is quite a common phenomenon and therefore you need not worry. There are various methods which can be effective in getting rid of loose skin. To get a firmer skin you need to follow certain tips. You must always try to stay in shape and follow some easy suggestions for a firm skin.

  1. 1. Do you think you take the right vitamins to maintain a firm skin? Vitamin C and E must be on your regular diet chart because they offer elasticity to the skin. Vitamin B is also helpful because it keeps the skin cells hydrated. You can tone your skin with the help of fatty acids, specially omega 3. You should eat lots of vegetables. Fruits like apples and oranges can also be of help.
  2. 2. Firming skin is not possible without exercise. Blood circulation is necessary for skin firming. To tighten the facial skin you need some facial exercises. There are exercises for the forehead, lips, eyes, neck, cheeks as well as double chin. Similar exercise routine should be followed for the rest of the body with loose skin.
  3. 3. Use of moisturizers is a good process for firming skin. Skin tight body firming lotion, emu moisturizing lotion and nivea skin firming moisturizer are some of the products which are used. Firming facials can also help you tone the skin and make it firm. It is important to choose the facial according to the need of your skin. It is therefore necessary to find out the skin type before applying the facial.
  4. 4. Flushing out the toxins from your skin can make your skin look firm and toned. Steam is one of the best ways to do this. You can either check out a steam room or even choose to go for a sauna bath.
  5. 5. Proper blood circulation on the skin can help you achieve firming skin. A good massage on the areas having loose skin can be helpful. The right kind of massage will also help in tightening the muscles and tissues under the skin.
  6. 6. Skin exfoliation is necessary for a firming skin. You should exfoliate your skin on a regular basis. You can use a loofah for this. This will not only remove the dead cells but will open the pores so that the skin can absorb the moisture.
  7. 7. Eat raw fruits like tomato, cucumber, coconut and olives to improve the elasticity of your skin. Losing elasticity can be one of the major reasons for getting loose skin.
  8. 8. Yoga exercises like lying on the stomach and pushing up with the help of your hands can have an effect on the loose skin. Yoga is also a great way to relax and get rid of stress.
  9. 9. You need to differentiate between loose skin and excessive fat to start with the process of firming skin.


How Can You Get Rid of the Extra Skin after Weight Loss?


Having extra skin after weight loss is a common problem among men and women these days. There are people who misunderstand the loose skin as excessive fat. Having a little bit of loose skin on your body is normal but you need to make sure that it is under control.

You need to work hard to get rid of the extra flab. Loose skin can be present in the stomach, face, neck, thighs as well as in the arms. You need to get rid of the extra skin after weight loss through a good diet regime, regular exercise and massage and moisturizers.

There are some more factors which can be responsible for the decrease in the elasticity of the skin. Age, amount of weight loss, genetics, sun exposure, water intake and nutrition are the factors that might affect your skin.

When you start off with your weight loss procedure you need to make sure that you move ahead slowly. Rapid weight loss programs must be avoided because they not only create loose skin but also has other harmful side effects. You can lose 1 to 2 pounds of weight every week and not more than that. This will help you stay away from extra skin after weight loss. Slow weight loss will allow the skin to adjust with the loss of the excessive fat.

Do you nourish your skin properly? To take proper care of your skin you need to exfoliate your skin to remove the dead cells and remove the dirt and toxins from the pores. Proper circulation of the skin is important to maintain the elasticity. A number of skin tightening creams and moisturizers are available these days such as skin tight body firming lotion, emu moisturizing lotion and nivea skin firming moisturizer and many more. Taking a hot bath with minerals and sea salts can also help you improve the condition.

To stop your skin from losing elasticity you need to stay away from certain things like harsh shampoos and soaps and detergents. Make sure you do not expose your skin too much to the sun as well as to chlorinated water. You must also stay away from hot water.

Hyaluronic acid is an important element found in the tissues of the body. This acid tends to decrease with time. It is important to maintain the elasticity of the body. The acid is also necessary to grow muscles. Therefore, make sure you include this acid in your diet and you should also include magnesium along with it because it helps synthesizing the effect of the acid. People who smoke regularly lack in hyaluronic acid.

To differentiate loose skin from fat you need to find out the percentage of fat that must be present in your body. This will help you find out regarding the growth of extra skin after weight loss. The fat percentage of the body is determined after you reach your desired weight.

Increase the intake of vitamin E and C to develop collage and elastin in your body.

Eating Chocolate For Breakfast Can Help You Lose Weight — 5 Recipes To Try

According to Liz Moskow, culinary director at Sterling-Rice Group, it’s very possible that chocolate cake will become a regular breakfast food because of all the health benefits it offers.

The Denver food expert recently told Food Business News that a Syracuse University study found that dark chocolate improves cognitive functions like abstract reasoning, memory, and the ability to focus — all of which make your workday much easier. Moskow also mentioned another study from Tel Aviv University which found that eating dessert in the morning can even help you lose weight, as our metabolisms are most active during that time of the day.

That said, if your breakfast desserts contain a ton of fat and sugar, you won’t reap any sweet benefits. Don’t worry, though — we’ve got you covered. Here are five deliciously healthy chocolate recipes.

1. There’s no need to give up Nutella when you can make your own healthy homemade version!

2. It’s pretty much impossible not to drool over this amazing chocolate banana bread.

3. Not only are these double chocolate muffins low on calories, but they’re chock-full of protein!

Read More: Celebrate Cake Decorating Day With These 20 Beautiful Confections

4. If you want an especially decadent breakfast without the guilt, this dark chocolate avocado mousse is the only way to go.

5. And of course, you can have your dark chocolate zucchini cake and eat it in the morning, too!

Get ready for a new revolution, chocolate lovers. We’ll never have to feel shame about starting the day with chocolately goodness ever again!

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Dennis Hof: The making of an ‘American pimp’

(CNN)Nevada brothel magnate and reality television star Dennis Hof has gone by many nicknames over the years, some self-appointed, others bestowed upon him: “American pimp,” the “P.T. Barnum of Booty,” “America’s pimpmaster general.”

Beneath the colorful monikers, Hof is a hard-nosed businessman who dove into damage-control mode when news broke that basketball player Lamar Odom was found unresponsive in one of Hof’s seven Nevada brothels.
    Hof shared details of Odom’s stay at the Love Ranch with CNN and other news outlets in an attempt to quash rumors that Odom used cocaine on the property.
    Something about a brothel owner repeatedly disclosing details to the press of a client’s stay struck some as unprofessional, especially in a business premised upon discretion. But Hof has stood firm in his right to publicly defend his business, a brothel operating under Nevada law.
    “My business is built on privacy and discretion,” he reiterated to CNN’s Michael Smerconish. “But when the ambulance pulls out and five minutes later TMZ calls me, you have to deal with it.”
    To really understand Hof’s behavior is to believe, like he does, that legal prostitution is a business that should not operate in the shadows — a position Hof has long advocated in the media, in his recent memoir, and on the HBO series “Cathouse,” which documents goings-on in another brothel owned by Hof, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel in Mound House, Nevada.
    It’s more than a moral position for Hof — it’s a business strategy.
    But what about the “hooker code” of discretion? Smerconish pressed. Didn’t Hof have an obligation to Odom to keep his mouth shut, to even conceal Odom’s reason for being there?
    Maybe in the world of illegal prostitution, “but I don’t know anything about that,” Hof replied.
    “It’s not any secret that he was at the brothel. It’s my job to protect my business and Lamar’s reputation,” he said.
    “We’re not gonna sit back and let people throw rocks at us just because it’s a hooker,” he said. “These hookers are all making huge incomes and most of them have better educations than I do. They’re professional working girls.”

    ‘I wanted the girls to be independent’

    It’s standard Hof — sex, money and self-promotion — to anyone familiar with the HBO show or his appearances on syndicated radio or TV specials on the debate over legalized prostitution (including the 2011 CNN special, “Selling the Girl Next Door“). As journalist Rebecca Mead noted in “American Pimp,” her 2001 New Yorker profile, “Hof exhibits the marketing man’s conviction that promotion will eventually be followed by product.”
    When describing his growing empire — he owns seven of Nevada’s 18 brothels — he’s fond of saying he and his “girls” are not just selling sex, they’re selling “the adventure.”
    A series of outlandish stunts underscore his flair for courting controversy as self-promotion, such as the time he offered free services at his brothels to returning servicemen, or when he hired John Wayne Bobbitt to work as a driver, or the time he promoted a “Get My Grandpa Laid” contest on the “Howard Stern Show.”
    In July, he made national headlines when he announced he was setting up an exploratory committee to look at a U.S. Senate run as a Libertarian.
    Along the way, he befriended Hustler pornographer Larry Flynt, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss and porn star Ron Jeremy, all of whom served as advisers in building his brothel empire.
    He has used his platform to speak out against sex trafficking and advocate for legalized prostitution, arguing that it’s not only good for women in the trade but good for business.
    Hof laid bare his motives in the 2015 memoir, “Art of the Pimp,” which recounts his rise from gas station owner to real estate broker to brothel baron.
    When Hof took over Nevada’s oldest brothel, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, in 1992, he applied his business savvy to prostitution, by turning the brothel into a “destination.”
    “Over the years, I had created some of the best sales teams in the country. If I could teach a high-school dropout how to sell a time-share, surely I could teach a hooker how to sell herself,” he wrote in his memoir. “I wanted the girls to be independent, to set their own prices and make their own deals.”
    He changed the name to Dennis Hof’s World Famous Moonlite BunnyRanch and made the prostitutes independent contractors with the right to refuse any act or customer. He brought in financial advisers to teach the women about personal investing, sales and negotiations. In exchange, the women split their earnings with the house, paid for their own healthcare services, sex toys and living expenses.
    “Every girl has their limits, and I want a willing buyer and a willing seller,” he told iHeartRadio host Nikki Sixx in March. “When you change things that drastically everyone thought he’s a square, this is never gonna work. And, now, I own all my competition.”

    The other side of fame: ‘Creepy and vile’

    Hof was born in Phoenix in 1946. When his grandfather died, his mother told him to take a “little memento,” from his grandfather’s room, Hof wrote in his memoir. He chose Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” and it left an impression on him. Growing up he worked at a gas station and saw a business opportunity. He bought his first gas station in Phoenix and by 1971 he was running five.
    He married at 18 and later divorced. As he bluntly said in the New Yorker profile, “I ended up getting a girl pregnant, ended up getting married, ending up having a second child all because I wanted to have sex.”
    As he tells it in his memoir, during the 1972 gas shortage, a woman who owned a massage parlor in Reno approached him and said her girls couldn’t get to work because they couldn’t get gas. Hof agreed to set aside fuel for her employees in exchange for their services anytime, free of charge.
    His describes his time there as a “sexual awakening.” He began hanging out at the Moonlite while expanding his business portfolio into real estate, eventually developing time-share communities in San Diego. When he learned the Moonlite was up for sale he jumped at the opportunity to buy it for $1 million.
    Hof became famous, and the 2001 New Yorker profile brought him a new level of exposure. The HBO show, launched in 2005, brought him into America’s living rooms and introduced the country to a different narrative of legal prostitution.
    He opened six more brothels in Nevada, including three in southern Nevada on a recommendation from Fleiss.
    At times, the exposure surfaced a different side of the beneficent entrepreneur. Unseemly accounts surfaced from former employees who accused him of sleeping with the girls, giving preferential treatment to his favorite at the moment, and creating a hostile environment by pitting them against each other.
    Hof more or less owned up to the claims in his memoir, describing how his relationships with civilians and prostitutes ended with him cheating until he decided to date only prostitutes with the understanding that he was not interested in monogamy.
    He also ceded significant space in his memoir to exes and former employees, who called him a “soulless pimp” a “narcissist.” Even Chicago shock jock Erich “Mancow” Muller, who has hosted Hof on his show, described aspects of his personality as “creepy and vile.”
    As the New York Post’s Larry Getlen wrote, “by the book’s end, one wonders if this memoir had been secretly written by Hof’s enemies, as any goodwill he’s managed to earn is erased by just how toxic others consider him.”

    Wearing narcissism as a ‘badge of honor’

    Upon arriving at the ranch, former Bunny Cami Parker recounts in the memoir being told it was in her best interest to sleep with “Daddy,” as the girls call him. After becoming his girlfriend, she says Hof tried to “fix” her by changing the way she did her makeup and pushing her to lose weight until she wound up with an eating disorder.
    Hof also included a psychological profile of himself in his memoir. Psychotherapist Dr. Sheenah Hankin said he engineered bitterness and jealousy among women in the house by encouraging them “to be jealous and yearn for his attention” while laughing at them as they “bicker, bitch and fight with each other over him.”
    In sum, Hankin labels him a “narcissist” and “a terminator with no empathy” who is “clueless about his lover’s hurts and fears or his part in creating them.”
    “What on Earth was Hof thinking when he agreed to let these damning accounts into his memoir?” Getlen wrote.
    Another calculated move on the part of a shrewd businessman, perhaps?
    “Once I made the commitment to tell all, it was a real roller coaster,” he told the Reno Gazette-Journal of his decision to write the book.
    As for the narcissist label, “I’ll wear that like a badge of honor,” he told Adweek.
    “Look at any list of the top businessmen in the world in Forbes and they’re all narcissists.”

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    A Case For Staying Off The Scale For Good

    Yesterday, I did something I dont normally do: I stepped on the scale. I dont know what compelled me to go upstairs, dig out that digital monstrosity and place my bare, non-pedicuredfeet on its dusty surface, but I did. Then I took a deep breath.

    And then I looked down.

    I was shocked by the number I saw. It was upsetting, it was discouraging, and it was disheartening. I was sad. But the number didnt upset me for reasons you may think. The number didnt bother me because it was too big or too small.

    The problem with the number was I was looking at it.

    The problem with the number was that I decided to weigh in at all.

    You see, we live in a numerical world: a world where our worth is defined by digits and figures. Think about it. Your beauty is defined by your waistband, and by the tag on your bra. Your value is defined by the size of your paycheck, by the clothes you wear, and the car you drive. And your worth the strength of your relationships and your sense of self is defined by the number of likes your Facebook statuses garner, or by the number of friends you have. And I vowed years ago, after battling with an eating disorder and body dysmorphic disorder, to give up on that BS. I vowed years ago to just be me and to embrace all aspects of me.


    Yet here I was ,on the scale.

    Here I was, getting upset.

    Here I was, passing judgement on my body and myself. The same body which rebounded quickly and completely from spinal surgery 16 years ago. The same body which birthed a beautiful and healthy baby girl three years ago. And the same body, the same thick thighs, which have carried me thousands of miles, across dozens of 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon finish lines.


    Instead of honoring my body, I was minimizing it.

    Instead of praising my body, I was critiquing it.

    And instead of loving myself, I was chasing ideals. (Unattainable and unrealistic ideals.) All because of a number: the number on my scale.


    And I know what you may be thinking: You are beautiful. You are skinny. What do you have to be worried about? You already have the “perfect” body. But perfection is all about perception, and where you see a cinched waist and cute little ass, I see a good, supportivepair of skinny jeans. You know, jeans which hide pot marks and dimples. Jeans which hold up sagging skin.

    Where you see an athletic frame, I see a boyish one: i.e. I see legs which are too muscular to be ladylike. I see bones which jut out in all the wrong places. I see a flat chest. And where you see the perfect body” where you see a size 0 body I see flaws and I find fault.

    And that is the problem, not just with me but with us all. Not just with me but with our beauty-centric society. You know, the one which glorifies filters and Photoshop and is constantly trying to sell us on lotions and potions and diets and surgeries to make us look 10 years younger, or to lose 10 pounds in 10 days.


    And make no mistake: Im not naive. I know I cannot change the world with one blog post. I know I cannot change our culture with a status update, but I’m hoping to change the mind of one girl, one young lady, or one woman who hates herselfbecause of a number, because of the tag on her pants or a few digits on a scale. I am hoping to change the mind of one person who avoids social situations to avoid eating. To avoid getting dressed. To avoid judgement and shame.
    I am hoping to change myself.

    So to the woman who loathes her hips, hates her ass or abhors her thick thighs, her flat chest, or her full breasts. To the woman who wants to lose 15 pounds before summer, or wishes she could bulk up her waifish figure. And to the woman yearning for her pre-pregnancy body yearning for a smoother stomach, a flatter stomach, or a stomach without stretch marks (a body without stretch marks,) I say this: you are beautiful. I know you may not see it, I know you probably dont feel it, and I know you may never hear those words you are beautiful often, but you are.


    Because beauty isnt a size or a shape. It isnt the clothes you wear and it has nothing to do with your makeup, your weight, or even your hair. Beauty is authenticity. Beauty is strength. Beauty is confidence. Beauty is being you.

    Even when you arent at your best.

    Even when you are covered in spit up and sour milk.


    Even when you are unshowered, sweaty, and, yes, a little stinky.

    And even when you are rocking a ripped pair of yoga pants. Even when you are an exhausted and disheveled mess.

    So wear your weight, your tattered and ill-fitting pants, and that sour milk stain as a badge of honor. Wear them as badges of courage, because you are amazing. You are beautiful. You are perfect. And you are more than enough.

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    Sally Phillips: Do we really want a world without Downs syndrome?

    A new prenatal test could eradicate Downs syndrome. Actress Sally Phillips, who has a child with the condition, explains why that would make the world a poorer place

    Sally Phillips and her husband, Andrew, didnt find out that their first child, Olly, 12, had Downs syndrome until he was 10 days old. Nobody noticed on the day he was born. I had a caesarean because he was breech, says Phillips. I reacted badly to the anaesthetic so everyone was focused on me. Olly scored highly on all the tests and no one noticed there was anything different about him. I noticed. And I asked them to look at him. There was something about his eyes that was troubling me. Itwas as if his cheeks were really big and not allowing his eyes to open. I said, Does he look like that because I ate a lot of cake when I was pregnant? They said, Yes, probably.

    Best-known for her roles in the Bridget Jones films (as Bridgets best friend, Shazza) and Miranda (where she plays Mirandas old school friend, Tilly), she has a knack of making comedy out of life, including her own. And she is not afraid of making fun of herself or her family. Indeed, showing that you can have a normal family life (because what is that anyway?) with a child with Downs syndrome is one of the main points of a documentary Phillips has made for BBC2, A World Without Downs Syndrome?

    Her first documentary, it examines whether the new, non-invasive screening tests that are available will eventually eradicate Downs syndrome. Phillips finds the prospectchilling.

    She didnt know that Olly would have Downs syndrome. Babies with Downs syndrome quite often have poor muscle tone and find it hard to feed. We would stay up all night trying to feed him and by 10 days after his birth, he had gone down from 8lb to 3lb. Everyone was still saying, Youre a first-time mum and youre worrying. Babies always lose weight.

    She had all the usual prenatal tests but they all came out as indicating an average risk. She admits she felt strange during the pregnancy but put it down to being a first-time mother. Im not one of these people who thinks they are psychic. But I just didnt feel good during the pregnancy. I was all swollen up. It was like Id been stung by a giant hornet. But everyone kept saying, Youre a first-time mum, its allfine. Now, being politically correct, Iwouldnt say that I felt that something was wrong but I knew that it was different.

    Phillips instinct was right. But she is evidently resilient and resolved to be open-minded about parenting a child with Downs syndrome.

    She has been pleasantly surprised. There were lots of moments during Ollys babyhood where I would think to myself, Wait a minute, I am not experiencing this as a disaster. But you are so bought into the narrative. All the pregnancy books refer to Downs syndrome as a defect. All you get is this information that says High incidence of leukaemia, high incidence of deafness Its totally overwhelming and unhelpful.

    Her family life, as seen on the documentary, is the counter-narrative: water fights, paint fights, an obsession with Barcelona football club and a lot of dancing. Olly, it turned out, was completely different to the tragedy she was reading about. Olly smiled his first smile at four weeks, like any baby, and it was this massive great big smile. I remember I had this one moment when I was going into town on the bus and there were these two mums with their perfect babies and they were complaining and whingeing about everything. I thought, oh. Im supposed to be having a dreadful time? Im really not.

    Sally Phillips in a scene from the documentary, A World Without Downs Syndrome? Photograph: Brian J Ritchie

    At that point I was swinging Olly around the house in a towel, trying to teach him to crawl. That is something you would not have to teach a normal child. But we were learning to crawl together and our bond was incredibly strong. We would laugh like lunatics for large portions of the day.

    We are talking in a large room overlooking the garden at her house in south-west London. Every two seconds we are interrupted by her two younger sons, Tom, four, and Luke, nine, showing off and being random. Their father, Andrew, a shipping industry executive, hovers nearby. She chases the boys out but they keep coming back. Eventually Olly wanders in with his iPad, looking for peace and quiet.

    Turn the sound off if youre coming in here, Olly, says Phillips.

    It is off, he looks at us, witheringly, suddenly deciding against sharing space with two boring old people, But bye bye. Its standard 12-year-old behaviour.

    Olly attends a mainstream school and has disproved a lot of theories Phillips was told about when he was born. I was told he would never ride a bike. He goes for a bike ride every day. I was told he would never be able to climb anything. Then we started having this problem where he would scale the back fence of the garden because he wanted to make friends with the neighbours children. None of the rest of us could scale thatfence.The thing is, nobody knowswhat Downs syndrome children can achieve.

    It took years for her to decide that she was willing to front a documentary about Downs syndrome. For a long time she had been hoping that someone else would make one and show the truth about how living with a child with Downs syndrome is not depressing and life-ruining in fact, the opposite. Eventually she realised that this wouldnt happen and she would have to make it herself.

    The tipping point? The new prenatal testing that should soon be available on the NHS NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing). This is a blood test that is done from week 10 of pregnancy and detects Downs syndrome with 99% accuracy. In countries such as Iceland (which Phillips visits in the film), the introduction of the test has meant that 100% of Downs syndrome pregnancies are terminated.

    Phillips wants to pose the question: Do we really want to eliminate this community of people 40,000 strong in the UK?

    We have the most expensive state-of-the-art Downs syndrome detection test and the ability to terminate right up until birth. But no allowance is made for the point of view of the other side. The families of people with Downs syndrome are not consulted. People with Downs syndrome are not consulted. There has never been an ethical debate about it.

    Phillips didnt particularly want to be the one to start this debate, but thats how it has worked out. Her status as an apologetic and reluctant activist is what makes the film appealing, funny and easy to watch. Although she has made no secret of the fact that she is a Christian and a lot of her fascination with ethics is clearly informed by her faith, she is keen to emphasise that she is pro-choice. Plus, she has a fierce curiosity about the views of those she disagrees with.

    The film shows her struggling with her emotions as she interviews a woman who decided to abort a Downs syndrome child. Phillips shows the woman a video of a Downs syndrome woman competing at a gymnastics competition. The woman is unmoved and unimpressed. As the mother of a Downs syndrome child, Phillips is clearly angry. But you can also see that she is empathetic, trying to understand. Shes a good person to put across two sides of the story.

    There are, of course, two sides to her own story in this context: life before and after Downs syndrome. I didnt know anything about Downs syndrome at all, she says. I didnt even know anyone with a disabled child. In fact, I dont think I knew anyone who was disabled.

    Her point is that we are sleepwalking into a world where we could eliminate Downs syndrome. Is that what we really want? There is a question she has faced all her life as a parent that has always bothered her. I get asked, Did you know? But what I hate is that I also get asked, Didnt you know? The implication being that if she had known, surely she would have terminated the pregnancy.

    And thats what worries me.

    She would not have terminated the pregnancy. And with what she knows now, she wants to make more people aware of the fact that a Downs syndrome child does not need to be in the defect category. Quite the opposite, she would argue.

    She adds: In a system where everybody screens and where you know at 10 or 12 weeks with 99% certainty whether your unborn baby has Downs syndrome, it becomes your fault if you choose to have the baby. We have imperceptibly flipped into a situation where the woman is under societal pressure to have that termination. Where does it lead? If you choose to have that child, should the government help you? After all, it was your choice. Why should anyone else help you?

    We are really close to that attitude already. There is already a new kind of pernicious discrimination towards disabled people, the idea that they are scroungers. Why should you steal my taxes? Who, then, would want to have that child?

    A World Without Downs Syndrome? willbe shown on BBC2 on 5 October

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    Trump advisers weigh putting Christie in charge of debate prep

    (CNN)Some of Donald Trump’s advisers are discussing an overhaul in how he prepares for his second face-off with Hillary Clinton, and one option being floated internally is asking Chris Christie to take a leading role to get the Republican nominee ready.

    The New Jersey governor, a long-time friend of Trump’s, is one of “the few” in the billionaire’s inner circle who has always been straight with him, and was “brutally honest” about his shortcomings after this week’s debate, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
      There’s no sign that everyone in the campaign agrees this is the right path forward. There’s been a round of recriminations within the campaign amid fallout from the debate.
      Christie told CNN no request has been made.
      “I have not been asked to do anything new, and as far as I know, there is no new debate prep scheduled,” he said.
      He reiterated that point when asked later Thursday by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “Nothing’s been asked of me to do more. If there is, I’d certainly have that conversation with Donald Trump at the time, but I’m not going to presuppose anything at this point.”
      Asked about the discussion, campaign manager KellyAnne Conway said Christie is “not currently under consideration.”
      Christie is also one of the few in Trump’s orbit who has recent experience on the debate stage — with Trump as one of his competitors — during the GOP primaries. His takedown of Marco Rubio was one of the primary campaign’s most memorable exchanges.
      Such a move — should it happen — would reflect an understanding by Trump and his campaign leadership that the first debate went poorly. That sentiment was expressed to CNN by multiple sources close to Trump, even as the campaign urged surrogates Wednesday to argue publicly that Trump performed well Monday night.
      Leading up to that debate, Trump’s prep sessions included a relatively large group of people, according to a source familiar with the sessions. Campaign chairman Steve Bannon was technically in charge, but in practice, Trump led them, according to sources.
      Although Trump pushed Clinton hard on trade in the first 20 minutes of their debut debate, she took control after that, landing clean shots at Trump over his refusal to release his tax returns and his treatment of women — highlighting a former Miss Universe whom Trump had publicly cajoled to lose weight.
      Trump, meanwhile, repeatedly interrupted Clinton — but never brought up lines of attack like the 2012 Benghazi attacks and the Clinton Foundation’s ties to the State Department, which Republicans view as central to their case against Clinton. He also never broached the topics of immigration or appointments to the Supreme Court, which could have helped him with conservative voters.
      On Wednesday, Trump was angry that his aides and advisers have conceded to reporters — largely without attribution — that he had struggled in the first debate, repeatedly taking Clinton’s bait instead of pivoting to issues that could put her on her heels.
      In a conference call with surrogates Wednesday afternoon, Trump aides made clear the Republican nominee was upset that his allies publicly acknowledged they pushed him to change his preparation and tactics before the second debate. And he wanted them to stop it immediately.
      The message was “not subtle,” a source familiar with the call said: Trump wants his supporters to make an energetic defense of his performance and refuse to concede that he didn’t nail it.
      Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller denied the account.
      “The entire description of today’s call is completely false and anybody saying otherwise is just making it up,” he said.
      Trump’s campaign circulated talking points to surrogates instructing them to claim he had successfully reinforced his outsider status in the debate. Those talking points show the campaign’s message on the debate is: “What the American people saw in the debate was an agent of change versus the status quo.”
      Trump’s campaign also sought in the talking points to recast Clinton’s performance by saying the Democratic nominee sounded “rehearsed, memorized and scripted — not authentic or genuine. She speaks on behalf of special interests and crooked donors.”

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      Fat people, rise up! We could swing this election | Lindy West

      Its time white supremacist whoopee cushion Donald Trump was hurled back into obscurity by a coalition of women, Muslims, veterans, LGBT people and fat people

      Midway through the first presidential debate, just before snivelling racist air horn Donald Trump assured the US that hes the only candidate whos up and ready to cyber, the Republican nominee made this remarkable statement: Nobody knows that it was Russia that broke into the DNC shes saying Russia, Russia, Russia but I dont, maybe it was! I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK? You dont know who broke into DNC.

      While I do want to congratulate Trump on one of his few successful deployments of the English language last night buddy put words in an order that conveyed a vaguely decipherable meaning, much like Franklin Delano Roosevelt! the phrase somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds raises a vital question.

      Fat people, are we going to stand for this shit?

      We already knew that Trump hates fat women. He hates Rosie ODonnell so much for being fat and gay (Rosie is just disgusting, Trump said in 2006. Shes fat, shes a loser, shes a farm animal pig, shes a beast, OK) that he shoehorned his irrelevant, decade-old grudge into the most precious and tightly regimented 90 minutes of his political career thus far. As the Clinton campaign masterfully publicised last night, the former Miss Universe Alicia Machado has claimed Trump drove her to an eating disorder by calling her Miss Piggy and publicly threatening her crown if she didnt lose weight. Trump epitomises the type of man who sees no value in women other than their smallness, compliance, conventional attractiveness and sexual availability.

      But by pointing a wee alabaster doll finger at fat nerds for the DNC hack, Trump didnt just express the standard disgust for fat bodies, he positioned fat people as dangers to national security. The implications are familiar, even if the context is outlandish: fat people are lazy, bedridden, unscrupulous, untrustworthy, antisocial, gluttonous (for secrets!) and worthless as anything but a punchline. Trump could have said, simply, a person sitting on their bed, but he chose to specify the fictional hackers fictional weight, because it evokes destructive stereotypes about fat people and antique ones about nerds. Because it milks harsh, cheap laughs out of the bullies who make up Trumps base. Because Americans do not like or trust fat people nor, really, consider them fully human and neither does Trump.

      Thats the same dislike and distrust that makes fat people less likely to be hired for jobs, take home equal pay or receive adequate medical care under their insurance. Its that dislike and distrust that make it socially acceptable (a public service, even!) to harass and verbally abuse fat people. Its the reason why most clothing labels refuse to make garments in larger sizes because we fat people are so worthless that they do not even want our money.

      Four hundred pounds (181kg; 28st 8lb) is not a punchline; it is not an absurd, shameful, astronomical number; it accurately describes a body that many, many Americans are living in right now Americans with fulfilling jobs and vibrant families, who pay their taxes (its this thing regular people do every year ask your gardener) and treat the people around them with humanity and respect. Americans who vote.

      Now, my dear fellow fat people. I know that you have been taught not to think of yourselves as a group, because the diet industry makes billions of dollars from the notion that each of you is just an individual who has temporarily failed to be thin. But, believe me, the rest of the country employers, jurors, neighbours, voters thinks of you collectively and treats you accordingly. And, well, if were going to be oppressed as a class, we might as well start using our clout as a class.

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      Could another person’s feces help you lose weight?

      (CNN)The diversity of the bacteria living in your feces is linked to how much fat you have in your body, according to a new study.

      The insight could pave the way for fecal transplants of bacteria to help people manage their weight, reduce their risk of certain metabolic diseases or, more simply, encourage them to broaden the bacteria found in their gut — and therefore their poop — by eating a healthier, more varied diet.
        “We wanted to characterize how the microbiome changes in obese people … and see which bacteria live in the gut,” said Michelle Beaumont, a research associate in gut microbiome and obesity at Kings College London, and lead author of the study. “This study has shown a clear link between bacterial diversity in feces and markers of obesity and cardiovascular risk.”

        Fecal examination

        Beaumont and her team examined stool samples from more than 1,300 sets of twins taking part in the TwinsUK study, the largest twin registry in the UK for the study of aging-related diseases.
        However, she hypothesizes that the microbiome, or gut flora, of obese people may result in them extracting more nutrients from the foods they eat, contributing to more fat being formed.
        Stool transplants from a person with a healthy microbiome have been proved to help cure antibiotic-resistant infections. Beaumont plans to investigate her theory, and other reasons for these differences in gut microbes, by seeing whether fecal transplants from leaner people could change gut flora to help prevent weight gain.
        By reducing obesity, these transplants could also prevent metabolic diseases associated with obesity such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
        Previous studies by the team found that a gut bacterium called Christensenella was more prevalent in leaner people. When it was tested in mice that were overfed, the mice did not gain weight.
        Gut microbiomes that contain healthy, inflammation-reducing bacteria have been shown to help reduce the risk of myriad health conditions, such as cancer, heart disease and infection.

        Diversifying your flora

        “But the microbiome doesn’t work in isolation,” Beaumont said. “There’s more than one bacteria that’s working. … The key thing is diversity.”
        Other experts agree.
        “This is another important study connecting the gut microbiome to obesity,” said Dr. Zain Kassam, chief medical officer at OpenBiome, who was not involved in the study. He is conducting a clinical trial exploring the role of fecal transplants from a lean donor to treat obesity.

        See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

        “I can imagine a universe in the not-too-distant future where a microbial treatment can complement diet and exercise to deeply impact the obesity epidemic,” he said.
        Dr. Martin J. Blaser, director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University, noted that the findings confirm and extend the work of earlier studies.
        “To me, the most important finding was that on the large scale of these observations, each of the measures of obesity was associated with reduced diversity of the fecal microbiota,” Blaser said. “Analysis of the twins indicates that some of the most heritable taxa have associations with the metabolic abnormalities.
        “Thus, inheritance related to obesity is not just human genes but the genes of the microbes we carry.”
        Still, Beaumont highlighted that the easiest, simplest way to diversify those tiny microbes residing in your gut, and your poop, is diversifying your diet.
        She used the example of prehistoric hunter-gatherers who had a much more varied gut flora because their diets were governed by what was available to them — and therefore were varied through no choice of their own.
        “This is really adding to the body of evidence that you should be very, very careful with your diet,” she said. “You should be eating a diverse diet.”

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        Could your fitness tracker sabotage your diet?

        (CNN)Wearable technologies can monitor your physical activity or your allergies. Increasingly, they are part of our everyday lives. But a new analysis comparing two sets of dieters discovered that those wearing activity trackers lost less, not more, weight than the tech-free dieters.

        “We went in with the hypothesis that adding the technology would be more effective than not having the technology, and we found just the opposite,” said John Jakicic, author of the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
          “One of the things we didn’t study here was, maybe these things are really effective for people gaining weight, but maybe that’s different from helping people lose weight,” said Jakicic, a professor and director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. “We need to do a lot more digging in the data to understand that.”
          “That means that something is amiss,” said Berkeley, who was not involved in the new study. She explained that if there was “absolutely no difference” between what the two groups ate and how much they exercised, the average weight losses “should be the same whether the study subjects wore a device or not.”
          Berkeley observed that studies on dieting are “notoriously hard to do,” so adding exercise into the mix makes accurate research doubly difficult. The main issue is that any long-term study must rely on the participants self-reporting what they ate and how much they exercised, so accuracy is naturally a problem.

          Wearable but in the drawer

          Jakicic is eager to look more closely at the data, but he and his colleagues have come up with a few hypothetical explanations for the unexpected result.
          “Anecdotally, these devices tend to work or people tend to engage with them for about three months or so, and after that, a lot of people start throwing them in the drawer. They get bored with them,” Jakicic said.
          Another possibility: Not everyone likes wearables. Instead, many people feel ” ‘I got this device, and I just hate it,’ ” he said.

          See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

          Berkeley, the author of “Refuse to Regain: 12 Tough Rules to Maintain the Body You’ve Earned,” noted that “weight loss is much more dependent on scrupulously following a weight-reducing diet than on exercise.” Generally, she said, diet is more important than exercise during the active weight loss phase, but exercise becomes much more important during weight maintenance.
          “It’s entirely possible that those who were paying more attention to the exercise part of their regimen [because of the wearable device] were less scrupulous about their intake,” Berkeley said. She added that exercising can often cause dieters to “feel that they’ve ‘earned’ the chance to eat more.”

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          In Losing You, I Found Myself

          It took mornings of dragging myself out of bed when I wanted to hide away from the world. It took me hysterically crying until I had no more tears left in my eyes. It took avoiding social media because the chance Id see your name pop up would be too painful.

          It took having to pull myself up on my own in order to learn how to walk again on my own. It took me finding my way when I was wandering through the dark alone at night. It took me being able to look in the mirror and realize that you not being there without me isnt the end of the world.

          It took time and it took strength, but eventually I knew it was time to let you go. I decided enough was enough. I decided its time to move on and find myself. I decided it was time to invest in myself for once.

          I decided moving on doesnt mean that I cant still love you, but it means that I have to also love myself. It means that I have to do things for myself because youre not around anymore. It means I have to focus my energy on bettering myself.

          It took me losing you in order to find myself.

          I decided to look in the mirror and like the face looking back at me. I decided to love the scars on my legs. I decided to accept that my stretch marks are part of me. I decided to start working out more because I love myself, not because I hate myself. I decided the jiggle in my belly was alright and that the messy, wavy hair I have on my head is beautiful.

          I decided that I dont need the love from someone else in order to feel okay about myself, I decided that loving myself was finally enough.

          This doesnt mean I forgot about you, it doesnt mean I dont have times where I miss you, it doesnt mean that I replaced you, it simply means I finally started enjoying my own company. It means I started finding my own wayand became comfortable with being alone.

          I found myself and Ive finally become happy on my own. I dont feel incomplete. I dont feel lost. I dont feel rejected. I dont feel like Im not good enough.

          With you everything felt good, it felt right and I felt happy, but now youre gone. Its time I stop clinging to your memory and hoping youll come back, because youre long gone. I finally accepted its time to stop living in your memory and start discovering my own happiness.

          I needed to fill the void you leaving left in my heart and instead of turning to someone new I decided it was time to love myself first.

          I decided it would be better to love myself than turn to a stranger, to give my heart away again to someone who could break something so fragile.

          I decided it was finally time to invest all the love Im so eager to share with others into myself and it paid off. It finally paid off.

          It took every ounce of strength I had and it took me losing you, but I finally found myself. I finally know what it’s like to create my own happiness and I can finally say I’m happy on my own, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

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          Once We Can Recognize That All Bodies Are Beautiful, Well Be Able To Appreciate Super-Hot Bodies Even More

          It baffles me that we live in the most progressive era in human history and yet somehow are still debating what constitutes a beautiful body. Theres an endless, nauseating back and forth going on about what beauty is and isnt, which misses the point entirely. If we could just get to the level where we can see everyones body as beautiful, well be able to appreciate the super-hot bodies even more.

          Its critical that we strive toward recognizing the beauty inherent to all body types. If we can look in awe at the stretch marks of a mother of three or be captivated by the curves of a plus-size model, then just imagine how amazing perfectly toned arms and calves will look in comparison. Itd be like going from pleasantly puffing a j to straight-up mainlining heroin into your necktotal fucking euphoria.

          Were all beautiful, and we need to start recognizing that. Lets celebrate those flabby arms, bellies, and butts so that when we come across perfect abs chiseled into a stomach with less than 6 percent body fat, we lose our fucking minds. We should be able to look at a woman in a size 18 dress and think, She is absolutely stunning just the way she is, and that means we need to make entirely new words to describe Kate Uptons perfect breasts and ass that God probably killed himself after making, being driven mad by his own creation.

          So look at yourself in the mirror today and be confident that your body is beautiful just the way it is. Then, with self-acceptance out of the way, you can finally devote yourself full-time to appreciating the unbelievable facial structure of Calvin Klein models who are so unfathomably attractive, you can scarcely be counted as the same species as them. See how that makes you feel. I think youll like it.

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