THE BLOG
05/30/2013 02:12 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2013

Confessions of My Imperfections as a Health Coach

I write a lot of articles about healthy living. I write articles about my journey to better health and my experience as a holistic health counselor. I became a health counselor to first be able to help myself, and then be able to extend my experience to others and be of service to my clients. And I love every second of it these days, as I truly am living the life I wanted for myself long ago, and somehow have managed to create it in the past five years. But the truth is, sometimes I feel like I have to "hold it all together" so that I seem "perfect." I want my clients to see the best sides of me. I want my Facebook and Twitter friends to only see the "good" moments where I am smiling and making super-healthy choices and juice fasting and exercising at 6 a.m. on a Sunday just because I am that committed to my optimum health journey. I want to be the best example I can be. I want to be living proof that better health and a better quality of life can indeed come from making better choices about food, exercise, spirituality, and self-love. Sometimes, I feel like I want to be this example so much that I forget to allow myself to be human. And I think of so many moments when my clients aren't around or when I am signed out of Facebook or not Tweeting a recipe or healthy fact -- moments where I am going about my day with myself, with no one watching or paying attention. And it's these vulnerable moments, where I am not being an example for anyone, where my humanity is the most present. Sometimes this part of slips into my client sessions and I fear that the "imperfections" of my being may interfere with the outer appearance that I have worked so hard (and other times so effortlessly) to put in place. And so I decided it was time to write a blog post all about this vulnerable side of myself. The part that more people are likely to relate to. The part that is just as human as anyone else. And if being an example is what I am all about, then here's a stop toward even more vulnerability.

Despite whatever happy face I put on for everyone, the truth is much more realistic. It's like that section in that magazine -- "Stars: They're Just Like Us!" And it has photos of celebrities doing everyday things like going to the grocery store or pumping gas. And when I am having a moment where I am devouring my third gluten/dairy-free cookie of the day while standing in front of my refrigerator at 11 p.m. in my pajamas, dropping crumbs on the floor that I have zero intention of cleaning up, I think how funny it would be if someone took my photo and posted it on Facebook. There I would be caught in the act of "being just like everyone else." Because the truth is, despite being healthy 90 percent of the time, there is 10 percent of the time where I just let myself be and say I will worry about it tomorrow. I am just like everyone else. I might smile and post recipes for raw kale salad but half the time, my bills are late because I don't open my mail the second I get it. My car is filthy because for some reason it seems to take me three weeks to drive to the closest carwash, which is literally half a mile down the street from my house. I spend way more money that I should on prepared organic chicken, already-diced onions and celery, and sliced fruit. It sometimes takes me an entire week to do a load of laundry, fold it, and put it away. My voicemail and text messages pile and stack up so much that there are times where i don't respond to even my closest friend or my mom for over five days. I see emails and don't respond right away. My gas light in my car stays on for three days sometimes because much like the carwash, it just seems like too much work to get to the gas station, which is also down the street. I feed my dog out of a can and sometimes only take him for a few long walks a week because at the end of the day, I am exhausted. I spend way more time on YouTube than I am interested in sharing, and three out of seven days a week I indulge in some form of gluten- and dairy-free chocolate treat. With sugar. Actual, refined sugar. Is it the healthiest treat? Is it kale chips or steamed broccoli or sunflower seed porridge? Nope. It's straight-up gluten-free cookies. With chocolate chips. And you know what? I enjoy every bite.

I love being an example for my clients -- and for people in general. But what I am realizing is that people want to work with someone who they feel can relate to them. I realize it can't possibly always be easy to relate to the spinach eating, pressed juice drinking, raw food guru, colonic-going, strict diet following person. People, especially people who are in the beginning stages of changing their health habits, need someone they feel they can go to -- and someone who understands them. Am I perfect? Not in any way. Do I like to be healthy? Yes. But am I also human and make choices that aren't always wise or the healthiest thing? Absolutely. And maybe, for me, it's time to start sharing more of myself. I used to really believe that if I "had it all together" that it would somehow make me better than everyone else, or that I would have "won" some race. But the only person I am racing against is myself. No one is asking me to be perfect, it's coming from somewhere inside myself. And as I let myself be -- and as I let myself unravel a little here and there -- I come even deeper into this beautiful part of myself that is having a human experience, just like everyone else.

For more by Robin Hoffman, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

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