It was a great pleasure for us to meet Stella Loichot, Health Coach in Freshy’s, a café in West Seattle. Stella has launched Allons-y Coaching in February 2017 and brings in her coaching a French approach to Health and Weight Loss.
- How long have you been living in Seattle? Could you please tell us about your professional career?
I live in Seattle since 2013. I was previously living in New Jersey (since 2000). I have worked in many different fields, from organizing tours for a symphony orchestra. To coaching in a non-profit organization that was helping displaced women get back on the job market. The latest experience I had before becoming a wellness coach was to work as a Digital Content Manager for almost 9 years at Allrecipes.com, the cooking website. This might all seem a bit random, but actually, there was always one underlying theme, which was to help people make the best out of what they have and reach fulfillment and well-being despite all the obstacles and barriers and limitations, whether external or internal. Whatever position I was hired to fulfill, I would always end up creating extra projects, or going way outside my job description, just to make sure that I could do what I truly loved doing, which was to help people thrive, whatever their situation. That’s when I acknowledged that underlying theme that I started getting involved with coaching, because that’s exactly what coaching is about. It’s different from therapy where you focus on the past, try to explain the past, and solve problems from the past. Coaching is really about identifying what you have, whether good or bad, and using that to be able to reach your goals. Whether it’s career goals, or relationship goals, or, what I personally work on with my clients, which are health and weight loss goals.
- What services do you propose in “Allons-y Coaching”?
– Individual coaching in person or over the phone to help people either lose weight, or improve their cholesterol, blood pressure, etc., or regain their energy level, or establish a healthy lifestyle that is not going to interfere with their daily life.
– Small group coaching, for now it’s only in person. (about 8 to 15 people). Group coaching is offered in companies, gyms, all kinds of organizations who want to offer coaching as a benefit or an extra service to their employees or clients.
– Classes and workshops about nutrition, about sleep, and also baking classes. I can come to a company, to a gym or yoga studio, but also come to someone’s home and deliver a bread making class for instance.
- What gave you the idea of developing “Allons-y Coaching”? Did you follow any course to develop your coaching company?
I had been working in the nutrition and food industry for almost a decade, and I was witnessing the development of this idea in our society that health or wellness is something specific that you have to work on at certain times of your day, or during certain periods of the year rather than just another aspect of your life that you always take care of. You know, we sit on your butt all day and go to the gym for an hour at night. Or we go through a cleansing regimen 2 or 3 times per year, and the rest of the time, eat processed food and not really pay attention to what we are putting into our body. Or we live an extremely stressful life and then go to a meditation retreat for a week. I have nothing against the gym, the detox program, or the meditation retreat, but they should not be our only ways of taking care of ourselves. Health has somehow become separate from our daily life, like another item on the to-do-list, rather than being a lens through which we look at life, a way to organize our life. And for a long time, I was witnessing this shift in thinking, and with it, I was also seeing guilt developing in people who could not make it to the gym or could not stick to a smoothie regimen. And I know the guilt because I have been struggling with my own weight for about 10 year when I was younger, struggling with binge eating, yoyo dieting, and there was a lot of guilt and shame associated with that.
For a long time, I was just trying to protect my family, and my loved ones and making sure that they know that you can be healthy, and lean, and fit, without having to suffer for it. But then when my teenage girls went to Middle School and High School, I realized that the wellness message they were exposed to at school, in social media, and pretty much everywhere, was very confusing for them and for their friends and that was a wake-up call for me. That’s what made me go from casual coaching to full time coaching .
I went through specific training before launching Allons-y Coaching:
– Certified in Sports Nutrition and Performance from Washington State University.
– Certified Health Coach with American Council on Exercise (ACE). Specialized in Weight Management. I am currently training to treat people with diabetes
– Certified as a Life Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF). Because health is a more than just nutrition and exercise. It’s a lifestyle that involves stress management, sleep, mindset, self-confidence, etc. So being trained as a life coach really provides me with more tools to be able to help my clients.
- Who are your clients? Who do you target?
I work with people who have already understood that diets don’t work long term, or that they don’t work anymore for them. Like they used to go on a diet every January for a few weeks and that would be enough to maintain their weight and their energy level all year long. And now, they go on the same diet, and the pounds don’t come off and they are exhausted, and irritable! Over 40, men and women. I like to work with busy people who are very driven, are committed to their health but find it very hard to fit it into their lives, because there is work, family, tons of things to do, and they just don’t know how to make it work. There are 2 types of people that my services and approach serve particularly well: expats and small business owners. Again, it might seem a bit random, but those people have some things in common: they are driven and gutsy and they know that you cannot just hope that things will happen. They are also very busy and don’t always have a large support system because they are a little bit isolated. They have to rely on themselves a lot. And I really enjoy giving my support to those people.
- Do you bring a French touch to your coaching services?
Totally! My entire approach is rooted in the French way of living. Giving priority to pleasure, to social interactions around food, helping people slow down, giving priority to sleep… And this is sometimes hard to maintain this French way of life when moving to the US because we, expats, get caught in the rush of things, but with a little help and focus, we can get back to that and get this balance back.
- Are there any great places in Seattle you would like to share with us?
– Pizza Credo, on California in West Seattle. Pizza are amazing, spaghetti carbonara are the best, Jacques is super nice and the “citrons givrés” are delicious.
– The Bouldering Project
– Water Taxi from Seattle boardwalk to WS. Amazing view of the skyline and then you can rent bikes, kayaks, etc.
You can contact Stella through her website Allons-y Coaching or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interviewed by Ariane