How I Became a Health Coach and Started My Online Health Coaching Business
Many of you are health coaches, or aspiring health coaches and I get this question a lot. So, I’ve compiled your most asked questions to answer them all HERE in one place!
If you don’t already know, I attended school at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN for short) in 2015 to become a Certified Health Coach. You can read all about my experience and my review of IIN HERE.
After graduating from IIN, I started my own local health coaching business. Fast forward to now, 5 years later, I'm a Holistic Health Coach and Owner of Thoughtfully Thriving, my online business where I help women reshape their relationship with food, ditch diets and overcome guilt surrounding food for good.
You might be asking yourself what even is a Health Coach?
To be honest, I thought the same thing 5 years ago. It was a very new term then. Now, the Health Coaching market has exploded and for a good reason.
When is the last time you had the chance to sit down with your doctor for an hour and talk about all your symptoms, worries, pains etc?
When was the last time your doctor recommended you something that had to do with food or movement to help your health?
We are spending more money than ever on health care yet the top three causes of death are dietary related illnesses – heart diseases, stroke and pulmonary diseases. Not to mention depression, stress, anxiety, mental illness and eating disorders are on the rise everywhere.
Health Coaches offer a new approach.
A Health Coach is NOT a nutritionist or practitioner who is quilaifed to prescribe medications or diagnose conditions. A Health Coach does not replace other health care professionals but rather is there to support and complement them working side by side on improving the overall health of a patient/client.
I like to think of a Health Coach as a support mentor. Someone who is there for you through your journey to educate you, support you and hold you accountable to your goals. With education on how to create sustainable lifestyle changes and build healthy habits. A Health Coach takes the TIME to listen to your problems and struggles and helps you commit to realistic achievable goals all while being there to support you and hold you accountable.
"What inspired you to become a health coach?"
I was 22 years old and dropped out of college because I had no idea what I wanted to actually do with my life. At this point in my life, I wasn't healthy by any means. I drank often, over ate daily, was not educated on what I was putting in my body nor did I ever move my body. While I was exploring career options I took an interest in fitness and began to work out daily and slowly learn more about food and what I was putting in my body. After I started feeling good in my skin and seeing progress, I became obsessed.
Food instantly became a passion of mine, I loved creating new recipes and trying different things in the kitchen. I knew a naturopathic doctor who also owned her own holistic juice bar cafe and I was fortunate enough to study under her for a year working at the cafe learning about food and holistic healing through her practice while I sat in with patients.
During that year, I knew this was my passion. Helping people, specifically helping them feel better in their bodies and educate them on what food can do for them. I began the search for a school that would allow me to do this and I came upon IIN.
I immediately took the sample class and looked through their curriculum. It was everything that aligned with me and I instantly knew I was meant to go to IIN and begin my journey to helping people live better lives by taking control of their health.
You can find the sample class HERE.
"Who is your ideal client?"
My ideal client is someone who struggles with their relationship with food. Someone who always says "my diet starts Monday". Only to raid the whole pantry Sunday evening before the diet starts feeling shameful and guilty come Monday. Someone who has been yo-yo dieting their whole life only to put the weight back on when the diet is over. Someone who punishes themselves for "overeating" or "eating bad". Someone who builds cheat days into the weekends and still never feels satisfied.
My ideal client is someone who can't even enjoy an ice cream cone on vacation with their family because it has too many "Calories" or "dairy" or "sugar". And if they do indulge in an ice cream cone they beat themselves up later by starving themselves or by bingeing in private due to overwhelming guilt.
I help men and women overcome binge and emotional eating and build a sustainable healthy lifestyle without restrictions. I help my clients live life FULLY in health and happiness, without food worry and anxiety.
"How do you find clients?"
I have been building my online brand for about two years now and that is where majority of my clients come from. The second most place I get clients is through word of mouth from past clients or friends.
Put yourself out there. Share your offerings, constantly. People won't find you, you have to find them and make yourself be found. If you're speaking your truth, the right people will come.
"Do you coach part-time or full-time, in person or remote?"
I began coaching part time in person 5 years ago. It worked for awhile but I found with peoples busy schedules and on the go lifestyle it was easier for clients to find time in their day to meet via phone rather than at a destination.
I know many coaches who meet their clients in person and that works for them. I offer this to my local clients but most still choose to meet virtually.
Now my business is full time and fully remote.
"What is the most gratifying aspect of being a health coach?"
The most gratifying thing about being a Health Coach is seeing my clients success and growth. When a client overcomes issues revolving food that has effected them their entire life, its pretty special and I feel blessed to be able to assist them in their journey. Even if I'm having a bad day, after client calls I'm always lit up and filled with joy being able to do what I do, helping people.
"Is Health Coaching right for me and what can I do with my Certification?"
If your goal is to conduct medical research, work in a hospital, or diagnose and treat sick patients, you will want to go and become a registered dietitian. But if you want to work as a health mentor and help people on a holistic level that encompasses general food recommendations, exercise, mindfulness, sleep and overall lifestyle, then becoming an IIN Health Coach could be your better option.
The career options with an IIN Health Coaching Certification are endless. Obviously you can work as a full or part time health coach but its doesn't stop there. You can combine your knowledge with other areas such as personal training or yoga teaching to have a more holistic approach with clients. You can go into Corporate Health Coaching, offer retreats, start a catering business or a restaurant, develop your own ebooks or write your own book! You can work along side doctors and practitioners to provide nutritional guidance to patients if you don't want to start your own business. You can take the blogging route like me, where I take clients but also have my own online business that relates to health and wellness where I have mulipethe sources of income and don't just focus on taking clients but also sharing information and educating people. Or, you can invest in yourself for your own personal education on bettering your own health and your families.
See how to become a Health Coach below.
"If you could offer me one piece of advice for my future career in Health Coaching what would it be?"
Find your niche and tell your story. Most of us have a passion to help people from our own experiences. Something you struggled through or overcame in your own life. Our struggles are often what we can help others overcome.
What is something in your life that relates to health and wellness that you have gone through and overcame. How can you help others do the same?
Tell your story to others so they can find you relatable. When people relate to you, they are drawn to you and will trust you. Become the expert in your struggle and help other people overcome what you did.
Putting yourself out there with free education is also a great way to build credibility and grow as an expert.
Once I healed myself from binge eating, I realized it was not only OK to be vulnerable and share my experience with a near eating disorder, but that it is actually one of my greatest gifts and now I get to help other women and men overcome it and find freedom themselves.
I am so grateful for having found IIN and being empowered to help other women in their own health and wellness struggles.
Becoming a Health Coach is not for everyone, and I hope that with all the material I provide I can help you make an informed decision whether IIN and coaching is right for you.
If you have any more questions about IIN or your would like me to refer you to IIN so that you can receive extra special offers and discounts on tuition, please email me at -Taryn@thoughtfully-thriving.com
Don't forget to follow my instagram and Pinterest for yummy recipes! And check out my Health Coaching Offerings HERE.