Truckee resident coaches people to wellness
January 27, 2004
Before she became an exceptionally well person, Truckee-resident Monica Bocks says she was “just an average person.”
It took a life-altering experience – a serious car accident in 1989 that resulted in seven surgeries – to turn around Bocks’ life.
“I was never a jock. I was doing sales in a ski shop – I had poor eating habits,” said the 38-year-old. “Then, after the accident I was stuck in a bed, down to 89 pounds.”
After she recovered from her surgeries, with a lot of physical therapy, Bocks became more active, not only in her own life but also in the lives of others.
Now she’s a fitness instructor, teaching body sculpting, senior aerobics, water aerobics and Swiss ball core classes. She received her certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Also, Bocks is a wellness coach for one dozen clients nationwide, and she works to turn around the lives of others, much like she did for herself after her accident.
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She sets daily, weekly and monthly goals – usually weight loss or health-related – for her clients, and they attain the goals by modifying their daily behavior, she said.
“Usually, my most successful clients, they want to make a life change – like wanting to live longer – not just a quick change to go to a class reunion,” said Bocks, a Truckee resident since 1992.
With a license from Wellcoaches Corporation, Bocks works with her clients to set daily routines toward a healthier life. For some, it’s as small as drinking eight glasses of water each day; for others, it’s going from no exercise to 30 minutes of walking, three times each week.
Usually, the goals are small and attainable, she said.
“People who overestimate their goals and then don’t meet them, they feel defeated and return to their original behavior,” Bocks said.
Well coaching doesn’t work for everybody, but it does work for most, Bocks said. Through Wellcoaches’ site, http://www.wellcoach.com, clients go through a screening process before they are assigned a coach, to be sure they are a good fit for Wellcoaches’ method.
Bocks “meets” with her clients, usually with a phone call, to make sure they’re upholding their goals and, sometimes, to give them a reality check.
“Sometimes I have to be real blunt. I will do and say whatever I need to – with honesty – to get people to see what they need to do. Sometimes I have to nag. Sometimes I have to get clients out of their own way,” she said.
Oftentimes, Bocks said, clients realize that it’s more than being 10 pounds overweight that is making them unhappy, and they’ll make other life changes, whether it be at work or in their personal lives.
“With well coaching, we look at the whole person,” she said.
Bocks underwent six months of training to become a licensed wellness coach in December 2002. Coaches do most of their training over the Internet, and they have to pass written and practical exams to receive their license. Everyone certified as a well coach through Wellcoaches Corporation is either ACSM certified or a registered dietitian.
There are approximately 100 well coaches in the United States, each with his or her own specialty, Bocks said.
She is typically assigned people who want to develop healthier eating habits and exercise more. Bocks said it takes three to six months for her clients to achieve their goals.
“The idea is that you leave. It’s not a lifelong commitment,” she said.
And usually, much like in Bocks’ experience with her car accident more than 10 years ago, there’s a point when her clients wake up, she said.
“I’ll call them to see how they’re doing, and they’ll start crying. It’s an emotional release because it’s like, ‘Oh my God, I can do this,'” she said. “They have to realize it on their own. I don’t want them to think the only reason they’re achieving their goals is because of me.”
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