Health Coaching 101

I did a health coaching session with a lawyer this morning and as we were talking, I was struck with this notion (as I am often wont to be) that all of us innately have all the knowledge and all the tools we need for optimal health at our fingertips; right inside us. Sometimes all it takes is just a nod and a smile and an affirmation from someone else that we are indeed on the right track, and what we’re thinking is actually not crazy, or stupid, or too obvious, or just downright wrong. This seems simple I know, but it’s amazing when you talk to people about their health, how often they have most of the answers inside them. Just articulating these ‘knowings’ out loud to someone else is often all they need. And on top of that, articulating them and making this realisation feels really good!

This got me thinking about my reticence when it came to starting the blog. Why did it take me so long to get it started? What held me back? I knew deep down it was what I needed to do, and I knew deep down that it wasn’t going to be all that hard. And still I wavered. I guess in the end it comes down to stepping out of a comfort zone and having trust. For me, having the trust that I can do something that I perceive to be highly technical is a big, big deal. But when push comes to shove (in other words, my fiancé was too busy with his own work to set it up for me) I can do it. And when I succeed, I feel good – that makes sense. And so it is when we acknowledge, then start to address, our health and wellness goals. We realise that what we’ve been putting off for so long – or dancing around, or stop-starting so that any steps forward are soon undone by steps back – isn’t all that hard after-all. What we’re actually getting stuck on most of the time is either the details, or the big picture. Let me explain.

I’m essentially a very right-brained person. I need to see the big picture in order to be able to understand and/or connect with what I’m doing. That’s also how I learn. If I’m learning something that’s fairly involved and detailed, I need to understand why I’m learning it. If I don’t understand all of it, I struggle to understand any of it; I can’t see the big picture easily and therefore I struggle to connect with it, or I connect with it negatively. Left-brained people on the other hand, connect with the details of what they’re looking at/learning. They make sense out of the details much more than a right-brained person like myself would. They rationally and logically break it down with ease. Whereas I need a connection to it that is relevant to me and enables me to see the big picture.

What happens if I need to focus on details without the big picture is that I fall into a ‘stress pattern’ – in other words, a flight/fight (adrenalin producing) response because the task is such a stressor to me. In terms of the blog scenario then, because I have no chance of understanding the big picture (I will never, and I mean NEVER understand how what’s going on in the background works) then focusing on the necessary details to get it done becomes a high stress learning situation for me. You see? So it becomes something that I avoid – because we naturally want to avoid stressors of that nature in our life.

For many people that stressor is losing weight. What is really a simple case of balancing calories in with calories out – not rocket science by even the slightest stretch of the imagination – becomes an impossible task because of the amount of stress attached to it. This stress might be from a childhood issue, a negative sense of self, a subconscious fear of being sexually attractive… a whole gamut of things could constitute and contribute to such a stress. How do you get rid of the stress so the task becomes low-stress and easy?
1. Dig around to find out what the cause of the stress is.
2. Acknowledge it and give yourself permission to have those feelings, or that experience without any guilt whatsoever.
3. Off-load the stress! – How? You need to read the book of course!
I guess I better go and finish it then!!



Filed under Health, Weight Loss

2 responses to “Health Coaching 101

  1. Danielle Hannah

    I think that final paragraph should be posted up at bus stops!! The stress attached to losing weight is the thing that gets you everytime!! Hit a huge chord with me! Well said Mon – that paragraph should be one of your first in the weightloss section of the book! Dan x


  2. Right, well we better get photocopying then girl! Perhaps I should stick that para in somewhere – thanks for the tip! Love all your comments, so please come and visit clit-land again 😉


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