Health can mean so many different things. It may be about quitting smoking, eating clean, being vegan, managing allergies, exercising, or meditating regularly. We can have so many creative ways to achieve what we consider healthy and mindful.
If you are reading this, you may already have some idea of your health goals or how to go about it. Or maybe you are just curious to find out more about health coaching. Please read on to learn about my approach to holistic wellness, and explore what actions you may take to become healthier, more energised, and wholesome from the inside out.
My Vision as an Integrative Health Coach
In my health consultation practice, I draw a clear distinction from fad diets and miracle weight loss programmes. Sometimes we become too narrowly focused on how we look, simply trying to shed pounds or bulk up quickly to look good at the beach or a dinner party. Don’t get me wrong, I have fallen into the same traps countless times myself. Given all the social pressures, it is very easy to give into vanity and lose sight of the connection between body, mind and soul. But there is nothing to stop us finding the right balance and feel genuinely comfortable with ourselves, from the inside out.
Before describing what I do as a health coach, I want to touch on something beyond our appearance. Yes, it may be nice to get slim, or lean and toned, or strong and bulked up, in order to fit into that little dress or bikini or muscle fit shirt so we can feel fabulous. In other words, we are trying to look amazing, in order to feel amazing.
But wait. Do we really need to look great in order to feel great?
Now, may I ask you to think of a time in your life when you felt you were healthiest or at your ideal weight. Or maybe right now you already feel your best. This is fantastic news and please carry on with what you are doing. Perhaps we can consider how to work towards the next level.
In case you can’t quite picture your best looking self, go and dig out some photos of yourself when you were at your best. How did you look so good? Is it possible to do this all over again? More importantly, how did you feel at the time? Were these feelings completely aligned with the way you looked back then? If you felt amazing at the time, how can you recreate the same feelings right now?
On the other hand, if you didn’t feel totally happy and in control when you were looking great. What could you have done differently? What would you do now?
It is possible that you and your circumstances have changed since then. You may be working longer hours, you may be travelling a lot, you may have a new-born or young kids, or you may have an injury that prevents you from exercising. Your schedules are crazy, you may not even have the time to sleep, let alone shopping for organic foods, cooking at home and exercising five times a week.
Are there ways to make you feel happy without going on a diet, breaking your neck at the gym, counting calories, popping pills, or depriving yourself of sleep, delicious foods and social gatherings that are meant to nourish your body as well as your soul?
Make the Most of Your health
I believe health and happiness should be available to everyone, or at least most of us. My goal is to help people realign their priorities in life and enable them to achieve the best possible health available to them. My clients will learn to love and treat themselves with self care, and to gradually develop healthier habits in a sustainable way.
I see health as pretty similar to wealth, you could inherit strong and healthy genes from your parents, but you also have the responsibility to take care of and nurture your body and mind. Genetics definitely have a part to play, but you also have to work sensibly and steadily to maintain your health, both physical and mental. Love your body and make the most of it.
Love your Health and Give Back
I want to help people feel better, more energised, happier and satisfied with their lives, not only with the food they put into their mouths, which is secondary, but more importantly with their primary foods such as relationships, career, physical activities and spirituality. I want their minds to feel well-rested, their bodies fed, and their souls nourished, so that they are prepared to take on the challenges in life, to give their best at work, to have the energy to spend quality time with their families and friends, to set a good example for their children, and most importantly to give back to themselves.
How I Can Help You
I can help generally healthy people with mild issues and concerns such as
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Cravings (caffeine, tobacco, sugar, alcohol)
- Allergies (skin rashes, headaches, bloating, breakouts)
- Indigestion, inflammation, skin blemishes
- Become more active by exploring new activities and hobbies
- Develop habits to promote overall well being
As a health coach I will guide you on how to add more nutrient-dense whole foods and healthy fats in order to crowd out junk food and other cravings. I will share recipes and encourage you to find the joy in home cooking. You will learn how to navigate supermarkets and how to pick healthier options when eating out or travelling. We will be working on your primary foods. These are aspects of your life beyond the food you put into your body. For example, we will explore if you are satisfied with your career and your work environment, if you are spending quality time with your friends and family, whether you are getting quality sleep and enough exercise. In short, I will help you feel more energised and healthier as you become better at nourishing both your mind and body.
As your health coach I will act as your guide, cheerleader and accountability partner as you work on improving your health and lifestyle. Although I have learned numerous dietary theories at the nutrition school, the course adopts a neutral stance towards all dietary theories and places a huge emphasis on bio-individuality (see explanation in the next paragraph). In other words, I believe in my clients' ability to heal themselves and not to rely on any particular dietary theory.
What is Bio-individuality?
What works for your family or friends may not work for you. It is my job to support you and work with you based on your unique body, lifestyle and personality. Your needs will change over time as your circumstances change. You will learn to listen to your body, in order to adapt and address any concerns over time.
How is the Health Coaching Programme Delivered?
We will start with an initial consultation to talk through your pre-filled health history form, which includes some basic information about the state of your health, your lifestyle and diet, as well as identify any issues or health goals that we can work on.
These initial consultation sessions are often the beginning of the self-healing process. I trust that my clients will have the ability to heal themselves. I will be there to listen and provide my support. You should have the confidence to carry out these lifestyle changes, and understand that even small changes can add up to a transformation over time.
Subsequent sessions consist of two 50 minutes sessions every month. In these sessions we will likely discuss your progress or even set-backs, both your of primary foods (relationships, career, exercise and general state of mind) and secondary foods (nutrition and dietary lifestyle). We will address any issues that may arise and make necessary changes.
How Long Will the Programme Be?
A six-month period is a recommended timeframe for a health coach programme as it usually takes a few months to figure out the issues, crowd out bad habits and gradually incorporate small positive changes into a healthy regime. It will also allow the body to adapt to the new conditions it has been exposed to. It is an opportunity for you to experience how these little habits build up into a noticeable difference over time. Ultimately we want these good habits and results to stick around for a long time. The programme is more a marathon than a sprint. As your coach I will be providing the guidance and support to help you steadily reach your goal.
A Tailored Programme
Since this will be a bespoke programme designed around you, there is no need to count your calories or abstain from any foods. On occasions I may ask some of my clients to keep a food diary. It can be a useful tool to track food intake and to record any reactions after eating particular foods. Remember, any changes we introduce will be positive and gradual.
Hope you like what you have read so far. As a small extension to the health coaching programme, I will also offer a few optional hiking tours for my clients. As a runner I really enjoy training outside and would love to share the beautiful scenery and freedom that hiking trails have to offer. Personally I find hiking is not only great for the body, it can also be meditative and mindful.
If you are interested to learn more about health coaching, or try out a free consultation session, either in person or virtually, please feel free to get in touch.
A health coach is not a doctor or a qualified medical practitioner or a registered dietitian or a nutritionist. My scope of practice as a health coach does not include any diagnosis or treatment or medical advice. My work will focus on the holistic wellbeing which could be complementary to the work of medical practitioners. I would not recommend major dietary changes or any strenuous fitness regimes. For medical issues and proper treatment, I would kindly advise you to refer to your doctor or a qualified medical professional.