What does living a holistic lifestyle mean? How does it help you in your life both professionally and personally? Are there key areas you need to focus on to improve your quality of life? Does any of it truly make a difference at the end of the day?
I don’t even know where to start…
These are the questions you may be asking yourself when you see a new advertisement or success story from someone who has traded their hard earned dollars for sessions, manuals, workshops and products from a lifestyle coach. To add to that, many people are skeptical of what a lifestyle coach actually does for them, rightfully so.
What makes someone else a “expert” to the degree that another person is willing to pay for their services to help them in some lifestyle change? Well, let’s start with that last part — making a Lifestyle Change.
Can you think back to a point in time where you felt that what you were doing with your time was pointless? What type of emotion was going through you during that experience that gave you insight into the frustration, anger, disappointment or resentment that soon followed? For instance, was there a time when you bought something at a store because you believed it would help you, only to find out after returning home that you bought the wrong thing?
You thought to yourself, “gosh how I could have been so stupid, I knew I should have waited or at least bought the other one!”. Pretty familiar right?
Making a lifestyle change is very similar, just think about it for a minute (okay don’t do that because you’d probably stop reading this but take a few seconds at least). Have you ever tried a diet, a new exercise program, a 3 day detox cleanse or a product to improve your health?
What type of research did you do before the purchase, or did you do any at all? Perhaps it was the case that you felt uncomfortable going to the gym because you had no idea how to use any of the equipment and felt a little embarrassed? I’ll raise my hand at this point because that was me at one point in time; i’ve always been a self-sufficient person and felt literally embarrassed having to ask someone how to perform a dumb bell chest press or use a barbell.
So you spend a few hundred dollars on memberships, personal training, a new diet program, you go grocery shopping for the first time in your life and you are now a fully fledged fitness enthusiast!
Congratulations! You just made the list of a few hundred thousand people who start and never get anywhere! *round of applause*
“Oh but wait, you don’t even know my story! You don’t know the kind of life i’ve been through, do you know how emotionally traumatizing it is to be overweight — for people to call you names and be insecure about the clothes you wear?”
“Well it’s hard okay, I bet you you’ve always been healthy with no injuries ever and everything always coming easy to you. You can squat 320lbs at only 140lbs bodyweight, you don’t even know what it’s like to have an injury and work through all the pain to improve your health or quality of life!”
Actually, I do…
What you see today is a product of years, I would go as far as to say a good 25 years in the making, of training, discipline, practice, hard work, set backs, failures, self-doubt, overweight, self-destruction and injuries. The funny thing is, over the course of 3 years I finally found the answers I was looking for — that’s only scratching the surface.
Advisory, the next few paragraphs will be a flash back of “My Story”. Thank you!
My life from the time I was 8 years old to 16 was spent 6 days a week, 2 hours a day or more training in Karate, Judo and Okinawan Weapons. Don’t picture Daniel San (Ralph Macheo), think about one of the Ninja Turtles from the early 90’s eating pizza and people looking at you weird because you were overweight — yeah, that was me.
At 5’2 and 16 years old I was already 195lbs, I really should have played D-Line in football now that I think about it. I battled with bouts of asthma and bullying from other children because of my weight. I still remember dreading the last Friday of each month in middle school as that was the “1 Mile Run” which took me on average 15–17 minutes to complete; I never complained about it but I do remember the “feeling” of doubt, frustration and anger each time the the mile came up.
Fast forward a few years into high school where I managed to lose a good chunk of the weight (went from 195 to 123 and no you don’t wanna know how I did it). From that point on I promised myself to never become overweight again, a vow I have kept.
Press the FF button a few more years into the end of my college years where I managed to incur a bulging disc before my 1st degree black belt best, the sad part is I didn’t even know I had it! It wasn’t until 3 years later of excruciating pain that I knew I had to do something about this unknown pain I had. Unfortunately, it was too late. By leaving my disc in a compromising position for 3 years the damage was done and there was nothing I could do short of surgery…
In order for me to find the answers I needed and the courage in order to try and fix this “life changing” event in my life, I knew action was needed and research was desperately required.
So I did what any sane person would…I googled it!
Okay kidding aside, I did see a few specialists who referred me to physical therapy or said the only thing you can really do is surgery which I would not accept. Physical therapy did provide temporary relief but I knew paying a co-pay every week wasn’t financially available to a fresh college student trying to find a job.
Year after year, painful moment after painful moment, disc slip after disc slip what was a man to do? I managed to get myself going through doing what I could physically as martial arts training, the way I used to train, was not available. A few things I added to my arsenal of recovery were:
- Bodyweight Training (push ups, sit ups etc)
- Mindful Eating, whatever that means it just felt good to say
Exercise certainly helped, it got me active and doing something rather than doing nothing but the pain was still there each morning, mid day and evening — creating negative energy and lack of available energy to be with friends and family.
A few more years later I had an urge to return to the martial arts, not competitively but it was all I ever knew. I found the arts of Wing Chun, Filipino Kali and Gracie Jiu Jitsu as they were 3 I always wanted to learn and was fortunate to have the opportunity to train with some of the best in the industry.
At the same time I was encouraged to start lifting weights from my mentor and found a Crossfit gym local to me which really opened my eyes to a whole new world of training and mental fortitude. Oh don’t worry, my blown disc didn’t get worse from Crossfit for all you haters out there (side rant, please stop bashing Crossfit for crying out loud!). Yet, time after time the pain in my back was a clear reminder that what I was doing physically just wasn’t cutting it.
That is where Holistic Lifestyle Changes came into play and provided me with the necessary tools to finally come to terms with my injury as create a sustainable system to manage my bulging disc pain.
It wasn’t until I learned about anatomy through my Yoga Teacher Training courses and Advanced Core Training from the C.H.E.K Institute that the stretching and myofascial release were key elements I was missing in the physical game.
I thought nutrition was just about eating enough calories to gain weight, maintain weight or lose weight — I had no idea that gut inflammation and the concept of “Visceral Somatic Inhibition” could cause my abdominal wall to shut off, thus creating no support for my lumbar spine during any type of lifting or bending movements.
The years of pent up anger and frustration which transferred to personal development in my own life was finally doused like a bucket of water over a camp fire through the practice of Yoga, Mindfulness and Self-Awareness; learning to accept what is, to forgive yourself for what was done and love yourself so that you can love others.
All of these events and experiences led me to pursue Holistic Lifestyle Coaching, not for a mere pay check — no…
It’s because I knew how much life can suck the living energy out of you when you try to fix only a fourth of the puzzle. Working out isn’t enough, eating nutritious whole foods isn’t enough, meditating and practicing yoga isn’t enough. You have to understand, embrace and work with “The 4 Doctors” of Movement, Diet, Quiet and Happiness in order to truly find balance in your life.
Find balance and you’ll find peace
Some may say that Holistic Lifestyle Changes don’t work, there’s too much to consider and too many moving parts in order to create balanced change. To that degree I understand, but those who have not put in the time or energy to make a life affirmative change will continue to play the victim and do nothing about their pain and sorrow.
The only limits you put on yourself are the limits you “think” your mind is affirming you of.
Holistic Lifestyle Change WORKS — it’s about you willing to make a change in your life and understand that lifestyle balance is only created through commitment, discipline and strong habits — day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
As a coach my role in the self-development process is to educate people on all 4 areas of lifestyle balance so that they can take the guess work out. I look at their history, what they’ve done and haven’t done. What results they’ve had and what their goals are. I help people set realistic expectations and guide them through the process of developing their nutrition, exercise, meditation and self development programs so that they won’t need my services after our deadlines have been met.
I believe that’s the most common misnomer and skepticism people have towards lifestyle coaches — that what they offer requires a strong investment and they’re unsure of the ROI of it. They think that after 6 months of not seeing the results they want that it was all a waste of time.
How much time is required to create sustainable change?
To that i’ll say that lifestyle change may take more than 6 months to crack the surface of mental/emotional barriers you’ve created but it’s not about how long it takes. It’s about the intention behind the coach and how he/she can help you with your goals.
My intention is to provide a firmly communicated deadline agreed upon AND the education and tools so my client will not need me in the future. I will have given them the resources and scalable systems for them to fine tune their own lifestyle until old age.
Now obviously i’ve devoted much of my time and will continue to learn new resources, techniques and methods to better serve my clients and it’s my responsibility to share with past clients what I can within reason.
So there you go friends, that’s my rant about why living a holistic lifestyle matters to you. Even if you aren’t looking for a lifestyle coach to help you, I hope that what you take away from this post is to be curious.
Be curious as to what living a balanced life means to YOU. Only then will you find the balance you’ve been looking for.
With love and strength,
David Lee — The P.O.W.E.R Coach
I hope you enjoyed reading this rant, philosophical expression, psycho-something or other post!
If you have 1 second (just one!) please comment or ❤ the post if you liked it! I believe in communication and community which is why i’m here.
Thanks a bunch and follow me around on my journey as a Powerlifter, Yoga Teacher, Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Techie.