Last night at the Rec. the sign read something like, “Could our Millionth Visitor come today? Could it be YOU? Win a free iPad.” As a matter of fact, I was feelin’ lucky! As I approached the check-in station I could feel that the count was close; the abundance of “employees” hovering around the front desk, the slow and suspicious way that my card was swiped…
Dear Millionth Visitor,
Molly From LifesLemons
(aka Visitor #999,998)
One elective class that I took this summer, (Principles of Behavior Modification) I took for the fun of it, not for the credit. What a concept. Our major’s Didactic Program in Dietetics, in my opinion, has many “Food” oriented classes and not enough psychology related ones. Sure we need to know how to cook, budget, and menu plan, but since one of a Dietitian’s main objectives is to evoke healthy behavioral changes, wouldn’t it make sense to equip these young professionals with the knowledge of how to reach patients on a personal level? Before bombarding them with “do this and not that” shouldn’t our first step be to seek their motives and find out what makes them tick? It’s an essential piece of the puzzle in order to impart what we’ve learned in school and evoke everlasting change. I feel very strongly about this. B-Mod. taught me that there are four reasons a person exhibits certain behavior; 1.) To gain access to something (tangible.) 2.) To escape something. 3.) For attention. 4.) Sensory (because it feels good.)
Do we eat to escape hunger pangs or because it feels/tastes good? Do we shop because we need shoes or because wearing the new shoes will get us noticed?
There are several reasons why a person might check into the college’s Student Fitness Center; whether it be to gain reinforcement or to escape punishment. The Student Fitness Center can be a great escape from other obligations; i.e. seeking refuge on a rowing machine instead of writing a paper. Swimming, cycling, or rock climbing may make visitors feel good, feel accomplished and proud. Perhaps others pop in for the social attention aspect; i.e. taking part in pickup games or attending yoga classes. Maybe they like “gaining access” to the scenery from treadmill #17. Maybe they wish to “gain access” to more defined muscles, better aerobic stamina, or a paycheck from working there. In rare cases, like if you’re the millionth visitor, you could “gain access” to the Ultimate Intermittent Positive Reinforcement, a free iPad! Dang… so close.