I know what I'm "supposed" to do, but I just can seem to do it.
Counting down the top 10 reasons to work with a health coach, #2 is a lulu…
You’re been working for some time now, making big changes to your diet, ramping up your activity level. You’re seeing movement on the scale, you’ve had to buy new clothes to accommodate your more svelte frame, and you have so much more energy! And then…the plateau. You’re barely subsisting on a tiny amount of calories and everyone in the gym knows your name, but the results have stopped coming far short of your ultimate goal.
This is an ideal time to talk to a health coach.
A one-hour consult could give you the inspiration and motivation to shake things up and start achieving gains again. Or you may realize that the tactics that were working—a deprivation diet, juicing or replacing meals with shakes—were only good for the short term, and you support to hold on to your achievements (see Reason #9--Calorie Count Burnout).
I can’t iterate it enough: The plateau is one of THE BEST reasons to talk to a health coach!
Got a big health or fitness goal, like beginning a new fitness regiment, going vegan, running a race (or achieving a personal best in a race), or losing significant weight? A health coach can help you get there!
This picture is me completing the last tenth of a mile of my first marathon in 2009. I joined a training group and leaned on three excellent coaches (one of whom was my husband, John) for advice on how to train. They provided a plan and gave me lots of smart answers when I had questions. I was accountable to them—they expected me to show up and I did. Let me assure you that had I tried to train for this bad boy on my own without the support and guidance of these professionals, I would’ve ended up as a stain on the ground in DC somewhere along the Marine Corps Marathon course.
In previous posts, I’ve shared the steps for achieving big goals, and engaging an expert is an important one. If you’re ready to tackle a MAJOR goal in 2016, one that requires greater physical demands than you’re used to, or one that mean taking on long standing habits that are standing in your way, partnering with a health coach dramatically increases your likelihood of achieving that goal.
Could you figure out how to tackle a big goal like weight loss or fueling a big race on your own? Sure, maybe. But with support and education about best practices from a qualified health coach or other professional, you’re more likely to avoid making mistakes (many of which occur after following lousy advice from the internet!) along the way. You’re likely to achieve goals more quickly, and with me acting as a proverbial net to prevent you from falling, you might even enjoy the process more!
Get in touch if you’re ready to line up some expertise to get you closer to the big goal.
Continuing the countdown of the top 10 reasons to see a health coach, #4 is a very serious one...
The propensity to become obese and to develop high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers is written into our genetic code. However, the way we eat and our levels of activity can dramatically reduce or potentially even eliminate our risk despite what lies in our DNA.
When your blood work shows early signs of diabetes (a high or borderline A1C or a high fasting blood sugar), or elevated numbers on a blood lipids panel (high LDL cholesterol or triglycerides), there are really two routes that your health will go:
1. You make lasting dietary lifestyle changes (and potentially use prescription medications) to reverse conditions.
2. You maintain current lifestyle and heart disease, diabetes or other disease will set in, leading to increased doctor visits, a regiment of prescriptions--each with their own risks and side effects--and pain, discomfort and frustration for you and those who love you.
Why would anyone opt for #2? It can take years after an initial red flag goes up before you actually feel the impact of lifestyle diseases. Breaking ingrained habits can be tough, so many of us put off taking care of these conditions, going for the instant gratification instead of focusing on the long game. My position is that a serious health event is a lousy catalyst for change when our advanced medical system is able to detect signs so early.
But there’s great news: You have a tremendous set of tools to adjust your lifestyle when your doctor and health coach combine forces!
As an integrative nutrition health coach, it’s not within my scope of practice to diagnose or treat disease, but it is well within my purview to help my clients understand how to practically incorporate evidence-based dietary changes to promote your health. I’m also your accountability partner—you’ll meet with me regularly to ensure that you’re making those changes.
On a personal note, I am the daughter of a type 2 diabetic--a reversible disease brought on by poor lifestyle--who passed on too early. I’m also the wife of a type 1 diabetic whose disease is irreversible and must be managed minute to minute, 24/7. Seeing the frustration, suffering and physical pain these diseases cause, both to the patient and to the family who loves them, I am motivated to do everything I can to support those seeking help to manage their health through lifestyle.
If you’re ready to make real and lasting change, let’s talk.
Earlier this month I started counting down reasons 10 through 6 to work with a health coach (like me), and now I’m counting down the top 5. If you have ever said the following sentence, congratulations! You’re a living embodiment of reason #5 for working with me…
When I hear from potential clients “I don’t have to take care of myself,” what I hear from you is “My health is not my priority.” That’s a lousy perspective. If your priorities this week are digging out the last of the snow and ice around your house, helping the kids with homework, planning spring break travel, completing your training runs for a half marathon, and finishing a big powerpoint for work, I can promise you that every one of those priorities will take a serious hit if you are exhausted and weak. I've worked with several clients who put everyone else first, who discovered that a quiet, simmering resentment can boil into serious anger over the years. Anger that not only damages their own health, but important relationships.
By taking time for yourself—eating nutritious foods, making time for sleep, reducing stress—everyone around you benefits, too. Get in touch if you’re ready to begin prioritizing yourself!
Back to the top 10 reasons why you may need to work with a health coach--this one is HUGE:
Sustaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can be tough when you live in a household where you don’t feel like you have support. Study after study has demonstrated the tremendous impact that family support has on behavior modification efforts, and specifically weight loss.
I’m a huge proponent of finding friends or peer groups outside of the home to support your healthy lifestyle—more on this topic here. I would be remiss if I didn’t strongly recommend signing up for my 8-week group program: Goal Setting and Accountability, beginning on January 28.
"My fitness/weight loss efforts have hit a plateau. Maybe I’ve reached the best I can do." I’ve heard this more than once during a client consult and in the beginning stages of work with clients. But...Read More
Reason #8 to work with a health coach is marked by this lament: "I eat a healthy diet, but I'm gaining weight!" A study by Cornell gives us insight into this phenomenon of overeating foods labeled as "Healthy," but it's intensive work with a health coach that will help to untangle this habit. Read more on this study here: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-12/cfb-eho122315.php
Continuing on the countdown of my top 10 reasons why you may want to work with a health coach, number 9 is a biggie...
A calorie is a unit of energy derived from food. The number of calories in a food do not tell us whether that food is nutritious. Counting calories may help you put a limit to how much potential energy you consume, but this piece of data alone does not tell us whether we’ll be satiated, whether we are consuming vital nutrients, whether we’ll be left with vigor or fatigue. And while there is some truth in the old “calories in, calories out” adage when it comes to the early stages of weight loss, consuming a magic number of calories does not guarantee that you will lose weight. In fact, our bodies adapt to calorie restriction, meaning you’ll have to eat less and less to see continued weight loss results if restriction is your method of choice. Not to mention, food deprivation often leads to a binge, then guilt, then further deprivation, and on and on and on….
So why is calorie counting so popular? I’ll posit that we have lost touch with our bodies’ signals. More often than not, we eat out of habit habit and for pleasure, not out of hunger. We don’t recognize the signs of satiety, either, so relying on calorie counting to tell us “how much we can get away with.”
I’m proud that a huge part of my work has centered around reforming my clients’ relationships with food, and I welcome the opportunity to work with you, too. Get back in touch with the signals that your body is sending to you and you can ditch calorie counting forever. Learn to feel hunger and to recognize satiety without relying on a calorie counter.
Your Facebook timeline is full of stories about superfoods, supplements and warnings about GMO’s. Your running buddy is going on and on about this low-carb, high-protein diet centered around meat. Then there are the new US Dietary Guidelines telling us to eat less sugar, and big headlines about processed and red meat. And to top it off, svelte celebrities are touting fasts and cleanses.Read More