How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to be a health coach?
When I was younger, I worked in the media, mainly as a BBC local radio presenter. My work was very sedentary and like many people, I drove to work, sat down in the office or studio all day and drove home again, only to sit in front the TV in the evenings. I never exercised and I was confused about the sort of food I should be eating.
Although on the surface, my life seemed successful, inside I was unhappy. I spent most of my 20s and 30s on a diet. I lost weight and put it all back on over and over again. I went through periods of not eating and periods of over-eating until I was so mixed up, I didn’t know what I should be eating. I felt as though I hated my body and I was at war with it.
It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I began to find my way. I took up running, became interested in nutrition and finally lost the extra weight. The more I learned, the more I felt I wanted to share my new passion for health and fitness with other people. I know that there are so many people who are so unhappy about their body shape, people whose relationship with food has become so confused that they no longer know what or when they should be eating. That was when I decided to train as a health coach so that I could help other people to learn the things that I had learned.
Who are your clients exactly?
My clients tend to be in their 40s and 50s. They are people with busy lives who work hard in their professional life and often have family commitments in the evenings and at weekends. They feel as though they don’t have time to exercise or cook meals from scratch, so they often find themselves eating quick-to-cook food from their freezer or ordering a take-away. They like to eat out sometimes and they enjoy their food. They have tried to diet and have often had success with their weight loss in the past, but when the diet finished, they gradually put the weight back on. As a result of the extra weight they often have health issues such as Type 2 Diabetes.
What is the difference between a health coach and a personal trainer?
A personal trainer works with a client to devise a fitness regime which will help the client to lose body fat and build muscle. A healthy diet is also necessary for any work with a personal trainer to be effective. As a health coach, I see my clients for weekly online coaching sessions. I help people to develop long term habit change so that they adopt a healthier lifestyle. I work with them to find a form of exercise that they enjoy, to eat food that benefits their health and to manage their stress, which is often a cause of weight gain and poor digestion. Incidentally, I am also qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer.