A Hiatus…

After much consideration, I have decided that I need to put my coaching practice on the back burner.  I am currently 9 weeks into my second pregnancy and am re-evaluating the priorities in my life.  Helping others has been a life-long passion of mine, but I am even more passionate about being a mother.  I am at a point where I feel continuing to work so hard at marketing my practice may become detrimental to my parenting.

This feeling may very well change later on, but I know that pregnancy is hard work for me and the first year of my child’s life really requires my undivided attention.  I am not closing down, I am simply stepping away for a while.  I may still post from time-to-time, but it will not be with any regularity.  I am also not closing the door to new clients, I will always be happy to speak with potential new clients and to see if a partnership will be mutually beneficial.

I am stepping back from my blogging here and marketing else where, but you can still read my thoughts on things at Mathair Fiona, my personal blog.  Being a stay-at-home mom I still need to exercise my intellectual self and participate in open dialogue!  Please join me 🙂

Stay healthy!

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Paleo huh?!?

I had a rather unexpected conversation last night.  By all rights it should not have been unexpected and I should have been prepared with a response, but I was not.  The conversation was the first (of many, no doubt) where someone asked what I thought of the Paleo Diet.  I was caught off-guard and so concerned with not offending or insulting her, that I did not give a very clear or concise answer.  I did a disservice to both of us, and I plan to correct this today.

In order to clearly explain my nutrition coaching philosophy, I will breakdown each of the three elements: variation and moderation, mindful eating, and “seed to table”.

The first, most important aspect of my nutrition coaching philosophy is that I do not support ANY fad diet.  The American Dietetics Association defines “food fads” as:

“unreasonable or exaggerated beliefs that eating (or not eating) specific foods, nutrient supplements or combinations of certain foods may cure disease, convey special health benefits or offer quick weight loss.” Press Release 1/17/2007

What I do support is a varied and moderate diet.  There is significant scientific research to back up the claim that a varied and moderate diet is the key to good health.  I cannot, in good conscience, support an individual in following a diet plan that I know is unhealthy and not possible to be sustained over a lifetime.  I also have a personal bias against fad diets because I have witnessed, firsthand, the unhealthy nutritional habits that become ingrained

Borrowed from drhyman.com

in adherents.

Secondly, I support mindful eating.  Through the process of mindful eating, the individual learns to listen to and interpret the ques of their body.  By being present in the process of eating, individuals are able to consume what their body needs and no more.  This technique allows individuals to determine for themselves what makes their body feel and function the best, as well as curb over and under-eating.

And lastly, I support connecting as fully as possible to the source of whole, healthy foods.  My approach is one of “from seed to table.”  I work to inspire people, even those with

Borrowed from tweakiz.com

incredibly limited space, to grow their own food.  I also support people in learning how to preserve their own food and to prepare meals from scratch.  In this vein, it is my mission to help individuals understand that it is much more cost-effective to buy and grow individual ingredients to prepare food, rather than to buy processed and packaged foods.

My response to the question, “Do you do the Paleo Diet?” should have been:

No.  I work with individuals who are working toward a nutritional lifestyle that consists of a varied and moderate diet.  My clients strive to be more mindful in their eating habits and are learning to connect more fully to a wide spectrum of nutritious foods.

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Small Business Saturday – November 24, 2012

 

Now that I have gone completely off the rails nutritionally with my FAVORITE holiday of the year, I’m going to go off the rails financially for Small Business Saturday.

For those purchasing coaching packages for themselves, take a 25% discount off of any package.  If you want to give nutrition coaching as a gift, take a 50% discount off of any package.

This is meant to be a small ‘taste’ of coaching so I am perfectly willing to have potential clients commit to only one month.  Typically, I ask that clients commit to three months in order to reap sustained benefits, but I also want people who are hesitant to give it a try!  If you are wanting a more long-term coaching relationship, I am capping the discount at a three-month commitment.

Coaching Packages

For more information and arranging purchase, contact me at visioninaction.mdf@gmail.com or 541-729-9687.

Tell your friends!

Food Is For Enjoying

Hello again everyone.  I have been silent here in the blogging world for a little while because I decided to prioritize my canning over blogging.  While I was canning and not blogging, I was also doing some thinking about the direction of my life coaching endeavors.  My business, Vision In Action, has only been open for 5 months so we are still in a growing and learning period.  I began this business because I have an incredibly strong skill set for helping others improve their lives.  I have always had a natural talent for this, but I improved upon it in college and truly honed my skills working in the social service world.  As I set out with life coaching, I thought that I would just hang my shingle out to offer my services to anyone who had any goal of any sort.  That’s a little general, don’t ya think?  I shortly received some advice from a much more experienced life coach that I should target my audience (a marketing friend of mine put it: “By trying to please everyone, you please no one.”)  It was at this point that I thought to myself, “I have worked with families with at-risk youth for 7 years, that is my niche.”  Turns out, I don’t want to do that either.  I am still very passionate about helping young people, but youth work is very intense work and I am beginning to feel that my journey in that field has concluded.  I did some amazing work, but I have skills to lend to other areas of service…and in order to offer the top-level of service, I need to be truly energized by what I am doing.

Then, one day recently, it hit me: FOOD!  I love food.  I spend the majority of my time dealing with food: growing it, tending it, preserving it, and cooking meals from scratch.  When I have conversations with friends and family, it so often turns to food and the ways that it can help us be healthier.  I am over-the-top passionate about food.  Food is what brings family and friends together to celebrate and discuss and share.  And often there is no greater kindness than giving food to someone who has none.  Food can bring people together, and tear people apart.  It can nourish your body and soul or it can irreparably damage your most vital organs.  Food is powerful.

I have also been on an incredible journey with food.  I am now at a place in my life where food is something that I use to show others that I care for them and a way I keep myself healthy.  I do have some food demons that I have struggled with and will likely struggle with my whole life.  I have suffered from anorexia and bulimia, and I have had many times where I could find nothing positive about my physical body.  This issue is so complex and my journey has been a wild one.  I do not have plans to share my entire journey with everyone, but do feel that sharing this small amount with you all can help to illustrate where my passion for food comes from.

Some might say that sharing my indecisiveness over my niche shows lack of vision or stability, but I believe it shows that I understand how goals may look black and white at the beginning, but end up neon green.  My goal has always been to use my unique skill set to help people do great things with their lives, it has just taken a bit to figure out in what way.  I want to help people stop seeing food as the enemy and to see themselves as beautiful people.  I am not setting out to help people stick to a specific diet.  I am not a weight loss guru, and will never pretend to be.  I want to inspire people to love food and be inspired by food, not to count every calorie and forget about the nutritional value that all foods have.  This is about long-term, lifestyle change, not about losing 10 pounds for your high school reunion.

I have been around a lot of food-related issues over my life and have seen people use food to improve their lives and to cope with negativity.  I know the healing power of food and have watched loved ones with cancer and multiple sclerosis use food for all of its positive benefits.  I hope that my passion about food, educational and professional background, as well as my personal journey can help you find your way to loving food and yourself.

I am interested to hear some feedback as I start re-branding my business.  I have no way of knowing if anyone is interested in this sort of service, but I have to follow my passion!  Stay-tuned for more food-related changes 🙂

In the realm of interesting…

I’ve been posting now for a little while and hoping that I’m writing things that are interesting to you all.  I plan to keep doing this 😉 but I would like to know what you would like to read about.  I have particular expertise in the areas of parenting, teens, and health/wellness.  Are there other topics in the realm of life coaching you are interested in hearing about?  Leave a comment with a suggestion, and I will do my best to write something inspiring for you!

Mission Possible

I finally completed the mission statement for Vision In Action.  It was a pretty enjoyable exercise to help me really clarify what my goals are for this business and to more easily describe what I do to potential clients.  I thought it would be even more helpful to break down my mission statement and provide further rationale to each piece.

Mission: To positively influence the world through creative, client-driven coaching partnerships that develop the ability of each client to face challenges with self-confidence by supporting, motivating, focusing, and holding the client accountable to their vision of an ideal life.

“To positively influence the world…”

This is a pretty grandiose way to start a mission statement.  It’s a pretty grandiose way to start any statement, truth be told.  However, I really mean this.  I started off by using “community” instead of “world,” but felt that I needed to use a word with a more broad reach. This statement is meant to express a philosophical idea as well as a practical one.  Philosophically, I believe that every thing we do (be it positive or negative) affects the world, even in the most miniscule of ways.  Practically, I offer my services regardless of physical location and, therefore, I may have clients that live outside of my community or even my continent.

“…creative, client-driven coaching partnerships…”

Coaching is not a step-by-step program.  The growth and success that comes from coaching are brought about through the partnership developed with a skilled coach.  Every person and their goals are unique, requiring a unique plan to fulfill those dreams.  It is important to remember that the coach does not develop the plan FOR the client, but WITH the client.  The coach may suggest an avenue of approach, but it is the client’s role to accept, reject, or modify the suggestion.  If the client’s goals change or part of the plan isn’t working as intended, the plan changes to best suit the client.

  “…develop the ability of each client to face challenges with self-confidence…”

That is really the heart of most unfulfilled goals.  Every goal we set for ourselves or dream we create, is a challenge.  A major reason that people don’t master challenges is because they let fear and self-doubt get the best of them.  Everyone has the ability to meet challenges head-on, but we sometimes forget this or just need to learn a new tool.  If a person’s self-confidence is developed, they will be better prepared to seek out what they need to succeed.

“…supporting, motivating, focusing, and holding the client accountable…”

This is the very key of what I do for my clients.  They have the dream, I help them make a plan, then I support, motivate, focus, and hold accountable.  Everyone needs support, but unbiased support can be hard to come by sometimes.  A coach’s only interest is that the client is happy and successful.  It doesn’t matter what makes them happy or what they are successful doing.  We often need some outside motivation, too.  No matter how important a goal is to you, some days it is REALLY hard to not just say, “screw it, I’m tired.”  That’s where your coach comes in.  I can be that little voice that reminds you of why you are working so hard (though I might remind you that it is O.K. to take a break).  Another piece to the puzzle is that big dreams have important smaller goals that must come first.  This can be overwhelming, and a coach helps to narrow the client’s focus and make sense of everything that is vying for attention.  Lastly, accountability is another important aspect of the coaching relationship.  It is the coach’s job to help the client realize when their actions are not matching up to what they say they want.  Perhaps your goal is to be more family oriented, but you continue working late into the evening.  It is my job to remind you that your actions are not in-line with your goal and help you find a way to address them.

“…vision of an ideal life.”

This might sound a little “pie-in-the-sky,” but this is important.  Most of us will likely never have our perfectly ideal life, but by working toward it, we can craft our current situations into the most ideal possible.  Even if all seems lost, there is always something that can be done to bring you one step closer to the life you most deeply desire.  As a coach, it is my job to hold this vision for you and to help inspire you to create it.

Now that you have a better idea about my vision for my business, what do you think?