Below are the most common myths and doubts I’ve seen arise when talking with people about health coaching. Have you ever thought any of these yourself?
They’re going to make you eat all kale all the time
This is a big and very common misconception, and brings up another common assumption…
They only eat all things kale all the time
True story, two of my favorite things in this world are cookies (this recipe in particular, and it gets made at least a few times/month in my home) and martinis (extra dirty, up, dry, and preferably with stuffed olives, to be precise).
I completely understand both of these myths, because before I got on the healthy train I assumed the same of anyone in the wellness world. In reality, there are people like that. My approach though, and what I hope my clients aim to achieve, is a life of balance.
I recently told a client that if he went to Italy and didn’t eat the pasta or gelato that he wanted, only because he thought it was “bad” if he did, that I’d have some choice words for him.
Health coaching is about helping you figure out what foods and habits make YOU feel your best, and knowing when eating or doing things that don’t serve you are worth it (see: my client in Italy). It’s about progress not perfection. It’s about making small but impactful changes to create habits that will stick around. It’s not about counting calories, jumping on the latest diet trend, or just eating something because you hear it’s the new superfood.
They don’t struggle with any health/wellness concerns themselves
Erroneous on both accounts!
One of the things that makes health coaches good at what they do is that they understand where you’re coming from because they’ve either gone through or still do struggle over the same things as you. This empathy makes the coaching relationship that much stronger, and it usually means they have that much more of an understanding of where you’re coming from and how to help. Perhaps something that they’ve tried will work for you!
They’ll judge your weight or your lifestyle habits
If they do, then they’re not doing their job. Similar to what I just mentioned, many coaches have been exactly where you are and the reason they’re in this field is because they want to use that understanding to help others get unstuck and make changes to feel happier and healthier too.
They don’t believe in Western medicine
My grandfather, father, twin brother, father-in-law and sister-in-law: all Medical Doctors. My grandmother and sister: both work in hospitals. My mother, mother-in-law, and older brother: all in the nursing field. I’d be kicked out of the family if I didn’t believe. In all seriousness, integrative nutrition is a means to supplement Western medicine and to get to the underlying root causes of diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. My husband used to be on 2 different medications for his high blood pressure, and I never told him to stop taking them. After introducing yoga and more veggies into his world though, he’s no longer on any medication.
They’re too expensive for you to afford
The rates for health coaches vary greatly, but it’s often cheaper than people anticipate, especially when you compare it to the price of potential medical costs if you don’t take care of yourself. I encourage people to think about it as an investment in themselves.
We're so quick to spend in other areas of our lives (iPhones, gifts for others, new clothes/shoes, going out to eat or buying overpriced take-out meals, expensive beauty products, you name it) but we often hesitate when it comes to spending money on the things that really matter.
What's truly more important than investing in your own health and wellness?
They won’t be able to help you
Of course, there are no guarantees in life. But typically, if you go into the process with both an open-mind and a commitment to actually showing up for yourself and doing the work, then you WILL see results. How often do you spend 60 minutes talking about yourself with someone who is truly, enthusiastically listening? Often times, the simple act of slowing down and being in a safe space to just talk about what’s going on in your life can be healing in and of itself.