Guest Post #12 (Becoming A Health Coach)

Hi everybody!  I’m Elisha from Jump, Eat, Run where I blog mainly about my passion for skydiving, eating nutritious and delicious food, and training for the NYC Marathon.  Throw in some traveling, rock climbing, beer drinking, and you’ve got yourself a blog!

I am so jealous of Jessie right now since she is vacationing in Greece- one place I have been dying to go for a long time. However, when she asked me to guest post, I was super excited and of course jumped at the opportunity.

Unfortunately, I had a hard time thinking of what exactly I wanted to talk about. So much pressure! Haha. Incidentally, I went to a wedding over the weekend and any social function seems to result in a lot of questions about my job and what exactly it is that I do. So, I thought I would tell a little about what I do as a Health Coach and how I got there.

First, some background. I went to school for psychology, but after graduating I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my degree.  I moved to NYC to do a teaching program and ended up teaching special education in a public school for 3 years while working on my Master’s Degree. However, I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me and I needed to move on to something else.

This is where the idea of following my passion for nutrition started to blossom. I wasn’t always interested in health & nutrition. I was a nationally competitive gymnast growing up and trained over 40 hours a week. That kind of exercise evokes a serious appetite and I basically ate everything in sight. I never worried about my weight (didn’t have to!) and didn’t have much concept about ingredients or nutrients.  Then, when I was 16, I fractured my back and was no longer able to do gymnastics. After healing, I tried out diving and it came so naturally that I got a full scholarship to college! I was good at it, but never passionate about it like I was gymnastics, so I only dove for a couple years in college.

I didn’t take into account that decreased activity would probably result in weight gain. The small amount of weight that I put on after I quit diving sent me into a complete freak out and I started to become very interested/obsessed with food, calories, fat, etc…

As the story goes for so many, things eventually got out of control and before I knew it I was battling a full-blown eating disorder. I don’t want to get into much detail on this, but it continued to get worse over the next several years, especially after college when I wasn’t happy with my career and life in NYC.

I finally sought help and checked into a treatment program in Florida where I would learn more about myself then I thought possible. Recovery was tough and I tend to think it will go on forever in some ways, but what I started to realize a couple years after treatment is that I wanted to be able to help people the same way I was helped.

What did this mean? I wasn’t totally sure. Go back to school obviously, but for what? Counseling? Nutrition? Psychology again? None of those seemed like the right fit. I was definitely most drawn to the nutrition side, but I didn’t want to do a standard RD program. Well, a bit of internet research led me to a program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Their program is about a year long and results in a certification in Health Coaching. I immediately enrolled and spent the next year learning as much as I could about nutrition and running my own health coaching practice.

There are many things you can do with this certification, but I knew I wanted to work privately with athletes and women who struggle with disordered eating. Upon graduation, I was able to team up with a personal trainer who worked in the building I lived in and he would refer his clients to me! I was off and running! I’ve also gained a lot of clients through the blog world whom I do phone sessions with as most don’t even live in the same state.

I’ve been health coaching for over a year now and while I don’t do it full time (yet), it definitely feels like it’s what I am meant to be doing and I love knowing that I am helping people achieve their goals and get past their own challenges when it comes to food and fitness.  And the added bonus is that this whole process has only aided my own recovery. I am reminded everyday of what I went through and how much I don’t ever want to go back down that road again.

So…that’s it in a nutshell! Thanks for reading and if you want to learn more, check out my health coaching website: www.delishasnutrition.com Also, feel free to email me at davis.elisha@gmail.com if you have any questions about anything!

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7 thoughts on “Guest Post #12 (Becoming A Health Coach)

  1. Good for you! I’m currently enrolled at IIN . . . and actually hit the half-way mark this week, and now have my initial certification to begin practicing. I graduate in February. It’s been awesome so far, and I can’t wait to keep learning, and seeing where I’d like to take this in the future. 🙂

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