Everyone wants to wait for just the right time to begin focusing on their health, but Hayley decided to jump in without waiting. She was struggling with depression, she was in a new job, had a husband and two young children, and was about to have leg surgery, which would impede her ability to exercise for a while. She had no free time, and a lot of responsibilities and pressure. In addition to her very busy schedule, she worried about missing work for the coaching calls. When she started working with health coach Katie Delaney, she said "I would schedule the calls during my lunch break, because I was afraid to miss work."
Instead of being another thing on her "to do" list, Hayley found that health coaching actually became a tool to learn how to juggle all the moving parts in her life, including how to incorporate healthy eating. One of the ways she incorporated healthy eating into her schedule was to make it a family event. Even though her children are young, she engaged them in helping with meal prep and making their own lunch and snack bags. It helped create a structure that empowered them, provided healthy options, and set boundaries for their daily routine. Hayley went from not enjoying meal prep to making it a special time with her kids.
Hayley found motivation from the accountability that comes with checking in monthly with her health coach. It felt good to have someone asking, "How are you doing? Are you following the things we talked about last time? What are your new goals?" The questions helped her dig deep and really think about her accomplishments. The goals ranged from physical to emotional to nutrition, and from daily to weekly, and monthly. Hayley felt successful because the goals could be as simple as trying something new, or just building on an ongoing goal. She also engaged with co-workers to become exercise accountability partners. Setting goals for both exercise and nutrition helped her stay consistent, because she did not want to ruin her success in one area over the other. One of her favorite exercises became the Bikini Body Mommy workout on YouTube. Consistency over time created habits that became part of her lifestyle. She said, "I don't have to think about it now, it's just part of the routine. Rather than have to create a routine, I now already have one."
One of Hayley's biggest accomplishments was learning how to listen to her body and practicing mindful eating. In the past she believed she should finish every meal, but once she began paying attention to her body, she learned that she actually physically sighs when her body is content. And now when that happens, she stops and knows that she is finished eating. She also took coach Katie's advice and added more balance to her meals. She makes sure there is color on her plate, such as a salad, and loves the positive role modeling it's provided for her children.
Another key to Hayley's success was incorporating some indulgences into her plan. She started a family pizza and movie night on Wednesdays, where they invite her in-laws and select a special drink. "It's a fun night with the whole family. We have pizza and salad and talk about what we will choose for the special drink." It helps her be consistent throughout the rest of the week, because she knows she will get to indulge on Wednesday.
Everybody has different goals, and that's why Take Control is customized for each individual. Hayley found that what worked well for her was to say her goal out loud. She knew herself well enough to know that if she said she was going to do something, then she would do it. She also did not want to let her coach down, even though she knew Katie would not be disappointed, she still felt that way, and used that knowledge to motivate herself. She found it helpful to not only speak her goal out loud, but to tell it to someone, write it on a post-it note, and put it on her bathroom mirror. She said it was a great way to hold herself accountable.
Month after month of small successes had a huge impact on Hayley's confidence. When talking about it, Hayley said "I'm going to get emotional. This program helped me with my confidence. It helped show me that I could accomplish things, that I had control over my life. I did. Nobody else. Me. And that was a huge impact." Her newfound confidence gave Hayley the courage to quit her job and apply for and obtain a management position with a different company.
Coach Katie is grateful for what she learned from Hayley. Katie said, "Hayley's positive attitude and excitement were passed on to me, and it was really enjoyable to work with her. She found ways to make each goal more appealing for herself, including involving her family to make it more fun and less stressful." Throughout the 12-month program, Hayley became more confident, happy, and balanced. She gained many new tools for continued progress and forward movement. Coach Katie is confident that Hayley will continue to meet each new goal she sets.