Imperfectly Authentic: When the Health Coach Needs Coaching

Authenticity QuoteLast night, I had a terrible night’s sleep. I woke up around 2 in the morning, moved to the couch because hearing my husband sleep was making me angry (sorry honey – I know it’s not your fault) and proceeded to toss and turn until close to 4AM. My shirt was annoying me and I felt it was making me hot so I took that off. The legs on my sweatpants were riding up to my knees and felt too tight around my calves. And my shins were extremely itchy to the point where I sprayed them with Benadryl spray to make it stop. Everything was annoying! It was too bright outside with the snow, the light coming from the kitchen nightlight was in my eyes, the humidifier was making too much noise, and my eight-year-old woke up with a bad dream.

The most frustrating part of all of this is that I really wanted to sleep. So very badly. Our schedule at work for today is very full so I knew that I was going to need to bring my A-game. Instead, things were looking like I was going to be bringing my “Three cups of coffee game”. As is the case when I find myself restless and unable to sleep, I know to check in and see if I can ask myself why. The closer I can get to understanding what is literally keeping me awake at night, the sooner I can usually find myself nodding off and getting back to sleep. (more…)

A “Type-A” Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving SQuareSure, I’ll host Thanksgiving.

Actually, saying it that way means that I was answering a question.  As in, “Will you host Thanksgiving?”

And that’s not really how it went.

It actually came out as, “Hey, I can host Thanksgiving.”

I grew up in a small family where my aunt hosted Thanksgiving in her home every year. While the last minute cooking was underway with gravy simmering and grandpa carving the turkey, my ten year old self was enjoying shrimp cocktail, black and green olives, mixed nuts and a cheese ball with crackers. Eight of us would then sit around her dining room table quietly enjoying a thoughtfully prepared Thanksgiving feast. I would sip cranberry ginger ale from a pewter wine glass and anxiously await the arrival of the next dish to scoop onto my plate.

After dinner, we would find ourselves in the living room while Kenny G lulled us into a turkey-induced nap. Upon waking up from our food comas, round two would be taking place with at least three different pies, coffee and vanilla ice cream.  And if I was lucky, after dessert was done, I would have birthday presents to open with my birthday falling toward the end of November. I did this every year for almost 25 years.

When I volunteered (sacrificed) myself to host Thanksgiving, it was for my father-in-law’s family. There would be around 35 people in attendance. A few years earlier, I had hosted a combined Thanksgiving and Christmas for my mother-in-law’s side with close to 70 people so I thought, “I got this.”

Gone were the relaxed, intimate holidays I had grown up with. This was a whole new ball-game- the kind with no referees, or rules, but still lots of yelling, cheering, booing and whistles.  It is here that I should mention that I am also a type-A introvert so clearly, this was a great plan. (more…)

I Have a Secret to Share…And You’re Not Going to Like It

Are you ready for the bad news?

The initial changes as you transition to healthy eating habits are not going to come naturally and they are going to be hard.

Yep, it’s not going to be easy. But if you keep on at it and if you keep on trying, eventually you’ll get it. I promise. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve been where you are right now. And sometimes, when I fall out of sync, I’m right back in that spot of “stuck.” But when you have a system, when you have a plan, getting back on track is easy. Okay, easier.  (more…)

Fartlek Training…Say It With Me Now

ClaireFART – lek training. Lol. I’m letting my inner six-year old out with saying that one a few times. So first off, yes, this is a real thing. It is a Swedish word that means “speed play” and also happens to be a handy technique for people that are looking to increase their walking or running pace.
Runners live by numbers and are constantly trying to improve their splits, race times and PRs (personal records for those non-running folks). Walkers aren’t usually as focused on their times but it’s my thought that they should be. Why? It could be the difference between a walk that counts as exercise and a walk that’s just a stroll. And that’s where you want to be to experience the benefits of cardiovascular exercise .  (more…)

The Missing Link to Sustainable Change

SumIMG_0993mer is here, and seeing all the kids out enjoying their sports from soccer to baseball, I’m reminded of the importance of having a coach.  The role of the coach is diverse: instructor, assessor, friend, mentor, facilitator, demonstrator, adviser, supporter, problem solver, motivator, counselor, planner, and the Fountain of all Knowledge, and although you may not be player soccer or baseball this year, we could all use some coaching in our lives…especially our health. (more…)