Health

9 Freaking Adorable “How We Met” Stories That Will Bring Out Your Inner Mush-Ball

Prepare to swoon.

Despite the crazy amount of dating apps and sites, people still seem to be finding their S.O. without the help of technology. And even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking for The One via the Internet, those old-fashioned meet-cutes still make for really amazing, make-you-feel-things stories. Since a good love story is pretty much the best thing ever, we asked Women's Health Facebook followers, our friends, and WH staffers for the adorable ways they met their partners. Warning: Things are about to get adorable up in here.

"I knew who my boyfriend was about 10 years before I actually met him. He was in a band that played at some of the clubs I went to in college. Several of my girlfriends—and I!—had had big crushes on him. Flash-forward to 2010: I went to a show, and lo and behold, there he was playing keyboards in the band. He was still totally hot. By the end of the night, I had apparently caught his eye, and he invited me to his next show. When I went, he was so excited to see me, and we totally hit it off. Who knew it was possible to end up with that guy you crushed on from afar in college?!" —Sandra Roldan, Women's Health online senior producer

 

"We were both in the Army and deployed in Afghanistan when we met. After returning from deployment, we got married and now have two beautiful kids! Talk about finding love in a hopeless place." —Crystalinda T.

RELATED: The Case For and Against Love at First Sight

"My fiancé and I met on a flight back to our home city. We had assigned seats next to one another, and by the end of the flight we exchanged phone numbers. A week later, he asked me out for a lunch date. Since he had just moved to our area, I asked him to give me his work address so I could choose a restaurant that would be equal distance for us to meet at. It turns out that he worked in the building next door to my office. It was meant to be!" —Amanda M.

 

"My husband and I met while playing Call of Duty Four on Xbox Live. I 'shot' him through a tree, which got a response out of him. I simply replied 'Sorry.' Though he lived in Nashville, Tennessee, and I lived near Savannah, Georgia, at the time, we started dating, and the rest is history. We've been married almost five years now." —Paisley B.

RELATED: The 13 Emotionally Torturous Stages of Falling in Love

"Freshman year of college, I was waiting for a bus back to my dorm when I spotted this really cute guy standing at the bus stop. I totally went for it. I said, 'Hey, are you going back to the dorms, too?' and he said he was. During the 15-minute bus ride, I chatted him up big time. When we got off, I was pretty sure I talked way too much and freaked him out because he took the stairs instead of the elevator up to his room. I thought, 'Great, this guy took the stairs just to get away from me.' Turns out, he lived on the fourth floor and didn't want to look lazy by taking the elevator. We’ve been together for six years." —Ashley Oerman, Women's Health online editorial assistant 

"My mom found my boyfriend for me.  It was my sorority's annual moms' weekend, so we brought all the moms to a frat party. All the tipsy mothers thought this tall brunette guy with thick glasses looked like Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman. He eventually came over, and my mom started grilling him with questions and bringing up fun facts about me, like my childhood nickname, 'Smelly Melly.'  Then she forced us to take a picture together. We've been together for over five years, and my mom takes full credit for our meeting." —Mel A.

"I met my fiancé in a boxing ring. I was training for an amateur fight, and he was coming back to restart his pro career. He knew it was love at first sweat spray." —Jacara E.

 

"I met my man the day I lost my job. I already had a date with another guy scheduled for that night, but I went to my local bar to drink away my sorrows beforehand. I ended up talking to the bartender the rest of the night and cancelled my other date. The next day, he asked me out. Losing my job ended up not being as bad as I thought!" —Annie D.

"For my birthday, I went out to dinner with a few friends, and this random guy showed up with one of them—uninvited. I thought that was awkward, but then at the end of the night he asked me for a ride home. But it all worked out because when I blew out my candles, I wished to never spend another birthday single. I didn't know my wishes were already being answered!" —Jen Weaver, Women's Health associate video editor

RELATED: 7 Women Who Are Grateful They Didn’t Marry Their Dream Guy

shutterstock_180326066.jpg

Read More »

How Many Times a Day Do You Say “Sorry”?

One woman actually kept track...and wasn't too happy with the results.

I said "I'm sorry" 12 times last Monday through Wednesday. Yet here's the thing: I actually had a great week. I started a new job, which I really like so far, and prepped for my 30th birthday. I have great friends and family, a great boyfriend—life is good!  But you might not know it, considering how many times I apologized for my actions last week. Take a look, then read on below to find out how my well-intentioned S-bombs are actually hurting me in the long run.

MONDAY
1. 1.10 a.m.: It's my first day on the job. My coworker explains how to check our company e-mail, but I forget where to click an hour later, so I ask him—complete with a "Sorry to bug you, but..."
2. 10:30 a.m.: I don't know where the printer is. I ask my coworker again, topping my apology off with an "I promise I'll quit asking you so many questions..."
3. 12 p.m.: We are sent home for the day because Hurricane Juno is about to take over New York.
4. 4 p.m.: I arrive at my boyfriend's apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, pasta and beer provisions in hand, and we agree to do our work by his roaring fireplace. I accidentally unplug his Internet to plug in my laptop and apologize profusely because he was on a Skype meeting and I disconnected his call.
5. 10 p.m.: My boyfriend wants to stay up and watch movies, but I'm exhausted from my first day on the job and nervous about the week ahead. I apologize for being lame.

TUESDAY
6. 10 a.m.: Snow day! All of New York is shut down for the blizzard. We go on a coffee mission, and I tell our barista I'm sorry for paying for two lattes on a credit card because I don’t have cash.
7. 12 p.m.: I get an e-mail from one of my editors (I still freelance on the side) asking me to answer a couple questions she has on one of my stories. I apologize for not being clearer in my first draft.
8. 5 p.m.: Dad texts to see how I'm doing in the storm. I remember I didn't call him back two days ago and apologize for being so MIA.
9. 8 p.m.: My boyfriend organizes a last-minute snow-day dinner with his friends and invites me to come, but I have too much work to do. I tell him I'm sorry for not hanging out.

WEDNESDAY
10. 10:30 a.m.:
Back in the office. The IT guy comes over to my desk and explains a task. I don't understand what to do, so I ask him to tell me again—and apologize for making him explain himself twice.
11. 7 p.m.: Heading home. I get into a packed subway car, squish myself between a hipster with Beats headphones and an office girl with stilettos, and end up falling into both of them, noticeably crushing the girl's stilettos. I apologize to both (rightly so), but the guy can't hear me because Beats, and the girl says it's fine even though I can see in her annoyed face that it isn't.
12. 9 p.m.: I call my friend and cancel our dinner for Thursday night. I have too much work to do, and I want to save my energy for my birthday weekend. I tell her I'm sorry for being too busy to function.

RELATED: The Bad Habit 77 Percent of Women Need to Break

So what gives? How did I manage to bust out 12 apologies when I was actually just working hard and trying to consider other peoples' feelings all week? Here's the weird part: I hardly realized I was doing it. All of my S-bombs just slipped out of my mouth naturally, kind of like how the F-bomb does when I stub my toe getting out of bed.  And that, experts say, is the root of the problem.

"Habitually over-apologizing—saying 'sorry' when you mean 'excuse me,' or just to ease tension when you've done nothing wrong—can work against you," explains Bryan Dik, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Colorado State University and cofounder of jobzology.com. "Chronically apologizing for things that aren't your fault can hurt your self-esteem, make other people uncomfortable, and let the offender off the hook." 

Christine Hassler, a millennial expert and author of Expectation Hangover, says that it can also make you seem weak, like a giant people-pleaser. "It's like you're saying, 'Let me have your approval,'" she says. "At some level, you're putting yourself below them, like they're more worthy than you are, which isn't true." And finally, apologizing on the reg can have a boy-who-cried-wolf effect: "It can lessen the effect of [an apology] when you actually do need to throw one out there," she says.


Giphy.com

RELATED: 5 Benefits of Being Pissed Off

 So how do you know if you need to apologize or not? Start here: You're probably overdoing it already. "Apologies are a very intimate act and should be reserved for special occasions," says Hassler. When: "You should apologize if you've done something wrong and want to take responsibility for it and make amends," says Dik. That can be anything from spilling coffee on someone's shirt to apologizing to your friend when you know you hurt her by forgetting her birthday.

In most other cases, look at where you can exchange a "thank you" for an "I'm sorry." "If someone helped you or gave up their time, don't apologize for not knowing—just thank them for making the time to explain something new to you," says Hassler. If you have to bail at the 11th hour, just reschedule—no biggie. The important thing to remember is that it's okay not to know things; it's okay to play the balancing act. It's not okay to apologize for something when you didn't do anything wrong.

Now, with this new advice in mind, I have a few closing remarks on my own sorry overdose: First of all, I hereby declare that I will never again apologize to a coworker for teaching me how to do something when I'm new. I realize now that that is absurd. Next, I won't worry about hurting my friends' or boyfriend's feelings when I have to cancel plans or going MIA on my dad for two days—if my reasons are legit. They understand because they've been there, too. As for the subway stiletto girl? I'll stand by that apology, for sure. I made a serious dent in her stiletto, not to mention her wallet if she had to buy a whole new pair.

RELATED: 10 Things You Should Never, Ever Apologize For

say-sorry.jpg

Read More »

How Much You’ll Have Sex in Your 70s and 80s

Take a look into our sexual Magic 8 Ball.

Old people getting down is something you probably never think about, but prepare yourself for visuals: A new study finds that senior citizens are going at it a lot more frequently than you might think. 

For a study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers surveyed more than 6,000 English men and women between the ages of 50 and 90 about their sexual health and sexual activities. The survey results revealed that 33 percent of sexually active men in their 70s and 19 percent of sexually active men in their 80s were having sex at least twice a month. The study also found that 36 percent of sexually active women in their 70s and 32 percent of sexually active women in their 80s reported having sex at least twice a month, which could be more than you're having right now. Mind. Blown.

While you might be very surprised that the elderly are getting it on this much, the study also found that on average, survey takers did have less sex as they got older. Much of this was due to age-related health issues such as arthritis or to problems like an inability to get an erection or reach an orgasm. 

RELATED: How Having a C-Section Affects Your Sex Life 

But get this: As women aged, their rate of sexual dissatisfaction decreased on average, while men reported more dissatisfaction with their sex lives. Granted, the study authors note that it’s possible that sex just became less important to women. 

While the results of this study might not be super pleasant to think about now, it's definitely encouraging to the future senior-citizen you. Want more proof that you don't forget all things sexy time as you age? Check out eight sex tips from a 100-year-old sex therapist.

RELATED: The Many Different Kinds of Penises You May Encounter in Your Lifetime

busy-in-old-age.jpeg

Read More »

Why Ryan Gosling ‘Hey Girl’ Memes Are a Victory for Women Everywhere

Besides the obvious, anyway

You remember the Feminist Ryan Gosling memes, don't you? The ones in which female-affirming messages appear over pictures of dreamy RyGo, always beginning with the ever so gentle, "Hey girl"? Of course you do:
 

Well, it turns out that those memes are good for more than just making you yearn for Ryan Gosling and his swoon-worthy, feminist whispers—they apparently make men more feminist, too. 

At least, that's what a new study by two Ph.D. students at the University of Saskatchewan hints at. The researchers exposed participants to pictures of Ryan Gosling, with and without feminist text, then the participants filled out a questionnaire rating their level of agreement with statements such as, "The workplace is organized around men's oppression of women." Turns out, the guys who spent some quality time with Feminist Ryan Gosling were more likely to endorse feminist beliefs.  
 

Before you start wallpapering your partner's room with printouts of your favorite "Hey Girl" memes, it should be noted that the study's sample size was small—only 99 participants, and only 30 of whom were male. And, though the men were more likely to agree with feminist statements after being exposed to feminist RyGo, they weren’t more likely than the other group to actually self-identify as feminists when asked.

Plus, even if the link holds, the results could also imply that men need to hear about the patriarchy from other men in order to take the patriarchy seriously—which: bummer. 

But, hey girl, we're not about to complain if this study helps more men embrace equality and woman power—and leads to a new wave of Ryan Gosling memes. 

More From Women's Health
8 Quotes from 'The Notebook' That STILL Make You Feel Things
9 Amazing Love Lessons from Soon-to-Be Dad Ryan Gosling (and the Characters He's Played)
Stop Everything: You Can Now Snuggle With Ryan Gosling

 

rygo-meme.jpg

Read More »

17 Super Simple Tips to Lose Weight for LIFE

Something tells us you won’t miss those extra pounds.

This article was written by Diana Kelly and provided by our partners at Prevention.

Studies show that the simpler your diet, the easier it is to stick to over the long haul. Follow these steps to streamline your plan and shed unwanted pounds for good. 

1. Make friends with your scale. 
If you want to lose weight, think of your scale as a friend, not a foe. Weigh yourself once a day, first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom and getting undressed (water weight and clothing can throw off the number). Track your results, and stay motivated by following the weight graph's changes over the next few weeks. (Here are five ways you can use your scale to your advantage.)

2. Post goals in spots you'll see.
 Keep yours top of mind by writing them down and posting in several places where you'll notice them often—on your computer monitor, on the fridge, in your wallet. Then tell someone about it. Research conducted by the Dominican University of California showed that people who wrote down their goals, shared them with a friend, and then followed up with weekly updates were, on average, 33 percent more successful than those who didn't write down their goals or share them with others. 

3. Write down every bite, nibble, and swallow. 
According to recent studies, participants who keep a daily food journal lose twice as much weight as those who don't. Keep track today by recording the food and portion size. Don't forget to write down beverage calories, too. While tracking every day leads to more weight loss success, do what feels right to you. If tracking for two days a week is more realistic, then commit to completing that goal and staying mindful of what you eat the other days.

 

A photo posted by Lorren (@lorrenz0) on

4. Eat breakfast every single day.
 Eating breakfast is like giving your metabolism a little jolt, causing it to rise faster and burn calories at an optimal rate. It can also help you keep weight off in the long term. According to data from the National Weight Control Registry on people who have maintained a weight loss of around 30 pounds for at least a year, 78 percent of the people reported eating breakfast every day. What you eat for breakfast is key, says Angela Ginn, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She suggests you choose foods with a lower glycemic index to keep blood sugar low and energy high, such as barley, which is high in fiber and has a nutty, wholesome flavor. "Get hulled barley and make it the same way you would oatmeal, and add healthy toppings," says Ginn. Try this breakfast barley recipe.

5. Think outside the apple.
 Change up the old standby fruits and veggies you've been rotating in your daily menu. Try Clementines, figs, or Asian pears—whatever's in season and isn't more of the same old apples, bananas, and baby carrots. 

 

A photo posted by Dan Selas (@selaciosa) on

6. Plan healthy snacks like you do meals.
 Prepare for afternoon hunger with nutritious snacks you bring from home, says Jim White, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Writing down what snacks you'll eat and when you'll have them will keep you from grazing, so you'll be less likely to overeat, he says. Aim to have your snack three to four hours after lunch to keep energy revved. Check out these 14 snacks that power up weight loss for ideas.

7. Ramp up water intake.
 People who drink about 7 cups of water a day eat nearly 200 fewer calories than those who get less than a glass a day, reports a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hunger and thirst are easy to confuse, says Marjorie Nolan, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "The last thing you want when you're trying to lose weight is to think you're hungry when you're actually thirsty." In order to get those seven cups in, drink one cup with each meal and snack, have a cup before and after your workout, and make time for a cup of decaf tea in the afternoon or evening. (Add excitement to your water with these sassy water recipes.)

RELATED: 15 Teeny Tiny Changes To Lose Weight Faster

8. Take dinnertime down a notch.
 Slow it down—you'll feel fuller faster, plus research shows that the more you chew, the more nutrients your body absorbs. Sip water often, put your fork down between bites, and chew a few more times than you normally do so you'll be less likely to overeat. Nolan suggests her patients practice these tips to slow down during meals and become more aware of their hunger signals:

  • Concentrate on the taste, texture, and temperature of every bite.
  • Always set the table.
  • Take a deep breath before each bite.
  • Experiment with using chopsticks.

9. Shake up your menu.
 Keep your day-to-day meals fresh by making a new, healthy recipe today. It could be as simple as a five-minute flat belly meal or one of our seasonal slow-cooker recipes

10. Eat your last meal later. 
Contrary to popular belief, eating late at night won't make you gain weight. Adjusting your dinner hour to a later time actually saves calories by curbing the urge to nosh in front of the TV. "Having dinner a little bit later—but at least two hours before sleeping—helps prevent mindless snacking, which often happens in the evening," says Nolan. 

11. Stop distracted eating.
 Don't eat in front of the TV, when you're on the computer, or while reading—all situations that encourage mindless noshing. Instead, sit down at the table when you eat. If you have to eat lunch at your desk, turn away from the computer and take a few minutes to enjoy your meal—no work distractions allowed. If you're used to snacking in front of the TV, take that time to paint your nails, straighten up the living room during commercials, or use a teeth-whitening strip. 

12. Find a low-calorie go-to dessert. 
You know you're going to crave sweets, so get prepared with a healthier version. Keep dark chocolate squares in individual packets for a quick, chocolate fix at work, and store low-fat frozen treats in the freezer at home (keep them under 150 calories each).

13. Look for ways to fidget. 
Mayo Clinic researchers discovered that people who tap their feet, fidget, and move around more burn 350 extra calories a day—that's enough to burn off a slice of pizza! If you're not a natural-born fidgeter, try a quickie workout—even 10 minutes dancing around your kitchen after dinner. "Get up once an hour for five minutes," suggests Nancy Snyderman, M.D., chief medical editor for NBC News and author of Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat. Increase your calorie burn throughout the workday with these seven tips.

RELATED: 35 One-Minute Weight Loss Secrets

14. Commit to eight hours of sleep.
 Tiredness could be the reason your cravings are out of control. Research shows that lack of sleep raises levels of ghrelin, a hunger-boosting hormone. In one study, appetite—particularly for sweet and salty foods—increased by 23 percent in people who lacked sleep. Get back in control by going to bed earlier for the recommended seven to nine hours a night. If you have trouble settling down, try this nighttime yoga routine to relax and fall asleep faster. 

15. Get rid of "fat clothes." 
Are you using too-large clothing as a crutch in case you gain more weight? Yeah, stop that. Go through your closets and drawers, and get rid of anything that's too big for you right now that you haven't worn in a while. Donate the clothes to a local Dress for Success organization, or try selling them online.

16. Switch up your cocktail.
 The next time you're out with friends, choose a type of wine or bottle of beer that isn't your usual standby, suggests White. Take your time sipping it slowly and savoring the flavors; you'll be more likely to make it last longer and drink less instead of gulping down one after another. If cocktails are your thing, try a vodka and club soda combo with a splash of juice, or order a glass of bubbly—both drinks are under 150 calories. 

17. Wear a form-fitting outfit on Fridays.
 "Friday is the day most people fall off their diet," says Ginn. "I tell clients to wear something form-fitting on Friday or when they go out to eat. This will curb the urge to overindulge and help you stay motivated while losing weight."

RELATED: 7 Thoughts That Sabotage Weight Loss Goals

buh-bye-love-handles.jpg

Read More »

What It’s Like to Make More Than Your Husband

One woman opens up about the reality facing more and more women.

When my now-husband Chris and I first met, I was a poor grad student who waited tables to make ends meet. My rent was ridiculously cheap, and thank goodness, because I had negative dollars to my name.

I eventually got a full-time office job, but the salary was so bad I had to work at a coffee shop on weekends to pay my bills. While I was working my way up the ladder, Chris already had a successful career as a chef—and his salary reflected it. He wasn't rolling in it, but he was definitely making more money than me. He never made a big deal about it, he just chipped in a little more than me sometimes on things like rent and utilities.

Eventually, my career grew. I got promotions and new jobs and the salary boosts that came with it. My salary surpassed Chris's before we got married and continued to grow. His grew, too, but not at the same rate since chefs, unfortunately, make a fraction of what they deserve.

RELATED: Why Being Married to a Chef Isn't As Glamorous As It Sounds

Now, between career advancements and side projects, I make significantly more than he does. For the most part, it's awesome. I've always wanted to make money for my family, and I love being able to make a decent impact on my family's finances. But there are definitely some drawbacks.

For one thing, I feel pressure to make a certain salary in order to maintain our family's status quo. If my career suddenly went to hell, we'd have serious financial issues. If Chris's did, we'd have to tighten our belts, but we'd still be okay. That doesn't mean his job is less important—it's just the reality of the situation.  

For the most part, Chris could care less that I make more, and he's always been supportive of my career. But occasionally he'll say things like "my job is important, too" when we're discussing something like who has to take time off when our son is sick and has to stay home from daycare. It breaks my heart that he would even think he has to say that.

Chris is incredibly talented, and he absolutely deserves all of the success he's had. But I've caught myself feeling a little jealous that he's been able to take certain jobs that he's wanted for less money, while it just wouldn't make sense for me to do the same. And that's the thing: I know it wouldn't make sense, but sometimes being practical is kind of lame.

I don't doubt that if I suddenly demanded that he make more, Chris would work his butt off to find a career that would give him a big salary boost. But I'd never do that—he loves his job, and I couldn't ask him to make that sacrifice for me.

I'm not alone. I'd say about 35 to 40 percent of my female friends are in the same boat, which reflects the national average (according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2012, 38 percent of wives earn more than their husbands). Like our husbands, we don’t really care that we make more. But sometimes…little gripes come out.

"I just once want to go out and spend a crap-load of money on something silly, like designer boots," one investment banker friend of mine said. "If my husband made the same salary, I could. But I can't. I live like I make less money to balance out his lower salary."

RELATED: Does Your Husband Really Need to Be Your Best Friend?

One friend confessed to me that she's dreamed about what kind of life she'd have if her husband made the same or more than she did. "I could be a stay-at-home mom—not that I want that, but it would be nice to at least have the option."

While the concept of wives making more than their husbands attracts some attention, this income imbalance is really nothing new for couples. Men have been making more than their wives for ages, and we're hypocrites if we suddenly feel like more of the money is ours because the roles have been reversed. That's not what a marriage is, and we would be livid if our husbands did that.

Psychiatrist Gail Saltz, M.D. says as a whole, men now are more comfortable than ever with having a high-earner wife. Still, some aren't—especially if his feelings of self-worth are tied into being the primary breadwinner. Since many men were raised to think that they need to financially provide for their family, they can feel a little disappointed that they're not able to contribute more to the bottom line.

She says it’s incredibly important to not lord it over your partner that you make more—that's just asking for serious trouble. But contributing to the family isn't just about money. "If you feel resentful you are earning the majority of the income, look at what your partner is contributing monetarily or otherwise," says Saltz. "If it's too one-sided, then discuss another division of labor."

The reality is, Chris does a ton of stuff that I can't be bothered to do. He takes care of all of our bills, car maintenance, and issues that pop up around the house without thinking twice. If it was left to me…we'd be in trouble. That alone is worth a ton of money.

I used to wonder sometimes what it would be like to be married to someone who made more than me. My life would be different—we'd have a bigger place to live, eat out more, and travel a ton. We'd probably still live in Brooklyn, which we left in order to actually be able to afford to buy a place and not spend an entire paycheck each month on daycare.

But that's not my reality. The thing is, I didn't marry for money. I knew what I was getting into when I married a chef, and I'd do it again in an instant. As long as we're comfortable enough to keep our son happy, fed, and in diapers while supporting my juicing habit, I'm good.

Chris set a great example for me years ago on how to treat your partner when you earn more money. I can only hope I'm doing it justice.

RELATED: 6 Marriage Milestones That Will Make or Break a Couple

--

Korin Miller is a writer, SEO nerd, wife, and mom to a little one-year-old dude named Miles. Korin has worked for The Washington Post, New York Daily News, and Cosmopolitan, where she learned more than anyone ever should about sex. She has an unhealthy addiction to gifs.

female-breadwinner.jpeg

Read More »

Why Hasn’t This Beautiful Celeb Married Her Boyfriend of 17 Years? Watch the Video

There's more to happily ever after than a white dress and a ring.

Maria Menounos, 36, started dating the love of her life, Keven Undergaro, almost 17 years ago. Guys: By Hollywood standards, that's basically a lifetime.

Another way the two stars of Chasing Maria Menounos aren't like other celebs? While shotgun weddings are a fixture in Hollywood, Maria and Keven haven't tied the knot. So when we sat down with Maria last week, we had to know: What's her current take on marriage? Does she think it's necessary to put a ring on it—and will she ever? See what she had to say:

Most used player for workouts, articles, and cover models
<!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. -->brightcove.createExperiences();

 

Check back on WomensHealthMag.com for more footage from our interview with Maria!

More from Women's Health:
5 Smart Pieces of Marriage Advice from Divorcees
6 Marriage Milestones That Will Make or Break a Couple
The 13 Emotionally Torturous Stages of Falling in Love

Read More »

7 Masturbation Moves to Try In the Shower

Since it’s already hot and steamy in there…

You shower every single day—and it's time to start taking advantage of that naked alone time. We talked with Astroglide resident sexologist Jessica O'Reilly, Ph.D., author of Hot Sex Tips, Tricks and Licks, to get some super sexy ideas for really steaming things up in there.

1. Play with the Temperature
"Run a warm shower, and press your frontside against the cold wall while touching yourself," says O'Reilly. "Let your clitoris respond to the sensations of the cool wall and the hot water in succession." 

2. Get Your Grind On
"Sit back against the side of the tub, and slather your hand in a silicone lube like Astroglide X Silicone Liquid," suggests O'Reilly. "Use a little more than you normally would, as you don't have to worry about the mess. Press all five fingers along the length of your lips, and pull upward an inch or two before sliding back down. Press against your hand with your hips, allowing your fingers to increase the speed of grinding as your arousal heightens."

3. Invest in a Suction Dildo
It's actually not as dirty as it sounds: This is a shower toy that has a suction cup on the back of it that you can attach to the wall or the surface of the tub. "You can adjust the angle, height and, of course, the rhythm and depth to suit your needs," says O'Reilly. Try the Vibrating Slim Jelly Dong with Suction Cup ($12.33, amazon.com) for added electronic fun.

RELATED: 7 Lessons You Learn From Using Sex Toys

4. Two Words: Waterproof Vibrator
Speaking of toys you can take in the shower, O'Reilly recommends the We-Vibe Touch ($99, we-vibe.com), which has a wide, flat surface that's great for getting you all hot and bothered.

5. Try the "Thumbs Up"
"Slather your thumb in silicone lube, and twirl it inside of you as the water teems down over your nipples and clitoris," says O'Reilly. "The shallow penetration may be exactly what your body needs to take it over the top." 

RELATED: 12 Embarrassing Sex Questions You're Too Afraid to Ask

6. Read a Sexy Story 
"Print off a sexy story, or grab a hot book before you hop into the shower," says O'Reilly (you can hold it just outside the shower). "When the mood strikes you, you can drop the book and get yourself off using your fingers and fantasy alone."

7. Do Your Kegels
O'Reilly says some women find that simply contracting their pelvic floor muscles for a minute or two gets them all riled up on account of the increased circulation to your lady parts. "If you find your body getting turned on by this sexcercise routine, let your mind follow suit as it wanders into an escapist fantasy," she says.

RELATED: 21 Ways to Have WAY More Fun with Masturbation

shower-masturbation.jpeg

Read More »

The Weight-Loss Plan That Helped Me Lose 100 Pounds

Catharine Acurso made gradual changes that added up to major weight-loss success.

Before: 248
After: 145

The Lifestyle
I was always a little overweight my whole life. I come from a family of heavy people, and when I was growing up, all of our family get-togethers were based on food. It didn't matter if it was a happy gathering or sad, people were always offering each other something to eat (and you don't want to insult anyone by not eating—it's a part of my Cuban culture). Plus, with five siblings and my mom working a lot, fast food was one of our go-tos.

When I was in the sixth grade, I first realized that I was heavier than the other girls. I thought, "Oh, I'm going into junior high school—I should try to lose weight so boys will like me, like me." From then on, my mom and I tried pretty much any popular diet from the early 2000s you could think of. She was always encouraging me to lose weight whenever she did. I would usually lose between 30 and 40 pounds on those diets, but I always put it back on—and then some.

The Change
After I graduated from high school, I went to community college and started working. I was so excited to feel independent and on my own, but then my grandma became really sick and she passed away. It was a really rough time because she was like a mother to me. 

Another aspect of her death that really got to me was that she had heart problems, and heart disease was something that ran in my family. Since I was overweight, I realized I was putting myself at risk. I mean, she had triple bypass surgery when I was in the third grade and had been in and out of hospitals ever since. It really made me realize that I needed to get serious about my health. 

A few months after her death, in January 2009, some family members and I decided to join Weight Watchers. Even though I knew I needed to get healthy, I was reluctant to go. But after starting to get into it, I became so much more aware of everything I was putting in my body. Although the program helped me at first, I decided that I wanted to start making changes to my diet and exercise on my own. I needed to change my lifestyle, and I knew that keeping track of points for the rest of my life wasn't going to work for me. 

I started by making very gradual changes like cutting out soda and limiting drive-thru meals and junk food. Over time, I started adding more fruit and veggies into my diet, and my taste buds started to change. I would actually crave a banana instead of a Snickers bar as a snack. And even though I was eating out fairly frequently, I made a deal with myself that I had to have at least two home-cooked meals a week. Eventually, I started cooking a majority of my meals at home. 

My exercise routine also underwent a gradual change. I started by walking on my lunch break and hiking to burn extra calories and boost my metabolism. After losing about 60 pounds, I began using an elliptical at the gym and was even running by the summer. By January 2010, I hit my goal weight of 145 pounds and ran my first half marathon the following spring! 

I think the fact that I made gradual changes was part of my success. I didn't dive in head-first and get overwhelmed with my new habits. And now that I've hit my goal weight and I'm super active, I do eat out with friends occasionally. It's not realistic to cut going to dinner with friends and family out of my life altogether. Today, I'm so proud to say that I've successfully maintained my weight for five years!

The Reward
One of the biggest rewards of losing weight has been that I feel like I don't have to be "on" all the time. Now, I feel so confident in myself that I don't need to be constantly making jokes for people to like me. I can just be myself.

It's also such a great feeling to run 13 miles and not even think twice about it. It's so amazing that I'm capable of that now!

Catharine's Tips:
Eat breakfast as often as possible.
This has been such a crucial factor in my weight loss because it kept me from being hungry and tired later in the day.
Try to do some kind of exercise every day. I started by walking during my lunch break for an hour, and that really helped me get the ball rolling on being active later in the day. It just became a habit that I liked to keep up. 
Be patient with your weight loss. I would have weeks where I wouldn't eat as well as I could have and sometimes would gain a little bit of weight—but I knew that I could get back on track. That helped me not give up hope and stick with my new lifestyle. 

Catharine Acurso , 25, is 5' 7" and works as a photographer in Los Angeles. 

More from Women's Health:
A Healthy Food Blogger Shares Her Roller Coaster Struggle with Weight
6 Motivational Weight-Loss Quotes That Are All Lies
7 Weight Loss Shortcuts That ACTUALLY Work

 

acurso-weight-loss.jpg

Read More »

Why Men Suddenly Develop Pregnancy Symptoms When YOU’RE Expecting

And we're not just talking about the sympathy weight he's put on.

This article was written by Ali Eaves and provided by our partners at Men's Health.

It's nothing compared to what women's bodies goes through—but men experience hormonal changes when their partners are pregnant, finds a new University of Michigan study. Researchers tested the hormone levels of first-time fathers-to-be and found that their testosterone dropped as the baby grew. 

Don't panic—we're not talking clinically low T levels, says study author Robin Edelstein, Ph.D. But the changes could be just enough to subtly influence his personality, like making him more nurturing and devoted to you and your future child (not such a bad thing).

In fact, researchers say that may be why his testosterone falls—to prepare him to take better care of your family when the kiddo arrives. (And then he's in for a lot more than a little hormone shift. Find out why one man thinks having children is a great idea that will also ruin your life.)

But how? Edelstein says it may be a result of the psychological changes he goes through when you're with child. For example, he might begin to imagine himself as a dad and start viewing you more as a parent than a sexual being. 

Another possibility: "There's some evidence that some men gain weight along with their pregnant partners, which could definitely influence their hormone levels," says Edelstein.

Scientists aren't sure whether his testosterone will bounce back to pre-baby levels—and in fact, other research suggests it may continue to dip after Junior is born—but it's nothing to worry about. 

"Slightly lower levels of testosterone have been associated with higher relationship satisfaction and more sensitive parenting," says Edelstein. "So think about these changes as important adaptations to becoming a parent."

(If you are worried about his low T and are thinking about suggesting supplements, find out the truth about testosterone-boosting supplements first.)

More From Men's Health:
The Most Important Fat-Burning Exercise You're Not Doing
The Penis Problem Many Guys Completely Ignore
The Best Sex Advice of All Time

his-pregnancy-symptoms.jpg

Read More »