Grad School (again) & Living On Kilter

What have I been doing in this endless time of living life apart from the rest of the world, you ask? Aside from continuing to work as a Home Health SLP, narrating audiobooks, and keeping the family and critters alive? Well... I’ve essentially been in grad school. Since March. How did that happen? Well, Zumba recommends that instructors have a group fitness certification. So I went looking for good, online programs. I found several and they all confused me because they all said they were the best. But then I found this program that wasn’t group fitness at all, but that rang true for what I want to do with my life. The program was a health coaching certification program with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition - teaching people to learn how to take control of their health via all areas of nutrition with what we call Primary and Secondary foods. That is basically what we’ve been doing since Conner got sick - learning how to be healthier, about nutrition, about balancing mind and body. They had a one year program and a 6 month accelerated program, so naturally I chose the six month program. That was in February. Then the pandemic hit in March just as my program was beginning, so I’ve had lots of time to study, needless to say. On days that I do home health I listen to the lectures as I drive, then read the written notes in the evenings.


Ya'll - this program is so information packed  and so intensive that it will transfer into the PhD program I’m starting tomorrow - also in Integrative and Functional Nutrition (and I got a scholarship!) Yes, you read that right. I am indeed going back to school. Again. This time to get a PhD! It'll take a few years (more like 5, but who's counting?) and then I'll be Dr. Sanford! The kids think that's hilarious.


Acceptance Letter & First Textbook!

Why have I not talked much about this yet? Because.... because... well, other than imposter syndrome there’s not really a good reason. I have all this knowledge in my head now about food and hormones and gut health, but there’s a part of me that says I don’t know enough to help anybody and I’d better not say anything to be safe. So dumb. I know. And even if somebody does ask me something that I don’t remember I can always go back and look it up. I had to do that often enough when I was starting out as an SLP - heck, I still have to go look stuff up sometimes. 


Midbadge from early July!

So yeah, I need to stop saying, “I’m learning to be a health coach” and start saying, “I AM a health coach.” They gave us the ok to see clients in July. But I’ve just been sitting on it for the most part. I officially graduate this program in a few weeks, but I don’t have to wait anymore. I’m so excited to help people figure out what’s going on with their health, to be a bridge between them and their doctor, to help people feel better all the way around, get off yo-yo diets, get their hormones back under control, have happy guts again... to help people heal. 


What does a health coach do, you ask? We can’t diagnose, but we can listen and help you know better how to talk to your doctor about problems you may be having and give you nutritional suggestions that will help alleviate symptoms and help heal you from the inside out. If you’re looking to lose weight or just get healthier in general, a health coach gives you a sounding board and a safe place to learn how to be healthier and methods that take weight off and keep it off (no more yo-yo dieting!) With the program I’m in, we also look at what we call primary food (secondary food is what you eat). Primary food are things like relationships, exercise, spiritual life, that affect your mental health. You can eat all the healthy food in the world, but if you’re miserable on the inside, you’re not going to be truly healthy! 


What I will not do, is chase you. If you truly want to get healthier and you approach me about coaching, it’s up to you to fill out your consultation form and get it to me then set an appointment with me to get that done and get you on the road to better health. I will help you every step of the way, but chase you down? Nope, not gonna do that. If you truly want change and to get better, you’ll take those first steps. 


When Conner first got sick, it was awful. We were so worried and he was so very sick, losing so much weight and in so much pain, I was sure he was going to die. I prayed every day for healing, which did come…. Not instantly like I wanted, but gradually over time thanks to our Naturopath. And that illness, ultimately, was what set me on this path to wanting to learn more about health and helping other people to heal. Back then I would not have imagined that I’d be about to graduate from a health coaching school and about to start my PhD (with 9 credits already done! Did I mention that!?) The way life works is crazy. But we always end up where we’re supposed to be. 

It’s never too early or too late to start getting your life On Kilter. Trying to live healthier can be overwhelming, I know! When we first found out all the things we needed to do and not do to help him get better and also to improve our own health at the same time I kind of wanted to sit down and cry. I may have done just that a time or two. But we made it and are better for it. You don’t have to go through any of it alone - whether you’re just trying to get healthier, trying to lose weight, trying to figure out a mystery illness that your doctor just keeps blowing off as nothing (or IBS as they kept telling us in Conner’s case!) I will help you every step of the way. 


I’m launching an educational email series on Primary Foods on September 1 - Sign up for that newsletter here!


To get started on your journey to getting your life back On Kilter click here to fill out the consultation form for women and click here to fill out the form for men! I offer individual sessions and groups!


I look forward to helping you navigate the road back to an On Kilter life! 

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Contact Info:

The Opalturtle

Sarah Sanford

615-308-0982

sarah@theopalturtle.com

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