Essay on Journey to Wellness A Personal Exploration of Healthy Living Practices

Published: 2024-01-23
Essay on Journey to Wellness A Personal Exploration of Healthy Living Practices
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Health and Social Care Food Behavior
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1706 words
15 min read


I am currently trying to practice healthy living, explicitly watching my sugar and fat intake by eating white rice once a day, unlike earlier, when I could eat it twice. Also, I intend to take coffee three times a week compared to the previous arrangement of taking coffee every day, stopping the trend of eating fried food two to three times a week to zero non-fried food intake. Also, I religiously jog in the morning and walk my dog in the afternoon.

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The changes identified are essential ingredients to my journey to healthy living. However, I may be tempted to relapse since, as a human, one is prone to backslide. Therefore, the new way of living would be consistent if I have a vision and acquire the relevant skills to sustain me in the entire health behavior change project.

The changed eating habits will reduce overall fat and sugar levels while a simple jog and walk would increase hormone formation, necessary for human growth. Additionally, the eating plan and exercise regimen would result in overall composure. The project seems viable, given its expected results of promoting a healthy lifestyle to an individual.

Factors Contributing to Unhealthy Behavior

Several factors contribute to unhealthy behaviors. However, in my case, the contributing factors can be categorized into three; individual actions, biology and genetics, and social/environmental factors. Of the numerous factors, these seemed more applicable in my experience, and addressing the three areas would result in a more healthy status.

First, Individual health behaviors play a significant direct role in determining health. Medical practitioners assert that a person's health condition narrows down to their lifestyle practices. Such a healthy lifestyle would result from an individual's behavior. Individually, I have not been practicing healthy living. My diets were mostly junk foods and a lot of caffeine. Additionally, I never did any form of exercise. However, I realized that such an unhealthy lifestyle began having a negative effect on my healthy life and thus decided to adopt a healthy lifestyle of reducing the intake of fats and sugar while performing a bit of some physical exercises.

Another determinant or contributor to unhealthy living is social/ environmental factors. These determinants entail the availability of recreation facilities that include a gym or a playground for exercises, exposure to mass media, multimedia, and transportation options. Affluent people of society characterize my area of residence; thus, it is natural that the transportation options would be personal cars since such societies are characterized by people with high-paying jobs who can afford such a lifestyle. Secondly, there are reaction facilities, especially a membership subscription gym. However, there is no time for practice, given the amount of time one spends at the office. Another factor is social/ environmental. We are more exposed to social media than after work, and I am only immersed in, if not social media, than other Media like video games.

Conditions Associated with Unhealthy Behavior

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are associated with the unhealthy behavior of eating foods rich in fats and sugar results is. These two conditions ultimately lead to pulmonary heart problems, which usually is fatal. However, according to Szybinski (2016), an individual can effectively prevent such diseases through healthy eating and physical exercises. Furthermore, the author still asserts that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is owed to the increasing obesity cases; thus, addressing obesity may significantly reduce type 2 diabetes cases. Adherence to the recommended regimen is proven effective.

Similarly, medical practitioners can effectively identify health conditions through diagnosis and tests. Obesity cannot be detected at a personal level; it requires medical expertise. The first step is determining whether a person is obese or not; physical appearance regarding an individual's size is not an effective method of ruling out obese cases. Medical practitioners refute such an approach citing their logic on bodybuilders who continually have massive bodies and are healthy and not obese. Thus, the primary method of diagnosis, in this case, would be the use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) which measures body fats about the weight and height of an individual. An ideal BMI for an adult is 18.5 to 24.9. Anything below or above this range is unhealthy and signifies underweight and obesity, respectively.

After diagnosis, doctors can treat and manage both obesity and type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Association (2016) provides various ways medical practitioners can manage obesity as the associated cause of type 2 diabetes. One of the methods of managing obesity is dieting and physical activity to reduce the body's amount of fats, thus reducing the excess weight to the ideal Body Mass Index BMI. In extreme cases (patients with a BMI of 35), the recommended management of obesity would be bariatric surgery since research shows that it is advantageous since two years after treatment, 72 % of patients achieve normalization of glycemia.

On the other hand, identifying and managing these conditions at a population level necessitates an approach different from the individual-based process. In this case, a process that caters to the entire population analysis would significantly be effective. Fagg and Valabhji (2019) assert that people with low socioeconomic status at the population level are at high risk of getting diabetes type 2 due to the inability to afford better dieting. Also, the risk population in high-income countries includes the high salaried individuals whose sedentary lifestyle is the main culprit for their health condition. On the other hand, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NICE (2011) asserts that low-income earners are at the highest risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in high-income countries. In the US, these individuals are the minority groups. Fortunately, Kumanyika et al. (2008) identify methods that both the government and the healthcare sector can utilize to manage and prevent both obesity and type 2 diabetes. The government can change policies regarding higher taxation on junk foods and lower the tax on healthy foods. The health care units can provide community-based education regarding identifying and preventing the specified health conditions.

Identifying, detecting, and controlling specific health behavior is significantly essential in changing future health behavior. With such a process, I intend to change and adopt health-care-seeking behavior in the future. Such a behavior change resulted from applying the identified method, mostly used by doctors and psychologists before treating a patient.

Interventions for Health Behavior Change

SMART Goal Setting

What is the behavior? Watching my sugar and fat intake include eating white rice once a day vs. twice, 3x/week coffee vs. every day, and not eating fried food 2-3x/week. I also jog in the morning and walk my dog in the afternoon. (Check Appendix B below)

How would you like to change that behavior? I have noted that I usually indulge in unhealthy eating, which can be detrimental to my life in that I have been eating junk foods rich in fats and sugar and high caffeine intake. I would like to have a consistent physical exercise regimen and reduce food servings containing high sugars and fats to once a week by 3rd January 2021. (Check Appendix B below)

Problem-solving Barriers

Change is always inevitable, but uncomfortable at the same time. In the bid to better my health status, some barriers would present themselves. My entire change regimen is explainable by two theories of change; the Health Belief Model (HBM) and The Theory of Planned Behavior. The former asserts that a person's change in behavior directly relates to the person's perception of the desired health condition's barriers and benefits. Simultaneously, the latter was intended to explain the difference in behavior in which people have control. Sometimes, a person may have varying perceptions regarding the benefits and risks of the action. Thus the two theories provide the concept of the availability of barriers in any behavioral health change.

The first barrier is a time constraint, especially with the morning jogs and afternoon walks. This is especially true with having to do with school assignments and hanging out with friends. Sticking with the dieting and exercise regimen would compromise my effectiveness in studies and bonding with friends. Secondly, self-discipline and consistency were barriers in the first week as, according to the goal progress figure above, I failed to meet my stated goals. I also was not confident that I could carry on with behavioral health change. However, I never gave up at the first hurdle.

I overcame the first challenge by having a consistent schedule regarding my exercise regimen and having my friends confirm my schedule before going out for fun. They respected that I wanted to change my health behavior since I was the only one in the group who was not a part of any sporting activity. In solving my second hurdle, I had to share the challenge I was going through with my friends. So they played the role of the accountable partner in that they made sure that I was responsible and followed the exercise and diet schedule as stipulated in my goal objectives. By the end of the second week, I had met the set weekly objectives, with the third week having exceptional performance and achievement.

Effective and Non-Effective Behavioral Techniques

Seeking help, seeking behavior that you have full control over, and small changes toward attaining the bigger goal are very effective methods for achieving a difference in the action. However, self-doubt and the need to work independently towards achieving a specific purpose are ineffective methods and usually result in undesired results. Having an accountable partner in any form of self-development regimen is an important motivator for attaining the desired outcome.


American Diabetes Association. (2016). 6. Obesity management for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 39(Supplement 1), S47-S51.

Fagg, J., & Valabhji, J. (2019). How do we identify people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes and help prevent the condition from developing? Diabetic Medicine, 36(3), 316-325.

Kumanyika, S. K., Obarzanek, E., Stettler, N., Bell, R., Field, A. E., Fortmann, S. P., ... & Stevens, J. (2008). Population-based prevention of obesity: the need for comprehensive promotion of healthful eating, physical activity, and energy balance: a scientific statement from American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Interdisciplinary Committee for Prevention (formerly the expert panel on population and prevention science). Circulation, 118(4), 428-464.

Szybinski, Z. (2016). Primary prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Epidemiology: Open Access, 6(3).

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