A Coaching Model Created by Sherry Maklary
(Health & Fitness Coach, UNITED STATES)
Sharing the sounds of enlightenment to revitalize seniors and those with chronic health conditions
In my professional role as an organizational change leader for Fortune 50 companies for more than twenty years, I have extensive education, experience, and exposure in assisting corporations. The main outcome sought is to optimize a firm’s people, process, technology, and organizational structures for performance improvement. I use change management, neuroscience, learning events, motivational promotions, evidence-based data, and of course coaching, to provide guided discovery to employees as they pivot endlessly in the constant variability of the corporate world. While performance improvement is the objective, people are my primary focus and their well-being, self-efficacy, and self-actualization. I also coach leaders to regard and respect each person as a unique individual each with their strengths to fuel the corporate engine’s success. We now know, thanks to neuroscience that all decisions are made with a combination of cognitive ability and emotion (Rock &Ringleb, 2013). As such, I am a person in the corporate world with extreme empathy and the goal to generate the conditions for others to gain insights, self-awareness, and new mindsets.
In my private life, since the age of 12, I was the primary caretaker of a chronically ill mother, who progressed over the years to incur additional illnesses due to a lack of self-care, unhealthy eating, and sedentary lifestyle. I cared, nurtured, and supported her with all aspects of my being and for 30 plus years, watched her decline. She had been diagnosed by a plethora of physicians to be deceased twenty years before she passed. They told her to eat well, exercise, and stop smoking, but she wanted autonomy, the main driver of all humans. In her final years, she became enlightened and said, “had I known death would be so slow and hard, I would have done things differently.” I remember her beautiful face as she said this, her face crinkled with fine crevasses from smoking, red cheeks from high blood pressure, and sallow skin from the dialysis treatments, and then she said, but I won’t end up in a wheelchair. It was that day, at age 78 that she started her journey on exercise, healthy eating, not smoking, and mindfulness. Each day she would shuffle with her walker around the halls of the assisted living facility as she eventually earned the high miler certificates for her efforts and dedication. Doctors over the years told her what to do but – never coached. Never explained exercise as medicine.
My research indicates that there is a growing market opportunity for health and fitness coaches that focus on the chronically ill and elderly. In the United States, approximately 40% of adults over 20 years old are obese. Also, 71.6% of adults over overweight, including obesity according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2017-2018; Harvard School of Public Health, 2020. Obesity causes illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, certain cancers, and osteoarthritis, to name a few. There are approximately one billion people that smoke in the world, according to the World Health Organization, 2020. Smoking also causes an array of diseases including but not limited to; oral cancer, lung cancer, high blood pressure, strokes, COPD, and other diseases.
In the United States in 2018 there were over 52 million people over the age of 65 and this number is predicted to increase year over year as life expectancy increases and medical developments continue to delay and/or cure diseases (Population Bulletin, 2015). The challenges of those over age 65 include illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure and many are widowed or divorced status. As can be seen, the above conditions indicate a need for health and fitness coaching to address the needs of this population.
While there are few programs such as Vitalize 360 for elderly patients there is still a growing market to serve this population (AARP, 2017). I am not only a CPT from ASCM, but I am also a Certified Change Management Professional (ACMP) and will soon doctorate in Organizational Design and Educational Psychology in October of 2020. In addition to this, I have an MBA, MS, and other certifications in change, behavior, and lean/agile methodologies.
My education and corporate experience, while relevant and helpful to allow me to demarcate myself from the competition – it is the years of care-taking and working with my ill and eventually elderly mother that has allowed me the exposure to be effective with this wonderfully amazing population. I spent years in hospitals, rehabs, doctor’s offices, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. I desire to help this population, for my own gratitude, self-actualization and also in honor of my mother, for I believe that if a coaching program had existed for the aging and chronically ill – my mother may have had a better quality of life, less illness, and more longevity, with such a program to her avail.
I will work with the chronically obese, overweight, and over 50 population to provide a fitness program tailored to their needs and health levels with strength training, aerobic, and/or stretching programs along with motivational interviewing and coaching to assist their success.
I will help them discover their:
- vision for their health
- actions and programs to achieve them
- personal training options
- opportunities for support, empathy, motivation, and accountability
My Coaching Process:
My process will begin with the aid of referrals from a community of medical practitioners that I have current connections with, as well as advertising at various medical and care facilities. I will meet with clients and learn about them, their health conditions, and meet them where they are using a blended model of fitness programs and health coaching. I will use motivational interviewing and the transtheoretical grid tool to learn about their motivations and confidence to understand where they may want to begin their journey. I will utilize strength finders, visioning, the wheel of life (converted to the wheel of health), and other tools most appropriate for the client. I will consider challenges with vision, hearing, focus, and the other normal impacts of aging to ensure my clients feel safe, comfortable, in a trusting environment, and one that is sensitive to their specific needs. Any Power Tools or other assessment I use will be available in large print, manual as well as computer versions, or read to clients as needed based on their conditions and levels – meeting the client where they are is essential.
My Coaching Model:
Singing Bowls of Health
I Am, I Feel, I Do, I Love, I Speak, I See, I Understand
I have based my coaching model on the healing power of singing bowls, also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls or Himalayan Healing Bowls. For years, the power of the vibration of the bowls has been attributed to overall health, relaxation, medication, immune improvements to name a few. My role as a coach is the guided empowerment of my clients.
The metaphor of the healing powers of the singing bowls vibration attuned to the Chakra Mantra – I am, I feel, I do, I love, I speak, I see, I understand – represent the guided awakening of clients on their journey of empowerment, enlightenment, self-awareness, mindfulness, and ability to action changes to achieve their fitness & health goals.
Steps of the Model:
Represents the uniqueness of each client and appreciation and gratitude towards their uniqueness
Represents the emotions of self-exploration during the journey of the coaching process
Represents the actions of change the client will take when they are ready
Represents the dialogue, listening, and relationship of trust with the client
Represents the ability to see themselves in a new way with endless possibilities for their fitness and health
Represents the ultimate enlightenment, self-awareness, and self-efficacy of the client and the awakening of their spiritual journey towards a more fit & healthy lifestyle
The Singing Bowls:
Represents me – the coach – providing the steady healing vibrations evoking the mindful state of calmness needed to support my clients in the Chakra Healing Mantras!
Throughout my ICA journey, I have been developing my coaching knowledge and skills and applying them with my current clientele. After graduation from this program, which was a bit delayed due to personal health issues and my doctoral dissertation work, I plan on applying for ICF certification. More importantly, I plan in supporting others in their awakening towards their fitness & health goals and helping them live life anew.
Rock, D.&Ringleb, A. 2013. The handbook for neuro-leadership.Nero-Leadership Insititute.