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Carnie Wilson And Friends Make Healthy Resolutions

By Mike Falcon, Spotlight Health
With medical adviser Stephen A. Shoop, M.D.

Carnie Wilson is thrilled to be back in the recording studio again, working on the next Wilson-Phillips release. And for Wilson, what were once resolutions - reversing life-threatening obesity, enjoying a happy marriage, and reuniting with her sisters in song - are now reality.

Today the rejuvenated singer is sharing her goals for 2003 and some tips to help you achieve yours.

Wilson's resolutions for 2003 are simple: "On a physical level, I want to continue getting as healthy as I can. On a more subtle level I want to be more loving and positive, and give back some of the incredible support that my family, friends, and fans have been so quick to provide to me."

Dr. Donnica with Carnie Wilson at the Society for Women's Health Research Gala in Washington DC

"In at least one way I'm very lucky when it comes to resolutions, particularly health-oriented resolutions," says Wilson. "I think that if you've had any kind of health scare or major health issue, it forces you to become more disciplined - unless you don't care about living."

But Wilson's success in keeping her resolutions of eating less, consuming healthy foods, and exercising regularly, follow a careful and psychologically sound pattern, say experts. And it's a blueprint that anyone can follow, whether or not they have the impetus of medical necessity behind it.

Many of Wilson's Hollywood contemporaries are joining her in making better health a priority in 2003.

Celebrity resolutions

Hollywood celebrity New Year resolutions tend to be much like those the rest of us make. Health issues, particularly weight-loss and physical conditioning, are the most common.

  • John Travolta and Kelly Preston - "I'm trying to exercise at least five days a week," says Preston. "Sometimes it's only 20 minutes, but with the kids and work you've go a million things to do, so I'm not beating myself up. John's going to continue working out three hours a day, six days a week."

  • Jill Eikenberry & Michael Tucker - Eikenberry, who was diagnosed with osteoporosis, says she wants to "continue to strengthen my bones and muscles and do more aerobic exercise." Weight-bearing exercise can contribute to bone density. Tuckers' resolution is simply to lose more weight before his next trip to France, "when I can start gaining it again."

  • Lynda Carter - The former star of Wonder Woman says, "My New Year's resolution is to lose weight, and it is a constant battle. For anyone who thinks it's an easy situation -- trust me -- it's an ongoing aspiration. I try to burn more calories than I take in. But I don't strive for perfection. I'd rather be healthy than thin."

  • Mimi Kennedy - The activist mom - who plays that role in Dharma & Greg - has resolved to slow-cook more dinners, using friend Brother Rick Curry, S.J.'s Secrets of Jesuit Soup-Making as a blueprint. "It's not necessarily more time I want to commit," says Kennedy. "But planning ahead to take that time out several days a week nourishes myself and my family with something simple and delicious."

  • Eric Braeden and The Young and the Restless cast - Braeden, who plays male lead Victor Newman, has resolved to eat less chocolate and more fresh fruits and vegetables. Although he works out "a lot," he resolves to get better at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to keep up with his son. Victoria Rowell, who portrays Drucilla Winters, wants to get back into her SWAT fitness regimen military-style workouts. Susan Walters, who plays Diane Jenkins, has a simple food-oriented goal: "I've got to stop eating my children's leftovers!"

How resolutions work

These celebrities have a good chance of making their resolutions come true, because many of their comments reflect what makes resolutions most likely to work.

  • Set realistic goals - "The key in general is to make a resolution that is realistic and not overly ambitious," says Mitchel Kling, associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "It's not realistic to say you're going to lose 40 pounds in a month."

    Actress and author Marilu Henner, who conducts classes in avoiding self-sabotage, advises that making just one realistic goal and making it a part of your life before going on to another has a better chance of success than making multiple resolutions at the same time.

  • Take specific steps - Kling advises that some people benefit by converting general goals into specific steps with concrete actions. A general goal like weight loss is broken down into actions such as smaller food portions, skipping desserts, and performing specified exercise. Eikenberry's resolution to exercise, for example, is tied to specific days she works out.

  • Start with small steps - "Start with small steps," says Kling. "Instead of beginning an exercise program by running for 10 miles or spending two hours at the gym, try running for five minutes and then slowly increasing that. Create small chunks that are achievable." Wilson likes to think of small steps as arrows that keep you headed in the right direction, and that prevent burnout and allow you to see incremental and repeated successes on the way to the "big" goal.

  • Navigate - Kling likes what he terms a "navigational model" for keeping on target. "Set a course and go for a while," he advises. "Then, just as if you were navigating the seas, take a reading and then measure that discrepancy between where you want to go and where you are headed. You'll never be on target all the time, so make the necessary adjustments to keep on course and proceed. If you're off-course, just base your next decisions on the consequences of your previous ones."

  • Recognize and forgive mistakes - "I have yet to meet the person who does everything perfectly to keep their resolutions, all the time," observes Kling. "We're people, not machines. It's important to not completely forget what's gone on in the past and make corrections, but not to dwell on it. Examine behaviors that do not help you dispassionately, rather than attaching value judgments to them and beating yourself up. Extract what's useful information from the experience and move on." Carter forgives those minor occasional transgressions that are bumps in the road; not roadblocks. Then she moves on, as a result Carter is healthy and looks "wonderful."

  • Kick the all-or-nothing mentality - Because we do make mistakes, there is no benefit from approaching resolutions with an 'all-or-nothing' attack, says Kling. The time-tested middle ground of moderation and consistency offer steady and proven results. Preston, for example, recognizes that she cannot exercise as much as she likes; and also knows that doing something consistently works, while doing nothing results in nothing.

  • Don't wait another year - If you haven't started your resolutions right on the New Year, Kling suggests picking another date that has meaning for you; an anniversary, birthday, or other special occasion. "It's not the date itself that does the work," observes Wilson. "It's what you do following that."

    "We can really surprise ourselves if we make the effort," adds Wilson. "I work out hard with my trainer, and he has a great saying: you're not going to see it unless you do it."

To order Carnie Wilson's book Gut Feelings, click here.

Spotlight Health is the leading creator of celebrity-featured health-issue awareness campaigns, connecting consumers with impassioned celebrities whose personal health battles can open eyes, dispel myths and change lives. Spotlight Health helps sufferers and caregivers meet the challenges of difficult health circumstances with understandable, in-depth medical information, compassionate support and the inspiration needed to make informed healthcare choices.

Created: 1/12/2003  -  Mike Falcon & Stephen A. Shoop, M.D.

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