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Getting the most out of fitness regimes

Fiona Cosgrove

You know the formula for healthy living: eating right and exercising.

So what’s stopping you?

That’s a question Bermudian Fiona Cosgrove has helped thousands of fitness professionals in Australia get to the bottom of so they can get their clients the best results possible.

Next Saturday she’ll pass out more of her tips at a workshop on her home turf.

“It will be a lovely sentimental event for me to do what I do now, back home,” she said.

“I was actually inspired after seeing an article in The Royal Gazette about a lady who had trained in wellness coaching and thought, maybe the time is right.”

Mrs Cosgrove started her business, Wellness Coaching Australia, as a “one-man show” back in 2006.

In its early stages it was more of a hobby and a way of giving back, but it eventually blossomed into a business — more than 3,000 health and fitness professionals and their clients have benefited.

“I was always interested in fitness,” she said. “But it was only after moving to Australia in 1982 that I was able to satisfy my thirst for knowledge in that area and complete two degrees in exercise science.

“Still I didn’t really come to understand what ‘wellness’ was until years later.

“I had spent over 25 years of my life owning and managing gyms, lecturing at universities and generally being an ‘expert’ in fitness, yet I knew something was missing.

“We were helping a limited number of people in a limited way. I started to understand that change started in the mind rather than the body, so I went off and studied a master’s degree in counselling, then wellness coaching. My new career began then.”

Mrs Cosgrove’s personal philosophy when it comes to wellness has always been finding activities she enjoys.

“I’ve always lived life to the fullest — in both work and play,” the coach said. “I’m certainly not a guru in squeaky clean living, but I do eat well and have always exercised — a lot! It’s kind of unavoidable when you work in the fitness industry.”

She was once on a very different career path, working at a law firm.

“That experience is part of what makes me good at what I do — and able to appreciate suits,” she said.

“But my journey changed when I recognised that my passion was more for helping people be healthier. I just found different ways of doing this and finally realised that wellness coaching is the most effective.

“This is a new and growing field, but I believe it will provide an answer to one of the biggest issues in the community. People simply don’t believe they can change their habits.”

The most rewarding part of the job is seeing the light bulb switch on for clients.

“The wellness coaching approach involves building self-belief first and foremost, helping a client tap into what they want to be different (other than weight loss), how will it change their lives and most importantly why they want that,” she said.

“We then explore barriers to change and the client decides what changes they wish to make. Goals are worded as behaviours, not outcomes and they are small and achievable, but always on purpose and in the right direction.

“The coach simply provides support and accountability. The client does the work.”

Mrs Cosgrove’s wellness coach training workshop takes place at The Bermuda Bridge Club on Pomander Road on August 15. Admission is $230.

To register visit www.wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au/bermuda or e-mail info@wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au.