Thursday, 27 February 2014

Interview with certified health coach, Lydia McCall

Lydia is a certified health coach who trained with The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and now sees clients on a one to one basis. Lydia creates personalised 6 week programmes for her clients to support their individual goals. Whether it be weightloss, stress management, ditching the punishing diet and exercise regimes for good or addressing body image issues.

1. Why did you decide to become a health coach?

I decided to become a health coach because I struggled all the way through my teens with health related issues as you can see by the pictures below. I had Epstein Barr, which is a form of Glangela Fever, which left me feeling exhausted all the time. I was also very overweight which lead me to having major self-esteem issues and I suffered from depression. Through my long journey back to health I decided to become a certified health coach by studying at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I wanted to share my experience and knowledge to help other woman struggling with similar issues. To support them in getting them to a place where they accept their body and start to love themselves again. The most important relationship we will ever have in our lives is with ourselves. Once this relationship is strong everything will start to fall into place. You can read more about my story HERE.

2. Can you tell me about your morning routine?

I believe if you start your day off on the right foot you are more likely to continue making healthy choices throughout the day. So when I wake up I like to do some diaphragmatic breathing, which helps boost your mood by increasing the level of the ‘feel good’ hormone serotonin in the body. It also helps reduce negative stress by lowering the stress hormone Cortisol. I will hop in the shower alternating between hot and cold water to energise me and boost my circulation. I will have a glass of hot water and lemon to cleanse my system and get the digestive juices flowing before having breakfast. Recently I have been enjoying some gluten free millet by a brand called Biona with scrambled egg, spring onion and half an avocado. A breakfast full of healthy fats, protein and complex carbs to provide me with slow releasing energy to get me through my morning.

3. What is the best part of your job?

There are so many parts of my job that I love. I love seeing a client open up and share their personal fears and struggles. Seeing someone being so honest is an amazing thing to experience and I feel so honoured that they trust me enough that they feel at ease being so open with me. But what tops that is when I see a client radiating happiness and self-confidence. Witnessing a client fall back in love with themselves and knowing that they do deserve the life they have always dreamed of. Well there is nothing better than that.

4. What is your favourite dinner party dish?

Wow, that’s a tricky one. But I would have to go with my chicken, butternut squash and chickpea stew with a side of wilted spinach and broccoli. It is so creamy and indulgent while being super healthy. I am all about cooking up delicious meals without slaving over the stove for hours. Nutrient dense, quick and simple dishes are what I am all about.

5. How do you keep fit?

Keeping fit is very important to me. It doesn’t just keep my weight stable but it boosts my mood, focus and energy no end. As well as keeping my skin in good condition due to all the sweating, attractive I know. It also allows me to sleep much better and exercise has to be the best stress reliever for me. My problems just seem to fade away after a good workout.
I like to mix things up so I don’t get bored and keep challenging my body. I love running. I throw in some intervals and hill sprints to push myself. I make sure to incorporate some strength training into my week to build and sculpt lean muscle. I use hand weights, the TRX or body weight exercises in a type of Tabata style routine. I am trying to attend yoga twice a week to slow things down and rebalance myself.

 6. If you had to give someone 5 top health tips what would they be?

  1. Stop the negative self-talk. The voice inside your head that says you’re too fat, not good enough, not smart enough is lying to you. You can achieve anything you put your mind to.
  2. Slow down. Be more aware of yourself and your body. Take some time for yourself. Have a long bath, attend a yoga class or catch up with a friend by going for a nice walk in the park. This will stop you from burning out.
  3. Eat every 3 hours. This will stop you from becoming ravenous and over eating later. Eating little and often will keep your metabolism running and will help control your cravings. It will keep your energy levels stable so you can get through your day without the dreaded 4pm slump. My go to snack option is a handful of almonds. Full of healthy fats and protein plus it is so easy to carry in your bag for when hunger strikes. I also love a banana topped with almond butter and we can’t forget about a mug of green tea to go with it
  1. Sleep more. Good quality sleep is essentially if you want to feel and look your best. You should try and aim for 7 to 8 hours a night. When you have had good quality rest you are more likely to eat better, stick to your workouts and perform better at work. You will also find yourself having more energy and be in a better place mentally.
  2. Stop with the punishing and restrictive diets and exercise routines. These are not sustainable in the long run. You will just be setting yourself up for failure, as you can’t keep up with such high standards. Your self-esteem and confidence will take a major bashing by living this way and it will soon be affecting the way you live your life. As soon as you take the pressure off yourself. That is when change can occur.
7.Do you have any stress reducing tips?

My favourite way to beat stress is to get outside and go for a run or by working out at the gym. My stress and worries just seem to wash away. Taking a long bath is also another great way to de stress and un-wind. I like to take a bath straight before bed. I sleep so well when ever I do this.

8. What is your daily mantra?

We are all human. We will make mistakes and we will fall on our ass from time to time. It is about picking ourselves up, learning from our experiences and moving on. Perfection doesn’t exist. It’s about learning to love and except ourselves for who we are today and be brave enough to show our ‘imperfections’ to the world just as we are.

Contact Lydia via her website for more information on her services and to book in for a complimentary consultation to see how she can support you and to see if you would like to work together. Sessions can take place in person in London or done via skype.

Follow Lydia: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I really love hearing about other people's experiences and as someone who was overweight in my younger years I find it really inspiring to hear about how you got through it!