It’s hard to believe that in little over a month, I will have successfully completed my Health Coach Training Programme with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I began the course back in July last year after contemplating taking the leap from 2015 onwards and have previously written about what finally inspired me to commit fully to the course.
This past year has been a transformative experience for me, and I can honestly say that studying through IIN has been one of the best things I have ever done. I’ve met new and wonderful people, started to live with greater intention, become more confident in myself and have spoken at events and even delivered a workshop. Most of all, the IIN Health Coach Training Program has helped me to find the purpose that I was so desperately searching for, and I’m looking forward to helping others through my very own health coaching programs. In short, IIN has taught me so much more than different theories. Find out what else I’ve learned on this amazing journey…
It made me realise that wellness is so much more than being about what we eat
The holistic approach, which is at the very core of IIN, teaches that nourishment can be found both on and off the plate. Whilst I’m really interested in nutrition and home cooking, I’ve discovered that a person can eat really healthily and exercise but if other areas of their life, such as their career or relationships are out of balance, then their body is likely to be too.
I’ve also learned that the home environment is key to a balanced way of living, and in the past year have taken on a number of projects, such as decluttering (this had such a positive effect in so many areas of my life and I will be starting phase two over the summer), painting the entire house, a complete kitchen refurbishment (more on that soon!) and thinking about ‘home’ in terms of wellness.
Never underestimate just how much people just want to be listened to
When I first started conducting Health Histories (the initial consultation that takes place between a health coach and someone who is interested in completing a program), I used to worry that I wouldn’t have all the ‘answers’ for my clients, particularly if they were already well aware of certain areas of nutrition. What I quickly discovered is that health coaching is more about sparking transformation than relaying information. After all, most of us already know the things we should be doing to live a more balanced, healthful lifestyle, but need support to make those changes.
Part of providing this support simply involves listening to people. By being truly present and asking careful questions, health coaches can help their clients towards small action steps that are specific to them. When in our lives are we truly listened to? Modern life is so busy and we are 100% connected yet not heard. If a person is feeling unwell, they may go to a Doctor who prescribes medication but who does not have time to listen and deal with the underlying causes. Similarly, stress at work or home is often not solved simply by talking to a family member or partner, who may themselves be under pressure.
I love conducting health histories because there’s a real sense of a person unloading as they have never done before. From there, I can dig deeper and really help that person get to the heart of an issue. I can then tailor their very own unique program to help them make positive changes.
Your community is so, so, important
When you go through a transformation as I have done over the years, it’s common to feel that you no longer fit in. Friends move in different directions and family may criticise your choices. You may even start to wonder if you’re a little bit weird! By meeting fellow health coaches and other people who are heavily invested in their health and wellness, you begin to realise that this is not the case. For me, being a part of Health Coach Social DXB has been eye-opening as I always leave every event feeling so inspired, positive and on fire! When you meet the right people, it’s all about collaboration, not competition. Yes, we’re all health coaches, but we’re all different and have varying areas of interest. When helping people is at the very heart of what you do, it’s much better and more rewarding to work as a team than it is to fight alone.
Keep in mind that people will want you for you…so be authentic
It’s the most incredible feeling when you find your purpose. Since I started the IIN course I’ve had so many comments about how genuine I am when I talk about what I’m doing and health coaching in general. As I’ve already referred to above, I’ve made connections with like-minded individuals and have felt that we’re on exactly the same wavelength right away. People will be drawn to you, as you will be drawn to them. There’s no longer any pretense or need to put on a show. When you speak your truth and live and work in line with your values, everything comes so naturally.
It is possible to overcome fear and stagnation
At the start of the year, I wrote about how I had spent the last four years frozen in fear of so many things: of not being good enough, of failure, of the unknown…of not knowing what I was even here for. Thanks to IIN and Health Coach Social DXB, I took a big step at the end of last year and spoke about this in front of a group of people. The irony of talking about fear and how to put yourself out there whilst doing exactly that was not lost on me, but thankfully my talk received overwhelmingly positive feedback and as a result, I wrote the blog post to reach even more people. Since then, I have held my own workshop and plan on doing more. There are loads of exciting things in the pipeline, and instead of freaking out and stalling, I’m super excited!
Living intentionally can be so beneficial, and small steps can lead to much greater things
There was a time when I just used to amble through my days feeling overwhelmed but ultimately achieving nothing. What I realised was that I was setting myself tasks that were too big, and letting the need to get things perfect slow me down. I now break things down into much more manageable chunks and use my time much more effectively. By setting intentions each month and then filtering the steps towards these into weekly or daily goals, I actually get things done. As a health coach, I help my clients take small steps that are achievable, so why would I treat myself any differently? This is really useful for times of great change in our lives. I often tell myself that as long as I’m taking steps in the right direction for me, it doesn’t matter how small they are. At some points in life, they might be vast, and at other points, they might be tiny, but as long as I keep moving forward then that’s a win in my book.