Your life experience can light a fire or motivation in your participants. Unlike celebrity spokespeople on TV, you are a live, flawed, flesh and bone person just like them. The power of your personal story is more relatable and inspiring than you can imagine. Your story is as helpful as any information they may glean from the participants notebook. You are the magic. By sharing your story, and inviting others to do the same, you will help them discover their innate ability to self-heal.
I am the granddaughter of former slaves on both sides of my family. They had no education and no one offered to ‘help’ them navigate life as ‘free’ people. Ignorant and afraid, they succumbed to life as sharecroppers; paying their captors for the privilege to work as free labor. My grandmother, Odessia Champ, had “the sugar,” which we now call diabetes. She received no care beyond diagnosis and eventually died from related complications as her children watched helpless and afraid. Her older children followed suit as type 2 diabetes took over, reeling out of control. Like their mother, they died of diabetes-related diseases and conditions.
My Mom, Odessia’s 6th child of 7, intellectually knew everything she needed to know to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. She was a trained nurse and provided loving care to thousands of patients, educating families about how to live well and prevent illness. Unaware of the power of her own thoughts, my mother’s personal mantra became, “I’m a sitting duck. I know I’m going to have diabetes.” And so it was. In her late 60’s, Mom successfully manifested type 2 diabetes. My father also has type 2 diabetes.
Children either mimic the traits of their parents, or they fight with all their might to do the opposite – rejecting those traits we wish to abandon. My family’s history of diabetes is the spark that ignited my choice to become a healer and wellness educator. My parents modeled how to be diabetic. All five of their children have chosen a different path. Ranging in age from 53 to 60, we are diabetes-free! We make wise food choices and engage in various levels of physical activity. My involvement in Change your Lifestyle. Change Your Life. is a response to a Divine assignment to change the health history of my family and community, while empowering others to do the same. This is my story.
You are not here by accident. What life events prepared you to be a Lifestyle Coach? What is your connection to diabetes and why is it important to help others prevent this deadly disease? Share your story with your participants. Telling your story will help others heal. It will strengthen your voice and reaffirm your values. Sharing your story has the potential to encourage others to pursue peace and hope, which opens the heart to transformation and lays a foundation for successful and lasting lifestyle change.
The Empowered Lifestyle Coach is written by Rhonda Kuykendall-Jabari for the training & development of BWWLA Change Your Lifestyle. Change Your Life. Lifestyle Coaches. For information about National Diabetes Prevention Program classes & Lifestyle Coaching opportunities at BWWLA, contact Rhonda at (323) 290-5955.