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In Yoga XXL, Yoga is a Practice Open to Every Body

Yoga XXL IngridIn her new book, Yoga XXL: A Journey to Health for Bigger People, author Ingrid Kollak asserts “Yoga is for everybody.” In this thoughtful illustrated guide for beginners and beyond, Ingrid, a registered nurse and yoga teacher, focuses on the benefits of yoga for the mind and body, regardless of the body’s size.

At the DietsInReview compound, we’re routinely bombarded with books and DVDs about weight loss and exercise. Many titles in our library contain the same healthy buzz words over and over including, “Diet this” and “Walk off that,” so we were intrigued when “Yoga XXL” arrived in the mail.

The in-your-face title not only got our attention, it left us a bit stunned. Was it politically correct? Was it unkind? After interviewing the German-born author, I’m convinced that regardless of the title, her motivation was completely sincere.

Before she became a teacher, Ingrid remembers attending yoga classes where students with larger bodies were treated with either indifference or outright cruelty. “In classes I saw yoga teachers who plagued their students physically and mentally,” she recalls. “Many yoga teachers had an outdated view that all yoga students should look a certain way: lean and limber. I noticed that these teachers did not encourage or help students who did not fit that strict model.”


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Fat For Life: Overweight People Live Longer Suggests a New Study

The validity of the BMI measurement tool has long been a point of contention among health professionals and consumers alike. A new report will not only cast further doubt, but actually go one step further: overweight people may live longer than their “normal” weight counterparts.

Overweight BMI

According to the report involving nearly three million people from nearly 100 studies, those who were overweight had a lower risk of death than people who were normal weight, defined as a BMI range of 18.5 – 25.

“Fat per se is not as bad as we thought,” said Dr. Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, Irvine, in a story at New York Times.

While that may sound controversial, the fact of the matter is that health is often so much more complex than we’d like. Weight is but one factor in our health. You may be heavy with normal blood pressure, or thin with dangerously high cholesterol or blood sugar levels.
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Heavy Black Women Have Higher Self Esteem Than Thinner White Women

A nationwide survey reveals the truth about women’s self-esteem in relation to their body size.

Heavier set African American women are found to be happier with their bodies than thinner and average sized Caucasian women. The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted the survey. They interviewed 800 women from all across the country in order to get a well rounded survey group. The results showed that 66% of overweight or even obese black women had high self-esteem. In contrast, only 41% of thin or skinny white women were found to have high self esteem.

Some of the other details of the survey included the fact that 90% of African American women think living a healthy lifestyle is more important than religion, career, or marriage. However, two-thirds of these same women reported eating fast food at least once a week and only half reported eating dinner at home on a regular basis.

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A Woman’s Weight Negatively Affects her Work Pay

It’s certainly not fair, but growing evidence is backing the notion that women who weigh more earn less at work, while men in the same situation may even earn more.

The study was conducted in Iceland because the country is known for it. Iceland has the best gender equality among 134 countries, as determined by a world economic forum. It found there was a correlation between weight and the employment rate of women, with heavier weight being a slightly negative indicator. With men, there was a slightly positive correlation in employment and excess weight.

A 2009 study on the same subject in the U.S. showed similar results – the U.S. is ranked 31st in gender equality in the workplace. Overweight women “seem to be paid less,” says the study’s author professor Edward Norton of the University of Michigan.

The same held true in the U.S. study for men.

“The general finding is that there is not much effect for men,” said Norton. “If anything, larger men were paid more.”

“There is something in western society that seems to penalize women for being overweight,” he said.
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Texas Beauty Queen Stripped of Crown for Being Too Fat

Domonique Ramirez, the 17-year-old beauty queen Domonique Ramirez from Bexar County, Texas, is suing Miss Bexar County pageant officials for revoking her crown for gaining too much weight.

The organization claims that it wasn’t her weight that cost her the crown, but Ramirez “didn’t take her responsibilities seriously,” and would arrive to events late, “with no makeup, a dirty sash and a broken crown.”

Ramirez claims this isn’t true, and pageant officials stripped her of her crown for gaining weight. The pageant board’s spokeswoman, Linda Woods, admitted to telling Ramirez to “get off the tacos, get off the chips and the soda,” but Ramirez claims that Woods told her she was “just way too big,” and that “this is not going to work” during a photo shoot.


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