I’m Not a Medical Professional, and That’s Ok!

My closest friends and family know that on the journey to becoming a public figure on health and wellness, I struggled quite a bit with the “public” aspect. Although I love writing and speaking about these topics, I want to make something clear:

I am not a medical professional. I do not have a degree in nutrition, psychology or medicine. And I am completely ok with it! Here’s why:

My whole life I struggled to find purpose. I was having existential crises as an eight year old and when my Hogwarts letter never came when I was eleven; I knew it was time to think about why I am here and my purpose on this blue marble.

I grew up to be highly ambitious, but splintered. I spent my youth acting in plays and musicals and my years in college directing large productions on campus.  While in school, I changed my major five times! I studied acting, directing, pre-medicine, nursing and creative writing but I ended up graduating with my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Studies after an academic mentor guided me on path.

When I left college, I did some interning and freelancing in the theatre world of Chicago. At this time, I noticed my perpetual existential crisis started to fade once I started talking to people about my weight and health journey. Nothing felt as satisfying as helping others through using my life experience.

But what was I? I had my degree in theatre! Who am I to help others?

Consulting was the word I found that best described the work I did. For the first time in my life, I knew I found my calling.

I love consulting, inspiring and motivating people to step into their health, balance and power. I think coaching is a talent like acting— you either have it or you don’t. I struggle with self worth issues, but I will make one concession: I am a great coach.

Here’s the thing…

I talk about health, wellness and weight loss— but I speak from a place of life experience. I may not have impressive credentials, but I have twenty five years of experience dealing with eating and weight issues. I’ve succeeded and failed but have learned along the way. Talking about these topics is my favorite thing in the world. I don’t care if I ever get well-known for this work. I love it so much, that it’s worth it.

Yet, I have strong values. I want to help, never harm— so here was the question posed to me:

Can I talk about health without a masters or doctoral degree?

Yes and no.

No to diagnosing people. No to prescribing treatments or medicines. No to offering therapies I am not qualified or trained in. No to falsely advertising myself. Most important, no to being the only person on someone’s care and support team.

Yes to inspiring and encouraging people. Yes to motivating them into healthier lifestyles. Yes to teaching about whole foods and healthy exercise. Yes to talking about body positivity. Yes to giving advice about managing emotions. Yes to creating vibrant lifestyles.

The biggest yes of my coaching career— is helping my clients get the full care they need. I regularly refer clients out to therapists and doctors because while I feel like I am a valuable part to their journey, I am not the end-all. We need many people on our care teams, not just one. I do not pretend to have all the answers— and no reputable coach should.

People seem to forget how effective modern medicine and psychology is. They are essential pieces to the puzzle. Just like having a coach who motivates you and inspires you is a big piece to the puzzle, so is proper medical and mental health care. Everything is important.

In a saturated industry where everyone seems to be peddling some type of diet, program, or product; it’s hard to find the diamonds in the rough. There are so many scam artists out there and so many people who value the dollar over someone’s well being.

What sets me (and my colleagues and mentors) apart from these folks is that nothing that I teach or talk about is out of line with the contemporary agreements and understandings about health. I am a proponent of integrative health— bringing the dialogue of holism into science.

I realized when I started coaching, that I can use my life experience to inspire others to find the well-being that I found. I love sharing what I know and being a support to others on their path. I know my life experience qualifies me to coach and nothing more; but to me that is enough.

I just want to help.

From this vulnerable space, I hope you understand who I am and why I do what I do. I love producing free content that helps people around the world. I love knowing that out of struggle, a business that fills me with purpose and joy has emerged where the sole intention is to help others.

Thank you for reading!

Love,

Zach