As many of you know, I started a one year program to become a Certified Health Coach in July. I made the decision to become a Health Coach, because my experience looking for help with my autoimmune diseases was so confusing and, most of all, lonely. I had many, many dark days and dead-ends in my search to heal. My breakthrough came when I received a clear diagnosis of Celiac Disease and learned that it was primarily a disease of malnourishment.
As I slowly resolved my health issues through nutritional and lifestyle approaches, it became increasingly clear to me that our world, as a whole, is malnourished. In the U.S. that problem is becoming ever more difficult to ignore. For instance, our medical system is clearly under great strain from patients with myriads of diet and lifestyle related diseases. Our doctors, even those with the best of intentions, are unable to keep up with the needs of their patients. There are even some that feel the problem is getting big enough to affect our national security. The military organization, Mission: Readiness, reported in 2012 that military recruitment is now impacted by our nation's poor health, with 1 in 4 young Americans too unfit or overweight to join the service. I believe the health care field will be forced to change over the coming years under this strain. A model that includes more and more parahealth professionals to assist doctors in coaching their patients through the dietary and lifestyle changes necessary for better management, and even reversal, of their diseases, will be more appropriate. My hope is that my training will allow me to be a part of the solution to this malnourishment . . . an answer to my country's health crisis.
That malnourishment starts in our stomachs, but it reaches all the way to our souls. I encounter people in my every day life and through my Facebook page all the time that are truly battling the emotional side of this crisis of malnourishment. I know exactly what that feels like and devote alot of my blog platform to addressing that side of healing. My hope is that my journey has uniquely equipped me to meet people at that lonely, confusing place and be their partner on the path to wellness . . . a path I want to illuminate "in a whole new light."
As of today, I am pre-certified and can begin to actively work with clients as I launch into the last half of the course. I've learned so much from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition on nutrition, lifestyle, and coaching and I am excited to use the final months of my program to refine this knowledge and begin honing my skills as a coach.
Over the last several months I have worked with three special folks, my "guinea pigs," in my efforts to learn what a great Health Coach needs to offer. It has been an awesome hands-on experience. I'm not sure any of them realize it, but they have taught me so much about working with people as they transform their health, much more than I have taught them. Over the next three days (and with their permission of course) I am going to be sharing their stories here on the blog. I am so excited to introduce my audience to my "test" clients. On Friday I'll be sharing some feedback from other people I have had the chance to work with on a shorter term basis. I hope you'll be back to read about their accomplishments and cheer them all on as they tackle autoimmunity and other health issues.
Again, I want to say thank you to all of you, my readers. You have been incredible encouraging me toward this career. I can't really express how excited I am to begin. No, I really can't express it . . . 'cause it makes me all weepy and giggly and embarrassingly dorky. 😉