Taking a Leap of Faith and Pursuing my Passion: Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching

I’m so excited to share a leap of faith I took a few weeks ago that has never felt more right!

Last week I shared that I was diagnosed with PCOS in September, and how it has been an incredibly difficult year on my body. Though this past year has been brutal, I have grown in so many ways. And through this journey, I have come to the realization that I want to pursue my passion in the health industry and I am training to become a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

I am an IIN Ambassador and the links provided are Ambassador Program Links! You receive a MAJOR discount when signing up for IIN through using these links, and I benefit as well. Please let me know if you have any questions about IIN!

What is a Health Coach?

Never heard of a health coach? Let me tell you all about it! A health coach supports clients to help them achieve specific health goals. To achieve this, health coaches work with clients to develop health-promoting behaviors and habits around nutrition, physical activity, self-care, and wellness. 

Health coaches are not the same as Registered Dietitians or Nutritionists (read more about that HERE), and they in fact fill a very different void in the healthcare system. In America, there are several diseases that could be prevented or greatly reduced in number by proper nutrition and exercise. Though doctors often communicate this with patients, very few people actually know what “getting healthy” looks like. Additionally, many patients struggle to develop habits that lead to lifestyle modifications necessary to combat their diseases or meet their goals. This is where health coaches come in! Health coaches work with clients to develop habits and behaviors to successfully meet their goals. I like to think of health coaches similar to a life coach with a strong emphasis on nutrition! Health coaches look at a client holistically to help educate and empower them to lead a healthier life.

In most states, there is no strict guidelines on what certifications are required to be a health coach. However, I am someone who highly values education, and I knew if I wanted to become a health coach, I needed to get the highest level of training possible. After in depth research, I decided to enroll in the one year course with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. The program is taught by physicians and other established professionals in the field of nutrition and wellness, and I have already been exposed to so much research already! I am so passionate about this field and am excited to get to share this with other girls to help them lead healthier and happier lives!

I didn’t just wake up one morning and realize I wanted to pursue this dream however. It’s been about a year in the making!

The Journey to Realizing my Passion was a Career

I’ve had a passion for nutrition and wellness since I was a teenager. After graduating college, my interest in nutrition and health really flourished, as I took control of my own health and established healthy habits. However, I never thought I could pursue a degree in the nutrition world, since my degree is in biology not dietetics. I eventually earned my Master’s in Education and became a high school biology teacher.

This past year, I realized that my passion for teaching in the classroom was fading, and I didn’t feel like I was living out my purpose. There are so many aspects of teaching that I love, particularly the amazing relationships I have with many students. But the behavior and several other difficult aspects of the job in public education has burnt me out. If you know, you know!

Around this time last year, I started praying for God to show me His purpose for my life. I felt in my heart I needed a career change, but I didn’t know what that looked like. I thought originally maybe it would be this blog with sharing home and crafting ideas, but several months in I started to think maybe God had different plans for my life. So I continued to pray diligently that God guide me in the right direction to live out my calling. I’ve made hasty decisions before on my own terms without consulting God, and that NEVER goes well. I decided I really wanted to follow God with changing a career, so I prayed and waited.

Around the time I started praying consistently for God to send me a sign, I also started experiencing the negative symptoms from PCOS (though I didn’t know I had PCOS yet). You can read more about my journey HERE with that, but essentially I had to become my own health advocate during this time in my life. I knew my body was out of balance, I just didn’t know exactly what was going on. I took this time to educate myself about hormonal imbalances, and even sought a second opinion when I felt uncomfortable with my original OBGYN who told me I was “too skinny” to have PCOS. After I was diagnosed, I decided I was not going to let PCOS control my life and had a feeling I could manage some of these symptoms through health and exercise.

It took several weeks of trial and error to figure out what nutrition and exercise my body needed to be in balance, but eventually I started to lose weight and lessen the other symptoms from PCOS. Along the way, I learned to give myself grace, prioritize self care, and grew in my faith. Though I’ve come a long way, I am still learning different ways I can help my body battle PCOS and have learned that health is a journey, not a static destination. In fact, as I write this post, my body is out of balance from the fertility hormone therapy, and I am currently experimenting with my diet (focusing on the amount of fat in my whole food plant based diet) to see if it can improve some of the side effects I am experiencing. Its frustrating, but I know this is a journey and I will eventually figure out what my body needs with these hormone therapies. Though I didn’t realize it when I first started making lifestyle modifications to combat the PCOS, I was essentially my own health coach throughout this entire year.

About a month ago, I was drinking my coffee one early morning and I had just completed my devotional. I started to brainstorm a list in my journal of ideas of different types of jobs in education I could apply to (since Brandon will become a resident and we will likely be moving, therefore I will need to search for a job). Suddenly, the phrase “health and wellness coach” popped in my head. I wrote it down, then felt this tug on my heart to google it. Honestly, I had no idea what a health coach was until this moment. I spent the next few hours researching and reading anything I could find about health coaching. Eventually, I knew THIS was what God had planned for my next chapter.

And now, here I am a month later, and I’m well on my way to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach!

I can’t begin to explain the fire inside of me I get when I talk about Health Coaching and how passionate I am about this field. I am so excited to be able to educate, help, and empower girls to live a healthier and happier life. As I continue to learn more about Integrative Nutrition, I hope this blog evolves to become a free and valuable resource to you about health and wellness. I am so excited to take you along on this journey with me!

Have you ever taken a leap of faith and pursued your passion? I’d love to hear about it!

Lastly, if you are interested in learning more about health coaching or the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, please reach out! I am an IIN Ambassador and can give you more information about the program and how I am liking it so far!

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I am an IIN Ambassador and the links provided are Ambassador Program Links! You receive a MAJOR discount when signing up for IIN through using these links, and I benefit as well. Please let me know if you have any questions about IIN!

 

Health Disclaimer:

I am not a physician or Registered Dietician. Some blog posts discuss healthy eating and exercise, and the purpose is to share my personal journey and experience with diet and fitness. As always, consult a physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.

2 thoughts on “Taking a Leap of Faith and Pursuing my Passion: Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching

  1. SOOO excited for you and happy that you are chasing your dreams!! Your passionate and genuine, caring spirit makes you so perfect for this. I know you will be such a blessing to so many along the way. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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