What Does the Word “Coach” Mean to You?

ImageI was talking to a dear friend of mine, and we were brainstorming how to change our company name and tagline to something that better represents what we do. As we were talking, she shared that the word “coach” turns her off, that to her it represents someone who is more distant. Suddenly, flashbacks flooded my brain. My high school gym coach, in some misguided attempt to motivate me, was screaming in my ear, “C’mon you pathetic wimp…put some effort into it!” I hadn’t thought about that, and it pains me to think that someone’s perception of what is suppose to be an amazing word may stop them from reaching out for help.

I cannot change my certification title. Certified Health Coach is the legally recognized term for what I do. BUT, I CAN clarify what it means. I am the version of a coach that you either always wished you had (or I suppose some of you may have been blessed enough to have a true coach in your life).

I will NEVER yell at, insult, or demean you. However, I WILL:

  • Educate you about various holistic options that are likely to help you reach your health and lifestyle goals
  • Guide you as you apply that knowledge and choose the changes you feel are best for YOU
  • Support you as you figure out how to implement those changes
  • Challenge any beliefs, thought processes, or influences that are holding you back from realizing your goals (but in a professional and supportive manner)
  • Teach you any new skills you need to be successful (alternate cooking methods, how to read labels, etc.)
  • Partner with you (celebrate successes and encourage you through any setbacks)


So if you don’t like the word coach, and this list isn’t clear enough, then picture a guide. On my honeymoon, we had this amazing guide who trekked with us through the rainforest of Costa Rica. He was AMAZING! He was invested. We could tell he truly cared about whether we were getting what we wanted out of our experience. He was knowledgeable. He seemed to know everything about the forest and the living things found in it. He was experienced. He had hiked through that forest numerous times and knew the most time efficient and enjoyable routes to choose.


I have been where you are and walked the same path before. I suffered from IBS, diverticulitis, and mild ulcerative colitis in my young 20s. I reacted to almost any medications and missed work so often I worried about losing my job. I was so worried about various embarrassing symptoms that I never went out to eat with friends, and I rarely went out at all. I didn’t understand how my environment and the foods I ate could be the reason I was so sick.  I was so skeptical and resistant that I didn’t make the changes I should have, until age 30 when I was given six months to live…shortly after giving birth to my first child.

I am embarrassed to say that it took something that drastic to motivate me. Yet, it did motivate me to finally explore beyond conventional healthcare and embrace more holistic lifestyle approaches. My reward was proving my doctors wrong and living to raise my son and adopt three more wonderful girls.


After watching almost every member of my family manage medical challenges that are supposedly severe and lifelong by incorporating holistic, natural changes; I was inspired to enroll in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition’s health coaching Program. I initially just wanted to learn more so I could help my own family better. But, while I was there, I was inspired by experts who are at the forefront of wellness. These speakers were the leading doctors, PhDs, researchers and authorities in nutrition today. I learned about most nutritional theories, what the potential benefits and risks were of each, and what the general feedback was from those who embraced those theories. So, in addition to my life experience, I also have a broad palette of information to draw from when working with my clients.


I take your success very personally. I will customize your program however we need to in order to reach your goals. I will not embark on a health coaching program with someone unless I feel that both of us feel it is the right fit, and I am confident that I can help you succeed. I feel your excitement when you have a good day, and I feel your disappointment when you have a more challenging day. I have two main reasons for doing this:

  1. It hurts me to see others suffering the way I did and to know that they don’t have to…that they really can help themselves, and that the changes are not nearly as bad or difficult as they have them built up to be in their minds.
  2. Knowing that all the struggles and challenges I’ve faced in my life, all the times I wanted to give up and quit, all the times I felt overwhelmed and angry that I had been given so much to handle…knowing that ALL of that had a purpose…well, let’s just say that I get just as much out of helping you as you get out of it.

If you are like my dear friend Tricia, and you shrink away in slight disgust at the word “coach,” then I hope this post will help you see that health coaches are not the same as the one(s) that gave you such a negative perception. I would welcome the opportunity to be the person who helps you replace it with a much more positive one, but really I just want you to reach out and find someone that will help you take charge of your own health and improve your quality of life. It is worth fighting for, and hopefully you will choose to fight before you are in a critical life or death situation like I was.


To learn more about the cleanse options, supplements, or essential oils I recommend, contact me using the form below or at alicia@healthytangents.com to request information or to schedule a wellness consultation.

Disclaimer: I am not a Physician. I am a wife, a mom, a certified health coach, and someone who loves learning about natural wellness tools and sharing with others the incredible things I learn through my classes, research, personal experiences, and the experiences of friends and family. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Rather, they are intended to support your body in its efforts to restore balance and maintain health.