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From Your No. 1 Health Advocate

When you see actor Andy Garcia this summer in Ocean's Thirteen — the third in a trilogy of films also starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Bernie Mac — you may not realize how private and refreshingly principled a man he is, one who finds his greatest happiness in his family and his greatest physical health benefits in Pilates.

Garcia is also a director and musician, a husband, and the father of three daughters, Dominik, 23, Daniella, 19, and Alessandra, 16, and a 5-year-old son, Andres. Our exclusive interview with Garcia inspired me. "Just do your own thing," he says. "The only review that's important is the one at home. If you have to look outside for your self-worth and acceptance, you're in trouble, because none of that can ever be real consistent. The only thing that is consistent is what's inside your home and your relationships."

There is nothing like that feeling that all is well at home. It's often my solace after a frustrating day — although on occasion I walk through the door and find frustration there, too ("Mommy, you don't know anything and could not possibly understand how I am feeling"). On those evenings, I turn to Bikram yoga; my beloved husband Stephen's bad jokes, which eventually make me crack up like a schoolgirl; and the periodic margarita (no salt, intermittent sips of water) to release the negativity and rejuvenate my smile. Some of us have more serious health challenges than just recovering from a stressful day. Actor Tonye Patano had a stroke in 2005, just after filming season one of Showtime's hit comedy Weeds. Now, she discusses it publicly for the first time with WebMD the Magazine, along with thoughts about her diabetes and ongoing struggles with diet and exercise. She tells us she is the first to admit that she's a work in progress — at least as far as her health is concerned.

And actor Michael Chiklis, of The Shield fame and a star of this summer's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, discusses his own health challenges, including the claustrophobia he barely endured while wearing his "The Thing" costume, a thick latex rubber suit that was glued onto his body. We're glad that Chiklis is doing fine and can cool his limbs now that his movie is wrapped and his costume is off.

On that theme, here are some tips for a happy and healthy summer: Take off your own work costume, cool your limbs, seek balance, and strive for glowing reviews from the ones you love.

Yours in well-being,

Nan-Kirsen Forte

Nan-Kirsten Forte, MS
Editor in Chief, WebMD the Magazine

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