What is a Health Coach?
Our world is full of confusing health information. Doctors prescribe medications, and then we see the commercials about how the drugs can hurt us. We know we need to exercise, so we join the local 24-hour gym, but then end up so sore that we stop going. We start eating more fruits and veggies to be healthy and then read articles about how they are full of pesticides, so we should choose organic. Our pocketbook is struggling, we’re confused, we’re discouraged, so...we QUIT.
We all want better health, but are we willing to do what it takes to achieve it?
Health is about balance, and we’re rarely in “balance” for very long. Life happens, and we have to adjust, one way or the other. Health Coaches are one tool that people can use when they need to adjust.
So, what exactly is a health coach and how could one help you?
1) Health Coaches Navigate Confusing Information
Health coaches are individuals with a passion for disease prevention and overall wellness, who are able to help others navigate the confusing information out there and guide them to better health and wellness. They are constantly reading research articles, examining testimonials of programs that people are trying, and taking educational classes. Many of them have had their own health struggles and can relate to the battles their clients are facing daily. Health coaches are objective, practical, and use common sense when deciphering the confusing messages being sent by big industries. Ever been deceived by food package labels, medication claims, or fad diet promises? Health coaches help clients work through these messages and teach them how to look out for themselves, which leads me to…
2) Health Coaches are Advocates
Health Coaches advocate on behalf of their clients and teach them how to advocate for themselves. So, you go to the doctor, and he or she tells you that you’re cholesterol numbers are starting to rise, so you should eat a better diet to help, and adding in some exercise wouldn’t hurt either. OK. Sounds easy. For some it is. For others…a lot of us…it is hard. We don’t compartmentalize nutrition and exercise and work and family and life. Depending on what our lifestyle has been like, making nutrition and exercise changes can be hard…and overwhelming. A good health coach will work with you to get all the information needed to come up with the best plan for you, including HOW TO and WHAT to ask your doctors.
3) Health Coaches Help You Reach YOUR Goals
Your doctor may be fine with you improving your cholesterol numbers. YOU may want to come off the medicine completely. Or your friends may be pushing you to try this new awesome product line that so-and-so is selling because Suzy just dropped 35 pounds in a month! But, you’ve already learned that what everyone else does just doesn’t work for you, and something just sounds too-good-to-be-true. A health coach is going to help you focus on what YOUR goals are and the healthiest and safest way to get there, which usually includes a holistic approach to making changes over TIME.
4) Health Coaches keep you accountable to yourself.
There are a lot of pressures that keep people from focusing on their own needs such as being a mother, being a caregiver to aging parents, having a stressful job, big life changes...just to name a few. A good Health Coach won’t yell at you or make you feel bad for making certain choices; however, they will be honest with you about what is necessary to make healthy lifestyle changes. They will help you set goals and write out the action steps needed to reach those goals and provide a safe place for you to share the things you’re struggling with, as well as celebrate your successes and achievements. Sometimes we just need someone, on the outside, who can objectively look at the big picture and then break it down for us…someone to make what seems nearly impossible, actually achievable.
5) Health Coaches Educate
Health Coaches believe in educating clients and the community on the importance of healthier living. They often time offer popular topic classes, lunch-and-learns, workshops, cooking classes, recipe swaps, pantry makeovers, and will even do grocery shopping trips with clients. Education is not just informational, but oftentimes interactive involving hands-on activities, demonstrations, or tastings. One-on-one sessions can involve the recommendation of certain Bible studies, books, or fitness events to help clients reach the goals they are setting for themselves. Education is a powerful tool to help clients stay on track. When the information is in front of you, it is harder to stray because you know WHY you are doing what you’re doing.
6) Health Coaches Meet YOUR Needs
Health Coaches don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Their tools and strategies are based on what the client’s needs are in that moment. Our bodies and life experiences are so different. To place people in mass categories and expect similar results isn’t always the best plan of action. In addition, a good health coach will table a particular lesson on healthy grains if a client comes in after the loss of her mother and is struggling to even make it to a grocery store.
So...Health Coaches get to the bottom of why an INDIVIDUAL struggles with health and wellness. Then we use that knowledge to assist that person in setting realistic and achievable goals, and then provide the support and encouragement they need to be successful. We take pride in sharing knowledge and educating the community about how to achieve better health. Are you struggling on your pilgrimage to healing? Do you feel that your life is out of “balance”? I'd love to work with you!
I currently offer sessions in person or telephonically. Email me today for a complementary session to see if health coaching is a good fit for you!