Changing Towards Wellness

I conduct a ten week Biggest Winner program with corporations and their employees.  They identify corporate and individual goals, participate in weekly weigh ins, lunch and learns, and receive email wellness tips throughout the week supporting their healthier, lifestyle efforts.  I also teach a basic nutrition college course.  Sometimes the topics overlap.  Take this week for example, I reviewed Prochaska’s Stages of Change with my students.  This model is used in weight control, smoking cessation, substance abuse, nail-biting, and basically any behavior that would benefit from change.   The following Monday, I reviewed the same concepts with my Biggest Winner wellness group.  

Pre-contemplation Stage 1: You are not aware of the problem, so there is no need to deal with it. “Denial”

Contemplation Stage 2: You have identified a behavior that you wish to change, but are not motivated to do anything about it.  It’s not worth the hassle.  Many people live with the awareness that they need to change for the rest of their life, taking it to their grave.

Preparation Stage 3: You learn about what it would take to change the behavior.  You attend seminars, read books, computer learn and gather information and support from friends, family, co-workers.

Action Stage 4: You actively begin to substitute new behaviors for problem behaviors. You “stop”.

Maintenance Stage 5: You maintain confidence in your abilities, set up accountability checkups, and continue to embrace the positive changes you have made. 

I asked my Biggest Winner group “How far have you come?  What stage are you in?  What stage do you want to be in?  You have the knowledge and support to get there (preparation stage 3), but do you have the will?”  In the perfect world of Wellness programs, I wish everyone entered at stage 3 and progressed to stage 4 by the 3rd or 4th meeting.  I wish I had a magic wand to help people get unstuck from Stage 2 and sometimes Stage 3, but that’s where personal accountability takes over. 

Do you have a habit you want to change?  Remember, it’s much more fun to change on your own terms, not because a doctor has said the clock is ticking and you’ve run out of other options.



Categories: Nutrition & Wellness

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2 replies

  1. A study from Thomson Medstat, estimated health care cost savings associated with wellness programs both with and without the initial assessment form. They studied 60,000 retirees and dependent’s. Those who took the health risk assessment, and participated in a telephone or onsite lifestyle management counseling, lowered their annual health care costs by $442. Those who took a health risk assessment and participated in two additional program components saw an average reduction of $569. However, those who participated in only the wellness program, without first taking a health risk assessment, saw only a small drop in their health care costs—on average, $30 annually.

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