Wellness is a huge industry. You have more access to information about your health now than you ever did in the past. This seems like good news, but the fact is, it’s also incredibly overwhelming.
What this means is that there is help for you if you need it, but how do you know where to find it? Or who to trust? How do you manage the conflicting advice–of which you’ll discover plenty? And how in the name of all that is wonderful will you find the time to read through it all?
Researching health and wellness is practically a full-time job. I know. I’m a health coach and besides working with clients, I spend many hours every week reading studies, papers, books, and articles. Why do I do this? So you don’t have to…
What is a health coach and how can she help you?
A health coach is trained to sift through this turbulent sea of health information and somehow make sense of it. She understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness. She uses her knowledge to customize a holistic plan for you that addresses your individual challenges and helps you reach your goals. Ideally, she offers a supportive and nonjudgmental environment for you in the process and loves questions (please–don’t be afraid to ask questions!).
A health coach can help you when you just feel like “something’s off” with your energy and condition. She can also help you learn how to manage cravings and “hanger,” tweak your diet so your body composition shifts towards a more healthy profile, and maybe even uncover tricky food sensitivities. She’ll definitely be able to clear up confusion you have about all of the conflicting advice you hear. She can suggest a variety of ways to improve your fitness. She can support you when you feel like your friends and family don’t understand the changes you want to make. She offers accountability (a big one). A health coach will even urge you to experience more pleasure and fun in your life (and glamour, too–or is that just the way I do it?).
What a health coach can’t do
She can’t “fix” your problems. Only you can do that. While she can share pertinent information with you and give you tools to be able to use it, you still are the one that has to put in the effort. She’s not a doctor. Though she might suggest possible health problems, she can’t diagnose. She’s not a therapist, either. While she most likely will help you work on your mindset and offer practices that can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, seek out a proper therapist if you’re suffering from any mood disorders or trauma.
Picking the best health coach for you
Even though health coaches should be open and aware of the wide range of ways people can attain vibrant health, most will work under a specific model, such as following the standard government health guidelines or looking at wellness through an ancestral perspective (think: Paleo/Primal, which is what I’m trained in). Many started as personal trainers (hello again!). Others may have backgrounds in medical offices, as bodyworkers, or as talk therapists.
Check out their websites to read up on their training credentials, work and life experience, and methodology. You can also get a sense of their style, which has more of an impact on your enjoyment and success than you might imagine. Maybe you need a drill sergeant to keep you in line. Or maybe that would intimidate you into a miserable mess. Think about what you respond to and see if that meshes with how your prospective coach represents herself on her site.
Most health coaches offer initial consultations at reduced rates or for free, so you can have a conversation about your wants, needs, and concerns, as well as get a feel for if you two are in sync.
Just as there isn’t a right way to get healthy, there isn’t a right way to be a health coach, either. Trust me when I say there is someone out there for you.
My work as a health coach + how The Wonderfulness Program Fundamentals fits in
What I’ve noticed over my years of working with clients is that there are several different areas that need to be addressed to achieve holistic wellness. Focusing just on fitness or diet alone won’t cut it. That’s why I saw my personal training clients stall at a certain level. It’s also what propelled me into getting my health coaching certification.
I’ve pinpointed five areas, which I call The 5 Facets of wellness–Nourish, Move, Rest, Play, and Connect. They’re all important parts of your health. And the synergy created between them can elevate wellness to true vitality–or, as I call it, wonderfulness.
For the past year, I’ve also worked on creating a 30-day email program for women based on The 5 Facets and I’m getting ready to present it to you soon!
Wait–did that sound like a record-scratch moment? After all of this talk about personalized approaches to health, how can I honestly promote a general program?
First, this program isn’t for everyone. This is for women who are overwhelmed by the information out there and want to get back to the basics. It’s for women who are tired of trying the next new fad only to arrive back at the same old place. This is for women who are self-starters as long as they have a guide to follow. It’s for women who aren’t afraid to put in effort. It’s for women who are ready to commit to a program that can actually help them. And–because I created it–it’s for women who want to elevate their wellness with glamour, pleasure, and fun to boot.
Second, I’ve realized that many women are trying to make progress without first setting up a firm foundation. As I wrote earlier, several areas need to be addressed for true wellness. I’ve experimented with the best ways to optimize The 5 Facets and came up with 10 Principles. These Facets and Principles are so simple you may skip over them on your own. Yet they’re so effective that if you don’t have them in place, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll get stuck somewhere along the way.
Another way of putting this is:
Focus on the big picture before finessing the details.
The Wonderfulness Program Fundamentals is the big picture.
Finally, you are unique. I’ve worked hard to make my program basic, yet customizable. While you work through the Wonderfulness Steps, 10 Principles, and The 5 Facets, you’re encouraged to apply it to your own life, style, and level. You’re also given Elevate Bonuses that show you how you can make the process enjoyable, too.