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A Health And Wellness Educator Empowers Others To Live A Better Quality Life – Interview With Cindy Cotsiopoulos

Cindy Cotsiopoulos is a Registered Nurse, Certified Functional Health Coach, and author. Cindy struggled with multiple chronic health diagnoses for decades, always asking why but not finding the answers. It wasn't until she was 50, when she first learned about functional medicine, that those “Whys?” started to get answers. As she started to make better choices in her lifestyle, and with the help of a Medical Doctor who practices functional medicine, her energy, stamina, sleep, and pain levels all improved. No one could say to her anymore, “That’s what happens when we get older,” she now knows better, because she feels better than she did in her 30s and 40s.

 

Empowered with this new realization, Cindy strives to educate as many people as possible to help them know that if they have certain chronic health conditions or they feel that they lack the energy to get through the day, functional medicine and healthy lifestyle habits can make a difference in the quality of life that they lead.


Image photo of Cindy Cotsiopoulos

Cindy Cotsiopoulos, Certified Health Coach and Educator

 

Cindy, please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are and what you do in your spare time.

 

On a personal level, I'm 57 and have been married to my supportive husband for 36 years, we have two kids ages 29 and 24, as well as a son-in-law whom we adore. I love organizing, gardening, going on road trips, exploring the great outdoors, and spending time with my Mishka. She's my little Ewok-like dog (a reference for you Star Wars fans).

 

Career-wise, I'm a registered nurse, certified health coach, wellness educator in functional medicine, and an author. I became interested in helping others in my teens so I decided to become a nurse, which I accomplished in 1986. From early on my specialty was to work with special needs children who needed one-on-one skilled nursing services. This was my career for decades and I loved working with those children. In the last 3 years, I have been a health and wellness educator in functional medicine. I even wrote a book, I Just Want to Function! Functional Medicine: The Basics of Feeling Better.

 

Why did you become a lifestyle and wellness educator in functional medicine?


Well the journey, and I call it a journey because my transformation didn’t happen overnight, started when I was tired of battling chronic health issues that left me lacking the energy to keep up with my family and other responsibilities. Exhausted by diagnoses like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; the only solutions the doctors gave me were medications. Eventually, I started learning from well-known functional medicine MDs who successfully helped ones with chronic health conditions by looking for the root causes including having clients make specific dietary and lifestyle changes. The more I learned, the more I realized how it all made sense. I’ve always loved biological science and how the body was designed. Now that I had intellectually accepted that I needed to make changes. The real change came to my convictions when I put into practice what I was learning and I started to feel better. Eventually, I could say that I was living a good quality life for someone in their mid-50s. Much better than I had lived in the previous two decades.

 

Because of my transformation, I was trying to figure out how to help others live their best quality of life. That was when I decided to take a course to become a certified health coach. Since then, my mission has been to reach as many people as possible to educate them about how lifestyle factors can impact their overall wellness.

 

You said that you are an author. How did that come about?

 

As I was taking the health coaching certification course, I began formulating how I wanted to work with clients. I decided to write a workbook to have an organized way to work with clients. As I started writing up the workbook I discovered that I had way more to say and wanted to reach clients in a way that was easy to understand and not overwhelming. So I decided to write a booklet for clients which turned into a Book.

 

Have you always aspired to write a book?

 

Becoming a writer never occurred to me. My academic strengths have always been reading and science. I have always loved learning about the natural world around me, biology in particular.


Now when it comes to writing, I've always felt that I communicate better by writing, but writing a book was never a thought in my mind. It wasn’t until I had fewer distractions in my life, during the pandemic, that writing and publishing a book even crossed my mind as a possibility.

 

So you wrote a book and a workbook, yet you didn’t stop there?

 

Well, I didn’t want to leave people hanging. Ha-ha! In reality, as I had mentioned before, the book is just the first step in a person’s transformation. Part of the title of my book says: it’s the “Basics of Feeling Better.” Developing a program that takes a deep dive into the pillars of lifestyle I mentioned in the book seemed to be the next logical step. My first step in developing a program to help others was to design a DIY course that uses the workbook and helps individuals tailor their journey to their specific needs. They can look at the pillars and decide what lifestyle factors they want to learn more about and apply. My coaching program includes the DIY course A Healthy Lifestyle Made Simple and an 8-week live group option on Zoom for those who would like more support as they navigate the course. These group coaching options are available three times a year.

 

What makes your program unique and sets you apart from others?

 

Well, the first thing is my perspective. I’ve been there. Making changes for me was hard because I’ve had decades of poor lifestyle habits that I was raised with, as well as having a personality of putting others first. I had to find a way to make change work for me so that I could take better care of myself and my family. This was especially hard because my family didn’t want to make those lifestyle changes with me. I’ve also become a pro at getting back on track when major life challenges arise. During my transformation, my family moved into a new home, my son was in a serious car accident, and my daughter got married, all within a year and a half and then the pandemic happened less than a year later. These were big life stressors but I learned to keep moving forward with my goals of improving my lifestyle habits. Progress is a journey and there will always be bumps or detours.

 

The other thing that makes my program unique is that my course is designed to meet people where they are on their journey. Perhaps they are not ready for a total rehaul of their dietary choices, but they are ready to learn stress management and improve the amount of movement or exercise they get. Or maybe they are struggling with getting a good night's sleep. My DIY course, A Healthy Lifestyle Made Simple, is a self-paced course that allows individuals to navigate their journey and, when they are ready for the next step, they can come back and work on whatever they are ready for next. My 8-Week Live Group is designed to support women who struggle with finding the necessary energy and wellness to keep up with their many responsibilities. In this program, we go through every module and learn, on a deeper level, about each lifestyle pillar and how various lifestyle factors can make a difference. However, just like the DIY course, these women can still choose their own personal journey, even if they are at a place where they want to learn without making any changes. The benefit of the live group is that they have direct, weekly access to me where they can get answers to their questions related to the module of the week and a group where they can find encouragement and support from each other.


Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

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