Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Five-year tanniversary

National Health Blog Post Month Day 20: A health moment you regret

A health moment I regret? This one's easy. I wish I hadn't used tanning beds in high school and college. Not only did I end up with melanoma just one year after I quit tanning indoors, but my skin has lasting, visible signs of UV damage. Sexy, right?

Yesterday, one of my best friends from college forwarded me a promotional email that was sent to her old ".edu" address this week. Here's the email she forwarded me:

This is what she said: "I'm pretty positive I unsubscribed to these emails 2 months after graduating college and haven't received anything since then, then BOOM, what's in my inbox? Also, it makes me feel really old that this place is 5 yrs old because I remember what a hit it was when the "nice" tanning place came to south Bethlehem. We used to plan our days around when we would tan, sickos!"

Seeing this in my inbox gave me the kind of feeling my friend Chelsea had recently when she found her old tanning goggles. It brought back so many memories--both good and bad. My friends and I really would plan our days like the guys on Jersey Shore who GTL'ed. We knew it probably wasn't good for us, but it was fun. It was always a social activity.

On one hand, it's hard to believe that I graduated from college almost five years ago, but on the other, it feels like a lifetime has passed since then. I'm not just taking about skin care, either. Of course, that's part of it, but I've become more conscious of my health overall and I'm learning to listen to my body more. As much as I do regret using tanning beds as a teenager, I think that dealing with melanoma has empowered me to make healthier decisions in all aspects of my life that I may never have not made otherwise. I do, however, regret that I'll never be able to get rid of some of these sun spots...


This post was inspired by the Day 20 prompt for National Health Blog Post Month.
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