Sonya Leardon is our newest Health Coach Certifications contributor and we’d like to shine a spotlight and support her with her very personal and inspiring journey into health coach training as she enters this new career! Contact her personally at email@example.com.
Health Coach Certifications
How did you first get interested in the idea of health coaching?
- When I was a student in high school I was passionate about the field of psychology. I couldn’t get enough. I read books about behavior, parenting, sociology, and economics. At that time I was most passionate about child psychology and helping children to find their voice. I suspect because as a child, mine was often shut down. It lead me to the field of speech-language pathology.
I became a speech pathologist in 2010 and worked in the medical field for about three years and then entered the school system in 2013. Throughout my college and postgraduate years I began using exercise as a form of stress relief and to attempt to improve my body image.
My initial relationship with exercise was also a form of punishment at times. I didn’t understand why I didn’t have the body of a tall hour glass shaped woman. It was an insecure time for me personally while my education and intelligent mind was soaring.
My mother and father both were excellent at cooking and I never took the time to learn. Somehow I managed to pick up some habits from them and began experimenting and teaching myself. Along the way I had a few roommates who were also into cooking. One being gluten free and the other pescatarian.
I learned various forms of making unhealthy recipes healthier and continue to do so in my daily life. I now plan my meals out on Sundays and prepare what I can ahead of time to make life easier during the week. It also enables me to carve out exercise and time with my husband as well as study to become a health coach.
My journey with exercise has also come a long way. I no longer use exercise as a punishment because I am learning to love the body I have been blessed with.
I began eating more clean, drinking more water and drinking less alcohol which has also helped me have more energy, better skin and a more fit body.
The benefits of exercise are now more apparent because of the effort put forth in my diet matches the effort put forth in the gym.
During my years in the medical field and then entering the school system I began to see that problems with mental and physical health arise from a lack of emotional, social, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. Speaking with friends, family, God and a life coach helped me to understand that my passion was in the health and wellness field.
I have not left my profession as of yet because I have not completed my training. I plan to pursue a career in health coaching part time in hopes of enabling me to work from home and have more time for family.
Which school did you attend, and why did you select that program?
I chose the ACE health coach certification because it fit my budget as well as my schedule and because of their good reputation. I am an avid reader in spirituality and behavior science so I hope to use that knowledge in conjunction with my education from ACE.
What is your opinion of the quality of the program, length of study, etc.?
I think ACE certification program is very informative and the major information is easy to read and straight forward.
They provide you 6 months from the time you purchase your materials to the time of testing, which I feel is plenty of time for me to study and absorb the material.
Do you have other thoughts about the school you chose that you’d like to share?
I cannot compare the ACE program to others but other schools that were much more expensive seemed to have a more “holistic” approach. I feel I am learning a lot and being encouraged throughout the book.
Their website offers articles and information to help support you throughout your studies. They also have groups through social media to provide support as well.
Have you chosen a target market? If not, what are you leaning towards?
I have not chosen a target market since I am not sure where that may be. I have thought about targeting people in the 18-45 age range since we are from a very commercially driven and less spiritually driven culture.
I also notice these are most often the people in the gym and that most may be like me in that they know how to exercise but don’t know how to change their bodies/minds/lives to be all they want to be.
Is health coaching all that you thought it could be? Why or why not?
I’m not there yet but so far from my studies I know it is exactly where I want to be.
I truly want to make a difference in other peoples lives. I believe we are on this planet to take care of it and one another. If we don’t know how to care for ourselves and listen to our bodies we cannot care for and appreciate the beauty all around us.
I hope to inspire others to be the best version of themselves and to see their full potential.
Sonja Leardon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wish her well on her new health coaching career! And contact us here if you would like to be a contributor!