Meet Health Coach Babs Hogan: Sees Coaching as Invitation for Change

Thursday, November 10th, 2011
This post was written by Jessica Fornarotto

This month’s inside look at a health coach, the choices he or she has made on the road to success, and the challenges ahead.

Excerpted from the November 2011 HealthCoach Huddle.

Babs Hogan, certified wellcoach and health and fitness specialist certified through the American College of Sports Medicine.

HIN: What was your first job out of college and how did you get into health coaching?

Babs Hogan: I coached swimming in Los Angeles, Calif. After graduating from Texas A&M University, I headed west until I hit sand. Health coaching at the time wasn't invented yet.

Have you received any health coaching certifications? If so, please list these certifications.

I am certified through Wellcoaches, Inc.

Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road?

When I started reading articles by Margaret Moore, the CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation, in the American College of Sports Medicine's publications, I realized that I had been missing something important in my career as a personal trainer. At first, I thought that I was too rigid to become a wellcoach since I was always the one "in charge," as a fitness trainer. After 22 years of making decisions for clients, I was concerned about making the transition. It took a few months of reading to consider registering for Ms. Moore's well-established wellcoaching program. After the first day of class she asked, "What is your level of confidence that you will become a wellcoach?" I replied, "About 20 percent." In a few weeks, I turned around.

In brief, describe your organization?

As a wellcoach, my focus is on parents. I coach families too, but I mostly work with parents by helping them adapt healthy behaviors. As they take control of their health, the children benefit too. It's a trickle-down pattern of change.

What are two or three important concepts or rules that you follow in health coaching?

I try to heighten awareness of existing behaviors, assist clients in realizing how much control they have regarding their health and I identify a client's personal strengths and continuously shine light on them.

What is the single-most successful thing that your company is doing now?

Focusing on preventing childhood obesity. I am presenting community seminars on reaching goals. I use Heidi Grant Halvorson's book, Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, as a guide. Last month, I started a book club in Arlington, Texas. I am also currently writing a book on childhood obesity and blogging about related issues. You can learn at my Web site. I am also presenting webinars on behavior change.

Do you see a trend or path that you have to lock onto for 2012?

Yes, I started a channel on YouTube called BabsWellcoach and most of my viewers are interested in the Les Mills Group Exercise videos. There are many great stories to be told and the Les Mills viewers are clearly tuned in. I will continue to create more videos about how people reach their health goals.

What is the most satisfying thing about being a health coach?

Helping people realize that wherever they stand right now is a great place to start. Wellcoaching discusses possibilities based on what you CAN do, not what you cannot. The mindset is always moving forward and not looking back. Once people realize that the power to change is in their hands and that they can move forward right NOW, amazing things begin to happen. The secret? Take small steps, gain confidence along the way, heighten awareness of the choices that are presented, and rely on your own strengths.

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in College Station, Texas.

What college did you attend? Is there a moment from that time that stands out?

I attended Texas A&M University. The honor of "College All-American," which I received after 10 years and hundreds of miles of swimming, reinforced the old adage that hard work pays off.

Are you married? Do you have children?

I am married and have one grown son.

What is your favorite hobby and how did it develop in your life?

I like gardening. In my forties, I started paying attention to flowers. My next farming adventure will include growing herbs since my husband loves to cook.

Is there a book you recently read or movie you saw that you would recommend?

I'd recommend Heidi Grant Halvorson's "Succeed" book that I mentioned earlier. This book should be on everyone's coffee table.

Any additional comments?

Health coaching/wellness coaching/fitness coaching is not about forcing change. Change happens by choice. The process of coaching is an invitation for change carefully aligned with proper guidance and a gentle nudge along the way.

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