Yoga Teacher Gained 40 Pounds to Make a Point About Fat Yoga Teachers

Remember last summer when that personal trainer gained (then lost) 70 pounds on purpose in order to better identify with his overweight clients? Well, I’ve got another for you. It’s kinda the same deal, except in this case we’re talking about a yoga teacher and her decision to pack on 40 pounds to prove a point.

In a recent post on Yoganonymous called “The Fat Yoga Teacher,” yoga instructor Trina Hall details how—and why—she gained 40 pounds in four months, on purpose. “I wanted to use my own body as my art piece to start a conversation about identity, self-image and beauty, so I made my canvas heavy and gained weight,” she writes. “I want to slay the notion that people who do yoga need to look like the beauties on the cover of magazines.”

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This Is a Mirror Designed to Make You Look Thinner

This is the Skinny Mirror. It is exactly as it sounds: a mirror that makes you look thinner. On purpose.

A gal named Eva from a website called Eatingdisordersonline.com actually brought it to my attention. At first I thought it was a joke. I mean, I know we all love when we accidentally stumble on to a skinny mirror, but buying one that you know full well is designed to make you look thinner and taller seems like it defeats the purpose. I mean, the beauty of a skinny mirror—lowercase s, lowercase m—is that you don’t realize, for months or maybe even ever, that it makes you look a little slimmer here, a little smaller there. Lying to yourself might not make the scale tick back any notches, but it certainly makes you feel good.

But buying a mirror because it makes you appear smaller? That just seems stupid. You’d know it wasn’t true, so what’s the point?

According to the Skinny Mirror—capital S, capital M—website: “Living in such an image conscious culture, we are always struggling to live up to ideals, whether it be conscious or subconscious. The Skinny Mirror gives you extra confidence to take on the world.”

Ooookay, then. What do you think? Silly ploy or genius product? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Checkup: 24 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep in the Heat

• Two days ago, I finally caved and installed the AC unit in my bedroom. In the sweaty weeks prior, I’d gotten pretty darn good at figuring out how to sleep in the heat—but even I had a breaking point. If you’re still sweating it out (literally), or if you just want to save some bucks by keeping the air off, click through for 24 smart ways to stay cool at night, even in this sweat-tastic heat wave. [Greatist]

• Speaking of sleep, a new study found that a good night’s sleep can boost the cardio benefits of your otherwise healthy lifestyle. So, like, all that time you put in at the gym? Getting some Zzz’s makes it even more worth it. [Science Daily]

• Kaaaale, glorious kaaaale! Here are three new ways to cook with kale. [Women's Health]

• Here’s what a Barbie doll might look like if she had a more realistic body. [Refinery 29]

• So. Awesome. A woman built a prosthetic leg out of Legos. [Mashable]

Body-Image Wars: Fighting “Fat Talk” with Fat Photos

You: “Do I look awful in this dress? Be honest.”

Your friend: “No you don’t! Do you see my hair? It’s heinous.”

You: “Your hair looks fine! Ugh, I hope it’s dark at the party and no one can see me.”

Sound familiar? This is “fat talk,” folks, an exchange between two people, often female, that probably brings back memories of high school … and college … and a night out with friends last weekend. It goes like this: one person puts him or herself down and the other person responds with an equal, or more self-critical, response.

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Update: Victoria’s Secret Vetoes Breast-Cancer Survivor Bras

Since we’ve been following the Victoria’s Secret “survivor bras” saga for a few months now, we thought it fitting to let you know that … literally nothing is going to come of it. Wait, what?

The latest news is that Vicky’s won’t be making them after all. Womp woooomp. To jog your memory, 27-year-old Allana Maiden started a Change.org petition back in January to get support for her idea of a bra line specifically made for post-mastectomy bodies that’s both functional and beautiful. The petition was created in honor of her mom, Debbie, who had a mastectomy and wore a prosthetic, and found it difficult to find bras that fit correctly—much less look pretty. Allana aimed her efforts at Victoria’s Secret because she thought the idea was a good fit (pun intended) for the lingerie retailer; after all, they already had the pretty part down, so how hard could it be to peg the functionality?

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‘Fatkinis’: Fab New Bikini Line for Plus-Size Women

Thanks to The Gloss for the heads up about a fab blogger named Gabi Gregg (a.k.a. GabiFresh), whose mission to help plus-size women embrace their curves turned into an awesome new collabo between Gabi and online swimsuit retailer Swimsuits for All.

Gabi’s been throwing around the term “fatkini” for a few years now, as part of her crusade to encourage body diversity in swimwear. Last summer, her effort culminated in a “fatkini” photo gallery, showing “31 hot sexy fat girls in skimpy swimwear.” The post landed her on the TODAY show, and got her all kinds of exposure on sites like the Huffington Post, latimes.com and more.

This year, Gabi’s back on the fatkini kick with a new bathing suit line inspired by her mission. The collaboration with swimsuitsforall.com features suits in sizes 8 to 34, and—get this—they’re actually good looking, too. In fact, that suits have been so popular that in the three days since their debut, most of the styles and sizes have already sold out. Awesome, right?

Check out this slideshow over at Teen Vogue to see a lookbook of all the styles.

Why You Should Never Ask a Woman If She Is Pregnant

That's me, in an empire-waist dress. Nope. Not pregnant.

Hi, Be Wellers! I know we haven’t officially met, but I wanted to interrupt your regularly scheduled program to pass along a little friendly advice. Think of it as a public-service announcement as we venture ever further into the Season of Eating, a time when all of us are trying our damnedest (hello, enormous sweater) to hide a few extra gingerbread-induced pounds.

Okay, here goes: Never, ever (EVER!) ask a woman if she is pregnant. You run the risk of looking like an idiot and causing copious amounts of embarrassment (and, probably, tears. In that order.) in the highly plausible scenario that she’s not actually pregnant and just maybe, you know, not looking her very best at that particular moment in time.

I always figured this little nugget of wisdom was obvious enough on its own that it didn’t need to be stated aloud. You know, sort of like, “Don’t stick your hand in the fire, moron.” But apparently I was mistaken. Here’s why: In the past year, five people (5!) have stopped me and congratulated me on my pregnancy. Before you shout “Mazel tov!” at your computer screen and crack open a bottle of champagne, there’s more: I AM NOT PREGNANT.

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To Do: Truce with Food with Ali Shapiro

Local health counselor Ali Shapiro is bringing back her popular Truce with Food program, starting next Monday, October 1st. This seven-week program provides a combination of weight-loss, nutrition and lifestyle coaching to help women break “emotion-eating” habits and reconfigure their diets. The program is virtual, so participants interact with Shapiro and others in the program over the phone or through online sessions. It includes five group sessions and two one-on-one sessions. Participants also get a workbook and recipe book to keep. Shapiro draws lessons from her own 30-pound weight-loss success, three degrees, and over five years of client success. Learn more and sign up here.

$499, October 1 through November 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

>> Have a health or fitness event you’d like to share with Be Well Philly readers? Email eleaman@phillymag.com with details.

Celebrities, Keep Your Diet Tweets to Yourselves

Twitter makes miscommunication pretty easy: We can’t see people’s facial expressions or body language, we can’t hear the tone of their voices, and we can’t receive immediate clarification about something confusing. Lady Gaga was Twitter’s latest victim when she tweeted on Tuesday, “Just killed back to back spin classes. Eating a salad dreaming of a cheeseburger #PopSingersDontEat #IWasBornThisWay.”

While Gaga probably thought this was a funny and innocent remark, it has not been received that way. Many fans responded negatively to the post, and the National Eating Disorder Association even weighed in, tweeting back, “Huh? This is the same person who recently implored girls to stop dieting?”

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