The Role of Motivation in Wellness Coaching and Weight Loss
The consequences of the American lifestyle, obesity and its associated comorbidities, on healthcare costs is staggering. Physicians prescribe behavioral changes such as diet and exercise, and hand out information on how to decrease stress. Wellness coaching has an opportunity to address clients holistically in order to achieve the behavioral changes needed to improve people’s lives and embrace their full potential. Motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic, is a complex construct or force causing people to act and its presence is needed for change to begin as well as sustained. Based on ...view middle of the document...
Headlines like “Oprah now eats bread and still loses weight,” Dr. Oz has some sort of “magic berry juice” to drink, or the latest workout available for purchase from a celebrity trainer promising that people will looked “totally ripped” like the people in the infomercial, and the newest “detox” or cleanse a celebrity is using fill America’s eyes, ears, and minds. Americans seem to get most of their health information through pop culture and what the Kardashians are doing. While there is truth to some of the information but without appropriate support or coaching, Americans are wasting lots of money and not experiencing results, which becomes demotivating in achieving their potential in their health and wellness. This paper will focus on the role of motivation as a key factor in changing behavior to increase an individual’s level of wellness and support weight loss.
Obesity Statistics and Healthcare Costs
Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases in the United States and current estimates of healthcare costs range of $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year (Cawley & Meyerhoefer, 2012). Some of the latest research shows that as an individual’s body mass index (BMI) increases so do the number of sick days from work, the number of medical claims, and the person’s healthcare costs (AHA, 2005). For example, an obese adult will spend 42% more on direct healthcare costs than an adult who is at a healthy weight (Finkelstein, Trogdon, Cohen, & Deitz, 2009). For severely obese patients, the costs of emergency room visits for chest pain are 41% higher and 22% higher for overweight patients than for people at a healthy weight (Peitz et al., 2014). Based on these statistics alone, reducing obesity, increasing activity, and improving nutrition would definitely help lower healthcare costs through fewer physician’s visits, medical tests, prescription drugs, sick days away from work, emergency room visits, and acute care admissions to the hospital as well as lower the risk of a wide range of preventable diseases. It would also empower people to live life to their fullest potential, improve their relationships, and better enjoy their families, their work and individual pursuits or hobbies.
Wellness and Positive Lifestyle Change
Wellness is not a trend or fad, but a philosophy that “…embraces a way of living that helps all people enjoy a more satisfying, productive, and happy life. Wellness is defined as a conscious, deliberate process that requires a person to become aware of and make choices for a more satisfying lifestyle” (Swarbrick & Moovsi, 2010, p. 2). A wellness lifestyle is balanced and focuses on cultivating healthy habits while avoiding or ceasing self-destructive behaviors, such as toxic relationships or work environments or substance abuse (Swarbrick & Moosvi, 2010). Health habits include proper sleep and rest, eating foods that nourish the body, getting enough exercise, engaging in...