Updated: May 22
I have been studying nutrition and wellness in one way or another for over a decade. I can tell you about what you should be eating for optimum health, how to adjust your diet so that you lose weight, how to transition painlessly to a vegan diet, what measures to put in place to get a good night's sleep, how to practise self-care, how to incorporate physical exercise into your life.......blah, blah, blah
I have enough certificates to paper a wall.
BUT my old friend self-doubt is still holding me back. If you know me personally, you may be surprised that I possess self-doubt, I have always been very shy (again, people who know me may be surprised) and I have always hidden it with jokes (usually aimed at myself - get in there before anyone else does!!) and by acting the fool.
For me, the simplest things can be uncomfortable, like choosing clothes, walking into a room of people, changing jobs, getting a different hair cut, wearing yellow (still not there yet!) and it takes a lot of digging in deep to do these things - I have a fear of many things but is it failure? is it ridicule? is it being too different? I have no idea but there is fear there which has been holding me back for, well, ever really.
But I'm getting off track: the post heading is "Too Fat/Too Old to be a Health Coach?"
Bear with - let's do a little simple exercise - I want you to imagine a Health Coach - done that? What came into your mind?
Were they young, ie early '20s?
Were they pretty with a golden tan, perfect naturally-glowing skin and long, gently wavy - effortlessly-styled hair?
Were they a size 8/10?
Did they have a perfectly toned body with legs up to their ears and do yoga?
Yep, me too.
I am none of those.
I am tanned (because of lockdown and the wonderful weather)
My skin has age spots
My hair is grey and has a mind of its own (we do not agree with how it should look most of the time)
I am definitely NOT a size 8/10 - definitely NOT - try 16
I do not possess a perfectly toned body, except in my head and my legs just reach my pants...but I do do yoga!
I’m fat. I know I’m fat.
My BMI puts me at almost obese - I have been on one diet or another for around 40 years. I have been thin, painfully thin, but that was due to a stressful relationship and I am not prepared to go there again just to knock off four dress sizes.
as a complete aside; do you know what a pain it is for me to type anything with a 'z' in it? My keyboard 'z' does not work so I have to copy and paste each time - not a fascinating fact, but one I thought I would share.
The impact of this perpetual cycle of stuff my face/starve myself for nearly 40 years has undoubtedly had some impact on my metabolism and the way in which my body responds to what I put in it, so even though presently my diet looks pretty healthy - whole-food, plant-based - I am not daft enough to think that overnight I will be transformed into abovementioned goddess....although wouldn't that be nice??
I want the weight gone immediately when I change my eating - recently I have lost 8lb - everything was going swimmingly, I walk for over an hour a day with the dogs, I was back on the treadmill and up to 3m without dying of lung failure, I had given up alcohol and crisps.
Perfect - skinny here I come.
Then I put on 1.5lb overnight, no bad things eaten, no exercise shirked - 1.5lbs !! So what would I suggest to my client with my Health Coach hat on? Not to worry, it could be water fluctuation, you may be constipated, you may have upped your exercise, you should take an average weight over a week, not daily, your period may be due. Then what did I do with my Tina self-sabotage hat on? Yes, ate a whole 150g packet of Walkers Sensations crisps and had a pint of cider - obviously!!
I used to be a UKA Running Coach (little-known fact) and I ran marathons, ultra-marathons, I completed three marathons around the Pembrokeshire coast in three days, I ran 7m most days and 10/12m at the weekend - I wasn't particularly good but achieving those things and being relatively slim meant I (in my head) fitted the idea of a running coach.
But being older and fatter, what makes me qualified to advise someone else on how to eat/diet/live?
That is what I am struggling with. Perhaps the fact that I've been there, done that, got the t-shirt (extra large) means I can connect in some way with someone wanting to make a change. Perhaps because I am not slim, young and gorgeous someone may feel comfortable with working with me? Perhaps because I am constantly learning and working towards a goal I will resonate with someone treading the same path? Who knows? We may never know because I may never pluck up the courage to advertise myself as a Health Coach and take on clients (I did actually construct a website offering my services with pretty pictures of positive things and words reflecting how wonderful your life could be if you engaged me as your Health Coach but guess what - I took it down after a week because NO-ONE would want to get my advice......would they?)
So perhaps instead of doing another nutrition course, I should look into a 'curing self-doubt' course and have some faith in myself - another work in progress.
Stay safe - much love x