Throughout the year, we’ll be highlighting notable women in our community. We want to spotlight those who are shaping where we live and giving back to our neighborhood. Do you know someone you think we should feature? Let us know in the comments!

 

Most of us tend to focus on health and wellness in January. It’s the start of a new year, and the month where we’re most likely to stick to our resolutions. This month’s notable woman, Merritt Tracy, helps her clients focus on their health and wellness all year long. Through her health coaching business and corporate workshops, Tracy takes a holistic approach to wellness, offering guidance on nutrition, mindset, and balancing hormones. We chatted with Tracy on how she got started, what she sees most, and easy steps you can take now for a healthier 2020:

 

Tell us about your business, MerrittTracy.com.

I like to say that I coach women who are having a mid-life crisis of self and hormones. I’m an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a Trained Hormone Coach. I primarily work with women who are busy and struggling to find balance—both in their lives and in their hormones. I empower them to take control of their health and live their best lives. 

I also provide corporate wellness programs. I work with companies to provide on-site and online health coaching, workshops, and group programs to elevate the wellbeing of their teams. My corporate wellness programs are a fun way for teams to work together on their wellbeing so they can feel great and increase their energy. 

 

What is integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine brings complementary approaches to health together with modern medicine. Modern medicine is often very specialized, but integrative medicine takes a step back and looks at the bigger picture of your overall health. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I work with my clients to understand the big picture of their health and dig deeper into how their diet, lifestyle, and mindset is affecting their overall wellbeing. Your doctor may give you a diagnosis, and then refer you to me to improve your nutrition, exercise, sleep, mood, mindset, and generally take a more holistic approach in addition to his or her recommendations.

 

What led you to become a health coach?

I was in the corporate world for many years and had a great career, but it was also a pretty stressful job. I had two young kids at home, and I decided it was time to do something different with more flexibility. Stepping away from my corporate career gave me the opportunity to think about what I really wanted to focus on next in my life. I was passionate about health and wellness, and also about cancer prevention since cancer runs in my family. I discovered health coaching and realized that I could help myself and others navigate the often-confusing world of nutrition and having a healthy mindset. I wanted that for myself and I knew other women struggled to understand what they needed to be happy and healthy too, so I was excited to go back to school and get certified. I started my own practice as a health coach nearly eight years ago and it has been a rewarding way to make a difference in peoples’ lives.    

 

What primary services do you offer?

I offer individual health coaching programs for corporate wellness, women’s health and hormones, and cancer prevention. 

I also offer corporate wellness workshops and group programs, where I come on-site to companies and lead interactive programs that range from one-hour lunch-and-learns to six-week group programs. My Free Me from Sugar 6-Week Detox has been the most popular of these group programs.  

 

What is involved with hormone coaching? 

My Women’s Health and Hormone Coaching programs are diet and lifestyle based, so I’m helping women find natural approaches to hormone balance. My clients complete a beginning and ending hormone symptom survey. This gives us an idea of where their hormones may be out of balance and allows us to talk about what their priorities are. Through diet and lifestyle shifts, we work together to help them find balance and relief from any number of hormone symptoms. 

 

What are the primary concerns your clients have that lead them to you?

Most of the women I work with are struggling with fatigue, weight loss, and brain fog. They may have concerns with perimenopause, menopause, thyroid or adrenal health. We often start in one of these key areas, then continue on to other areas of wellbeing. 

Coaching is really about looking at your whole life and understanding where you’re out of balance. In addition to working with my clients on diet and lifestyle, I’m looking at things like how they’re managing stress, how they’re feeling about their relationships, and how fulfilled they are with their career. All of these factors contribute to their health and play a key role in their wellbeing, so the coaching relationship is important, and I take time to get to know my clients and understand what they need on a deeper level than the initial frustration that brought them to me.   

 

What is an easy first step that someone can take to become healthier in the new year?

The number one thing I would say is to better manage stress. I realize that isn’t necessarily an easy step, but it’s so important. Stress impacts nearly every part of your body and takes a significant toll on your hormones. When your body releases cortisol, your stress response hormone, it actually suppresses other functions in the body. When stress isn’t managed appropriately, it can cause more serious health issues. It’s something I work with my clients on quite a bit, because building our resilience and learning how to handle stress better can have amazing results for our health and our life. 

For more information on Merritt Tracy’s services for either yourself or your company, please reach out at merritttracy.com, call 704-293-4739, or email her directly at merritt.tracy@me.com.