A healthy lifestyle includes daily exercise, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and effective stress management. If any one of these areas is compromised, it can affect the foundation of our health, resulting in negative health outcomes. And while most people claim they value health, many are struggling to honor that value consistently. Diet books, trendy diets, and fitness fads have never been more abundant, yet still we are getting fatter and sicker. Overweight and obesity rates are nearing forty percent of the population, preventable diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes are on the rise, and health care costs are skyrocketing to the tune of 20 percent of our GDP. The quick fix, one-size-fits-all approach to getting healthy through dieting isn't working. The health and wellness industry has let us down.
Health and wellness coaching is a comprehensive and collaborative process between a qualified coach with a health and wellness background and a motivated client that encompasses discovery, problem-solving, action planning and the development of ongoing support systems for the purpose of ensuring clients achieve their desired health behaviors and/or outcomes not just for a finite and often short period but for the rest of their lives. Areas addressed include nutrition, fitness, stress management and adequate sleep with a special emphasis on nutrition and fitness. Coaching is about making sustainable long-term and long-lasting changes that lead to better health, more energy, more fulfilling relationships with family and friends, and a more productive life in general. Coaching is a process that helps you reach your full potential.
The coaching process is designed to:
identify core values as they relate to healthy behaviors
guide clients as they define their health vision and desired outcomes
assist clients as they establish preliminary short-term and long-term health and wellness goals
brainstorm and facilitate strategies for meeting these goals
advise clients as they explore their support network, barriers to change, motivation and self-efficacy
collaborate to create a concrete yet flexible action plan
provide ongoing support, guidance, accountability and structure as client implements the action plan and works toward and ultimately achieves goals
How does coaching actually work?
The coaching process starts with a discovery session. This session can last 1-2 hours and is used to identify a client's values, strengths, weaknesses, past successes and failures, and to discuss a client's goals for the coaching partnership. Following the discovery session and depending on the unique needs of the clients, Shaun may recommend meeting weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Sessions can take place at Shaun's office, over the phone, or via video conferencing. During these sessions, Shaun works closely with the client to set and refine goals, identify barriers, develop strategies, and create an action plan with specific, measurable, and attainable goals. She then provides detailed summarizes of each meeting to facilitate retention and compliance with the program. Whatever a client's health and wellness goals, Shaun is there for them every step of the way providing encouragement and motivation, assessing and reassessing progress, and facilitating problem solving when things aren't moving in the right direction. Her mission is fulfilled when her clients succeed.
Who benefits from coaching?
Anyone who has a health or wellness goal can benefit from coaching. That said, some individuals probably have more to gain from the intensive support offered through the coaching experience. For this reason, if any of the following apply to you, coaching might be a worthwhile investment.
You struggle to lose weight
You are a chronic yo-yo dieter
You have special health concerns like prediabetes, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis or other chronic disease process
You feel overwhelmed by all the confusing and conflicting information out there
You have difficulty making lasting change
You are determined to succeed and willing to put in the work it takes
But can I afford a coach?
Shaun has been in the health and wellness industry for over three decades and believes that health and wellness coaching is the next chapter in a very long book of solutions for those struggling with their health and/or their weight. She chose to pursue the coaching venue because she observed that even when people know what they need to do, often struggle with the actual doing part.
In her experience, coaching doesn't cost more than the combination of pills, lotions, potions, books, gadgets and other popular programs people are already trying, often without the lasting success they crave. Unfortunately, the "diet" industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that ultimately profits from our failures.
We all know the cycle. You go on a diet. You lose the weight (if you're lucky). You gain it back. So you try the next trendy diet or fad. Buy the newest diet book, try the latest fitness craze, or purchase the miracle pill of the moment.
The strength of health and wellness coaching is that it isn't necessarily focused on weight loss. Instead, it's focused on forming healthy habits that honor a client's health in ways that are meaningful to that individual. After all, if we knew how to maintain our weight or achieve optimum health through consistent healthy behaviors, there would never be any weight to lose in the first place and certainly far less disease to treat.
When she asks people what they care most about, the general consensus is that they want to look, feel, and be the best version of themselves that they can be. They want to enjoy their families and their lives and they want what they see in the mirror to reflect who they are and aspire to be. They want to be happy, healthy, and simply well.
And if you can't afford 1:1, no problem. You can join Shaun's Free Facebook Group where she provides daily workouts, 7-day weekly challenges, meal ideas, nutrition support and guidance plus a whole lot more. You simply need to join and show up.
What about my health insurance? Can I get reimbursed by my private insurer?
The short answer is maybe. The long answer is a little more complicated. As far as health coaching, most health insurance companies do not cover health and wellness coaching. However, some insurance companies do offer their members benefits for wellness programs like gym memberships etc. and as such might treat health and wellness coaching as comparable.