Joanie – My Wonderful Instructor and Health Coach

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I knew as soon as I heard about Joanie that I wanted to include her in my business. Words like lovely, devoted, holistic, empathetic, hard-working, and knowledgeable were some of the qualities that were used to describe her. And not only did she have extensive experience in fitness, but she had her own health coaching business and a philosophy about wellness that closely matched my own.

I pursued Joanie for a while until I wore her down (ha!) – and I’m thrilled to have her now as the senior member of my team!

It’s so important to me that Body Conceptions represents more than just fitness. We promote health and happiness in all of our clients in all stages of their lives. We also believe that nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and emotional health are all too interconnected to address separately.

Since Joanie’s business, Motivated Nutrition, represents one of the first wellness businesses we have welcomed as a partner, I thought it was important to include her here so that you can get to know her a little better. Plus, she’s just a really cool and fun person (even when she’s inflicting pain on you in your training sessions with her!).

~Mahri

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Health coaching is kind of a mysterious term. What does it actually entail? And how did you get into it?

I get this all the time!  “What the heck is a health coach?”

I like to describe myself as a life coach that specializes in fitness and nutrition.  I help my clients set sustainable wellness goals and then we work together to transform those goals into action.  I set them up for lifelong success as they learn to listen to their bodies, become informed consumers when navigating the “health world” and strive to live each day with optimal energy and positivity!

Do you have a general coaching “philosophy?” If so, what is it?

My philosophy is rooted in the concept of “bio-individuality”.   There’s no such thing as a cookie cutter solution to our health.  We all have different background, likes, passions and goals.  There’s no such thing as one diet or lifestyle works for everybody.

Do you work with different people differently?

The bio-individuality approach means that every client is a new challenge.  And I love a challenge!  I try to understand each client as a whole person.  What foods do you love?  How much time do you have?  What workouts excite you?  How well do you manage stress?  There are so many factors that go into figuring out what lifestyle changes are going to help you reach your goals!

What have been some of your biggest challenges as a health coach?

My biggest challenge is teaching clients not to blindly follow whatever the health “trend” of the moment is.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a mean, green juice, but the juicing fad at the moment is driving me bonkers!

You are a knowledgeable and talented trainer for Body Conceptions, and the results you have gotten with our clients have been nothing short of amazing. Without mentioning names, could you talk about some of the accomplishments you’ve seen?

Aside from loosing weight and gaining strength, the biggest accomplishment in my clients has been the transformation in the way they feel in their bodies and view themselves.  There is nothing more beautiful than a woman totally in love with the way she feels in her body.  All my clients are gorgeous that way!

Part of my own philosophy establishing Body Conceptions came out of my interest in helping people lead healthier and happier lives and also connecting them with a bigger wellness community in the city. What are your thoughts about combining health coaching with fitness training?

They are one in the same.  Being physically fit is essential to good health. You want to be able to run with your children, enjoy nature’s beauty on a long hike, and not have to worry about aches and pains when you are doing things you enjoy.   My tag line has become “The healthier we are, the happier we play.”  Health coaching isn’t just about food.  It’s about becoming healthy and happy enough to “play” through life!

Ok – now to the fun stuff. Do you have any vices? What are they?

A glass of red wine and semi-sweet chocolate chips before bed.  It’s my worst, and most cherished, bad habit.  I’ve tried to cut back to just once a week but after a long day of exercise, there’s really nothing better.

You like to work with children, right? What kind of work have you done with them?

Can you remember how boring health class was growing up?  With childhood obesity on the rise, we can’t continue to make children memorize the food pyramid and expect them to eat healthier because of it.  We’ve got to get them moving and make nutrition fun!  I’ve developed a creative movement program that builds confidence in children as movers, gets their heart rates up, enhances creativity and the end of the session they are telling me things like “Sugar is whack!”

I also have a family health-coaching program that helps families incorporate better nutrition, meal planning, exercise and wellness habits into their busy, everyday lives.

And what’s something fun about you that no one would ever guess?

I took 7 ½ months off and backpacked through Southeast Asia with my fiancé a few years ago.  We walked 6 miles of The Great Wall of China, climbed 3 volcano’s in Indonesia and nearly died in a sulfur mine at the bottom of one them (!), learned to drive Elephants in Laos, slept under a million stars in an Indian dessert after riding camels for 8 hrs, and hiked through a blizzard in the Himalayas in Nepal for 8 days…All while wearing the same 2 T-shirts and 3 pairs of underwear.   AND I made some pretty awesome travel videos along the way!  http://bucketbath.travellerspoint.com/

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