Health behavior change
Obesity is a health condition often ignored by many people. It is characterized by an excessive body mass index of 30 and more. Outwardly anyone with obesity has excessive fats making the victim prone to a myriad of health problems such as cancer and it can result in eventual death. Many today concur that obesity requires attention. A number of treatments exist ranging from change of behavior, dietary change, exercise and activity, prescriptive weight loss medication and weight loss surgery among others. This paper gives a critical look on managing obesity through a paradigm of health related behavior. The paper will also borrow much from one health behavior change theory.
Key words: Obesity, theory, behavior change, exercise.
Everything appeared normal with me despite being tagged biggy at college. I was never discouraged from my childhood hobby. I developed an incipient craving for food right from a tender age. Obesity seemed normal with me as it had never interfered with my everyday life. Insights into the topic got me weary. My adamant views were transformed when I got humiliated before my peers for my inability to participate in a friendly soccer match at college. I sought medical assistance from a nearby medical facility. The doctor ran multiple examinations that established i was obese. Weighing 110 kgs at 25 years shook my entire being. The doctor recommended behavioral change and exercise activities that enabled me to design a detailed weight loss program as highlighted below.
In order to attain realistic weight outcomes, i scheduled a weekly meal plan of breakfast, lunch and dinner that was to run infinitively until when a minimum of 0-5 kgs loss would to be observed. The design focused on adherence to calorie free foods and avoidance of foods rich in calories. This was to be supplemented with a rigorous weekly morning 6-7a.m and evening 5-6 p.m hourly trekking exercise whose objective was to complement the eating plan by assisting in burning out fats and calories. The trekking exercise was to record a daily observable weight loss by use of a weighing scale machine after each complete hourly cycle. It was expected that the overall outcome would represent a negative decline in body weight.
Weekly baseline frequency of obesity.
Fig. 1a Before Behavioral Exercise.
Fig 1b. After Behavioral Exercise.
For several years a daily additional of weight bothered me much. Extra weight made me appear older than my actual age amongst peers. Perennially I often got ridiculed and offended by negative comments relating to my condition. However I never considered doing something meaningful about it. I kept up my eating hobby. Junk such as chips and protein rich meat were my delicacies. I decided to take a positive initiative about my extra weight with knowledge that it came with a improvement in someone’s health.
Research has established that obesity is a health hazard closely associated with deadly killer diseases such as cancer. The world health organization has classified obesity as a health condition rampant in the twenty first century. Obesity is detrimental to anyone’s clean bill of health. Anyone with obesity stands a high exposure risk of succumbing to diseases such as heart attack. The disease in self inflicted and it thus requires a positive mental reproach. I stand to benefit tremendously by managing my obesity condition. From a social economic perspective, I will no longer have to struggle to fit in the interactive scope with my peers. A substantial amount of money will be saved due to a reduction in unhealthy eating habits. Health wise I will be flexible in movement. My blood circulation will be enhanced as a result of reduction in fats which accumulate in veins causing constrictions in blood flow. Other internal body organs will optimize their functioning due to efficiency in the general coordination of the body system. Managed obesity will also improve my sexual life. Personally my initial medical records indicate a constant surge in weight since childhood. Going by this data, it can be predicted that if nothing is done to mitigate this i am more likely to add more weight. It is out of this that i decided to embrace the healthy behavior change as directed in the planned behavior theory. In the theory (Ajzen 1991) observes that not a single behavior is performed unconsciously, every behavior follows a programmed system embedded within everyone. The Theory explains that everyone has an ability to exert self control over everything that they do. It explains human behaviors through a behavioral intent; human intentions are directed by inherent attitudes in anticipation that the behavior will bring forth an expected outcome. The TPB is a tool to predict numerous health behaviors and intentions such as smoking health issues among others. The theory states that behavior change is determined by intention and behavioral control. It also categorizes three types of beliefs these are behavioral control and the normative. For one to control a behavior a six construct outlined as attitudes, behavioral intention, subjective norms, social norms, percieved norms and perceived behavioral control is used. I strictly followed the six construct which in the end recorded a sharp cut in my weight after one week.
Any health behavior change depended largely on an individual decision which equips one with a positive mindset to drive them along way into working towards achieving the expected outcome. A strict adherence to the guidance provided from the planned behavior theory guarantee positive results towards any behavior complications.
Ajzen,K.(1999).The Theory of Planned Behavior.London,UK.