women's wellness challenge 2022

New Year 2022 Women’s Wellness Challenge!

It’s that time of year again… the deep winter when we take stock of the year that has passed and start envisioning what we want to create in the year ahead. This year, I have decided to take it up a notch! From Monday, I will be commencing a Women’s Wellness Challenge here on my blog and in the Moon Life Well Women Facebook group.

The women’s wellness challenge is inspired by Well College Global Personal Wellness Coaching course which I took last summer. Over 5 weeks we will progress though 5 areas of holistic health and wellbeing:

5 weeks of women’s wellness challenge

Week 1: Nourishment

The first week of the women’s wellness challenge is all about nourishing your body, mind and spirit. You will learn how to eat in a way that supports your whole being, how to move your body in a way that creates rather than depletes your energy and vitality and how to get deeply restful and rejuvenating sleep. We will also start to dive into mental and spiritual health through the lens of positive psychology and Ayurveda.

Week 2: Connection

In week 2 of the women’s wellness challenge, you will start to build deeper connection to yourself, others and the planet we call home. Connecting with ourselves means finding inner peace and understanding who we are inside, not just our physical appearance, life circumstances and conditioning. We are social beings and so holistic wellness also includes building supportive relationships and communities that lift us up and give us purpose.

Week 3: Compassion

We can have the healthiest lifestyle in the world, but if we are thinking negative thoughts or acting unkindly towards ourselves or others, we can never experience true wellness. Therefore in week 3 of the women’s wellness challenge, we will focus on building compassion, mindfulness and strong self-care foundation. You will learn how to create change from a place of acceptance rather than criticism and punishment as well as how to let go of the past to allow deep healing.

Week 4: Wisdom

The fourth week of the women’s wellness challenge is all about wisdom. Rather than being about becoming an expert or knowing everything, wisdom is about understanding that we don’t know everything and there are many things in life we cannot control. We will go into topics such as developing patience, light-heartedness and curiosity. I will also introduce you to the basics of meditation as a tool for accepting what is and connecting with your intuition.

Week 5: Transcendence

In the final week of the women’s wellness challenge, we will move into the more spiritual realm. Don’t be put off by the word spiritual! This week we will look at areas of full-being wellness including gratitude, life purpose, love and belonging. You will also learn how to awaken your more spiritual side through the lens of cultivating prana (energy), consciousness and understanding the masculine and feminine forces at play in all of nature.

How to join the women’s wellness challenge

The women’s wellness challenge is going to be a fun and enlightening journey. I hope you enjoy following along with me! I will be posting regular blogs here throughout the month so make sure you are subscribed to receive email updates. If you would like to dive deeper, I will be sharing extra tools in the Moon Life Well Women Facebook to help you to put the information into practice and truly integrate it into your life.

So enjoy the rest of the holidays and have a great start to 2022. Thank you for being here with me throughout the epic challenger of a year that was 2021 and I wish you every health and happiness that you deserve for the year to come!

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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Is it time for a health reboot?

I can’t believe it is nearly the end of the year already! This year has passed so fast yet it feels like so much has happened. I can’t wait for the Christmas holidays to begin on Monday so that I can recharge and prepare for exciting new things in the new year. Like all of you, I am praying that this is the year that the pandemic will finally come to an end. It is so draining to be constantly waiting for new measures and to be missing out on the things we love. Birthday parties, face to face yoga classes and concerts all seem like a distant memory. But I am remaining optimistic!

Saying that, honestly, I am feeling quite tired and uninspired at the moment. The last few months have been very busy with work and travel and I have been slacking on some of my self-care routines. Even though I know that certain habits keep me feeling energised and happy. It can be so easy to forget or get lazy during the winter months when it starts to get cold and dark. But sometimes we just need to notice that things have started to slip and to get ourselves back on track That is when it is time for a health reboot!

Signs it is time for a health reboot

Know the feeling? Some signs that tell me it is time for a health reboot:

  • Having less energy throughout the day
  • Feeling less inspired and motivated
  • Falling into unhealthy behaviours or slacking on healthy habits
  • Spending excessive time watching TV or online
  • Generally feeling unenthusiastic and blah
  • Not bothering to make an effort with your appearance
  • Feeling more anxious or restless without reason
  • Not feeling empowered or good about yourself
  • Inner critic getting louder or moving out of it’s home in the pre-menstrual phase (for the ladies)
  • Feeling like you don’t know where you are spending your time
  • Less energy or desire to spend time with loved ones

Can you relate to any of these? Sure, we all experience these things from time to time. But if you start to notice several of these on a consistent basis, it might be time to sit down and check in with yourself. Which is what I am doing right now! Simply by noticing you aren’t feeling your best, you have already taken the first step towards getting back on track. It takes mindfulness and self-awareness to get to this point so you should be proud of yourself for that. Now is not the time for judgement or criticising yourself. Rather it is time to show yourself some love and care.

How do I do a health reboot?

Once you realise it is time to hit the reset button, it is time to get back to the basics. It is a good idea to have a few simple habits that you can come back to whenever you need to reconnect with yourself and increase your energy. Choose 1-3 actions which you can take on a daily basis which you know will lift your spirit. Then take these actions consistently for a week. This will start to get the momentum going and then you can start to add in other healthy habits or spend longer on your self-care habits.

Sometimes when we don’t feel like taking action, we have to push ourselves a little out of our comfort zone in the beginning. But trust me, it gets easier. Action creates the desire to act. Overcoming the initial stagnation and inertia is always the hardest part of creating change.

Some ideas of simple actions you can take when you need a health reboot:

  • Going outside in the morning
  • Taking a walk in nature
  • Listing to uplifting music
  • Writing in a journal
  • Practicing breathwork or meditation
  • Stretching and moving
  • Singing or chanting
  • Creating art or music
  • Preparing a healthy breakfast
  • Reading an inspiring book
  • Taking time for a mindful cuppa
  • Sitting outside in the sun (even if it’s cold)

What are some things that leave you feeling energised and inspired? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Avoid this common mistake!

One of the biggest mistakes I see with my health coaching clients (and with myself sometimes) is taking on too much. We can see the huge gap between where we are right now and where we want to be and decide that we will do all of the things right now. This is not a bad thing, it is great to feel motivated to create change. However, the problem is that trying to do too much too soon can either:

a) Lead us to procrastinate against taking action

b) Cause overwhelm after a few days so we end up giving up

It is much better to start small with 1-3 easy habits and then use the extra energy that these habits create to do more when the time feels right. To start with each habit should take a maximum of 10 minutes to do. This means spending up to half an hour a day to focus on your self-care. We all have half an hour right? If you feel like you don’t have that amount of time for yourself, you need to take a look at your lifestyle and find where you can create space. Whether that is delegating some tasks, getting up earlier or reducing screen time.. there is always a way!

Commit to yourself

Once you have decided on the simple actions you will take, it is time to make a serious commitment to yourself. Many of us find it very difficult to let other people down, yet we find it so easy to break our commitments to ourselves. Why is that? I am here to tell you that you are worth it. Remember that to give to others abundantly, you have to give to yourself first. Self-care is not selfish! It is simply taking the time to build your energy and fill up your cup so that you have more energy, love and compassion to share with others.

My suggestions for creating commitment to yourself

  1. Schedule your self-care. Decide on how much time you can commit and find the space in your life where it fits. Whether it the same time daily or you change it up depending on the day. It could be first thing in the morning, when you finish work, last thing before bed or split throughout the day. Whenever it is, fit space and schedule it in. Add a reminder in your phone or your calendar if you need to. But be sure to schedule it in otherwise you will forget or it will be pushed down the priority list as soon as other things come up
  2. Write down a commitment to yourself in a journal or somewhere you will be reminded of it daily. You can add inspiring images, quotes or anything else that will motivate you and come back to your commitment each day. You can even write a written contract with yourself and sign it. anything that helps you take this seriously. It might seem silly or unnecessary. But how many times have you said you will do something only to find yourself in the same place a month or two later? I will leave you with a Chinese proverb…

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Chinese proverb

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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why self esteem is important

How does self esteem affect your health?

In today’s post I want to share why self esteem is important for improving your health. As someone who has struggled with low self esteem most of my life, I have observed how it impacted my own health and wellbeing. Through my coaching practice I now want to help other women believe in themselves. As a result, they can finally make breakthroughs with their health and find the true wellness they are seeking.

What is self esteem?

Self esteem is defined as the worth or value someone places on themselves. Not necessarily for the things that they do or own, but simply for who they are as a person. Someone with a good level of self esteem is likely to have a strong sense of personal identity and belonging in social groups. It also means feeling competent and confident about your actions and ability to create the life circumstances you desire.

Someone with high self esteem will generally view themselves in an optimistic light. They have a mostly positive view of their physical image, personality traits and capabilities. This doesn’t mean they see themselves as perfect, but rather that they accept who they are and appreciate their strengths as well as their perceived weaknesses. In addition, they believe that others also view and respond to them in a positive way (1).

Some words associated with self esteem:

  • Self-respect
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-compassion
  • Personal value
  • Worthiness
  • Deserving
  • A good person

Signs of low self esteem

  • Talking or thinking negatively about yourself
  • Procrastinating or engaging in self-sabotaging behaviour
  • Downplaying your positive traits, skills or achievements
  • Comparing yourself negatively to others
  • Being overly critical in the face of failure or setbacks
  • Feeling excessively self-conscious, anxious or afraid of failure
  • A sense of stuckness and inability to create change
  • Worrying too much about what others think about you
  • Not being aware of or able to express your needs and boundaries
  • Lack of confidence in your abilities
  • Inability to accept compliments from others

If you can relate to several of these points, keep reading to find out why self-esteem is important for improving your health!

Why self esteem is important for improving your health

There are several reasons why self esteem is important for improving your health:

Sense of worthiness

Having a good level of self esteem means that you feel deserving of improved health. You feel that you are worth the effort it takes to make positive behaviour change. You believe in yourself and you truly wish yourself health and happiness. This might sound strange but deep down, those with a low self esteem might not want this for themselves. They may not believe that they deserve to be happy and that doing things to improve their health is a waste of time, money or effort. In fact, they might even engage in self-sabotaging behaviours which negatively impact their health (2).

Confidence in your abilities

The second reason why esteem is important for improving your health is that it brings a sense of confidence in your abilities. In order to succeed in making lasting changes in your lifestyle, you need to believe that you can! You need to believe that you have what it takes to learn new skills, change your habits and stay motivated long term. You don’t need to know everything right away. Having the belief that you are competent and able to learn is key to making improvements to your health. Otherwise, you might give up before you start or the moment challenges arise.

Staying the course

Furthermore, having self esteem will help you to stay motivated on your health improvement journey. If you have low self esteem, you might interpret any setbacks as a personal failure and blame yourself or your lack of ability. Having a higher sense of self esteem means you are more likely to appreciate the many factors involved and understand that you are not personally to blame. This makes it much easier to let go of any “failures” and keep moving towards your goals. You can view the situation objectively and find ways to improve without attacking or criticising yourself.

Positive emotions

Self esteem is one of the foundations of mental health. At it’s worst, low self esteem can lead to depression like states of feeling useless, unworthy and unlovable. These types of negative thoughts set off a chemical cascade in your emotional body which can lead to a downwards spiral of negative feelings, thoughts and behaviours. On the other hand, higher self esteem results in more positive feelings about yourself and your life. A sense of happiness and optimism can be felt even in challenging situations. A good level of self esteem improves your overall sense of wellbeing (3).

Healthy relationships

One of the elements of holistic health and wellbeing is having healthy relationships. Having a supportive network of family, friends and/or professionals around you can be the thing that lifts you up and helps you to cope with the stresses of life. Low self esteem can lead to feelings of being unworthy of other people’s love or the belief that they see you negatively. This can result is social isolation and poor mental health outcomes. Therefore, developing self esteem helps you to connect with others and find balance and wellbeing in your life.

Realistic expectations

Finally, having a good level of self esteem helps to have realistic expectations for your health. Low self esteem often results in underestimating what you can achieve and procrastinating taking action to improve your health. On the other hand, excessively high self esteem can lead to overestimating your abilities and setting too high expectations. This perfectionism may cause later disappointment or giving up if you don’t reach your high standards. Finding balance is key! This means believing in yourself and setting challenging yet realistic and achievable goals for your health.

How to boost self esteem

I’m not going to lie, boosting self esteem can be difficult and take a long time. Often low self esteem develops in childhood and it can take a lot of self-reflection and/or therapy to discover the root cause and to move past it (4). It is important to break the cycle of negative thoughts about yourself which lead to painful feelings and drive unwanted behaviours (or inaction).

This takes mindfulness to become self-aware as well as the ability to challenge the thoughts associated with low self worth. This is why working with a therapist or coach can be helpful as they provide an unbiased, outside view and can reflect back to you this inner dialogue. Replacing negative thoughts with more positive or realistic ones can be helpful to reprogram your mind to see yourself in a better light.

I have written previously about the importance of having self-compassion on your path to health. Self-compassion is not the same as self-esteem but the two often go hand in hand. Having self-compassion in moments of low self esteem means to accept that you are not feeling good about yourself but to commit to speaking more kindly to yourself and accepting and forgiving yourself for your perceived flaws.

Self esteem vs. self efficacy

One of the ways to improve self esteem is by actually taking action and accomplishing things. It should not always be about the things we achieve. However, setting yourself goals and reaching them gives you a sense of pride in yourself and your abilities. Even if your goals are small, achieving them sends the signal that you are a capable human and you can do hard things.

The problem comes when not believing in yourself prevents you from taking action. As a result, you don’t experience success because you don’t believe in yourself enough. We then have a catch 22 situation! Taking action requires self-efficacy. This is not the same as self esteem but does overlap. Self efficacy is the confidence in your ability to take action and make change. Even if you don’t like yourself or see your worth yet, you can learn to see yourself as capable and from there begin to take action.

You can increase your self-efficacy by:

  1. Setting and achieving goals (baby steps are best)
  2. Taking the time to reflect on past successes and what you have learned
  3. Understanding and accepting your strengths and weaknesses
  4. Mastering new skills or behaviours (4)

These four steps don’t necessarily require you to feel good about yourself but they certainly help. And once the ball is rolling and you begin to take action, the benefits will be exponential! Instead of a downwards spiral you will be on the up. Taking action will boost your confidence in yourself which will in turn create more positive thoughts and emotions. Feeling better about yourself will make it easier to keep moving forward.

This process of setting goals, taking action and then reflecting on your successes is part of the AGAR method of health coaching I use with my clients:

holistic health coaching method

So that is it for today. I really hope you found this post useful! Personally, improving my self esteem has helped me to make huge improvements in my health and my life. It is an ongoing journey and I still have my down days like everyone. But overall I am so happy with the progress I have made and it makes me happy to share what I am learning with others.

If this post helped you at all, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences and I always enjoy connecting with you. If you are interested in applying for health coaching with me, I will be opening up new client spaces from 6th December. Send me an email at lovemoonlife.mail@gmail.com to set up a free 15 minute call to find out if we are a good fit.

Have a lovely day and rest of the week!

References

(1) https://dictionary.apa.org/self-esteem
(2) MacGee, R. and Williams, S., 2000. Does low self-esteem predict health compromising behaviours among adolescents? Journal of Adolescence. 23(5). Pp.569-582. https://doi.org/10.1006/jado.2000.0344
(3) Paradise, Andrew W.; Kernis, Michael H. (2002). Self-esteem and Psychological Well-being: Implications of Fragile Self-esteem. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 21(4), 345–361. doi:10.1521/jscp.21.4.345.22598 
(4) Well College Global, 2019. Personal Wellness Course notes
(5) Baumgardner, A., 1990. To know oneself is to like oneself: Self-certainty and self-affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(6), 1062–1072. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.58.6.1062 

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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Youtube channel update!

Good morning everyone! Just a quick check-in to say that my Youtube channel is now live again. I have filmed a short channel intro video and I hope to be more active on there in the coming months. I want to share with you free yoga and meditation videos plus informational and motivational videos on nutrition and lifestyle for holistic health. The channel will be mainly focused on women’s health but guys you are welcome too! If you have any topic or video requests, shout in the comments below and I will do my best to make it happen.

I am not at all a natural in front of the camera but this is me getting out of my comfort zone and expanding my horizons so I also want to take this opportunity to encourage you to do the same! What is one thing you have been wanting to do but fear is holding you back? Is there one small action you can take today to move you closer to this goal? Remember that our thoughts and fears only exist in our imagination…

“Fear is nothing more than an obstacle that stands in the way of progress. In overcoming our fears, we can move forward, stronger and wiser within ourselves.”

holistic health coaching 6 elements

Feel fantastic with 6 elements of holistic health coaching!

As a Women’s Wellness Coach, I love to support women to improve their overall health and wellbeing. I have come a long way in my own view of health and it has taken me many years to get to where I am now. I used to think health meant restricting your diet and exercising like crazy to maintain a low body weight. After my own health breakdown I learned that there was much more to health than that! Now I run a holistic health coaching practice where I help women to truly take care of their bodies.

What is holistic health coaching?

Holistic health coaching incorporates more than just the usual diet and exercise program that we associate with health coaching. It is about building all-round health which will leave you feeling confident, energised and enthusiastic about life again. A holistic health coach helps you to set goals and design a personalised program to help you reach them. The exact format depends on the education and training of the coach. In my holistic health coaching practice, I include nutrition and yoga as well as menstrual cycle awareness. I help women to let go of restrictive dieting and find true health, balanced hormones and natural fertility.

Holistic health coaching focuses on 6 main elements which I will explain in more detail in this post. At the end of the article I will provide a Holistic Wellbeing Assessment questionnaire. Download the file and carry out your own holistic health assessment at home! This is the same questionnaire that I use with my holistic health coaching clients in our initial session to help us set direction for our work together.

holistic health coaching 6 elements

6 elements of holistic health coaching

Physical health

I fully believe that we are more than our bodies. Despite this, our physical bodies are the way we experience life therefore physical health is a foundation of holistic health coaching. This is not necessarily about being in a perfect state of physical health. Rather, it is important to maintain an adequate state of physical health to live the life you choose. Physical health includes:

  • Good functioning of your bodily systems
  • Healthy immune function and rapid healing
  • Normal metabolic markers such as blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Relatively free from disease and pain
  • Ability to participate in life including social and work activities

Holistic health coaching to improve physical health starts with creating a vision of what health means to you. This could simply be having an adequate level of health to work, play and enjoy life. It could mean healing from chronic disease or having health markers in the normal range. You might see physical health as making healthy lifestyle choices. For example, quitting smoking, not drinking alcohol in excess or drinking enough water. Or you might view physical health as a feeling.

Either way, in holistic health coaching, we work with approach based goals rather than outcome based goals. This means focusing on behaviours rather than a specific end result such as a weight goal. I help my clients to identify behaviours that are harming their health and replace them with supportive habits. Measurements and markers can be a helpful motivator but they are not at the centre of holistic health coaching. My women’s wellness practice is influenced by researchers such as Linda Bacon, Dr Ray Peat and Dr Sara Gottfried.

Sleep and energy

Anyone who has experienced poor sleep (calling all Mums and insomniacs out there!) will appreciate the importance of good sleep. It is a fact that you need to sleep well in order to function at your best and enjoy life. When we don’t sleep well we can feel like we are constantly dragging ourselves through the day. And even for those who sleep well, the stressful and busy lives we lead can lead to fatigue and low energy levels.

A holistic health coaching assessment of sleep first looks at the amount of sleep that you get. For adults, sleep experts recommend anywhere from 7-9 hours sleep per night for optimum health and wellbeing. It also look at the quality of that sleep and the energy that you experience. For example, do you wake feeling refreshed and rested? Or do you start the day already feeling exhausted and wondering how you will make it through to the evening? I typically use a sleep journal with my clients to help them to identify patterns and factors which influence their sleep.

Holistic health coaching includes working to create space for sleep and developing helpful sleep routines. We all know it is important to relax and wind down to ensure you get a good quality sleep. Often, we know what we need to do to improve our sleep. However, prioritising and staying accountable to these actions is the hard part. That is where holistic health coaching comes in! We also explore how you are using your energy throughout the day. We identify “energy drains” that might be zapping your life force and leaving you fatigued and unmotivated.

Dietary habits

Nourishing your body with a wholesome and varied diet is one of the cornerstones of holistic health coaching. We literally are what we eat as all of the substances we consume eventually become the building blocks for new cells. Our diet also provides the energy that we use to create our personal reality. In my practice, I don’t focus on counting calories or macro-nutrients. Rather I help clients to develop a positive relationship with food and understand the basics of a nutritious diet. From this foundation they are able to intuitively eat a balanced diet which is nourishing on both a physical and emotional level. I described in a recent post the key principles of a healthy diet which include: balance, variety, wholesomeness and individuality.

I work with holistic health coaching clients using a Non-Diet Approach to Coaching. This takes the focus away from dieting to lose weight or change your body towards an enjoyable and relaxed attitude towards nourishment. We work on tuning into hunger and fullness cues, accepting all foods and the diversity of body shapes and sizes. My clients learn how to eat nourishing food that supports their body without restricition, rules or deprivation. This includes diving into their history with dieting, unpacking beliefs around food and nutrition, using a food diary to identify unhelpful eating patterns and creating a pathway to overcome them.

For all my clients, I hope for them to feel liberated and empowered around food. I want them to feel able to make food choices that work for their unique body and life situation. No more obsessing over every bite, weighing and tracking every mouthful or living in fear of food. Instead, pure pleasure and nourishment from food on a daily basis!

Movement and physical activity

Moving your body is of course an important part of a healthy lifestyle. We know from many years of research that physical activity helps to maintain our physical health. It also protects us from disease and helps to maintain a sense of wellbeing. Unfortunately, for many people exercise has become either a chore to avoid or a way to punish our body. Either for over eating or for not being the perfect shape or size that we have learned is appropriate for society.

In holistic health coaching, we work together to dive into your beliefs and values around exercise and their physical body. We work together to discover activities that bring pleasure and joy back to movement. I encourage you to cultivate a sense of appreciation for your body and everything it allows you to do. Not only that, I help you to stay accountable to your goals and action plans around physical activity. Together we identify potential barriers and road blocks to physical activity. From there, we develop solutions to make movement a more natural and habitual part of your life.

I also work with clients on the opposite end of the spectrum. Those of you who exercise too much and suffer consequences such as fatigue or hormonal imbalances. In this case, we again dive deep into your beliefs around exercise and body image. We create a safe container for you to shift your attitudes towards your appearance and develop a positive self-image. This enables you to shift your perspective of movement to a more postive one. I help you to find the joy in moving your body once more and let go of all of the negative emotional baggage. After years of over-exercise and punishing your body, it is possible to find lightness and fun around movement again.

Stress management

Stress.. unfortunately in today’s world it is something that we all experience more than we would like. The simple fact is that the pace of modern life with all of it’s pressures and demands can leave us feeling overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted. Stress can be responsible for many of the health issues we experience from insomnia to high blood pressure. Cortisol, a major stress hormone, can affect all of our bodily symptoms wreaking havock on our digestion, metabolism and fertility. It can leave us feeling on edge, moody, tired and lacking spark.

Holistic health coaching does not claim to get rid of stress. Rather we look at your attitudes towards stress and coping mechanisms you have in place to deal with life’s stresses. You learn how to stay mindful of your stress level and strategies to prevent overwhelm and burnout. Working with clients on stress management is extremely rewarding. This is because with just a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle, you can often experience huge reductions in the amount of stress you feel. This greatly improves your life experience day to day and reduces symptoms caused by stress.

I help clients to identify the different types of stressors in their life and the effects they are experiencing. We then work to find ways to either eliminate the stressor, change the situation or adapt to cope with the stress for things that cannot be changed. You create positive daily routines to help you feel more organised and in control. I teach you yoga and meditation techniques which promote deep relaxation and restoration.

Life balance

The final element of holistic health coaching is your life balance. In other words, how you feel about your life and your place in the world. This element of holistic health focuses on you and how you feel about yourself. As well as how you experience life and how you interact with others and the world around you. Life balance includes the often forgotten elements of wellbeing such as connection, compassion, wisdom and fulfilment. Sometimes we get so wrapped up with “fixing” ourselves or our problems that we forget life is to be lived and enjoyed. This can leave us feeling lost and at sea in life.

In holistic health coaching, we look at strengthening your connection to your self. This includes understanding who you are at your core and developing appreciation for your unique personality and skills. You will build your confidence so that you can show up as your best self and go for your goals. We also shine a light on your relationships with others. I encourage you to ensure that you have positive relationships in your life which support your wellbeing and personal development. You learn healthy communication strategies to help you voice your needs and boundaries in a positive way.

Holistic health coaching summary

Remember that all of the elements of holistic health overlap with each other. This means that implementing positive habits in one area will have a domino effect on the other areas of your wellbeing. For example, eating healthy, moving your body and managing stress will help to improve your sleep and energy levels. Getting better sleep makes it easier to make healthier food and exercise choices. We are moving away from this reductionist view of health as a set of behaviours or a particular appearance. Instead, we are heading towards a new paradigm of holistic health as wellbeing and thriving!

Holistic Wellbeing Assessment

Download the free Holistic Wellbeing Assessment questionnaire below to gain insight into your health and wellbeing. This is the exact one I use with my 1-2-1 holistic health coaching clients!

If you live in Athens and want to join me for yoga in Holargos or Filothei, you can check the schedule and book your space HERE.

Until next time, Namaste…

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

  • Please like this post and share to support my business
  • If you liked this post, follow my blog or subscribe by email to receive updates on new content
  • Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily updates and inspiration

6 elements of holistic health coaching

As a Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher and Women’s Wellness Coach, I love to support women to improve their overall health and wellbeing! Wellness coaching incorporates more than just the usual diet and exercise program that we associate with health coaching, it is about building holistic health which will leave you feeling confident, energised and enthusiastic about life again. Holistic health coaching focuses on 6 main elements which I will explain in more detail in this post as well as how I work with clients who are looking to make improvements in this area of their health.

At the end of the article I will provide a Wellbeing Assessment questionnaire so that you can carry out your own holistic health assessment at home. This is the exact same health assessment that I use with my health coaching clients in our initial session to help us set direction for our work together.

Physical health

Even though, I fully believe that we are more than our bodies, our physical bodies are the way we experience life and therefore it is a foundation of holistic health coaching. This is not necessarily about being in a perfect state of physical health but it is important for us to maintain an adequate state of physical health to live the life we choose. Physical health includes:

  • Good functioning of our bodily systems
  • Healthy immune function and rapid healing
  • Normal metabolic markers such as blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Relatively free from disease and pain
  • Ability to participate in life including social and work activities

Some clients who want to improve their physical health are under the supervision of a doctor and need support and accountability from a health coach to help them stick to their health management plan, for example quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption or a lifestyle program to manage diabetes or high blood pressure. Other clients prefer to focus on the other elements of holistic health and as a result see improvements in their physical health markers. Either way we work with approach based goals, concentrating on building positive habits for physical health rather than outcome based goals which focus on the end result such as weight.

Sleep and energy

Anyone who has experienced poor sleep (calling all Mums out there!) or suffered with insomnia, will appreciate the importance of good sleep and energy levels. We need to sleep well in order to function at our best and enjoy life rather than feeling like we are constantly dragging ourselves through the day. For adults, sleep experts recommend anywhere from 7-9 hours sleep per night for optimum health and wellbeing. A holistic health assessment of sleep looks at both the amount of sleep that you are able to get as well as the quality of that sleep and the energy that you experience. For example, do you wake feeling refreshed and rested or do you start the day already feeling exhausted and wondering how you will make it through to the evening?

For clients who focus on improving sleep and energy levels, we work on creating space in your life for sleep and developing helpful routines to help you relax and wind down to ensure you get a good quality sleep. Often, we know what we need to do to improve our sleep but prioritising and staying accountable to these actions is the hard part, that is where a health coach comes in! I typically use a sleep journal with my clients to help them to identify patterns and factors which influence the amount of quality of sleep they are able to get. We also explore how you are using your energy throughout the day and identify “energy drains” in your life that might be zapping your life force and leaving you feeling fatigued and unmotivated.

Dietary habits

Nourishing your body with a wholesome and varied diet is one of the cornerstones of holistic health. We literally are what we eat as all of the substances we consume eventually become the building blocks for new cells as well as the energy that we use to create our personal reality. In my practice, I don’t focus on counting calories or macro-nutrients but rather on helping clients to develop a positive relationship with food and the ability to intuitively eat a balanced diet which is nourishing on both a physical and emotional level. I described in a recent post the key principles of a healthy diet which include: balance, variety, wholesomeness and individuality.

I work with clients looking to improve their dietary habits using a Non-Diet Approach (read my post on NDA here) which takes the focus away from dieting to lose weight or change your body towards an enjoyable and relaxed attitude towards nourishment. We work on tuning into internal cues of hunger and fullness, accepting all foods and the diversity of body shapes and sizes. Our work focuses on developing your intuition and self-confidence so that you can eat the foods that support your body whilst still enjoying all of the pleasures that food has to offer. This can look like diving into your history with dieting, unpacking your beliefs around food and nutrition, using a food diary to identify unhelpful eating patterns and creating a pathway to overcome them.

For all my clients, I hope for them to feel liberated and empowered around food, able to make food choices that work for their unique body and life situation. No more obsessing over every bite, weighing and tracking every mouthful or living in fear of food. Instead, pure pleasure and nourishment from food on a daily basis!

Movement and physical activity

Moving your body is of course an important part of a healthy lifestyle. We know from many years of research that physical activity helps to maintain our physical health, protect us from disease and maintain a sense of wellbeing. Unfortunately, for many people exercise has become either a chore to avoid or a way to punish our body for over eating or for not being the perfect shape or size that we have learned is appropriate for society.

For clients who feel that they would like to be more physically active and improve their level of fitness, we work together to dive into their belief and values around exercise and their physical body. I work with you to discover activities that bring pleasure and joy back to movement and help you to cultivate a sense of gratitude and appreciate for your body and everything it allows us to do. I help you to stay accountable to your goals and action plans around physical activity and together we identify potential barriers and road blocks to physical activity and develop solutions to make movement a more natural and habitual part of your life.

For those clients on the opposite end of the spectrum who exercise too much and are suffering the consequences such as fatigue or hormonal imbalances, we again dive deep into our beliefs around exercise and body image. We create a safe container for you to shift your attitudes towards your appearance and develop a positive self-image that allows you to shift your perspective of movement. I will help you to find the joy in moving your body once more and let go of all of the negative emotional baggage after years of over-exercise and punishing your body to find lightness and fun around movement again.

Stress management

Stress.. unfortunately in today’s world it is something that we all experience more than we would like. The simple fact is that the pace of modern life with all of it’s pressures and demands can leave us feeling overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted. Stress can be responsible for many of the health issues we experience from insomnia to high blood pressure. Cortisol, a major stress hormone, can affect all of our bodily symptoms wreaking havok on our digestion, metabolism and fertility. It can leave us feeling on edge, moody, tired and lacking spark. Holistic health coaching does not claim to get rid of stress, rather we look at your attitudes towards stress and coping mechanisms you have in place to deal with life’s stresses and prevent overwhelm and burnout.

Working with clients on stress management is extremely rewarding because with just a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle, you can often experience huge reductions in the amount of stress you feel day to day and the symptoms that can go along with that. I help clients to identify the different types of stressors in their life and the effects they are experiencing. We then work to find ways to either eliminate the stressor, change the situation or adapt to cope with the stress for things that cannot be changed. We create positive daily routines to help you feel more organised and in control as well as prioritising activities such as yoga and meditation which promote deep relaxation and restoration.

Life balance

The final element of holistic health coaching is your life balance, that is how you feel about your life and your place in the world. This element of holistic health focuses on you, how you feel about yourself, how you experience life and how you interact with others and the world around you. Life balance includes the often forgotten elements of wellbeing such as connection, compassion, wisdom and fulfilment. Sometimes we get so wrapped up with “fixing” ourselves or our problems that we forget life is to be lived and enjoyed and this can leave us feeling lost and at sea in life.

With clients for whom shifting life balance is key to improving their holistic health, we might look at strengthening your connection to your self, understanding who you are at your core and developing appreciation for your unique personality and skills. I help you to build your confidence so that you can show up as your best self and go for your goals. We also shine a light on your relationships with others and I encourage you to ensure that you have positive relationships in your life which support your wellbeing and personal development as well as healthy communication strategies to help you communicate your needs and boundaries in a positive way as well as be more accepting and understanding of others.

As a final note, I want to highlight that as all of the elements of holistic health overlap with each other, implementing positive habits and routines in one area will likely have a domino effect on the other areas of your holistic health and wellbeing. For example, making changes to your dietary habits, physical activity and stress management can also help to improve sleep and energy levels or adjusting your life balance can help to dramatically reduce your stress. We are moving away from this reductionist view of health as a set of behaviours or a particular appearance towards a new paradigm of holistic health as wellbeing and thriving!

Over to you…

If you would like to gain insight into your holistic health and identify areas you might like to improve on, download the free wellbeing assessment below from Well College Global which is the exact one I use with my 1-2-1 clients! Please like and share this post to support my business and follow my blog for more useful posts on nutrition, yoga and holistic health.

If you are looking for guidance, support and accountability on your holistic health journey, please contact me or check out the nutrition and health coaching packages I offer. My specialty is helping women to balance their hormones and heal their body and metabolism after chronic or restrictive dieting but I also help anyone who is looking to improve their overall health and find the perfect balance for their body. I would love to work together with you to move past any health blocks and get you feeling your best again!

Other posts you might like

Self-compassion on your path to better health

How would you rate your self-compassion on a scale of 1-10?

What is self-compassion?

Self-compassion has been defined as:

“the capacity to comfort and sooth ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement when we suffer, fail or feel inadequate.” Chris Germer from the Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion

being kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings…” Kristen Neff PhD

So when it comes to your path to better health, self-compassion could look like:

  • Speaking kindly to yourself when things don’t go according to plan
  • Letting go of harsh criticisms of yourself i.e. the inner bully
  • Observing your “slip ups” with a non-judgmental attitude and learning from them rather than beating yourself up
  • Being your own cheerleader and believing in yourself
  • Understanding that perfection doesn’t exist and failure is part of the journey

Being kind to ourselves and showing self-compassion is becoming increasing difficult in today’s world. With a constant barrage of seemingly perfect others to compare ourselves to on social media, TV and advertisements, it’s no wonder that we can often we left feeling less than and telling ourselves we don’t measure up. These comparisons then become the ammunition for the mental weapon which we turn towards ourselves.

Sometimes the language of negative self-talk becomes so engrained into our psyche that we don’t notice it. How many times have you thought to yourself “I’m so stupid”, “I never get things right”, “What’s the point, I’m a failure”, “I’ll never be like that”. All of these thoughts create a mental environment that keep us stuck in our same old habits and routines, unable to break free and move towards our vision of better health and overall life happiness. Speaking to ourselves harshly sets off a cascade of chemical reactions in our bodies which then influence the trillions of cells and change the way they function.

Self-compassion and holistic health

Part of my coaching as a Women’s Wellness Coach involves supporting women to love themselves and believe in themselves more. Not only because having a positive self-image is part of holistic wellness but also because negative self-talk and lack of confidence can be a major barrier to change in all other areas of health improvement including diet, movement and stress management. Research shows that rather than being motivated by criticism from ourselves and others, we are more likely to feel like a failure and give up altogether.

On the other hand, self-efficacy, that is the belief that we can take action and succeed in a particular situation, is associated with positive behaviour change and health outcomes. Self-efficacy goes hand in hand with self-compassion because without kindness and understanding how can we expect to believe in ourselves enough to make change? If we believe that every time we fall off the wagon or don’t achieve the results we expect, it’s because we are a failure and not because the goal was unrealistic, we didn’t have the resources we needed or life just got in the way, how easy will it be to get back up and try again?

When we react to our mistakes with self-compassion, it is much easier to pick ourselves up and get back on track rather than enter a negative spiral. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) describes how our thoughts create feelings which in turn affect our behaviours and our physical state. Negative self-talk can make us feel worse about ourselves and not want to do things to take care of ourselves holistically. On the other hand, showing self-compassion creates more positive feelings of acceptance, gratitude and peace which are more likely to trigger us to act in ways that support our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Self-compassion  cbt

Image credit: Toronto Psychology Clinic

How can we develop self-compassion?

Mindfulness

Developing self-compassion first requires becoming mindful of the thought tapes that are playing in our minds and where we could be harming ourselves with our self-talk. Whether you realise it or not, you are talking to yourself all day long via your thoughts! These can be thoughts about what is going on in the world around you but we often also have thoughts about ourselves and our actions or how other people see us. If you are not used to paying attention to your thoughts, this can come as a shock once you realise the constant chatter that is the backdrop for your life.

A useful experiment is to carry a small notebook with you over a 24 hour period and whenever you notice a self-judgement pop up, write it down. At the end of the experiment, reflect on what you have written. How many times did you judge yourself? In what situations? Were your judgements mostly positive or negative? If you find that you are often criticising yourself and your day is packed with negative self-talk, it’s maybe a good idea to focus on developing your self-compassion. Remember, if you find that your self-talk is very negative, not to use this as yet another thing to criticise yourself about. Instead see it as a starting point and something you can improve on over time.

Thought replacement/inner dialogues

Unfortunately, we can’t simply tell our brains to stop thinking, nor can we just turn off the thoughts we don’t like. Instead, we can create balance by countering any negative thoughts with more compassionate ones. This could look like a dialogue in your mind between your harsh inner critic and your kind inner cheerleader or coach. For example:

Inner critic: “Why did I eat so much food at the party? I wasn’t even hungry, why am I always so greedy!”

Inner coach: “Ok, perhaps you ate more than you planned to today. Why was that do you think? Is there something that you need? Is there something you could do differently next time?”

Inner cheerleader: “Parties are for enjoying! You ate really healthily this week and you noticed the benefits. Let it go and carry on with your plan”

If it helps, you can actually imagine these different perspectives as characters. Naming your inner critic or your inner bully and visualising it as a saboteur that creeps around your mind can really help you to separate you from your thoughts and judgements about yourself. These are thoughts that are occurring automatically and you are the one that is witnessing and experiencing the effects of these thoughts.

If you struggle to do this mentally, you can also put the dialogue on paper. As you review your thought journal, pick out some key themes or areas where you criticise yourself and experiment with writing a response from a more compassionate perspective. This might feel uncomfortable or be challenging at first but the more you practice, the easier and more natural it will become. If you have children, it might come more easily as we usually try to see the best in our children and see the bigger picture of what might have influenced their actions rather than blaming them personally.

Positive affirmations

Another way to counter negative self-talk is to try to crowd out the negative thoughts with more positive or neutral thoughts. Affirmations are statements that we can repeat to ourselves to program our minds to think differently. We are always making affirmations whether we realise it or not. Our thoughts create pathways in our mind and the more a thought is repeated, the deeper and more defined the pathway becomes making it easier to automatically think that thought again in the future. This is why over 90% of our thoughts tend to be the same from day to day!

If our habitual thoughts (i.e. affirmations) are negative judgements of ourselves, this is going to affect our ability to feel positive emotions and create the life we wish to live. Consciously repeating positive affirmations can help by planting the seed of more positive thoughts that are in line with our goals and our ideal vision of ourselves. Affirmations don’t have to be extreme and cheesy, in fact, if they are too outside of our current view of ourselves, they can have the opposite effect.

For example, someone who looks in the mirror and finds themselves ugly might repeat an affirmation such as “I may not be perfect but I accept myself the way I am and I know I am more than my physical appearance” rather than “I am beautiful” which might feel unrealistic and difficult to relate to.

Repeating affirmations like these just for a few minutes each day can start to change the usual narrative of thoughts that we experience. Even if initially it is only 1 positive thought followed by 99 negative ones, it is a start and a foundation to build on. Like any habit, conscious repetition leads to mastery. So whilst it might seem too simple to work, practicing positive affirmations daily can really work wonders over time.

Practice acceptance and forgiveness

Self-compassion is not about believing that we are perfect and never make mistakes. It is more about understanding that inevitably, because we are human, we will have flaws and act in ways that we later regret. It is being able to continue to show unconditional love for ourselves through these moments and not to take everything so personally. Instead of that age-old saying of treat others like you would like to be treated yourself, self-compassion is treating yourself as kindly as you would others you love.

In moments where you feel the inner critic rear its’ head, take a deep breath and let it go. Remind yourself that you are only human and we all make mistakes or feel like we don’t measure up. How many times have others in your life made mistakes or been less than perfect? How many times have you forgiven or accepted others just the way they are? Start to offer this acceptance and forgiveness to yourself and you will be on your way to developing self-compassion.

Meditation to develop self-compassion

An excellent way to combine these three elements of developing self-compassion (mindfulness, thought replacement and positive affirmations) is through guided meditations. My absolute favourite channel for guided meditations on Youtube is the Mindful Movement and I always recommend their meditations to my clients. Try out this meditation for connection and compassion below.

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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Identify with your vision for amazing health

I had an experience this week which got me thinking about the importance of change talk. Especially the importance of truly identifying your vision for health. This is such an important change to make if you want to be successful in reaching your health goals.

For anyone who didn’t know, I am currently shifting career path to make my nutrition and health coaching business full-time. It has been a three year process of completing all of my training. In that time I have built my brand and website and started to take on clients. It’s not something that happens overnight. So right now I am in the awkward grey area where when someone asks me what I do, I’m not quite sure what to say.

Usually something along the lines of:

“Well.. I am an Engineer working in environmental protection. BUT I am also a qualified nutritionist and yoga teacher. I am trying to build my own business as a Women’s Wellness Coach”

Sounds confusing and wishy-washy right?! Recently I realised that this may be the truth but it is not the language which will lead to success. Neither will language like this lead you to your vision for health. Words like BUT and TRYING TO are exactly the type of change talk which keep us stuck early in the change process. They keep up stuck and unable to move on to action and maintenance stages of change (see below).

Stages of change

The word BUT suggests ambivalence, that is simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings towards something. In my case, between wanting to succeed in becoming a full-time Women’s Wellness Coach and being afraid of leaving my old career behind and stepping into something new and completely unknown. Using the word BUT keeps us retuning back to the Contemplation stage of change.

The word TRYING TO highlights the common loop that many people get stuck in. This is moving back and forward between Preparation and Action stages of change. This occurs when you are sure you want the change, you have the vision for health and have started to take action. Simultaneously we are lacking the self-confidence to really make the change last and keep falling back into old ways of thinking and behaving.

Lack of commitment

On top of that, my uncertain response to the question “what do you do?” is highlighting to others that I am not quite there yet and I am still attached to my previous identity. Recently I realised that if I want to build a successful, full-time business, I need to start identifying fully with my vision of being a full-time nutritionist and yoga teacher.

When people ask me what I do, I need to say that I run my own business as a Women’s Wellness Coach. And this is scary! Letting go of my former career and stepping into a completely new identity is pretty terrifying actually. Not only because of my own doubts, fears and insecurities but also because by creating a new identity you also have to deal with changes in how others respond to you.

In my case this is the difference between being viewed by others as an Engineer and as a Women’s Wellness Coach. On your journey towards your vision for health, it could be the difference between being someone who likes to stay up all night partying and a person who likes to get up early and practice yoga in the morning. Or between always being the one to suggest ordering takeaway on a Friday night to cooking a healthy meal with your family at home.

Our identify with others

Whenever we make a big change we always have to process the changes in how we see ourselves as well as how others see us. This can be a tricky stage to move past but it in essential to fully identify with the vision of yourself as the person who you want to become and allow your own view of the world and others’ to adjust accordingly.

The thing is, often we make assumptions about how other people will view this change in us. Unless we ask them directly for their opinion it is our own opinion that is reflected back to us. We project our own thoughts and beliefs onto the other person. When I believe others will take me less seriously as a Women’s Wellness Coach than as an Engineer. Or that they will think I am less intelligent or scientifically-minded, that is me thinking that and not them.

In truth, I don’t really know how others perceive this change and in reality, it doesn’t really matter. I am making this change for me because it aligns with my own core values. It’s the direction where I see myself thriving in a career that I love.

The same goes for changes that you wish to make for your health. You might believe that your friends will find you boring if you opt for an earlier night. Or that your family won’t enjoy the food that you cook at home but perhaps this is not the truth. Maybe your friends are also waiting for the opportunity to live a more active lifestyle. Perhaps your family much prefer the time spent cooking and eating together at home.

And even if they don’t, it is not your responsibility to keep others happy. You should find the inner strength and belief in yourself to make the changes that are right for you. The changes that will bring you more in line with your happiest, healthiest vision of yourself. What does this look like in practice?

Change talk in practice

The main thing is to watch your language. Look out for change talk that suggests uncertainty or a lack of commitment:

I want to.. feel more energetic and healthy

I could.. start eating more fruits and vegetables

I might.. think about walking more often

I’m trying.. to go to bed before midnight

Instead, replace them with strong statements that identify with the change you wish to make:

I am.. feeling more energised and healthier each day

I do.. go for a walk every evening

I will.. eat fruit or vegetables with every meal this week

I like to.. go to bed earlier and get a good nights’ sleep

So next time someone asks me that dreaded question “what do you do?”, I will smile and say:

I am a nutritionist and yoga teacher. I run my own business as a Women’s Wellness Coach and I write a health blog at Moon Life Yoga. I help women let go of chronic dieting to find true health, vitality and optimal fertility!

Sounds much better right? By aligning our thoughts and language with the identity we want to create for ourselves, we gain clarity and direction. When we use positive change talk, we are much more likely to remain committed to our goals, even during the challenging moments. Maybe take a moment to reflect on your own health or life goals and see where this idea of identifying with a change could apply. Consider how you could change your language to better reflect the person you see yourself becoming and your vision for health.

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

  • Please like this post and share to support my business
  • If you liked this post, follow my blog or subscribe by email to receive updates on new content
  • Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily updates and inspiration

Change talk: identifying with the change you want to make

I had an experience this week which got me thinking about the importance of truly identifying with the change you want to make if you want to be successful in reaching your goals. For anyone who didn’t know, I am currently shifting away from one career path into making my nutrition and health coaching business full-time. It has been a three year process of completing all of my training, building my brand and my website and starting to take on clients. It’s not something that happens overnight and so right now I am in the awkward grey area where when someone asks me what I do, I’m not quite sure what to say.

Usually something along the lines of “well.. I am an Engineer working in environmental protection but I am also a qualified nutritionist and yoga teacher and I am trying to build my own business as a Women’s Wellness Coach” is what comes out of my mouth. Sounds confusing and wishy-washy right?! Recently I realised that this may be the truth but it is not the language of success which will get me to where I want to go. Words like BUT and TRYING TO are exactly the type of words which keep us stuck early in the change process, unable to move on to action and maintenance stages of change (see below).

The word BUT suggests ambivalence, that is simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings towards something. In my case, between wanting to succeed in becoming a full-time Women’s Wellness Coach and being afraid of leaving my old career behind and stepping into something new and completely unknown. Using the word BUT keeps us retuning back to the Contemplation stage of change. On the other hand, using the word TRYING TO highlights the common loop that many people get stuck in which is moving back and forward between Preparation and Action stages of change. This occurs when we are sure we want the change and have started to take action but we are lacking the self-confidence to really make the change last and keep falling back into old ways of thinking and behaving.

On top of that, my uncertain response to the question “what do you do?” is highlighting to others that I am not quite there yet and I am still attached to my previous identity. Recently I realised that if I want to build a successful, full-time business, I need to start identifying fully with my vision of being a full-time nutritionist and yoga teacher. When people ask me what I do, I need to say that I run my own business as a Women’s Wellness Coach And this is scary! Letting go of my former career and stepping into a completely new identity is pretty terrifying actually. Not only because of my own doubts, fears and insecurities but also because by creating a new identity you also have to deal with changes in how others respond to you.

In my case this is the difference between being viewed by others as an Engineer and as a Women’s Wellness Coach. On your health improvement journey, it could be the difference between being someone who likes to stay up all night partying and a person who likes to get up early and practice yoga in the morning. Or between always being the one to suggest ordering takeaway on a Friday night to cooking a healthy meal with your family at home. Whenever we make a big change we always have to process the changes in how we see ourselves as well as how others see us. This can be a tricky stage to move past but it in essential to fully identify with the vision of yourself as the person who you want to become and allow your own view of the world and others’ to adjust accordingly.

The thing is, often we make assumptions about how other people will view this change in us. Unless we ask them directly for their opinion it is our own opinion that is reflected back to us. We project our own thoughts and beliefs onto the other person. When I believe others will take me less seriously as a Women’s Wellness Coach than as an Engineer or that they will think I am less intelligent or scientifically-minded, that is me thinking that and not them. In truth, I don’t really know how others perceive this change and in reality, it doesn’t really matter. I am making this change for me because it aligns with my own core values and where I see myself thriving in a career that I love.

The same goes for changes that you wish to make for your health. You might believe that your friends will find you boring if you opt for an earlier night, or that your family won’t enjoy the food that you cook at home but perhaps this is not the truth. Maybe your friends are also waiting for the opportunity to live a more active lifestyle and your family much prefer the time spent cooking and eating together at home. But even if they don’t, it is not your responsibility to keep others happy and you should find the inner strength and belief in yourself to make the changes that are right for you and bring you more in line with your happiest, healthiest vision of yourself.

What does this look like in practice? The main thing is to watch your language and look out for words that suggest uncertainty or a lack of commitment:

I want to.. feel more energetic and healthy

I could.. start eating more fruits and vegetables

I might.. think about walking more often

I’m trying.. to go to bed before midnight

Instead, replace them with strong statements that identify with the change you wish to make:

I am.. feeling more energised and healthier each day

I do.. go for a walk every evening

I will.. eat fruit or vegetables with every meal this week

I like to.. go to bed earlier and get a good nights’ sleep

So next time someone asks me that dreaded question “what do you do?”, I will smile and say:

I am a nutritionist and yoga teacher and I run my own business as a Women’s Wellness Coach and I write a health blog at Moon Life Yoga. I like to help women let go of chronic dieting to find true health, vitality and optimal fertility!

Sounds much better right? By aligning our thoughts and language with the identity we want to create for ourselves, we gain clarity and direction and are much more likely to remain committed to our goals, even during the challenging moments. Maybe take a moment to reflect on your own health or life goals and see where this idea of identifying with a change could apply and how you could change your language to better reflect the person you see yourself becoming.

Over to you…

Let me know your thoughts on this interesting topic! Please like and share this post to support my business and follow my blog for more useful posts on nutrition, yoga and holistic health.

If you are looking for guidance, support and accountability on you health journey, please contact me or check out the nutrition and holistic health coaching packages I offer. My specialty is helping women to balance their hormones and heal their body and metabolism after chronic or restrictive dieting but I also help anyone who is looking to improve their overall health and find the perfect balance for their body. I would love to work together with you to move past any health blocks and get you feeling your best again!

Other posts you might like

Non-diet approach to health coaching vs. dieting

Today’s topic is Dieting vs. Non-diet approach to health coaching!

How many here have ever been on a diet to lose weight? Weight-watchers, Slimming World, low-calorie, low-carb or low-fat… how many have you tried?? In 2016, Huffington post shared an article claiming that 57% of British women had been on a diet to lose weight in the last 12 months. Of those, two-thirds reporting being on a weight-loss diet most or all of the time. That’s pretty shocking!

Dieting in the traditional sense is not easy. It takes effort to go against your bodies’ natural signals and purposely eat less food than it is asking for in order to lose weight. Yes you might lose weight but sustaining this tension between “want it” and “can’t have it” over a long period of time depletes your mental and emotional energy reserves. Fighting your appetite only intensifies cravings, leaving you feeling drained and vulnerable to over-eating which undoes all of your hard work.

Introducing the Non-Diet Approach

It’s no secret these days that diets don’t work. Still, many people continue to try for lack of a better option. I’m here to tell you that there is a better option! It’s called the Non-Dieting Approach to health coaching and it’s the method that I was taught to use with clients. The Non-Dieting Approach is based on researched methods of health promotion including Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size® which encourage working with your body rather than against it in your pursuit of health.

So what exactly is the non-diet approach to health coaching and how does it compare to traditional dieting methods?

Traditional dieting methodsNon-diet approach
Main goal is weight loss, body shape change or size reduction. Encourages you to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, regardless of weight, shape or size
Advises control of food quantities by weighing, measuring and counting portionsTeaches you to regulate eating based on internal signals of hunger and fullness (intuitive eating)
Often recommends using a food diary to count calories or macros with targets set based on goalsRecommends you use a food diary to understand eating behaviours or the effects of different foods or meals
Categorises foods as good or bad based on the rules of the specific dietRemoves all moral labels from food and teaches you to accept nourishment in all forms
Uses exercise (especially cardio) as a way to burn calories or fat and offset the food eatenSupports you to find ways to move your body that bring you joy and build self-appreciation
Self-monitoring of progress is typically weighing, measuring or taking photos of your physiqueSelf-monitoring is based on behaviours and may include a journal of thoughts and feelings.
Often any weight lost is regained within a 5 year period after the dietDoes not always result in weight loss but lifestyle changes and health benefits can be sustained long term
Risks of increased body dissatisfaction, reactive binge eating, chronic or yo-yo dieting, further weight gainEncourages positive self-image and body acceptance, boosts confidence, improves happiness and vitality

My experience with the Non-Diet Approach

The Non-Diet Approach is exactly the method I used to recover from chronic dieting and find true health. Through this method I was able to get back my period after 8 years of Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. I lost my period due to restrictive dieting and over-exercising, both of which I believed were healthy at the time.

Through the Non-Diet Approach, I was able to reintroduce foods I loved that I had been restricting for many years. I let go of the idea that they were bad and eating them even in moderation would make me unhealthy. And these were the same foods that I used to then go and binge eat in secret when I couldn’t hold myself any longer. I was also able to let go of my rigid exercise regime which was getting in the way of my social life and impacting my family relationships.

These days I have a very balanced approach to food. Despite my expectation that lifting dietary restrictions would lead to a life long junk food and sweets binge. Actually I found that I settled into a natural pretty healthy dietary pattern with plenty of treats sprinkled in without the guilt. After letting go of my gym obsession, I found more enjoyable ways to move my body. Now exercise is a hobby rather than a chore or a punishment and I genuinely look forward to these activities!

And what about my weight? I quickly settled into a natural set point weight for my body type. I have remained there within a 5lb range for the last 5 years. This is without any real effort other than maintaining the healthy lifestyle habits I built.

Can the Non-Diet Approach work for you?

I want this type of health and wellness for you too! If you are sick and tired of restricting and punishing your body to lose weight then the Non-Diet Approach is for you. Your body is not broken, traditional dieting methods are simply designed to keep you stuck. Even if you have tried every diet under the sun, the Non-Diet Approach is something new. It never too late to heal your relationship with food and find true health.

Are you ready? If you want to let go of dieting for good, I can help. We will work together to gain clarity on your vision of true health, develop goals and strategies to get there. I will offer you support and accountability in taking action. Breaking free of chronic dieting takes a 180 mindset shift. It also requires the unravelling of some deep held beliefs about what it means to be healthy. But together we can get there!

If you are interested in learning more about health coaching with the Non-Diet Approach. Or if you want to apply for one of my coaching spots opening up this week, head over to the Contact page of my site or drop me an email at lovemoonlife.mail@gmail.com.

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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