The Food Adventure Crew is happy to welcome our in-house healthy food guru Jessie Whitesell to our team. She is a loving mom, wife and friend, and brings such positive energy to our group. She will give a much needed spin on Food Adventures.
********* Soooo…. what exactly is a health coach anyway???? **********
DEFINING HEALTH COACH
As the new face of wellness to the Food Adventure Crew, I wanted to take a moment to clarify exactly what a health coach is, how I became certified, and how this career is forging new ground in the allied health care system.
Also known as a wellness consultant, health coaches are certified professionals, offering a fairly new link in the allied health professional network. Together, allied health professionals work in teams to prevent disease and its progression, understand its root cause, and provide a range of direct patient/client care and support.
Specifically, a health coach works with individual clients to create and implement health improvement interventions. At the core, we analyze disease risk and prevention. The goal is to create a balanced approach to holistic health and healing. The work is client-centered, allowing the client to create solutions and strategies that will work best for their unique lifestyle. Working as dedicated advocates, health coaches develop a collaborative relationship with their clients to improve their lifestyle for the better. Time is spent exploring a client’s baseline of how they are currently living their life, what their daily habits are, established routines of living, and analyzing where improvements can be made. Once areas are identified where behavior change and modifications would be beneficial, the client then prioritizes these needs. Together, an action plan is implemented, working toward highly personalized goals set by the client.
Overwhelm is a common theme and setback when working on behavior change. Therefore in my specific work at Jessie Whitesell Health + Wellness, the client creates and prioritizes individual action steps. The focus is only on one change or new behavior at a time. Once that behavior is underway or possibly mastered, a new behavior then becomes the focus. Implementing these small changes, one behavior at a time, creates the foundation and the building blocks for sustainable habits to living one’s healthiest life.
Through strategies focusing on stress management, proper nutrition, quality sleep, and appropriate exercise and movement, clients are asked take a proactive approach towards controlling their own health. Clients are educated and encouraged to develop a growth mindset and create lifestyle changes that promote well being for long term wellness.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HEALTH
Within my first two years of working in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, I quickly recognized that my background in counseling psychology was a huge attribute to how I was effectively working with my clients. Behavioral change was clearly going to be a necessary part of my work if I wanted to be effective. I soon explored all of the health coaching certifications and chose the American Council of Exercise Health Coach Certification. ACE is the only organization whose health coaching certification is accredited by the National Council on Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This distinction means the certification has been officially recognized by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence as a credential whose holders are competent professionals in the field of health coaching.
Currently, there is no licensure requirement or standardized set of education to become a health coach due to zero state or national accrediting organizations governing the practice of health coaching. Therefore, it is up to the client or employer to demand this type of education before hiring a coach.
Jessie Whitesell Health + Wellness has since grown to reach more clients more effectively with these credentials. As well, my work as a certified health coach inspired me to also become a certified behavioral specialist, fitness nutritionist, and autoimmune paleo coach.
I am confident in my practice that I am positively affecting the lives of my clients and their families. I believe that this career path will be growing monumentally in the coming years as the allied health care network recognizes the integral role that health coaches play in creating health and well being in the lives of their patients and clients.
BA in Education
- Ed. Counseling Psychology.
ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, Fitness Nutritionist + Behavioral Coach
Certified Autoimmune Paleo Coach
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