The Three Pillars of Health: My Perspective of Health Coaching

how i coach Nov 08, 2023

In the quest for health, we often find ourselves chasing quick fixes and fad diets, especially when it's all about shedding those extra pounds. But let's take a step back and understand that health is a complex journey, and it's more than just a number on the scale.

The True Essence of Health

Health isn't something you achieve overnight. It's the sum of your long-term dietary choices and lifestyle decisions. Whether you're on a quest to lose weight, build lean muscle, or simply live a healthier life, the first and most vital step is to evaluate where you stand in terms of health.

Defining Health

In today's world, many perceive health as synonymous with fat loss. It's about wanting to be thinner, leaner, or feeling better when you look in the mirror. But here's the thing: health goes beyond fat loss; it's a holistic journey that encompasses a myriad of aspects.

Your overall health extends to elements like your psychological well-being, how you manage stress, the quality of your sleep, staying hydrated, intellectual growth, and maintaining a healthy relationship with your professional environment.

Meet Brian and Jane

Let me introduce you to Brian, someone who takes pride in his physical fitness and strength and loves to bang gym.  However, he often finds himself strapped for expendable income and constrained with financial worry. Brian is also working a job that he really doesn't like and it brings him a lot of mental strain and negativity. Despite the worries, he always makes the time and finds for that Friday beer sesh with his friends. So, in this scenario, is it easy for Brian to shed those extra pounds? Does he seem like a picture of health? Probably not.

Now, let's talk about Jane, someone who seemingly thrives in her outdoor industry job, boasting a healthy income. But behind closed doors, she wrestles with stress, often ends up with irregular meals, and has a strained relationship with her partner due to a demanding workload. Despite her active lifestyle, overall health takes a hit.  What about Jane, is she the picture of health?

Both of these people are real people.  From the outside looking in, it seems like they have it all together, it seems like they are living a fitter and stronger life... but there is immense feelings of dissatisfaction, and these feelings will alter the health seeking actions of both of these people going forward.

The Holistic Approach to Health

Health is more than just physical appearance or a number on the scale. I'd like to introduce you to what I call the "Three Pillars of Health."

Imagine the physical aspects of health, such as nutrition and exercise, as the delicious filling of a sandwich. And what envelops these elements are the two slices of bread, which I refer to as the internal and external factors of health.

Internal Health

Internal health involves your psychological and mental well-being, your intellectual growth, and how you handle stress. These factors significantly impact your mind. While they're mostly within your control, seeking assistance and advice is essential, especially when dealing with stress.

Stress can have a domino effect, leading to depressive symptoms, reducing your ability to stick to a training regimen, or maintain a calorie deficit. It might even trigger binge or emotional eating. Understanding your emotional well-being and fostering healthy relationships can make the journey to fat loss and overall health much smoother.

External Health

External health encompasses the factors around you – your job, the time you spend with friends, and the quality of your intimate relationships. These aspects are often more under your control than internal health factors.

If your job or surroundings cause stress or dissatisfaction, it might be worth considering making a change. No paycheck is worth sacrificing your overall well-being in the long term.

The Third Pillar

The third pillar is how you nourish and move your body. You're already familiar with my approach to adventure training. It's about promoting competence outdoors and embracing adventure. Fitness and nutrition are directly influenced by the two neighboring pillars of health.

In conclusion, your health journey is a comprehensive one, and it's more than just a physical transformation. It's about nurturing your mind, body, and spirit to lead a vibrant, fulfilling life. I encourage you to explore the Three Pillars of Health, addressing both internal and external factors, and prioritize your well-being. Remember, your health journey is a lifelong adventure, and it's a journey worth embarking on.


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