By Stephanie Schwartz
Wow! Congrats! You’ve finally decided to get serious about your health. You’re done with the couch potato lifestyle and you’re ready to feel as amazing as all of the gorgeous Instagram celebs you’ve been trolling for years, enviously “liking” vibrant photos of turmeric tea lattes and downward dogs while simultaneously popping Cheetos in your mouth. The only problem is that you’re not exactly sure where to start - should you be drinking 3 green smoothies a day or grocery shopping for your first Whole30? Should you sign up for an Infrared Sauna session or commit to an Equinox membership?
The options are endless, which is actually a little stressful. So you decided to work with an expert. Someone who knows more than you do about health and wellness. Someone who can guide you in the right direction for you. Someone who can hold you accountable when your blood sugar dips and all you can think of is that package of Reese’s Cups in the office vending machine.
And now you’re at your first session, suspiciously gazing into the clear and shining eyes of your coach, as she asks you questions about your life that seemingly have NOTHING to do with the food you’ve been putting in your mouth. Anxiety mounting, you worry you came to the wrong place. She’s asking you about your marriage? Your friendships? Your living space? What gives?
1. She’s going to ask about your friendships and relationships
Holistic health coaches are invested in helping you make better choices when it comes to what you eat, of course. But they view the other dimensions of your life as having just as much impact on your health and wellbeing. A good health coach knows that you make healthier, better choices when your personal life is going well, and that if you are struggling with your relationships, the impact on your total health could be catastrophic. So expect some deep questions and real talk around what is going on for you in this part of your life, and maybe bring a pack of tissues, just in case.
2. She’s going to ask about your spiritual practices
A holistic health coach knows that there is a lot more happening with us than what we project externally, and is trained to understand that for many people, a regular spiritual practice can be incredible affirming and grounding, especially in today’s unbelievably fast-paced and oftentimes stressful world. A health coach will not force you to do anything you are uncomfortable with, but will definitely be curious to learn more about your religious background, your current practices, and will often encourage the development of some sort of mindfulness practice to round out your wellbeing. She may suggest a meditation app, a mindfulness book, or a journaling practices to help you tune into yourself.
3. She’s going to want to know more about what’s happening for you at work
We spend more than half of our lives at work, so to think that our work life has no impact on the quality of our “real” lives is simply impossible. Your holistic health coach is going to be curious to know if you’re happy at work. If not, she may push you to consider why not. She may ask what would make you happier in the workplace, and work with you to discover more of what you really want out of your professional life. She may dig into your childhood, asking about what you saw yourself doing when you were a kid. She understands that professional satisfaction will lead to greater happiness long term, and more balanced health overall.
A holistic health coach is just that - holistic. They are in place to consider all of the segments of your life that work together to create your overall health. Many of our damaging eating patterns stem from deeper rooted issues in other parts of our life. A good holistic health coach understands that simply giving you a meal plan and workout regiment is only going to act as a bandaid, masking the issues that led you to your unhealthy habits in the first place. Of course you can expect your coach to provide guidance around meal plans and ways to eat - that’s part of their job as well - but they are going to dig in and go much deeper than that too.
So buckle up and get ready - you’re about to embark on a journey of self discovery, total health, and happiness you may have only dreamed of. Have fun!