Wellness Coaching: What is It and What to Expect

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One of the revolving goals of our lives is to ‘get healthy and lose weight’. You can almost count on it being the number one or number two New Year’s resolution.

Unfortunately, we as humans are like hamsters on a wheel. Each year that goal keeps coming around. It seems the harder we work at it, the worse off we are. It fills some need to keep putting it out there in the ether.

But, at some point, we need to rein it all in and say enough is enough. The frustration level at not being able to stick to a fitness or life goal hits its peak. What can we do about it? Is there even an answer to the health question that will work for the majority of people who are fighting the daily battle and have been for years?

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There is not one fix that works for everyone but there might be one professional that can reach everyone at their level of need. We are talking about wellness coaches. You might be thinking ‘exercise’. People seem to cringe at that word.

But, a wellness coach is much more than the name implies. The idea you have in your head right now couldn’t be further from the truth. This person may be just the one to bridge the gap between what we want to achieve in our lives and actually getting there. And, they make us think that it was all our idea in the first place.  It was presumed that husbands and wives were the only one that had that type of relationship!

But seriously, a wellness coach just may save your life. They have found a measure of success in this grassroots business and are still climbing their way to the top. What they want to stress is not ‘quick fix’ but self-awareness and the overall benefit to you and your lifestyle whatever that may be.

What is Wellness Coaching?

Wellness coaching is the latest trend in health and fitness. Some people think that they are related to personal trainers but they are not. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

Let’s break it down for you. A personal trainer works with the body. They see your body and can devise a program for you to: lose weight, gain muscle mass, tone up and get in shape. Their concern is for the physical aspect. But, wishing doesn’t make it so. You still have to show up for the sessions.

How about a sports coach? They have long been touted as superheroes in the area of motivating young athletes to give their best performance on and off the field. They combine their expertise with past athletes and their knowledge of what it takes to succeed to drive their current athletes to win.

Is there a doctor in the house? A doctor makes a medical assessment of your body and your life and can prescribe medication if need be and/or offer a diagnosis for what ails you. Their focus is on the inside of the body and what is going on there. Inner health can affect outward circumstances.

Let’s move on to a nutritionist. Their concern if for what you put in your mouth. They see the body as a machine. It needs the proper fuel to function correctly. There is truth there. Without the proper nutrition, the body will pick and steal what it needs from other systems. When it can’t do that anymore it will shut down functions one by one so it can stay alive.

This is an extreme but you see where we are going. Depending on your history and body profile, a nutritionist will draw up a program to help you eat right and fight the temptation to return to old habits.

Ever consider a psychologist? They are trained to listen to your issues and help you to work through them. Not only can they help you to understand certain aspects of your life but also empower you to take charge and make the changes necessary to move you to the next level.

All of this sounds good doesn’t it? Each person can give you something to improve your life. Making appointments with all of these people would take time and money. Even if insurance paid for some, you still have to make time to see them and maintain a relationship to get what you need. The time constraints are against that type of commitment for most people.

What if we told you that you don’t have to see five different professionals, but just one? It’s not impossible if the one professional you are seeing is a wellness coach.

The Trend

Fitness has always been near the top in priorities for people. How they would define fitness differs depending on who you ask. Suffice it to say, most people want to achieve a level of fitness in their lives. Whether they do or not is a different story.

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There is a desperate search for help when it comes to losing weight and changing our lives. These are two separate things but many of us lump them together. We believe that if we lose weight it will change our lives. In many cases it does, but simply using that possibility as a motivator for losing weight will fall sadly short of the mark for many folks.

Wellness coaching has taken the first place rung in the area of fitness trends in the last few years. It is still a new field but one with lots of promise. It has already made inroads in the area of healthy lifestyle change.

A wellness coach is part trainer, part psychologist and part dietician along with other things. Their expertise in several areas gives them insight into our situations that we lack ourselves. Their overall goal is to help people to get in touch with themselves. By approaching an individual’s health from the lifestyle standpoint, it brings a whole new twist on fitness.

The goal is to enlighten the person about their entire life. Most professionals offer information. We are bombarded with information every day. But, what are we to do with all of that information? It is such a jumble that to make heads or tails of it you need a road map to your brain. So, we end up doing nothing at all because we don’t know where to start. Sometimes, all of that education works to immobilize instead of motivate.

The Need

There is an urgent need for health and wellness in society. Millions of adults are overweight. About a third of the American population is obese. This doesn’t include children who are one of the fastest growing segments of the population for weight problems.

We are a sick world that is getting sicker. The issue is not so much that people or society as a whole is indifferent, it is that we don’t know what to do. As everyday people, we turn to society to tell us what to do. Society is just as flustered and turns it back on us. They cite examples of sports stars and movie stars who are fit and healthy. Surely the rest of us can do it on our own too, right?

So what are we fighting against? First, there is a lack of knowledge. We get our information about fitness from infomercials. They are just trying to sell products to the desperate who want a solution to their weight loss issues. Each has a different story to tell about what we need to eat or activity we need to perform for optimal health.

Secondly, there is a lack of understanding of underlying factors. No man is an island and no person is merely one-dimensional. To put it in the words of Shrek, the ogre, we have layers like an onion. What you see on the surface is only that, the surface. Each piece of who we are is connected. So, problems with weight don’t always just revolve around eating better and exercising. It often goes much deeper.

We know that there is a need. Can wellness coaches fit the bill?

Candidates for Services

Everyone is not a candidate for a wellness coaching session. There has to be some requirements met. And, they are all within you. Most people are motivated to do more than write a resolution on a piece of paper but the frustration factor prevents further progress.

  • Sedentary – These are people who want the weight off, but may be too busy to do anything about it. They are so booked for time, that when they get home all they want to do is sit on the couch and watch television. There is nothing wrong with sitting down but that won’t solve your weight issues. Something else needs to be done, but how?
  • Stressed – This sounds like most of us. Work puts us under constant pressure. Home life is frustrating at times. The recent economic issues have added to the stress level for lots of people. Your life is literally eating you alive piece by piece. Stress can cause an increase in the hormone cortisol which helps the body store and hold onto fat instead of letting it go.
  • Poor eaters/ Emotional eaters – Most of us don’t know we are emotional eaters until we are confronted with the signs. Food makes us feel good. When it’s really good, it releases endorphins in the brain. Eating on the run means poor nutrition and an expanding waistline.

The Misconceptions

Now, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention some of the common misconceptions about wellness coaching. As with every new trend, there are starry thoughts that have to be brought down to earth. That is one of the reasons that we often pay any price for the latest technology, fitness gadget and pill in hopes of a midnight miracle.

That is not the way that wellness coaching works. It is not a quick fix or microwave solution to your health issues. We mention weight a lot but it is just one aspect of your health. Often it is the reason that people search out wellness coaches.

The truth is that losing weight and making lasting changes takes time. Inside we all know that but the realization of it is still not getting through. In the weight loss or getting healthy process, what is lacking is still an understanding of our bodies and how our mind works to connect it all together to make the change.

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