Start Smoking to Lose Weight? Not on Your Life!

Yep, that’s me, age 18 or so, working hard to become a smoker.  (And in case you were wondering: No, that’s not my husband; this photo was taken long before I met him.) I was luckier than the smokers we studied in the Nicotine Research Laboratory in that I never succeeded in learning to inhale.  So I never took in enough nicotine to become addicted, and eventually I decided that...
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Smoking and Weight: Three Questions You Shouldn’t Ask and One You Should

Wrong question #1: Which is a more serious threat to your health, smoking or obesity? It’s a question that epidemiologists bat around periodically.  A few years back, a group of respected scientists announced that obesity was rapidly overtaking smoking as a cause of disease and death, then found themselves in the embarrassing position of having to retract their claim because of a data analytic...
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An EASY Way to Quit? And Not Gain Weight? Hmmmm…

A joke I’ve made about self-help quit-smoking books that claim high rates of success is that they in effect state, “This book is guaranteed to work if you follow the instructions to the letter,“ then add, “Instruction #1:  Stop smoking now.” The Easy Way for Women to Stop Smoking: A Revolutionary Approach Using Allen Carr’s Easyway Method was published almost simultaneously...
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Eat, Pray . . . Whoa!

I may be the last woman on the planet to read Eat, Pray, Love, but after seeing the author interviewed on the PBS special “This Emotional Life”, I finally broke down and took it out of the library.   I’m not sure I qualify as having read the book, having only digested Eat and skimmed Love, but I thought I’d share my reactions from the perspective of someone who wants to help women...
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Electronic Cigarettes

When I visit the Life After Cigarettes Facebook fan page, I sometimes see ads for electronic cigarettes.  Please be aware that I am not in any way endorsing these products. If you’re a Facebook user, you probably know from the ads that appear on your own wall that Facebook uses demographics and the contents of your messages to pair ads with posts.  If you mention your cat in an e-mail,...
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“If You Can Walk, You Can Dance”

Until his untimely death from kidney failure in 2002, Tomás Chavez was a fixture on the Ann Arbor fitness scene.  At various times over the years, I took classes in floor aerobics, step aerobics, and ballroom dancing with Tomás at the local gym.  My husband gamely joined me in the ballroom dance classes, despite being, in his own words, “dance-impaired” (hard to explain when he’s an...
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What Color Are Your Lungs?

No one on Facebook could have missed it – a rash of status reports saying “black,” “beige,” “nude,” “white (ho-hum),” and even “green with pink rosebuds.”  “Not telling,” said one friend. What was that about?  Well, somebody somewhere had fired off a message to a group of women friends asking them to post the color of their bra in their status box, all in the name of...
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Wake Me When It’s Over

The holidays are history, the days are short, the nights are long, and in many parts of the country the weather is cold and forbidding.  If just the thought of all this makes you want to hibernate until Spring, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the winter blues. “Hibernate” is the right word.  Although the causes of SAD are not fully understood, the condition...
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Happy New Year!

For many, the beginning of a new year (and in this case a new decade!) is an occasion for starting afresh, for launching new projects, for embracing new approaches to healthful living. If you’re a woman who smokes or has recently quit, and especially if you’re one who cares passionately about looking and feeling your best, I hope it’s your time to become – not just an ex-smoker, someone...
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