The Eating Disorder Information Network (EDIN) strives to break through the haze of societal messaging that contributes to the development of eating disorders. Dedicated to encouraging the healing of men and women affected, EDIN tackles the issues head on through increased community outreach, education and awareness. Recently the nonprofit invited middle school, high school and college student eating disorder survivors to write a letter to their younger self as part of  an essay contest. College essay winner Montana Marie shares hers below; see other winning essay online at 

College Winner — Montana Marie

Younger self,

What if you wake up one day when you’re 65 and you never got your memoir or novel written or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice comfortable tummy or you were just so hung up on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy, creative life, of imagination and silliness. It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen. Learning to love myself again was like learning to walk all over again. Self-appreciation comes from within when you realize that what other people think about you, isn’t nearly as important of what you think of yourself, and I finally realized that at the end of the day if I’m happy, that’s the only thing that matters.

Don’t let this happen to you. Just because others don’t see your worth, doesn’t mean you don’t have any. A positive body image won’t magically appear when you reach a certain weight or when you look a certain way. It’ll come as you begin to realize that your body has carried you through life. Your thighs have carried you when you didn’t have the energy to walk, your stomach has held many of delicious foods, and your eyes have let you see the beauty of the world. Don’t grow up the same way I did, don’t learn to love yourself again, learn to never fall out of love with yourself. The day you decide to love yourself is the day you’ll conquer the world. You can only hate yourself for so long before what you think becomes who you are and that’s a life that isn’t fun to live.


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When POUND Fitness reached out to Marianne Baker, Director of Group Exercise at Concourse Athletic Club, to help them expand the POUND movement into Atlanta, she couldn’t help but say yes. And, that’s when our Atlanta Best Media team landed the opportunity to take the class. Having been a part of the fitness industry for more than 35 years, Baker gets to try her fair share of new classes, products and techniques. Each year she gets certified in 10 new programs to evaluate their potential fit for Concourse programming.  Once Baker experienced POUND’s unique, easy-to-follow format and cardio impact, she knew the workout would be a perfect match for Concourse. Baker says, “You will burn about 400 to 500 calories while having a great time!”

At Concourse in December

Left – Right – Left – Right … Move it, soldier! Can you keep up with our brave souls in uniform? Report to Concourse Athletic Club on December 5th and try a hardcore workout led by the USMC 4th Battalion. Start with TurboKick at 10 a.m. and then, at 11 a.m., move into a real-deal Bootcamp experience. Don’t miss this opportunity to sweat it out with the troops and support their ongoing commitment to Toys For Tots with an entry fee of a new, unwrapped toy donation… BOOYAH!!!

Details: 770-698-2195

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Debra MacIntyre ND, of Vitality Project, shares tips for a stress free holiday season.

Q: The holiday season can be so hectic. What are some ways to keep stress at bay?

A:1. You must sleep and eat regular meals. There’s nothing like fatigue or low blood sugar to get you ‘on your last nerve’.

2. Use pen & paper every day. Write your end goals and that day’s plan for reaching them. Trying to carry it all in your head creates tension, and checking each off the list is a victory!

3. Take a little walk every day, and look around at what you are passing. This takes your mind off your worries and increases relaxation.” – Debra MacIntyre, ND of Vitality Project.


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Catherine Luciano_Photo Cred_Catherine Luciano

Did you know the average person can pack on 5 to 10 pounds throughout the holiday season? “When you head to the holiday parties, bring a dish or two that are healthier options – something filled with roasted veggies; maybe a lighter dessert made with bananas and applesauce,” suggests Catherine Luciano, personal training manager at Concourse Athletic Club.


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“Bundle up and feel the chilly air zap your lungs. The act of connecting with nature has the power to make you feel more alive and also gets the blood pumping,” says Jessica Crate, C.O.O. of Atmasphere Yoga & Pilates. As your body works harder to keep you warm, you’ll burn calories like crazy while simultaneously getting your daily dose of vitamin C.

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If you’re looking to plump up fine lines for a fresh and rejuvenated look without appearing “overdone,” the consultation is key according to Michael Kelleher PA-C, of Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa. “It is of the utmost importance to discuss your expectations with your cosmetic provider at consultation. The consultation is your time to ask questions, view pictures and become comfortable,” says Kelleher.


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Courtney Clymer, of Lifestyled Atlanta, shares tips for transitioning clothes from summer to winter.

Q: What are some good ways to transition my wardrobe from summer to winter?

A: “For transitioning your wardrobe from summer to winter, remove super-bright, summer-y patterns. Neutrals are great for transitioning and layering. For those bright items you love, try pairing them with darker pieces such as a black skinny jean, olive cardigan, etc. I am all about the vest; it is a key piece for taking those summer-y items and adding a layer, but also making them more fall/winter-appropriate. I would say it’s the number one transition piece!”-  Courtney Clymer


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When it comes to taming hair, more doesn’t necessarily mean better, says celebrity hairstylist and Dove Hair Curl Expert Cynthia Alvarez. ”Have patience and try to find the right products for your hair type. Usually if you need to pile on the products, you’re using the ones that are actually drying your hair out. Look for products with natural oils like Buriti oil,” says Alvarez.


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Registered dietitian, Nicole German Morgan, advises not to hang onto refrigerated leftovers for longer than seven days; for fish and cooked meats, that shortens to no more than four days. “Don’t forget to label all of your leftovers with the future expiration date to make food safety easy,” says Morgan.

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Feeling sore from lugging a heavy handbag or briefcase all day? Exercise physiologist, Bill Boland, shares tips to reduce the damage carrying heavy bags can have on the body.

Walk Tall - Keep the shoulders down and your head up, with a straight back.

Mix it up - Change the type of bag you use, whether it’s a purse or a knapsack or backpack. Variety means everything to your body. If you are wearing a purse, move it from shoulder to shoulder during your walk, or, better yet, carry it across your body to reduce strain on a single body part.

Repair - Offset the impact with stretches that realign the spine, such as stretching out the body with a downward facing dog pose to lessen stiffness and back pain. Get the blood flowing to muscles with standing arm circles which pull the shoulders back and the head up into line.

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