What Does it Take to Become a Health Coach?
“How did you get started as a health coach and chef?” is one of the top three questions I am asked daily. The other two being, “Are you vegan?” and “How did you start your blog?” For years now I’ve been answering these queries one by one on my Instagram and Facebook pages, as well as in private emails. It warms my heart to know there are so many of you interested in launching a passion-based business. Choosing to do so can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made––for you, and your fellow human family.
The historic tale of how I came to this place is rather colorful, and a vulnerable narrative. It’s also relatable as we all have “stuff” we’ve worked through, and are STILL working through. Life is a process. It is journey, and we’re all in it together.
I’d love to learn of your personal story, and hear the ‘Why behind’ your interest in becoming a Health Coach. I’d also love to answer your questions in meaningful detail, so no matter where you are on this glorious planet, let’s have a chat!
In the meantime, here is a Table of Contents (so to speak) for my Getting Started with Health Coaching story:
Know Your Passion
I have always been passionate about health, fitness, and nutrition, and I imagine you are too! It’s likely you are the one your friends and family come to for wellness advice when they have a cold, want to lose weight, or are curious which is better––smoothies or juice? I have a feeling your idea of a fun Saturday includes yoga, and a good chat with your buddy over Matcha tea lattés or fresh pressed juice. Am I right?
If so, you are in the right place at the right time. Having a genuine interest in nutrition and wellness, and perhaps having had to overcome health challenges, or help someone else who has, is essential for moving forward in this career path. Serving others authentically originates from the heart. Others will intuit your genuine care, and will want to work with you. I can assure you are heart-centered and truly passionate about this work, otherwise you would not be here reading this right now.
Within the health coaching community, the topic of credibility is a bit of a conundrum. There are coaching programs, nutrition books, and wellness blogs launched and published every day by self-studies. Some of these wellness devotees have not retained certification as a health coach, nor a degree in dietetics, naturopathy, clinical nutrition, herbalism, or food energetics. These wellness die hards may still be considered qualified to help others due to working tirelessly to self educate, and committing to practicing responsibly.
Then there are those who have received a certification or degree, yet have not advanced their training, or committed countless hours to research to accurately support the council they are providing. See how tricky this can be? Imagine being the client looking for someone to place their faith and trust in to help them get well!
My suggestions is this. If you are on the fence of consideration––wondering if you should get a health coaching certification or not despite your life long devotion to health and wellness, it will benefit you to do so. To establish a trusting relationship and reporte with your clientele, it is most ideal to be both––a self-study, always evolving your knowledge base and staying current with advancements, AND a qualified practitioner who receives an education from a reputable organization. It is a lofty responsibility to lead someone through a health crises, emotional trauma, or acute illness. You may have many tools in your toolbox already, but it will only serve you and your client more if you are educated in a way that grooms you for such conditions.
You could say I have been a self-study all my life, researching and practicing wellness from a very young age. I am also a Certified Integrative Health Coach, and received my certification from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN.) After researching a half dozen programs, theirs was the one that resonated most. Choosing to attend the program resulted in a positively life shifting experience.
The reason I was drawn to this institution is because their curriculum dives deep beneath the surface of nutrition know-how and diet theories. They are just as intent on nourishing the soul and emotional wellbeing of the individual with what they call, Primary Foods (Love, Connection, Relationships, Career, etc.), as they are the physicality of the person. No other program out there does this as gracefully and thoughtfully as IIN.
Their program is one year in length, and is offered virtually––of significant value for most of us who can’t drop everything to “go off to school.” They also prepare you to operate a business once you graduate––another aspect of their curriculum that is unique. Most health and nutrition programs provide you valuable wellness insights, but do not offer tools for how to apply them, attract clients, and retain your clientele once they’ve discovered you.
Soak Up Wisdom
The well of health wisdom is bottomless. Truly. You could read books, attend webinars, enroll in a nutrition program, listen to podcasts, and read wellness blogs every day for the rest of your life, and you’d still be learning. Why is this so? A few reasons:
1. We are all biounique, and our combination of human complexities vary significantly.
2. New insights and advancements in nutrition, emotional wellbeing, psychology, biomechanics, medicine, energetics, and longevity are discovered every single day. Since the landscape of wellness is ever changing, you, as an aspiring health coach will want to evolve with it.
Some of the core concepts covered in the IIN curriculum include:
Over 100 dietary theories
The modern health crisis
In life we all have hesitations. Sometimes they come in the form of not having enough money, or enough time, or enough (fill in the blank.) But when you have a deep yearning as I feel you do, to add greater value to the world, and to transform your own wellbeing, it’s wise to activate on those impulses. They are flooding your cells for a reason. If we discuss what I was doing at the time I enrolled in IIN, you’ll quickly come to know that logically, doing so made no sense. However, intuitively––it made all the sense in the world. I leaped into the unknown, and am forever grateful I did.
If any of this resonates with you, be sure to schedule some time with me so we can discuss particulars. I’m an open book, and will answer any question you have!
If you are interested in attending a virtual sample class offered by IIN, I highly recommend it. You’ll discover they are more than just another health and nutrition school. They are a mission-centered organization, committed to improving the health and happiness of individuals all around the globe.
To your health and that of all others!