Health

How I Lost 20 Pounds and Rid My Belly of Bloat for Good

Molly Duggan overhauled her diet and now feels better than ever.

Before: 137

After: 120

The Lifestyle
I was never overweight to the point that I was considered unhealthy, but I didn't feel comfortable in my skin—especially after I ate. I constantly felt bloated and uncomfortable.

After every meal, I felt tired and had sharp stomach pains. Even something as little as a piece of toast would make me feel like there was a balloon in my stomach. Toward the end of my junior year of high school, I started to put on weight—it was especially noticeable by my prom.

RELATED: 5 Super Easy Dinners That’ll Help You Lose 5 Pounds

I just assumed that this was how life was going to be. I thought my only option for losing weight and feeling better about my body was exercising, so I sporadically went to the gym with my friends to run on the treadmill and do an abs workout. I hated exercising, though, and didn't see much of a difference.

By freshman year of college, I weighed 137 pounds, and I continued to work out but still didn't notice a change. I started to suspect that I had food allergies because I felt especially gross whenever I ate sandwiches, pizza, cantaloupe, kiwis, tortilla chips, or corn. During my sophomore year of college, I went to the doctor and found out that I had Celiac disease and am allergic to tree nuts and fruits that carry high levels of pollen.

After that appointment, I began avoiding most of those foods—but I had a really hard time totally putting the kibosh on gluten. I would be really good about not eating it when I made my own meals, but if I went to a party where there was pizza or cake, I would have a slice, and it would make me feel terrible. I learned that my body couldn't handle any amount of things I was allergic to—even just a small bit.

The Change
At the end of my junior year of college, I was so sick of feeling horrible all the time. I realized I needed to be more cautious about everything I was eating. That's when I came across this app called Rise, which is basically platform for nutritionists to give you feedback on everything that you eat. Each day, I would use the app to record my meals and include a photo of them. Afterward, my nutritionist would check out my choices and give me feedback based on my goals to lose weight and eat according to my food allergies.

RELATED: What One Nutritionist Ate for an Entire Week (in Pictures)

At first, my nutritionist Colleen said that I had a really high carbohydrate intake from all the gluten-free products I was buying. And since those products usually contain more sugar to make up for the lack of gluten, I was craving and eating more chocolate than ever. She also told me that instead of eating an entire frozen gluten-free pizza, I should start with a salad to feel more full and keep myself from finishing off the whole pizza—which I used to do all the time. Since eating used to make me feel so horrible, I skipped lunch all the time. On top of that, I rarely ate any vegetables. Colleen told me that I needed incorporate more of the green stuff into my diet and eat meals consistently throughout the day. All of her tips were straightforward, but I probably wouldn't have figured them out on my own.

After using the app for a month, I started feeling so much better. The bloating decreased a lot, and the sharp stomach pains, which I used to get almost every time I ate, completely went away. After three months, I had lost five pounds. Now, a year later, I've lost 17 pounds and weigh 120 pounds. That's less than I weighed at my high school graduation!  

RELATED: 14 Foods Nutritionists Never Eat

The Reward
In addition to losing weight, I feel good enough to start working out again. Before I changed my diet, I felt so bloated and tired that exercising was a chore. Now, I really love going to Pilates and yoga classes at least twice a week. Working with a nutritionist also totally changed my relationship with food. Instead of being scared of what food does to my body, I see it as something that gets me energized for my day. And if I want to treat myself, I don't feel guilty indulging in something like ice cream because I know that my healthy diet allows some wiggle room for those occasions. 

Molly's Tips
Keep a healthy treat at home. I always have dark chocolate in my freezer because I can grab a little bit of it when I crave sweets. That handful of chocolate comes in handy when someone around me is snacking on something that I'm allergic to, like cookies. It keeps me in control.
Make sure your diet caters to you. Working with a nutritionist who knows my goals and my food restrictions taught me that it's important to follow a diet that is works for you, not something that everyone else is doing to lose weight.
Give yourself time to see results. When I first started watching what I ate, I didn't lose much weight, but I didn't let that discourage me from keeping up my good habits. I tried to focus on how I felt, not how I looked—and it paid off.

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How Bathing Suits Have Changed Over the Last 100 Years

You'll lol when you see what your grandma wore to the beach.

Remember how you swore that you would never wear high-waisted "mom jeans," but somehow they became cool, and now you and Beyoncé both have a pair?

Yep, styles are always changing—and that's especially true for swimsuits. As the indie retailer ModCloth shows in the awesome infographics below, swimwear has undergone makeover after makeover during the past century. From bathing suits' body-concealing beginnings to their "Thong Song"-worthy cuts and beyond, check out how swimsuits have evolved over time.

RELATED: See How Much the "Perfect" Female Body Has Changed Over 100 Years

Infographics provided by ModCloth 

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This Controversial Magazine Article Says Bingeing and Purging Is a Legit Yoga Exercise

Naturally, it has some people wondering if yoga isn't as zen and body-loving as they thought.

Yoga Magazine, which calls itself the "number one yoga, health, and fitness brand in the U.K. and U.S.A.," came under fire after publishing an article in its May 2015 issue detailing how to do a controversial yoga exercise that sounds an awful lot like promoting bulimia.

In the article, editor and certified yoga instructor Yogi Dr. Malik (yup, that's the name he goes by—although we couldn't find any evidence that he has a degree that makes him an actual, you know, doctor) gave details on toning your abs through Vyaghrasana, also called the Tiger, which involves drinking a lot of water and purging several times. 

RELATED: Your Body on Yoga: An X-Ray Look at the Bones Mid-Downward Dog

Malik explained how to do the Tiger with a five-step process while answering a question from a reader who came across the technique in an old yoga book and asked whether it was legit. Step number three was particularly controversial: "Now drink at least three glasses of water even if you feel full. Push the fingers down the throat and vomit. Repeat this process until you are only vomiting water with no traces of leftover food." 

Malik says yogis designed the system after observing the way a tiger deals with food. He added that, if you practice the Tiger once a week, you'll have stronger abs and better stamina.

Naturally, people freaked out.

According to a 2012 study conducted by Yoga Journal, more than 20 million people in the U.S. practice some form of yoga. But is there a legit subset of the population that's purging after vinyasas? Probably not.

"This practice is radical BS without medical basis," says yoga and wellness expert Sadie Nardini, author of The 21-Day Yoga Body. "The body can clean itself out quite optimally with a simple regimen of whole foods and hydration without having to hurl multiple times a day."

RELATED: I'm a Strong, Fit Yoga Teacher—and I Still Get Insecure About My Belly

The idea of bingeing doesn't seem to fit into the overall yoga philosophy of being in tune with and nurturing your body, although Nardini points out that some people can take yoga philosophy to the extreme.

"Perhaps purging every day was appropriate for that time in a culture and time where hygiene didn't rule and parasites often did," she says. Now, however, the practice is most certainly harmful to your health.

RELATED: What Type of Yoga Is Right for You?

In answer to the criticism, Yoga Magazine published a follow-up on its website explaining why they chose to talk about the Tiger exercise. "We were not promoting bulimia but answering a genuine reader question who had asked whether this exercise that he had found in a textbook dating back to the 1950s was true or not," Yogi Dr. Malik wrote in a blog post. He continued, "The Tiger exercise has been practiced for centuries, and like other ancient yoga kriyas including Vasti (colon cleansing), Hrid Dhauti (cleansing the tongue) and Neti (cleansing the nasal passages)—these are all genuine yogic practices that can help to detoxify and purify the body—and these techniques have been around for thousands of years."

However, the mag didn't say that people shouldn't try the Tiger: "As with every exercise and technique we feature in Yoga Magazine, it is up to each individual whether they perform or not."

Er...

To be clear, bulimia is bulimia—whether it's disguised in the form of yoga or not. And last we checked, you don't need to practice any form of bulimia in order to be a yogi.

Eating disorders and disordered eating are increasingly common. Learn the signs and find out how to get help for you or someone you care about.

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Why It Seems Like Diet Advice Flip-Flops All the Time

An R.D. explains how to make sense of the ever-changing nutrition recommendations.

First, you were supposed to drink skim milk. Then, research came out saying whole-fat dairy was the way to go to slim down. Chocolate used to be considered the ultimate indulgence, but now it’s been elevated to super food status. And don’t even get me started on whether it’s better to eat egg whites versus whole eggs. If it’s hard for you to keep up with constantly conflicting nutrition advice, you’re not alone. But why is it that food-related findings seem to change all the time?

Truth be told, all research is full of mixed messages. That’s the infuriating beauty of how the scientific process works: One study leads us to conclusions down one road, and more studies build from there, possibly taking a turn down another road. We're constantly learning new things and disproving incorrect beliefs—but here's why nutrition research can seem particularly confusing:

1. Nutrition is a younger field than many others: While people have been using herbs and foods for medicinal purposes since before history was recorded, scientific studies only date back to the end of the 19th century. Roughly 160 years of study is not a lot of time to figure out that much about how foods affect us. We need many, many studies with similar results over time to get reliable conclusions—and we just haven’t been doing it long enough to be at that point.

 

 

A photo posted by @healthy_lifeways on Apr 7, 2015 at 9:10am PDT

 

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2. It’s really hard to design a good nutrition study: It's impossible to only change one thing about someone's diet when you're conducting a study—and so many things besides food influence weight, metabolism, and wellness. All of which is to say that you can think the results in one study might be attributable to one factor (or food), and there might be something else at play. That's why the distinction between correlation (which just means there's an association between a factor and an outcome) and causation (which means a factor actually causes an outcome) is so key.

3. Many headlines sensationalize or over-simplify studies: Not all media outlets are guilty of this (Women's Health, for instance, always try to present info in a balanced way), but many publications gloss over the nuances of research (like correlation versus causation)—and they can also overlook that we each have different medical conditions, genetics, and food histories. Translation: Nutrition claims aren't one-size-fits all, no matter how much we may want that to be the case.

RELATED: 11 Foods You Love—But Used to Think Were NASTY

4. Good research is expensive, and the people funding the studies often have something to gain: Sports drink companies may fund some research that finds their products are good for you, but keep in mind: They're interested in selling sports drinks. Even the greatest research loses credibility if the person fronting the operation has something to gain from the findings.

RELATED: 6 Tricks for Training Your Taste Buds to Crave Healthy Foods

Does this mean that you should ignore nutrition research? Definitely not—but here’s what you should be looking at when new studies hit the scene.

●    Who funded the study: Per the point above, you should look for research that comes from third parties that don't stand to gain from the results: universities, government institutions (think NIH and USDA), and not-for-profit sources (e.g., the American Heart Association and National Cancer Institute) are your best bets.

●    Whether the results are in line with findings from previous research: Good research builds on the research of others—so ideally, there should be more than one study that supports the conclusions.

●    The source: Look for .org, .gov, .edu and sources that are public interest-minded. Steer clear of research and headlines that seem over-simplified—or that are promoting messages that seem too good to be true.

 

 

And you should always ask yourself one big question: Does this make sense for my lifestyle? While a lot of people want there to be one new magic super food (or one food they should ban) to lose weight and improve their health, the truth is that a healthy diet is about eating a variety of nutritious foods—and unless you have a medical or personal reason to avoid certain items, you can incorporate almost anything into your diet in a healthy way. Which is why the nutrition advice you should take is the advice that makes the most sense in your life. If you know you can’t stick to one ounce of chocolate and you always end up overindulging, then you don’t need to add chocolate to your diet just because a study came out touting its antioxidants—you can get your fill from berries or a glass of wine instead. And if you genuinely prefer the taste of egg whites to whole eggs, keep eating them.

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These Powerful Photos Perfectly Capture What It’s Like to Have Anxiety

The self-portraits will truly take your breath away.

This article was written by Hayley MacMillen and repurposed with permission from Refinery29.

"Trying to explain a mental illness to someone who's never experienced it is like trying to explain color to a blind person," photographer Katie Crawford tells me. Instead of relying on words alone to convey what it feels like to suffer from general anxiety disorder and depression, which Crawford has battled since age 11, she picked up her camera and developed a breathtaking series of self-portraits, titled "My Anxious Heart."

RELATED: This Is How Mental Illness Really Feels

The 2015 Louisiana State University Fine Arts grad had been taking medication for her disorders for eight years when she decided to go off medication at age 21, with the supervision of her doctor. "I was in the middle of my junior year of art school and felt so numbed and crazy from just suppressing the anxiety [that] I decided to wean off of my medication," she explains. "The complete change of feeling these emotions and frequent panic attacks left me exhausted, but I knew I had to get to the root of them if I were ever going to have any sense of normalcy in my life...I had to express visually what was happening mentally."

Each of Crawford's self-portraits manifests a seemingly ineffable emotion: Saran wrap pulls tight over her mouth to represent her physical and metaphorical struggles to breathe; a smashed clock beside an hourglass encasing her body evoke Crawford's fractured relationship with the passage of time. She hopes that together with their accompanying text, the photos "begin to express the constant, overwhelming presence of anxiety. It's not always terrifying, it's not always strong, and it's not always intense, but it's always close by."

RELATED: What It’s Really Like to Live with Physical Disability (NSFW)

She also hopes that as a society, we'll begin to address mental illness in the same way that we do physical illness: matter-of-factly and without shame. "There's a stigma that 'it's just in your head,'" she observes, "[but] what's more debilitating than being imprisoned by your own thoughts?" And on an individual level, she calls for greater understanding of and compassion for the 3.1 percent of the population with general anxiety disorder. "There's a misconception that anxious people are antisocial, short-fused, or overdramatic," she states. "But they're most likely processing everything around them so intensely that they can't handle a lot of questions, people, or heavy information all at once." 

RELATED: You Must See These Incredible Portraits of Sleeping Parents-to-Be

CLICK HERE to see more of Katie’s stunning photos on Refinery29!

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Why Every Woman Who Gives Birth Deserves Paid Leave

The U.S. is the ONLY country in the world without some form of it.

Happy National Women’s Health Week! The initiative, now in its 16th year, is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health in an effort to empower women to make smart choices to improve their health. All week, prominent figures in the media and the government are blogging for WomensHealthMag.com about the importance of making healthy decisions. Today’s guest blogger is Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. 

Ask the average woman to focus on her own health and she’ll reply with a question of her own: When?

More women work now than ever before, and our income is essential to supporting our families. At the same time, women remain the primary caregivers for our kids and, increasingly, our aging parents.

The modern-day balancing act is challenging enough. It becomes nearly impossible when routine life events—from new babies to ailing spouses to elderly parents to personal medical problems—take place. Suddenly, we are confronted with the choice of caring for ourselves and our loved ones, or earning a paycheck.

RELATED: Reboot Your Work Health

This Women’s Health Week, let’s talk not only about how to focus on our wellbeing, but also about how it’s long past time we made that wellbeing easier to achieve.

While the demographics of this country—who goes to work and how families make ends meet—have changed, our Mad Men-era workplace policies have not. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without some form of paid leave. Think about that: Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia offer a form of paid leave, but not America.

The employees who pay the steepest price for this are women. If you haven’t watched it already, John Oliver’s expert takedown of our country’s lack of paid leave is a must-see.

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The impact is devastating. Women lose $324,000 when they leave the workforce to assume full-time caregiving responsibilities. They have a harder time returning to the salary and position they had when they left. They are more likely to need public assistance. If they are low-wage workers, it’s even tougher to move above minimum wage—we call this the “sticky floor.”

RELATED: The Right Time to Have a Baby

We know that paid leave keeps women in the workforce and at their earning potential: Women eligible for leave are 40 percent more likely to return to work. And, we know that businesses like it too. California set up a statewide paid leave program, and a whopping 91 percent of employers there said it had either a positive effect or, at worst, no noticeable effect on their bottom lines.

It’s encouraging that states are taking a lead here, but access to a benefit this important shouldn’t depend on the state where you work and live.

I’ve introduced a bill called the FAMILY Act to guarantee every worker in America paid leave. It would be available to all new parents, to men and women, and to anyone who needs to take time off to care for a newborn child, a loved one who is sick, or themselves if ill. It would ensure that if you have to take time off for yourself or your family, you can still pay your bills. It won’t matter if you work full-time or part-time. It won’t matter if you work for a global corporation or a small business.

For about the cost of a cup of coffee each week, you’ll be eligible for the emergency leave funds you earned, for up to three months. And, this is an earned benefit that will travel with you wherever your career may take you.

RELATED: The Place You’re Most Likely to Be Stressed

This bill would give us all a little more time to care for our families and, yes, ourselves, without sacrificing a paycheck and ultimately, a career.

We need to make the FAMILY Act law so that next Women’s Health Week, we can focus on ways to enhance our wellbeing, instead of how to afford the time do it.

Kirsten Gillibrand was sworn in as U.S. Senator in January 2009 to serve the remainder of Secretary Clinton’s term. She was elected to a full term in 2012 by a statewide record 72 percent of voters.

In only a short time, Gillibrand has made her presence felt in the Senate. From fighting to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to providing health care and compensation for 9/11 first responders, to reforming the military justice system and tackling the problem of sexual assaults on college campuses she has created unique bipartisan coalitions. Kirsten is a leading voice for policies that will help families earn their full economic potential, including paid family leave and affordable childcare—all while continuing her successful Off the Sidelines project that supports women candidates nationwide.

A New York Times bestselling author, she was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2014.

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This Move Will Make Your Calves Look Even Sexier in Heels

Time to break out the strappy sandals!

Join the Women's Health Weekend Challenge to help you meet your fitness goals fast and make your weekend workouts count. Thousands of women already have. Join them, and achieve your fitness goals faster!

Farmer's Walk on Toes: If you think walking around with some heavy dumbbells in your hands isn't a workout, you haven't tried this killer exercise yet. It works your shoulders, core, arms, and—most of all—your calves.  

RELATED: This 5-Minute Workout Video Will Make You Burn Calories Like Crazy 

SO…ARE YOU IN?!

 

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A Low-Maintenance Hairstyle That’s Flattering on EVERYONE Actually Exists

Just in time for summer!

It's no wonder so many celebrities—from Emma Stone to Kim Kardashian—are sporting this collarbone-grazing style. Here are five good reasons you'll want to ask your stylist to chop your locks to this universally flattering length.

1. It's Versatile
Named after the delicate body part it skims (Anatomy 101: clavicle = collarbone), the clavicut can be worn up or down and won't send those with long locks into haircut PTSD. "I call it the short cut for long-haired girls," says Travis Speck, a hairstylist at the Sally Hershberger Downtown salon in New York City. No wonder this style is literally trending. When Kim Kardashian chopped her locks? Twitter. Blew. Up. "My clients come armed with pictures from Instagram," says Steven DeCarlo, a hairstylist at Mizu Salon in NYC. "There's this whole new lob community online." (For the uninitiated, a lob is a long bob.)

RELATED: The Fabulous 'Do Women with All Hair Types Can WERK

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2. It's Got Just Enough Edge
The newest spin is to wear the front slightly longer for a graduated angle that "adds a cool-girl kick," says DeCarlo. The back pieces should rest on the nape of the neck, with the face-framing strands dipping an extra inch until they kiss the collarbone. Play around with this benchmark for an optical illusion of sorts. If you have a long neck or are tall, go an inch below your clavicle (see: Nicole Kidman) to keep things in proportion. Or rock it an inch above the collarbone, à la Emma Stone, for "an elongating effect on your whole body," says Speck.

3. It Hasn't Met a Texture It Didn't Love
The clavicut is a miracle length, stylists insist. "It helps maintain volume and thickness in fine, straight hair," says Speck. "But it's long enough so curly hair won't puff out as it would with a more traditional-length bob." And—from your lips to the hair gods' ears—it's not one of those cuts that requires a blowout to look hot. It's just as flattering tousled as it is smooth.

RELATED: The United Colors of Celebrity Hair: An Infographic

4. Color? Couldn't Be More Low-Maintenance
A few strategically placed streaks are all this cut needs. "I hate to use the word ombré, but I love the technique on this cut," says Angela Haight, a colorist at the Marie Robinson Salon in NYC. "The bottom front pieces should be the brightest and have the most pop." Ask your colorist to paint only the front and sides (skip your underlayers; the darkness adds richness and depth), making the clavicle-grazing strands a touch lighter than the rest. Or copy this technique at home by using a lightening kit, like Revlon Color Effects Ombré ($10, at drugstores). Go for caramel if you're brunette, pale gold if you're blonde, or copper if hair's red or auburn.
 

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

5. It Makes Hair Look Healthier
As with any cut, you'll be lopping off at least a few inches of ratty ends. But the clavi is especially clutch when you're trying to grow out damaged front layers. As hair gets longer (a.k.a. older), the pieces around your face tend to look thinner and wispier than the rest of your head. Almost seems like they're never as long as the back, right? That's because front strands are "most susceptible to wear and tear," says Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips, a trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in NYC. "They can get caught between your shoulder and bag strap, you touch them more, and they're hit hardest by tightly wound hair elastics." The clavicut means there will be less of a stark contrast in length between the back and the front, so any scrawny, thin stragglers there will look thicker and healthier. Magic!

RELATED: 7 Tips for Getting The Best Haircut Ever

For an in-depth guide to customizing your clavicut for every particular hair texture, pick up the May 2015 issue of Women's Health, on newsstands now. 

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How to Wear Black in the Summertime

Because florals aren’t for everyone.

Summer is officially in session, which means flower prints, neon brights, and pretty little dresses. But some days, you just want to reach for the uncomplicated classics, and that’s where your favorite black pieces come in. While you may think you're supposed to pack away your leather jackets, blazers, and booties in storage, here are a few ways to keep them around during the warmer seasons. Believe me, it’s not as impossible as it sounds!
 

Kelly Allison

Get In(vest)ed
Vests are where the party’s at, especially when it's hot out. This effortless structured vest I snagged last fall can easily be transformed into a key summer piece when paired with a simple graphic tee and boyfriend shorts. To make the outfit extra wow-worthy, add a strappy pair of heels—they'll take your look from daytime casual to weekend drinks.
 

Kelly Allison

Add a Touch of Leather
Attention all leather lovers: Your signature pieces aren’t just for winter anymore! A little leather action is always in style—and it keeps you cozy on those cooler nights. My faux jacket is my favorite staple, regardless of the season, but I especially love it during the summertime. Plus, who doesn’t feel fearless and confident in a pretty leather jacket? Summer-ize yours by pairing it with more delicate patterns. I love that the dark leather adds a fun, edgy look to a more feminine print and silhouette. 

RELATED: How to Make Your Comfy-Casual Jean Jacket Look Fancy
 

Kelly Allison

Let Your Black Flats Really Shine
It doesn't have to be all about sandals right now—after an eternal winter of dragging my favorite pair of black flats back and forth from the office, it’s time to rock 'em all day and night. To give yours a warm-weather feel, wear them with your favorite summer dresses. Not a dress gal? Slip them on with your favorite pair of skinny jeans rolled up a few times to more subtly show some skin. I especially love these Parisian O'Dorsay flats that are majorly in style this season. 
 

Kelly Allison

Top Things Off with a Blazer
Who says a blazer is just for the office? Like a leather jacket, your favorite blazer is another classic piece to bring out of the closet for summer. I invested in this J.Crew one a few years ago, and it’s been my essential topper throughout the seasons. Paired with a tee rather than a blouse, it feels more seasonally appropriate. Now I’m ready to take on the office and the town this summer.
 

Kelly Allison

Bust Out the Booties
I’m a fiend for booties in the fall, but I’ve been creatively remixing my wardrobe to wear them all year long. You can do it too this summer, I swear—the key is in the styling. When you pop them on, make sure to show some skin with a cuffed pair of skinnies. Need a bit more spring (or summer) in your step? Grab an easy, breezy summer dress for a casual weekend or music fest look.

RELATED: Overalls Are Back! Watch How They've Evolved Since the Destiny's Child Days

See? It’s not so unfeasible to wear your favorite black pieces this season, even on the hottest days! Rather than retiring those cold-weather items you adore, mix them into your warmer wardrobe, and you can stay chic and comfortable all season long. Believe me, your closet and budget will thank you big time!

— 

Maya McDonald is a stylish social media pro living out her dreams in Chicago. When she’s not creating content for brands, she can be found penning Charmingly Styled and writing for a variety of magazines. She adores all-natural beauty, farmers' markets, and traveling the world for the best latte (she’ll let you know when she finds it!).

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6 Ways Your Weekends Change After You Have a Baby

You're not the one who gets to nap anymore.

Before you have a baby, you live for the weekends. You’re all silently chanting “TGIF!” on Fridays at work and dashing out to the nearest happy hour the second you’re off the clock.

But after you have a kid, weekends are a little... different. You’re up at the crack of dawn and spend every waking moment taking care of everyone but yourself. It’s awesome, but you essentially trade one boss for another more pint-sized version who has zero concept of personal space—or the fact that you used to have a life.

Don’t have a kid yet? Relish every last second of your weekend while you can. Have a little one? Then you know how different weekends before and after a baby can really be.

Before: You Sleep in ‘til Noon
Oh, has the sun only been up for six hours? Please. Try me again when it’s mid-afternoon...zzz...

After: “Sleeping in” Doesn’t Exist
You vaguely recall the concept, but details are fuzzy. All you know is that it was epic because now your day starts around sunrise. Also, you’ve officially become that person who gets pissed when places don’t open before 9 a.m. for brunch. Who can wait that long to eat?

Before: You Accomplish One Thing a Weekend...if You Feel Like It
“(Yawn) I’m sooo tired from watching that Keeping Up with the Kardashians marathon on TV all afternoon. I just don’t know how I can possibly drum up the energy to hop into the shower and go out tonight.”

After: You Do More in One Morning Than You Used to Do All Weekend
“(Yawn) I’m sooo tired from making breakfast for everyone, doing the grocery shopping, playing puzzles for an hour, emptying the dishwasher, and picking up toys. If I dig deep, I might still have the energy to hop in the shower by 9 a.m.”

RELATED: 7 Questions Every Couple Should Ask Themselves Before Having a Kid
 

Before: You’re Wiped After Last Call
It’s tough to keep your energy levels up 'til 2 a.m., but thank goodness you had the foresight to sleep in past lunchtime.

After: You’re Wiped All the Time
You worked all week and then spent Saturday doing every kid-friendly activity imaginable. You’d go to bed at 7:30 tonight if it were socially acceptable.

Before: You Come Home Whenever You Feel Like It
Heck, that might even be when the sun is rising. Because why not? You don’t have to answer to anyone!

After: You Have a 7 p.m. Curfew
Baby’s got a bedtime, which means you’ve got a wild night of Facebook stalking and reality TV ahead. But oooh! Maybe you’ll have a glass of wine to mix things up!

RELATED: 10 Moms Give Sanity-Saving Advice to First-Time Parents
 

Before: You Have All Day to Nurse a Hangover
Hangovers are the worst. Luckily, you have a tried-and-true hangover-busting method of lying on the couch for hours at a time, eating greasy takeout, and sleeping it off. Works like a charm.

After: You Have to Nurse All Day
…Which means that you can't drink much, even when you've splurged on a babysitter.

 

Before: Naps Are Mandatory
You’re exhausted after dragging yourself out of bed for brunch, which means it’s time to squeeze in a nice, long nap on the couch. You couldn’t possibly function the rest of the day without it.

After: Naps Are Mandatory...Just Not for You
You live for naptime—Live. For. It. Why? It’s the only time you get to yourself.
 

Yup, weekends after having a baby are a total departure from what they used to be. But ask any mom, and you’ll get the same response: It’s totally worth it.

All gifs courtesy of giphy.com

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