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  • Writer's pictureKevin Maloney

Why I Transitioned into Health and Wellness Coaching

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Kevin Maloney hiking in Mount Rainier National Park

One of the questions I'm frequently asked is why I made the shift into health and wellness coaching. The short answer is simple: my personal health journey taught me the profound importance of behavior change and understanding the underlying "why" driving these changes. Reflecting on it, had I known about the power of health and wellness coaching five years ago, it would have significantly benefited my own path. That journey isn't over, but the experiences thus far have revealed my true passion—helping individuals attain optimal health and wellness.

Unveiling My Health Journey

About five years ago, I noticed a change in the pigmentation of a patch of my skin, roughly the size of a potato chip. Given my natural "Irish tan," it was challenging to spot. A visit to my dermatologist revealed it was Vitiligo, an autoimmune disease. The cause remained unknown, and treatment options centered on skin-lightening creams or procedures. However, deep down, I felt there had to be more to this condition.

A few months later, my gastrointestinal health took a hit. Without delving into the specifics, I was constantly worried about being too far from a restroom, which significantly altered my daily life. A visit to my primary care physician hinted at IBS, prompting a FODMAP diet trial. Unfortunately, this didn't provide the solution I was seeking. Further consultations led to a diagnosis of collagenous colitis, a form of microscopic colitis, after a biopsy during a colonoscopy.

The Turning Point: Taking Charge of My Health

Research became my immediate refuge. Little did I know then, tapping into my internal strengths and external resources was a precursor to the techniques employed in health and wellness coaching. I discovered that, while the disease had a name, its causes varied among individuals. Steroids were the typical treatment, but I wanted to address the root causes and avoid potential development of more autoimmune conditions.

During an appointment with a specialist, I felt the need to explore alternative approaches. The doctor's recommended steroid treatment didn't resonate with me. I chose to forge my own path, driven by a blend of tenacity and a deep desire to continue enjoying my passions—travel, nature, hiking, disc golf, and curling.

Discovering the Power of Diet and 'Why' in Health

A critical coaching technique came into play—connecting with my 'why' for pursuing optimal health. Imagining a life without my beloved activities pushed me to make significant dietary changes. After meticulous research and experimentation, I found that diet was the primary trigger for my microscopic colitis and vitiligo. By eliminating offending foods, I achieved remission from both autoimmune diseases within a few weeks.

This transformative period illuminated my newfound passion for health and wellness. Looking back, I realized the tremendous value of understanding one's 'why' and harnessing internal strengths. If only I had known about this approach five years ago; I'm certain having a coaching partner on my journey would have been invaluable.

A Journey Towards Empowering Others

Reflecting on my own journey and newfound dedication to health and wellness, I felt a calling to help others achieve their unique versions of optimal health. That's when I discovered coaching. Initially, I believed it would resemble consulting, but I was excited to learn that it's centered around our bio-individuality and experiences. In this realm, the client steers their health journey while the health coach becomes an invaluable team member.

The Role of a Health & Wellness Coach

Health and wellness coaches are trained extensively in evidence-based methods to become experts in behavior change. We collaborate with individuals, guiding them towards sustainable, positive changes in their lives concerning their specific health goals and vision. I'm enthusiastic about leveraging my training, skills, and knowledge to assist people in thriving and building resilience at any point in their personal health and wellness journey.



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