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Health & Balance

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A Thing or Two With Michael Chiklis

Actor Michael Chiklis talks to WebMD about summer sequels, his brief bout with claustrophobia and longtime struggle with weight gain, and why balance is the key to good health.

Besides a love affair with food, what else runs in your family?

There is longevity in my family. We are all strong as bulls, but we also tend to be built like bulls. We are stocky, well-muscled, and low to the ground.

Are you at your ideal weight?

I am 5'9, and some guidelines say I should weigh 170 pounds. There are a myriad of body types, and you have to look at each person individually. I weighed 170 pounds in seventh grade! Even if I worked out three hours a day and had perfect portion control, I will never see 170 pounds because my head weighs 45 pounds. I have dense muscle mass and very thick bones. I am just dense -- literally and figuratively.

What disease or condition would you like to see eradicated in your lifetime, and why?

Cancer. The pervasive nature of the disease is sort of unnerving. I just lost my aunt to cancer, and my uncle has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Two of my mother's siblings have been affected in the same year. I do feel incredibly blessed, knock wood, that my wife, children, and I have been clear. It does make you acutely aware and want to do something about it.

What can you do?

I am about to host the Revlon Run Walk for Breast Cancer with [singer/breast cancer survivor] Sheryl Crow. [Editor's note: the walk took place May 12, 2007.]

What is the best health advice you have ever been given?

My dad told me to live in moderation. He also told me that the key to a good life is job satisfaction. It shouldn't matter whether you are successful or not by social standards. If you are doing what you love to do, you will lead a happier, healthier life.

Are you satisfied with your job choice?

Unbelievably so. It's fun. It's great.

Any unhealthy habits?

I did, for a time, smoke cigarettes.

What made you quit?

My then 6-year-old, who is now almost 14 and whom I never smoked around, had just seen an anti-smoking ad. She must have smelled smoke on me and knew. She said, "Daddy, you are smoking, it's killing you, and you have to stop."

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