We all have a story behind why we do what we do, and this is mine.
- Peter Coniglio
As a boy, I was always playing one sport or another, so it was no surprise that I initially migrated into a career in sports coaching, after a failed attempt at professional tennis.
I spent my first eight years of my working life in sports coaching, but like so many things in life, this was about to change due to personal tragedy when I lost my father in 2000.
As a young man, my father was a keen sportsman himself, both as an athlete and road cyclist. Unfortunately, his sporting ambitions were curtailed by the second world war, from which he was lucky to come back alive. After the war, as is so often the case, life got in the way, and he was never to return to sport. With raising a family and trying to run his own business, he inevitably was too busy to take care of his health and slowly put weight on and became more sedentary in his lifestyle.
In 2000, just months after his retirement, he suffered a huge stroke that left him fighting for his life. The stroke had a devastating effect, with paralysis, loss of speech, and loss of swallow reflex. He fought all these problems for a further nine months before succumbing to pneumonia in September 2000.
Unfortunately, this type of story is all too common, and it is heartbreaking to hear of similar experiences. This whole experience was a big shift for me, my interest in sport began to dwindle, and I began to turn to health and fitness as I tried to seek some answers to the potential causes behind my father's stroke.
I threw myself into my new passion and attended course after course and read book after book. My initial belief was that our health was determined by our genes and that there was little that we could do about it. But through my studies, it quickly became clear that this was not the case.
Through my study of ‘Epigenetics’ I soon came to realise that my previous belief of ‘pre-determinism’ was wrong, and that our life choices in terms of environment, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and lifestyle all play key roles in how our genes are expressed. Effectively we hold the power of good health within our own hands and it is our responsibility to pick up that baton and run with it.
Over the last 20 years, I have been constantly surprised about how little is known about what good health means and how to attain it. But some things are clear - our life choices are the primary determinants of our health. The mind-body is a self-healing machine and given the right environment miracles can happen. I also came to realise that small changes can make a big difference, and that although change is difficult, it is not impossible given the right support.
Where I am now as a Mental and Physical Health Coach is a culmination of 30 years of experience in the field of sport, exercise, and health. This accumulated experience has now given me a wide range of tools to help you live a healthier and more fulfilling life. I am passionate about what I do, and I get no bigger kick than seeing someone meet and maintain their health goals.
Why I Can Help You
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you visit your GP how much time of your consultation do you get to speak to them about possible diet and lifestyle interventions? With on average of less than 10 minutes per patient my guess is not very much. That is where I come in to fill the gap so to speak.
As a Health Coach, I can afford you the time to discuss your needs, analyse your current health status, and coach you towards better health. The additional time I have with you, and the in-depth assessment process I can offer, allows me the opportunity to develop a highly individualised approach to your health needs.
My mission is simple - to help empower you to become your very own ‘Self-Care Expert’ which will allow you to take control of your health and for you to make better choices both now and in the future.
The Metabolic Health Crisis
80% of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancer could be prevented, primarily with improvements to diet and lifestyle.
- World Health Organisation
Metabolic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in developed countries and with the rate of increase showing no signs of abating, chronic disease is a growing problem.
Unfortunately, most medical students and doctors do not receive adequate training in nutrition and physical activity - this is despite knowing that 85% of chronic disease today is caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Because 'prevention is always better than cure', health coaching is more about dealing with the underlying lifestyle factors that may contribute to ill health or addressing lifestyle factors that may increase your risk of developing a condition later on.
Health coaching is designed to help support your healing or help you maintain good health. If you're currently receiving medical treatment from your health professional it is well recognised that working with a health coach at the same time improves outcomes.
What Does a Health Coach Do?
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
- Albert Einstein
Health Coaches are not trained medical professionals (although they do work with health professionals). Rather, they are ‘Change Agents’, in that they are trained to coach individuals to develop good health intervention habits.
The role of any coach is to draw many seemingly disparate elements together. Coaching is about supporting, listening, and empowering. They also clarify, give you perspective, provide accountability, and encouragement. It is a fact that people who employ a health coach to improve or maintain their health are more successful than those who do not.