Living A Vibrant Life
Before jumping right into the Holistic Health Coaching definition, I have a question for you…
Are you living a happy, healthy, joy-filled and purpose-filled life?
(And the emphasis is on the word AND)
Many people do not feel happy or healthy or joy-filled, let alone know their purpose in life. There are a huge amount of people wandering around “in the desert” directionless. Rick Warren writes: “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.”
So while we’re all trying to figure out our purpose for existence, we are living life here on this earth one day at a time. We are pursuing busy careers or 9-5 jobs, we are in school getting educated and preparing for adult life, we are raising families instilling values in our children that will help them to become the people we have become (or better) or we are in our golden years looking back on our lives and wishing we were in better health to enjoy these golden years.
While we are living this life, are we paying attention to our health along the way? The answer is clearly NO. With all the technology advances we get to enjoy (that were invented to make our lives easier and to free up time), us humans have become lazier when it comes to eating well and exercising. Have you noticed that we have become a nation of overweight and obese people?
My belief is that we have replaced a whole foods diet with processed foods, fast foods, soft drinks and energy drinks, which causes us to feel sluggish and lack energy, and as a result, we don’t have the energy for exercise. What a perfect storm for sickness. We didn’t see it coming. It’s like the boiled frog syndrome: the frog in the pot of water was comfortable until the changing of the temperature increased ever so slightly, so the frog just adapted to the increasing temperatures until it was too late. The frog didn’t know it was being boiled to death.
In 2013-2014, the National Center for Health Statistics stated that for the U.S.:
- 70.7% of adults are overweight and 37.9% of adults are obese
- 20.6% of adolescents (ages 12-19) are obese
- 17.4% of children (ages 6-11) are obese
- 9.4% of children (ages 2-5) are obese
And obesity leads to all kinds of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, infertility, depression and the list goes on.
In the past 30 years, adult obesity in the U.S. has QUADRUPLED and childhood obesity has TRIPLED just in the last decade (World Health Organization). And if we don’t change this trajectory, then nearly half of all Americans will be obese by 2030 (The Lancet).
Those are SCARY statistics!
The good news is that we have the power to change this course we’re on. We have the power to choose to eat differently, exercise more, sleep longer hours, connect relationally with people and discover our purpose through a relationship with our higher power. We have the power and yet we often don’t live in our power. Sadly, we yield our power over to our cravings and our desire for instant gratification.
The Role of a Holistic Health Coach
That’s where an Integrative Nutrition “holistic” Health Coach (INHC) comes in. We help our clients achieve goals set by them for health and wellness. We look at their current lifestyle, set goals for improving their health and wellness (using the bio-individual concept) and then challenge them to implement small sustainable changes that, over time, accumulate into life-long habits.
We take the holistic approach and look at the primary foods (career, relationships, exercise, self-care and spirituality) and the secondary foods (bio-individual diet) of their lifestyle. The key concept for INHCs is that we believe that every person is unique in their bio-chemistry design and, as such, we help clients tune into their own uniqueness to discover what works well for their body and lifestyle. We are interested in “fitting out” not “fitting in” to a prescribed diet or lifestyle that works well for anyone (for the time they follow the rules).
It’s important to note here that as health coaches; we are not Registered Dieticians, Nutritionists, Medical Doctors or professional Therapists. We do not diagnose or treat illnesses and we cannot prescribe a diet for any medical conditions. We can fill the gap when working with medical professionals to help carry out the treatment plans prescribed by them. But our role is to help clients get back to basics with whole foods, less processed foods, less sugar and to focus on the primary foods areas, which often times can play a bigger role than food itself.
Our greatest value comes from walking alongside our clients, encouraging them and holding them accountable in their journey to health and wellness so they can live happy, healthy, joy-filled and purpose-filled lives.