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11 November 2006 — Wellness Coach (6)

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:

  • Exercise mindfulness (not only in eating, but in everyday life).
  • Clear out all the junk food and processed food from the kitchen. (Done.)
  • Shop for healthy foods to replace the junk.
  • Call the doctor and schedule a check-up.
  • Go to a running store and have an expert fit me to a pair of shoes.
  • Begin walking/running, but do so slowly. I'm going to have to learn about proper running gait if I'm going to do this.
  • End the sugar. This is the most important thing for me, and it's going to be the most difficult. As most of you know, I'm hooked on the stuff. I may be a grouch for a while until I've coped with this adjustment.
  • Research indoor bike training.
  • Begin re-reading my nutrition book.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. Special occasions only now.
  • Reduce computer time. This, too, will be tough. I have a compulsion to post twice a day at Get Rich Slowly, and as often as possible here. I need to break this compulsion.

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.

On this day at foldedspace.org

2005Sssssssssssssnake!   In which I find a snake on the road and take him home with me.

2004The Man I Want To Be   In which I contemplate the direction of my life and debate whether or not I ought to alter course.


Comments
On 12 November 2006 (09:44 AM), Cat said:

Re: sugar. You are going to love this. You'll be amazed how much difference it makes. Once you've been off the stuff for a while, if you do get "sugared up", you'll feel so awful the next day that you'll never go back.


On 12 November 2006 (12:09 PM), Amy Jo said:

There are two things that came to me after we talked about your experience with your wellness coach. Our conversation left me feeling that you are uncertain or uneasy about mindfulness. That perhaps it is a loaded term, especially since it is so closely related to Buddhism. Yet, I am struck by how mindful you have become about your financial health. It seems that you have been applying mindfulness to your relationship with money and with great success.

Second, I should have shared some of my cookbooks with you. I have a number of cookbooks that focus on whole foods. One, which I think you would really like because it incorporates a lot of different Asian influences, is Spices of Life by Nina Simonds. If you want to borrow it, I'll gladly loan it to you (for a short time though, this is one cookbook I really use and should use even more).


On 13 November 2006 (07:56 AM), jenefer said:

Good for you!


On 13 November 2006 (12:28 PM), Huw said:

It's all about moderation, JD, and don't get hung up on the running and indoor cycling. I love cycling but HATE indoor trainers (as do most cyclists). Running is only good when you do it for fun, not when it's forced for a less tangible reason. The food and attitude aspect is far more important.


On 13 November 2006 (04:25 PM), Lisa said:

What a cool thing for a stranger to do for you. It's one of the things that I love about the web--the world is a little smaller in a nice way. I find it touching.


On 28 November 2006 (03:44 PM), Donald Converse said:

Attention: Wellness Coaching Director

Please allow me to introduce Guiding Mindful Change Company (GMC) and consider taking us on as an alliance or affiliate partner for your organizational wellness programs. Guiding Mindful Change is a Wellness Coaching company with hundreds of coaches across the country. We are featured as one of the benefits for many organizations in their Employee Assistance Programs. I assume from your Website that you help individuals and families of employees in Worksite Wellness support. We wish to speak to the person in charge of these programs about having our organization become part of your team as an affiliate or fill-in when you need extra coaches.

Our founder is Billie Frances, M.A. and President of the San Diego Professional Coaches Alliance, a nationally renowned coach and published author. She has successfully developed a wellness coaching practice for high functioning motivated clients. Billie has trained professionals in the art of Mindful Coaching since 1988 and is a dedicated teacher who has received accolades for her quality of leadership and coaching. You can find out more about Billie and GMC at our Website - www.guidingmindfulchange.com

As you already know, Life coaching or Wellness coaching has revealed itself to be the missing ingredient in creating lasting lifestyle change. At the same time as coaching has gained momentum, the consumer appetite for products and services under the rubric of Wellness is also growing. Coaching and Wellness education intersect in the way the public (individuals as well as corporations) learns to access the myriad of information available to a health conscious public desirous of concepts and strategies for living well. Life and Wellness coaching will be on the menu as a recommended service to ensure lifestyle change. GMC is presently involved with many organizations as their source for Wellness coaching. Perhaps we could do even more in this market together in alliance.

Would you please allow me to call you with the intention of setting up a teleconference meeting between you and Ms. Frances?

Thank you for your consideration.

Dr. Donald Converse
Guiding Mindful Change
www.guidingmindfulchange.com
858-571-7857