For the first post under Health and Wellness at West Sound SportsPlus, let’s discuss one of my favorite subjects.

Food.

Do you know what my first word was? According to my mom, it was “eat.”

Sounds appropriate.

I, like most people, didn’t take into consideration nutritional intake based on my body’s needs. Instead, my diet was based on convenience, income, availability and habit.

Any journalist/photographer will tell you they usually don’t eat well. Especially if your shift includes the evening.

America is the most abundant country in the world when it comes to a readily-available food supply. Yet we rarely think in terms of what our bodies need are nutritionally speaking.

That’s a problem.

According to the World Health Organization, the United States’ prevalence of overweight citizens ages 18 and over is at a remarkable 72 percent, while obesity is at nearly 34 percent (in a 1975-2014 study). (I highly recommend you click on the links above and study the interactive graphics.)

I’m not here to solve our country’s obesity/overweight problem.

That has to come from each individual.

A change of heart leads to a change of attitude. A change in attitude leads to physical changes in one’s eating habits. Ultimately, the choice in what you eat is yours. (I also realize that many people don’t have a choice in their variety of food, due to income, lack of transportation and other factors, but let’s go on with the discussion in general terms.)

A change of attitude can happen due to different reasons — a career change that allows more freedom to shop and increased income is just one.

The technical term is called the “Theoretical Model.”

The behavior change happens in six stages; precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination.

I’ll explain.

Precontemplation: A person who is not contemplating making a health change within the next six months. (Raise your hand if that’s you!)

Contemplation: A person who has stated they are going to make health  changes in the next six months. (Mmm, hmm, we’ve all been there!)

Preparation: A person who has a plan of action in place, whether it’s an appointment with a nutritionist, buying a bike or new running shoes or joining a local gym. (Is that you? Yay! You’re under construction!)

Action: A person who has actively made consistent choices in dietary habits and is seeing significant changes in their health, i.e. weight loss/gain, stopped smoking/drinking, etc. (Hey, if this is you kudos! You’re doing great! Keep it up!)

Maintenance: A person in this stage has made all the necessary changes to improve their diet/fitness and overall health and is looking to maintain those changes day-to-day over the course of their lifetime. (I’m here, but still looking to improve and lose weight/get fit.)

Termination: A person in this stage has zero temptations of returning to their old lifestyle. (This is also me. I have no desire to be the person I was.)

I went through the five stages without realizing it in the last five years.

So what changes did I make?

Well, I actually took the advice of my health coach and his plan. I also quit quitting on myself. I took action. Once you stay committed to a plan the works for you, it does get easier. Don’t worry, we’ll discuss different ideas and plans in future posts.

Besides, as hard as I was working out I didn’t want to hinder my progress or not make any progress at all.

What’s the point in that?

Sure it sounds easy writing it and I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘Oh, that’s great for you, but how do I make changes that will work for me?’

That’s a good question.

I would like to know.

Email me your question or comment on this thread and let’s start a discussion.

I’ll post questions/comments (anonymously) next Monday.

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