Christine Van Diest is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, CrossFit Level 1 Coach, personal trainer, and a mother of 4. She continues to strive towards her fitness goals as a CrossFit athlete. Her certifications are listed here:
– CSCS -Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
– Crossfit Level 1 Certified Coach
– USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Certificate
– Practical Nutrition Advisor
If you’d like to get in touch with Christine, she can be reached here:
In today’s installment of “Women Crushin’ It” Wednesdays, I interview Christine Van Diest, a CrossFit coach, athlete, and trainer here in Denver, CO. I have known Christine for some time, and felt that she would be a great fit on this blog for both her innate ability to build rapport and connect with clients, and for her continued commitment to maintaining her own high level of fitness.
In the world of health and fitness, a coach can often times be the catalyst that finally helps you push the needle enough to make lasting change. It’s people like Christine that devote the time and energy into their craft that provide tremendous levels of value for anyone striving towards a big outcome.
Can you please describe to the audience a little bit about yourself, your background, qualifications, etc.
“Hey Y’all, I’m from a great town in Texas called Denton, yet have called Colorado my home for the last 21 years. I have an amazing husband (of 22 years, wow!) and four terrific kids ages 17,15,10, and 8. Three active athletic boys and one energetic girl. Imagine the activities and amount of food we go through in a week. I’m a regular at Costco!
In the Fall of 2011, a training friend asked if I would consider trying CrossFit. I was hooked and immediately completed my Level 1 Crossfit Certification. I loved the community, the intensity, the variety and the results. I was so lucky to land a spot on a Regional Crossfit team that competed in Salt Lake City, Utah. I couldn’t believe that at 43 years old I was competing against 20 somethings. It was a rush!
I get up in the morning because I believe that everyone has a passion and a goal they are working toward. Before becoming a strength and conditioning coach/trainer, I worked for 15 years in the non-profit sector around the world helping young college age women grow as leaders and get started on their own dreams. I love those I work with. It is pretty normal for people to be stuck in life, relationships and fitness, but my belief is that all they need is a push and a bit of encouragement. Even times I find myself encouraging women to fight for more out of their marriage, relationships and life. It starts with helping someone feeling good about themselves from the inside out.
I am also the owner and operator of a company called Body and Home Health, a company focused on nutrition, health and fitness.”
It’s clear that you’ve been able to make fitness and health a priority over the course of many years. What has helped you make exercising and eating well on a regular basis become a lifelong habit?
“Having two kids before I was 30, regular fitness and exercise became a priority as I didn’t want to lose my athletic body. I soon realized, however, that just working out for the adrenaline and endorphin kick was harder on me, my family and my body; I had to be smarter about my fitness.”
There is certainly some value packed right into the first part of her response. How aware are you that your needs will change as you continue striving towards the goal that you have? Have you ever even considered this as a possibility?
So often, we find ourselves so focused on “what’s next” that we forget to think about what might lie ahead. True, today is the most important day of your life in regards to your goals and dreams, but understand that your needs will change as you strive towards greatness. It might take a year, it might take longer; either way, understand that change is okay, especially as you push closer to your end goal.
What did Christine do?
“I started learning about strength and resistance training and better nutrition and supplementation Can you believe that after 26 years of having asthma I threw away my inhaler I used daily because I changed what went into my body and in my home? This was a level of transformation that I never anticipated, but one that I certainly rose up to. Now at 44 years old, I feel great. I love to eat, I love to work out hard and I love life. I want the most out of life, marriage, friendships and work. This is what motivates me. I have dreams and I, too, strive towards them on a daily basis.”
Taking the time to educate yourself on the “content” of the subject you’re trying to master is certainly one of the most important steps in the process. It could be exercise or eating right, but that is certainly not the only place where we draw this conclusion. Imagine what it might feel like if you were to one day realize, after 4 years of struggling to reach your goals, that you just didn’t understand the subject enough to make change? Wouldn’t that save a lot of hard feelings towards your ability to accomplish goals?
What are 1-2 actionable steps you would recommend to a client that has either been “out of the game” for a while or that has never been able to exercise/eat well regularly for extended periods of time?
“I would first recommend that you participate in activities that reinforce your belief in yourself and your abilities. This is the first step in the commitment to change- the mental shift one must make such that you begin believing and seeing what is possible for you.
Do your best to eliminate negative self talk, thoughts of failure, and feelings of disappointment. Further, this is a good opportunity to set affirmations for yourself, or positive words and phrases that point to the truth you need to believe about yourself. Find words that inspire, motivate and empower you to move towards taking action.”
Positive affirmations have not been covered on the blog just yet, but I’m 100% supportive of Christine’s recommendation for using them. Affirmations helped me to overcome serious adversity when I sat down to write a book just over a year ago. Quite honestly, I’m not sure that I would’ve ever finished writing the book had I not provided myself a small pack of verbal jet fuel prior to each writing session.
Cheesy as it might sound, a mantra such as “I am capable of making change”, repeated over time (whether out loud or in your head) might serve as the catalyst that helps you to start believing it. Successful people use affirmations all the time; don’t miss out just because you think they are “weird”.
“My second recommendation would be ensure that you are held accountable. Whether you hire a coach that believes in you or find a friend that will stick by you, having that level of accountability can sometimes make all the difference. Set up regular touch points of honest communication with this individual, make a plan and stick with it.”
We can’t say enough about bringing others in on what you are doing. When you make your goals about more than yourself, you tap into the reservoir of accountability and fulfillment that comes when other humans are present in your life. It’s no coincidence that I have never met someone who has hired a good coach that regretted the investment.
If you were to take one action from reading this post, maybe accountability would be the best thing that you could do. Who could you reach out to TODAY that might help hold you accountable? Who in your life can you bring in and share what you’re striving for?
Should everyone be striving for the same level of fitness, or should fitness take on a different meaning to each individual person?
“Being an identical twin, I struggled for years with being compared to my sister.
“She’s thinner than you.
You’re smarter than her.”
I had to take some time to find me. Everyone has their own goals, whether it be to become stronger, to be leaner, or to lose weight. It isn’t a one size fits all world. My role is helping you become that version of yourself, and with that there are different methods of achieving your goals.”
The game of life is an individual one, even if we are surrounded by thousands of others at any given time. With this understanding, we are liberated from the standards of others or requirements of fulfilling shoes that we simply cannot fill.
You can spend a lifetime thinking about what the path might look like on the way to your outcome, but eventually, you must take action. The important thing isn’t having everything figured out on day one, but to understand that you’ll learn things along the way. It’s far more valuable for you to just take the first step towards becoming what YOU think might make you happy and fulfilled, and if things change, so be it. You’re out in the world “doing”, which is a step above 90% of everyone else.
Action is the common denominator of successful people. Without it, you stay where you are.
The belief on FunctionAllies is that using a coach to reach your goals is akin to “hacking the system”. As a coach, please provide insight on what coaching can do for a client who struggles to find success.
“If we are honest with ourselves, we don’t have all the knowledge, and don’t possess all the tools. The experiences we all have differ and we can take advantage of that by using a coach. Ask any successful businessperson, athlete or even parent, how they achieved their successes. 10 times out of 10 they are going to say, a mentor, a coach, a pastor, a friend helped me reach my goals and become the person I am today.
If this is “hacking the system” then I say, Hack away! We all need a push, a nudge and someone to tell us what is hindering our growth and success. A good coach can be the person that helps you get where you want to be.”
I can only preach the value of a coach so many times before you become desensitized to it. Here’s yet another sample of someone else giving the same advice. Maybe, with enough repetition, it will start to stick. 🙂
Christine, thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to provide value for this audience!
Allies, it’s been real. Until next time!
Yours In Interviews,
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