Choose You Blog

I have a gift for you: it’s a round tuit (plus news!)

April 15th, 2011 by - no comments

In middle school, on the last day of school, the classroom teacher gave us little balls that were hand-labeled Tuit. We were all perplexed. “Now,” she said to us, smiling, “You have a Round Tuit, and you can get done all those things you’ve been meaning to do. It’s always better to have done than mean to do. Go ahead, go into your summer and do!”

We were silent for a minute sounding it out and then the whispers became murmurs, and the murmurs became hoots of laughter. Our teacher had taught us a really valuable lesson: don’t say you’ll get around to it…just go do it.

I kept that ball for years until I finally lost it during a move. It sat on my bookshelf over my desk, reminding me to just do it, because I already had a Round Tuit.

Have you been meaning to make a Choose You commitment? Maybe you’ve thought you’d get around to it, getting a health check, starting a healthy eating and exercise regime, quitting smoking, wearing sunscreen…as soon as [something] has come to pass. Making a good choice for yourself and your health has no perfect timing, sort of like falling in love, starting a family, or leaping into a new career opportunity. When the chance comes, you choose to take it.

It’s hard to make a change, especially a lifestyle change, and trust me I know how amazingly overwhelming it can seem with an overfull plate or a lot of other shifts happening at the same time. That’s why I always say some is better than none. Instead of getting caught up in a complicated diet with lots of rules and tools, try cutting back your portions. Instead of sinking money into a costly gym membership, try taking a fifteen minute walk in the morning. You can start with small steps, and gradually lengthen them.

In case you need more motivation, here’s a new study from the American Cancer Society:

ACS Study Finds Following Cancer Prevention Guidelines Lowers Risk of Death

NHO Media Relations is distributing a nationwide news release highlighting a new American Cancer Society study that finds nonsmokers who followed recommendations for cancer prevention had a lower risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all-causes. The study appears early online in Cancer Biomarkers, Epidemiology, and Prevention, and was led by American Cancer Society epidemiologists.

For their study, researchers led by Marji L. McCullough, ScD, RD, strategic director of nutritional epidemiology, used diet and lifestyle questionnaires filled out in 1992 and 1993 by more than 100,000 non-smoking men and women in the Cancer Prevention Study (CPS)-II Nutrition Cohort. The participants were scored on a range from 0 to 8 points to reflect adherence to the American Cancer Society (ACS) cancer prevention guidelines regarding body mass index, physical activity, diet, and alcohol consumption, with 8 points representing adherence to all of the recommendations simultaneously. After 14 years, men and women with high compliance scores (7-8) had a 42% lower risk of death compared to those with low scores (0-2). Risk of cardiovascular disease death were 48% lower among men and 58% lower among women, while the risk of cancer death was 30% lower in men and 24% lower in women. Similar associations, albeit not all statistically significant, were observed for never and former smokers.

Link to study abstract.

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