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Health Coach Spotlight: Catherine Mills

Our Health Coach spotlight this month features Catherine Mills. Hailing from Portsmouth, NH, Catherine is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, DPP Lifestyle Coach, RYT-200 Yoga Instructor, and has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology.

Catherine often says, “Folks know they need to eat more veggies and exercise... that’s old news!” She prefers to focus on self-care, self-love, and holistic health, and believes self-compassion and self-love are key components required for achieving sustainable behavior change. Frequently, she hears participants claim, “I’ve finally learned how to put myself first; I never knew how good taking care of myself could feel;” or “I now see how this work involves the body, mind, and spirit.”

What made you decide to become a health coach?  

I’ve always enjoyed teaching, inspiring, and helping others. As I worked to improve my own health and well-being, I felt compelled to share that passion and knowledge with others.  Seeing folks become healthier and happier really lights me up!

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?  

When it all comes together and ‘clicks’ for participants. When I hear participants say, “I feel better than I have in years”, “I’ve been able to eliminate medications”, or “My family is eating healthier”.  I know improved health also has a ripple effect that impacts other areas such as family, work, and/or community, and it's so fulfilling to witness the journey.

What do you feel makes someone a great coach?

A great coach helps others feel valued and cared for, and conveys consistent care compassion, and empathy toward their participants. He or she helps folks believe that they are worthy of loving self-care by providing encouragement, affirmation, and support.  

What makes Omada different from other programs?

Omada provides a well-rounded suite of tools and strives to personalize the program at various levels.  The web platform and tracking capabilities, combined with weekly lessons, digital scale, group and coach support provide everything that folks need to succeed with behavior change.

What is your advice to someone having a hard time taking the first step towards behavior change?  

Folks feel overwhelmed with the notion of  having to overhaul their lives, with good reason! I help them understand that this is a process that takes plenty of practice, patience, and time; they can move at their own pace.  I advise folks to start small, something they know they can succeed with, such as increasing hydration, walking for a short time, or having a healthy breakfast.

What do you say to participants who want to give up?  

I tell them it’s perfectly normal to feel like giving up…this is hard work! I encourage participants to be very gentle with themselves. I validate what they’ve done well and guide them to continue to take gradual, small, manageable steps.  A recent participant was feeling this way and later wrote, “You are an exceptional coach with great understanding...so helpful for making a person not want to give up!”

Tell us about your most memorable coaching experience.

Just recently, a participant started the program in a tough place; medical issues, feeling down, not interested in cooking or activity. She just completed her 16-week Foundations phase having achieved very significant weight loss. She now enjoys cooking whole foods, gets in her daily steps, and feels happier than she has in years!

How has coaching impacted your life?  

I practice what I preach. I know how good it feels to live a healthy, vibrant lifestyle, and I want that for others!

What do you think are some healthy go-to snacks?  

Some of my favorite snacks are roasted pumpkin seeds, almonds, and apples. Anytime I will be out of the house for more than a few hours I pack these simple snacks, plus water, of course!

How do you make coaching personal?   

I pay careful attention to what participants share and use intuition as my guide. I spend a lot of time building self-efficacy; affirming and validating what they are doing well. I let my participants know that I see them, I hear them, and I care about them!

  • One cup cottage cheese
  • One cup rolled oats
  • 4 egg whites
  • Vanilla
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Mix first 4 ingredients in blender until smooth.  Heat pan to medium, add splash of oil or teaspoon butter, add  ½ to 1 cup batter, sprinkle in blueberries, cook until browned on both sides. Enjoy!