It is a pleasure to reflect on the many people who have inspired my journey as a teacher and a writer and helped to shape this book. My opening acknowledgment goes to the many students and health and fitness professionals I have had the pleasuring of knowing over the years. Your thought-provoking questions and perspectives have helped to expand my ideas about fitness, health, and behavior. I would also like to thank the students who will be using this book as they prepare for careers helping people to become healthier and more active. Your work as change agents is crucial in our world at this time, as the barriers to healthy activity levels, eating behaviors, and stress management often discourage behavior-change efforts. Your guidance and support will help people develop the lifestyle behaviors that optimize health and well-being.
Special thanks to my graduate school advisors of long ago. Eugene Evonuk at the University of Oregon sharpened my understanding of physiology and biochemistry, and William McArdle of Queens College inspired my interest in applied physiology. Over the years, my appreciation for Bernard Gutin’s unflagging intellectual curiosity, good humor, and fascination with the complexity of the human experience continues to grow, and I have tried to bring these qualities to my own work in the world.
My colleagues in the Department of Exercise and Sport Studies and in the Department of Athletics and Recreation have supported and informed my growth as a teacher and as a writer over the years, and they taught me much about the world of athletics and sport. Smith College’s faculty development program, the Kahn Institute, has helped to support my scholarly work on a number of levels, and my participation in its interdisciplinary seminars has broadened my understanding of many issues in the areas of health, psychology, and human behavior.
I am deeply appreciative of the time and effort given by the many professionals who contributed essays for the “Health Psychology at Work” feature that appears in each chapter. These individuals provided fresh and interesting perspectives on a variety of health psychology topics and their application to behavior-change work. Their names are in the Contributors list. I thank psychologist Sharon R. Sears for her helpful perspectives on behavior-change models in Chapter 4 as well as for her ideas on several other topics.
A number of Smith students have served as research assistants throughout the course of this project. Psychology major Sarah Billian left no stone unturned while sifting through research on all of the chapter topics during the initial stages of this project; Alex Cheng and Helene Parker expanded the search on several topics and helped with many other tasks. Patricia Cipicchio’s assistance with searches, art manuscripts, and other projects was especially invaluable during the final year of work. Many thanks to Smith College for funding these student assistants. In addition, our department’s administrative assistants, Michelle G. Finley and Alexandra Fox, also assisted in the forward motion of this undertaking.
I wish to thank Cedric X. Bryant and Daniel Green at the American Council on Exercise for their good work in developing effective health and fitness professionals and for believing in the important role health and exercise psychology plays in professional development. Special thanks go to Quincy McDonald at F.A. Davis Publishers for helping to craft a vision for this book. Developmental editor Megan Klim Duttera worked to shape the manuscript in its early days. Joanna Cain, Pamela Speh, Gayle Crist, and the editorial crew at Auctorial Pursuits, Inc. guided this early work into the editorial process that develops a book, ferreting out reviewers and smoothing the rough edges of my writing. Pamela Speh was especially helpful in getting the manuscript through its final stages and into production. Thanks also to George Lang and Stephanie Rukowicz at F.A. Davis for their work.
Many people provided extensive and multifaceted support during the writing of this book. The generosity of spirit shown by my sister Susan K. Hall and my friend Karen Buchwald Wright is deeply appreciated. Heartfelt gratitude to my husband Peter for his steady assistance on the home front—you were there when I needed you most, uphill and downhill, in headwinds and tailwinds, and I thank you. Our amazing and delightful sons, Ian and Adam, give me hope and energy each day.