Becoming a Health Coach
Health Coaches are trained to educate and support people to find their way to better health. Here I share some info on why I wanted to become a Health Coach… My initial reasons for doing the Institute of Integrative Nutrition course, some of the topics that are included, and a few pros and cons. You will also find links to get more information, and special discounts and payment offers if you would like to know more.
When I left High School (back in the 90’s haha) I decided to go to university and Study Radiography + Radiation Therapy. I am not entirely sure why I even wanted to do that course, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. Although I loved some of the subjects, I just didn’t love the course, or the clinic work with the patients at the end of the first year so I dropped out, and worked my way through a few jobs which all led to eventual careers and work in graphic design, product management and then photography.
But over the next 15 or so years there was always a yearning.
I loved science in school, and studied as many science subjects as I could (I hated art – go figure!) and in the years since I stopped my University Degree, Nutrition was always in the back of my mind. The timing was never right however, and nor was the location I lived, in that there were never schools close enough that offered nutrition courses in person (back in the days before online learning was so widely offered) During my pregnancy with my (now 11 year old) daughter and in the years after, my health was very up and down and after many years of going from doctor to doctor with no great success and no “diagnosis” and trying desperately to research and read every book I could get my hands on, I somehow came across the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
IIN as it is referred to by most people, was not as well known a few years ago as it is now, but to me it seemed like it offered a more structured method to my personal research into health and wellness. I was researching a huge number of different diet options in order to work out what would best suit me, and here was a course that would help me do just that, with hopefully less confusion than I was experiencing on my own. It wasn’t an overly huge investment in terms of either time or money which suited just perfectly as right from the start I was adamant that I was doing the course for me. For my own health, for Liana’s health and simply to learn. I didn’t see it as a ‘business in a box’ as some people do, or a short cut to a blooming health coaching career. For now, it was to be just for me.
Apart from some initial hesitations – is this the right time, should I be spending this money, is this even going to be worth it – I settled in and I loved most parts of the course. I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to the marketing side of things, simply because that is not where I was at during that time, and I had experience in other areas that helped me along there.
The biggest thing for me at the end was – I WANT MORE! But first, I will share a little about the course…
Health Coaching with Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
The IIN Health Coach course runs for 1 year. It consists of 40 modules, all delivered online and via a custom app which you can download and listen to from your own device. The majority of the information is presented in audio or video format, making it perfect to download to your iPod and listen to on the go. You can study anywhere, anytime and this was one of my favourite things – walking along the lake in the fresh air while listening to lectures. Most lectures last approx 40 minutes and the average student will spend 5-10 hours per week, listening to provided materials and doing extra research and reading. The actual course content is only 2-3 hours per week though, so it is up to you how much over and beyond you go with the extra learning.
You will receive access to pre-designed Marketing and Health Coaching materials that you can use with your future clients if so desired and there are also compulsory group coaching circles which were probably my least favourite part of the course. At the time I was the only Australian in my group, I had to get up at a rediculous hour in the morning to listen in and I just didn’t manage connect well with any of the US participants in my group. I do believe that this has now been addressed with dedicated Australian coaching groups which I think is a great idea.
Some of the things the Health Coaching course covers:
The IIN curriculum has one core philosophy that the foods that you eat are secondary to other aspects of your life that feed you. They call this primary food and it is grouped into the areas of Relationships, Career, Physical Activity and Spirituality. This may seem obvious at surface level, but keeping these areas of your life in good balance is so essential to good health and can often have so much more of an effect on you than the food you eat. This is a big part of what health coaching is about and a perfect example of a holistic approach.
Over 100 different dietary Theories.
We are all unique and no one diet or eating plan suits every person in the world, and even every person in the one family. This course allows you to briefly touch on the pros and cons of many different options to start to work out what is best for you. You are also encouraged to try these dietary theories for yourself (be your own little experiment) and while this can seem confusing and overwhelming at times, it is a great way to learn what options you have and it can often be quite easy to eliminate things that don’t work for you quickly, to then allow you to focus a little more on other options and go into more depth. There were quite a few theories that I was very interested in learning more about, lecturers that I absolutely loved and as a result I did purchase many books during and after the course to read more about certain diets and lifestyle options that intrigued me.
You will cover topics including : Bio-individuality, Superfoods, Deconstructing Cravings, Crowding Out, Emotional Eating, Organic and Local Foods, Food Energetics, Government Policies (though do keep in mind that the majority of this info is USA relevant), Food + Mood Connection, Global Health Crisis, Nutrition Science, School Food, Childhood Obesity and many more which gives you a very broad approach to your learning and allows you to potentially zone in on subjects you are passionate about and learn more about them..
Business and Marketing Skills.
The course covers topics such as Marketing, Business Building, Time Management, Coaching Skills, Listening Skills, Public Speaking which are a huge benefit if you are considering starting a Health Coaching business, or even if you simply want to start with a blog and see where things lead.