If it is January, it must be time to explode some myths.  I have been doing a lot of media this week to promote a new book I wrote with Alice Domar, a psychologist, called Live a Little. We had both been more and more distressed about all the health rules that you see in the media that are based on shaky data, if any at all.

You know which ones: get eight hours of sleep per night, exercise for an hour at least five times per week, drink eight glasses of water, eat five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily, make time to spend with friends, do a daily meditation session to ward off stress, and a reminder to make an appointment to see your physician for your annual physical and pap smear!  We have found that many women take these rules too seriously and feel guilty when they cannot always live up to them.

As I researched what we really know about women’s health, I found more gaps than truths.  It made me realize that the Love/Avon Army of Women (link to www.armyofwomen.org) and now the Health of Women Study has a great potential to help us figure out not only the cause of breast cancer but also the answers to some of the other questions that affect our lives.

The key to being in good health in the absence of good data is to use your common sense, eat good food, move your body regularly, laugh, and love!

And the best New Year’s Resolution is to recruit more women to join the Army of Women so that we can make sure every one has a chance to live not a little but a lot!

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6 Responses to Time to Live a Little

  1. Janet Powers says:

    Happy New Year Dr. Love – great interview on the Today Show this morning. I am going to go buy your new book today – wishing you much success with the new book and getting the message out about being healthy AND having fun! All my best! Janet

  2. I’m trying to live a little, but also stir things up a bit. I was bummed out by the Facebook ‘what color is your bra’ meme, so am trying to start a new meme that contains a concrete call to action beyond posting your bra color. I’m asking my friends (and hope they’ll ask theirs, and so on, and so forth) to do just 3 things. 1) Visit Army of Women, read, and sign up. 2) Change their FB status to “I’m in the Army now.” and 3) Link that status update to http://www.armyofwomen.org so that other women can read, join, and encourage others to join. Hope it helps move us toward the goal of 1,000,000!

  3. Anon Mom in SF says:

    I stumbled across this book last night and only had time to read the first few pages. In that short time it provided me with a huge sense of relief. And validation for my sneaking suspicions that “perfect health” was subjective. And a myth. I am thin by nature, an ex-dancer, a full-time working mom of a 2-yr old, I love to cook and eat rich foods and light foods alike. I rarely have time to work out but I play hard with my little boy and I walk around the city and take hikes with my husband when we can (not as often as we’d like). We don’t eat fast food. I wish I had time to dance more. I am always feeling like I’m failing. Not enough fruits and veggies, not enough sleep, too much cheese, am I getting my anti-oxidants? Enough vitamin D? I fear I’ll pass along my neuroses to my kiddo, who is very healthy. I count every fruit and vegetable he eats and hate myself for it. I know I don’t have to be this way but it helps to see it in print. When did we get so paranoid?? Thank you for putting it all into perspective. You should start a blog just about this topic – I think a lot of people (esp. women) could stand to hear this sort of message more often. We need a voice of reason to counter the faddish morning talk show blather about YOU MUST DRINK YOUR FISH OIL OR YOU WILL DIE TOMORROW. Michael Pollan has started the dialogue about a more rational, healthy relationship with food and food production. You integrate that message with lifestyle. It’s important for us to hear. Thank you!

  4. Pat M. says:

    I have not heard anyone give common sense advice regarding good health in a long time. No matter how hard I try to eat healthy and exercise it does not seem to be enough. And I would love to get eight hours of sleep.

    Thanks so much for all you do for women’s health.

  5. Bet says:

    Oh, I am always on a diet. It is up and down. I don’t live on cake. Hardly ever touch fast food. Have less potates than the Irish during the great famine. I will probably diet fat. I hope I live as long as my fat Aunt Alice who died at 87. I do what I can fish oil, blueberries, decafinated beverages.
    Oh, well maybe that is why my cloresterol is always several point below where the normal scale stops. It has to be the blueberries.

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