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A Health Writer Confesses: "I (Finally) Did It My Way"

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A health and fitness writer followed her own advice for a month. Now she'd like to apologize for ever making it sound easy.

"I've Never Taken My Own Advice"

One day not long ago, my dad called me during lunch. "What are you eating?" he asked. "Pothatho thips," I replied, spraying crumbs onto my computer keyboard. "Don't worry," I said, "I'll eat a healthy dinner."

Of course, I didn't. After all, I'm too busy. Not only do I have two growing boys to look after, I'm a health writer -- a professional nag -- and have been one for more than 15 years. And I'm busy because I have to patiently explain over and over the importance of eating right, sleeping well, getting enough exercise, and finding ways to beat stress. If you would just take my advice, you'd be the picture of good health. I mean, people! How hard can that possibly be?

That's a great question. I realized I didn't have the answer because, I'm ashamed to say, I've never actually taken my own advice -- well, not to the letter. I try, but often I go a week or more without aerobic activity, I sleep erratically and not enough, and I have absolutely no idea how many fruits and vegetables I eat (not counting potato chips).

So I made a promise. I vowed to practice what I've been preaching. My simple plan: To take my own advice for one solid month, add in the wisdom of a few experts, and see just how difficult it is.

Here are the things I'm always telling people to do -- and how well I did when I tried to do them myself.

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