Claire Farrell – Health Coach Graduate
Studying the Health Coach diploma has changed my life completely
From one filled with stress, deadlines and no time for health, to one which allows me to not only optimise my own health but to help others do the same.
My stressful, busy life led to health issues
My background is in IT product management and I spent 16 years working in the IT sector. I was brought up in a culture that valued hard work in school, college and work above health and wellbeing. Success was defined as job security, a nice house and money. These things are important, but only to a certain point.
During my 20s and 30s, I lived a busy, stressful and pretty unhealthy life – travelling a lot with work meant eating out most nights. Eventually, my digestive system started to crash and I suffered many fairly debilitating symptoms such as bloating, stomach cramps, and general fatigue after meals. I had myself checked out by a gastroenterologist but the results were inconclusive so he sent me on my way with little to no guidance on how to improve my health.
Changing my diet and lifestyle was key
So, I started doing my own research and found lots of interesting science on nutrition and lifestyle and how our bodies react to certain foods, stress and lifestyle habits. I realised that I was far from living a healthy life so I changed my habits one step at a time. Eventually, these changes led me to re-evaluate my career which was stressful, involved a lot of travel, and resulted in poor sleep, poor nutrition and very little exercise. I decided it was time for a change and searched for a course that would enable me to leverage my knowledge to help others improve/optimise their health.
A unique course with a comprehensive syllabus
The CNM Health Coach course was unique because the college specialises in nutritional science and the health coach course benefits from in-depth training in this area. This really appealed to me – there is an overwhelming amount of conflicting information out there on nutrition so to find a single source of consolidated information, all rooted in science with the studies to prove it, was fantastic.
In addition, the health coach course focuses on ALL of the other aspects of life that impact health, such as movement/exercise, sleep and mindset, using a coaching methodology that helps the client address each area in a methodical way. It also ensures you become an expert in behaviour change, which I think is key – we know that even when people know what is healthy and what’s not, they still struggle to move away from deeply engrained unhealthy behaviours, so having tools to help them with that is critical.
CNM has the highest level of accreditation (with UKHCS, ANP and now the NHS) which is important in the context of attracting clients – they want to know upfront that you are someone they can trust with their health.
Training to help you build a successful business
I loved how the course presents information on all of the pillars of health in a way that both in-depth for our own understanding, while also being accessible to the client. A lot of the content can be presented to a client in the form of blogs, website content or brochures, to help them understand how to optimise their health. In addition, I loved how the course includes a module on business, marketing and PR. I feel that a lot of people in the health and wellbeing sector lack the skills and knowledge that are needed to actually build a successful business. Having a background in product management, I know that the content on this module is accurate and pitched at just the right level for health coaches to go out and build successful practices.
Becoming a Health Coach has transformed my life
I decided to start my own practice where I help busy people to optimise their metabolic health and performance and prevent chronic disease. Being a Health Coach allows me to be of service to others, which is incredibly rewarding. Every time a client comes back to me to say that I have helped them get a full night’s sleep, or lose weight, or improve their energy levels, I feel true joy. It’s a very exciting and fulfilling career path!
Career satisfaction is essential
Career satisfaction is something we examine as we work with health coaching clients. Feeling unhappy or trapped in your career, or trying to juggle increasing demands of work and family can lead to overwhelm, stress and burnout, all of which severely impact health. Change is possible when we take a methodical approach to defining the vision and goals for our lives. If you do this for yourself (through taking the course), you will excel at doing the same for others in the future!