Health & Wellness

  • In Case You Forgot Boobs Are For Breastfeeding

    Over the weekend I came across a piece in People magazine about a mom named Conner Kendall , who was breastfeeding her baby in a Friday’s restaurant and was unknowingly photographed by a male patron who uploaded the photograph to social media so that he could publicly shame her for breastfeeding her baby.

    Why when a woman is photographed while openly breastfeeding her baby the world skips on its axis? What is so out of the ordinary about such a sight? Its just a boob with a baby on it. In case some people forgot – the #1 job of boobs, is to feed babies. Sexual pleasure is a distant second.

    It never ceases to amaze me how society will deem it okay for a woman to expose her breasts for the purposes of getting free shit, ad campaigns, landing a man or to get out of a ticket. But when a breast is partially exposed for its intended use society all of a sudden wants the woman to have decorum and cover up. Hypocrisy much?

    Photo Credit: David Horsey / Los Angeles Times

    For Conner, when she discovered the photo floating around the internet she took to her Facebook page to rightfully blast the man who took the photograph. She stated the man has since given her a half-assed apology. Of course he would, as he’s clearly oblivious as to why he was wrong for doing what he did in the first place. What kind of a world do we live in where people think that its acceptable to secretly photograph a mother and her baby for the purpose of belittling her? It’s a fucking sad one if you ask me.

    And if taking the photo and posting it on the internet wasn’t bad enough, it’s the comments that follow that really make it a travesty. You would think the person who took the photo would be ripped to shreds for violating a strangers privacy. Nope. Those comments are only a sprinkle in the sea of,  “cover up, it’s making me uncomfortable“, “how do I explain that to my children?“, “put a blanket over yourself“, “go in the bathroom” and “just stay home“. Let me tell you something, if you’re out in public, say at a restaurant and you take issue with seeing a mother uncovered while breastfeeding maybe YOU should take your plate the bathroom to eat. Oh, and if the smell of urine and feces is too much for you, just put a blanket over your head. How does that sound? Probably stupid and none too appealing. So, if its not appealing to you as an adult, why would you want to subject a baby to that? Is your creep out factor of a little side boob so great that you would prefer to see a mother feeding a baby in a dirty stinky public bathroom? What if that woman forced into a bathroom was was your wife and the baby sweating under a blanket was your child?

    Photo Credit: Tamar Shugert / Tamar Shugert Photography

    But what I really want to know is, what does societies inability to see breasts as anything other than sexual fun bags me and my baby’s problem? I find it hilarious that there’s supposedly more difficulty in explaining to a child that mommy’s boobs feed babies (see how easy that was), over trying to explain a 50 foot tall billboard displaying an orgy for a Calvin Klein jean ad.

    calvin Klein
    Photo Credit: Chris Hondros / Getty Images North America

    If my child asked me what was happening in that picture I would be dumbfounded. Could you explain it?

    I’ve lived in NYC for 15 years and have seen a number of things that have been an assault on my senses (that billboard included), and I can safely tell you uncovered breastfeeding has never been one of them. You know why? 1. I don’t care. 2. It’s not my business. And 3. I look away. It’s funny how the latter is the most difficult for people to do considering its the easiest. No mother should be ridiculed for openly breastfeeding nor should she delay feeding her child in order to think of ways to cover up to make those around her more comfortable. Instead of publicly putting a mother down for openly and proudly providing her baby its most basic need, how about we rally behind her and show her we support her decision to feed her baby in the manner that’s best for both of them. Most importantly, how about we stop the oversexualization of breasts (and the female body as a whole), and start embracing breasts for their main purpose, which is, feeding babies.


    sevenbell fitness

    Before I start this review I need your mind to cue up the Rocky theme song, Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. If you don’t know the song it starts…”Rising up, back on the street did my time, took my chances” …you know the song now? Okay, now hum it as you read this….

    I was invited for an assessment, now in my mind assessment meant someone was going to take my height, weight and body fat count etc and tell me all of the ways I can help slim down this twice over baby gut. Well, yet again I was in for a real treat. It seems that every time I visit a fitness studio I’m met with some sort of shock and ouch moment. This ouch moment would later incapacitate me for 2 days.

    sevenbell fitnessSevenBell is located on the second floor so going up before your workout is fine, but after it all you wanna do is fling yourself down the steps and out the door like Leo DiCaprio did in Wolf of Wall Street. When I arrived I was greeted by Jesse Barocas who co-founded the facility and after showing me around their studio which is big enough to not make you feel as if you’re one of a hundred in a room and not too small to feel all eyes on you. Its the perfect setup to come with friends or for a personal training session.

    After the grand tour the fun began. As I thought, he took all of my weight and height information and asked me about what my weight loss goals were. I explained, I want to ditch the gut but keep my 160lbs weight. It took me forever to gain this weight and I have zero intentions of going back to my former size 4. But then something awkward happened he said, “lets get started!” Started? On what? Oh wait, I’m gonna work out? It seems lately I have a very good knack for signing up for stuff that leads me in a totally different direction than I originally thought.

    sevenbell fitnessBut I wasn’t going to punk out just yet. We started off with some squats. Which of course I’ve discovered that I’ve been doing them incorrectly. My knees are now forever grateful for being shown the correct way. Jesse coached and showed me proper form all while letting me know that, “you got this”. And I thought did until he had me do 2 sets of 20 push ups. Listen, let me explain something to you, up until that point I have only done 4 push ups in my entire life. I think I’m giving myself too much credit. It’s more like 2. But that day Jesse made me make up for lost time. My arms were burning with muscle use and hate.

    While I was sweating bullets and panting for water there was the other half of SevenBell, co-founder Seven Bell over in the corner just lifting a whole bunch of weights like one would lift cotton balls on the ends of a toothpick. He made it seem so easy…and he wasn’t even sweating. I kept asking, “why are you still dry?”

    Back to me, after I got over the arm pain I thought things were going kinda sorta okay, until Jeses wanted me to lift a kettlebell. I had heard about these things but I have never used one…and I see why. There is nothing fun or exciting about squatting and lifting one of these little bombs of pain. I was so focused on not flinging it into the wall of mirrors I couldn’t even get into proper form. I asked Jesse if I could use a lighter one but in true personal trainer fashion he told me, “sure, but you’re gonna use this one. Okay. Good. Lets go!” He just knew I was trying to cheat my way out of it but he wouldn’t let me.  Like Britney Spears says, “…you wanna look hot in a bikini? You betta work bitch!”. And work I did! He had me feeling the burn on the lateral pull down and rowing machine.

    sevenbell fitnessThat hour workout seemed like I was in there for 2! I don’t know how I made it down the stairs and to my car, which was 3 blocks away. When I got home the only thing I could muster up was a hot shower, falling face down in the bed and snoring. I don’t know if that was a good or bad idea cause when I woke up I could hardly move an inch. My entire body was sore. I had pain from my shoulders all the way down my sides to my hips. I couldn’t raise either one of my arms all the up. Elbow to wrist was good but elbow to shoulder was hell. And sitting and standing were out of the question. The only thing that didn’t hurt, for a change, were my knees.

    While I may complain about how much pain I was in, it was good pain. Pain means that I worked parts of my body that normally don’t get used, unless I’m running for an ice cream truck or trying to catch the liquor store before it closes. This isn’t just a gym, its a lifestyle. It’s for those who want to get into shape and stay in shape. This is not a bells and whistles gym. You will not receive a membership card complete with a pat on the back and left to your own devices. By joining this gym you will gain a motivator who wants to see you succeed just as much as you want to see yourself succeed. You will have access to a nutritionist who will work with you on selecting the best work out for YOU! Which is great for moms because they have special post-natal workouts and diets that will get you back to your pre-baby body. They also have early morning spin classes and private boxing classes.

    While my muscles may have complaints about this gym, I cannot say one bad word about it. Oh well, there’s the parking issue. Its pretty much nonexistent. I had to park a few blocks over toward Atlantic and walk back. It’s not that big of a deal just be sure to leave your house a wee bit early because you will circle.

    sevenbell fitness

    SevenBell Fitness
    640 Dean Street
    718-857-BELL (2355)
    [email protected]

    And just because the song is now on loop in both of our brains, for your listening and viewing pleasure…..

    For the purposes of this post I received a complementary assessment. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


    byklynThis week I had the pleasure of being invited to BYKLYN, a new indoor cycling studio in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn located at 258 Flatbush Avenue (bt. Prospect Place and St. Marks). BYKLYN is an indoor biking studio that offers its clients a workout that’s geared toward their specific needs. How does it do that? By cleverly including more than just a cycling ride. At any point during the month you can sign up for classes such as BYK Flow class that includes yoga, BYK to the Core which is a mat based core workout, BYKBody that offers an intense arm workout and finally, BYK&Boot a boot camp style of workout. This is the class I unknowingly signed up for. I didn’t bother to read what type of class it was so I was walking in blind and unprepared for the fun that was waiting for me.

    Checking in is quite easy and pleasant. The gentleman behind the desk was friendly and helped me process my paperwork quickly. He asked me my shoe size and just handed them over. I asked him how much the rental cost was and he said the cost is included in the price of the class. This was fantastic news as there’s nothing worse than signing up for a class only to learn about additional fees. I had made it just in time for the 6:15pm BYK&Boot class with Declan. As soon as I walked in he welcomed me to the class and front and center was the owner, Amy. She immediately hopped off her bike to introduce herself and offered me a ton of assistance by adjusting my seat, getting me some water and got me snapped in. As I got settled in I realized just how intimate the BYKbox was. It’s the perfect size to make it feel as if you could be in a private class with the attention that the instructor gives you, yet big enough to not feel as though you are the only one in the room. It’s the best of both worlds.

    With that, the music started and I started to peddle…I also secretly prayed these arthritic knees wouldn’t fail me. I peddled slowly at first and then before I knew it I was actually keeping up. Not only keeping up but I was keeping to the beat. The music he choose made you get into the spirit of moving your body. Cue the sweat. It started as a bead but then it was running off of me. I had to stop every now and again to let the burn ease up and Declan was right there checking to make sure I wasn’t over doing it and being that friendly push in your back to say, “you can do it!”. That was the motivation I needed. He makes you feel like you could do it. And guess what ? I did! I was so proud that I was able to complete the class with only sitting to take a few short breaks, it was quite the accomplishment. I hadn’t been able to do that before and I quickly gave myself a pat on the back.

    But, just when I thought that I was gonna get out of the class unscathed Declan announces that we were to all “line up in the front of the studio.” Now I’m perplexed. Why is everyone getting yoga mats? Oh, I know to stretch?! Wait. Did he say I want you to pretend like you’re ice skating? So this is what the “Boot” in BYK & Boot meant. Bootcamp. Oh joy! I should have known better than to sign up blindly to such a class especially when I have the strength of a newborn pup. But I said to myself, I’m here and if I can push through the spin class then dammit I can make it through this. I mean what’s the worst that can happen? Why is it that when we ask ourselves that question, the answer has to present itself almost immediately? Well I had my answer and it was in the form of running around the block. Oh, you read that right, I said…running around the block followed by frog hopping back inside the studio.

    byklynDespite my huffing and puffing this was the best full body workout I’ve had in a long time. Its definitely a studio that’s in close proximity for anyone to visit as it’s a stone’s throw away from Atlantic Center where you can find the 123456BDNQR trains and one more block over from there is the G. Parking is also ample since this area is very beautiful and very residential. Pricing is also reasonable. Newbies get 1 free ride, drop-ins are $26 or you can buy in bulk, there’s currently aa summer special where you get 6 classes for $120.00.

    This is a studio that I can stand behind as you’ll get your full hour, workout and monies worth. That said, I am teaming up with BYKLYN for a 2 class event. This is for studio first timers only.

    Classes will take place on:
    Sunday, July 27 at 12:15pm BYK Flow (bike & yoga)
    This class is an hour long and combines cycling and yoga.

    Saturday, August 2 at 10:30am BYK&Boot (bike & boot camp)
    This class is an hour long and combines cycling and boot camp style workout that includes running, push ups, sit ups etc.

    These events are free and you can only choose 1. To RSVP a class click the date you want to sign up for.

    For more information about BYKLYN please visit them online at

    Look forward to seeing you soon!