• Jackie Lede

Why I became a Health Coach

Updated: Mar 16


When I was 18 all of a sudden I gained 20 pounds.


It came on so suddenly I remember being so confused how it all had happened. I felt out of control of my body. As a graduate of Human Kinetics and being a Personal Trainer, I was concerned about how people thought of me and was self-conscious that people looked down on me for not being able to figure out my own weight. At the same time I developed eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic tension headaches, which at the time, I thought were unrelated.


For the next 7 years I yo-yo dieted. Every time I had a chance I was looking online, reading magazines about how the stars lost weight fast. I was fixated on finding a solution that would work. I would set out on a new diet and it would start to work. I would get a sense of relief, some excitement, then after a few weeks I would gain the weight back and I would be at square one again, feeling defeated and hopeless.


At the same time, I turned to the medical system to figure out why I now had IBS, eczema and headaches daily. After blood tests, a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, going to a dermatologist, my doctor told me that there was nothing wrong with me. I left with a prescription for cortisone cream and with the advice that I should start taking Advil daily for my headaches. I also had the choice to go on anti-depressants to see if it would help my IBS. Off I went, with no solutions and no direction to go in.


Finally, my diet journey came to a head, I remember this particular time I was trying Weight Watchers and thinking that this was it, I was going to follow the diet the way it was designed, I was not going to break it and this was going to be the one that worked. Literally minutes later, I had just finished a 60-minute elliptical work out and I went down into the kitchen to get a snack, and I was hangry. I had skipped breakfast and ate a tiny lunch in order to preserve most my calories for night time when I had the most cravings. I flipped open my points book, I looked down and realized I barely had any points left for the day for my snack and dinner, and I started feeling tears welling up in my eyes. I looked over at my low calorie ‘Weight Watchers bread’ grabbed a slice, measured 1 tsp of peanut butter and spread it on. It only covered half the bread. As I forced down my highly processed low-calorie bread that barely tasted anything like real bread, I knew in that moment that I couldn’t do it anymore. I had enough. I decided then and there that I was going to take things into my own hands, there had to be another way.


I decided I was going to become a Nutritionist and chose to go to The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. This program opened my eyes to a whole new world of Medicine – Alternative Medicine- and philosophy that in order to heal ourselves, we need to get to the root of the problem. I decided I was going to see a Naturopath and we examined food sensitivities and candida. I started learning about stress levels, blood sugar imbalance, what types of foods to eat and in what portion sizes that I could eliminate my cravings once and for all. At the same time, I discovered that the diet foods I was eating were causing havoc to my digestive system which caused me to be inflamed and hold onto weight.


Fast forward 6 months later, I had lost the 20 pounds without dieting. I was actually eating more than I had in years. My eczema, irritable bowel and headaches were gone, and I no longer had food cravings. I couldn’t believe that I could get through a day without ‘needing’ a cookie after lunch and dinner just so my cravings would subside. Best part about it all, I had this new zest for life and confidence within myself, I no longer felt I had to settle for anything that didn’t work for me anymore. I ended an 8-year long term unhealthy relationship and opened my first business 1 year later.

As I was consulting with clients for nutrition and fitness, I began to realize that after a few weeks, my clients and I would rarely talk about physical health. They were coming to me with their real-life problems that were getting in the way of them reaching their goals. Their kids are out of control, they hate their job, they can’t stop emotionally eating at night, their job takes up most of their life and they have no time for anything else, their relationship isn’t the right fit but they are too scared to be alone, they are dealing with anxiety. I had a discovery during this time, that in order for people to get the results they want in their physical health, we need to look at the whole picture – every element of their life. This is when I created the “whole life” methodology and became a Certified Life Coach, so that I could bring in the mental and emotional element of health to my practice.


I have now been an entrepreneur for 12 years and run The Whole Life Practice both online and in person. I am the Founder of Release: The Diet-Free Solution, which is a group holistic weight loss program for people that are done with dieting and ready to make real changes in their life. I do speaking engagements, workshops, and am going to be creating some retreats in the next few years.

My mission is that you get re-connected to who you really are at the core of your being and what you really want in life. My job is to remove the blocks that stand in your way and get you to realize that you are way more powerful than you believe. I am a stand that people believe that anything is possible for themselves and that they get to live an intentional life that they choose – one that was created on purpose.

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