I am so excited to share this journey with you from one of my clients, Arielle! Over the past year, she's had a truly inspirational transformation. Originally posted as an Instagram story interview, I wanted to share some of the ways that we worked together in a coaching experience to contribute to her transformation & maybe some of the benefits that you could have, too!
Arielle has been with me for several months now, working 1:1 through wellness & nutrition coaching. I asked her to come on Be Well With Steph, The Podcast to tell you about it because as much as I love to tell you about the benefits of coaching, it's always wonderful to hear a true story from someone who's experienced it themselves.
During this interview, we chat about:
What her life was like before coming to me
How she was feeling when she came to me
Some of the things we did together along the way
How she's feeling now
Read the interview:
S: Did it feel like a lot of work over the last few months?
A: No, but looking back on it, we did a LOT and it didn't feel like a lot of work. But, we took it in such small increments that it was manageable and attainable, and it made me want to keep going. I wasn't back-peddling or missing days because it wasn't overwhelming.
S: What led you to seek out a coach?
A: I was experiencing a lot of gut health issues, and I knew my nutrition was around it. Also I was having issues around routines and a lot of aspects of my life, but the main thing was gut issues. I saw a GI and we did testing, and they said it was a few things and prescribed some medication, and that was it.
I just felt like I didn't want to cover up the problem with medication. I know medication is sometimes needed, but I knew there was something else. I was still having bloating & pain, and I just wasn't enjoying life. It was hard. And that's when I found you, and you made it so NOT overwhelming.
I had told you that I was nervous, I had tried a lot of diet fads and that was very triggering for me, so you were working with me on that as well. So overall, it was a very safe environment where I knew I was going to do well!
S: Something that you mentioned to me when we first started, was that you were very happy that we weren't just talking about food. Can you share a little bit about what your life was like at that time?
A: I was working full time and going back to school full time, and I started my own meal prep company. So I had a lot going on and between all that, everything else kind of fell to the way-side. Like, routines, or eating healthy (or at all!)...
S: Can you talk about some of the first steps of the process that we started with?
A: I had no morning routine, whatsoever, which caused me anxiety & I didn't want to get out of bed. That caused a vicious cycle because I wasn't getting out of bed, which was causing more anxiety. So we broke it down & did the smallest things.
I loved that you told me that "If you miss a day, it's OKAY".
We found something that I already did, every night. Which was either picking out my clothes for the next day, or at least thinking about that. And your suggestion was to right after doing that, just throw any food in a lunch bag for the next day. And it wasn't about counting calories or eating specific foods, so I was like okay, I can do this!
Once I got more comfortable with that, it was like okay let's start thinking about the type of food that I'm packing in that bag.
S: Yes! And I remember after a while of working together, you started coming to me & saying "Well I was already doing THIS, so I decided to do THAT anyway" and you started learning how to habit-stack on your own!
A: You told me: Keep. It. Simple.
S: Other things we did involved mindfulness, like paying attention to the foods you were eating and noticing how they made you feel and how they contributed to your gut-health / issues, and using check-in timers!
A: Yes! I actually set a timer for every day at around 8pm for me to check in with how I was feeling at that moment and to reflect on the foods I ate (or didn't eat) throughout the day. And it made me notice when there were days that I worked through lunch and I didn't eat, but after I was extremely anxious & very miserable and couldn't focus. Whereas before I would have just brushed that off and just said "Oh, it's just my anxiety" but now I began noticing that when I eat, I'm not having that anxiety crash, which then made me want to just keep making progress.
It's also helped me to look back and just create moments of gratitude throughout the day, which everybody needs, it's just so helpful for everybody. Especially people with anxiety.
S: The other thing that you touched on there that's so important is the gut-mind connection, which is really real. Literally, the hormones that make us feel happy (serotonin) are mostly produced in. the. gut. So of course, those hormones thrive, when our gut-health is thriving.
A: My mornings are way better. Before, I put so much pressure on myself to like wake up at 5 am, meditate for 20 minutes, do a work out, you know.. And I was like I'm not doing any of that, but now, I get up and I don't have that anxiety or that need to be perfect basically.
Now, I have a basket with a few items that I can choose from to start my day with and that was so helpful. And because of that little thing, it's given me confidence that mornings don't have to be that hectic, and I became more confident in myself and I actually enrolled in a gym membership and that's been going really well, so well that it actually enticed me to sign up for their nutrition and workout challenge. Before, I would have been too afraid of falling back into bad habits that I learned through trying all the diet fads.
My anxiety has been way down, I feel better, I haven't had a stomach episode since probably February... I'm more mindful of what I'm eating and I'm not as hard on myself.
S: I was hoping you'd bring up the gym because one of my favorite texts I've ever gotten was from you saying "So, I actually went to the gym & packed a lunch, before work today"!
And the morning routine aspect is so important too because so many people in the media tell us that to have the perfect morning routine you have to like do all the things in 14 steps and takes 2 hours, like the meditation and yoga and the lemon water and the workout and the cold shower and I'm like, NO.
You have to: take intentional time to set yourself up for the day. And you are not the same person with the same emotions every day. So YOU get to pick what you do every day. So what we did was create a bank of index cards and one might say "read", one might say "journal", one might say "yoga", one might say "sit quietly with a cup of coffee", it doesn't matter what you do from there but the bottom line is that the ONLY step of your morning routine is: getting up and making a choice of what you want to do next, to set yourself up for the day.
The other reason I was hoping you'd mention the gym is because you not only joined the nutrition and workout challenge at your gym, but you WON!
A: Yes, I did... I was really proud of myself, I've been putting in a lot of work, and I am enjoying the view at the top of the mountain right now. Because it's been really big wins and it's really nice to take the time to recognize them.
S: How likely do you feel that you are going to stick with some of these changes?
A: OMG. So likely. And now, I also know that because I've been having those mindfulness moments, that it's not only helped my gut health but my confidence, my positive self-talk, my depression & anxiety, it has truly helped me so much. So, it makes me want to keep going, and I don't even think about some of these things that are now habits and it's just been feeling so good and I don't want to stop.
I hope that this inspired you from wherever you are right now. Wherever you are starting from, whatever you are struggling with, you can do it too. Whatever has been holding you back, we're just going to get you out of your own way.
Thanks for following along on Arielle's journey... You can listen to the recording below too!
I hope you enjoyed hearing from Arielle about her client transformation. Did any of her struggles resonate with you? Reach out & talk to Arielle herself!
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