Randi Stevenson recently became the editor of livewellnebraska.com after working as an online editor for the World-Herald.
We all have our vices. Some smoke a pack a day or drink soda like water. Others binge-eat BK fries.
I go tanning.
It probably has something to do with growing up in California and going to school in Arizona, where being dark is almost a way to keep up with the Joneses.
But despite the enormous amount of research that proves tanning can lead to skin cancer, I just can't shake the fake 'n bake habit.
Tanning is only 15 bucks a month at my gym, and if a 12-minute tanning session is what motivates me to hit up the treadmill, how bad can it really be?
I'm essentially just trading a few skin cells for a healthy metabolism, thinner thighs and whole slew of cardiovascular benefits, right?
Tanning has become my reward for cardio work.
"Are you really rewarding yourself by increasing your risk for skin cancer?"
Well sure Dr. Davey, when you put it that way!
Dr. Mathew Davey is a dermatologist with Alegent Health Clinic. He sees patients at Bergan Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Hospital.
And I'll be honest. My phone conversation with him was pretty convincing.
Just short of betting his salary on it, Davey guaranteed that if I quit tanning today altogether, I wouldn't regret it at all in 10 years.
Not even when I'm pale and pasty?
Nope, he said.
Davey, much like my mother, not only made some really convincing arguments about melanoma but sold me with the whole wrinkles thing.
Increasing my risk for skin cancer by 75 percent by tanning indoors is scary and realistic.
And the thought of looking 60 at age 35 is utterly terrifying.
It reminds me of the graphic cigarette boxes that the FDA is starting to require. Packs will soon be covered in photos of yellow teeth, black lungs and corpses.
Davey is hopeful that this kind of anti-tanning campaign emerges sooner rather than later.
Can you imagine? On the inside of tanning beds is a photo of a wrinkly old lady with moles everywhere. Or maybe just a picture of a raisin. Gross.
It's a humourous visual, but it actually makes me think twice about my gym/tanning "trade-off." Am I really thanking my muscles and heart for staying young by aging my skin and upping my risk for skin cancer?
Davey says no, and he had some pretty convincing stats to back it up.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 1 million Americans tan indoors.
And the American Cancer Society has found the number of melanoma cases to be on the rise over the past 30 years.
Maybe I'll lay down in the warm, plastic bed of fake sunshine one last time, then kick the habit for good.
For those of you rewarding yourself for good habits by taking up a bad one, let's unite and fight the good fight. No more premature wrinkles!
Leave me a comment at the bottom of the page: What's your take on indoor tanning? Would it encourage you to go to the gym, or is the risk not worth the reward?
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On Twitter: @RandiStevenson