Healthy Eating, Nutrition and Exercise Plan

SCI 241

University of Phoenix

Since this course has started, I was in an uphill battle with nutrition, exercise and health. Not only was I eating horribly, I worked long hours, didn’t exercise and I was not getting enough rest. Additionally, my child gained a large amount of weight and became self-conscious of her looks. This course helped me become aware of how important diet and exercise is in anyone’s life. I started making life changes in order to live a healthier lifestyle for my entire family.

In the beginning of the class, my diet was very harmful for my health. I did not exercise because I could not find the time too. I worked up to 50 hours a week, studied for school, did house work and also to my child to her activities. My diet consisted of mostly fast foods and fattening foods; processed, fried, smothered, sugary and salty things. My SuperTracker food results always were over in calories, oils, saturated fat and sodium intake for the day. The tracker also suggested that I complete at least 300 minutes of exercise per week. I began working at a job that is very sedentary and I didn’t get much exercise elsewhere. I soon had to change my ways for the better.

Poor nutrition shows itself physically sometimes before it breaks down your body. Some of the more obvious symptoms include fatigue, dizziness and weight gain or loss. I was affected by dehydration during this course because of my lifestyle. My body was not receiving adequate amounts of water and nutrients. Dehydration set me back because I had to be hospitalized and I could not function at maximum potential. I had to reintroduce fruit, vegetables and plenty of water. That situation opened my eyes to how easy it is to become sick. Moving forward, I know it is hard to go on vacation or holidays. Those are also times where people may stray from diet and exercise. I will be sure not to punish myself but limit the quantities I eat. Another good thing to do is to carry healthy snack items so I do not wind up binging on unhealthy foods. Hopefully that will stop me from relapsing.

If I did not make the change, I could have been affected by other illnesses. Malnutrition and lack of exercise are the leading factors in heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. All of those illnesses run rampant in my family and if I didn’t change, I could have been next. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease, many times is cause be blockages in the veins and arteries. Some behaviors that attribute to heart disease are poor hygiene, physical inactive, smoking and poor diet. Although genetics does play a role in heart disease, many doctors suggest people get an adequate amount of exercise and a healthy diet to treat and prevent those diseases. Diabetes and obesity also are risk factors to heart disease. Those are just some of the things that may occur from malnutrition.

The lack of certain nutrients and vitamins can bring the onset of conditions. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, anemia, constipation and loss of appetite. Advanced deficiencies of the zinc mineral can cause hair loss, diarrhea, inability to taste food and lowered alertness. Those are just a few symptoms to one vitamin and one mineral deficiency. There are a large array of symptoms that can arise with other vitamins and minerals. Same way there is deficiencies, there are also vitamin and mineral over consumptions. Ultimately, my goal is for my family to never develop any of those conditions and a healthy lifestyle is key to do so.

I came up with a combat plan of action for my family’s unhealthy lifestyle. It took much research in order to modify the diet and find activities that are simple to do as a family. I included everyone in the house for two purposes. One reason is so their less temptation in the household. The other reason is so the entire family learns to live healthier and be supportive of each other. The first thing I did was studied the FoodTracker website. The goals that I have set were limit the amount of unhealthy foods (processed, sugary, salty, and hormones), consume more fruits and vegetables, eat less meat and get 45 minutes of physical activity per day.

I began working on my goals almost immediately. The first thing I did was go through my refrigerator and cabinets. I looked at the nutritional value of each item and discarded the products that which not very healthy. From now on, I plan to buy more fresh fruit and vegetables in order to incorporate them with every meal or snack. Going completely meatless will not happen in our household, but I have been researching meals that use little or no meat. Getting 45 minutes of activity will be easy as a family. I plan to do calisthenics during the morning. The evening may include some type of aerobic activity. Every day will not be the same so the activities and meals do not get boring. Some days might not include each goal but I will ensure that at least two are met. As time will progress, I will work on eating less food in general in order to get down to my target weight.

I track my progress weekly to see how well I am doing. I believe if I take a moment on Sundays to weigh myself, look at the food I consumed during the week and exercises, I will become successful. Craig A. Johnston, PhD, noted that,

..variables such as body image, self-esteem, and weight related quality of life have limited support and are in need of further research to determine the role they possibly play in weight loss efforts.. depressive symptomatology, and social support are variables that have been consistently demonstrated to predict weight loss.

Simply put, having high self-esteem alone will not show superior results. Having a good support network will yield better results. Hopefully, this lifestyle change with the family will pollenate with others as well.

I believe that my diet and exercise routines will be successful as I age. The only thing I have to be mindful of are high impact cardio exercises. I had an injury a few years back that affected my knees. My doctor advised me to run on soft pavement or avoid it altogether. One cardio activity that I love to do is dancing. Dancing is great because it can be done year round and in almost any space. Walking also can be done year round. In the colder months of the year, all I would have to do is layer clothing to avoid frost.

This class happened in an important time in my life. I became aware of some the evils an unhealthy lifestyle firsthand. I have been able to adopt a new way of living. In conclusion, I was able to research healthy eating, nutrition and exercise not just myself, but for my family as well.