How One San Francisco Health Coach Found the Key to Healing Our Bodies
Have you ever thought about doing something epic—something that could transform your life? Meet Sara Seinberg, Class of 2011, a San Francisco Health Coach who knows a thing or two about stepping out of her comfort zone, embracing change, and most importantly, staying true to herself throughout the process.
Nearing 40, Sara knew she wanted to do something big, and running a marathon would satisfy that urge. But what she didn’t know was that training to run 26.2 miles would help her gain new appreciation for her body and her life. “I slowly, with each run and all that salt on my lips, realized that I could do anything.”
Read on to learn how this San Francisco Health Coach is helping her clients realize that they too can reshape their lives and why authenticity is a key component to her and her client’s success.
What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
I had a day job at a very special grocery store. I worked at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco, the largest worker-owned cooperative grocery in the country. I also tucked away a nice income with some freelance photography and writing.
What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I decided to do something epic before I turned 40. I got off the couch and began my journey toward running 26.2 miles—a whole marathon. Each day I went out there, I practiced accepting my body exactly how it was rather than berating it for not being a different way. Then I found myself thanking it for lugging me around this life no matter what. I began to appreciate my life and its gifts during the long hours on the streets of this hilly town under that big orange bridge. I slowly, with each run and all that salt on my lips, realized that I could do anything. Which also meant I could reshape my life into a job that supported others to do their best as well, to thrive. And I could be myself the whole time.
How did your life change after enrolling?
I loved the flexibility of this program. I did the work while I unloaded two ton pallets. I tossed cases of biodegradable laundry detergent around, wielding my box cutter, all the while listening to hours of information about nutrition on my headphones. Everything around me at the store became a piece of my study: the cruciferous vegetables and the books about eating for health. I cooked more. I stretched more. I laughed more. Then my true love, Ginger, got sick. At the height of my studies, she had a health crisis and we weren't sure if she would do something as simple as live, or die. She lived, but studying food and health and thriving while she lay yellow faced in a hospital bed brought me to a place of value for myself and this work.
Which topics and modules were most beneficial for you?
Geneen Roth tapped into exactly what was right for me to hear. How we eat is just as important as what we eat. Her holistic approach to listening to what our bodies are telling us is the perfect gateway into listening to what our whole lives are telling us. I also very much enjoyed Deepak Chopra and his guidance on meditation as a practice that can inform our nutrition.
What are you doing now?
I am a full time San Francisco Health Coach now. My clients tend to be creatives with great capacity for humor. I also work a lot with new Health Coaches on building their practices and connecting with their clients. My coaching begins with food and fitness, but my true work is with authenticity practice, creativity, and discovering how being who we truly are is the key to healing our bodies, our nutritional practices and our time management choices.
What makes you and your practice or product unique?
I think my voice sets me apart from many Health Coaches. When I began I thought, "No one will want to work with me. I'm a pudgy middle aged lesbian covered in tattoos with a well documented wild past that anyone can find on the internet. But I still think I can be good at this, so I'll try." Instead of developing a "professional" voice, I decided to be myself. And it turns out that's exactly why people want to work with me. I'm just as imperfect and believable as the reflection my clients see in the mirror. The three C’s are the most important tools I bring to work every day: compassion, curiosity and creativity.
How do you help your clients be successful?
I help people the most by supporting them to be who they already are. One client really wanted a solid exercise habit for herself but after years of spending money on the gym, she still found herself walking right by it everyday, each sashay by the doorway a cascade of lost cash and another rock on the mountain of guilt. She'd come to our sessions in her perfect rockabilly outfits and exquisite hair creations to tell me about it. She loved dressing up and it was easy for her. One day I said, "Why don't you quit the gym and save that money to put towards cute tennis outfits. The courts are free in the local parks and you get to look awesome." She plays tennis three times a week now. And she has fun.
What do you love about your work?
This is the best job I have ever had. I have the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere. I get to help people make lasting and meaningful change in their lives. I help people realize what their priorities truly are for how they want to live this life and not how they want to be seen. I get to see results. I see people heal, I see them travel and begin new projects. I see people have courage and inspire me. As for me, I get to do things I love as well in this work: I write all the time, I make photographs, I cook, and I get to hear peoples' stories. And I get to be myself and value it, with all these unprofessional knuckle tattoos, questionable language, and an untraditional looking healthy body that moves five times a week.
Connect with Sara