It’s been a while and a lot has been going on. Today I wanted to write a post about what the word holistic means to me in my coaching practice.
Well. To start with, I am a problem solver. I love software development for this reason as well. When clients come to me for coaching, often (though not always) because they want to lose weight, I could just help them do that. In the past I tended to focus more on simply helping them achieve whatever goal they presented to me. However, as I’ve grown more experienced I’ve understood that unless the cause of the problem is thoroughly explored and addressed, it will come back again after my time with the client is over.
It can be hard to confront, and dig into, deeper problems, but this is what “holistic” is all about. It’s easier to avoid the real issue, and put on a temporary fix - a band-aid – but that won’t help in the long run, if you keep hurting yourself the same way again and again. Looking at a person as a whole means that we talk through different areas of their life and discuss how content they are with each of them. These areas include career, relationships, love, creativity, finances, diet, home environment, physical activity, mental stimulation/education, and spirituality.
Another thing worth mentioning is that holistic health, to me, also means that health is much more than just having a good diet and exercise routine (and what’s “good” in this context is different for each individual). A lack of mental stimulation or emotional fulfillment can be just as detrimental to your health as eating a bag of potato chips every day. Conversely, drinking beer, eating chocolate, or going to parties can be great for you - as long as you enjoy it and it isn’t excessive or mindless. Guilt is the real enemy. I find that people who do a lot of dieting tend to experience strong feelings of guilt, which triggers a downward spiral that is hard to get out of.
I’ve had many clients who successfully lost weight long-term, and it was never through a quick “diet”. It was achieved through gradually making small changes that they were able to stick with. Without criticizing the methods of any other health coach, I try to be very open about the fact that my lifestyle and eating habits are by no means “perfect”. Nor do I believe they should be. In fact, one past client did not open up to me until they saw me eat a plate full of pastries and cake. Perhaps the illusion of having to restrict yourself in order to achieve a certain goal felt intimidating, unattainable, even miserable to this person. Fortunately most of us realize that losing weight is not worth it if it has those implications.
For me personally, this past year has been filled with lessons learned. I’ve pushed myself harder than I ever have before, by deciding to learn software development and enter a male-dominated field from an entry-level position. This has certainly taken me to some very low lows and depths within myself I didn’t know existed, but it has also made me so much stronger and more convinced than ever that anything is possible, and this life is a continuous quest towards self improvement, acceptance, and exploration.
Happy Vibes Project is, first and foremost, a space where I share my excitement and fascina-tion about being human. I have a tendency to fall into research rabbit holes on almost any topic from science & technology to film ma-king, philosophy, cultu-re, art ... and, of course, holistic health. Happi-ness only gets better when shared, so feel free to reach out if you have an interesting story or would like to con-tribute in any other way! <3