Health Coach Spotlight: Bill
Our coach spotlight this month shines on Bill George from Raleigh, NC. He is a certified strength coach (NSCA - CSCS) who has been an adjunct professor in exercise science, a fitness instructor, a corporate fitness specialist, and a personal trainer.
What inspired you to become a health coach?
Becoming a health coach has been a journey in of itself. I struggled with my weight throughout my teenage years until I finally decided that I needed to do better for myself. I signed up at a local gym and started trying to eat healthier, but in both cases, I was clueless as to what I was doing. So, I started reading magazines on diet and fitness, while gradually refining my approach over the course of months and years. By the time I was in college, people were actually coming to me for fitness advice, something I found to be so shocking. I got certified as a personal trainer so that I could help others navigate the world I’d found so confusing when I first started. Over the years, my own interests have grown into a desire to help a wide variety of people -- not simply those prepared to start their own physical training regimen. Working as a digital health coach enables me to reach a greater number of individuals, at varying stages of their own health journey.
What behavior changes are necessary to create a healthy lifestyle?
All too often, people are initially driven by the desire to drop a certain number of pounds. This might produce an initial motivation, but it won’t ultimately sustain healthy behaviors. A person must understand how one behavior or action will impact their day, impact other behaviors, and understand how they are making choices that are so ingrained, they may not even be aware.
What types of goals do you share with participants?
This is probably less fun and more scientific, but I tend to break goals into outcome goals and process goals. Outcome goals can be divided into three categories: health-related (improved blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, etc), body composition related (decrease body fat or inches), and sport/fitness-related (finishing or placing in a 5k or event, regularly playing in a rec league, etc). A process-goal will be highly related to the outcome someone wishes to achieve, whether it’s incorporating an array of foods for a health goal or committing to a training regimen that will help with a sport or event.
What makes Omada different than other programs?
The Omada program is different because we focus on behavior change and want to make our program flexible: the content, goals, food choices, and dialogue are personalized to ensure that someone feels differently about how their health can be an integral and seamless part of their day.
What behaviors do you see interfere most with a person’s effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Often, I see people’s perception of food as a challenge because they place undue constraints on food, social outings, or travels. They may often refer to these moments as “giving in” to a craving, a meal, or some social pressure. Food is about choice and empowering oneself. It’s saying, “I’m choosing not to have this food,” or, “I’m planning carefully and choosing to have less of a certain food.”
Anything else you think is important to share with people who are considering a lifestyle change?
A healthy body, or a healthy sustainable weight goal, cannot be maintained without a healthy mindset. A resilient mindset that understands and embraces healthy food choices and an activity regimen for their inherent good will eventually achieve success.
"Eastern Carolina Style"
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, halved
(NOTE: Halving the chicken breasts is a great way to ensure that the chicken remains moist yet is cooked all the way through. I guess you can say you'll "halve" yourself a tasty piece of chicken!)
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
2 Tsp Cajun Seasoning (I like Dinosaur BBQ Cajun Foreplay, if that is available to you)
1 Tsp Paprika, preferably Smoked Paprika
- Place the chicken and all of the ingredients listed in a large, zip-top plastic bag (NOTE: you can use tupperware or something that is sealable, but I find that, for relatively easier and more sanitary clean up, it is pretty simple to just toss out the plastic bag when you are finished). Seal the bag or sealable container.
- Shake or (if in the bag) move the chicken around to evenly distribute the marinade. Allow chicken to marinade for one hour (one hour is good, if you can prep and let it sit overnight, even better).
- Fire up the grill (or cast iron skillet, if no grill available) to medium heat. Allow skillet or grill to get up to temp.
- Place chicken on grill or skillet, and cook for 5-7 minutes each side (with 8 chicken halves, you may need to do two batches). If you are new to cooking, one way to tell if the chicken is fully cooked is to firmly press down on a piece of the chicken. If it springs back up, the chicken is done. If it does not spring back, it needs a few more minutes. (NOTE: If you have a meat thermometer, you can check to make sure the chicken is cooked to 165F).
- Once chicken is finished cooking, take off the grill and serve.
Serves 4. (If that is too many/few servings, adjust the recipe based on how many people you may be serving. The chicken is also good leftover, so it may be worth having extra).