Water is one of the most important ingredients in the body to an extent that it constitutes 75% of the human body. As a result, it's an essential part of human existence that has several major benefits to the body. In the past few weeks, I have noted that I do not really drink much water as I ought to despite of its importance to my well-being and health. I have ignored drinking water because of increased consumption of carbonated drinks, which have significant health effects on my body. The decision to consume these drinks has been based on the flavor and taste they have over water that doesn't necessarily have much of a taste. Furthermore, this decision has been influenced by the attractive marketing and promotional strategies used by companies to market the flavored soft drinks.
In the past few weeks, I have several difficulties with regards to my physical health and well-being. I have experienced worrying increase in body dehydration and few cases of constipation brought by lack of enough water in the body. As a result, I have conducted extensive research on the significance of drinking much water and side effects of consumption of carbonated drinks. My studies have primarily been conducted on medical journals that examine the effects of consuming carbonated drinks at the expense of the necessary amounts of water.
Some of the findings of my research include the fact that carbonated drinks interrupt the digestive process through changing the pH of the intestinal tract. This results in incomplete breakdown of food while the extra gas from the beverages has significant effects on nutrient absorption. Since they interfere with digestion, prolonged consumption of these beverages have long-term side effects such as malnutrition and ultimate illness. Despite being tasteful and containing flavor, the negative impacts of carbonated drinks is attributed to the ingredients used to produce these beverages. On the contrary, water has numerous benefits to the body including quenching thirst, keeping the skin clear and healthy, and protecting the human body from various illnesses (Ko, Hung & Chu, 2007).
What really needs to change is my consumption of carbonated beverages by drinking more water. I can avoid constipation and dehydration through lifestyle and behavioral changes that focus on lessening the use of soft drinks and increasing the daily intake of water. As part of the experiment, I will use operant conditioning learning process that is coupled with a basic positive reinforcement and a fixed interval schedule. This will involve the use of the reward aspect of operant conditioning because positive living incorporates permanent lifestyle and behavior change. To ensure the effectiveness of this process, I will use a daily log to evaluate my progress in behavior and lifestyle change. In addition, I will reward myself with a massage treat after every two days of increased intake of water in order to enhance the habit of drinking more water.
The baseline behavior in this behavior modification plan is to record daily data regarding the amount of water I drink. The product goal of the whole plan is to increase the daily water consumption over a 5-day period where I'll drink 8 glasses of water or approximately 2 liters a day and maintain this habit indefinitely. This product goal or final outcome will be achieved through a series of process goals that act as a guideline towards my behavior modification. These process goals include carrying a 1-liter water bottle during the day, drinking a glass of water with every meal, and set a phone reminder to remember carrying the water bottle every morning. For the first day of the experiment, my goal was to drink 5 glasses of water, followed by 6 glasses on the second day, 7 glasses on the third day, and 8 glasses for the rest of the days. For every drinking the desired number of glasses of water every two days, I will reward myself by a massage treat as a positive means to encourage increased water consumption.
The first day of the process i.e. October 23, 2013 was the most difficult day of the entire behavior modification assignment. I had a craving for carbonated drinks, especially a Classic Coke at 11 am and went straight to a grocery store where I bought a 500ml bottle. I took the coke simply because I was feeling thirsty and forgot that I had brought a 1-liter water bottle with me. I had difficulties in carrying the water bottle because it was an extra baggage to my every day luggage to an extent that I considered throwing it away and abandoning the behavior modification process. The greatest barrier to my process goal for the first day was drinking water itself, a task that I found challenging. For most part of this day, I had to force myself to drink water by adding ice cubes to make it more appealing in quenching my thirst. By the end of the day, I only managed to drink 3.5 glasses of water, which did not meet my goal of the day.
On the second day, it was relatively easier to drink water as compared to the first day of this process. I had a craving for a Classic Coke at 2pm due to the hot weather brought by sunshine though I had carried the 1-liter water bottle. To ensure that I forced myself to drink water to quench my thirst, I did not carry any cash with me. Since I had no alternative, I took as much water as I could to quench the thirst and lessen the craving for carbonated drinks. Actually, I had consumed 1-liter of water by 5pm on this day, though I did not take a glass of water with every meal. By the end of the day, I had a slight improvement from the previous day since I consumed 4 glasses of water but did not reach my goal of 6 glasses for this day.
Day 3: October 25, 2013, I took two glasses of water at 8am after an overwhelming 2-hour session of physical exercise that included running several miles. These glasses of water tasted good, quenched my thirst, and gave me a sense of increased energy and motivation for the day's tasks and activities. I took another glass of water with breakfast, which reduced fatigue and increased my concentration levels during the day. I carried my 1-liter water bottle and took the water every time I felt thirsty during the day. Unlike the first two days, the third day was quite satisfying in my behavior modification experiment since I had minimal difficulties in consuming the water. This day also proved successful because I achieved my goal of drinking 7 glasses of water. I rewarded myself with a massage treat, which was an exciting feeling and motivated me to continue this journey towards behavior and lifestyle change. For the first time in several months, I felt physically healthy and fit after the massage, drinking more water, and rigorous physical exercise in the morning.
Day 4: Despite of the successes of the previous day and renewed vigor to attain my goal, drinking more water i.e. 8 glasses proved to be very difficult. I was engaged in several meetings throughout the entire day and forgot to carry the 1-liter water bottle. As a result, I bought a 1-liter bottle of Classic Coke that I took to quench my thirst while in the meetings. I had low concentration levels and felt fatigued throughout the day since the carbonated drink did not quench my thirst and increase my energy. By the end of the day, I only managed to drink 4 glasses of water, which half my goal. I felt discouraged but promised to improve the following day in order to achieve…