What it means to work with a health coach
If eating healthily, exercising and finding time for yourself at the bottom of your to do list, you’re not alone. According to a survey from the Mental Health Foundation, a staggering 74% of us felt ‘so overwhelmed we were unable to cope’ which is no surprise, given the pressures of modern life. We’re so busy working, taking care of our family, juggling social events, our health quickly falls to the bottom of the list.
You are probably here because you feel something needs to change, but maybe you are not sure what, or that you feel you need to make so many changes, you don’t know what to tackle first. A health coach can not only identify which changes will help you the most, but will help you prioritise and put together an individualised plan of action that is totally do-able for you.
If you can relate to this, maybe health coaching is something to consider. By just making a few small but targeted changes in your day to day life, a health coach can help you transition to a healthier lifestyle and offer guidance on key aspects of your health such a stress, diet, menopause as well as helping you to manage, or potentially reverse, a chronic condition that has been undermining your quality of life for a long time.
What is a health coach?
A health coach is there to help you gain the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to help you reach your desired health goals in small, achievable steps.
The cornerstones of health coaching are (a) that small things make a big difference, and (b) it is consistency over time that delivers results. It’s all based around giving the body the right tools to balance itself so it has everything it needs to sort itself out (which is, in fact, what it is constantly trying to do). And those tools often involve the small decisions we make on a daily basis.
Health Coaching is all about helping people take the small, incremental steps that will help them take back control of their health in a way that is not stressful (i.e. doesn’t involve turning their lifestyle upside down) or damaging (doesn’t involve unrealistic claims or fad diets).
It’s not rocket science, but many people need help cutting through all the mis-information out there, to set achievable goals and then to stick with them – and that’s where a health coach really delivers value – it’s that whole piece around overcoming resistance, perfectionism and self-sabotage that makes such a big difference.
What can you expect when working with a Health Coach?
One of the key benefits of working with a health coach is that the whole process is individualised to your exact needs. We are all unique, and what works for one person does not necessarily work for anyone else. Whatever your issue a health coach can help you resolve it – it could be a few(or many) pounds of stubborn weight, menopause struggles, nagging pain, fatigue or all of the above! If you are feeling rubbish for no obvious reason, the huge advantage of a health coach is that they have the time, the expertise, and the desire, to spend time listening to you and getting to the root cause of your issues, and then helping you create a plan of action that fits in with your lifestyle and doesn’t make unreasonable demands of you. It sounds simple, but you would be surprised how dramatically transformational it can be to have someone in your corner who is trained to make things easy and do-able for YOU.
What you can do to make your experience as positive as possible
- Commit to the process and ‘stay in the room’. Even when change becomes difficult, unappealing or too complicated, stick with it. My role is specifically to help you get through these times and I will work with you to find an alternative approach, or break things down into smaller steps or tweak the protocol in some other way that will make it more do-able for you
- Be compassionate with yourself. All change is hard, that’s why it makes such a difference to have a Health Coach by your side. Nobody is expecting perfection and you will be amazed at the compound long-term benefit of seemingly small and insignificant things.
- Be honest so I can meet you where you are. There is no judgement in Health Coaching. Like most other Health Coaches, I have been through my own health journey and understand exactly what you are going through.
- Ask questions. There is no need to commit to anything that you don’t fully understand, the more confident you are in the ‘reason why’ behind any suggestion, the easier it will be for you to implement it in your life.
- Don’t throw in the towel too early. It sometimes takes several months before real change starts to be experienced. For complex issues, it is not uncommon to work with a Health Coach on and off for over a year. The exciting thing about this process is that it is taking you closer and closer to total wellness.
- Remember that working with a Health Coach is like saving for your retirement, every little positive choice you make now will be an investment in your future health.