By Rochelle Maruch Miller
Mention the name Miriam Kahn to any of her clients and you are sure to elicit unabashed praise. The energetic and personable West Hempstead resident, along with her team of health coaches, have inspired members of her community to collectively lose over 2,000 pounds since she became a professional health coach for Take Shape For Life (TSFL) in October 2011.
It all came about after Miriam experienced a life-altering transformation. She had wanted to lose 20 pounds before her daughter’s wedding in July 2011, but only heard about the TSFL program one month earlier. During the ensuing month, Miriam lost “noticeable weight” on the program, looked “okay,” and felt great. She found the program easy to follow and says that with the support of her health coach and the entire free support system, she decided to lose weight, get healthy, and lower her BMI to the recommended 24, thereby finally reaching a healthier weight and lifestyle.
After four months with the program and reaching a healthy weight, she became a TSFL-certified health coach after friends, family, and coworkers became excited about her transformation and expressed a strong interest in embarking upon the program’s path to healthy weight loss and optimal health.
In this interview with the 5TJT, Miriam shares her personal story.
RMM: Miriam, what are some of the unique aspects of Take Shape For Life?
MK: Take Shape For Life is a complete approach to well-being that focuses on creating health. Reaching a healthy weight is just the beginning. Take Shape For Life provides a wonderful program that works quickly, without hunger, and simply. It is the free health coach that makes the program unique. As guides and mentors, health coaches are typically clients that have had success on the program, or health professionals, and are trained and certified by the company and mentored by successful health coaches. The coaches are cheerleaders, motivators, and a guide for all aspects of the program. They help clients learn to replace their unhealthy habits with healthier ones. Clients with TSFL have many free supports that help them succeed, from the comfort of home.
RMM: What inspired you to begin your weight-loss and good-health regimen?
MK: Initially, I was hoping to lose a bit of weight for my daughter’s wedding, but only found the program four weeks before the event. Having already lost some weight, I felt great at the simcha (although the wedding picture is now my “before” picture). After the wedding, I realized how much better I looked and felt, losing weight, making my health a priority, and learning new habits to replace some of the old ones. I set my goal to reach a healthy weight and work on improving my overall health, well-being, and life.
RMM: How did TSFL help you attain your goal?
MK: My health coach was there for me, teaching me the program, encouraging me, and helping to replace my “triggers” that caused me to gain weight, while making my own health goals a priority. She gave me all the tools I needed to learn new behaviors and embrace the changes I was experiencing.
RMM: What motivated you to become a coach?
MK: After noticing my weight loss and how much better I looked and how much healthier I was, friends, family, and coworkers wanted to join the program. Coaching came naturally. I loved the program. I loved how I felt and I just began to share it. With this program, the weight comes off quicker than most other programs, and without hunger. The program is simple and easy to follow, and the results are amazing. While losing weight, there is a self-study course that teaches new habits to replace the ones that got us into trouble.
RMM: How have you helped others to succeed?
MK: Since becoming a coach, I am helping many clients lose weight and reach significantly improved health. In West Hempstead, where I live, over 2,000 pounds have been lost since I became a coach in October 2011. So many in the community have improved their health, with many others joining each week. In addition, now some of the successful clients and health professionals I know are joining my team as health coaches, and helping many others as well.
RMM: How has TSFL impacted your life?
MK: Losing 40 pounds* enabled me to feel better than I have in many years, and I love helping others do the same. In addition, after becoming a TSFL-certified health coach and helping others improve their health, I am thrilled to be part of the mission to get America healthy, one person at a time.
In the 31 years that I have worked as an RN, I have had a greater impact on people’s health during my 1½ years as a health coach than I have had during my entire nursing career. My focus is shifted from managing illness and teaching patients to manage their illnesses, medications, and limitations, to setting health goals and work on improving health.
*Note: Results vary; typical weight loss is 2 to 5 pounds per week for the first two weeks, then 1 to 2 pounds per week thereafter.
RMM: What does being a professional health coach entail?
MK: It entails helping clients realize their current reality, setting small, attainable goals, and guiding our clients with the program, while helping them learn the new habits to achieve improved overall health. Health coaching includes being a support and a guide for the program, helping set new goals and make meaningful changes for life, and celebrating successes. I encourage clients to envision their healthier life in addition to their weight-loss goals.
During the first few days on the program, I speak to clients daily, and then one to two times a week on their “weigh day” and as needed.
Now, as a full-time health coach, I, thank G‑d, coach many clients, both locally and across the country, and am now helping to train health coaches as well. I work many hours, and they are flexible. My clients know that I am available for them. I set my own hours, based on the needs of my family and the needs of the clients.
RMM: What message would you like to convey to our readers?
MK: Obesity is a growing epidemic in this country and is only getting worse. We live in a society that promotes poor habits, obesity, and its related diseases. Being unhealthy and overweight impacts how we feel about ourselves and our ability to enjoy our lives. It greatly impacts the quality of the time we spend with those that we love and care about more than anything.
We talk about health all the time. We spend loads of money for our medications, many hours in specialists’ waiting rooms, visiting doctors, and visiting friends and relatives in hospitals. We wish each other good health at the start of each New Year, and we worry, cry, and pray when our health is in peril. For most of us, if we don’t do anything to improve our health, it may likely deteriorate.
It is our awesome responsibility to take care of ourselves, our bodies, and the ones we love. We have a huge responsibility, both halachically (“V’nishmartem me’od l’nafshoseichem”) and to our loved ones.
Most of us take better care of our homes and our cars than our bodies. Nearly everyone will have more than one car in a lifetime. Health doesn’t come by chance, but with effort and practice we can transform our lives.
With adequate support and the proper program to teach healthy habits, anyone can improve their health if they desire it. It’s more than looking better and fitting into our old clothes. It’s about long-term health and being able to live a healthier life, planning to be at our grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s simchas, and being able to enjoy them in great health!
For more information, please contact Miriam at 516-353-7337 or MKahnRN@gmail.com. v