It turns out that a recent client of mine told me this story, troubling but true…
She said at her annual checkup, her primary care physician took her blood pressure, recorded her weight, listened to her heart and lungs, quickly reviewed her blood work and declared her in decent health. Yet he didn’t ask about her diet and exercise habits (inconsistent at best), stress level (off the charts) or sex life (nonexistent – she said she has two small kids lol). When she mentioned that she was having trouble sleeping and that her skin, which had been clear her whole life, was suddenly very greasy, the doctor handed her a prescription for Ambien and a referral for a dermatologist.
She left feeling frustrated because she wasn’t suffering from any chronic diseases but often felt tired, unmotivated and foggy. She wanted to feel better but just didn’t know how. One of her friends told her about me, which I am forever grateful.
The sad truth is that I’ve heard this over and over again…The kinds of lifestyle changes needed to maintain optimal health take time and effort. And the reality is, primary care docs can only do so much. It’s hard for a doctor to help patients change their daily habits when they see them for only ten minutes every six months to a year in many cases.
Enter the Wellness Coach, also known as a Health Coach.
I’ve been a Health and Wellness Coach for 12 years now. I also have a board certification in Integrative Nutrition. This rapidly growing field helps bridge the gap between your doctor office visit and your everyday life. Most of us leave a doctor’s appointment scratching our heads, wondering how we’re going to sleep more or lose weight or eat cleaner given our busy schedules, finances, and support system, or lack thereof. A wellness coach works with you to determine the best way to integrate your physician’s recommendations into your plan, so you can lead a healthier life.
I usually start out, when I first meet a client, by typically asking them to visualize a clear picture of what they want in terms of ideal wellness. Then we work together to create what I call a ‘client-driven action plan’. I don’t tell people what to do; I prompt them to figure it out for themselves. I suggest options but I also ask questions like “What is it about the gym that you dread?” “What kind of exercise is exciting to you?” and “What do you enjoy cooking at home?” The idea is to identify your personal barriers and how to overcome them.
My mission is to set them on a course that works for their lifestyle and helps them to stay on track, with the main idea is about prevention. Someone once told me that their sessions with me were sort of like therapy, but with a mind-body health twist!
Most of us know that it’s healthier to order a side salad than a side of fries. But there’s a big difference between knowing what you should do and actually doing it! Coaches help people make those types of healthier choices by brainstorming with them about what will really motivate them.
I especially enjoy the coaching aspect of my job. This week, we celebrated National Health Coach Day; coaches around the world are working every day to improve health and happiness. Now more than ever, Health Coaches are needed to help reduce the prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases and guide people to find health and balance in all areas of their lives. The three key pillars of Health Coach Day are community, education, and service.
Could you benefit from one?
Anyone who’s struggling to get healthier might want to consider hiring a Health Coach. When making a major change, it’s totally normal to think of all the reasons you can’t do it. I get that because I’ve been there and done that! However, when we find ourselves mentally and physically depleted, we also know that we need to make a change on the inside before making a change on the outside. That’s where a Health Coach comes in. This is all about improving all areas of your life.
I’d love to have a conversation with you to see what I can do to support you!