How Training as a Health Coach Led Gina Fontana Down an Unexpected Path
Integrative Nutrition graduate, Gina Fontana, is changing the world…one tummy at a time. After years of mysterious health issues, when Gina Fontana discovered she had Celiac Disease everything clicked. Since then, she’s dedicated her time and energy to helping other people like her live better.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Gina and get the inside scoop on life since Integrative Nutrition. Check it out!
What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
Prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition I struggled to find a career that really poured into my passion. My husband was in the Air Force, so establishing roots for my own personal career was something I stayed away from because we could be reassigned at any point in time. I have a nursing background, but something just wasn't clicking there. I found myself in jobs that elicited more creativity; retail, decorating, and photography.
What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
Growing up I suffered from all sorts of ailments; joint pain, migraines, stomachaches, vomiting, fatigue, just to name a few. My parents would take me to doctors resulting in no definitive diagnoses. I became discouraged and quit going, assuming this was how it was going to be. Then one day I decided to participate in the 3 week Daniel Fast with our church. After about 3 days I started to feel amazing! After the fast was over and I began to eat "normally" again, my symptoms returned. That is when the light bulb went off... It had to be the food I was eating! Long story short, I discovered that I have Celiac Disease and started my blog Happily Ever After Gluten to help others like me. So I was pretty much health coaching before I knew it!
How did your life change after enrolling?
I wasn't quite sure what to expect, all I knew was that I HAD to tell people about our food and that it’s possible to heal ourselves with a little awareness, knowledge, and support. I was so excited to find other like-minded people through IIN. The program was an amazing experience for my own emotional healing, but perhaps the BIGGEST change was this new path I've been shown! I discovered through the course a passion for helping other Health Coaches start THEIR businesses. In October 2015, I started designing hand painted logos for my classmates and have done 35 since then! I started my own business, With All My Art & Soul, LLC to help coaches find who they are in their business and use design to create that "first impression" they’re seeking, and help motivate them to get out there!
Which topics and modules were most beneficial for you?
I think the lectures on Primary Food were most beneficial for me because I needed that. I did learn a TON about food as well though. I really enjoyed the blood type diet lectures and have been noticing more about what foods work or don't for me according to my blood type.
What are you doing now?
I am currently really busy designing logos for other Health Coaches and LOVE it! I have such a passion for art and I feel so good to be using my talents to help other Health Coaches create this revolution. I have found it to be such a great experience for them as well as for me. I really would like to Health Coach people who have just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease as well. So I sort of have two paths, both in which I am really passionate about and that’s all thanks to IIN for helping me to find my purpose and passion.
How do you help your clients be successful?
Before I start working on my client's logo, I provide them with a logo design questionnaire that elicits them to really think about their niche and brand. I have gotten wonderful feedback from them about how that has really helped them learn about who they are in their business. I take the images they have in their mind, and paint them. They are so excited when they start to really see their vision and their business come to life before their eyes!
What do you love about your work?
I love that my work helps other Health Coaches bring their vision to life. I love that I get to do something I love and enjoy so much. I've been drawing since before I could talk and got away from art for a little while, it's so good to be back using my gift to help people in a field that is dear to my heart. It’s the best of all possible worlds. I love that each person I work with has a different idea, so unique and “Bio-Individual.” I hope to continue with this work, and also to pursue my own health coaching practice.
Is there a need for Health Coaches where you live?
I believe there is a need for Health Coaches here, yes. I know that there is a lot of talk about Health Coaches being employed at large institutions, such as Mt. Carmel. I seem to meet a new person every day that is diagnosed with Celiac or has been advised to cut out gluten from their diet. I know from experience that a huge support system needed to learn how to transition into that lifestyle. Health Coaches are a crucial part of that.