Name: Sofia Rodrigues
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Q: What inspired you to enroll at IIN?
A: My journey to integrative wellness started back in 2012, when I tore my ACL in a skiing accident. At the time, I’d recently lost my job. Trying to overcome feelings of hopelessness, I decided to focus on how I could empower myself and still achieve my goals for that year, which included finishing my master's degree and running a 10k for the first time. This sparked a new interest in nutrition and personal development.
I was seeing measurable improvements in my mental and physical health at a delicate point in my life, and I felt compelled to share the mindset and approach to nutrition that had worked for me with family and friends. For years after, I grew increasingly focused on mindset, habits, motivation, nutrition, and how improving these things can make us happier and healthier people.
I was years into my career in pharma at that point, but it became increasingly clear that my passion lies elsewhere. I wanted to become a professional coach and help guide others on their life journey. Enrolling in IIN’s Health Coach Training Program was a major turning point in my life and a dream come true!
Q: How are you using your Health Coach Training Program education?
A: Several of the main pillars of my approach to supporting clients as a transformational coach come directly from the program, such as the concept of an integrative approach to well-being, IIN’s Circle of Life Tool, the core concept of bio-individuality, and the need for accountability to achieve lasting change.
Taking an integrative approach to well-being with clients helps integrate all aspects of their reality, such as relationships, career, and mindset, so that I can understand all the factors that influence them and how they make decisions. I can better guide my clients to achieve their goals, implement important changes and long-term habits if I’m clear about their unique individual needs, mindset, and ongoing habits and preferences.
I help my clients identify key areas of life that they want to improve, and I hold them accountable for their choices and their actions, encouraging them to continue a path of individual growth that helps them achieve their goals and become the happiest and most fulfilled version of themselves.
Q: How did your understanding of food and nutrition expand upon taking the program?
A: The program exposed me to different schools of thought on nutrition and gave me tools to better evaluate the food choices that I make and what works best for me. I’m now better prepared to make choices that support my mental and physical well-being.
By learning and experimenting with different diets, I now know how different approaches to nutrition can help maintain a healthy weight; optimize body processes like digestion; strengthen the immune system; and delay the onset of aging, both mentally and physically. I’m also better able to support my family and my clients with their overall wellness needs.
Q: Did IIN help you find a way of eating that works for you? If so, tell us more about that journey.
A: Based on my experiences with IIN, I’ve learned to take an intuitive approach to eating. I’ve been on diets for many years to manage my weight, but they never worked for me. They left me feeling stressed, annoyed, and constrained in my choices around food.
As I developed more self-awareness around my hunger signals, I realized that simple and intuitive is best. I start to eat when I’m hungry, I stop when I’m full, and I’m consciously aware of when I’m using food to fill an emotional need.
I’m also aware that my overall food patterns shape my health. One decadent meal or snack isn’t going to hurt me, so long as I don’t lose sight of my broader goals or change my healthy mindset. My meals are now a more pleasurable experience, without any worries attached.
Q: Health is not a destination; it's an evolution and a journey. How does this resonate with you?
A: Health is absolutely a journey. It is also a job for life. It depends on having the right mindset and making the right choices, not just once but day after day. Ingraining healthy habits means daily self-awareness and assessment. It also means having the discipline to never accept less than the healthy lifestyle that you truly want and to continue to dedicate your efforts to that goal.
Q: How do you nourish yourself beyond your plate, with primary food?
A: Meaningful and positive relationships mean everything to me. They give me the support, strength, and love that I need to keep working toward my goals in other areas in my life.
Professionally, my career as a transformational coach gives me a sense of purpose and fulfilment.
My exercise routines, such as Pilates, yoga, and weight training, energize me. They spark creativity and give me a renewed feeling of motivation. And my daily meditation practice helps me organize my thoughts and keeps me grounded and connected to how I’m really feeling.
Q: How are you living a life you love? How did the program help you achieve this?
A: I traded my career in pharma for a life as a transformational coach, where I help individuals reach their full potential, achieve their health and life goals, and become the best version of themselves. The IIN training program gave me the knowledge and the guidance that I needed to turn a passion and hobby into a career and start my own business.
IIN’s program is very comprehensive in how it explores the connection between mental and physical health. It has some of the world’s most renowned teachers in the wellness industry. You’re exposed to a range of different perspectives from leading practitioners, and IIN leaves it to you to develop your own views, based on the knowledge that they provide. This both provokes you to think critically and challenges preconceived ideas about nutrition and wellness.
The school also gives you practical tools for how to start a coaching practice, which is critical for someone like me, who always wanted to be an entrepreneur but came to entrepreneurship very recently. When you work for someone else, you’re given the luxury of specializing in only one area. When you work for yourself, you suddenly need expertise in all areas of your business, and IIN’s business toolkit really helps to fill in those gaps in knowledge.
Q: If you could tell your pre-IIN self one thing, what would it be?
A: Looking back, my perception of what I was going to learn was very limited. The program goes so far beyond nutrition by, for example, exposing us to the concepts of primary food and bio-individuality.
Connecting with other students and making friends made my experience so much better than I expected, studying by myself in front of a computer. Conducting health coaching sessions and attending Coaching Circles (small group coaching sessions with classmates and a professional Health Coach) were great hands-on experiences. The positive feedback that I got from these interactions made me feel extra confident to launch my business.
Overall, it was an incredible journey ‒ one of progressive self-awareness, growth, and fulfilment.
Q: What's one thing you can't run your business without?
A: I’m passionate about motivating people and helping them fulfill their potential. I wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose. It gives me the energy and drive to bring my all to my clients.
Q: We are calling our IIN graduates and community members Well BeIINgs. How do you embody well-being?
A: Life is increasingly frenetic, unbalanced, and demanding for many people. Many of us live with this need for constant communication and immediate responses. We feel that we must multitask and max out, just to get through the day. This need to be “on” all the time leaves us feeling stressed and drained, and those feelings are the opposite of well-being.
To compensate, I make use of what I call life superchargers, things like meditation, appropriate exercise, healthy diet, enough sleep, and meaningful relationships. I call them superchargers because they give me positive energy. They keep me centered and balanced, even during my most frenetic days, so that I can be at my best for my clients, my loved ones, and myself.
You can start living a life you love, right now. Take our free Sample Class to dive in.