It’s OK to have a Coach

Coaching is in so many places now and there are so many different types of coaching. Yet some people still see it is a sign of weakness, I saw somebody this month who declined coaching from their employer as he thought he was very self-aware and his colleagues weren’t having coaching so he felt singled out in a negative way. None of us are perfect and just slight changes in our thinking or behaviour over a few months can make a massive difference to our performance and on many occasions how we live our lives too.

We are not talking about becoming dependent on a coach; normally programmes last 6 months or possibly a year depending on the circumstances. Coaching is about looking forward and ensuring you have clearly defined goals and have plans to achieve them. Women generally are more open to coaching; similarly they will listen to their bodies and go and see the doctor, whilst we blokes tend to go and hide in our caves and expect things to get better, doing what we have always done!

So what types of coaches are there? In Tunbridge Wells alone I know of a number.

Caroline Hart life coach and laughter coach who is ideally suited to these specialisms which I certainly wouldn’t be. See

Belinda Tait who probably covers some of the ground that I do but will build rapport with many of the people I don’t and vice versa –

Today I want to focus on Roel McMahon a health coach see

Roel suggested that our networking group make the following small changes that will have a big impact. I have put in Italics where I am up to!

Start the day with warm water with lemon, honey, cinnamon and turmeric (or just lemon and honey if you’re not into the spices). – Not started yet but I intend to do after doing this. I hope you are not reading this first thing in the morning!!

Add 1 tsp of honey, juice of half a lemon, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp of turmeric to a mug. Add some boiling water and stir to dissolve the honey. Top up with cold water and stir.

  • Keeps you regular (warm water stimulates bowel movement, stimulates intestinal mucous production, hydrates colon)
  • Improves digestion (lemon stimulates bile production)
  • Cleanses urinary tract (honey is antibacterial, lemon and water act as diuretics)
  • Improves oral health and bad breath (lemon activates salivary glands and removes white film caused by rotting food and bacteria)
  • Cinnamon stabilises blood sugar levels
  • Turmeric is anti-inflammatory

Improve your posture. – Yes I am thinking about this a lot of the time and I have started yoga which shows up how inflexible I have become plus aches and pains in muscles I didn’t know I had either

Bad posture is a major cause of shoulder and back aches (and it makes you look like a loser).

Assess. See an osteopath to get advice. I recommend Matt Stanford ( )

  • Put weight on balls of feet, not heels. Pull shoulders back and down. Align ears with shoulders, shoulders with hips. Keep your back in neutral position when sitting down.
  • Exercises to improve posture (align ears with shoulders): (1) Arms wide, bring lower arms down behind back to touch shoulder blades, (2) Penguin: touch both shoulders, elbows up and down

Sleep at least 7 hours per night – In my previous working life I wouldn’t have achieved 7 hours but I do now most of the time

  • There is a link between insufficient sleep and serious health problems
  • Lack of sleep affects sex life (too tired, reduced testosterone in men)
  • Insufficient sleep lowers pain threshold
  • Sleep increases your safety (destruction of space shuttle Challenger and grounding of Exxon Valdez were linked to sleep deprivation)
  • Sleep helps control weight
  • Sleep improves mood
  • Sleep deficiency impairs cognition, attention and decision making
  • Better memory. Memories are consolidated and stored while we sleep. Sleep deficiency can cause false memories
  • Lack of sleep affects immune system (decrease in production of cytokines, messengers of the immune system)

Move every 45 minutes – We can all forget to do this but as I now work a basement without natural light I am reminded to go upstairs quite regularly

Sedentary people have increased risk of cancer and heart disease

  • Sedentary people have higher risk of obesity
  • Sedentary people have higher blood sugar and insulin levels
  • Increased inflexibility, especially in later life
  • Decreased LPL (liporotein lipase), enzyme that breaks down fat

Ditch the sugar – How can you, it’s in everything and certainly in the things I crave for – what can I do about my chocolate consumption!

  • Sugar affects the skin by the process of glycation: Sugar attaches to proteins to form AGEs (advanced glycation end products). Sugar damages collagen and elastin
  • Energy levels improve when sugar intake is reduced
  • Excessive blood sugar/insulin production is detrimental to health

Practice gratitude – I have always been half full and don’t take things for granted so I think I am OK here

  • Write down 3 things you are grateful for every day. This practice has shown to shift focus to positive aspects of life, improve mood and reduce stress

Aim to walk 10,000 steps per day – I manage this quite easily with a combination of walking the dog, walking into town and our countryside walks

  • Walking keeps the glutes (buttocks) engaged. Glute inactivity and atrophy can cause back problems.
  • Walking doesn’t make you ripped but it does reduce body fat
  • Walking stabilises blood sugar levels
  • It’s all-inclusive, most people can walk
  • Walking boosts the immune system
  • It prevents falls for older people
  • It has shown to promote ‘good genes’ expression
  • It’s free!

Breathe deeply – This really works and I have used when going into tense situations. Often you will find you are breathing from high up in your chest without realising it. By adopting the practice below can make a huge difference

  • Breathe deeply into the abdomen to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce stress. Shallow chest breathing activates the sympathetic nervous system, which promotes production of stress hormones. 6-10 abdominal, slow breaths will immediately slow down heart rate and lower blood pressure. You will feel calmer.

Avoid obesogens – I must admit this is something new to me and I will need to ask Roel more about this when I see her next week at our networking session

These are foreign chemical compounds that disrupt normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which in some cases, can lead to hormonal balance and obesity. Obesogens are found in:

  • BPA in plastics
  • Pesticides (buy organic vegetables if you are eating the skin)
  • Nicotine
  • Non-stick coating in pans

So by seeing Roel in action, I am not completing her whole programme but it is making me think and change some of my behaviours. I can’t undo the absolutely awful diet I have had over my lifetime but I do avoid fizzy drinks now and try and eat more fruit and of course my Jo is keeping an eye on what I eat more!

Hopefully the above has made you think a little differently and shows that there are plenty of people out there to support you when you need coaching. Please pass this on to anybody who you think may need some support from any of the coaches mentioned here.

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