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When best friends Georgia Gibbs and Katie Wasley posted a photo of themselves sharing a laugh at Sydney Harbour in recent months, they were absolutely flabbergasted by the backlash they received from fellow Instagram users.

Honing in on the difference between the women's body types, social media users branded Georgia a 'bad friend' for allowing her smaller frame to highlight Katie's curvier figure. (Yeah, we know, what?)

 

Love you unconditionally @katewas_#SunburnIsReal

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Recalling some of the remarks made at their expense, Georgia remembered: "You have photoshopped yourself thinner or your friend bigger, what kind of friend are you?' was one of the comments. It broke my heart because Kate and I are best friends why would I do that?'

Despite deleting the negative comments, the women felt they hadn't done enough to combat the bodyshaming, and decided to establish an Instagram account which celebrates all shapes and sizes.

"The fact that a simple picture of two people together went so viral purely because of their body types shocked me," Georgia admitted.

With that in mind, the two women created Any Body which encourages women to celebrate body diversity and pay tribute to each other's differences.

"Any Body was created because no one should have to deal with that and it shouldn't even be acknowledged."

"All I see here is two women, not one "skinny" woman and one "curvy" woman. Stop comparing everyone to each other and accept every person as beautiful in their own right."

"You have so much more to offer than just what's skin deep," they write alongside their posts.

 Responding to the support they have received from women worldwide, they wrote: "We are so incredibly humbled by the response we have had from you beautiful women."

"We never expected so much love and we are so proud to see so many of you empowered and proud of your individual and beautiful bodies."

"We're best friends we walk next to each other every day and love each other for who we are and for so much more than our appearances, size 6 or 16 WHO CARES, health & happiness over size!" they tell followers.

That's a message we can get on board with. 

Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!

Winding down is becoming harder and harder these days as many of us find it increasingly difficult to switch off or detach after a hectic day.

Old reliables like chilling out in front of a movie or reading a book just don't have the same appeal as our reliance on email and instant messaging increases, and ultimately distracts us from the task at hand.

However, it looks like millions of people in recent years have found a failsafe way to tune out or drift off, and it's with the help of something known as ASMR.

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is an experience characterised by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, and can be brought about by the sound of hair brushing, hushed tones, page turning or keyboard tapping… among many others.

Indeed, YouTube is awash with videos from all over the world which feature individuals role-playing in a variety of situations including hair appointments, eye examinations and hotel check-ins.

The thing is, though, you either get it or you don't. But if you do, here we have – for your ASMR pleasure – some of the most popular.

1. "This was my very first ASMR video! Knocks me out almost every time!"

2. "This is the best ASMR video I've seen in a long time."

3. "It's so hard explaining this to people."

4. "Your voice is so soothing, you're already one of my fav asmrtists!"

5. "Does anyone else feel that it tickles your back?"

 

When it comes to weight loss, each journey is unique, and invariably depends on the individual's physical composition, fitness levels and determination… among many other things.

Each person has their own tips and tricks for shedding the lbs, but it looks like one woman's approach to losing weight has seriously piqued the interest of social media users as her story is doing the rounds for the second time in 12 months.
 

Following the death of her mother and partner, Justine McCabe gained a considerable amount of weight, and after vowing to shed it, decided to document her journey by taking one selfie a day as she slowly made her way towards her goal.

Dropping from 313 lbs to 189, Justine shared her journey with Instagram users, and racked up more than a quarter of a million views in the process.

 

The person you see reflecting in the mirror…will provide you with the biggest challenges in life. The human spirit is powerful. Do the work. Suffer the setbacks, push past the pain and excuses. True motivation is not an outside source. It's staring directly back at you. There is nothing you cannot be, do or have. Live with no regrets and don't ever give up. This is what drives me. My motivation.#transformationtuesday #teamjonnystraws #neverfail #IAMMOTIV8 #motiv8performance #jonnystraws #weightlossmotivation #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #fitspiration #girlswholift #fitspo #fitfam #selflove #motivation #confidence #weightloss #trainandtransform #girlswithmuscle #fitmom #fattofit #bodybuilding #beastmode #teamgetyokd #spartanrevolution #limitless #ichoosetolive #keepgoing #musclevizion #athlete

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"The person you see reflecting in the mirror will provide you with the biggest challenges in life. The human spirit is powerful," she wrote in a post last summer.

"Do the work. Suffer the setbacks, push past the pain and excuses. True motivation is not an outside source. It's staring directly back at you," she continued.

 

Make today your Monday!I have started and stopped more times than I can count. I was convinced I would be unhappy and overweight forever…until the day came that I had enough. Enough exhaustion, enough depression, enough self shame…enough of living in a body that didn't feel like me. Every single decision you make will get you closer than you were yesterday. Take the stairs, park further away, cut out that extra serving, go to the gym when you don't want to, learn to live healthy…and whatever you do…just keep moving. Keep doing. This is your start. #MondayMotivation #IChooseToLive #LiveInspired #KeepGoing #Happiness #Love #Life #Change #Weightloss #BestSelf #InstaGood #FitFam #Transformation #BodyPositive #Strong #SelfLove #fitspo #girlswithmuscle #fitness #realtalk #ThisIsMe #BoPo #SelfConfidence #Body4Me #IAmAllWoman #worthy #be #bodydysmorphia #newpath #TeamJustine

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"There is nothing you cannot be, do or have. Live with no regrets and don't ever give up. This is what drives me. My motivation," she finished.

Justine used exercise to combat the depression she had sunk into following the loss of her mother and partner, admitting: "There were a few times I cried on that elliptical,”

Over the course of two years, Justine says she has developed a love and passion for health and fitness.

"I could become complacent with my accomplishments, but why would I do that? We've got one shot at this life," she insists. "I'm going to push every boundary, face every fear, fill my life with knowledge, determination and inspiration."

 

Don't get us wrong, we love our skinny jeans.

We love our skinny jeans, our parka jackets, and our cross body bags; but apparently, they're all impacting our health.

According to a British health professional, our clothing choices are leading to back and neck pain, as well as other movement problems.

 

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Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association told The Telegraph: "I am always surprised at how many of my patients are unaware that their clothing and accessories can affect their back health and their posture, and equally how many decide their outfit-choice outweighs their pain.

"Some of the most popular items of clothing can have a hidden health impact.

"While overloaded and heavy handbags are a common culprit, some more unexpected items like skinny jeans can also wreak havoc – they restrict free movement in areas such as the hips and knees, affecting the way we hold our bodies.

 

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As well as our jeans, some new trends from this season are also causing us to strain our bodies which can impact our posture.

"Trends such as asymmetric hemlines, oversized sleeves and hoods and heavy jewellery can also create problems.

"Large hoods can mean you strain your neck in order to see, and asymmetric hemlines, especially if tight-fitting, can restrict your movement and cause you to walk differently.

"Oversized sleeves can cause you to hold your arms in a different or unusual way, so once again your body will be compensating for your fashion choices."

 

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Thankfully, Tim added that he's "certainly not saying stop wearing your favourite clothes altogether, like most things in life, moderation is best and there are easy ways you can reduce the impact on your posture and overall health."

Praise be to baby Jesus, we thought we were going to have to do a major wardrobe clear-out.

When bodybuilder Diana Andrews made the decision to publicly bodyshame a woman she spotted exercising, she obviously presumed her social media followers were as devoid of empathy as she clearly is.

Thankfully, they weren't.

After secretly snapping a photo of the woman, feeling the need to point out her 'love handles', and suggesting she was using her phone to order a takeaway, Diana shared her thought process with her 17,000 followers.

And is now living to regret it.

Diana made the mistake of assuming that the people who follow her rate physical appearance above kindness, fitness above determination, and agility above resolution.

Put simply, Diana failed to realise that, in many ways, her 17,000 followers are variations of that woman.

The 'love handles' Diana gleefully made reference to in her now deleted post acted as a symbol for the personal hang-ups her followers likely carry on a daily basis, and go a long way towards explaining the backlash she has received in the aftermath of her ill-informed decision.

 

 

It's a pity Diana's inflated sense of self didn't allow her to recognise the esteem with which her followers held her.

They trust her guidance, they look to her for inspiration, they take heed of her tips, and they follow her because they want to better themselves.

By shaming that unassuming woman, she indirectly shamed her followers. They swiftly learned that, in the eyes of this bodybuilder, their imperfections, their flaws and their limitations were worthy of scorn.

She may have apologised, suggested that her remarks were misunderstood (really?) and attempted to claw her way back into social media's affections, but she'll be a long time convincing anyone that the purpose of her post was anything but an attempt to denigrate a young woman.

She may have fooled herself, but she hasn't fooled anyone else, because in so many ways, we're all that woman with the 'love handles' and we've all encountered our own Diana Andrews.

There are some health warnings that we are all aware of – but what about those random spots, rashes and skin blemishes that seem to just appear out of nowhere?

While many of us will brush these off as random irritations, some skin symptoms are the first red flags of a more serious condition.

Here are seven that you should be aware of – and never ignore.

1. Changing moles

Always check in with a doctor or skin specialist if you notice the development of a new mole, or changes to an existing one. Things to look out for include: changes in size, shape and colour; blood or discharge; sudden itching or irritation, or if a pigmented lesion differs in appearance from your other moles, described as ‘an ugly duckling’. The ABCDE method indicates what changes to look for.

  • Asymmetry: One side doesn't match the other.

  • Borders. The edges are irregular or jagged.

  • Colour. The colour is not the same throughout the mole.

  • Diameter. Larger than 6mm.

  • Evolution. There is a change in the size, shape, surface (especially bleeding), colour or new symptoms (such as tenderness).

2. Pearlescent/grey bumps

Indeed, any changes in the skin, including lumps or changes in texture, should be noted. For example, have you noticed a shiny lump with a ‘pearl like’ rim and a central crater? Then you should make an appointment with your doctor or a skin specialist as this is one of the tell-tale sign of basal cell carcinoma, which is the most commonly occurring form of skin cancer. 

3. Breast dimpling

When it comes to breast cancer, the majority of women will know to check for lumps. However, dimpling is another red flag and can occur when cancer cells obstruct the lymphatic drainage in the breast tissue. If dimpling or other changes of the breast are observed, your doctor should be consulted straightaway.

4. Tender, crusting rashes

It’s important to look after any particularly tender or aggressive rashes. If left untreated to the point where they are regularly bleeding or crusting, this could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition or potential infection.  

5. Lumps or abscesses in your private parts or underarm

These could be the first signs of an inflammatory skin disease of the hair follicle, known as hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) or acne inversa.

These recurring painful, ‘boil-like’ lumps or abscesses typically occur in the armpits, groin and buttocks; as well as under the breasts and around the perianal area.

With a new study revealing that it can take up to eight years to diagnose HS due to lack of awareness, it’s important to take note of these symptoms and talk to your doctor.

6. Meningitis rash

As a potentially life-threatening illness, it’s extremely important to know the signs of meningitis, and to catch it early. A typical rash associated with meningitis will look red or purple, developing from small spots into bruise-like blotches.

If the rash is accompanied by common symptoms of meningitis – including fever, headache, light sensitivity, neck stiffness, vomiting and disorientation – contact your doctor immediately.

In the meantime, perform the glass test, by simply pressing a glass tumbler against the rash. If the rash doesn’t fade under the pressure, you could well be dealing with a case of meningitis.

7. Bruising easily

Have you noticed that your skin bruises following even minor bumps or the slightest pressure? If so, you need to consult with your doctor, as this (together with a number of other symptoms) can sometimes be a warning sign that you could be suffering from leukaemia.

Leukaemia interferes with the body’s ability to produce healthy white blood cells. As they grow in number, these abnormal cells also interfere with the production of other types of blood cells, preventing the body from protecting and healing itself to the best of its ability.

The Irish Skin Foundation (ISF) has just launched a new campaign, #Five17Eight, to raise awareness of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS); an often misunderstood and misdiagnosed chronic skin condition.

A new online hub dedicated to HS containing a dedicated handbook and inspiring stories from individuals living with HS will be available from Monday 6th March on www.irishskin.ie.

From symptom recognition to care tips, it is hoped this resource will fill an information void that exists for the many people living with HS who may be undiagnosed, as well as those who have lived with HS for many years and may feel isolated by the condition.

This new resource aims to help people living with HS or those concerned that they may have HS, to recognise their symptoms and get the support they need.

 For more information about resources and events, check out this link.

A lawyer acting for Robin Camp, a Canadian judge who recently resigned after a review board concluded he was guilty of victim-blaming in a rape trial, insisted that the judge's misconduct was the product of 'ignorance, not animus'.

As if that's supposed to render his suggestion that an alleged rape victim could have kept 'her knees together' during an assault any less damaging or, indeed, dangerous.

If you're one of the many who question the culture of victim-blaming, desperately attempt to quell the paradigm, and wonder where we've gone wrong as a society when the victim of a rape faces judgement and condemnation, you need look no further than the Robin Camp example.

When an individual in a profession who – as the review board put it – is 'expected to demonstrate knowledge of social issues, and awareness of changes in social values, humility, tolerance and respect for others' deems it appropriate to ask a young woman why she didn't better fend off penetration, is it any wonder rape culture is so prevalent?

"Why didn’t you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you?” he asked the young woman who was just 19 at the time of the assault in 2014.

"And when your ankles were held together by your jeans, your skinny jeans, why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” he wondered.

Nowhere does the blame appear to be placed more firmly at the door of the victim than during rape cases. 

The idea that the target of a mugging might be asked why they bought an expensive phone seems ludicrous.

The notion that the complainant in a burglary case might be forced to defend their home security system seems farcical.

And yet, in numerous rape cases, the victim is asked why she was drunk, what she was wearing, and how she had allowed it to happen.

Indeed, British High Court judge, Andrew Gilbart, recently offered his own assessment of a sexual assault case, asserting: "I’m sure it was a frightening incident. She got very, very drunk. It doesn’t excuse what happened, but people have to make sure they protect themselves and guard against this, she made herself very vulnerable,”

“The law seeks to protect victims such as this from their own foolishness. The complainant had got herself drunk, was in a public place, unable to protect herself and the law must be seen to protect vulnerable people from being picked on by those who spot their vulnerability and choose to attack them." he added.

The complainant did this, the complainant did that, the complainant, essentially, asked for it.

And we wonder why the culture of victim blaming thrives online among internet trolls and why some men deem it fitting to carry 'You Deserve Rape' placards at women's marches when individuals representing the judicial system appear to suggest something similar.

Instances like the aforementioned indicate that the abhorrent attitude towards women in rape cases is by no means resigned to the murkier areas of the world wide web, nor can it be dismissed as 'locker room banter', but is in fact evident among professionals employed to demonstrate an awareness of changes in social values, humility, tolerance and respect for others.

In the same way ignorance of the law is no excuse, neither is ignorance of the trauma experienced by victims of rape and sexual assault… no matter what Robin Camp's attorney might argue.
 

In an Instagram post which has amassed almost 100,000 likes in just 15 minutes, Chrissy Teigen has revealed that she has been suffering from postpartum depression.

Alongside a black and white shot of herself, the much-loved model thanked Glamour magazine for allowing her to share her experience, and told her followers that she is relieved to have been able to open up about the issue.

31-year-old Chrissy, who welcomed baby Luna in 2016, wrote: "I'll just say it: I have post partum depression. So much love to @glamourmag for letting me share something that was eating me up inside for months and months."

While acknowledging her popularity on social media, Chrissy admitted that she was apprehensive about sharing her experience despite her notably candid demeanour.

"One of the most amazing things about social media is the ability to interact candidly with friends and fans and it felt so weird knowing what I was going through but not really feeling like it was the right place to speak on it," she wrote.

 

I have dreamed of this day!

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"I've always felt genuinely close to all of you and I'm insanely relieved you now know something that has been such a huge part of me for so long."

In the essay published in the popular magazine, Chrissy wrote: "I know I might sound like a whiny, entitled girl. Plenty of people around the world in my situation have no help, no family, no access to medical care."

"I can’t imagine not being able to go to the doctors that I need," she added.

Chrissy's post has been inundated with messages of support from fans and followers, with one writing: "I felt so bad that you felt the need to apologize because you're "famous" which is bs because you're still human and allowed to have a mental illness."

While she still has ‘rough days’, Chrissy insists is improving every day.
 

Unless you've been living under a rock in recent years you'll know that when it comes to the world of fitness, HIIT is where it's at these days.

Hours spent jogging on the treadmill have been replaced by high intensity interval training sessions, and while so many of us consider ourselves converts, it turns out we're not quite as clued up as we think we are.

Creative manager of group fitness at Equinox, Rachel Vaziralli, recently explained that while fitness fanatics are, indeed, lunging, squatting and jumping like good things, they aren't taking the intensity of their regime into account.

With many gym-goers boasting that they can endure 60-minute HIIT sessions, Rachel is here to tell them that if they're still exercising after an hour, they're not working hard enough.

"If you can go longer than 30 minutes, you weren’t actually working hard enough,” she told Well and Good. "The whole point is to push to unsustainable intensities."

In other words, if you put enough effort into your session in the first thirty minutes, there is no need to push past that limit (not lest because you shouldn't be able!)

Commenting on those who supposedly extend HIIT sessions, Rachel insists that there's little to be gained from the endeavour.

"What happens is your body just adjusts, so you hold back on the intensity,” Rachel explains. “You’re spending more time than [necessary] for the same results.”

So, if you're determined to become a HIIT aficionado, it's worth remembering that pushing yourself to the limit in the first 30 minutes is the name of the game.

Anything after that is eating into Netflix time…

According to emerging reports, Facebook have begun testing the use of artificial intelligence in an effort to identify users who may be at risk of suicide.

The AI tool will scan and filter posts and comments which contain language indicative of pain, sadness or concern, and ultimately send the results to a human review team.

At this point, the review team will reach out to the user flagged by the tool and offer help in the form of support services.

The news comes amid an announcement that the corporation have introduced a new safety feature to its Facebook Live function which will allow users to immediately bring a troubling stream to the attention of the team.

Those sceptical of the new feature suggest the site should immediately cut streaming if suicide is mentioned as opposed to flagging it with staff.

Disagreeing with this argument, Jennifer Guadagno, the project’s lead researcher. said: "What the experts emphasised was that cutting off the stream too early would remove the opportunity for people to reach out and offer support."

 "So, this opens up the ability for friends and family to reach out to a person in distress at the time they may really need it the most.”

Explaining the motivation behind the initiative in a recent manifesto, Mark Zuckeberg said: "Looking ahead, one of our greatest opportunities to keep people safe is building artificial intelligence to understand more quickly and accurately what is happening across our community."

The AI tool is currently being tested in the United States; up until now, Facebook relied on users to flag worrying content.

So, what exactly is the metabolism? To put it simply, it describes the energy your body needs to keep you alive and perform actions such as growing, breathing, repairing cells and digesting food.

Some people need a lot of calories while some can survive on very few. The amount of calories you need is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR) and not everyone's equal when it comes to calorie needs.

Several factors influence your metabolism: your age, body weight or gender (a young male usually burns more calories than an older woman for example), but it also depends on your level of physical activity (the more muscle you have, the more calories you spend) and what you eat.

 And, as it happens, some food can actually help you boost a sluggish BMR. 

Simply put, including these healthy foods to your diet can help you burn more calories on a daily basis.

1. Lean meat

Chicken or turkey breasts, beef fillet: lean meats are high in iron.

Although a lot of women suffer from iron deficiency especially during their period, this mineral is essential to your health and a lack of it can slow your metabolism. 

2. Mussels 

Like most seafood, mussels are also a great source of iron.

They are a good and cheap alternative for people who don’t like or don't eat meat to get their daily iron intake. 

3. Spinach and leafy greens

Greens are a great source of magnesium, a mineral that boosts your metabolic rate.

Adding a handful of greens to your meal is a good way to make it healthier.

4. Cayenne pepper

And spicy food, in general!

Thanks to its active ingredient, capsaicin, spicy food enhance blood circulation, increase body temperature and therefore stimulate the metabolism. 

5. Good fatty acids

We are talking nuts, avocado or olive oil here.

Fatty acids help make you feel fuller and enhance vitamin absorption which leads to a healthy metabolism.

BONUS: Water

If you are not properly hydrated, your metabolism slows down.

Another good reason to stick to those eight glasses a day, right?

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 12 months, you’ll be aware that when it comes to health and fitness gurus, Joe Wicks is at the top of his game right now.

With the help of his bestselling books and uber-excitable presence on social media, The Body Coach has schooled the public on how to eat more, exercise less, and still lose weight.

And, now, he’s coming to Dublin.

Appearing alongside Roz Purcell, Kathryn Thomas and Pat Divilly at Wellfest 2017, Joe will be at the helm of the two-day event which provides the public with exercise and cooking demonstrations in Dublin’s Herbert Park.

Co-Founder Katie Ryan commented on the line-up which also includes The Happy Pear, Conor McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, and PT and Online Coach, Siobhan O’Hagan.

“We’re bringing together some of the biggest names in the health, fitness and wellness industries for WellFest 2017,” she said.

“The festival is now in its third year, and is established as a ‘must-attend’ event for those with an interest in their personal fitness and health. “

“We’ve been able to attract a star-studded line-up for May, featuring some of the most exciting health and fitness experts from Ireland and abroad.”

If ever there was a time to overhaul your lifestyle, it’s now.