Being a Health Coach – others' opinion vs. my inner reality

Today I feel like sharing with you what I have been experiencing lately as a Holistic Health and Fitness Coach.

And this is mostly all about others’ perception of my job, of what I am doing, of how I am living and what they think it should be – and look like.

The first reaction is often a look at my body from the bottom up to the top: “how does a Holistic Health and Fitness Coach look like?” It used to make me feel quite uncomfortable, almost embarrassed or ashamed, especially on days where I wouldn’t feel at my best (YES, this happens to us health coaches as well…!). Now it makes me laugh somehow, because I recognize the all-too-common human pattern, comparison and expectation behind it, and I know that it has nothing to do with me, and also because I am actually in a good place where others’ opinion doesn’t impact me much :-) But still. I am talking about it here because I would like everyone to take a step back and realize how judgemental they can be, and how judged they can be, on a daily basis. What people think about me, and even more specifically about my physical appearance, tells me more about them than about me. Keep in mind that whatever your opinion is on someone/something, it is only the reflection of your own perception and it has to do with your own struggles and inner beliefs. In general, it has nothing to do with the person you are talking about. On top of that, a health coach's focus is being healthy, not being skinny or "magazine-photoshopped" style. This is a main shift compared to the usual approach of society.

Another common reaction is to check what I am eating. If I am in the restaurant with some friends that I haven’t seen for a while, they will observe every single bite I will be eating. If I am crazy enough to want to taste some red wine or have a non-organic meal, they will automatically make a joke about it. As if they were waiting for me to be “non-perfect”. Well it is actually a bit the same situation as earlier: this has nothing to do with me. They are mostly looking at what I am eating and comparing it to their own habits. They feel relieved if they see that all my food that evening was not “perfect” (for whatever that means to them, actually….). This used to stress me a lot at the beginning, and I remember some diners where I couldn’t even enjoy the moment because I felt scrutinized. Today (fortunately!), this is not the case anymore and I do whatever I want, whether they are observing or not. My point here is this: they have a whole image of what a Holistic Health Coach should be eating, and they are observing it, sometimes to learn, but mostly to compare to what they are eating themselves. So it takes us back to the same thing: why do people care so much? Why do they always have this drive to compare themselves to others? Why do they mostly hope for those “perfect” persons to fail in order to feel better with themselves?

And now, for example, as most of you must have seen it: I am pregnant. And there are so many people around me waiting to see how I am going to handle it, how much weight I am going to put on, will I manage to be as healthy during pregnancy? Some hope that I will start eating “dirty foods” saying “stop controlling your food, just let it go and enjoy! “ This sounds so wrong to me. First of all, because I am not controlling anything. I love myself enough to take care and enjoy real great foods that make me feel alive. I am not frustrated at all because I am not eating any sugar or chemical-laden food. Sorry for the people who don’t want to believe or understand it. Second, while being pregnant, you have to take care of the quality of your food even more than ever before. So this whole thing about wanting to see me eat repulsive processed foods doesn’t make sense to me at all. I know people will be judging my weight throughout all my pregnancy, and even more after, checking how I deal with the extra-pounds of fat. Honestly, it is about growing a baby here. Do I care about how they expect my body to change, and about what they wish they would see? Not at all. My only focus now is to be healthy, more than ever before, and the way my body will respond to all this doesn’t really matter to me. Being pregnant is a normal natural event in a woman’s life. It shouldn’t be all about the body transformation. It is about the beauty of the process. Yes I am a Holistic Health Coach, and thanks to that, my body is strong and clean and functioning very well, and I already have great habits in me. As a result, there is not much change for me to do now during pregnancy. What I am going through is a life transformation, not a body transformation. I hope I can inspire women to take a step back and leave behind this “all about physical appearance” mentality. Especially as women, a lot is expected from society: we have to be charming, slim, fit, healthy so that we can become pregnant, slim during pregnancy, slim after pregnancy, no stretchmarks, no cellulitis, and smart and brave and no aging marks or lines on the face, etc etc…. Basically, if you take a look at all the women magazines out there, we women should be robots. Whether there is Botox there or silicon harming our bodies doesn’t matter, as long as we look young and happy. This is all non sense, and we as individuals can turn this tendency around. Start living for WHO you are, INSIDE. Experience the real growth in you, connect to your heart, to your gut, listen to the signs. Feel aligned, love yourself so much that you can love the others unconditionally. When someone radiates from the inside, the outside is always glowing and shining bright.

As a conclusion, when I say I am a Holistic Health and Fitness Coach, most people just think of what to expect on the outside. But they are missing the most important point. To become a Holistic Health and Fitness Coach, I had to work mostly ON THE INSIDE. I had to learn to love myself, to get to know who I really am. I had to learn what felt good for my soul. I had to learn what I truly wanted in life, I had to learn to love the process and the journey, I had to learn to accept myself and become better every day, I had to learn to accept that the others wouldn’t always be on my side, whether the close family, or the close friends. Have I felt alone and isolated and misunderstood? Yes, probably, mainly at the beginning. But what I understand now, is that by seeing the reaction and distance that some close persons could take with me just because they couldn’t identify themselves to my new life, this actually helped me realize that I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN MAKE ME HAPPY. My Happiness is within myself and doesn’t depend on no one else. Yes I am still learning a lot, I am myself on my own journey. Yes I will fail a couple more times, that’s for sure. But I like to think that way, because it just means that I am still going to experience and try plenty of new exciting things. By sharing with you these thoughts, I hope I help you somehow realize that we are all in those situations sometimes, where we feel judged and we are afraid to disappoint. The most important is the way we react to things, and not what is actually happening. So whenever you are in this situation, take a step back and realize that this has nothing to do with you. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone, besides yourself. So just live your life the way you want to. Be the person you want to be. Don’t let anyone stop you or be a burden. Do everything with love, in you. Love unconditionally, which also means that you have to love yourself unconditionally, with all your imperfections! And that’s the beauty of life: a never-ending journey of self-improvement.

In Love and Happiness,