From client to coach… my journey

A long-time favourite house music track of mine is Ultra Nate, Free. Within this track are a set of words that, at this stage in my life have so much meaning…

Cause you’re free to do what you want to do. You’ve got to live your life, do what you want to do

As I’m sat writing my first ever blog I now feel truly empowered to live my life in a way that resonates those words…but it wasn’t always this way, far from it. My road into fitness was in two distinct stages: I was initially a client being helped with my nutrition, and now I’ve flipped it all into reverse and have become a coach helping others. This is my journey…

Back in 2012 life looked pretty decent for me health-wise, or so I thought. I was an avid kick boxer and gym goer in relatively decent shape (no six pack though). This was a stark contrast of my younger years though as I played the role of “Chunk” in the game of life, and also got bullied along the way…anyway.

I thought I had things nailed when it came to eating healthily, had my oats in the morning with whey, my chicken and veg at 10am, salmon and pasta at lunch, then a little bit of whatever before the gym and then a shake afterwards…EVERY SINGLE DAY! “This is all I need, I’m doing alright” I thought. Thinking back to then I’ll openly admit that I suffered from an element of body dysmorphia and orthorexic eating.

Then in December of that year a little bit of intrigue got the better of me, and I’m so thankful that it did. At this time I stumbled across the name Ben Coomber and his company Body Type Nutrition on Facebook. I did a bit of reading up on him and decided to sign up for a one off plan. The price was reasonable, so I though “why not, nothing to lose, this will get me the six pack I’m after”.

The following day I received the e-mail welcoming me on board and was then asked to complete what looked to be a war and peace questionnaire. Had I have known the power of this questionnaire back then as I do know, I probably would have given more structured answers and also provided war and peace responses. Questionnaire completed and sent back with all the other required details…let’s get started.

December 2012 marked the turning point in my life, one which I will never forget.

Body Type Nutrition Academy Folder

The BTN Academy folder

7 days later I received my pack! Excited was an understatement of how I was feeling. My initial thoughts were “this is the key to getting me ripped up!”. I was hoping for some shiny silver bullet that would transform everything for me, the quick fix.

I was wrong.

The pack was detailed and extensive, covering lots of topics around nutrition and lifestyle. But there was one thing missing - where was the silver bullet? It didn’t exist! Looking back from now to then I had absolutely no idea about health and lifestyle management, I thought I did though.

To get my money’s worth I followed things to the T, all whilst getting results along the way…”awesome, it works. This dude must know something”. Sure I was getting the results, but didn’t really know why I was getting them. Admittedly this was purely down to my own ignorance and not really being willing to learn.

Results then started to stagnate and I wanted to keep on going. A quick e-mail to Ben asking if I could switch to being a client rather than a one off was sent, and I was on my merry way again.

This is when that little bit of intrigue in me really gained momentum…

I sometimes trawl through some of the e-mails I sent and I cannot believe some of the questions I asked! Goes to show that I got caught up in the vast BS that’s available online.

A few months down the line my personal circumstances changed, and I could no longer afford the coaching unfortunately. I say unfortunately, but I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

So I’m on my own again, this time with a little bit of knowledge, but now a huge hunger to delve deeper into all of this.

I was already listening to Ben’s podcast avidly every week. As soon as a new guest came on the show, I followed them on Facebook and started to read their work. The world of health and fitness started to encapsulate me, I loved it.

The next few years were spent absorbing all this information that was out there. Things were great, up until a point where I started to feel a bit muddied in my mind again and information was being conflicted. I was following too many people with differing attitudes and views.

Something had to give, back to the drawing board.

Fast forward to January 2016.

I’d heard Ben talk about his Practical Academy many times. The idea of taking part always appealed to me as I finally wanted to cut through the BS. However I was always full of excuses as to why I couldn’t do it, mainly;

  • Can’t afford it
  • Too busy at work

But I couldn’t use those excuses anymore. A new job that paid more took care of the money issue, and my workload was far less than what it was in my previous position. I was in a situation where I again thought “why not, nothing to lose”.

Clicking sign up was probably the best decision I have ever made in my entire life!

With age comes maturity, and I was no longer the guy who was ignorant and unwilling to learn. Looking back, those 4 years had probably done me the world of good, although I didn’t think that at the time.

I was ready and hungry to learn.

Wanting to get the best out of it, I decided to enrol in the Foundation Academy so that I could be fully up to speed when the real shiz starts. The 10 week course was fantastic. I loved it, and was rearing to go onto the Practical.

April 2016 marked the start of not only the Practical intake…but also…

THE HARDEST YEAR OF MY LIFE

Yes the Academy was a lot more in depth than what I’d done in the past, but my work circumstances changed when I was approached by an old colleague to go and work for him. I agreed and took him up on his offer.

My notice period was a hefty 3 months. Whilst admittedly I was cruising at work during this period of time, I was still fully focussed on the course. Attending the live calls every Monday, reading the weekly course notes every lunch time and then taking the test on a Sunday. I was a robot running like clockwork. My life allowed it.

During this time I was discussing the course with mates and they suggested I become a coach myself once I finished it. Sounded good to me. We banded some names around and settled on one;

Impact Nutritional Coaching

July comes and my life is about to be flipped upside down! The new company was something I had never really experienced before, dynamic, innovative, very fast paced and results driven. It was exciting to be part of it, and still is.

Whilst this was all going on, I still had to study and couldn’t let this slip. Monday’s live calls were still attended, however the lunchtime reading of my notes were no longer a luxury. I started to resemble a circus juggler, but not with much experience! Life was a balancing act, I had plates to spin at work, study and try to fit in some form of personal life too. Things were tough, very tough! But I was laser focussed on nailing this course, I wanted it so badly.

As the weeks rolled on, my passion for this industry grew and grew. Never before would I have thought that all the subjects contained within the syllabus have such an impact on our health and wellbeing.

Not only did my passion grow, so did my stress levels too! But I persisted.

The final module before the exam was in January, and I was starting to become a nervous wreck. The fear of failure was overwhelming.

“I can’t do this”, “I’m going to fail”, “I haven’t studied enough”

All these thoughts pre-occupied my mind day in, day out. It was relentless.

February 2017…exam time!

“This is it Chris, no backing out now” was my initial thought as I opened up the laptop and made a start. I took my time, read everything carefully, and really got stuck in. A month goes by of me dipping in and out, and I finally press submit. This was it, no turning back.

I waited patiently for my results…for an entire month!

The e-mail arrives to tell me to log in to get my result…I daren’t. The past 5 years and the future of my coaching business rely on this grade.

95%

I couldn’t believe it. Not once in my life have I achieved a mark like that. Shocked was an understatement.

This was the key to unlocking the next chapter in my life, and also helping change other people’s lives too.

BTN provided a truly amazing learning platform. One I’ll never forget, and I’m eternally thankful for.

June 2016 marked the start of Impact Nutritional Coaching, with the strapline “Performance, Tailored to You”.

Chris Harrison using laptop

Chris and a colleague

I approached a friend of mine if he’d like to be involved as two heads are better than one in some cases.

BTN provided a truly amazing learning platform

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The Facebook and Instagram pages were created and content was starting to be released. Our ethos is always to provide information that is relevant to our audience and that is easy to follow. To empower both our followers and clients with knowledge, we always give a “what” and a “why”. As a coach my job is to impart what I know onto them, so that they can make the right choices and instil good, strong lifelong habits that they can use for the rest of their lives.

Having worked in a business based environment for 14 years, I’m always keen on scoping out new opportunities, and in this case helping as many people as possible.

At the start of October we were invited to take part in a corporate wellness week and be on hand to offer advice to their staff.

The foot’s constantly on the gas now and forever thinking of ways to take things further.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible if I’d never sent that initial e-mail to Ben back in December 2012.

So with this in mind Ben, I want to say thank you for creating BTN!

Going back the song lyrics;

“Cause you’re free to do what you want to do. You’ve got to live your life, do what you want to do”

These words are 100% true. Just believe in yourself and anything is possible.

For more information on the practical academy starting 13th of November click here.