A Coaching Model By Romina Tollerutti, Health and Wellness Coach, UNITED STATES
The Steps of the Building a Strong Nest Model
My goal when I joined the ICA was to become a Health Coach. As a Pediatrician and Obesity Medicine Specialist, it is frustrating how the US medical system focuses primarily on treating disease instead of preventing it. Although a glimpse of a change toward more prevention over treatment became evident a few years ago, it is taking longer than needed.
Most of the top ten chronic medical conditions are preventable or manageable (even reversible) by lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, the number of people suffering from these conditions is increasing. More importantly, the number of children with illnesses related to lifestyle choices like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and fatty liver is also growing. These affect their physical and mental health. As a result, most of these children will become unhealthy adults.
Parents are the answer to this problem. As parents, we want the best for our family. We are the first and most important role models for our children and guides in life. We are the ones deciding what type of lifestyle the family will follow. But, making lifestyle changes is a long and challenging process, and most families fail to do it without the proper support and knowledge. Taking care of everything we take care of and adding something so arduous as educating ourselves and implementing the changes becomes too much.
Health coaching is the gap between people willing to make the needed changes but needing support and the medical system lacking time to offer it.
Building a Strong Nest Model
Birds’ nests represent the love, commitment, and effort it takes to build a happy home. Birds spend a lot of effort building it, and then they use it to protect and raise their pigeons until they are ready to start their own life.
By supporting parents to gain the skills and knowledge to get healthier, they become role models for their children, feel empowered to make the needed lifestyle changes and keep working in a healthy family. These children will grow to become healthy adults with all the necessary tools to do the same with their families. A strong nest is built for parents and children to live a healthy and good life.
My personal and professional opinion: this is the answer to breaking the cycle of growing numbers of adults and children suffering from chronic diseases currently happening.
The Steps of the Building a Strong Nest Model. How It Works.
Step 1: Working With the Parents to Identify a Goal While Building Trust and Finding the What and Why. Building the Nest.
For lifestyle changes to be effective and long-lasting, they must be aligned with the parents and family working on them. In addition, it is essential for them to feel supported and build trust by offering them a space of understanding and no judgment.
Health and lifestyle are more sensitive topics, more than most think so. Parents feel bombarded by the media’s health and healthy lifestyle ideals. Misleading advertisements for healthy options for their families are everywhere. Even cultural, financial, and family pressure can be present. All of these can be overwhelming.
The what: Keeping the above in mind, together, we identify the best nutrition and lifestyle goals to achieve the desired results. This process involves knowing the current family’s lifestyle (nutrition, stress management, physical activity, sleep quality, and mindset) and respecting culture, preferences, and beliefs.
The why: Knowing why we are making these changes is fundamental to feeling motivated. For most parents, THE WHY are their children: being there for them, having the energy and stamina to play and take care of them, aging well to keep enjoying them in the future. We potentiate the motivation by exploring the why and having a more concrete idea.
With this Step, we build the foundation of the Nest.
Step 2: Working With an Action Plan. Progression Over Perfection.
With parents motivated to take control of their health, an action plan comes to life thanks to the previous Step. The motivation stays up by focusing on small steps leading to small victories. Understanding the science behind recommendations is another critical part of keeping motivation high. It is an integral part of the model to offer up-to-date, evidence-based information about the pillar of health to educate parents and solidify their knowledge.
Using my power tool- Progression over Perfection – parents and their families build consistency and patience in moving toward their goals. The path of health is not linear, and focusing on progress while being mindful of the journey helps keep the right mindset for success.
During this Step, the coaching process will help uncover obstacles and find the best strategies to overcome them.
With this Step, parents work on making the Nest strong and take care of them and their pigeons with growing confidence.
Step 3: Reinforcing the Skills and Knowledge to Keep Going and Becoming the Guide and Role Model for Your Children.
During this last Step, the coaching process helps parents reinforce their skills gained during the sessions, acknowledge victories and positive changes, reflect on difficulties and obstacles and how they overcome them, and develop methods to take control of future situations. Parents celebrate their progress in their and their family’s journey to healthier lives and know their strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, they become aware of the firm foundation of empowerment they have developed, which will be critical to keep going and continue improving.
In this Step, the Nest is its Strongest, and the parents are empowered to take control of their health and their pigeons’ health and keep moving forward using their new skills and knowledge. They are confident they are doing their best to help raise future healthy adults and live good lives.
During the last Step, parents are offered to end the client-coach relationship or to continue working together if a new goal or goals arises.
Living a healthy life is an active and constantly changing road trip. We have to pause, assess, and set new goals many times in our journey. By having the skills and knowledge, families will complete these tasks successfully.