What You Can Learn From The Secret Struggles Of A Health Coach

What You Can Learn From The Inner Struggles Of A Health Coach

As a health coach and recovering perfectionist, it’s tempting to hide the inner struggles that sometimes show up.

Those moments I’d like to sweep under the carpet and pretend never happen.

We can sometimes view health professionals as flawless paragons of virtue who somehow manage it all with effortless ease.

They glide through life as if there’s some magical gene that makes them immune to the everyday struggles of mere mortals.

If only!

Read on for a sneak peek behind the scenes of the secret life of a health coach – aka me!

To give a bit of context, the week had been tricky dreadful. Our gorgeous little cat had become quite sick, so lots of broken sleep with more than a few tears being shed. Work was crazy busy, not helped by my late arrival after yet another visit to the vet.

With a muesli bar scoffed on my way to afternoon clinic masquerading as lunch, anyone could have predicted the headache making its appearance late afternoon.

I’ve spoken before about my addiction for Coca Cola. Two of my triggers for Coke cravings are tiredness and headache and I’ve written before about the willpower diminishing effects of lack of sleep and stress. 

It wasn’t surprising, then, that I soon began fantasising about downing an icy cold can of Coke.

I imagined the can in my hand. Felt the satisfying sshhhh as I pulled the ring top. 

The deliciousness of the bubbles in my mouth as I swallowed.

Aahhhh. The relief. The ecstasy. 

Just one wouldn’t hurt. That inner voice from Coke loving Claire could sound so reasonable at times.

You know a headache is a trigger for you. Just take some Panadol and have an early night. Sensible Claire countered.

Still the fantasies continued as I eventually headed to the car to start the commute home.

You could just call by the servo on the way home. Coke loving Claire suggested.

We’ll see. Sensible Claire knew distraction was one of the best defences against the craving that was consuming me.

I was soon heading down the highway, a podcast providing some temporary relief from my fantasies.

Ooh, look, here’s the turnoff to the servo. Coke loving Claire chimed in, anxious to make sure I didn’t miss it.

As if helpless to do anything, I saw myself turn off the highway into the service station driveway.

You know you could just have a nice cup of tea when you get home. Sensible Claire to the rescue.

Back on the highway without stopping to buy a Coke. One moment of decision navigated successfully.


At least there’s no Coke in the house. Sensible Claire added.

Coke loving Claire retreated to ponder her next move, which came soon enough.

She waited until I’d dragged myself to the kitchen a short time later to begin the evening meal.

You know there’s that new service station five minutes down the road. You could be there and back in ten minutes. It’ll give you just the boost you need.

She was trying successfully to sound like sensible Claire.

You deserve it after the week you’ve had. 

I could feel myself nodding.

Looking back, I’m not quite sure how I survived the evening without succumbing.

I’d love to tell you I’d done a round of tapping which is super successful in combatting cravings and exactly what I teach my clients to do but alas no.

Anyone else relate to knowing what to do and not doing it?

Distracting myself with the usual evening activities helped as did not having any Coke in the house.

The take home message is it’s okay to not do it all perfectly.

We’re human and life can be messy.

Give yourself a break. Be kind.

Instead of beating yourself up, reflect on what went well and what you could do better next time.

A round or two of tapping would have saved me a ton of angst and sent Coke loving Claire scurrying for the hills.

Something to remember next time.

You might be totally different. The best strategy for you might be to indulge in a small serve of your comfort food mindfully.

I talk about a range of strategies for dealing with cravings here.

And if you’d like some one on one help from someone who knows where you’re coming from, I’m your girl. Simply head on over to my coaching page to book a session. I’d love to work with you!

11 Responses to What You Can Learn From The Secret Struggles Of A Health Coach

  1. April April 30, 2017 at 11:26 pm #

    Claire, this is such a powerful post!! Everything you said is spot on! Thank you for keeping it real and reminding all of us that it’s okay to struggle!!

    • Claire May 9, 2017 at 11:44 am #

      You’re welcome April 🙂

  2. April M Lee May 8, 2017 at 7:08 am #

    “Anyone else relate to knowing what to do and not doing it?” HA! so many many times. thank you, claire, for this honest and real reminder that we all have our struggles and that it’s okay to not be perfect, as long as we keep trying our best.

    • Claire May 9, 2017 at 11:42 am #

      You’re welcome April! It absolutely is OK not to be perfect!

  3. Angela Taylor May 9, 2017 at 8:20 am #

    Great post Claire! You are so right to try and think of the good things that have happened. The things you have overcome, etc. That just seems like a REALLY HARD thing to do for me. I know that it’s possible though. Some days it’s not so hard, others it is. Do I make any sense? Ha!!! Plus, you are absolutely right about the fact that people seem to think those helping health have it all figured out. That they’re perfect…etc. Absolutely NO pressure there right!? Some people make me laugh…because we’re all the same. Who knows what we each have to fact in our lives? Who’s to assume that everything is perfect!? I won’t and can’t do that honestly! Anyway, I could go on and on about that topic. Can you tell!? 😉 You’re really good with describing the coke. 🙂 I loved it. You’re wonderful! 🙂

    • Claire May 9, 2017 at 11:42 am #

      Thanks so much Angela!

  4. Jul's May 11, 2017 at 2:15 am #

    I love this post!!!! I find myself thinking health coaches…and so many other people I admire seem to sail through their days. I love that you are transparent and reveal Coke loving Claire and Sensible Claire struggling to make a healthy choice. I hope your kitty is better! Thanks so much for sharing some behind-the-scenes reality.

    • Claire May 22, 2017 at 6:15 am #

      You’re welcome Jul’s. Kitty is well again thank goodness! So glad you found the post helpful 🙂

  5. Pam May 16, 2017 at 4:40 am #

    I also love this post – this could have been me! I too have to keep stuff like Diet Coke and good gosh potato chips out of my house.. As someone who always tries to live healthily, I can relate. Every now and again I will drink one, but I know it is not something I do daily and overall I am healthy.. But your description was so amazing.. in that 40C heat tomorrow it will sound really good! See, I am already meandering back and forth! Thank you for sharing that very real challenge we all face!

    • Claire May 22, 2017 at 6:16 am #

      A pleasure Pam. So often we think it is just us who are having those struggles 🙂

  6. Erin May 24, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

    This is a great post and very powerful revelation Claire! I love how you portrait the physiological parts of craving coke and how you try to get out of it. I am going to resort to your tapping method next time I have unhealthy cravings.

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