Why You Need a Health Coach
Did you know that 80% of people who made New Year’s Resolutions have fallen off the wagon by Valentine’s Day Kind of depressing, right? If you are this person, maybe you should try something DIFFERENT this year. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.
I recommend that you try working with a health coach. If you don’t know what health coaching is, here’s a the Wikipedia definition that I think fits pretty well: “Health coaching is the use of evidence-based skillful conversation, clinical interventions and strategies to actively and safely engage client/patients in health behavior change.” Read on to find out why you need a health coach.
You are confused by all of the conflicting health information out there. Do you think that eating whole grains, low fat, and low calorie foods are good for your health? Should you go gluten-free, or try veganism, or even PEGANism? YES, Peganism a thing! Do you read lots of health articles but they all contradict each other? A health coach can help you wade through that mountain of information.
Most doctors know that diet, stress reduction, and exercise are important for good health, but few know about the specific strategies to help their patients get results. Actually, not all health coaches may be trained in the issues you want to work on either, so look for someone with that training, whether it be nutrition or fitness. Also, find someone who understands that we all have different physiological needs and beliefs, and that one size (or one approach) does not fit all. While I believe that meat belongs in a healthy diet, for example, you may be a vegetarian who can’t or won’t eat meat. A good health coach will work with you on optimizing your nutrition while tailoring to your lifestyle and beliefs as well.
Behavior change is hard, and you need to find your WHY. Maybe you already know what to do, but you just can’t get it done. How often have you gone to your doctor to be told to lose weight and exercise? If this were enough, Americans would not be in the mess we’re in today. To make matters worse, we are living in a very unhealthy food environment that tempts us at every turn. Our “willpower” is no match for food advertising, or even the people in our lives who want us to make less healthy choices!
I believe that motivation, or finding your WHY, is key to any behavior change. Think about something that you are good at. Have you ever found it so easy and effortless to accomplish a goal (other than getting healthy)? I bet it was because you had such compelling MOTIVATION that it was almost TOO EASY! An effective coach will help you understand your WHY so that your health goals are that much easier to achieve.
Behavior change is hard, and you need to find your HOW. A health coach will help you create a healthy LIFESTYLE, because health is a journey not a destination. This means helping you create a personalized health agenda, establish SMART goals, tackle obstacles, and hold you accountable to your goals. This may also mean helping you find the right resources in your community for making change happen.
In addition to your grappling with your physical health concerns, the REAL world (e.g., home and work responsibilities, family dynamics, and stress) can affect how well you’re able to integrate new, healthier habits. Partnering with a health coach will make it easier to customize a plan that takes your physiological AND lifestyle factors into account, ultimately leading to lasting change!
If you wondering whether you can afford a health coach, I would ask instead if you can afford NOT to have a health coach. I heard somewhere that when you’re young, you spend your health trying to get wealth. When you’re old, you spend your wealth trying to regain your health. As someone who feels like she’s now in the second category, I totally get it now!
If you’re feeling great now, don’t you want to keep going? If you’re NOT feeling great right now, think about what your life will look like in 10, 20 or 30 years, and think about INVESTING a little bit of your wealth today for great health tomorrow.
As a trained nutritionist, clinical psychologist, and now health coach, I’m confident that I can help you get to your health goals. Even if you don’t hire me, please consider hiring a health coach and make this the year that you finally turn the corner on your health!