A big thanks to my peer coaching partner, Robin Tinay-Potter, for collaborating with me and co-authoring this blogpost. When she’s not hiking the scenic mountains of Lake Tahoe or working up a sweat in hot yoga, you can find her HERE. Jump down to the bottom of this post to read more about an upcoming coaching project Robin and I are developing for you.
Have you ever thought to yourself:
“I really need a nutrition coach RIGHT NOW!”?
Nope, me neither.
What I did say was:
“I *think* I am eating right, and I am exercising, but I can’t seem to figure out why my body isn’t changing like I had hoped”
Flashback to 2012. I has just become a personal trainer. And I had hired a personal trainer to train me in the gym. And I was studying to become a nutrition coach.
Each week, I would lift weights two or three times. Each day, I would eat several healthy meals based on what I read in my nutrition coaching textbook.
I kept records and charts of my meals: the food item, the quantity, what time I am, and so on. I’m a bit of a nerd, so I tracked everything on a spreadsheet and a calendar.
And I was stuck. All of my methods of measuring for change (scale, jeans, caliper, mirror) were showing very little movement. I mean, I had changed some, but I had reached a point where I was not seeing the results. I was working really hard and was thoroughly frustrated.
Which finally brought me to my next step: getting over myself and asking for help.
I needed someone to look over what I was doing and see what I was not seeing. I needed someone who had some experience (more than me) with nutrition. And most of all, I needed someone to guide me out of this stuck place and help me find my way to my end goal.
That’s really what a nutrition coach is - someone with knowledge about nutrition, but more importantly about helping you find your way towards making change especially when you are feeling stuck.
What about you? Have you ever said anything like:
- “I’ve done all the right things, but I’m not getting the results I want.”
- “I exercise and eat pretty well, but it isn’t enough and I don’t know what else to do.”
- “I know what to do, but I seem to sabotage myself…”
- “I know I shouldn’t, but I find myself snacking before bed even though I’m not really hungry.”
- “I do great during the week, but on the weekends I go off the rails a bit.”
- “I need accountability.”
- “I don’t have the support I need at home.”
Maybe you need more accountability or support, or just a another set of eyes on your page.
A nutrition coach is much like a tour guide. You are the one in charge of the destination. They are there to show you the path with options to side roads, scenic detours, the “long way around” and shortcuts. They help you avoid the major pitfalls, and offer you some tools (a virtual Swiss army knife, if you will) if you do get stuck in one place. They are up ahead just a bit, so they are able to see the big picture and your potential. They offer encouragement, support and insight, as someone who is observing (but not judging) your process.
Okay, so now you are thinking:
“Perhaps I could use a little bit of help here, but what should I look for?”
Here are a few suggestions when making a decision about who to work with when you are looking for a nutrition coach:
- They have experience, education, and passion for helping others
- They ask questions specific to your circumstances, goals, desires, and challenges
- You can be honest, open, and authentic with your Coach
- They offer unique and personalized coaching practices that resonate with you
- You feel heard, understood, and are receiving coaching that empowers you to meet your highest goals
- You feel better after your session than you did when you began
“But wait,” you say, “There are so many fitness experts out there telling me nutrition stuff, how do I know what’s right for me?”
Here are few ideas of what you might be wary of these scenarios when searching for your Nutrition Coach:
- Specific foods you have to eat or completely eliminate from your menu
- Canned messages or statements designed to coach to the masses instead of giving you a personalized plan to help you meet YOUR goals
- Promises that you will lose X amount of weight in a certain amount of time
- Protocols that require you to use supplements
- Complicated recipes or workout routines in order to comply with their program
- Feeling worse after your session than you did when you began
The biggest difference is product vs. process . . . sales vs. self-efficacy. Other coaches may just be focused on selling you products or cookie-cutter programs. A reputable Nutrition Coach’s focus is on helping you change your behaviors to reach your highest version of yourself through an interactive conversational process.
Others may want you to develop dependence on them and their products. A professional Nutrition Coach wants you to develop confidence, self-awareness and autonomy.
Still wondering if having a Nutrition Coach might be right for you? Ask yourself these questions:
>What do I need right now to move forward?
>Do I need support, accountability, encouragement, solid information, guidance through a plan?
>How would I feel if I were not alone in this process of figuring out what’s right for me, my health, my body?
>What might it be like to have an expert guide to help me reach my health and wellness goals?
The truth is, there is hardly anything that we truly accomplish alone; we all need help, support and encouragement.
Do you still have some questions? We have answers for you… FREE! Come FitChat!
Robin and I will be hosting a LIVE ONLINE Q&A Session about fitness and nutrition coming up on Thursday October 20th at 8:30pm CST. Please join us!