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They Agreed To Die Early If They Could Have 'The Perfect Body.' Yep, Die.

There are plenty of reasons why diets suck and plenty more reasons why no one should want to risk their life to be a certain weight.

They Agreed To Die Early If They Could Have 'The Perfect Body.' Yep, Die.

Meet Laci.

She was 17 years old when she went on a diet.


"I said no cheese, no bread, no ice cream, basically all my favorite unhealthy things were off limits. I did it because I wanted to lose weight in time for summer. ... I would weigh myself every day, obsess over love handles and thigh gaps and arm flaps. I remember this one time I went to my friend's house, and they wanted to order pizza, and I was like, 'Yes! No!' And I ate it, and I felt terrible the next couple of days."

It sucks that Laci is not alone in her thinking. This is an all too common story. In fact, 1 in 3 female students who were polled in a big 'ole survey in the U.K. admitted to being OK with cutting months or years off of their lives to have "the perfect body."

I repeat — they were willing to DIE.

Thankfully, Laci realized that her obsessive diet was not a good idea.

"The perfect body that so many people are chasing after is like 20% below the ideal healthy weight. ... Dieting for me was really a solution to the problem of feeling terrible about myself, and I didn't know there were any alternatives to deal with it. But there are."

Ready for Laci's awesome alternatives?! I know I am.

Tip #1: "If you're dieting to be skinnier, maybe just stop."

Restricting the types of food you eat can lower your metabolism and can also make you feel weak, which can make you more susceptible to getting sick. That's probably why, as Laci says, "95% of diets just straight don't work. People gain all the weight back."

Tip #2: Realize that you are not the problem.

The mainstream media often sets the standard for what's seen as beautiful and valuable. (This also includes a $60 billion-a-year diet industry that thrives on making folks feel bad about their bodies.) Sexism also plays a role in making women feel insecure, Laci notes: "Women are socialized to constantly monitor their own bodies and to make sure that they don't take up too much space." Let's not forget about influences from our social circle. Love them or not, they're part of the problem too because, in Laci's words, "our friends and our parents diet, and body image issues seep into our brain."

Tip #3: Give yourself some love.

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and got really excited about what was staring back at you? Laci's advice is great: "I'm talking about giving yourself the love that you deserve. I'm talking about not shit-talking yourself and comparing yourself to other people. I'm talking about choices that are actually healthy, not letting the world stop with some pizza or bikinis."

Tip #4: Realize that you're a full person, not a walking scale.

Want to crush the diet industry? It could happen if everyone realized one simple truth: You are good enough. Laci's key point is that "people's goodness, their value, does not come down to their weight. You are a whole-ass human being that is so much more than just a number."

To learn more, check out the video:

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Of course, when talking about anything health related, it's always good to get a doctor's opinion.

If you agree with the points in this video, pass it on! Sharing positive info like this can help a lot of women.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Ndakasi and Virunga National Park ranger André Bauma.

Fourteen years ago, Ndakasi the mountain gorilla was found clinging to her dead mother in the Congo after bushmeat hunters wiped out her entire family. This week it was announced that she recently passed away in the arms of Virunga National Park ranger André Bauma, the man who rescued her.

Bauma served as Ndakasi's caretaker since he brought her to the park's Senkwekwe Center, where she was rehabilitated along with another orphaned gorilla named Ndeke. Unable to be safely returned to the wild, Ndakasi lived her life in Virunga, where mountain gorilla conservation is a priority.

The park shared a touching photo and announcement of Ndakasi's passing on Facebook. The gorilla had been suffering from a prolonged illness, and her condition had rapidly deteriorated. A photo shows Bauma sitting on a blanket leaning up against the wall with Ndakasi lying next to him, her head on his chest and her toes gripping his boot.

"Ndakasi took her final breath in the loving arms of her caretaker and lifelong friend, André Bauma," reads the post.

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!