HEALTH & FITNESS WRITING

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Here's What Happened When We Weighed Women's Purses

BuzzFeed, April 2015

"Doctors are very clear on this issue: Heavy bags and purses are bad for your body."

How Often You Really Need To Shower (According To Science)

BuzzFeed, January 2015

"You no longer have to stand in the stupid shower every morning getting your head wet for 10 minutes while you try to get up the courage to step out into the freezing bathroom!"

How To Be A Friend To Someone Who Has Had A Miscarriage

BuzzFeed, January 2015

Advice from people who have been there.

How to Avoid Stress Eating

Shedding It & Getting It, May 2010

"Rule #4: If your body wants crap…choose the lesser of the evils and stress eat responsibly. I rarely take this approach, so do not make a habit of this, girls. This is something I only call for during high-stress times. When you have a good reason for feeling shitty for a short-term duration, make the BEST choices. Need to do takeout? OK…get a Happy Meal instead of Supersizing it. Need to eat chips on the couch? Fine…can we make it a mini bag of Baked Lays instead of a full-size bag of Doritos?? When I’m stress eating now, I turn to my 'break glass in case of emergency foods.' These are things like the Digiorno 200 calorie pizza (I eat two, NBD). In everyday life, I'd say, 'Uh, please give me a real pizza'...but when I'm cracked out on Red Bull and academic insecurity, crappy imitations are enough to calm me down."

The Truth About Diet Pills

Shedding It & Getting It, April 2010

"Because they kill your appetite, they make you feel like shit. Of course you’re not going to want to eat when you feel like your head is splitting open, which is how you feel. I didn’t feel so much cloudy or foggy as I felt, like…shattered. My brain felt cramped, but then like it was breaking into a million pieces. And you know how you get HANGRY when you don’t eat? Um, yeah, there you go. But actually, I didn’t feel so much angry as I just got sad. Food is joyful. Not eating is depressing. And when you’re sad enough to take diet pills to improve your love life (Jesus, even writing that is disturbing), you don’t need to get even sadder by not eating.

So yes, I dropped weight pretty fast. I was at my goal by Formal…and the guy still didn’t love me like I wanted him to. (Of course he didn’t. OF COURSE HE FUCKING DIDN’T, Rachel.) Then I went to NYC a few days after the semester ended to intern at a fashion magazine, and, still sad about the guy, and now in an environment that wasn’t exactly pro-healthy body image, I kept on keepin’ on with my little dolls."

Weighty Issues

The Life & Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson, September 2012

"I don’t know what any of my friends weigh. I mean, I could guess the numbers, but most have never told me themselves. This is sort of bizarre, considering that I’ve had plenty of conversations surrounding weight loss with them. But during these conversations, the only numbers we mention are vague—'I want to lose a few pounds' or 'I gained like 10 pounds'—and we never talk specifics. The most specific we’ll typically share is our sizes; for some reason, that seems like a safer way to do things than talking raw pounds.

They probably don’t know what I weigh either. I rarely share it because there seems to be an unspoken agreement—probably a result of the 'don’t ask' sentiment—that stating your weight isn’t OK. It’s either a humblebrag or something you should be ashamed of. If your weight is “OK” (which is highly subjective and depends mostly on the company you keep), then it can come across like a judgment, an invitation to compare or compete. And if it’s not “OK,” then sharing it really freaks people out. When I was overweight, I don’t think people appreciated my mentioning my weight. Sharing it with women who weighed less was met with a look that said, 'Uh, hello, I’m skinnier than you and I’m ashamed of my weight? Your lack of shame is weirdin’ me out, freak.'"

The Sports Bra Challenge

The Rewm, April 2013

"During that run, I realized…sometimes a body is just a body, existing in space, doing its thing. It’s not there for others to look at. It wasn’t even there for me to feel good or bad about. It was just…a body. Up until that point, thoughts of my body were always so fraught. But during that run, I realized that my body didn’t have to be controversial, and I realized that other people probably saw it as just a body, like I typically saw theirs. And I realized that sometimes, a body gets hot and wants to be wearing less clothes. Even when it’s not “hot” by Victoria’s Secret’s standards (but sometimes when it is, which is OK too)."

Holiday Health Tip: Wear Jeans

Shedding It & Getting It, Nov. 2009

"Many of us know we are going to leave Thanksgiving dinner pregnant with a massive food baby, so we plan ahead and wear leggings with long, forgiving sweaters or tunics. When our head says, 'I think I’m full,' our elastic waistband says, 'What?! Bring on more mashed potatoes and gravy, there’s plenty of room in here!' Yep. Been there, done that. When leggings got trendy, we all got really, really lucky. Suddenly, we could essentially wear sweatpants to dinner. It totally made it seem like we were dressed up, when in reality, we were ignoring our expanding waistlines in the name of fashion."

10 Times Being Healthy Sucks

Shedding It & Getting It, April 2010

"#10. It requires a lot of mental energy. Sometimes I think that if I put half the time and effort I spent into thinking about my body between the ages of 13 and 24, into, I don’t know, real issues, we wouldn’t have global warming. You know how people say women and girls aren’t encouraged to do math? This is bullshit. Pounds, calories, carbs, inches — women love numbers. We do math a lot; I’m guessing you can figure out percent of calories from fat faster than any dude. You don’t need a calculator when you have a vagina."