By: Alyx Coble-Frakes
If you?ve been considering a career as a Health Coach, you?ve undoubtedly seen that there are a ton of training programs out there ? each with their own unique philosophy, each promising their program will best prepare you for career success.
As someone who trained to become a Health Coach myself (I obtained my Health Coaching certificate in January of 2018 and currently run my own business as a Health & Wellness Coach), I wanted to share my personal experience selecting and completing a Health Coach training. By sharing my honest experience, I hope to give others on the cusp of a life-changing decision the insight they need to make the right choice for them.
But first, I?d like to share a little background on my journey to Health Coaching.
My Background: How I Found Health Coaching
Before discovering Health Coaching, I obtained a degree in Business and went on to become a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, where I helped high school students with their business projects.
After returning home, I continued to work in the education realm, as an Americorps volunteer at the college level, leading a GEAR UP program in a high school, and as a resident life coordinator. At the same time, I was feeling lost, stuck, and anxiety-ridden?and gained weight as a result. Yo-yo dieting, emotional eating, and depression ensued.
I hit a breaking point in 2015 and knew something had to change. That?s when I started focusing on my health and wellness. I shed 40 pounds, gaining back my energy and overcoming the depression. I was amazed at the transformation I?d been able to facilitate for myself just by making simple lifestyle changes.
I started running online group programs for a weight loss company and found that I really enjoyed helping others get healthy and wanted to inspire them to create the same results I had for myself. Then, in 2016, someone told me about coaching. I was fascinated. I?d always dreamed of starting a business?but it all felt so impossible. However, I was so burnt out from working in the school system, that I knew I needed to make a change. So I decided to take the leap and become a Health Coach.
What Brought Me To Health Coach Institute
When I began my search for a Health Coach training program, I wasn?t sure exactly what to look for. But I knew that I wanted a training that was flexible, well-rounded, and could bridge the gap and help me launch a successful career. I found all that and more in Health Coach Institute. They were different from any other school I?d seen.
Health Coach Institute was founded by Health Coaches Stacey Morgenstern and Carey Peters. They created their graduate-level Health Coach training program (Holistic MBA) in 2010, which quickly became the leading graduate business training for health and personal development coaches. But they realized there were massive gaps in how Health Coaches were being educated. So they took all the knowledge and skills they?d learned on their path to becoming six-figure Health Coaches and created their foundational Become a Health Coach (BHC) program in 2015. BHC is a six-month training that promises to teach you how to coach clients effectively and launch a successful business, and is CCE-accredited by the International Coach Federation.
I was particularly drawn to the fact that BHC was completely online and self-paced, so I could fit my training in around my day job (I was still employed at the time). I also really loved the fact that BHC combined nutrition, habit change coaching, personal development, and business and marketing training into one comprehensive program. Finally, I was really drawn to the program?s philosophy that in order to become a Health Coach, you?ve got to explore and dig into the work yourself. I had always been extremely interested in personal development and growth, and I loved the idea of stretching myself in the process.
One thing Carey said that really struck me was: ?You?ll never be able to take a client further than you have gone yourself.? Hearing that, I was in. I knew this was exactly the type of training I needed. What could be better than a job that transforms your life as you are helping other people to transform theirs?
What I Loved About Health Coach Institute
I?m sure everyone?s training experience is different, but I can say in all honesty that my experience with Health Coach Institute was fantastic from top to bottom. I feel like I found my home with HCI. My training delivered everything I needed to help my clients create transformation in their lives, while also giving me the tools, skills, and confidence to launch a successful business. Here are a few things that really stood out for me:
Content: I found the content easy to follow, well laid out, and well-paced. BHC made it easy for me to work through the modules, so all I had to do was carve out the time to go through them each week. I set aside four hours every Monday to go through the modules, as well as one hour a week for the skills labs. Stacey and Carey really stressed the idea of scheduling our class work so we could make it happen, and this was such a good tip for me!
Furthermore, the content itself changed me so much as a person. As Carey said, you can only take a client as far as you are willing to go yourself, so doing the course work gave me so many opportunities to heal myself. Having a skills lab partner each week helped me dig deep and stretch as a person and as a coach. The weekly skills labs helped me feel confident to take on clients and reinforced that I really could do this coaching thing! The Success Calls with BHC?s Success Coach team were also invaluable. During these monthly sessions, the coaches really helped to calm any fears that arose during the journey and answered any questions I had.
Instruction: Health Coach Institute?s co-founders, who are successful Health Coaches themselves, teach the course. I found it incredibly valuable that they created a training based on their own experience and successes in the profession. What they teach is proven to work. I also really related to both Carey and Stacey on a personal level. They offered unique perspectives that helped me to connect to different pieces of the training in different ways. They were fun, down to earth, and real, and it was incredible having them there with me every step of the way. They also made themselves accessible via office hours every other week, which I really appreciated.
Ease of Learning: I loved the flexibility of the training and the way the material was intentionally broken down into easily manageable pieces ? so nice given the context of my super-busy life!
Support: The support I received from Health Coach Institute was, in a word, unmatched. I have never experienced more of it in my life and was so grateful to find a community where I could be my whole, true self. If I ever had a question I couldn?t find the answer to, it was always easy to get support in the private Facebook group, on Success Calls, or just by emailing support. I don?t think I had to wait more than an hour to get answers to any of my questions.
Community: The Health Coach Institute tribe loves and supports me, while holding a bigger vision of what is possible for me. It?s such an uplifting, inspiring, and empowering group to be a part of. In particular, I found the Facebook group to be incredibly valuable. I loved how active people were inside the group and I even met some of my new best friends in that space.
Live Events: As a BHC student, I was invited to attend Health Coach?s Institute?s HCI Live event (this was included with my enrollment) and I cannot say enough good things about this experience. I walked into this 3-day event and instantly felt like I was home. It was so wonderful to surround myself with a group of people who just got me ? a group that shared the same big mission I had to transform lives through habit change. The energy and learning that takes place during those three days is truly something you have to feel to believe.
Value: I took so much value from the training and my entire experience with Health Coach Institute. The course content was cutting-edge and transformative, the people were amazing, and I quickly made back the cost of tuition after completing the program. I attribute the latter in part to the fact that I was able to work with practice clients through my BHC training, which really prepared me to hit the ground running after I graduated.
What I Didn?t Love About Health Coach Institute
The one thing I didn?t love about Health Coach Institute was actually a blessing in disguise. We had to do a lot of big personal growth work to gain a real understanding of how to facilitate transformation for our clients. Some of that work was hard, scary, and brought up my own fears and anxieties. Sitting with that can be really uncomfortable, but it?s necessary to step outside of your comfort zone to make your goals a reality. In hindsight, I thank Health Coach Institute for building this important pillar into the BHC training.
How My Health Coach Institute Training Has Helped Me
Doing my Health Coach training with Health Coach Institute has transformed me in so many ways, both personally and professionally. I graduated with an amazing foundation that is allowing me to build a solid coaching practice for myself. I let go of limiting beliefs that were holding me back from true success. I?m using the tools and skills I received through my BHC training every day to build my business. And I have the support I need to help me continue to grow on my new career path.
I?m loving the flexibility of being able to work on my terms and I am currently serving clients from all over the world (thank you, technology!). I have taken on five private clients and started an online coaching program. Not only do I get to work with amazing clients, but I also get to spread the word about health and wellness through various mediums?I?ve been invited on over 20 podcasts and radio interviews, had articles published in online magazines, and even wrote a chapter for a health and wellness book that?s coming out in November. In addition to that, I?ve been growing my business through through talks, workshops, and online content. There has been so much growth since I started, and this is only the beginning! It feels a little like planting seeds; with consistent attention to your garden, you know it will bare fruit.
I?m a completely different person than I was before enrolling with Health Coach Institute, and I mean that in the best possible way. The time I have spent training under Stacey and Carey has resulted in some of the most accelerated growth of my life. This training brought all the dreams and goals that were already living inside me to the surface and helped me to see I had the power to actualize them all along. When you keep yourself open, the possibilities are truly endless!
Final Thoughts on Health Coach Institute
All in all, I give my experience with Health Coach Institute an A+. Every part of the BHC program was well thought out, easy to follow, and designed to set Health Coaches up for success ? whatever path they decide to take. In fact, I gained so much knowledge and value from the course, I decided to enroll in Health Coach Institute?s advanced coach training, HMBA Mastery (previously Holistic MBA), and once again I?m loving every part of it.
I share my experience with Health Coach Institute because the world needs more people to help make change?millions of sick, stressed, and burnt out people need our help. Health Coaches can play an integral role in improving the health and wellness of humankind and I?m so excited to be part of this big mission. I often think about where I would be if I had said no to becoming a Health Coach, and then feel completely humbled and grateful to be part of the Health Coach Institute community and leading this new life. Health Coach Institute pulled me to the next evolution of myself and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me.
So, if a coaching career is on your heart and mind, what I want to say to you is this: whatever your gut is telling you ? LISTEN! Be brave. Bet on yourself. If you?re ready, it doesn?t matter what anyone else thinks. In life, we are far more likely to regret the things we didn?t do than the things we did. Reach down inside yourself and listen to the answer within. You won?t regret it.