Look, I’m not a world-leading health coach. I don’t even know how you’d quantify that title. But I’ve been coached, and I’ve coached some people. And in my experience, when someone comes to me asking for help, they usually already know the answers.
Clients may not know specifics about ideal macro or micro nutrients, or strategies to improve sleep, or ways to hack their mitochondria to improve brain function. But they don’t need to pay someone else to tell them they should eat less sugar and more vegetables; that they should decrease time spent staring at screens and start spending more time outdoors; that they should focus on better sleep and practicing gratitude and connecting with the people and things that make them happy. Most people know this stuff already. When I’m coaching someone, I may give a couple details that are new, or give them some workout ideas or articles to read they haven’t seen before, but I’m not giving them anything revolutionary.
Anyone who tells you they have a new trick or secret to being healthy is lying to you. Every piece of information you need to be healthy already exists and has existed for probably longer than you’ve been alive.
All a good health/lifestyle coach really does is act as a sounding board, and provide support and accountability.
One of the biggest challenges I have as a coach is the commitment level of my clients, and subsequently my ability to help my clients stay motivated and committed. While most people know what they have to do, they still hold out some hope that I’ll tell them there’s a secret they haven’t heard before: a special supplement or quick workout or hack that will make getting fit easier and quicker. This isn’t a judgement; it’s a human trait to seek the easiest, quickest route out of a problem and I struggle with this myself. But I’ve learned over years and years of exploring fitness and health that there is not, and never will be, a substitute for consistent, hard work.
I almost feel like I’m letting down my clients when my main message to them, week after week, is “keep going.” To just get up every day and make the decision to nourish and move your body, take care of your mental health, and prioritize sleep. And sometimes, as a client, it’s hard to hear that 85 percent or even 90 percent isn’t enough to make the changes you want to make — you have to be 100 percent committed. You can’t expect to put mediocre effort into something and get stunning results; that doesn’t happen anywhere in life, so why should it happen here?
The main ingredient to improved health is consistent effort — a stunningly simple plan but certainly not an easy one.
Sometimes I feel that my clients are dissapointed when they realize that I don’t have a secret answer for them, the trick that makes this whole health journey easier. But I relish the moments when it finally kicks in that while there is no trick, this path — with all its difficulties and challenges — is rewarding and empowering in itself. It gives me great satisfaction when they can take ownership of their goals and start the long, difficult, fun, exciting, challenging journey to reach them.
So no, I don’t think most of you really need a health coach. Your own brain and heart and some Google research will give you all the answers you need, and it’s your own brain and heart and time that will give you the results. But if you’re feeling stuck and ready to make a change, and you want some help establishing those positive habits, a health coach can be the support system you’re looking for. And if you’re looking for a holistic, sustainable lifestyle approach rather than a prescription for macros and reps, a Primal Health Coach may be a good fit for you. If you have any questions about Primal Health Coaching or coaching in general, feel free to reach out on Instagram @themusclemaven or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.