Why Having a Coach by Your Side on A Wellness Journey Matters

Every once in a while, I’ll have clients who struggle with their weight say something along the lines of “You’re not fat, so you don’t know what it’s like to be fat. There’s no way you can help me.”

It hurts a bit to hear that. It’s like saying: in order to be helpful, psychiatrists should have experienced the same emotional troubles as their patients, or that a caring and understanding doctor can’t help if they haven’t experienced a patient’s illness or pain.

When clients say something like this, I like to put them at ease by reminding them that I see myself as a partner and a wellness coach.

The Relevance of Wellness Coaching

I like the term wellness coach; it sounds motivating and positive. And whether someone is helping you to improve your fitness routine or make better food choices, coaches share the same goals.

Wellness coaches encourage and inspire you. They want you to succeed and perform at your best. They know that the effort is more important than the outcome, and that the desire to do well comes from within.

They also know that mastering a skill is a process, and that you’re going to make mistakes along the way – which is not only okay, it’s expected. Most importantly, a coach works with you – as a partner who shares your successes and helps you work through the times when you’re struggling.

Inspiration Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

There are different kinds of wellness coaches, and they all offer help in different ways. For example, professional coaches – that would be someone like me – serve to educate their clients, help them find ways to meet their goals, and offer support.

Even someone like your walking partner could be a coach – a peer coach. The two of you currently share the same health issues and goals and you offer support to one another to help you meet those goals.

Then there are the wellness “mentors” – they’re ones who have already overcome their particular health issue and are successfully managing it.  Someone who has lost weight and kept it off serves as a mentor and role model – and gives hope and inspiration to those who are struggling.

At Herbalife Nutrition, we have many stories of our independent distributors who serve as coaches and mentors to their customers. They create a trusting relationship with their customers, help them establish their goals, and offer product guidance to help support them along the way.

Being Open and Honest about Your Goals

Coaching is about developing a relationship of mutual trust and openness. Based on this, a distributor can really get to know their customers’ motivations and goals, thus mentoring them throughout their journey.

I give much of the credit to all my clients for teaching me how to successfully play my part. They’ve opened up and shared their struggles with me, which has given me a good understanding of what they’re going through – which, I believe, puts me in a reasonably good position to help.

What it comes down to is this – we have wellness coaches all around us. Your doctor, who explains your particular health concerns to you and offers advice and support. Your dieting buddy, who ‘talks you down’ when you’re about to eat something you know you shouldn’t. And, if you work with a distributor, he or she can provide you with products and guidance that support your fitness and nutrition goals, help keep you accountable and motivated.

Even if someone hasn’t walked in a mile in your shoes, it doesn’t mean they can’t be of help. Coaches come from all walks of life, and a good coach is someone who understands the game – even if they’ve never actually played it.

Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND –Sr.Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Susan BowermanM.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Sr. Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Susan Bowerman earned a B.S. in biology with distinction from the University of Colorado, and received her M.S. in food science and nutrition from Colorado State University. She is a registered dietitian, holds two board certifications from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a certified specialist in sports dietetics, and a certified specialist in obesity and weight management, and is a Fellow of the Academy.