Christy Turlington may be the epitome of health and wellness, but as the 48-year-old recently told New York magazine, it took an “a-ha” moment for her to quit something she started when she was a teenager: smoking.
“As a young kid, I didn’t think of smoking as addictive. My dad was a smoker. I think part of me was mimicking him or emulating his behavior. By the time I was 18, I knew it was gross to get up in the morning and have a cigarette and coffee. And to walk up stairs and feel winded when you’re 18, that’s just stupid. For a couple years, I’d quit for a year and went back. At 25, I quit for good.
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Two years later, my dad died of lung cancer. I knew I would never smoke again. My early public health advocacy was talking about cessation. In the ’90s the Surgeon General first issued a warning about women and tobacco, which is crazy. Like, we’ll study men but not women! And sure enough because of our reproductive system, it’s more dangerous for women to smoke than it is for men. That took me down the path of women’s health and preventive health care.”
Three things Turlington swears by now: yoga, running and Epsom salts. “Yoga and running are my two main loves and what I crave and enjoy the most,” she told New York, going on to say she started running five years ago. “I run in silence—no music—because everything I did when I first started running is the way I’ve kept it. I started running on a road in Long Island where there were a lot of cars going really fast. I wanted to be able to hear what was around me. But then I started to really appreciate having silence and it became more of a meditation practice for me.”