The goal of health coaching is helping someone find their way to achieve their health goals through brainstorming, action planning and accountability. And that may be the last of the “professional” definition of a health coach.
Here's a piece by the NY Times talking about the impact of having a health coach has on someone's life. "Health happens in the 99.9 percent of your life when you’re not in the doctor’s office.”
Really, it’s a person to ask all the questions about health, fitness, nutrition, time management, healthy recipes, sleep tips, stress relief, breathing techniques…basically anything and everything connected to the health goals you want to set for yourself. Because you end up asking your coach everything and anything, make sure you really take the time to get to know the person you’re working with. Supporting another human being is not an easy task, especially since this person will only get to know you at most 30-45 minutes a week and you only share with them what you can cram into that amount of time. So choose wisely. Ask tons of questions about their background. Be honest and open from the start.
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When you find a coach you really like, then something magical happens. You suddenly find yourself relieved that you don’t have to do this health journey thing on your own. You get to have someone with you at the point at where you are on your journey. If you allow yourself to be as open and honest as possible with them without having to feel like they're judging you because they’re not and if you feel they are, find someone else. This is one of the rare times you get to have someone's undivided attention and time so get the most out of each session.
Be honest and open from the start.
Alright, so now what can a health coach do for you? Well, everyone has 24 hours and 100% total effort to use in a day however they want. When you start asking yourself what will get you to living your best life, you should consider your health as one of the main things that will get you there.
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No seriously, you did something in the past to or for your body to get where you are today. You need to keep your body fed before school drop off duty, had to travel from one side to the other in the grocery store because you realized the eggs are at the back, or you needed some good sleep before a big presentation the next day. Did you realize those acts during the day are all connected to your health? What you eat first thing in the morning sets the tone for how you’ll eat the rest of the day. The time and physical effort you had to exert in the store required some energy. Getting that good night’s sleep meant making some sacrifices of not having another post-dinner drink or just shutting down the those screens earlier than usual. But what if those things you did for those short instances, had a bigger impact and longer lasting effect. What if you did those things everyday day as consistently as you can, how do you think that will change your life? Just thinking about it for a couple seconds because your minutes are precious. And now you're visualizing that creature from that movie about a golden hoop…you know what I’m talking about.
So here’s my deal, I became a certified health coach because I want to share the knowledge I have learned over the years about what it means to adopt healthy habits and still enjoy good and tasty food, balancing cultural traditions, attending the occasional beer or food fest, and post-race or post-workout brunching. We CANNOT forget about the brunching. I have a handful of restrictions that I had to learn on my own to adapt to the healthy well-balanced lifestyle I have today. I’m saying I’m not perfect and there are days I could engulf an entire share size bag of kettle chips or half an Oreo package, but I don’t let that throw me off my long game.
I wished I had someone with me going through my own health journey so that I could learn things sooner, not beat myself up over the years thinking I wasn’t progressing, and overall be my cheerleader. I think if you need support on where to start and how to start, then get someone by your side who loves reading about all the health studies out there, can translate them into everyday habits, be the extra time you’ve been looking for to do the research, be a trusted source of knowledge, listen to all your health goals and ideas and you on track or give you an extra nudge to get it done. So I say, consider finding a health coach to get you through those I-can’t-get-off-the-couch-even-though-i-know-it’s-good-for-me-to-go-to-the-gym or I-don’t-know-what-to-do-to-have-more-veggies-on-my-plate-at-every-meal moments.
I’m here and ready. Ask away.