Wellness Coach

by J.D. Roth

Get Rich Slowly has afforded me some unexpected opportunities. Among the most exciting of these is the chance to work with a “wellness coach”. Lauren Muney, who runs Physical Mind, contacted me after a recent GRS entry in which I lamented how fat I am (a subject with which foldedspace readers are all-too-familiar).

I’m a wellness and fitness coach. I’ll give you one month of coaching to get you back on your feet (no pun intended). I am doing this because I read your posts everyday and you’ve given me much to think about. You deserve a chance to work on yourself in return…(and to get away from the computer)

I was scared at first. What is a wellness coach? What does this mean to me? More to the point, Lauren’s offer forced me to make a decision. I had shared my complaints about my health with 10,000 strangers, and one of them had called me on it, had offered to help me make some life corrections. It’s one thing to complain about your situation; it’s another thing to actually act upon it.

Ultimately, I agreed to take Lauren’s help.

Last week she had me keep a daily journal of everything I ate. I didn’t consciously alter my eating habits just because somebody was watching from afar: I had KitKat bars for breakfast when it would have been the choice I’d normally make, I drank orange juice and vodka, I snacked incessantly. I documented it all.

After sending this food diary and a health assessment to Lauren, we arranged a time to chat on the phone. Yesterday morning we spent nearly 2-1/2 hours discussing my habits, proper fitness, and how to get me from here to there. Everything Lauren said meshes with the information I’ve read in nutrition books. She also had some insights into fitness that were new to me. And in a case of serendipity, she stressed the importance of mindfulness, the Buddhist concept of being aware of your thoughts and your actions. (I’ve read about mindfulness in several places this week as I’ve coped with my bout of worry.)

It was a long call, and though Lauren’s advice was good, her list of “action items” is intimidating. Here are the things I need to accomplish:

The conversation with Lauren was energizing.

A few hours later, she sent an e-mail that re-iterated everything we’d talked about, and which outlined the above steps to improving my health. I was amazed to see that she’d taken great lengths to remove mental barriers to accomplishing certain tasks. For example, though she’s on the east coast and doesn’t know anything about Portland, she researched a running store and sent me the link. She sent me information on mindfulness. She provided a list of whole foods. I have no excuses.

There’s a lot of work to do here. It’s almost overwhelming. But the reward will be worth it.

Updated: 11 November 2006

Do what's right. Do your best. Accept the outcome.
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