I always ask my clients at the end of their programs what was most beneficial about having a health coach. More likely than not, while appreciating the materials and handouts theyreceive and the care given to personalize their programs, the answer is "I have someone I answer to while working on my goals" or "It's the personal support I receive along the way."
We can always read the latest books on health and nutrition and we are all bombarded with marketed ways to lose weight. But what these don't provide is the emotional support that might help you get from the trying and failing process to goal setting-lifestyle changing to success process. And that is what a health coach does.
The process is simple - it begins with an interest in improving one's health in some way. It may be related to weight, cravings, food addictions, low energy or it may relate to diagnosed lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, high cholesterol, cancer, and diabetes. It also requires an interest in going beyond the quick fix, ie medications (like statins) or surgeries such as the lap-band or artery clearing, which have their own side-effects or hidden dangers. Making true life-long changes to one's lifestyle choices takes time in order for them to "stick." A Health Coach is with you all along the way.
So what happens when you work with a Health Coach?
-The Health Coach helps you define your health goals.
-The Health Coach helps you decide how you are going to reach your goals.
-The Health Coach meets with you (in person, or by phone or skype) using scheduled visits over a specified amount of time, each time going over your successes and difficulties, refining or adding new goals, and working on ways to work through the difficulties.
-The Health Coach provides materials/information to help you with your goals as well as addressing the emotional/spiritual side of reaching goals and feeling healthier and happier.
-Most importantly, the Health Coach supports and keeps you focused on reaching your goals throughout the process.