So…what the heck is this whole health coaching thing? Maybe you feel like you have it all together. Maybe you think definitely don’t need someone to help you. Or, maybe your life feels like it’s constantly spinning out of control. We are all different. We are all at a different place in our journey. Today, I want to open up about my experience with the FOF Health Coaching Program. Warning…this is a raw, uncomfortable, and extremely vulnerable post for me, so bear with me.
You might have 100 lbs to lose. You might just need to get back into a regular exercise routine. Or, you might be eating really well, exercising regularly, but you still feel like you just can’t keep up with the pace of life. Everything might be lining up for you right now, but you would like to learn more about how the body processes foods and strategies to manage tough circumstances when they come.
I get it. I feel like I have most aspects of health and wellness under control. It is my job after all to work with people day in and day out, to teach people about food and fitness, and to know how to manage stress. Even though I study this stuff regularly, my husband is a health coach, I practice what I preach, and I have been through the health coaching program several times now, I learn something new and receive a new benefit each and every single time I listen to a webinar, sit down with a reflection form, or just participate in the program again. This is why I know, without a doubt, that no matter what point you are at in your journey, you will benefit from this program. Here are just a few ways I’ve benefitted.
Let’s get this straight. The FOF Health Coaching Program is NOT a weight loss program. We aren’t going to tell you how many calories to eat or plan your meals for you. We’ve been doing this health and fitness thing for a long time. Those programs don’t work for the long haul. This program teaches you about food. We dive into the “why” of food and how the body responds to it. We teach you how to eat healthy for a lifetime, not just 12 weeks.
Fat loss becomes a by product of this program. As you begin to get healthy, you begin to lose fat. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. You have to understand as you begin this process that skinny is not the same as healthy and healthy is not the same as skinny. The goal is to be healthy. I love this program because the scale is not the focus. You might have a goal of fat loss, and I can say with confidence that you will likely achieve it, but as you look back, you will be able to realize that you experienced fat loss without ever becoming obsessed over the scale.
A Shift in Mindset
If you would have asked me two years ago if I needed a change in my mindset when it came to health and fitness, I would have told you not “no,” but “heck no.” Honestly, I thought my perspective on health, fitness, and food was pretty darn good. However, once I began really looking at my approach to many things regarding my health, I saw some room for improvement when it came to my mindset.
See, I was, and have been for a long time, a chronic exerciser. This is an easy trap for me to fall into because I really do love to workout and run. Even though I do love to exercise and I know better, I would easily fall into the trap of trying to out train poor food choices. I would eat because I worked out, or I would add in an extra run so I could eat. Please don’t think I had an eating issue…I just simply used training or exercise as an excuse to justify food choices.
Changing my mindset here was incredibly freeing. I began to see that I was displaying some patterns of chronic exercises which was actually not helping me. Instead of listening to my body, I would dredge my way through a workout just because I thought I needed to get my 5-6 workouts in for the week.
Now, I find so much more freedom in why I workout. I don’t workout because I ate pizza. Ice cream and dessert hold a dear place in my heart, but I don’t workout just so that I can eat some Ben and Jerry’s. I don’t workout when I know my body needs rest. When I know that a restorative yoga session is what I need, I don’t feel guilty for skipping a heavy weighted workout or a run and focusing on recovery. This program changed my mindset on exercise, and I finally said good bye to chronic exercise patterns.
The Downward Spiral
It’s a little hard to admit, but in addition to chronic exercise patterns, falling into a downward spiral with my nutrition was easy for me to do. Instead of letting one meal or dessert be just that…one meal or one dessert…I would find that I allowed one bad meal to turn into another bad meal, or another dessert, or a drink or two, and then a pizza. If anyone has been down this road, you know what comes next. Guilt, shame, and self sabotage begin to make their way into your head.
If you can relate to this in any form, know that one bad choice is nothing more than one bad choice. A poor decision at lunch or on Friday night has absolutely nothing to do with your next choice. This is much easier said than done, but once you can work through the barriers and the road blocks that send you into a downward spiral, you can stop the on again off again, yo-yo mess. You can celebrate your kid’s birthday with cake and not let that celebration bleed into the next meal, the next day, or the next week. The FOF Health Coaching program has allowed me to move past this spiral, and all it brings with it – good bye guilt, shame, self punishment.
If you don’ know me, let me just tell you a little about my personality. I am a dweller. I replay things over and over and over in my head. It is very easy for me to get lost in my circumstances. I would consistently make choices based on my circumstances. While I don’t have a past that is rough or traumatic, I have allowed myself to use my circumstances as an excuse or a justification. Instead of rising above my circumstances, I have been ruled by them. Life doesn’t have to be this way. You always have a choice. Sure, your circumstances might completely suck, but you always have a choice in how you respond.
It wasn’t until recently that I really realized how different my response to circumstances has become. In the past, I would allow a hiccup, a bad comment, sickness, rough patch, valley, or just about anything else consume me. I would find myself caught up in it, dwelling on how I wanted something to change. My circumstances were owning me. Now, I own my circumstances. Sure, sometimes the valleys are long and deep, and the peak of the mountain seems so far away. But, by learning about my response and understanding the power found in it, I don’t have to dwell anymore.
Focus on Me
I’m probably just like any of you reading. I am in the thick of chaos a lot of the time. It’s sometimes easier for me to put myself to the side and bury myself in my work, my family, or my to do list. Even though most of us would say that we want to focus on ourselves, we find excuses to justify skipping over self care, quiet time, food preparation, or our workout just so that we can do something for someone else.
Here’s the hard truth….If you are not taking care of yourself, you absolutely cannot take great care of anyone else. Oh, you can hang on for a little while, but your endurance will run out, and you are quickly left feeling drained and overwhelmed.
When you are at your best, you can fulfill the purpose you have on this planet to serve and take care of others. Taking 12 weeks to actually put a focus on yourself seems like a lot. But, I would encourage you to look at the whole picture here. Yes, the program does have a weekly webinar, and you will be spending some time reflecting, journaling, and learning. What you will also be doing throughout this program is energizing yourself, setting your day up for success, managing your stress, sleeping better, cooking nutrient dense meals for your family, moving and training so that you can keep up with your kids, and transforming your health.
So, yes, 12 weeks is a lot. It was a lot for me too, and remember I didn’t even think I needed what this program had to offer. You must know that you are worth it. You are your best return on investment. Take the time to focus on you. You won’t regret it.
Voices of Influence
Like it or not, there are voices of influence all around you. It might be your spouse, your friends, your doctor, your co-workers, or your inner critic.
Words of others are powerful, and they are speaking to you all the time. A simple word or sentence from someone can quickly plant a seed of doubt. It can cause you to question yourself or your ability. Voices of others can tell you that you have failed too many times to get it right or that your genes suck and you are never going to be free of the medicines you are taking.
The voices of others are the outside voices, and I personally am very easily influenced by them. Just this week, I quickly began doubting myself just because of one simple sentence that was spoken to me. The person wasn’t being mean and probably had absolutely no intent to make me think twice. But that one sentence did make me think. In the past, I wouldn’t have recognized this, and this thought would have started to take root. Now, I can easily point these voices out, sit down with myself and look at the truth, and then move on.
Your Inner Critic
Alright, I am about as far from an express your feelings type person as you can get. I was literally convinced that my self talk was either fine or just didn’t exist. Boy, was I so wrong. The issue with self talk is that most of the time, the script playing in our head has been playing for so long that it’s simply background noise. You don’t really recognize it, and you definitely don’t acknowledge it. This was me. I challenge you to do something. Take an honest look at your self talk in moments when you are struggling.
What do you say to yourself when you make a bad choice? When you look in the mirror, what runs through your head? If you fail, or don’t accomplish something, what comes to mind? What do you think to yourself when you want to start something new or different? Be honest.
I found that I would often tell myself the following script when looking in the mirror. “Your body really should look better, Kenzie. Your job is to workout and to eat healthy. Why don’t you look like __________? You’ve definitely put on a few pounds. You better do something now.” And on, and on, and on. Okay, stop the script. Seriously, I would never say something like this to someone else. Why would I say it to myself? The voices had just played for so long that I could barely hear them. When you start paying attention and can acknowledge your self talk, you can stop it. You can re-write the story playing in your head.
Think about what you say to yourself, and honestly think about whether you would say the same thing to your kids, to your friends, or to a stranger. Working through this 12 weeks, you will begin to re-write your story. You will learn to recognize the voices playing softly in the background, because whether you realize it or not, those little voices are affecting each decision you make.
Thankfully, sleep has never been an issue for me. Josh has told me that once my head hits the pillow, it’s literally seconds before I am clearly snoozing soundly. I also consistently sleep through the night, so I didn’t really think that my sleep could improve much. However, learning about sleep made me realize that it’s not to be overlooked. It’s vital. We can’t keep following the philosophy that “you can sleep when you are dead.”
I started following and implementing some better sleep hygiene, and what I found was that instead of getting in bed with a weight still sitting on my chest, I go to bed in a more restful and calm state. My mind isn’t all over the place. I am ready for bed, and I sleep soundly. Where in the past, I would sacrifice sleep in order to knock off a few more items on my to-do list, sleep is now a huge priority.
Less Stress and More Energy
How I eat and how energized I feel go hand in hand. Poor nutrition often leads to a feeling of lethargy. Stress will straight up kill you. I am by nature a pretty laid back person. Not much ruffles me, but for some reason, my energy levels can sometimes be all over the place. Where I found benefit and an increased level of not only energy, but mental awareness, was in addressing the mental and physical fatigue that I was putting myself through each day. Through different stress management techniques, journaling, and time management strategies, I now move through the afternoon without feeling like I need a nap or a huge cup of coffee.
I am still busy. My workload has gotten larger, not smaller. But, I am no longer overwhelmed. I’ve learned to identify and eliminate distractions. I have learned to manage my time better and really prioritize what is important. The world glorifies being busy. In my opinion, you can’t fully enjoy this short time you have on Earth, if you are constantly busy and overwhelmed. Our level of busyness sucks the energy right out of us.
We have to address our stress and our energy. What if you could go through the day feeling energized and like you are firing on all cylinders? Sure, I definitely still have some days where I feel drained, but for the most part, I am climbing through life feeling energized, alert, and ready to tackle the day.
Josh is a walking book of research. He is totally nerdy when it comes to learning about food, the body, and fitness. The science of health is really interesting to him. Personally, I really like to know a lot, but I also like the CliffsNotes version. I guess it makes sense since I was always the first person lined up for the tutoring cram sessions offered before exams for any business class at UF. I like a few details, but some of the research can lose me.
When it comes to the body, food, and fitness trends, I read a lot, I listen to podcasts, and I study quite a bit. Take it up a notch, and there’s Josh. His mind remembers much better than mine, and he’s an incredible teacher.
This program takes every book, article or blog post he’s read, every certification he’s completed, every podcast he’s listened to, and over 10 years of experience, and breaks it down into a basic form that is really easy to understand. For example, he talks about cholesterol in a way that made me finally understand it. It really is super simple.
The best part of the course is not just the insane amount of knowledge that you receive, but you learn how to actually implement that knowledge. Since knowledge is pretty much useless if you don’t apply it, the implementation of what you learn is one of the keys to success.
What are you waiting for?
I could go on and on. Some of the changes and benefits that I have received from FOF Health Coaching have become such a part of my day, that I don’t even see them anymore. I would challenge you to take a hard look at the Fall 2018 course. It will change you. It will allow you to stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, and live in the NOW. Can you imagine how different your life would be if you really lived each day in the present?
Registration for the Fall 2018 course ends on September 2nd. Don’t wait until 2019. Put your excuses aside, and know that you are worth the investment. If I found benefit, I am confident that you will too. Register online now.
Want more information? Watch the webinar above or give us a call. We’d love to talk to you more.
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