Health is such a big topic for people these days -- from the Titas and Titos of Manila who talk about their weight issues or maintenance meds over brunch, to Millennials who deal constantly with stress, poor lifestyle choices and lack of sleep, to people already suffering from chronic disease. Doctors have only so much time they can spend with patients and don't really have the bandwidth to work with patients individually on making change happen. It's typical to be given advice like "go on a diet, exercise more and make lifestyle changes" and for many of us this isn't actionable. What kind of diet? What should I eat or not eat? What kind of exercise and how often? What in the world does "make lifestyle changes" even mean?
This is where the health coach comes in: to provide ongoing education and support to help you set achievable health goals, draw up a plan to meet them, and then work with you to stay on course through diet, lifestyle and behavior adjustments.
So what can a health coach do for you?
Provide a safe zone where you can talk about your health, weight and fitness issues. After I had just ended a phone call with one of my clients my husband commented that I'm like a shrink, but for health matters. I found it funny at the time but it's true that people come to me to talk about health concerns that they can't really discuss with their partners or friends. A trained health coach can make these topics not just comfortable to discuss, but help you work out concrete solutions and next steps.
Implement a personalized plan for you. When it comes to health, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. All of us have different health situations, likes and dislikes, food allergies or sensitivities, different schedules and activities. A health coach can help you cut through the clutter of all the health advice and information you're exposed to, and figure out a plan that takes your unique circumstances into consideration. From there we work on implementing small changes at a pace that suits you.
Help you stay accountable. I've had clients tell me that every time they look at dessert they hear my voice in their head telling them to stay away (!). But in all seriousness, it helps to have a person who has only your best health interests in mind to remind you to stay the course and cheer you on as you make progress.
Figure out a sustainable approach to diet and lifestyle that can continue on even after the coaching relationship has ended. At Primal Health Manila, health coaching programs are not about rapid weight loss. Even if weight loss is likely to occur anyway, I promote education and sustainable lifestyle changes so that you have the knowledge and tools you need to sustain your efforts for life.
On the flip side, it's also important to know what health coaches are not: First, a health coach is not a doctor and cannot diagnose your condition or prescribe medications. Second, a health coach isn't (necessarily) a dietitian who will provide you meal plans, though I often provide ideas on what to eat, and tips on where to get good ingredients or dishes. Finally, not all health coaches are personal fitness trainers. They're not the same thing.
Not everybody needs a health coach; some people are very driven and motivated and can get to their goals all on their own. But if you've "tried it all and aren't getting anywhere", or need help figuring out where to start, or need someone to give you that extra nudging and guidance, then contact me to schedule a no-commitments discovery session where we can talk about your current situation and see whether the Primal Health Coaching Program would be a good option for you.