11 , 2005
shows people who live with self imposed health risks such
as smoking and being overweight/ obese have unrealistic ideas
about the dangers of their lifestyle habits.
done by Rutgers University and the National Cancer Institute
shows that smokers believe they are only at a slightly greater
risk of developing lung cancer than a non smoker. In fact,
a smoker risk to lung cancer is 10 to 20 times that of a non
smoker, according to this article on the American Cancer Societies
smokers also believe that they are at lesser risk to lung
cancer than other smokers. Smokers also allow themselves to
fall for urban myths that suggest exercise and vitamins can
undo the negative effects of smoking.
who are overweight show a similar pattern. This survey revealed
that overweight people don't see themselves at risk of developing
type II diabetes, which is linked to being overweight. Survey
An unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal
to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings.
thing about denial; when in denial we tend to deny we are
those in denial about how their living habits are putting
them at risk of death, the outcome isn't funny.
most common expression of denial I see is trying to be funny
when talking about unhealthy food choices and lack of exercise.
With a smile and giggles a person will joke about how good
fatty food and junk food tastes and they "just can't
stop because it's soooo good". Then there are the jokes
about "rabbit food". It's heartbreaking to watch
an overweight person with high blood pressure and high cholesterol
joke about how they "won't eat rabbit food" or "don't
want to turn into a fitness nut" by exercising. It's
almost surreal to watch a smoker crack a joke about how smoking
"hasn't hurt them yet", and their laughing very
quickly turns into a horking coughing fit. There's a sight
- a smoker trying to laugh about how smoking is ok, but can't
laugh because of their smokers cough.
overeating and lack of exercise a person may become quite
unhealthy, but then make fun of doing the actions required
to be healthy, while simultaneously wishing they were healthy.
This psychological paradigm does cause pain and turmoil for
many in it despite putting up a humorous front to make it
don't get any better when a smoker or overweight person believes
that they are at less risk than others in the same condition,
and are at only a slightly greater risk than those living
often for many in this condition it takes a tragedy to give
them a wake up call, and even then lifestyle habits don't
lifestyle habits like smoking, overeating, and not exercising
do cause serious health problems that do lead to an early
death, usually preceded by years of reduced physical capacity
and often illness. Why do people choose to kill themselves
slowly? Why are so many oblivious to the risks even though
they know better? Only each individual has the ability to
answer these questions for them.
is a solution though. I'll never get tired of saying "quit
smoking" and, "eat less exercise more". It
is true that breaking these habits is challenging, but it
can be done. I've done it, and so have millions of others.
the articles on this web site to get started. Talk to your
doctor, go to a dietitian, make an appointment with a personal
trainer or coach.
you are one of those who can't see that they are at risk,
it's time for some serious reflection. If you know someone
who fits this description, try to find a way to help without
more articles on diet and exercise go to the
Rhino Fitness home
- 2005 Cris LaBossiere Rhino Fitness www.rhinofitness.ca