Becoming a Health Coach...
“My own path towards wellness has been a long and dynamic one. It’s taught me that healing from the inside out takes time and there can be great value in various sources of guidance.”
Since a young age, I have been fascinated by human behavior. Combine that with my knack for nurture and somewhere along the line, I decided I wanted to become a therapist. At 22 years old, shortly before graduating with a dual bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English, I felt dissatisfied. Psychology wasn’t as “people oriented” as I had assumed, and I quickly realized that I was no longer applying my passion for nurturing.
Before ending up selecting psychology as a major, I had briefly considered nursing; suddenly, it was quite clear! While I learned a tremendous amount about human behavior, I was compelled to learn about the human body and direct my career in a more applicable, hands on way. I ended up staying at university to pursue my new path.
Two years of nursing school came and went, and as of right now, I can say I’ve been a Registered Nurse for seven years. Yet despite my decision, I’ve never felt 100% satisfied within my career. Perhaps, I simply have a wayward heart, but I am acutely aware of a constant urge to better myself through exploring new horizons.
After many switches between different units (i.e. postpartum, ER, pediatrics, L&D) and even a few hospitals over the years, I began to wonder if higher education was my calling. In late 2017, I went so far as to enroll in a NP program only to realize it wasn’t the right fit. Something was still nagging at my heart, but I couldn’t quite pin-point it. I kept returning to myself thinking that I should be pursuing my personal goals over professional. (By now, from Blog Post #1, you know that I was struggling with severe depression and my diagnosis of Unexplained Infertility.)
The light bulb moment occurred, during my recovery phase (again, see Blog post #1) in 2018, when I came across a certification program in health coaching that seemed to offer new possibilities for deeper and holistic healing. I knew instantly that I had found my calling! Addressing the whole human, body, mind and spirit, and allowing a person (or client) to establish their own vision of health. This fundamental principle and approach to coaching resonated with me.
Your lifestyle -- how you eat, move, think, perceive and rest, every damn day -- matters most of all! And then I realized what that nagging sensation all this time had been -- this calling wasn’t just about helping others as much as it was about healing my own mind and body. While I firmly believe in, and support, modern medicine, I desired to take a different approach to my own health, and being my own guinea pig was the first step.
Since starting the Women’s Certification Program at the Integrative Women’s Health Institute, and additionally, completing Nicole Jardim’s Fix Your Period Apprenticeship, I have been learning the fundamentals of coaching, the coach-client relationship, hormonal imbalances, menstrual health, nutrition, lab testing, etc. And I have been taking the time to apply these lessons to myself. In fact, I just finished doing a five day round of blood glucose testing!
Am I perfect specimen of health?! Hell no. But am I brave enough to try things? Yes.
Do I strive to make smart decisions for my body? Yes! Do I starve myself or refuse splurges?! Ha, you obviously don’t know me well!
Am I still learning and recognizing what works and doesn’t work for my body? YES.
What I’ve learned is that on the continuum of health, you can cross from illness into wellness, through nutrition, exercise and mindset! And I want this for SO many women! But additionally, during this process, I also made the joint decision with my husband to turn to modern medicine and rely on science to help us start our family.
I exist in this world to help bridge the gap between conventional and functional medicine. There can be a healthy balance of both! My professional background and wellness journey have given me a platform to advocate, support and promote awareness of our bodies.
I will never be done learning. It is equally important that I stay up to date on relevant research as it is that I aim to “walk the talk” by modeling healthy behavior choices.
I can’t promise perfection, but I will happily continue to balance my professional roles all while striving to be and exude my best self. As a Health Coach, I am simply another one of the "various sources of guidance."