• Guest Blogger

On the Verge of a Breakdown or Breakthrough? Hiring a Coach Can Help.

By Denise E. Stegall CEO & Curator Living Healthy List

Life has been stressful these past few months with a great deal of uncertainly still ahead. Many of us are feeling overwhelmed and struggle to cope. Who do you turn to when the people you rely on most in times of trouble are just as troubled as you?

You hire a coach!

The medical community recognizes the power and value of Health Coaching. Top doctors Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Dean Ornish believe that “lifestyle medicine” or “lifestyle change” is the future of healthcare. If physicians believe that coaching is a beneficial tool to help patients deal with stress, overwhelm, weight loss, and lifestyle changes we need to pay attention!

Lifestyle Intervention is the direction in which I began my own career as a coach by helping clients to “Eat Real Food, Make Good Decisions and to Be Accountable”. Coaching however, extends far beyond the health field. Today you can find world-class coaches in the disciplines of, business, divorce, empowerment, finance, lifestyle change, parenting, and relationships a just to name a few. Think Tony Robbins and Dean Grazioso and JJ Virgin.


A health coach is a supportive mentor and wellness authority who helps you feel your best through individualized food recommendations and lifestyle changes that meet your unique needs and health goals. Health Coaches do not diagnose, treat, prescribe, interpret medical results, or write food plans. Health Coaches are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to nutrition, recipes, and lifestyle changes but they are not necessarily nutritionists or dieticians or physicians.

Health coaching is about helping you discover your unique dietary, lifestyle, emotional, and physical needs. It is not a one size fits all approach or about one diet, supplement program, or eating philosophy. Depending on your bio-individuality your health coach can help you eliminate foods from your diet due to food sensitivities, allergies, and other medical conditions.

Essentially, a health coach is your cheerleader, accountability partner, and educator. Additionally, they can help you navigate and implement the recommendations of your medical professional.


A life coach creates a safe and positive space for you, their client, as a medium for change. Unlike counseling, coaching does not attempt to explain your behaviors, delve into your past, or identify pathology forward. Instead, coaches focus on the present and the future by helping you set realistic goals and develop strategic actions that help you move forward and create the future they desire.

It is important to note that coaches cannot diagnose mental health, but your coach is there to provide support when you are having a breakthrough or a breakdown. We all have our good days and our bad ones, too. Your coach is there to be your cheerleader.

To help you tap into the resources, skills, and creativity that you already have, your coach will ask you evocative questions which are sometimes tough to answer and may take deep work and soul searching on your part to arrive at the honest truth.

These open-ended questions help you express your own reasons for the desired change and allow you to function at a higher level. For example, you might want to lose weight. The coach might ask, “How would your life be different if you lost the weight?” Evocative questioning has been proven effective in many research studies. People who make changes based on their own reasons, on their own terms, are far more likely to succeed when compared with someone telling them what to do.

Empowerment Coach Jennifer Hiscox explains, “As a coach, our main goal is to see our clients progress and ultimately succeed. We don’t give them the answers but ask the questions to draw the answers out of them. Only then, when they have that a-ha moment will they truly be ready for change.”

Coaching helps you realize that you are never alone and you are never stuck. There is always a way to work around a situation but you must allow yourself to be open and explore the possibilities. Many people work with a coach as a way to bridge the gap between your current circumstances and the life you’d like to lead.

The following are some of the positive outcomes that could result from joining forces with a life coach:

  • Better work/life balance

  • Eliminate fears and anxieties

  • Improved communication skills

  • More satisfying work life

  • Stronger relationships

  • Weight loss

  • Positive mindset

  • Lifestyle changes

Most life and health coaches hold at least one or more certifications with many having additional degrees that complement their coaching practice. Due to the nature of coaching, often a health coach is also a qualified life coach and vice versa. Currently, there is no licensing board for life or health coaches, although there are organizations working to facilitate licensing for each discipline.


  • Get clear on your core values and what success means to you. We all have dreams, visions, and goals that spur us on to keep learning, working, and taking action. Sometimes we need help taking the steps to make those dreams a reality. Identify your core values- he things that drive you and give your goals meaning, and a sense of purpose in your career or your life

  • Consider your needs and your goals to decide which type of coach you would benefit most from working with. A health coach can help you lose weight and change negative habits. A divorce coach can guide you through the legalities and stresses of going through a divorce. Are you an empty-nesting struggling with what to do now that the kids have left home? There’s a coach for that, too!

  • Interview several coaches to ascertain whether there is a good “fit” with the professional’s personality, approach, and values. Coaching is very personal so you want to work with someone you feel comfortable talking to. Their qualifications and experience are important however your comfort level with them is vital for your success.

To find a coach, you can visit my website LivingHealthyList.com and get connected with information and experts in the areas of health and wellness, relationships, career, personal development, finance, and fun.

Denise E. Stegall is a speaker, teacher, transformational life coach and curator of Living Healthy List. She has condensed 20 years of experience and study in nutrition, cooking, exercise, and coaching to educate clients on how to live happy, healthy, and productive lives through nutrition and self-empowerment.

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