The Surprising Benefits of Wellness Coaching

English: By Richard Wheeler (Zephyris) 2007.

English: By Richard Wheeler (Zephyris) 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the course of my working life I’ve had insurance with most of the major health insurance companies; sometimes twice.  We had a stint with one of them last year that ended in July, but during my time with them I learned something new about myself.

The company offered financial incentives to take part in wellness activities.  The first thing I did was take a health assessment which I believe earned me a $50 gift card. Score! As a result of my responses to this health assessment I received a phone call asking me if I wanted to participate in wellness coaching. Now I don’t get many phone calls and somehow the first reach-out caught me at a bad time. So I said no. But son of a gun, they persisted and called me again. The second time I decided what the heck. So I said yes.

My coaching consisted of periodic phone conversations with a wellness coach; a nurse, I think. We set goals together for me–with a big emphasis on making them achievable. My goals included fat loss, increasing the number of times per week I exercised and increasing the amount of water I drank.

What I found surprising as the months went on is that having this little conversation scheduled gave me permission to take more time for myself. So when it was 5:20PM and I hadn’t hit the workout room at work yet, rather than saying to myself that I had to rush home to be timely for dinner I would jump into my workout clothes and text my spouse that I was working out.

I got reasonable results on this program –not to mention $175 worth of goodies–and was disappointed when we switched health insurance companies that I had to let that go. I am now looking into getting it started with our current company.  The major lesson I learned from the experience of wellness coaching is that the little boost in accountability to someone other than myself really helps me to make the extra push whether it’s pushing myself into the weight room, swigging more water or letting myself claim a few minutes here and there just for me and my health.

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