Try these tips to kick the smoking habit and keep your weight steady—or even lose a few pounds in the process:
Buddy up for a book reading
Women in the study followed Body Image: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice by Thomas F. Cash, PhD, and Thomas Pruzinsky, PhD (The Guilford Press, 2004), in which they learned about their bodies and treating them right. During weekly meetings, researchers introduced a body image topic and let a group discussion follow. "Women developed a bond with one another and provided each other with a lot of support and encouragement," says Napolitano. "They started viewing each other in a positive way." If you can't find body image counseling, borrow the book from a library or persuade a few girlfriends to pitch in and buy one. Then talk together about what you've read. It could help you think about your body in a much better way.
Look in the mirror with a positive eye
Body image treatment often includes mirror exercises, in which women look at their reflections and instead of criticizing body parts, they focus on the aspects of their appearance that they admire. "What they take away from that exercise is to try to remember that our bodies enable us to live our lives in the way we want to, and to try to view our bodies as functional and as something we like—rather than focusing on the one or two things that we don't like," says Napolitano. "It's learning to be a little nicer to ourselves."
Be mindful of what you put in your mouth
Smoking is a hand-to-mouth habit, and so is eating. Women are particularly prone to look to food as a substitute for cigarettes. But you can avoid this by turning to hands-on health foods. You can snack on an orange, tangerine, or grapefruit, or crack open some nuts, to keep your hands busy while eating nutrient-packed foods. The American Cancer Society recommends that you stretch out meals by eating slowly and pausing between bites.
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