I had no idea what my purpose was

61 years old. No idea.

The company I work for took away health insurance for hourly employees. I spent years as a single parent. I spent years married. I spent years widowed. I have never spent time without health insurance. At my age, with a titanium hip, a history of high cholesterol, borderline hypertension and asthma, there’s no way I’m getting private insurance. Kansas’ high-risk pool costs $800+ per month with a $1500 deductible. Yeah, right.

So, I decided the only option was to get healthy; to actually find out what works for me. That was June 23rd, 2010. I’ve lost 25 pounds and gotten leaner and stronger. I eat seriously healthy 90% of the time. I gave up all meat, dairy and wheat and I don’t have asthma or hypertension anymore. My titanium hip can run, do squats, cycle and more. My cholesterol is still a bit high, but it’s not diet related, rather genetics; the good to bad cholesterol ratio rocks! I am never sick. I walk two+ miles and do a series of stretches/strength exercises daily.

Oh yeah, back to purpose. Getting healthy led me to people and places I hadn’t known about before and I picked up some information about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. I skimmed it and put it in my followup file (which I typically fail to look at).

Six months later, I’m wondering what my job will turn into if/when my boss takes a new position. Later that day I’m cleaning out the followup file (hoping I hadn’t left something seriously important behind), and I pull out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition material. “Hmmmm,” I say, “this looks interesting.” Within a week, after researching online and talking with the person I know who attended, along with other graduates, I signed on the dotted line.

Today I’m on a new journey. I’m studying to become a certified health & wellness coach. I began this one-year training program with a bit of trepidation, but have quickly found that I do in fact have a purpose and that the years of curiosity and research have all been leading me to this point. The program is about individuality, your diet, your lifestyle and career, spirituality and what your health concerns, dreams and goals are. It’s not a cookie-cutter diet that says you should fit into whatever is topping the charts at the moment. Everyone is different and different things work for different people.

I am excited and impatient to get on with the business of health coaching. I will start working with clients in September. Some days it feels like it is years away and on other days it feels like it is tomorrow. Most days I don’t know which I prefer! What I do know is that I am on an amazing journey of self-discovery that I get to go out and share with others. What a gift!

As for my health journey; I eat really well. My diet mainly consists of fresh organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fish. I have high energy and can go out and garden or mow my lawn without thinking about it exhausting me.

So, diet and exercise … check! It’s taken a lot of experimentation and there were many times I took two steps forward and one back, but I’ve found the right combination for me. I’m going to add yoga and Pilates to my 2 miles a day because I think they’ll be a better combination than hard workouts combined with walking. That’s the key: Play with diet and exercise to see what fits! Take out, add in; it’s a journey. Have fun!

Think about hiring a health coach (ME!) to assist you in meeting your goals for health & wellness. What worries you about your health? Is it your weight, fitness, allergies, low energy, sleeplessness? Think about what you could do with the guidance and accountability that a health coach brings to the table.

And, we’ll have fun. I guarantee it!

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