Ah, the holidays. Time to give thanks, celebrate, and deal with three solid months of diet ads, articles, and tips “you’ve never heard before” (which you’ve totally heard before.) Like: eat a bowl of fiber cereal before a party. Or: don’t keep snacks around. All of it topped off by a visit from the food and fitness police, aka your family and friends. Because nothing says “happy holidays” like being humiliated by and in front of your nearest and dearest.
by Krystin Tate
I sat in a gray, windowless space, a room typically used to observe children with disabilities. It doubled as the setting of something life changing – receiving test results I wasn’t sure I wanted. But it was too late to run as the genetic counselor handed me a purple folder, a medical Pandora’s box. “The results are positive,” she said, confirming my worst fears.
What she didn’t say, but I knew with a sinking feeling, was that the positive results indicated that my risk of breast cancer was as high as 87%. Barely less than a sure thing.
Think about it this way: if you were boarding a plane with an 87% chance of crashing, would you pray for that 13% chance of safety or high-tail it out of there? It sounds easy, right? But what if it wasn’t a plane crash you feared? That’s what I had to ask myself when I tested for the BRCA2 mutation. Everyone carries the BRCA gene, which works as a tumor suppressor, but when it is mutated it greatly increases the risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Ms. Fit Editor Marcia Talks to the Author and Mutha Publisher
About two years ago writer, editor, activist, and counter-culture heroine Michelle Tea decided she wanted to get pregnant. Approaching 40, single and queer, she started chronicling her journey on JaneXO.com. Since then has met the love of her life, located the very best fabulous drag queen-sweetheart-volunteer sperm donor money can’t buy, navigated the labyrinths of the homophobic American healthcare system, and become Bob Villa to her own uterus while tackling fibroids, hormones, coffee reduction, IVF, and a rotating selection of vaginal discharge, among other challenges.
Currently, she and her gorgeous Dasheill are engaged, planning a wedding, preparing to implant Dashiell’s fertilized eggs in Michelle’s uterus, and hoping the odds get on board. Michelle has built it; will baby come? Recently Michelle launched Mutha.com in order to fill the void she saw for moms in alternative families—those who have experienced pregnancies or motherhood in ways that might fall outside of Leave it To Beaver. Ms. Fit editor Marcia Brenner spoke with Michelle about her journey and her thoughts on family.
What Should You Do if Your Partner Doesn’t Support Your Health Goals?
You know the drill: you want to eat healthy this week. You’re on track. You’re feeling good. And then you come home to an extra large pizza and a nice bottle of red just waiting for you to dive in. The weekend comes. You had plans—exercise classes to attend, errands to run—but your partner convinces you to curl up and watch movies instead.
While sometimes deferring the plan can be fun (and even a welcome distraction), if this happens too often it can derail your healthy plans and put a divide in your relationship. If you feel like you’re always compromising your healthy ways just to acquiesce to your partner’s more lackadaisical lifestyle, it might be time for an intervention (or at least a civil conversation.)
Technique is Everything
Now’s a good time to explore the big three: three elements of Ashtanga yoga that are most important, more potent than the opening invocation or any of the poses—easily attainable or bat-shit impossible—in the Primary Series. In Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy, Gregor Maehle describes them as “the string that holds the beads [of poses] together to great a garland of yoga postures… For the beginner it is essential to learn these three fundamental techniques at the outset. Once they are mastered, the practice will happen almost effortlessly.”
So what are they, these three keys to the kingdom? The big three are the breath, the drishti, and the bandhas.