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The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

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Mudd 2

When I performed this behavior-change-project it steadily increased the presence of happiness in my life and had also increased my energy, confidence, and overall well-being. I could not believe the personal rewards I reaped from a single school assignment, not to mention an assignment I had to base on myself. Not knowing which behavior to nominate to change at first, I directed my attention to focus on anything I wished were different in my life, or at least things I could change myself. That was not too difficult-considering I wasn't lacking behaviors I would have loved to alter in one way or another, or simply have removed from my life. My decision, which easily dominated many other behaviors I took into consideration, was the fact that for years I have been unhappy.. Although my short-term memory is weak, it cannot compare to my fortunate ability of recalling long-term memories. In the majority of the ones I can remember I could reminisce about my life years ago without opacity. Unfortunately, it was clear that in those times I was an unhappy person. I believe my unhappiness began twelve years ago when I was in fourth grade; this was when I first hit one hundred pounds and realized how I was much more "heavy-set" than I was than my peers. This released stressor on my endocrine system prompting my body to lower levels of dopamine that eventually caused my depressing condition. (Asterita 35). I can remember myself as a child, thinking negatively about myself, always regarding my weight problem, and starting dangerous thinking patterns that would eventually lead to self-consciousness. Since I am a much more confident and happier person now, it is frustrating that I do not have more lighthearted memories to recollect, and I can't help regretting how depressed I was in my youth hood for being so overweight.

In fourth grade, when I noticed my weight being a problem, for health or attraction, a vicious cycle began which escalated my condition tremendously. The cycle, which is common for obese people, consisted of an urge to eat because I was depressed, my depression was fueled by my weight condition, and my weight condition was a product of my eating habits. "I can't stop eating. I eat because I'm unhappy, and I'm unhappy because I eat. It's a vicious cycle." (Austin Powers, 2000). Various ingredients came into play in my depression's plenary foundation: never knowing my biological parents, having divorced adoptive parents, and of course, the painful weight struggle I've endured throughout most of my entire teenage life. If an over diminished existence of self-confidence and mental scars criticizing are not enough, my parents would bring home clothes for me that where too small and in those seldom times that I did go with them to the store they would suggest clothes that I could not fit into. Although the message was clear that I was overweight, it was not likely the message received from my parents' behalf was deliberate. Nevertheless, my condition embarrassed me and made me extremely self-conscious. Since I was too big for my clothes, old or new, I felt fat and unattractive in all the clothes I wore. Some people would consider that being ten years old is too elementary for a child to worry about a weight problem, but I've been interested in dating girls since nine and at the point of being ten years old, I was becoming comfortable talking to girls and

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was steadily becoming more and more attracted to them. This was a problem because I was maturing to an age where girls were becoming a major part in my life, and at the same time, I was developing a sense of unhappiness with the way I looked. When I was complimented, I look at it as a joke. I also disliked seeing myself in pictures and wrongly believed there was no one who could possibly be interested in a person like me. Once I was in middle school, all of my close friends started dating, and when invited, I would constantly be the third or fifth wheel. In middle school, your hormones play many mean tricks on you and you start feeling ways you have never felt before. This was a bad time for me to have felt so alone. I eventually tried dieting and exercising secretly, on multiple occasions, but consistently fell to my cravings when with my friends and continuously drifted away from the exercise when I could spend time with friends instead. Having been at such a young age, it wasn't very common for one of my friends to have a lazy metabolism like myself, so I was impossible for me to confide in a friend and workout him or her. I was so overweight I became too embarrassed to ask dates to any school dances, so ultimately, I just did not go to them. In high school, I finally started asking girls out, though few and far between, and in the times that I did I got shot down. Appearance, although not everything, is clearly a substantial factor in the building blocks of self-confidence for a person like me. I was obviously unhappy with myself and I let it effect many important parts of my life. Being provided this beneficial behavior change assignment, I have nominated my physical appearance as the major subject of change. I didn't believe there was a miracle pill or super drink I can buy to make my wishes come true. I didn't have the money to buy it even if I did, so I decided that the main target behaviors that I will have to alter are (but are not limited to): Eating habits, physical activity, and water consumption. Also I would have to start saving money to buy new clothes...

Since I fell so many times in the past, it was very important that I organized my plan of action for my behavior-change-program perfectly and tailored to my personal needs. I would have to set challenging but reasonable but goals, follow a personalized eating guide based on my research, and execute my plan without falling off the wagon too early. This would not be easy, just like it was extremely difficult in the past. There were many factors that kept me from reaching my goal back then so I knew I needed to plan on them happening again and intercept them before they can sabotage me. I would have to reinforce my behavior-change program to meet these demands whether it be compensating, limiting, or removing things in my life. By experiencing the sabotaging urges first-hand I knew I would have to find ways to eat healthily away from home, without preparing food at home to bring with me. I also would have to adjust my schedule around my gym workouts as much as possible, to guarantee my attendance. I would also need to find someone to attend the gym with me, for the majority of the time, to encourage me to push my limits and avoid hitting a fitness plateau. But first things first, I knew I needed to be tested




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