RANT: Ballerina Arms

I never wear tank-tops. Ok, in a hot yoga class, where it’s 104 degrees, I’ll wear a tank top out of dire necessity.  But I’ve always hid my upper arms. I named them my “Tharms” because I think they are like thighs, they’re so disproportionately large.  We all have “trouble zones” right? Saddles bags, pot-belly-pooches, cankles, gobblers, man-boobs, back fat, muffin tops, tharms…the list goes on.

I always wanted ‘ballerina’ arms.  There is something so elegant in a thin, almost frail upper arm. So feminine.  I remember watching my beautifully lean friends slip on anything and look fabulous. I longed to dress in clothes that were stylish and glamorous; clothes selected because they were classic, edgy, or cool, not because the outfit didn’t make me look fat.  How nice it must be to buy whatever clothes you like; not those good at covering the trouble zones.

I took Ballet for 13 years, but still no Ballerina Arms. I even studied one summer at the North Carolina School of the Arts.  There, I quickly learned most of the girls vying for a future in ballet did not hit the cafeteria cereal bar’s Fruity Pebbles bin, as I did, unabashedly.  These quiet, thin beauties stuck to lower calorie options, like lettuce and water.  Thankfully,  though I tried, I just couldn’t give up food; and “built like a swimmer”, as I was often told, I was never going to get ballerina arms.

So, alas, I now delight in the athletic build I’m lucky to have. I nourish my body with REAL food and stay fit by being active daily.  I’m also lucky that my very good-looking and supportive husband finds athletic girls sexy. And how sad it must be to just eat lettuce.

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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