“We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.” ― Santosh Kalwar, Quote Me Everyday. I recently found this quote online and thought it was a fitting example of my addictive behavior modification experience in CSL 466. Initially, I thought addiction is that can be changed over time with willpower, determination and help from others. However, what I’ve learned through my experience in CSL 466, is that you can try as hard as you want but some addictions never quite go away.
For me, my addictive behavior is eating junk food. This behavior doesn’t mean that I hate vegetables, fruits or anything healthy. It does mean however, just tend to choose to eat crappy food over healthy food most of the time – mainly because its cheaper, quicker and usually tastes better. Therefore for 6 weeks of the Autumn Quarter I’ve attempted to modify what I eat and in turn eat less of the bad food and more of the good food. This experience wasn’t easy but it was definitely worthwhile and taught me a lot about addiction counseling and myself.
One of the first things I started doing during the Pre-Contemplation part of the process was considering change. This for me meant thinking about my food history, how my parents influenced my food selection and how the different stages in my life affected the type of food I chose to eat. I realized that until the age of16 I ate fairly healthy --minus all of the soda my parents had available at my house. But typically growing up, I ate small portions, minimal fast food and tended to have several small meals throughout the day. However, once I turned 16 and started driving, making my own money, drinking alcohol and spending more times with my friends, that’s when my food choices started to go from healthy to junky. Also, at this age I started dating and I noticed when I date someone I gain a little weight as well. Therefore it was a combination of these things that lead to a less healthier me.
After this pre-contemplation phase of self-reflection, I started considering Contemplation, weighing pros and cons and the benefits and barriers to my change. I realized I would love to feel better, look better and overall be a more happier, healthier individual. However, I wouldn’t enjoy eating less, missing out on my favorite foods and not feeling like myself. Although my health is the ultimate priority and I quickly realized the pro’s outweighed the con’s.
The next stage I moved onto was Preparation/Determination which taking steps and getting ready to change. I realized I needed to work out a budget for buying healthier foods. I researched grocery stores in my area and determined I could afford to buy most of my groceries at Trader Joe’s. In addition, I completed two work sheets in class: Change Plan Worksheet and Goal Attainment Scale Template. (See below). Working on these two activities allowed to me realize the changes I wanted to make and compose a list of SMART Goals. ...