What is a Health Coach?


I get asked this question a lot because health coaching is still such a new field, many folks haven’t heard about it. So this month, I wanted to take some time to share with you, in general, what a health coach does and more specifically, who my target client would be!

A health coach provides personal support to individuals working toward meeting their health and wellness goals. For example, a patient is told by their doctor to lose 30 pounds. The patient walks out of the office, overwhelmed and confused by all the information available about weight loss. A health coach would help by 1) clarifying their client’s goal (in this case, losing the 30 pounds), 2) dividing that goal into small, manageable action steps (maybe start out by increasing activity and crowding out unhealthy food choices), 3) offering unique suggestions based on the client’s current lifestyle and experience (where to sneak in activity during their busy day; maybe some easy healthy recipes to prepare ahead of time), and, 4) hold the client accountable for each action step along the way, addressing any roadblocks and offering options based on the client’s unique situation (the client has to travel for work for a week at a time so offering suggestions as to how the client could meet her goal during that time). Most clients do very well with this method because it addresses their own, personal situation while learning specific strategies to help them continue to be successful in the long run!

In my practice, I work mostly with medium aged women to help them learn to create balance in their lives. Too often they neglect themselves while caring for family, working and volunteering, letting their lives get out of balance. They may still have children at home but parents who are aging and needing more attention and care. This makes it difficult to be successful with any personal health or wellness goals they may want to achieve. Self-care is an important component of my health coaching focus.

Personally, I believe in a holistic approach to coaching that considers all the different parts of an individual’s life. I was taught that the food we eat can be considered as ‘Secondary Foods’ to the ‘Primary Foods’ we need to feel in balance and complete, such as healthy relationships, work we enjoy, joyful movement, a connection to spirit, taking care of our selves. Creating a balance between Primary and Secondary Foods help promote success with what an individual sets out to accomplish. For example, if you have a 9 – 5 job that is stressing you out, it may be much more difficult for you to resist the junk food in the break room because they are tasty and represent the ‘highlight’ of your work-day. So my goal is to help my clients bring all the parts of their lives into balance because doing so is a proven way to be successful. I meet with my clients for an hour, bi-weekly, usually for at least a three-month period. During that time, we work together identifying their health goals, putting action steps in place, finding ways around roadblocks and celebrating successes.

My life experiences and the roles I have played in life all add to what I offer my clients: that of small business owner, volunteer, wife, mom, and friend.  Throughout those years, my interests have encompassed the areas of nutrition, human reproductive health, and alternative healing modalities (such as homeopathy, aromatherapy and herbal remedies). I’ve had the life experiences of becoming a mom at age 41, managing menopause symptoms naturally, struggling with sleep issues, working on maintaining a weight loss and exercise routine, all while trying to create a balance between the different aspects of my life. I'm excited to share my experiences with women trying to do the same!

Although the scope of my practice does not include coaching my friends or family members, I welcome referrals from them and also their participation in Group Coaching Programs (coming soon) as well as workshops, classes and special events.

Got questions? Shoot me an email at barbaracauchon@gmail.com. Stay in touch with me by signing up for my free, weekly Newsletter at barbaracauchon.com. Take good care!

 

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