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If you’re among the 80% of us who fail to keep a New Year’s resolutions, you know that healthy change can be hard. Whether it’s striving to eat right, exercise more, or follow doctors’ orders, sticking to your goals requires a daily commitment. And there are times when it just seems tough. While the road to change is never without obstacles, it gets a whole lot easier with accountability and support.
Every day, the nonprofit organization It’s Time Texas helps Texans working to change their lifestyles for the better. Some are busy working moms struggling to make time for their health. Others are coping with injuries, loss of income, and other circumstances that prevent them from living the life they want to lead. Many have been diagnosed with a health condition like high blood pressure or pre-diabetes. Nearly all have tried many times to change.
Funded in part by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), the It’s Time Texas health coaching hotline is free to any Texan looking to make a healthy change. Our health coaches are experienced in helping people manage a wide range of health conditions, from hypertension, to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), to Type 2 diabetes. Calls are taken in English and in Spanish. There’s never any charge, and the coaches work with you for as long as needed.
So, what is health coaching? Well, let’s start with what it’s not. Health coaching is not some stranger telling you what to do or how to do it. Rather, it’s about identifying the things you want to accomplish and tapping into your motivation to change. An important aspect is recognizing that success means different things to different people. For one person, it might mean lowering A1C levels (a key indicator of pre-diabetes/diabetes). For another, it might mean letting go of long-held habits or working through emotional barriers that get in the way of sticking to our goals. Many of the people It’s Time Texas works with already know what to do. What they need is someone to hold them accountable to do it. Health coaches listen without judgment and help you figure out a plan you can stick to.
How it Works When someone first calls the health coaching hotline, the coach starts by getting to know them – their unique circumstances, strengths and motivations, obstacles and goals. Then, the coach and the caller work together to identify small, manageable lifestyle changes they can build on week by week.
This includes listening, asking questions, and problem-solving – providing resources and recommendations based on physicians’ instructions and the client’s readiness to move forward. The coaches build on what’s working and offer plenty of phone and text-based support along the way. With time, clients develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to achieve their goals and make health a lasting part of their routine.
“When you’re dealing with something difficult, you shouldn’t have to go it alone,” It’s Time Texas health coach Jackie said. “We provide the support that people need, and we are always cheering them on.”
Lee is one of the many Texans who have found the support they needed to change their life through health coaching. Watch his story below. Meet Lee
Born and raised in McAllen, Texas, Lee grew up fishing and water skiing along the coast. As a teenager, he worked as a lifeguard, swimming miles a day just for fun. A science teacher, scuba diver, book worm and amateur chef, Lee is something of a Renaissance man. But as he’s gotten older, he’s found it harder to keep up with all the activities he enjoys.
Diagnosed with scoliosis in early childhood, Lee has battled back pain all his life. Coupled with gradual weight gain and an injury a few years back, the constant pain was zapping his motivation to stay active. Lee had a pacemaker put in ten years ago, a fact that’s never far from his mind. He’s lost several close friends to heart problems. So, when his doctor felt the need to up his blood pressure medication after a recent checkup, he knew something needed to change. More than anything, Lee wanted to be around to enjoy his retirement with his family and new grandbaby.
Lee learned about the Living Healthier health coaching hotline through his school’s participation in the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge, a statewide competition built around tracking healthy activities. He had been making an effort to eat healthier and decided it was time to make the call. Through the hotline, Lee was connected to a health coach named Jackie, who worked with him to build a step-by-step plan for getting his pain under control and getting healthy for his family.
Today, Lee is 20 pounds lighter and feeling better than he has in years. “I went from feeling sluggish and in pain, to full of energy,” says Lee. His thoughts about health coaching? “Anyone who can do it, should.”
Ready When You Are To make an appointment, meet the health coaches, or simply learn more, visit livinghealthier.itstimetexas.org. Then give them a call at 1-844-262-6224 to see how health coaching can work for you.
About It’s Time Texas It’s Time Texas is a 501c3 nonprofit empowering Texans to lead healthier lives, build healthier communities, and contribute to a healthier state. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to prioritize health and live their best life. Learn more at itstimetexas.org.
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