Former NFL running back DeAngelo Williams has paid for over 500 mammograms for women—because, to him, the issue is personal.
He always wore the color pink in his hair, which flowed out from his helmet, during his later years as a player for the Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Pink is not a color—it’s a culture to me.”
He created the DeAngelo Williams Foundation in honor of his mother, Sandra Hill, who died of breast cancer in 2006. All four of her sisters then died from the same disease—all before the age of 50.
He originally chose to pay for 53 mammograms because his mom died at age 53. He called the project #53StrongforSandra.” Since then, they have paid for 500 mammogram screenings for under-insured women in four states—North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Arkansas, all states he has football ties in.
Three years ago, Hil Moss says she was lounging around, casually watching television and relaxing when she touched her chest and felt a lump. She was 28, and with no family history, she says her doctor reassured her that she had nothing to worry about. But after a few more appointments, they confirmed a diagnosis of breast cancer, likely caused by an ATM gene mutation they found.
After three years and a 14-month treatment plan — which included three months of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and a tissue-based reconstruction, later followed by hormone therapy — Moss, a student in the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut, and an advocate for cancer care, now considers herself a breast cancer survivor.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) defines survivorship as, “living with, through, and beyond cancer.” But some patients who get to the “beyond cancer” stage say they were unprepared for the toll this experience would take on their mental health.
When she was first diagnosed, Moss says she anticipated that the most difficult part of her experience would be receiving the treatment, but a fellow survivor warned her that it would actually be the months following her completion of it that would be the hardest. Sure enough, Moss says she found the first six months of her recovery period more mentally challenging than anything she had physically gone through, including the amputation of both her breasts.
“That just seems impossible to believe,” Moss says. “You’re in chemo, you feel horrible, how could it possibly be worse? But it kind of is. When you’re actively in treatment, you at least have this sense of what your day-to-day is, and sometimes that can feel like a safety blanket.”
“When you are removed from that, you are forced to essentially reckon with what’s happened. You have to come to terms with your own mortality,” Moss says.
Breast Cancer Survival Rates Are Increasing
Marleen Meyers, MD, a medical oncologist and the founding director of the Survivorship Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health in New York City, says that breast cancer is a “hopeful cancer,” because more and more patients diagnosed with breast cancer are surviving, but that living through this experience “comes with a price.”
“I’ve been an oncologist for a long time, and early on, we were just happy that people survived,” Dr. Meyers says. “We didn’t really look at what their quality of life after survivorship was. I always like to say that the cancer treatment may be over, but the cancer experience is far from over.”
Experts say that the vast majority of patients struggle with mental health after receiving cancer treatment.
“There’s anxiety about what the next steps are, how they’re going to feel, how long it’s going to take for them to get better,” Meyers says. “The reality is, while you can give somebody an estimate, it’s impossible to predict.”
Click here to read the full article on Everyday Health.
According to the American Psychological Association, the country is facing a mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come.
This was brought on by the stress created by the pandemic, leaving many people to feel anxiety and worry more. With that in mind, it’s crucial that people prioritize relaxing and reducing stress in order to protect their mental health. The good news is there are numerous things they can do to help them achieve that goal.
“Being busy became such a trend, as though busy equated success – now freedom and flexibility are the symbols of success,” explains Katie Sandler, personal development and career coach. “It’s hard for people to chill out when their systems are programmed to be going nonstop and working nonstop. It takes a minute to down regulate the system in order to actually reduce stress and chill out.”
In a Pew Research Center survey, at least 60% of the adults reported that they sometimes feel too busy to enjoy life, with 12% of them saying they felt that way all of the time. Living like this is one sure way to increase stress and anxiety levels. Having long term stress can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, obesity, cognitive decline, and depression, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
While many people want to reduce the stress in their lives, they are not always sure how to go about doing so. Here are 5 ways to chill out in a hectic life:
Mindfulness. Keeping yourself in the present moment can go a long way toward helping you lower stress, anxiety, and even depression as well as help you get better sleep and establish a better sense of well-being. Mindfulness is something that everyone can learn and practice anywhere at anytime.
Connect with people. Getting together with people we enjoy being around helps us laugh, feel connected, and make us happier. Those populations who are the healthiest in the world, such as the Blue Zones, tend to get together for social interaction regularly. Join a group or find some friends you like to be around and meet up on a regular basis. If you don’t feel comfortable being in person – create zoom social events; something is better than nothing.
Be in nature. There are many health benefits from spending time in nature. Even a view of nature helps us feel better and can improve our mood. Be sure to get outdoor time, taking walks, biking, gardening, or doing something else you enjoy. Nature-deficit disorder is real. Whatever you choose, just be sure to spend time outside and in nature.
Schedule free time. With the busy lives that people live today it may be necessary to put free time on the schedule. This way it will be a part of your plan and you will have to give it your attention. Don’t let other things crowd out your scheduled free time.
Set the intention. The first part of making your life less hectic is to set the intention that you are going to chill out. Setting the intention will get you to formulate your thoughts, plans, and goals. Determine what you want, what you will do to make it happen, and what you want the outcome to be.
“You can’t continue to put off reducing your hectic and stressful lifestyle,” added Sandler. “Having a more relaxing life with less stress takes being proactive and making some changes. You have to put work into it, some of it may seem counterintuitive, but what you get back is beyond rewarding.”
Sandler has worked with many people to help them identify a plan for personal achievement, take steps to reach goals, and identify areas that need to be worked on. She provides people with meaningful tools that they can use to help bring calm and insight into their life. In addition to working with individuals, she offers luxury impact retreats.
Sandler has a bachelor’s degree in psychology anda master’s degree in mental health counseling, has a strong foundation in mindfulness-based stress reduction, and has worked in hospitals and private practice. She previously spent time as a research assistant while at Johns Hopkins, focusing on purpose in life. To learn more about Katie Sandler and her services, or to see the retreat schedule, visit the site: https://katiesandler.com/.
About Katie Sandler
Katie Sandler is a popular impact coach and provides health and wealth coaching and personal and professional development. She offers retreats around the world, as well as private coaching and corporate impact coaching opportunities. She focuses on helping people become more successful so they can live with purpose and make an impact in our world. To learn more about Katie or her services, visit the site: https://katiesandler.com/.
Selena Gomez doesn’t care about her weight — and wishes other people wouldn’t either.
On Sunday, the actress and singer, 29, called out the body shamers who feel the need to comment about her looks. Talking on her TikTok Stories, Gomez said that she tries to limit her fast food meals, but sometimes goes all in. “So I be trying to stay skinny, but I went to Jack in the Box and I got four tacos, three egg rolls, onion rings and a spicy chicken sandwich,” she said, E! News reported.
The Only Murders in the Building star said that it doesn’t matter, because no matter what she does people will still criticize her body. “But honestly, I don’t care about my weight because people bitch about it anyway. ‘You’re too small,’ ‘you’re too big,’ ‘that doesn’t fit.’ ‘Meh meh meh meh.'” “Bitch, I am perfect the way I am,” she added. “Moral of the story? Bye.”
Gomez — who underwent a kidney transplant in Sept. 2017 due to complications from lupus — has previously explained that her health issues cause “weight fluctuations” that used to bother her.
“I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure, so I deal with a lot of health issues, and for me that’s when I really started noticing more of the body image stuff,” she said in an interview with friend Raquelle Stevens on her video podcast Giving Back Generation in Nov. 2019.
The “Lose You to Love Me” singer said that the “combination” of her lupus and the medication she needs alters her weight.
“It’s the medication I have to take for the rest of my life — it depends on even the month, to be honest,” Gomez said of her weight changes. “So for me, I really noticed when people started attacking me for that. And in reality, that’s just my truth. I fluctuate. It depends what’s happening in my life.”
Selena Gomez is taking her passion for mental health advocacy to new heights.
On Monday, the singer, actress and entrepreneur celebrated the launch of her multimedia company Wondermind alongside her two co-founders, her mom Mandy Teefey and fellow mental health activist Daniella Pierson. The new platform aims to be a free resource to help users navigate their own mental wellness. The 29-year-old, who has spoken candidly about living with bipolar disorder, says she wants to use her own experiences as a conduit to help others, particularly as it pertains to the toxicity of social media.
“I haven’t been on the internet in four and a half years,” Gomez said in an interview with Good Morning America. “It has changed my life completely. I am happier. I am more present, I connect more with people. It makes me feel normal.”
Last year, she told InStyle she “created a system” where she doesn’t know the passwords to her social media accounts — a step she said was necessary in order to focus on herself.
The Only Murders in the Building star explained that “growing up in the spotlight has definitely taught me so much.”
“I can’t believe that I am where I am mentally just because of how I took the necessary steps in order to kind of remove myself from that because it’s just not normal,” she said.
Gomez, who has spoken candidly about living with bipolar disorder after publicly revealing her diagnosis in April 2020, says her mental health journey has been “freeing.”
“I started to have a relationship with myself,” Gomez said. “I think that’s the best part. I’ve probably been the happiest I’ve ever been.”
With Wondermind, Gomez says she wants “people to be understood and seen and heard. It’s OK to not be OK.”
“If I’m known for anything I hope it’s simply just for the way I care about people,” she added. “Those days where I don’t want to get out of bed, if I had something like Wondermind, even if it took me a minute to get into it, it’s just there. And there’s something that’s really comforting about that.”
Now, as the star is getting closer to turning 30, she hopes to take all the lessons she learned in her 20s and apply them to a better future.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to step into this chapter. Alone, independently, strong, confidently,” she said. “That’s all I really want, you know?”
This isn’t the first time Gomez has spoken openly about her mental health.
In an interview with Elle magazine last year, she touched on the public scrutiny she faced over the years — including a very public breakup with Justin Bieber, undergoing a kidney transplant due to her lupus diagnosis and seeking mental health treatment.
“I don’t even know what they really believed I was doing — drugs, alcohol, running around, partying,” she explained of the negative press she endured. “The narrative was so nasty.”
Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.
When Daye Covington visited her doctor for a routine physical last year, she expressed concern about weight gain in her belly that she said made her look seven months pregnant. But she knew she wasn’t pregnant, and she had a healthy lifestyle. An MRI revealed that she had multiple uterine fibroids — noncancerous growths in the uterus — the size of cantaloupes.
“First, I was relieved to know that I was not pregnant because I was not trying to be pregnant,” she told NBC News, “and then I was scared because I didn’t know much about fibroids.”
Uterine fibroids are rarely discussed, despite being a common condition, particularly for Black women. Experts say that by age 35, about half of Black women have had them, and by age 50, 80 percent of Black women have them, compared to 70 percent of white women. Black women are also more likely to have higher fibroid growth than other racial groups. While most cases require no treatment, in some instances, they can cause weight gain, heavy periods, frequent urination or pelvic pain, and they may require surgery.
Now, some Black women, like Covington, who shared her experience on are speaking up about their struggles and are encouraging others to educate themselves about the condition, so they can identify the symptoms and seek treatment, if necessary. Former star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” Cynthia Bailey, 55, recently shared her experience with uterine fibroids with People, saying she endured heavy bleeding during periods, fatigue and an expanded belly, which led fans to assume she was pregnant. She also said her mental health took a toll.
“It’s very hard to be in a good space mentally when you’re bleeding all the time and when you don’t have any energy, and you’re anemic,” she told the magazine.
While all women are at risk for developing uterine fibroids, Black women are disproportionately affected, with one study showing that Black women are three times more likely to develop them than white women and that Black women are more likely to need surgical treatment.
The reasons for this disparity, however, are less clear, said Eric Hardee, a physician and co-founder of Houston Fibroids and Texas Endovascular Associates. A family history of fibroids increases a woman’s risk. Obesity, diet and environmental factors may also play a role. Hair relaxers have also been linked to increased risk of uterine fibroid development.
Black women may also be less likely to seek help.
Cynthia Talla, 28, said despite her severe symptoms, she felt like she had to endure her pain alone. When she did seek help after dealing with fibroid symptoms as a teen, Talla said the medical professionals made her feel that Black women are able to bear the pain.
After Talla had surgery in 2020, she recalled telling her mother how good she was finally feeling.
“I remember crying, like, ‘I can’t believe I didn’t feel like this for years,’” she said. “So it’s very bad.”
Sara Harris, who serves on the board of the reproductive health organization Resilient Sisterhood Project, agreed.
“I do think there’s that superwoman phenomena, that Black women can do it all,” she said, “and speaking from my own personal experience, not wanting to ask for help because you know that you can take care of your own stuff, and you have to take care of everyone else around you at the same time.”
Harris added that many Black women also feel a taboo talking about these issues. Resilient Sisterhood Project offers support groups and virtual webinars with Black health experts to answer questions about topics on endometriosis, infertility and HPV, as well as training for universities and health care organizations about reproductive health and Black women’s needs in accessing health care.
Another issue with uterine fibroids, Harris said, is that they’re often misdiagnosed.
“Black women might be misdiagnosed for having an STI [sexually transmitted infection] or misdiagnosed for being pregnant or treated for preventing pregnancy, rather than looking at sort of what could be a deeper cause of the same symptoms that a Black woman is facing — like pelvic pain or prolonged menstrual bleeding,” Harris said.
March is National Nutrition Month, making it a great time to talk about what we eat. Sure, most people know what a healthy diet looks like, but truth be told, they don’t follow it. However, the problem with this is that it’s leading to a myriad of health problems. Junk food, fast food, and highly processed items may be convenient and taste good, but they are not good for the body. It’s time to get serious and make some healthy changes.
“We all get stuck in ruts, where we are doing the same thing over and over,” Jennifer Scherer, certified personal trainer and owner of Fredericksburg Fitness Studio. “Oftentimes, these things we are doing are unhealthy. We have to change the habits that we have, so they are helping us, rather than hurting.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of the adult population considered obese continues to rise. The latest figures show that 42% are obese, and obesity increases the risks of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. All conditions, which they point out, are largely preventable through diet and lifestyle.
Here are some expert tips on how to make changes to your diet to make it healthier:
Eat five or six small meals per day and aim for half your plate to be fruits and vegetables.
Aim to consume no more than 2,000 mg per day of sodium. Purchase canned goods with no salt added and cook without adding salt. Salt can be added at the table, but it can’t be removed once it’s added during cooking.
Don’t drink your calories. Eliminate empty calories in sugar-sweetened beverages, coffees, and fruit juices.
Focus on Fiber. Try to get at least 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men. Great sources of fiber include oatmeal, beans, lentils, popcorn, and whole-grain bread.
Power with protein by getting 0.8 grams per kilogram body weight. Consuming adequate protein is good for bone health, retaining muscle mass, and reducing cravings by keeping you full. Great protein sources include lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans, tofu, peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
Make a goal to increase your daily fruit and vegetable intake. Fruits and veggies should be a staple to the diet because they contain fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. The CDC reports that only 9% of adults eat the recommended daily supply of vegetables, and 12% eat the recommended daily supply of fruits.
Try to limit eating highly processed foods. Most of them are made with a long list of unhealthy ingredients. The National Institutes of Health reports that those eating highly processed foods tend to eat more calories and gain more weight. Make snacks at home, so there’s more control over what goes into it.
“Start making changes with your diet, and you will see how quickly they make a difference,” adds Scherer. “When you eat a healthier diet, you will feel better and have more energy, in addition to reducing the risks of many diseases. We have to make good nutrition a high priority.”
To get in the habit of eating healthier, make a list of meals that will be made and shop only for the ingredients needed to make them. Avoid shopping while hungry, and try to stick to the store’s perimeter, avoiding much of the highly processed foods in the middle.
Fredericksburg Fitness Studio offers personalized fitness programs, including customized fitness training programs. Their private personal training studio offers a range of services to improve health and wellness, including medical exercise, personal training, in-home medical training, virtual personal training, nutrition coaching, and a Pilates reformer program.
Unlike typical fitness studios and gyms, Fredericksburg Fitness Studio doesn’t offer memberships. They also don’t have big crowds of people working out together. They offer private customized fitness programs that are available by appointment. Their nutrition coaching program is offered virtually and covers three months to help ensure accountability and success. Their Pilates reformer program uses a variety of machines with a customized routine.
Many people who go to the studio are referrals from physical therapists and doctors. The wellness professionals at the studio communicate with the medical teams to keep them up on patient progress. To learn more about the Fredericksburg Fitness Studio, visit the site at: https://www.fburgfitness.com.
About Fredericksburg Fitness Studio
Founded in 2008, Fredericksburg Fitness Studio offers personalized fitness programs, nutrition coaching, and medical training. The private personal training studio was started by Jennifer Scherer, who has a background in human physiology, anatomy, nutrition, weight training, and exercise. The studio has a team of people working to help people reach their health and wellness goals. To learn more, visit the site at: https://www.fburgfitness.com.
Alicia Keys is lending her powerful voice to a strong cause.
The 15-time Grammy Award winner has joined forces with Athleta to further their mutual commitment to women’s well-being.
As such, Keys has signed on to Athleta’s “Power of She Fund” grant program as a mentor and advisor. According to Athleta, Keys will also work with the brand to connect with women through “meaningful community conversations” in AthletaWell, the retailer’s digital community that supports women’s well-being.
And, on International Women’s Day, which is March 8, the duo will release the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection. Athleta, a division of Gap Inc., said the collection will have exclusive products co-created and co-designed by Keys, who worked alongside the brand’s all-female design team. Among the items, which will be available in sizes XXS-3X on athleta.com and at all Athleta retail locations, will be Keys’ favorite piece — a pink jumpsuit. More details of the collection will be released closer to the launch, according to Athleta.
“Alicia has made a powerful commitment to well-being and we are thrilled to welcome her to Athleta’s community of empowered women,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and CEO of Athleta. “With a values-driven partnership like this one with Alicia, we are ideally positioned to continue to meet our customer’s needs in the well-being space and support her across all aspects of her life.”
“I was drawn to Athleta because we both want to encourage women to discover, accept and own their power,” added Keys. “We’re all about the uniqueness of women, body positivity and creating a lifestyle that showcases our immeasurable power within. It’s time to thrive – not just to survive – and my hope is that these offerings are another outlet for you to amplify your personal power, your possibility, and feel comfortable in your own skin.”
Keys joins a roster of powerful, like-minded partners, including Simone Biles and Allyson Felix.
Biles, a former Nike athlete and the country’s most-decorated gymnast, signed a long-term partnership with Athleta in April 2021. The deal includes a signature performance wear line designed with Athleta’s team and capsule collections for the company’s Athleta Girl sister brand.
Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.
Bella Hadid is speaking honestly about her mental health.
The 25-year-old supermodel spoke to WSJ. Magazine for the publication’s “My Monday Morning” series, where she opened up about her mental health struggles, which she described as “excruciating and debilitating.”
When asked by the publication what her secret is to putting together her outfit in the morning, Hadid explained that she hasn’t had a stylist “in a long time, maybe two years now,” and she was “in such a weird place mentally that it was really complicated for me to get out of the house and put an outfit together, especially with the anxiety of [paparazzi] being outside and all that.”
But, after learning to deal with her anxiety and other mental health struggles, Hadid said she learned to embrace her fashion and dress in a way that makes her happy.
“In the last year, it was really important for me to learn that even if people talk about my style or if they like it or if they don’t, it doesn’t matter, because it’s my style,” she noted. “When I leave the house in the morning, what I think about is: Does this make me happy? Do I feel good in this and do I feel comfortable?”
In her interview with WSJ. Magazine, Hadid continued to chat about her own mental health, as well as what her thought process was behind an Instagram post she shared in November, where she posted a series of selfies of herself crying.
“I would have really depressive episodes and my mom or my doctor would ask how I was and instead of having to respond in text, I would just send them a photo,” she said. “It was the easiest thing for me to do at the time because I was never able to explain how I was feeling.”
“I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn’t know why. That was over the past three years,” she continued. “[When I posted them] it was to make sure that anybody that was feeling that way knew it was OK to feel that way.”
Added Hadid: “Even though on Instagram things look so beautiful, at the end of the day, we are all cut from the same cloth. I felt like it was just good for me to be able to speak my truth and at some point I wasn’t able to post nice pretty pictures anymore. I was over it.”
Karena Dawn doesn’t shy away from hard conversations.
The co-founder of Tone It Up is launching a new charitable organization, The Big Silence, to normalize discussions about mental health issues.
“I’ve been wanting to create a foundation and a resource for many years,” says Dawn, who was just 12 years old when her mom was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and depression.
“[My mom] was in and out of the house many times, from being a missing person to being in the hospital,” Dawn tells PEOPLE exclusively. “And it was in the ’90s, so no one was talking about mental health.”
As a teenager, Dawn tried to research mental illness and schizophrenia at the library. “There were no resources out there for me to lean on,” she recalls. “It kind of sent me in a spiral of my own situational depression, drug abuse, suicide attempt and losing a lot of friends because no one around me was talking about it.”
That’s why she believes so strongly in offering support for those who are struggling. “There’s a stigma around mental health,” says the NYT bestselling author. “That is what The Big Silence is: It’s the thing you don’t want to talk about. At The Big Silence, we are here to break the silence.”
The content platform, which she leads with her sister Rachel Sahaidachny as executive director, is dedicated to normalizing conversations around mental health through online and social content, as well as a podcast hosted by Dawn.
“Because of my mom’s mental illness, I went through a really dark period — from about 12 years old until about 22,” she says. “I was at a breaking point.”
She found light again by focusing on fitness. “I was on a three-day bender and was thinking back about when I was my happiest,” she says. “It was when I was running, and I was active and I was working out.”
“At that time I thought, in my own depression, that I was going to end up like my mom, so I didn’t believe in myself.” But she decided to do something positive and signed up for a triathalon. “I trained my butt off and did the race,” she says. “I crossed the finish line, like ‘Wow, like I accomplished something.’ ”
From then on, she says, she wanted to teach people that movement is medicine, which led to her co-founding Tone It Up in 2009 and further dedicating herself to not only her physical health but her mental health as well, through self-help books, therapy and meditation.
Talking about mental health is good for you, according to pop star, actor and producer Selena Gomez, and she’s determined to be the catalyst for positive change.
The “Ice Cream” singer announced the launch of her latest venture, Wondermind, a mental health platform focused on connecting people with educational resources and ending the stigma around mental illnesses.
She teamed up with her mother, Mandy Teefey, and The Newsette founder and CEO Daniella Pierson to create the media company, which is set to launch in February 2022.
Gomez hasn’t been shy when it comes to discussing her mental health publicly. She previously wrote for CNN about how she’s a “big advocate for social media detoxes” and therapy.
And she announced on Miley Cyrus’ Instagram show “Bright Minded” in April that she has bipolar disorder.
“I went to one of the best mental hospitals in America, McLean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized that I was bipolar,” Gomez said. “And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it.”
Her mother revealed being misdiagnosed for over 20 years with bipolar disorder that later turned out to be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with trauma, according to the Wondermind website’s welcome video.
Pierson opened up in the video as well, saying she has dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder since she was a child.
The three said they struggled to find a safe space online where they could engage with uplifting content about mental health on a daily basis. Enter Wondermind.