When you work with a health or nutrition coach, you are entering into a relationship of sorts—and like any successful relationship, there must be dedication and a willingness to learn and work hard on both sides. When you pay for the services of a health coach, you are not paying for someone to fix your problems; you’re paying for a resource, a guiding hand, a support system, and someone who will work WITH you to help you find the best ways forward to achieving sustainable, vibrant health—a path that’s unique to you, which means it most likely can’t be found simply by following orders, no matter how well intentioned.
During the course of this relationship between coach and client, there will probably be bumps in the road: failed attempts, things that don’t work, lags in effort and motivation. The process towards improving health is a long and arduous one, but I can’t think of a journey more worth taking. Not only does improving your health make you feel and look better, it can teach you so much about what you value and what’s important to you; it can teach you perspective, how to react to adversity and difficult situations; it can make you more resilient, both physically and mentally; and it can give you tools and resources to help others. Being healthy is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the people around you.
It’s worth noting, however, that there is a difference between feeling like you want to “be better” and actually being in the ideal mental and physical place to enact those necessary changes. Simply “wanting to lose weight” or “feeling like you should do more” isn’t enough of a motivator –if it was, we wouldn’t be facing the collective health crisis that we’re currently in. Before you make the investment of acquiring a health coach, it may be worth taking the time to do some very honest self-reflection. By asking yourself a few questions and answering honestly, you can determine whether you are in fact in a place where you can dedicate the time and energy necessary to do the work. If you aren’t, it’s ok – now you simply have a better idea of what work you DO need to do before you can start working with a health coach, whether that is mental health work, rearranging certain priorities, or perhaps sorting out some personal or relationship challenges.
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself before working with a health coach:
- Why do I want to be healthier?
- If I didn’t improve my health and stayed on my current course, how would I feel? Where would I be a year from now?
- Is your current lifestyle or health negatively effecting your relationships, your work, or your ability to enjoy life?
- Have you made promises to yourself and others regarding your health that you have not been able to keep?
- Do I have the mental energy to devote to myself right now?
- Am I happy with my current lifestyle? Am I willing to significantly change it in order to improve my health, even if that means changing my social life and habits?
- Am I willing to hear hard truths and try completely different tactics from a health coach? If they suggest methods that are opposite to what I’m currently doing, am I willing to give them a try?
- Am I ready to be vulnerable with a health coach – to discuss my concerns, fears, challenges? Am I willing to admit that I need help?
Imagine you were planning on building a house from scratch. Before doing so, you’d probably want to figure out a few things: do you have the money; do you have a crew of people who will help you; do you have the time needed to undertake such a project—and perhaps most importantly, do you even want to build this new house? Improving your physical and emotional health is a noble and worthy endeavor, but it’s something that requires a high level of work and energy – so it’s worth taking some time and being honest with yourself if you’re ready. If you’re not, at least you’ll have a list of steps to take to get you ready.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and I hope this is helpful. If you would like to talk more about health coaching, you can contact me here.