Apparently, joining the corporate weight loss challenge, or announcing on your Facebook and Twitter feeds that you’re trying to drop a few pounds will sabotage your sexy. It’s an interesting revelation, as I myself tend to be a doer. Running a site like this, I probably should let folks in on the daily process, but I do think once you ink a thought, it holds you accountable in ways you may not be prepared for.
Take yesterday for instance. I had a great ride around Brooklyn–mostly for cost-effective commute purposes, admittedly, and also because I can get just about anywhere faster on my bike over the bus and sometimes the train. The health benefits are a plus, I enjoy it, and my legs are looking better than I expected.
But then I got hungry. Instead of eating a salad like one would expect, I headed to KFC and ordered a crispy strip combo with potato wedges (and a Diet Pepsi, of course). It’d been a while, and I just wanted to eat something that tasted good even if it’ll slowly kill me. I don’t really want to have to answer questions, or have a discussion as to why I’m eating fast food when I’m watching my weight. Sure we talk about it here, but in my daily life, folks aren’t really in on this conversation. Just do what you have to do, and STFU about it.
There are a number of ways to avoid this phenomenon.
“One is simple — you can keep your mouth shut,” Gollwitzer says. “Another one is to form different kinds of intentions, not only say what you want to do but also when, where and how you want to do it.”
Such planning helps create situational action control, he explains. When you find yourself at the gym before work, the situation you mentally mapped out controls your behavior instead of your intention to exercise more.
The third way, Gollwitzer says, is to tell only one or two people who hold power over you (metaphorically) so that they help you stick to your intentions. [SOURCE]
While I don’t go snatching cigarettes out of people’s mouths, or stuffing pamphlets in their lockers, I just don’t understand why anyone in this day and age could take up—or continue smoking at all. There’s no value to the activity. It’s addictive, expensive, and on average will take at least a decade off of your life. Smoking will kill you.
If you’re a smoker and never cared about the effects of smoking on your own health, perhaps a new study concerning secondhand smoke, and the increased risks of ADHD and learning disabilities in children will convince you otherwise.
Two new studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics look at how exposure to secondhand smoke affects American youths’ learning behaviors and their attitudes toward smoking.
The first found that children exposed to secondhand smoke in the home had a 50% increased risk of developing two or more childhood neurobehavioral disorders compared with children who were not exposed at home.
The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics, estimates that nearly 5 million children younger than 12 are exposed to secondhand smoke at home and up to 8% of them – or more than 274,000 children – suffer from learning disabilities, ADHD and other behavioral disorders.
“[The findings] underscore the health burden of childhood neurobehavioral disorders that may be attributable to secondhand smoke exposure in homes in the States,” the study authors concluded. “This is particularly significant with regard to the potential burden of pediatric mental health care on an overextended health care system, a problem that could be dramatically reduced if voluntary smoke-free home policies were widely adopted,” they added.
The annual medical cost associated with treating a child with a neurobehavioral disorder is about $14,576 per individual, or a national total of about $9.2 billion each year, the report found.
On a more positive note, a second study looked at children 8 to 13 who lived in households with at least one adult smoker, and found that those who described the smell of cigarette smoke as “unpleasant” or “gross” were 78% less likely to start the habit than 8- to 13-year-olds who had a more passive reaction to the smell.
“Experiencing secondhand smoke as ‘unpleasant or gross’ is protective against smoking susceptibility, suggesting that it may reflect a mechanism for targeted prevention efforts,” the authors say.
Still, a recent report from the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse found that nine out of 10 people who meet the clinical criteria for substance abuse began smoking, drinking or using other drugs before they turned 18, and that this is a big concern in teens as they are more likely to try risky things while their brains are still developing.
Experts say setting a good example by not smoking and getting more involved in your child’s activities are among the many things parents can do to help prevent children from smoking.
Teenagers also tend to be vain, and parents are encouraged to highlight some of the negative effects of smoking, like bad breath and bad skin.
The American Lung Association also provides a list of tips for parents on how to talk to children about smoking and to help them quit if they have already started. [SOURCE]