How our unique brand of health coaching takes wellness to new heights
Or weights, rather — with an astounding average weight loss of 8 pounds (and 82% of participants losing weight) in 2020, during a global pandemic marked by high stress and weight gain.
We’ve all felt the pressure of the global pandemic in one way or another. It has impacted our mental, emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing — and it’ll arguably take years (if not decades) for us to fully heal.
But COVID-19 didn’t create a need for health coaching — it simply highlighted it, as more people turned to professionals for support during these difficult times. Coach’s Corner, a key component of Sonic Boom’s wellness program, felt that demand for extra support, especially as it relates to weight management and emotional support. This case study dives deeper into the benefits of working one-on-one with Sonic Boom’s health coaches to improve lifestyle and overall wellbeing.
Weight loss (and/or weight management) is a common goal for Sonic Boom coaching members, but it isn’t the only one. Many members begin the program simply to achieve a better, well-rounded life. Still, the obstacles to achieve any wellness-related goal are similar for members of all shapes, sizes, goals, and abilities. Common roadblocks, as shared by those who’ve submitted Sonic Success Stories, comprise motivation, time, preexisting issues, and lack of accountability before and after training sessions. Maintaining momentum throughout any wellness journey is difficult, let alone the journeys that are tied to the number on the scale.
According to one study by the National Institutes of Health, mental wellbeing plays a huge role in weight management. Those struggling to adjust their weight often use food as a coping mechanism to deal with intrusive feelings and thoughts related to body image. The challenge, as a result, is that many health professionals aren’t incorporating emotional wellbeing into their weight-management strategies. In other words, they often treat the “symptom,” rather than the “underlying condition” — and that’s where Sonic Boom’s coaching program, which is really more of a personalized lifestyle-management program than a true “health coaching” program, is different.
Weight change is the main focus of this case study, but mental and emotional wellbeing also play a key role in driving positive outcomes. This is a common thread throughout many of the aforementioned Sonic Success Stories, which feature all sorts of members who set a goal, engaged with the Sonic Boom program and/or their coach about how to achieve it, and then put in the work with the coach’s ongoing accountability and support. The coach doesn’t “fix” the member or provide some magic solution or prescription – the coach unlocks the member’s own self-efficacy by actively listening and removing barriers to improvement. To Miriam Marquez, a health coach at Sonic Boom Wellness, success stories also mean “moving from resistance, to change, to actually being open to make changes.”
If we didn’t have barriers, issues, and vices, we’d all already be healthy. Having difficult conversations and getting to the root of the main problem is the first step in properly aiming for and hitting a health target. For example, one member shared that, with her coach’s help, she was able to unearth the reason behind her mindless snacking: stress and anxiety related to a new work schedule. This is one reason why lifestyle coaching is the missing link in many corporate-wellness programs — it inserts a human element that cannot be replicated by an algorithm or a prescribed fitness plan, providing one-on-one support and accountability. According to our coaching team, SBW members say that this one aspect of the program makes the biggest difference. App- or text-based coaching programs just aren’t the same; they can’t dig deeper like a human can.
The holistic model that Sonic Boom coaches follow helps participating members overcome their perceived roadblocks. The ongoing pandemic is a good example; the world was thrust into huge feelings of unknown, uncertainty, confusion, anger, sadness, and, for some, depression. People had to reinvent the way they worked, socialized, ate, consumed media, and exercised. Sonic Boom coaches were a huge part of the answer when it came to navigating this “new normal.”
According to Sonic Boom’s Director of Coaching, Katy O’Farrell, self-care isn’t just for the member. The whole team of coaches supports one another, ensuring they each have what they need to succeed at their jobs, as well as navigate their own feelings between sessions. This can’t be overlooked when it comes to a successful wellness program; the people who are running it need to take care of themselves if they want to succeed at taking care of other people.
The proof is in the gluten-free pudding, so to speak. Those Sonic Success Stories best capture the positive outcomes achieved by many individual members, and we’re even more encouraged by the collective results. After introducing a new in-app weight-loss tracker for coaching members in early 2020, 637 members who used the new tracker have seen an average of 8 pounds lost while participating in our coaching program. Overall, 82% of members saw some sort of weight change. This average surpasses that of popular programs like Noom, which reported around 78% weight lost in a 2016 study. These numbers also smash the national average, according to American Psychological Association, who reported that 61% of U.S. adults experienced weight change (gain or loss) during the pandemic. Of that group, 42% reported gaining more weight than they wanted — the average being 29 pounds!
For some members, weight loss wasn’t even the focus or the goal, but it happened anyway, as a result of the holistic approach that every coach takes with each unique participant. One member shared that fibromyalgia had kept him from finding energy and pain-free ways to exercise, despite multiple attempts to get healthier. Through working with a Sonic Boom coach, he not only dropped 105 pounds, but he also experienced fewer fibro flare-ups.
Another participant started coaching to deal with seasonal depression and lost 37 pounds in the process — a goal she wasn’t initially aiming to achieve. However, after adopting a healthier lifestyle through intentional nutrition, mental health, and weekly coaching calls, she was able to see positive weight change, too.
It’s clear that incorporating this style of health coaching into any corporate-wellness program will bring the experience to the next level for members who crave that one-on-one support. It provides the extra accountability and personal touch that check-the-box programs just can’t reach. When combined with the other engaging, socially charged components of the Sonic Boom platform, personalized lifestyle-management coaching can help any member go above and beyond what they ever thought was possible.
Sonic Boom Team