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Frankie Guevara

Health Education 044

Professor Knott-Silva

23 January 2018

Project 1: Personal Prescription Paper

Health is an important topic of discussion that is much more complex than we as

individuals could ever understand. It’s not just about feeling sick and taking medicine to feel

better, or eating healthy to provide the body with the necessary nutrients it needs to function.

Health is a subject matter that encompasses an array of subtopics that include; physical,

emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, and environmental health. Although, we may recognize

the complexity of the topic, sorting out the unhealthy behaviors and attitudes is the challenge

most of us face daily. After completing a self-assessment from the Health: The Basics, The

MasteringHealth Edition by Rebecca J. Donatelle, of my own current health status I was able to

identify an area of concern. Based on the self-assessment, my overall health is good. The

assessment showed that my strongest areas are physical, emotional, social, spiritual and

intellectual health. However, an area of greatest concern is my environmental health. The results

from this personal evaluation are surprising because I had doubts about my current overall

health. Despite what the results indicated I will still consider all areas in which I could improve.

Our health is a dynamic process that is constantly changing and we may not even know

that it is. Factors that play a role in the ever-changing process include gender, age, race, income

or social status, genetics, or even one’s physical environment. It is essential that we maintain or

improve our health because it will reduce or prevent our risks of chronic disease. According to
Health: The Basics, The MasteringHealth Edition by Rebecca J. Donatelle, my responses to the

self-assessment show that I’m aware of my unhealthy behaviors and attitudes, but I should still

consider improving in areas that are vulnerable or even strong. One of the areas that I need to

focus on improving is my environmental health. Environmental health is concerned with

understanding how the health of our environments can affect us, and how well we’re working

towards preserving, protecting, and improving the environmental conditions for everyone around

us (Donatelle 7). Changing our unhealthy habits is hard, whether it involves diets, exercise, or

even maintaining a supportive social network. Improving our health is a process of commitment

that relies on making realistic changes over a period of time. A method that would be effective in

improving my health or others is Donatelle’s four-step process that involves increasing your self-

awareness, contemplating change, preparing for change, and taking action to change (13-18).

The first step of the process is increasing your awareness. This solely relies on the self-awareness

of oneself, including the strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, concerns, motivations, and

emotions to mastering what you want in life. This step involves listing the positive and negative

health determinants in your life to begin the process (Donatelle 13). Next, is contemplating

change. Once you’ve listed your positive and negative health matters, you must decide what your

overall end goal is. Then, the following step is preparing for the change. This step requires you to

mentally or physically outline your goal by anticipating your barriers and using small steps to

gradually achieve your goal. (Donatelle 16). Lastly, you must take action to change by

visualizing your process or goal. This results in enlisting others to support your change because

they can provide the necessary strategies, confidence, and inspiration we need to achieve our

goals. Overall, improving my environmental health begins with increasing my self-awareness

and facing the challenges that come along with it.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a difficult task. Various outlets have different views and

definitions about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as a result, it causes confusion among people

who want to develop a proper health plan that best fits their needs. A major problem many

individuals face is that they become motivated too often by a sense of guilt, fear, or regret (“Hard

to change unhealthy behaviors”). Being guilted or pressured into a healthy lifestyle is not a good

way to start off a process that entails how things are done each day, how unpredictable and

disorganized life gets, and where we are trying to get to in the end. As a result, this can lead to

new unhealthy attitudes and behaviors that may be life-threatening. We must understand that in

order to sustain a healthy lifestyle it must be self-motivated and rooted in positive thinking

(“Hard to change unhealthy behaviors”). Once you unravel the fancy health gimmicks, the key

components to a proper healthy lifestyle include eating healthy meals every day, exercising

regularly, hydrating, sleeping properly, and having positive thoughts. But, sustaining a healthy

lifestyle begins with mentally preparing for change. For example, I’m constantly doubting my

academic, professional, or personal abilities to succeed. However, the way I’ve been able to

tackle my obstacles through my life is by being able to create this mental blockade that prevents

me from feeling self-doubt and allows me to overcome my fears and worries of failing. Through

this mental process that I have established, I’ve realized that failure is okay. Failure gives us an

opportunity to reevaluate our mistakes, and allows us to discover the path to success. Clearly,

maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not easy, but mental preparation is key.

Throughout my entire life, my health has been a major obstacle that I’ve had to

overcome. There is no doubt that I must improve my environmental health, but other areas that

I’d like to focus on in greater detail include my physical, emotional, and social health. For

starters, I identify as a gay male. Most of my concerns stem from trying to achieve an
exaggerated mold of male beauty. In the LGBT community, as a man you are often expected to

fit this body image of having to be fit and muscular. These kinds of standards are unrealistic

body norms and expectations that have affected my ability to be happy with my body size and

weight. Especially when a majority of LGBT outlets praise a man who is muscular and fit. A

way that I’d like to improve my body image is by ignoring the standards, learning about building

my self-confidence, and doing work outs that I feel will give me the results that I want. Another

area of focus I’d like to improve is my emotional health. I’ve been told by my parents, brothers,

and friends that I have “un carácter bien fuerte.” When translated it means I have a very strong

character, this means that when I get mad I have trouble expressing these emotions in a healthy

way. I’m easily irritated and that has made me realize that most of the time I’ve redirected my

irritability or anger outbursts to scapegoats because I have trouble dealing with the real issues

that are affecting me. The first step to improving my anger-related issues is by doing an activity

that relaxes me whether it’s listening to music, reading a book, or writing about my feelings in a

journal. Basically, I’d like step away from the situation and avoid lashing out at people who

don’t deserve being at the receiving end of my outbursts. The last area I’d like to improve in is

my social health. Based on my self-assessment, I’ve realized that I’m afraid of being open and

accessible to a loving and responsible relationship. In the past I have lost friends due to a wide-

variety of reasons, but they have all had a significant meaning in my life. The people I lost meant

so much to me and I’m afraid of opening myself up to a romantic relationship because the idea of

getting to know someone and just suddenly losing that connection for whatever reason is scary.

The more you invest in someone, the more afraid we are of losing them (Firestone). I’d like to

overcome this social barrier by challenging my defenses and allowing myself to experience
vulnerability, rejection, and love by beginning to casually date or even just talk to people I’m

interested in.

In conclusion, health is a very complex topic that is difficult to address. Health involves a

broad spectrum of issues that include physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual and

environmental health. These dimensions of health are the essential components to maintaining a

healthy lifestyle. However, our health is an ever-changing process that constantly requires you to

adapt and address the concerns that need adjustments. Our bodies are influenced by a wide-

variety of factors that govern our ability to live a health life. As a result, when achieving your

optimum level of well-being for your specific needs, it begins with increasing your self-

awareness, examining your current health status, preparing for change, and taking action to


Donatelle, R. J. (2016). Chapter 1: Accessing Your Health. In Health: The Basics, The

MasteringHealth Edition (5th ed., pp. 2-19). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Firestone, Lisa. “7 Reasons Most People Are Afraid of Love.” The Huffington Post,, 21 Jan. 2014,


“Why it's hard to change unhealthy behavior - and why you should keep trying.” Harvard

Health, Harvard University, Jan. 2007,