I am approaching my 28th birthday this summer. While every birthday is a joyous event, I am concerned with some issues of vanity. Unhealthy behaviors (frequent trips to In n Out) and a slowing metabolism have caused me to gain a few more pounds than are necessary, especially considering the summer heat we enjoy here in Fresno, Ca. One method of solving this problem can be found when exploring the means-end analysis approach developed by Newell and Simon (Goldstein, 2011).
First it was important to record my current weight, check. Next, I needed to set a goal; a healthy and attainable weight that I could reach in exactly eight weeks. Means-end analyses allow an individual to consider a goal and compare it with the initial state of affairs. When I compared the two, initial and goal state, I created a firm subgoal of losing two pounds per week. This subgoal will provide a roadmap for me when I consider activities for exercise and nutrition. Other subgoals that will keep me on track are weight and cardio training four times a week. Exercise will also aid in other areas of life such as regulating anxiety and stress. A third subgoal is to use my Jack LaLane Juicer every other morning. Using this machine helps boost my intake of leafy greens and other vegetables I can’t stand to eat whole.
Other unexpected subgoals may appear throughout this eight-week journey, but tackling them will provide me with the strength to continue and maintain a healthier weight for the future. One example of an unexpected challenge will be the presentation (by family members) of unhealthy desserts or snacks. It seems like whenever I am conscious of my health; a family member has some kind of baked good to offer…cheesecake being my favorite.
Weight loss is a difficult task that many individuals attempt throughout life. However, self-determination theory suggests that behavioral changes will be much easier to maintain when the attempt is self-motivated (Williams et al., 1996). I am confident that because I have the desire to live more healthfully, revisit some of my athletic talents in exercise, and continue to ponder the means-end analysis approach to solving this problem, I will start year 28 looking my best.
Goldstein, B.E., (2011). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Williams, G.C., Grow, V.M., Freedman, Z.R., Ryan, R.M., Deci, E. (1996). Motivational predictors of weight-loss and weight-loss maintenance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(1), p. 115-126