Ox, Gaskins, Funess, and Lodge-Clarke each have different problems, and different strengths. But if there is one thread that makes them all candidates for a healthy upgrade, it's their blind spots. Even smart women who know what they're supposed to do can slip into selective denial, perhaps finding it too painful to look at a problem or taking a basically good idea too far. Gaskins has glossed over her weight gain and shrouded her larger size. Funess's protein-centric diet is putting her bones at risk. Lodge-Clarke overlooks the way her healthy agenda is sabotaged at home, and what she's missing emotionally. Fox flatly ignores her body's requirements, sacrificing nutrition in the name of weight control.

There's certainly a need for all of them—for all of us—to make some downtime for ourselves, to step off life's treadmill occasionally (make that regularly) and unplug. Even Fox, who's no longer governed by the quotidian demands of children or career, has phones ringing constantly in her life—justified because she must be available to elderly parents and young grandchildren, except that very few of these calls relate to family concerns. If she were more selective about her social network, she would feel less "busy, busy, busy," and in fact would have more time for meaningful pursuits, like the volunteer work she used to do with young violent offenders. "This would help her get over the need for control in her own life and into affecting other people's existence," says Treitler. "Writing a check doesn't touch your life like being in the trenches. It's about getting your hands dirty."

And then she should wash them well.

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