AS STRESS LEVELS HEIGHTEN, EATING HEALTHY BECOMES HARDER | NUTRITION AND SOCIAL MARKETING

Since beginning this journey about 6-7 weeks ago, I found that a lot has changed. As stated before, weight loss isn’t the only reason to be healthier. According to Charlotte Andersen, living healthier can reduce stress, and make you an all around happier person. I believe this to be true! Since beginning my healthy journey, I’ve found my every day life to be more fulfilling. Before being healthy, I was tired and sluggish every day, yet since then, my sleeping patterns have turned from 5 hours sleep a night due to late nights, to a healthy 8 hours sleep a night, waking up earlier in the mornings. I don’t feel as tired any more throughout the day – and standing on my feet for a 10 hour shift at work doesn’t kill me (a 3 hour shift used to make me so tired).

According to the British Journal of Health and Psychology, when young adults ate more fruits and vegetables, they began to feel positive, calm and happy, and also much more energetic as normal. I’ve found this to be true also, through how my journey could benefit society. I’m happier and more energetic when I’m at work, making my customer service delivered well, and when I’m at Uni I’ve found that I’m more attentive and I concentrate more. I’ve also found that my passion for Uni has returned since I’ve been healthier, with my grades currently being the highest they’ve ever been. Because of all the great results I’ve attained throughout my journey, it is my constant motivation to keep going – although I have had my weak days.

Since reflecting last time, I stated that I had undertaken the Preparation and action stages – I had even relapsed. There’s something that I noticed since then though – and that sometimes it’s not WHAT I eat, but portion control. Portion control is something that I’ve had to be really strict with myself since beginning this journey, as I love my food. Although there are days where I go out with my family to celebrate a birthday, or go out with my boyfriend, I have found that I can still eat the things I love – just in moderation. So, instead of ordering a ‘Sweet Potato Tortellini’ main size for myself, we ordered one, and shared it between us.

Although I’ve eaten things that aren’t classed as ‘healthy’, I’ve eaten in moderation, and I’ve been strict on myself, which is why I believe I have been in the Maintenance stage of the Stages of Change Model. I don’t care for junk food as much as I used to, either – if it’s there, I’ll have a chip or two, and then that’s it. What makes me motivated and makes me keep going is the fact that I’ve already done so well – and I can continue to do well.

Since beginning this journey, I’ve created a healthier, more positive lifestyle for myself, and I’m excited to keep it going throughout the semester, and hopefully throughout my life! My family is also doing the same, and we’ve all noticed considerable differences in each other, and I’m proud of all of us for coming so far.

The theory of Reasoned Action/Planned Behaviour examines the relationship between behaviour and psychological issues, such as beliefs, attitudes and intentions (French and Gordon, 2015). It understands that ‘behavioural intention is the key determinant of behaviour, and an individual’s attitude towards performing behaviour is one of the biggest influences on behavioural intention. This theory can be related to my journey, as it has had an influence on my control of my healthy life. The behavioural beliefs and behavioural outcomes both influence my attitude toward healthy living, being that the beliefs and outcomes are evident in the research I have undertaken and also the results I have already concluded from the beginning of my journey.

According to French, J, and Gordon, R. (2015), the Health Belief Model is focused on healthy decision-making. This model poses four key constructs: perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived barriers and perceived benefits. I have had many barriers that have come up throughout my journey – such as working at a Pizza restaurant. Pizza is my favourite food, yet I have managed to steer clear of it for almost 7 weeks (it’s so tough to do). Another barrier is my other job – most days I pack lunch for myself, and have it ready for when I get home from work, yet lately, work has been asking me to stay back longer hours, causing me to be stuck at Wollongong Centre with no lunch. The benefits include self-confidence, happiness, energy and feeling more positive about my body and my life.

I feel that I’ve been successfully maintaining this activity – as I said before, sometimes it’s not what I eat, it’s how much I eat (I haven’t eaten anything TOO bad for me). The behaviour is definitely becoming almost like second nature to me, as I’m finding fruit and vegetables to be much more delicious than I used to before. Having such wholesome foods make me more positive about where this journey can take me in the future. I definitely have my off days where I’m craving chocolate, or some soft drink – but I’ve had to talk myself out of buying a greasy kebab once or twice, but every time I step on the scale, I’m glad I have! I’ve also set a new goal for myself – 10 kg by the end of the semester! Here’s hoping I get there! My self control and my happiness within myself are really peaking at the moment, and I’m excited to see how the rest of the journey pans out.

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REFERENCES:

  • Andersen, Charlotte. ’45 Compelling Reasons To Exercise And Eat Right That Aren’t Weight Loss’.Greatist. N.p., 2015. Web. 17 Aug. 2015.
  • French J & Gordon R 2015 Stratigic Social Marketing, SAGE Publications, London UK
Kolter P & Zaltman G 1971, Journal of Marketing (pre-1986), Social Marketing: An Approach to
  • Planned Social Change, pg 3.
  • Robinson, Eric et al. ‘What Everyone Else Is Eating: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis Of The Effect Of Informational Eating Norms On Eating Behavior’. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 3 (2014): 414-429. Web.
  • White, Bonnie A., Caroline C. Horwath, and Tamlin S. Conner. ‘Many Apples A Day Keep The Blues Away – Daily Experiences Of Negative And Positive Affect And Food Consumption In Young Adults’. British Journal of Health Psychology 4 (2013): 782-798. Web.
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