Woo hoo, this week (January 12 – 18) is the first annual Health Coach Week!
I’m still riding the high of graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). From January until December of 2014, I munched my way through the IIN curriculum and graduated this past December as a certified Holistic Health Coach.
I wrote a handful of blog posts while I was in school:
My exciting announcement to go back to school!
Now that I’m through with the program, here is a synopsis of my experience at IIN:
During my senior year of college, I stressed over what I would do post-graduation. I landed a pretty sweet job – which I sill have – working in the corporate wellness industry for a fantastic company; but, despite graduating with a B.S. in Food and Nutrition Communication, I was craving more nutrition knowledge. I also was not fulfilling the personal one-on-one interaction with individuals that lifted my spirit during my internship as a peer nutrition mentor.
Many of the health and food blogs I read lead me to IIN graduates’ websites, as we are all connected in this community one way or another; I read nothing but positive feedback about IIN’s unique Health Coaching Program. At the end of 2013, I took the plunge and enrolled at IIN after months and months of contemplation. Not one week during the program, did I regret signing myself up for this journey. IIN lives up to all that says it is; and, in my opinion, the value of the program surpasses the cost of tuition.
The program is 40 weeks long, with 1 module per week. There are very few breaks in the curriculum, which is one of the few cons in my opinion. I personally wished for more time to soak up all of the information given (isn’t this always the case?). That said, a huge bonus is that the material is available to students for one full year after graduation.
One thing I heavily appreciated is that the program does not present biased nutrition information; in fact, I feel as though the actual nutrition/food component was of lesser concentration than that of the business/coaching/marketing skills.
By the end of the program (if you put in the time, and participate), you will know the basics of coaching and setting up a business. You’ll have more resources than you will ever need; you’ll have listened to lecture upon lecture from renowned doctors and researches and coaches that have opposite opinions about veganism and the Paleo diet. You’ll have the inside scoop on marketing yourself in a professional manner. You’ll probably budget your finances better, eat with the seasons, and listen to your friends on a whole new level.
IIN is a unique curriculum that was right for me.
I had a few people ask questions about IIN on the Nutrition Nut Facebook page:
What did you enjoy the most about your experience? What was the most challenging?
Now that I am through with the curriculum, what remains fondest in my memory, are the Coaching Circle Calls. One of the graduation requirements at IIN is to participate in at least six of the twelve Coaching Circle Calls. These calls are with one Health Coach/IIN graduate and a group of your current classmates. I adored my coach, Susan, who was all the way down under in Australia. I valued these calls so much that I attended all twelve. (I even called in on my birthday!) Susan was a fantastic coach, giving us wise advice as we advanced through the program. I will forever be grateful for that connection we shared across the globe.
The Coaching Circle Calls ended in September, yet I didn’t finish the program until December. I do wish the calls had extended the course of the program.
How did the instructors help you feel “connected” even though it was an online program?
As mentioned above – Coaching Circle Calls! Also, it was not required, but highly recommend to find a Peer Coach and have 12 “sessions” with them. My fellow classmate and healthy living blogger, Nicole, and I connected and scheduled regular calls with each other throughout the year… and we’ve remained in contact post-graduation.
In addition, I practiced coaching with classmates around the country via phone calls/Skype. Facebook group pages are huge at IIN – there was one for each class, as well as for individual Coaching Circles. I did not participate heavily on the Discussion Boards, but those are available on the Online Education Forum, as well.
Health Coach Defined
“A Health Coach offers guidance and inspiration to help clients shift their behavior to healthier habits by making step-by-step changes to their diet and lifestyle. The client learns about new, healthy foods and the concept of primary foods: relationships, physical activity, career, and spirituality… Health Coaches focus on teaching clients to become self-sufficient by observing their own unique responses to various modifications and choosing health-promoting behaviors that work for them.”
What does a Health Coach do?
“A Health Coach is a guide and mentor who empowers clients to take responsibility for their own health and supports them to implement and sustain lifestyle and behavior changes that will contribute to the achievement of their personal wellness goals.”
Common areas a Health Coach may help with: weight management, food cravings, sleep, energy, stress management, and digestion.
What does a Health Coach NOT do?
“A Health Coach does not take the place of any medical practitioner; rather, he or she serves as the missing link–the patient guide–that helps develop strategies to enact real, lasting lifestyle changes that address not only the diagnostic label (i.e. pre-diabetic), but also serve to enhance the client’s overall wellness.”
I know that IIN is a successful program, as I have witnessed the transformation from the support of personalized coaching. I am now seeing clients — both in person locally, and by phone.
If you’re interested in my 6-Month 1:1 Health Coaching Program OR if you are interested in the IIN Health Coach certificate program for yourself, I would be happy to chat with you (I can offer you a tuition discount, too!).