Wellness coaching

Author: Carol C. Bradley

Cindy Borders

What is wellness coaching, anyway?

Cindy Borders, wellness coach at the Notre Dame Wellness Center, likes to quote W. Timothy Gallwey, author of “The Inner Game of Tennis”: It’s “the art of creating an environment, through conversation and a way of being, that facilitates the process by which a person can move forward toward a desired goal in a fulfilling manner.”

In other words, it’s not like Mom or a spouse nagging you to lose weight or quit smoking. It’s about slowing down, thinking about your goals and creating a new path for your life and health.

“I’m not going to beat you with a stick until you lose weight,” Borders says. “The entire process is directed by the client. We meet regularly to see how you’re doing. We look at obstacles to achieving your goals, and ways you can overcome those obstacles.”

If weight loss is a goal, obstacles might be things such as sugar addiction, caffeine addiction or a dislike of fruits and vegetables, she says.

Work/life balance and stress issues are common.

“People don’t realize how much stress affects them. It affects every area of your life. It can make you overeat. We can help you find ways to cope and manage stress—find ‘me’ time, exercise, the way you eat. Diet, exercise, nutrition and work/life balance are all connected.”

YOU are the one that decides what goals to pursue, she emphasizes—Borders make sure the goals are doable.

“We look at making little changes. If you’re a three-pack-a-day smoker, it’s not realistic to quit cold turkey. If you eat most meals at restaurants, you could choose not to have dessert or a regular soda at every meal.”

Meetings with Borders can be at any interval you choose—weekly, or once a month, whatever is right for you. And wellness coaching at the Notre Dame Wellness Center is free to eligible faculty and staff and their dependents.

And, she emphasizes, all your information remains confidential, just as with any health care provider.

Fill out an initial assessment form at the first appointment with Cindy, or online at the wellness portal, WellnessCenter.nd.edu. Appointments can be scheduled at 634-WELL (9355). If you have time constraints, coaching over the phone can also be arranged.