Blog Archive

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Being the Best You: An Interview with Wellness Coach, Dale Barr

Dale Barr’s passion for health and wellness began at a very young age, reinforced by her involvement in competitive gymnastics and a mother who used holistic health strategies. Dale was inspired to use her passion to help others master the wellness mindset and reach their wellness goals. Upon earning certifications in health and wellness coaching, wellness and nutrition consulting, personal training, and herbalism, she founded Wellness Rehab, LLC – an online wellness coaching service that helps clients make sustainable lifestyle changes and find more balanced states of well-being.

In your bio it states that you are a “survivor of the multisensory overload and consequent wellness burnout experienced by many business professionals.” Can you explain that in laymen’s terms?
The demands of working in Corporate America today are at an all-time high. The traditional 40-hour work week is a rare find. Forty-five, fifty and even sixty-hour weeks have become the new norm no matter which rung a person occupies on the corporate ladder, and those who fail to put in the hours are frequently penalized for it. To add to the expectations that workers physically be in the office for "X" number of hours per week, technology has enabled workers to also bring work home every night, connecting them 24/7 to their jobs and any associated stress.

And as if all that isn't enough, tools like instant messenger have forced people to multitask throughout the work day, half-listening to the conversation underway in the meeting they are attending, while simultaneously keeping one eye on the emails popping up on the lap top in front of them, and using the other eye to instant message a co-worker ...yes, all at the same time!

Scenarios like these are not uncommon and the life balance concept that was so heavily touted in the early 90s has all but been forgotten as companies try to do more work with fewer resources. Being able to manage the stress inherent in having a corporate job today, while also managing responsibilities on the home front, requires nothing short of super human powers! Trying to be everything and do everything and juggle everything eventually takes its toll on most mere mortals, resulting in physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual distress and illness, and all too often, victims of this overload and burnout don't even realize it's happening to them. Fortunately, I recognized the warning signs sooner rather than later and took steps to realign my career and life goals to achieve greater balance and harmony.

You got involved in gymnastics at a young age. I understand that competition, as relatives of mine run several cheerleader gyms and the demand keeps growing. Do you think it’s healthy to get so competitive at a young age with the potential for injury?
My answer would really depend on the child as well as the parents and overall circumstances. Being a fairly high-strung, type-A child, competitive gymnastics was an excellent outlet for my energy and I have nothing but positive things to say about my personal experience! Gymnastics taught me about focus and discipline. It taught me about winning and losing as well as setting personal goals while simultaneously working with a team to achieve team results. I made friendships that I still have today and memories that will last a lifetime.

That said, I think my experience represented ideal circumstances. I loved the sport and wanted to compete. My parents supported my interests but never pressured me and never set unrealistic expectations for me to become an athletic star. The entire experience was approached as an opportunity for me to learn and grow, and once I no longer wanted to participate, they allowed me the freedom to make that decision.

So back to your question... although I did compete and admittedly have a competitive spirit by nature, my personal experience with gymnastics fostered a spirit of healthy competition. Injury was always a risk, of course, but no more than in any other sport since I was never pushing myself past physical limits. Times have changed, I think, and children face more pressure when it comes to sports than I did back in the early 80s but for me, gymnastics was one of the most valuable activities I did as a child.

How do you define your wellness mindset?
In the simplest of terms, a wellness mindset is a way of thinking and living that makes a person feel grounded, healthy and as if they are performing at their very best! Different people can have different visions of wellness for themselves and can achieve those visions using different tools, but in general, embracing a wellness mindset means nurturing the body, mind and spirit as much as possible. My personal wellness mindset drives me to always seek a healthy balance in life: balancing healthy eating with the occasional indulgences to keep cravings at bay; balancing work and play and making time every day to get in some kind of physical activity; balancing time alone in meditation with social time. Keeping things in balance across the board fosters an overall sense of peace and tranquility for me.

What exactly does a wellness coach do?
Wellness coaching, also referred to as health coaching, is a method of guiding individuals to better understand their health and make sustainable behavioral changes to improve their overall well-being. By challenging the client to listen to his/her inner wisdom, identify personal values, and transform goals into action plans, a wellness coach provides a framework wherein clients are able to apply what they already know, along with new information delivered by the coach, to make changes that "stick." Wellness coaching isn't about the latest fad diet or fitness trend. It's about the client as an individual and helping him/her make behavior modifications that will promote lasting changes to live a healthier lifestyle.

Why do you think people have a problem balancing their lives? What is the most common problem that people come to you to resolve?
Our society today is very fast-paced and people play many more roles than they used to. For example, it used to be less common for mothers of very young children to work but today, that scenario is more common than not, and those working mothers are very often single parents to boot. Whereas women used to play the roles of wives and mothers, they are now wives, mothers and working parents, and those who are single parents may play the role of a father figure, too. Women who remarry potentially add the role of step-mother to their personal resume (as well as the role of "second - or third or fourth - wife," in cases where they marry a man who is also divorced).

Every role we assume in society comes with expectations and responsibilities. Balancing these expectations and responsibilities can be daunting and finding time to take care of ourselves amidst everything else can be challenging, to say the least. In fact, that's probably the number one complaint I hear from my clients: I don't have time to be healthy! The idea of making healthy meals and finding time to work out seem overwhelming to a lot of people but once I begin working with them to break down their goals into bite-sized pieces, we begin to gain traction and suddenly they see that living a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be another chore or burden.

How is your book different from other diet books?
Most diet books focus on the food and/or exercise aspects of weight loss but neglect the importance of the mindset element. My book focuses solely on the mindset element and teaches readers how to get their heads in the game to achieve lasting results!

How long did it take you to write your first book?
Approximately 3 months.

How many rewrites did you do on it?
I spent at least two solid weeks editing and revising. I didn't do any complete rewrites, per se, but I definitely spent more time on certain chapters than others!

What did you learn from writing your first book that helped you with the second one?
My second book is a prequel to the first. It provides guidance about eating and exercise, which my first book doesn't cover. Having an understanding of the publishing process helped me significantly when writing the second book. I didn't have to spend nearly the amount of time formatting as I did with my first book because I knew the format to use from the start.

Was it harder or easier to write your second book?
From a formatting and technical perspective, it was easier to write the second book. The second book is also much shorter than the first and has a very specific intent, so it was easier to write from that perspective as well.

How much does social media play in your promotion of your books?
I'll be honest ... I am still trying to figure the social media angle out! I do think that Twitter can be helpful in building awareness about a book if the "right" person tweets about it.

What do you know now about writing/publishing now that you wished you had known sooner?
I think it's important to build an author platform even before a book is released. I am doing some "catch up" in that area right!

What is the best advice you’ve been given about writing or that you’ve learned that you would like to pass along?
The world of self-publishing has opened doors of opportunity to writers everywhere! If you have a message, don't be afraid to speak your voice. Resources abound to help you along the way and the satisfaction of pushing the "publish" button once your work is written and ready to go live is unlike any feeling you can imagine!

That’s all for our interview today. If you would like to learn more about Dale’s writing or coaching, here’s some options to do that –  Facebook   Website


1 comment:

  1. A wellness coach will ask empowering questions to the client that re-enforce their compelling reasons to make healthy lifestyle decisions rather than telling them the reason why they should make change. A coach will provide tools for motivation, goal setting, self discovery and embrace the fact that no two clients will need to have the same approach in making lifestyle change. As you can see the quality and depth of conversation that a wellness coach and a trainer will be very different. public speaker