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Professional Q&A: Answers from a Health Coach

  • March 2, 2016
  • By Brittany
  • 6 Comments
Professional Q&A: Answers from a Health Coach

Hi all!  How are you?  My mom left for home last night so everyone here is a bit sad today.  But I’m excited to tell you all about my new series that I’m launching!  I’ve teamed up with some amazing professionals to provide YOU with answers to some of your most burning questions.  This series, called Professional Q&A, is meant to provide you the answers you need to be your best and healthiest self.  I hope you enjoy this series as much as I enjoyed creating it and please check out my amazing group of professionals!

 

Speaking of professionals, I’m excited to kick off the series today with my good friend Nicole from Foodie Loves Fitness.  Nicole is a health coach and is all about helping you achieve your healthy living goals.  She is a great person to take advice from because she has a passion for fitness and eating healthy but delicious food.  She is also a super amazing yogi so you should definitely follow her on Instagram for inspiration!  Let’s get started!

Health coaching is a relatively new concept for a lot of people. Can you give us a brief summary of what you do and why it is effective?

As a health coach, I support my clients in achieving their healthy living goals, which often involves developing healthier relationships with food. I use my background in dietary theory and health counseling to help my clients navigate through the contradictory world of nutrition to find the diet and lifestyle that best fits their needs. Health coaching is effective because it offers people support every step of the way into make sustainable lifestyle changes and holds them accountable. Rather than just telling clients what they should do and leaving them to fend for themselves, together we come up with doable changes that’ll fit into that person’s life as a unique individual. I customize my health coaching plan for each client, so while programs vary depending on the client and their health goals, I typically meet with a client every other week in person, over the phone or via Skype. I hold an hour-long session, where we discuss what’s been happening in the client’s health, what’s going well, and what has been challenging. Together we come up with a few doable changes to implement over the next couple of weeks that will propel them closer towards their health goals. I often provide informational handouts to help clients develop a deeper understanding of health topics we’ve discussed, and I also send recipe samples and other goodies throughout the program. Additionally, sometimes I develop meal plans and grocery lists for clients if meal prepping is an area that they need support in. I offer unlimited email support in between sessions, so clients can always get in touch with me with any questions, concerns, or if they need some extra motivation. Healthy living is my passion, and I love helping people to succeed in achieving their goals.

Health coaching is very much a holistic approach to healthy living, how do you reach beyond just the food and fitness aspect to help clients achieve a healthier person overall?

I think that health coaching is definitely part of this new concept of modern healthcare. In today’s fast-paced world, we as humans look for immediacy. But the truth is, there is no magic pill to getting healthier, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s got to be a lifestyle change. Now more than ever it’s important for people to understand their health and how they can improve it, and that’s what I do as a health coach. For many women the health focus is on weight loss, and in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off, they have to learn how to develop healthier relationships with food. In addressing food issues with clients, it often leads to discussions about confidence, self-worth and relationships. People don’t realize that eating well and leading an active lifestyle affect every other aspect of life. Recognizing all of this and understanding how it’s played a part in one’s life can bring about a lot of healing, and the desire to eat well not only for aesthetic reasons, but to also feel confident and proud, be healthier from the inside out, and to find a true sense of happiness organically forms. A healthy lifestyle is about more than food and nutrition. It’s about taking control of your life and understanding the best ways to take care of yourself. Stress plays a big part in so many lives, and the toll of constantly being stressed can manifest in so many ways that most don’t even realize. One of the things I focus on as a health coach is teaching clients techniques to better manage stress and improve their outlooks and perspectives. Cultivating a better attitude can improve health in a big way.

[bctt tweet=”Your health & fitness questions answered by professionals! #healthcoach #healthyliving”]

As a health coach, you have to be very focused on the individual and their stressors and motivators. How do you help a client who has a very different outlook to healthy living than what you may embody yourself?

Very true! Ideas of what healthy looks like can be very subjective, and sometimes that proves to be challenging. But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy living. At the end of the day, I’m there to support my client in achieving their goals, and my job is to figure out how to get them where they want to be. While part of that is giving them the knowledge and tools to succeed, part of that also may mean accepting that they have differing opinions and respecting that. There’s this motto in health coaching: “Meet the client where they’re at.” For instance, I might have a client that typically eats a bagel and a donut every morning for breakfast. Instead of recommending in our first session that they only drink green juice for breakfast, instead I have be realistic about meeting my client where they’re at in their life. Instead, I may recommend a more minor actionable step, like only eating either the donut or the bagel for breakfast and adding an apple into the meal. It’s got to be doable for the client; otherwise they aren’t going to implement it into their life. 

Part of health coaching is helping people identify issues that may be holding them back on their path to healthy living. What is some advice you would offer to people in identifying those issues and overcoming them?

I think that you’ve got to be honest with yourself. Some health topics to face head-on include: Are you an emotional eater? Is there something from your past that you never really dealt with that might be a reason for unhealthy decisions made today? Do you get lazy about working out and constantly come up with reasons as to why you should skip your scheduled exercise hour? We tend to put the blame about things we aren’t happy with on external factors, but the answers always lie within us. Sometimes we just need to dig deeper to figure out what’s holding us back and how we can move forward in a healthier way – and working with a health coach is sometimes the support that people need to do that. Sometimes it’s scary to address all of these hidden layers, but I firmly believe that happy people don’t let fear dictate their lives.

To me, healthy living is a continuous path with no clear beginning or end, what is some advice you can provide to people looking to build their path for both the short term and long term?

I couldn’t agree more! I think that we’re all a work in progress, and healthy living is a continuous journey – not a destination with a stopping point. I think that one technique to building your path to healthy living is making measurable goals for both the short term and long haul. If you have a big goal, it can seem impossible to reach, but it becomes more attainable if you use short term goals as building blocks to the long term one. With that being said, I think it’s also important to embrace the journey and give yourself credit when you deserve it. Sometimes we can be our own worst critics. In the end, healthy living has a lot to do with loving yourself and realizing your self-worth. Reaching your goal weight won’t make you truly happy unless you develop love and respect for the person you are on the inside.

[bctt tweet=”Need help achieving your health goals? Check out answers from a health coach! #health #healthyliving”]

Wow Nicole!  Thank you so much!  That has been really insightful and I think a lot of people could really benefit from using a health coach.  Check out more about Nicole on her blog, her health coaching page and social media:

Instagram

Twitter

Readers, have you heard of health coaching before or did this shed some light for you?  What other questions do you have for Nicole?  What professional would you like to see next?

 

 

By Brittany, March 2, 2016
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6 Comments
  • Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    March 2, 2016

    Awesome, thanks for including me in this series lady & for being so kind! Love the Professional Q&A graphic background.

    Aww, I’m sure that your mom will be missed by you and your boys! It sounds like you had so much fun with her visiting.

  • Nellie
    March 3, 2016

    This is awesome!! I love Nicole and of course I adore her blog!!

    Sorry that your mom left I know you will miss her so!

  • Allie
    March 3, 2016

    I love seeing Nicole here and, obviously I’m loving this series. I used to discount “life” coaches or any kind of personalized coaching that wasn’t physical. Boy was I wrong!! I’ve done some professional/life coach sessions with Tara Newman it was really eye opening for me.
    I know that Nicole does so much great work and helps so many people. Keep it up Nicole!

  • Carly @ Fine Fit Day
    March 4, 2016

    This was fascinating! I love Nicole’s holistic approach to health. I used to have a life coach as a personal training client and we used to joke together that we didn’t know who was training who at any given moment. 🙂

  • Holly
    March 8, 2016

    A health coach to really, really tease out what is holding one back on achieving goals for health, eating and workout would be positively life-changing! I would like to ask Nicole how she guides people through the self-discovery process.

  • Natasha M.
    March 8, 2016

    I was familiar with the concept, but no experience using one. It sounds like a fun and motivating profession. Thanks for the great post!

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