Nicole Answers: What's a Health Coach?
There's nothing that makes me look in the mirror and ask myself some deep questions about how I'm representing my business and what I offer more than having people (like, people who are very close to me) ask me what I do. So here's a breakdown about what a health coach is, why I'm so passionate about it, and how exactly I help people with their health and wellness goals.
A health coach is a certified practitioner specializing in helping other people with their wellness goals. This field tends to attract professionals who also work in the field of natural wellness, like chiropractors, personal trainers, and yoga teachers, without having as much experience or background on the medical side of things. Many health coaches offer online support, in-person sessions, virtual programs, books, workshops, corporate wellness, and other creative ways to help people get healthier.
Since everyone has different health-related goals, it takes a lot of different types of health coaches to cover the spectrum of everyone's unique needs. There's not a single diet that works for everyone in the world. It's our job as IIN grads or other wellness counselors to learn as much as we can about nutritional philosophies and natural wellness theories that can help others to reach their healthiest potential. Some are vegans, some are athletes, some teach macrobiotics, gluten-free diets, help people recovering or working through a major illness or cancer recovery, or work with men, women, kids, prenatal, you name it, someone out there specializes in it. (You also have to make sure your personality and style matches theirs).
This type of support comes in really handy when you are looking for more wellness and lifestyle ideas, support and knowledge instead of visiting with a nutritionist or dietician in more of a medical setting. A dietician is more likely to support someone who needs a very particular diet and will provide a meal plan. These types of professionals are very important for specific circumstances and require a lot more education. Over the last few decades, the concept of a health coach has created a bridge between the medical world and the natural world. We're helping consumers to better understand that most of the chronic health conditions that our country is overtaken with can be prevented, and sometimes even treated, with cleaner eating, and better self-care.
I used to struggle with things like weight gain, hormonal imbalances, digestion problems, and seasonal allergies. I learned more and more about diets and healthy eating, soon realizing how much more our food could do for us than simply be a source of calories. Food can be extremely healing (or harmful). When I became a Health Coach, I stopped my unbalanced eating and lifestyle habits (that I didn't even know were a problem), stopped taking almost all OTC and prescription medication, lost the 10-15 pounds I fluctuated with since I was 18, and changed my outlook on wellness and self-care.
My philosophies and specialty knowledge include balanced, life-long organic eating habits, natural cooking methods, gentle exercise, an influence of traditional Ayurvedic healing (based on your body constitution), detoxing your personal products and home, and prioritizing a life you love with discernment and self-care. I work mostly with women and mothers, and I do not promote any extreme eating, only focusing on whole foods while avoiding chemicals and non-food like products.
I also feel strongly about having realistic expectations with my clients. As a working mom, I totally get the feeling of overwhelm that comes with taking care of yourself, a family and maybe even a career. There are ways to teach and practice natural wellness, healthy eating habits and creating balance in your life without feeling like you are constantly sacrificing or missing out on something. What's most important to me is that I can help people to shift their thinking from feeling like they can't (or shouldn't) have something they want to choosing what is best for their bodies and health, because they want to.
I would rather help someone lose 15 pounds for life, start cooking their own meals, making better choices while eating out and grocery shopping, and choosing less toxic options in everything else they do, and know their body better than have someone lose 30 pounds quickly and bounce back and forth from diet to workout plan to weight loss pill and be frustrated and miserable all the time.
I keep my programs to the point, flexible, and supportive, cutting out the fluff and false hopes. You can't teach something you don't practice yourself or totally trust. We have one body, we have to take care of it. Contact me to learn more about how I can help you with your health or weight loss goals. Also, if you're curious about learning more about becoming a health coach, you can get more info right here.