A Different Kind of Coaching...
I genuinely believe that each of us ultimately knows what it is that we need and want in order to feel fully “well,” in every sense and in our own, highly individualized way. Sometimes it is the path to getting there that can feel unclear—littered with obstacles or impossibly long. But, sometimes it is the “wellness” itself that can feel hard to visualize, especially the space where it feels the most durable and sustainable. I also believe, however, that both that sense of health and the actions necessary to support it can very likely be uncovered with the right curiosity and reflection.
In the last few years as a personal trainer, I have become more acutely interested in not only the work that my clients do in sessions, but what their habits, behaviors, and attitudes look like outside of our training (the other 99% of their life that is impacting their fitness goals). With that, I have also noticed that behind almost every fitness goal, there is another goal—it is larger, less tangible, and more essential. It is what I would consider to be the “real” goal (or at least the root of it). While my highly empathic nature can open up a sliver of room for insight into the goal behind the goal, I have felt as though there was a skillset I was missing to more precisely tap into the answers my clients would only really be able to find for themselves (and from themselves!) Which is how I found myself gravitating towards the emerging field of health coaching.
A Partnership of Empowerment
Health coaching is not counseling, advising, training, or educating. It is a partnership that provides a supportive space for clients to envision and create healthier, happier lives that allow them to flourish. And in that way, the focus of the coaching can be as broad as the word “health” itself. Not limited to exercise or diet, the client is able to explore what kind of habits in any area of their life may need to be added to or subtracted from the fold in order to step into that healthiest space. This practice is the facilitation of behavior change that helps clients break down large goals into smaller, actionable steps that build both success and confidence. In this unique kind of coaching, the client is the expert and has the wisdom to come up with the goal and subsequent action plan. It is a practice of empowerment.
So, who could use a health coach? Anyone who is looking to make a lifestyle change (preventative care or disease management), has not had success creating sustainable changes in the past, and who is in a time of life transition (having a baby, new job, moving to a new place, retirement, etc.). It can also be a unique piece of an existing healthcare team--acting as a bridge between the clinical care and the prescriptions for health.
Coaches Need Coaching, Too
I personally have benefited immensely from having a health coach. As a highly self-aware individual who can still feel “stuck” on unhealthy habits, this style of coaching feels like the missing puzzle piece in my healthcare. It allows me to feel active as opposed to passive in healthy change by focusing on the “how” not the “why” of my habits. Overthinking is my m.o. but Getting Stuff Done is really what soothes the Type A in me. In these coaching sessions I get excited when I realize I have suddenly discovered a solution for myself. It wasn’t an answer anyone could have given me except for me. And that feels really good.
We are our own experts, we have our own answers. Sometimes, we just need to be heard in the most open way and sometimes we need to hear ourselves. I am really looking forward to supporting you in your health goals. I am excited to watch you discover the path to your healthiest, happiest, most fulfilled self.