I scored an overall 632 points on the health assessment, out of a possible 880. According to the guide with the assessment, this means I have many healthy behaviors and attitudes, with room for improvement. I scored the highest on the Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco use section, most likely because I am a moderate drinker, I am a non-smoker, and I do not use any type of recreational drugs. I scored the lowest on the Spiritual and Psychological section. I find this to be strange, as I do not feel that I am spiritually unhealthy. I think it is unfair that this assessment requires some form of shared religious belief in order to be considered in good spiritual health, and especially that this is then considered to reflect on my psychological health. These are separate issues.
There are many flaws with this assessment. A number of this problems are fundamental to the style of the survey used. Even if I attempt to answer the questions honestly, the obvious nature of the “right” answer skews the results. Many of the questions lead heavily to a specific response. I believe this survey to be less a guide to one’s actual health and more an indicator of what one believes one’s health to be. Additionally, the answers are weighted the same for all sections, giving me the same number of positive points for not doing psychoactive drugs as are given for regular exercise. The drug and alcohol section especially is weighted far too highly for its effect on my overall health.
My goals are to reach a point of psychological and physical well-being. I want to be happy in my body. Primarily, I want to reach my goal weight so I can stop being “on a diet” and switch to a healthy lifestyle of eating habits for weight maintenance. I want to reach a point where I am fit enough to enjoy life and enjoy my children, and I especially want to be around to see my children grow up.
Plan of Action
Spiritual and Psychological Health
My assessment indicates that I need to work most on my spiritual and psychological health. In order to improve in this area, I am attempting some religious self-discovery. I am planning to study the background and beliefs of a variety of religions and spiritual belief sets in order to learn more about what resonates personally for me. While I still do not agree that a regular meeting of people with a shared belief set is necessary for my continued well-being, I am open to the idea that a spiritual change may benefit me.
Social and Occupational Health
I scored well on the social and occupational portion, and the assessment did not indicate any particular areas of weakness. I have a fulfilling family life, I am succeeding at my educational goals, and I have an adequate if unremarkable career. My plan for this area then is to continue doing those things which have helped me reach this point of success. One change I would like to make is to spend more time with my family, but this may have to wait until I have finished my educational goals.
I also did reasonably well on the stress management section. Primarily my goals for stress management involve taking more time for myself to relax. I need to reach a point where I understand I can’t do everything, and that I also do not have to do everything. Therefore, the biggest action to take in this area is to work on delegating household chores to others, so that I am not constantly being pulled to do something when I am home.
I am on a physician-guided aerobic exercise plan, and so I succeeded in the fitness portion of the assessment. My plan for my general fitness is to speak to my doctor about replacing part of my aerobic exercise with strength training. Additionally, once the weather turns warmer, I will change some of the time I spend on the treadmill to walking outdoors, perhaps with my children after they return home from school. This will give me more variety in my fitness regime, and also make it more enjoyable. Combining this activity with my time with my children teaches them good fitness habits for their lives as well.
Nutrition and Weight Management
I am also on a very strict diet prescribed to me by my doctor, and that diet varies only a little from day to day. I wish I could have more variety, but it is what I need to do. I am also using phentermine for weight loss, as I feel at this point in my life the benefit of the weight loss outweighs the risk of the drugs. Therefore, my plan is to stay on my diet until I reach my goal weight. I also plan on studying enough nutrition that I will be able to create healthy meals once I am designing my own meal plan again. If I create these meal plans now and show them to my doctor, I will be prepared.
I scored well in disease prevention, so I will continue to practice these good habits such as hand washing. In addition, I plan on receiving a flu shot in upcoming seasons, as I am more likely to catch the flu having school-age children, or they could get sick from me.
Safety and Violence Prevention
I will continue to take the necessary safety precautions to protect myself and my children. Before taking this assessment, I would not have thought of such hazards as everyday falls or car-jacking. I will try to be more aware of my surroundings and possible dangers when I am walking or traveling.
Health Care Consumerism
As a patient, I am beholden to my doctor to give me proper health care information. As such, my plan to remain a healthy health care consumer is to continue to take my prescriptions exactly according to my doctor’s instructions, and to limit my reliance on them. I want to stop taking the phentermine as soon as I can. I also plan to stay away from fad diets and non-prescription weight loss drugs or supplements. These are dangerous and it would not be healthy for me to use them, especially not in combination with the phentermine I am currently using.
I did well in this category, but I feel I could do more to help the environment, especially with regard to recycling and my exposure to pesticides. I will remind my children to recycle instead of throwing it away at school, and try to purchase organic produce when it is financially feasible.
My success strategies include finding support in my family and my physician. I want to make my family aware of my new healthy goals so that they can help me achieve them. I can make my spiritual discovery a family activity, and expose my children to a variety of beliefs and cultures. Including them in my exercise will also help me stick with it, and teach them healthy habits. I will explain to my physician my desires for a more varied diet and exercise regime, and obtain his support in creating a more successful fitness and diet plan for me. If I am involved in my own health care, I will be more likely to succeed at my weight loss goals, which is vital to my long term health.