My health coaching clients teach me so much. Whether or not they realize it, it is a two way street. Their perseverance, their bravery, their courage, and their self-discovery is enlightening. Each and every one brings a unique story, a new perspective, and a plateful of wisdom to our coaching sessions.
This week, one of my accomplished clients finished her 6-Month Health Coaching Program. It was bittersweet to see our sessions end, but she had successfully progressed with her personal goals to the point where I believe she has the tools and confidence to continue her journey on her own.
When she shared the story and quote from her yoga teacher in one of our sessions (and testimonial below), it resonated with me personally. Yes, while being fit (and fitness in general) does bring an aspect of happiness to my life, a fit body cannot account for all of our happiness. This client actively focused her energy on non-food and fitness areas of her life in the last six months; by doing so, she found that not only did her personal relationships improve, but so did her thoughts on eating and exercise.
“A few nights ago, I went out to dinner to an Italian restaurant. I ate fresh bread, salad, and whole wheat pasta with lots of veggies and a garlic and oil sauce. This might sound like an ordinary meal, but before this health coaching I would have ordered a garden salad with no cheese, no dressing, and no croutons. I would have skipped the bread basket completely and eaten every last bite of my salad. I would have gone home ravenous and ate until I felt sick. Instead, I mindfully enjoyed some (not all) of the bread, some (not all) of the salad, and a large portion, but not all, of my veggie pasta. I enjoyed the conversation, ate slowly, and chewed my food. I came home that night with a full belly and happily put my leftovers in the fridge. A few hours later, I went to bed. I didn’t eat anything after dinner because I wasn’t hungry. This is such progress to me, and I feel very proud of myself. Leaving food on my plate was always a foreign concept to me, as was not eating before bed, and not eating complete meals. I was so rigid in my personal nutrition beliefs that I took it way overboard and always scrutinized myself for my choices. More and more, I have been enjoying meals. Prior to coaching, I mindlessly snacked all day long and did not eat sufficient meals. I didn’t eat enough food and my body reacted. Now, I enjoy meal time and set my distractions aside while I eat. I also enjoy the occasional ice cream cone (cow’s milk ice cream) for a special occasion and don’t think twice about it. I don’t label my eating habits as vegan or gluten free. I eat foods that make me feel good and nourish me.
I have also embraced my “primary foods.” When I under-ate and snacked all day long, I was eating quality, whole foods but was not eating enough. I was irritable, anxious, and I isolated myself. Often in those isolated times I would binge. I was afraid to eat in front of other people because I didn’t want to hear any comments from others about my food choices. In the past few months my primary foods have greatly increased and I feel so much better emotionally. When I was undereating and only eating “good” foods, I slept 8-9 hours a night and exercised. I thought I was very healthy. But I learned that health is so much more than just food, sleep, and exercise. It’s also about recognizing your feelings, fostering relationships, laughing, and saying “yes.”
I have been exercising intuitively, too. I had some time where I enjoyed walking, some periods when I enjoyed lifting, running, yoga, etc. I love moving and being active. It makes me feel good, physically and emotionally. It also helps me sleep well. One of my yoga teachers, Parker Bean, says, “Ultimately, being fit won’t make you happy”. For the longest time I disagreed with her. But now I see that there is so much more to life: relationships, spirituality, career, etc. that bring joy, too. I am training for a half-marathon right now and am listening to my body. I also am learning how to swim (conquering a small fear). I am proud of myself for trying.” — Abby
I invite you to schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session with me to decide if health coaching is right for you. During this free 45-minute session (in person or by phone), we will discuss your health and lifestyle to determine how I can best support you in achieving your goals.
Ultimately, being fit won’t make you happy.”
Do you agree?