I feel it is very important to take care of yourself and a true responsibility to strive to be healthy. It is certainly something very personal, and that is what I really like about working towards this goal. There are not many short cuts and what you accomplish is usually measured in nothing more than hard work and proper habits. These habits are either natural to you or often times they are things that you have to acquire along the way. This is what this class did for me in many ways, it focused on important lifestyle techniques that I either already have or ones that I need to work on and try to incorporate into my everyday life.
One thing that I have really taken pride in is the idea that my family and friends do see me as a health role model. Since my freshmen year of college here at A&M, I have worked out very consistently, done cardiovascular activities, and have followed a fairly strict diet. What I really have enjoyed about this class is that it has showed me why things that I am doing are working and also shown me new things that I should work on. I would say that I have a better overall picture now of what it takes to be a health role model. I think now that I know more about an expanded range of categories like exercise, eating habits, and sleeping habits. Sleeping is one thing that I found very interesting because I probably do not get enough sleep overall and I see now how important that it is. This class has taught me how to improve and I like that. My exercise program and my diet are no where near perfect, and I never felt that they were . But knowledge helps you build on what you already have in order to improve it. I guess that I feel like I have been a health role model by example to those who know me well. Now I think that I have expanded myself because I can explain why I do certain things to people or why things work. A great example of this is with my diet. I always get questions on why I am eating certain foods and now I know how to answer because I understand why they are good for me, not just that they are because I heard or read that they are.
I have also become a better health consumer. My only real expense as far as my fitness is concerned is my gym membership. This I still have but I think it is used more efficiently now. With sleeping habits improved, eating habits altered and improved, this has helped me get more from the gym and more from my investment. Another important part of this class that we discussed in detail was mental stability. Being mentally strong is a key asset to working on healthy lifestyles. For me I feel like better rest has allowed me to cope with outside factors like stress and sickness in much better ways. But as far as being a better health consumer, I have made the biggest improvement with selection of food products. Not that I ate out a lot or everyday, but I do not eat out much at all now. I go to the store and buy certain foods like oatmeal for breakfast and chicken stir fry with vegetables for dinner. This has not only improved my diet but saved me a considerable amount of money and made me a better consumer. When I do eat out I eat at different places and I am eating different foods. The single biggest thing that I would say has made me a better consumer is with supplements. For about six months I was taking a protein supplement twice a day. When we began our discussion on nutrition it came up in class and then I researched it some more on my own. Come to find out I did not even need an excess amount of protein in my diet to begin with because I was getting it from the foods I was eating. Secondly, the powder I was using was an incomplete source of protein and therefore was doing basically nothing for me. This saved me about forty dollars every couple of months and made me a much smarter consumer.
Overall I have learned how to be a better health role model and an improved health consumer. I have gained lots of new knowledge and built on what I already had. I feel that as a whole I am better suited to not only maintain a healthy lifestyle but to continue to improve upon it.