It felt like an identity crisis.
That’s what I told a friend. It was the end of May. I just had the most amazing weekend. And the long weekend ended with classwork and a talk with a former client and one of my closest friends.
While my identity crisis is multifaceted, this post is just about one aspect of it, but a pretty big domino pushing on other things too.
In December, I left one health coaching job to start another one in January – both at start-ups. And while I knew it pretty quickly, being in my master’s program in May really pushed me to realize that I hate coaching weight loss. I rarely coach weight loss inherently in private practice.
Your weight is the least interesting thing about you. And I know, if we looked at my own journey, there was a point in time where I thought my weight was important, but we’re all allowed to grow.
No one will know your weight or your clothing size, but you. Your weight and body size don’t determine your health. This is a conversation I’ve been having since I started coaching, but even more since the start of the pandemic. You can’t look at someone and know if they’re healthy or not – physically or mentally.
I’ve said many times clients will come to me because they want to lose weight. They think this will solve their problems or that it is the problem. However, as we talk about their goals and the motivating drivers behind them, it’s clear that they don’t need weight loss, but to focus on other things that influence their habits in general like how they manage stress or set boundaries or ‘love’ themselves. This may lead to weight loss, but it might not too.
Health coaching can be this really cool tool that helps you explore health holistically and wholly. It is broad and diverse. And every coach is different. Not every coach thinks like me and I don’t practice like every coach, but many of us follow the same ethics. I’m lucky that I’m not just a health coach, and have other tools I can utilize from my experiences, education and certifications.
I had to remind myself the other day that the reason I got my associates in public health was because it married what I believe impacts our health: biology, chemistry, psychology, social environment, etc. And the reason I want to continue with my masters is to build on my education, experience and the skills I’ve developed from my professional career, but also make a difference in the health space – not the fitness space.
That’s the biggest part of this identity crisis. I’m working on accepting that my weight loss journey and interest in the fitness space got me here, but I can pivot away a bit faster from it like I have already been for years.
So runsweateatrepeat.com is my blog, and I love it here. I’m going to keep showing up as necessary.
Wellness Refocused Coaching has been my health coaching business for the 5 and a half years. I believe in intersectionality and looking at people as whole people – not parts, which means we get messy sometimes. But we grow at your speed. Your voice matters here, just like your experiences.
I’m Health Coach Cristina and we’re going to talk about everything that impacts us. I promise not to call myself Health Coach Cristina so bluntly, but you may see that around now.
It’s no longer an identity crisis, but accepting that since I became a coach, I have treated health as multifaceted and individualized and it’s ok that this doesn’t align with many others in spaces I show up in.
To learn about health coaching, training and working with me virtually, check the Work with Cristina page. If you have questions, send me an email at WellnessRefocused@gmail.com; subject: ‘Coaching question’.