Day 3-What We Are Up Against

I do not typically get home sick when I travel, but having the opportunity to have breakfast with my Auntie Augon (my mom’s sister) every morning, I found myself missing my mom because of how much I saw my mom in my auntie. Her laugh, her mannerisms, the way they word their phrases.

When I told my Auntie, she said it is probably because of their character. They are people who will literally give you the shirts of their back. She told me the stories about how she cooks a lot to feed her neighbors. My mom told me after she taught my auntie Augon how to check her glucose, she would chase down her neighbors to check theirs too.

I am really thankful to have been surrounded by such giving people.

Then the guy who walks around the neighborhood every morning selling Taho walked by as we were having breakfast. Taho is a soy pudding with tapioca and covered in brown sugar sauce. Then there is the other guy who comes around the neighborhood selling THE MOST amazing sweet bread ever called Pandesal.

Now you see what we are up against when it comes to teaching our patients about choosing healthier food options?!

If I had dessert and sweet bread basically delivered to my front door EVERY SINGLE MORNING, heck, I’d have diabetes. Then you pair that with the last blog posts revelation of how expensive salads and vegetables are, it’s going to be difficult to create a paradigm shift in our patient’s diet choices!

Then let’s take a look at what my breakfast has been since I have arrived. White rice (sometime fried with garlic), salted and fried fish, fried egg, +/- sweet meat. Don’t get me wrong- it is SO DELICIOUS and I am so grateful for my Auntie to invite me over to breakfast every morning, but yet another example of the current diet choices that our nutritional counseling will be up against.

According to my internet research, Filipinos view of “healthy living” consists of good family relationships, most importantly, followed by eating healthy, getting enough sleep and good hand hygiene. However, exercise was not included in the top 5 aspects of living a healthy life!

So at least the diet is something they at least recognize as important- I can work with that. But when it comes to teaching and encouraging our patients to exercise, that’s a whole other challenge to come!

The article went on to say that the motivators for Filipinos to be more active are:

  1. The opportunity to be a role model to their families & activities that would encourage family-oriented healthy activities (81%)

  2. Being helped to change one step at a time (87%)

  3. Setting smaller, more achievable goals (82%)

  4. Providing updates on progress (80%)

  5. Getting rewards for achieving goals (78%)

If you take a look at the main focus and emphasis of how we built out our clinic visits:

  • We prioritize setting one goal and walking along side of the patient to help them achieve it (because it is not easy to change)

  • We plan to provide additional medications and testing supplies at each visit, which has been said to be a strong motivator for patient participation in our program

  • Now all we have to do is figure out a way to include the families in the process and we will be covering the top motivators for our patients!

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