Simplicity rules. Some of you may need health overhauls, yes; you may just need tweaks and nudges in the right direction. (And even if you do need overhauls, tweaks and nudges are the way to start.) Healthy living doesn't have to be hard; in fact, it's pretty easy once you know the basics. We'll steer you in the right direction. The truth is that it takes only two weeks for a behavior to become a habit, so if you do want to make changes, you can. And it's simpler than you think.
Good health comes from good decisions. Almost all positive health characteristics—from white teeth to a fit physique—stem from making smart decisions. Likewise, the reverse can also be true. As you'll learn, the teen brain isn't completely wired to make rational decisions. That's because at this age, the emotional centers of your brain are on full throttle, sometimes overriding logic and common sense. So we're not blaming you for taking risks or experimenting, but we will show you that much of your health is within your own hands if you make wise choices.
You have rights. Now is the time when you're beginning to take over responsibility for your own health: the foods you eat, the sports you play, the people you hang with, the risks you choose to take or avoid, and the level of comfort or discomfort about those choices you're willing to tolerate. We're not going to be judgmental; while we are indeed parents, we're not your parents, and we're not you. All of the information we provide here comes from the perspective of thinking about your rights, your privacy, and your healthy transition into adulthood. While we hope that you feel comfortable discussing with your parents the important issues raised here, we understand that for some of you that is not going to be the case. We also believe that all teens deserve to know what's happening to their bodies and how they can promote and protect their own physical and emotional well-being.
You should challenge your beliefs. 'Fraid to say it, but the truth is that there's a good chance you've been exposed to—and now believe—a lot of myths when it comes to your health and your body. Our job is to bust 'em up.
So: Do diets really affect acne? Is cramming for tests really bad for you? Does eating fat make you fat? Should you really judge a book by its cover? We don't want myths governing your world; we want you governing your world. And we're going to arm you with the info you need in order to do just that.
Your self-identity and emotions influence virtually every aspect of your health. Part of the whole trick of mastering your health is finding out who you are, and that's a real tough thing to do at any age, let alone in the teenage years. This theme is sprinkled throughout the book and addressed head-on in several chapters. But keep in mind that even when we're talking about what seems like a nitty-gritty health topic, there are emotional and psychological issues that are connected to it. Your mind and body are as linked together as Romeo and Juliet, PB and J, and Abercrombie and Fitch.
We believe that after you read this book, you'll have a deeper understanding of your brain and body—and will truly appreciate the biological majesty that takes place within the cozy confines of your skin. But don't let your learning stop with just this book. If you've got a question, ask us, via Facebook, Twitter, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or use our website, at www.doctoroz.com, to research tens of thousands of health issues.
Our hope, of course, is that you'll take all of this information, talk about the issues we raise, and make your own decisions about the life you want to lead in this challenging, yet exciting, time in your life. After all, this isn't about us. It's about us helping you get to a very good place, a place where . . . You know you.