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

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5. ...But Unwind with Britney

I know that exercise is itself a cure for stress, but for me relaxation really means indulgence. I don't have time for regular massages, manicures, and dinners out, let alone Gregorian chants or Tibetan mind washes. So I make a list of small-scale treats, like reading celebrity-gossip magazines, going with my husband to an R-rated movie (i.e., without the kids), and watching The Apprentice and Sex and the City reruns. When I settle into bed, gossip rag in hand, I read speculation that Britney may be pregnant again. It makes me feel glad that I'm not. Britney's stress is my stress buster. Perfect!

So how hard was it? Very. Healthy living takes work! So, dear readers, I apologize for all my nagging. And from now on I'll do my best to do unto myself as I tell others to do unto themselves. Not only that, but we can all be human about it. "Lapses are normal. Use them as incentive to improve rather than an excuse to quit," says John Norcross, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and coauthor of Changing for Good (Avon, 1995).

My consolation: Now I know it all works. After just a month, I'm sleeping enough, eating healthier, exercising more, and feeling better. Plus, I'm not a total hypocrite after all.

Originally published in Fitness magazine, June 2006.


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