GUEST BLOGGER – May Challenge: H is for Health

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Everyone meet Emily Benton – a fitness nut that strives to make individuals happy and healthy. I had the pleasure of meeting Emily in college at Loyola where we were roommates. Both being college athletics and growing up very close to each other, Emily and I shared the Philly love through food, music and humor :) Emily and I stay in touch often and when letter “H” came across, I wanted her to talk about health as she is now becoming certified as a health coach. Congrats Em, I am so excited for you and happy to see you are pursuing your passion in life!!  xo

What is health? To one person its eating right… to someone else its getting to the gym everyday… and to another it may finding inner peace.  Health is a different concept to each individual which is why I find it fascinating.  But at the same time, its also SUPER confusing.
The health movement has come into its own in the last couple years. Every day we are inundated with articles, facts, and research about food and health - what is good, what is not good, what you should do and then the complete opposite. This information is constantly changing. One day eggs are good for you and two weeks later they will kill you!  Milk is good for the bones but will make you gain wait?! Red meat is bad but on the Paleo diet, you can eat as much as you want? It’s too much information to handle… and with each person being unique, the same ‘healthy’ lifestyle is going to work for everyone.  Which leads me to my new passion today…

Let me just say, that I have not always been the healthiest person in the world, nor am I close to my potential healthy-ness today.  To put it simply, I used to be FAT. The ironic part was that I’ve been an athlete all my life.   I’m a former division 1 swimmer and student athlete (GO H2OUNDS). But back then, I was BIG. And not just muscle-big, but big-big. We would swim 4+ hours a day PLUS lifting sessions and I figured I could all the bacon, egg and cheeses, chocolate milk, and pizza I wanted. And not gonna lie, it was the best.  I used to live with Pic, and she can vouch that I used to do some major late-night food damage.

Then the summer going into my senior year, something clicked.  I cant pinpoint what it was that triggered this ‘change’, but I started eating better and working out.  I soon fell in love with the “non-swimming/non-required” aspect of fitness… pushing myself on my own and getting results.  But once I went back to school, I lost all that gusto.  I had to eat more with swimming and I wanted to enjoy my senior year. I graduated with honors… as a student athlete… and some nice extra lbs to bring back to Philly with me.

After graduation I moved back home to Philly and I got back in that routine I developed over a year before.  I officially retired from swimming and started taking fitness classes.  And this lead me to my new love – spinning.  Originally, I had heard terrifying things about this class - mainly, that you work sweat your butt off for 45 minutes and awesome music (sounds awful, right?). O still remember my first class, I was drenched within the first 5 minutes. Cut to a year later, I became a certified spinning instructor.
So here I am now…

A few months ago,  I was at a cross roads.  I was working in finance (still currently), but wasn’t truly happy. I wasn’t getting any satisfaction at the end of the day.  I had been teaching spin classes on the side for 2+ years and was LOVING it; I looked forward to it every time.  Then it clicked, why not go into some sort of health industry profession.  I was so happy after leaving spin class  because I knew I was helping someone reach their fitness goals so why not keep that feeling going! I was doing some research and stumbled upon Health Coaching and it just made sense.  I would be able to give back and help people first hand instead of sitting infront of an excel sheet all day.  I could help others get that same mental “click” that I had over 5 years before.

So what is a health coach?  A health coach is a guide and best buddy to your future healthy lifestyle. Health is a journey, not a destination. A health coach would be by your side to help with the progress to health and happiness.  They are your support as you take this journey to reach your endless potential and will evaluate your inner and outer self (what you eat, your relationships, your fitness and physical activity, your spirituality).  You will develop a lifestyle balance, through an in-depth look at nutrition, fitness, stress management, etc.   Since not one diet works for everyone, a health coach will come up with that unique program that fits your lifestyle and your goals and will work for YOU.

Through Institution for Integrative Nutrition, I am being certified to be a health coach.  In all honesty, this is a dream to be able to pursue a career in helping people be healthy and happy.  It’s a unique profession for such a unique topic in everyone’s life.  I am learning a ton through this program and want to be able to share it with others.  They say you are your first client while going through IIN, and it’s true.  I am learning new things about myself and changing my health goals.  I am giving myself more challenges with my diet and fitness and general lifestyle. I know I can do more and be better and be a greater inspiration to my clients.  So overall, my health journey is continuing in a unique way.
[Shameless plug!! If you are looking for a health coach, or just some fun/cool health info, I have a website/facebook page/twitter account that I post a lot of stuff to (Info below).  Spread the love and tell a friend!  If you have questions about ANYTHING, feel free to contact me!]
Twitter: @eb.healthcoach
Facebook: Emily Benton, Health and Wellness Coach

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