Explaining what I do as a health coach can be difficult: while the profession is certainly growing, it’s still an alien concept for many.
In my workshops, I often like to explain my work using stories, which seem to make more sense than a lot of theory and explanation, so for the rest of this month, it’s story time!
The first story I tell is titled, “Where are you hiding?”
Without revealing any names so as to protect the innocent—although this is certainly not uncommon, which makes it a good story—here is a snapshot of the start of a health coaching session with a client who came to me for help with cleaning up her pantry and feeding her family more healthfully.
–What’s new and good?
–Well, my husband got a promotion, my son made the travel soccer team, and my daughter is now involved with the robotics team at school, which is something she’s talked about doing for years.
–And what was challenging for you in the time since we last talked?
–Well, you can imagine that with a promotion, my husband has to work longer hours, so he can’t do the cooking and other things he used to help out with at least a little. And with my sons’ new schedule, I have to do a lot more driving, including on weekends. My daughter’s new schedule means that she’s not home to watch her brother after school, which adds another layer of complexity.
–So tell me, where are you hiding in this story? When was the last time you actually showed up in your own life?
Does this sound familiar? Did you have the same reaction to the last questions?
“But that’s my point! I’m so busy—I can never find the time to do what I want to do!”
You may think that your health issues are related to your food choices—what I call secondary foods. This is a natural assumption for sure, and one that I can help you sort out, and yet there are a lot of primary foods—lifestyle choices—that also play into our holistic health, and this is where a health coach can be vital.
As your health coach, I help you stop running around putting out fires and start figuring out why your lifescape is suffering from drought conditions to begin with. Then we start watering the drought, one small area at a time.
When we take a step back long enough to get a longer view, it’s easier to see how our health deteriorated over time. I like to draw the analogy that someone who is overweight didn’t get that way overnight: it took weeks and months and years of poor food and lifestyle choices to get that way.
Just like Eliza in the musical Hamilton, we’ve erased ourselves from the narrative—but unlike her, we did it a step at a time, not with one big letter bonfire.
How to put ourselves back in the narrative?
Exactly the same way we wrote ourselves out: a little bit at a time.
As a first step, I invite you to consider the following excellent questions, adapted from Sarah over at The Contented Minimalist.
What do you choose to do…
- …because it is vital to the well-being of yourself and your family? (And really consider, is it vital, or is it something society has put on you as an expectation?)
- …because it is in line with your genuine interests and goals? (Yes, that means you should spend some time figuring those out.)
- …because it stems from guilt? (Ohh, that’s a good one, for sure.)
- …because it stems from a desire to be seen as the perfect [insert life role here]? (Oh yeah, whether those expectations are external or internal, this one is HUGE.)
- …because you truly want to? (When’s the last time anyone—including yourself—asked what you wanted to do?)
…and perhaps most importantly,
What do you do because you are functioning on autopilot and haven’t thought intentionally about how you could spend this time and energy instead?
If that all feels a bit overwhelming, I invite you to apply for my next virtual group coaching series, which will start in mid-January and will help you to declutter your daytimer so that you can put yourself back in your own life story.
Want to dig deeper into your own health story? Schedule a FREE 1:1 YOURstory consultation! I am now taking clients starting in January 2018.
As Smokey the Bear says, only you can prevent wildfires….