Meet Ashley, my very first client! Ashley approached me through my Facebook page last June & basically said, "I need some help. Will you coach me?" I was just getting ready to begin my health coaching program and I knew the opportunity to have some "guinea pig" clients would be a great way for me to learn and grow in my new profession. I made sure Ashley was okay with being my experiment and after we were certain we'd be a good match, we started Ashley's new journey on July 1.
Ashley is in her early 40's and at the time we began working, she had a diagnosis of Hashimoto's and IBS. Her life was being dominated by the IBS, so she wanted to do whatever it took to improve those symptoms. She also wanted to concentrate on learning the Autoimmune Protocol in order to better control her Hashi's. The big hurdle . . . Ashley didn't cook at all! Her confidence about taking on this lifestyle was really low, since she was so uncertain about the restrictive, home-prepared diet. I was up for the challenge, but a little nervous about how I was going to help someone who lived on the other side of the country learn to cook!!
We jumped in with both feet and slowly, one step at a time, I guided Ashley through the adaptation process into full AIP and helped her learn to grocery shop, adjust recipes, and plan and prep her menus. Fears over cooking are a thing of the past. I also encouraged Ashley to go deeper with her GI doc, as I suspected her IBS was really Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. We talked about what questions to take to him and what the testing and treatment process would be like. The results came back positive and now, following treatment, Ashley is mostly "IBS" symptom free for the first time in 17 years! We also recently went through the process of selecting a new doc to help her monitor her thyroid health (she's going to go see one of the rockstar thyroid docs!) and discovered that her Hashi's antibodies are coming down and that she is no longer getting any gluten exposure!
A normal coaching program is three to six months, but Ashley and I have decided that we'll continue to work together on a part-time basis. Although she is light-years ahead of how she felt six months ago, we want to go further. Our focus now is on the lifestyle aspects of the Paleo approach, like stress management and sleep hygiene. We are also digging deeper into root causes of some of her health struggles.
Here are Ashley's thoughts on the program:
Angie was able to help me work toward my goals by doing weekly calls with me and contacting me in between to make sure I was doing ok. She is an amazing support system and helped me learn what I needed to learn, from AIP to literally how to cook. She was patient and kind through the whole process. The biggest tangible change I have noticed since beginning the program has been my health. Angie helped me discover I had SIBO (confirmed by a doctor) and through medication and diet, I was able to kick it. AIP is giving me my life back and I am so thankful to Angie for that. The most significant overall change I have noticed has been confidence. Angie not only taught me how I should be eating, but also taught me how to cook. After a few weeks, it did not even feel like an effort. I have the confidence in myself to prepare healthy foods and nourish my body. Angie is AMAZING! There are actually not enough words to describe her. She genuinely cares about you and your health. She can not only help guide you through your doctor visits to get to the bottom of your health concerns, but also teach you how to heal yourself with diet. I am thankful for her each and every day.
I am so honored that Ashley asked me to go on this journey with her. She has been so committed over a very long period and that dedication has really impressed me. (She stuck in there through two job changes AND the holidays, so you know this is a real lifestyle change for her!) I am so grateful to her for giving me a shot and trusting a newbie health coach with her most precious resource . . . her health.