Introducing one of our inspiring HCA graduates, Simon Heale, who pursued a career in Health Coaching after realising it aligned with so many areas of his existing work and values.
Simon moved from his theatrical upbringing and acting into the world of body-work back in 1992 and has since trained in Sports and Remedial Therapy along with various other body-mind modalities that support his intention to help individuals release pressure; physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Find out what inspired him to pursue a career in Health Coaching, the highlights from training with HCA, one of his most notable success stories and why he is on a mission to encourage more men to join the rapidly-growing profession:
What inspired you to pursue a career in Health Coaching?
I am constantly striving to learn and understand more about health, wellbeing and frankly how to look after this amazing thing, the body which we should treasure but generally don't. As I am nearly 60 I have been looking at the sustainability of my practice and how to carry on working in this arena but without the amount of manual pressure. I heard of Health Coaching as a thing through a client, looked into it, and it aligned so many areas of my work and values.
Can you share your experience with the Health Coaches Academy?
Of all the training I researched, HCA stood out for having the breadth of syllabus I wanted, a solid and exciting nutritional foundation and approach and lastly the level of coaching qualification clinched it for me. The fact that I could do the training as quickly or as slowly as I needed helped too.
Being able to offer another approach to health through nutritional awareness and breaking habits has been and is still exciting. The depth of the course material and tools are incredibly supportive. Lastly the connection made through the tripod has been wonderful as we still speak each month, sharing ideas, catching up or just having a moan.
What is one of your notable achievements from your career as a Health Coach thus far?
My Health Coaching career has only just begun but one of my first clients was an 82 year old gentleman who had lost his mojo, felt low, and most importantly had stopped running.
I offered him various possibilities, including a nutritional approach through Health Coaching and it felt right for him. We agreed upon an 8 week programme. If we fast forward to now: it took longer than the 8 weeks, he decided a break after 5 weeks was necessary, there were many bumps in the road which were mainly about him adapting to new behaviours and choices at his age, but slowly (that is the key!) and with supportive coaching, he established new eating habits, more helpful routines, got rid of things that were holding him back and found a deeper sense of purpose again.
He now runs his target mileage each week, has lost weight, feels wonderful and his relationships are flourishing. It’s not just about eating better, it's so much more than that, but it takes time, courage, awareness and a whole lot of support.
Down in the dumps, overweight, and unfit. That’s what I felt as an 82-year-old who’d stopped distance running for over two years. Last June, Health Coach Simon Heale, through a combination of empathy and professional advice, inspired me to practice the blood sugar way of achieving a balanced diet and get me moving again. But I had to set my own goals. So I chose to lose 7 kg and run 8 km by this autumn. I achieved both well ahead of schedule. More important: I feel younger, fitter, and happier all round." - Simon's Client
What would you say to other men who are considering a career in Health Coaching?
For one there are very few men in the sector, and very few training certainly compared to women. I have been championing for more men to enter Health Coaching as we have our experiences of health and wellness, our challenges, our fears and expectations to bring to the party. If more men can begin to walk the talk more, show a better path to health, wellness and vitality, then we can serve better. If health matters enough to you to want to be of service to others then Health Coaching is a wonderful vehicle to begin with.
Adding to this, I would stress that generally men's relationships with health and wellbeing is sport/exercise or not at all. It is only when the wheels come off and someone in authority (white coat syndrome) says something needs to change that action is taken. As a representative of this gender and as a Health Coach I am duty bound to lift the veil around health and wellness, to help men understand their bodies, what they need to flourish, and how to be the best versions of themselves for themselves, for those around them and for society.
We would love to know, what are your future goals as a Health Coach?
Realistically, I see Health Coaching becoming my main modality in a few years, as I ease back from body-working. This will give me the time and flexibility to know which area of health I am most comfortable to work with and who I am best equipped to serve. I envisage this to be a combination of 1-1’s, talks and groups for NHS, schools and corporate/business. I need to learn more about aspects of nutrition, specifically around stress and inflammation and I can see this being something I settle on.
To follow Simon’s Health Coaching journey, you can find him on Instagram at: @settlewithsimon
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