Why Health Coaching is the New Wellness Answer
We live in a world inundated with health advice. It seems as though in a time of precarious environmental status, destructive news stories, and tsunami-like commercialism, we are all just trying to feel good in our bodies. Isn’t that the one thing we can control?
For many, this does not feel like the case.
Many people stay suspended in the muck of diet culture – of trusting unfounded resources and shredding their metabolisms through the ringer of crash diets – until they and the body they live in are exhausted, suffering, and worse for wear when the next fad diet rolls through Instagram.
The thing that drew me to Health Coaching – holistic health coaching, specifically – is the idea that a sustainable, happiness-causing, joy-bringing, life-regaining solution to health is NOT black and white. NOT one size fits all. NOT restrictive, shaming, obsessive, harmful, or disordered.
Working one-on-one with a coach allows the focus to lie on the whole picture. The picture that includes work, school, kids, spouses, genetic dispositions, deep-seeded fears, past successes and failures, the list goes on.
No one is on a linear path towards a loosely defined, loftily set goal. A Health Coach is a guide to navigate the water under the bridge, the bumps in the road, and the real-life stuff that might derail a strict, unforgiving ‘diet.’
To truly reach a sustainable and fulfilling level of health, more is involved than just counting calories and watching numbers fluctuate on a scale. It’s not that you need a meal plan outlining every bite to consume and every calorie that you’re allowed; what you need is to assess what you are already consuming, how you can modify this based on your goals, and how to do all of this while promoting your most fulfilling life and well-being before all other goals.
It’s not that you need a trainer guiding you through every rep of a workout, not at first at least. No, what you need is someone who can sit with you and run through your busy schedule, your fitness goals, whether or not you like the gym, and your current fitness routine in order to help you to create a daily/weekly/monthly program that fits your life and goals. You can take this information and run with it, creating strong feelings of self-efficacy and self-sufficiency, all while having your coach available to help you assess your results and update your routine as you go.
Often times, the problem for clients is not that they are unsure what their goals are. In almost every case, we all know what we want, we are just too intimidated or too unprepared to truly formulate and pursue goals. The goal-setting strategy that I implement in my programs often changes the way that clients see their goals. Rather than oversized, generalized, planless ideas that are almost guaranteed to amount to little, I make it my mission from the very start to guide you through stating your goals, making them very specific, determining the underlying reasons for wanting to achieve said goals, and breaking down these goals into bite-sized pieces that can be tackled one week at a time.
This is the reason why Health Coaching WORKS: instead of looking at fitness as one thing, nutrition as another, and mental health as another, Holistic Health Coaching allows coaches and clients to look at all the aspects of health together and to modify habits and practices as a unit. This strategy works wonders for cultivating sustainable lifestyle changes rather than measuring success solely on physical changes. While this is admittedly an important part of any wellness program, drawing more attention to physicality than to overall health is a surefire way to sew seeds of disappointment, inadequacy, and failure.
The educational aspects of Health Coaching inform clients on more than just how to restrict to attain the body that they desire. At the completion of a program, clients are the carriers of knowledge surrounding nutrition, exercise programming, mental wellbeing, and other practical topics that they can apply in their lives long after their stint with a health coach is over.
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