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Published: June 8, 2024

Want To Become a Health Coach, But Not Sure About School? Start here

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Dear Shannon,

I really want  to be a Health Coach, but I don't feel quite prepared to go back to school. Will I be able to handle Integrative Nutrition's Health Coach Training Program?

-Amy, Wisconsin

You're not alone Amy. I used to hear this with some frequency when I spoke to prospective students as a member of the admissions team here at Integrative Nutrition. And you know what? Months later I’d get emails from these same people saying how much they were enjoying their schooling and how they wish they had gotten started earlier instead of putting off starting this new chapter of their lives.

I can tell you with certainty that you will never feel totally “ready” to make any major life decision, going back to school to pursue your dream career or getting your health under control being one of them.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you get yourself prepared and a few reasons why now is a great time to embrace the back to school spirit!

Let’s first figure out what is standing in your way of being ready.

Are you worried the work will be too hard?

Like most of our students, you are probably already the go to person for your circle of friends and family for any health related topic and know more than 90% of people out there, so don’t worry about the work being too hard, it will be right up your alley!

How  will I find time to complete all the modules?

Can you listen to lectures in the car or at the gym? Can you replace some TV time with a lecture by David Wolfe?  If you fill your life and your time with things you love instead of only focusing on the things you are obligated to do, you will bring much more balance and fulfilment into your life and home.

Plus, chances are you already spend time researching health related topics (let me guess – WebMD and Mind Body Green are your best friends?). The research you are already doing will be replaced with focused course work that will take your health and nutrition knowledge to a whole new level. What I have found about this course is that if health and wellness are a passion for you, you will be craving the course content and it will never feel like obligatory work. The Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Training Program can be done whenever it fits into your schedule, on your computer or on the go, and is only 5-8 hours a week. It doesn’t get any easier to make a life and career change than that!

Now that you have mentally made time in your life for this, see if something else is holding you back, like fear. What are you afraid of? Are you afraid that this is too good to be true? Are you afraid that you won’t succeed? That people will judge you?

Trust me, we all have these fears. Take a deep breath and ask yourself:

What is it costing you to stay stuck?

What would it take for you to feel good about doing something for yourself?

What is the worst thing that will happen if you go back to school to become a Health Coach and don’t reach your goals? What could happen to your life if you do?

Do the reasons to go for it outweigh the reasons to keep holding yourself back? If so, it’s time to move forward. You are the only one stopping yourself from having the life you really want.

Why is NOW the perfect time to get into the back to school spirit?

As the summer winds down, the vacations are over, and the kids go back to school, your life can get back into its normal routine. Will that routine include doing something for you this year?

This is the perfect time to go back to school, because classes are about to start and you can begin right away! The warm-ups for our fall classes are in full swing and they are a wonderful way to lay down a foundation for the curriculum and get used to the online learning setup so that you feel prepared once classes begin! You can also start connecting with your fellow classmates, all those other lovely like-minded people who will be going through this journey with you!

Timing will never be perfect. Life is messy and busy, so you have to carve out the time to accomplish the things you want in your life. Trust me, when your dream life is on the line, you'll find a way to make it work.

Do you have a question for Health Coach Shannon? Send it to, or Tweet it to us @nutritionschool with the hashtag #healthcoachshannon

Shannon Brennan-Cressey is a graduate of Integrative Nutrition’s 2008 Health coaching class and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked in wellness centers, with private clients, and coached other prospective Health Coaches as a member of the admissions team at Integrative Nutrition. Shannon supports woman is finding better balance in their lives and in finding peace with food. She also runs a health and wellness blog where you can find her posting about things like green wedding planning, body image issues, self-empowerment, and healthy delicious recipes.


The Original Health Coaching Program

Learn more about IIN’s rigorous curriculum that integrates 90+ of the world’s leading experts in health and wellness, blending the scientific and the spiritual to create an immersive, holistic health education.

The Health Coach Training Program Guide