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Empowering Personalized Wellness Journeys – Exclusive Interview With Heather Rotella

Heather Rotella is a Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach specializing in one-on-one coaching to help clients reach their personal goals and take charge of their health and well-being. Her passion lies in tailoring programs to meet the unique needs of each client as they commit to themselves and their wellness journey.

Through evidence-based practices, such as motivational interviewing and positive psychology, Heather works to ensure that clients achieve short-term success while cultivating long-term habits for a fulfilling, healthy life. She has successfully assisted clients in achieving their desired wellness goals tied to healthy weight management, stress reduction, self-care, and chronic disease management.

The majority of Heather’s career has been working in a health education and promotion role, including program development, curriculum writing, teaching, and one-on-one health and wellness coaching. She is a graduate of A Wellness Revolution, an internationally recognized Coach Training & Education Program accredited by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) and holds a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University.

Heather’s personal wellness journey began during her teenage years when she wanted nothing more than to feel good in her own skin. She joined a local gym and thought working out would do the trick. Unfortunately, she learned the hard way that there is so much more to being healthy than simply working out. She discovered the solution in balance a balanced diet, varied exercise plan, healthy work/life balance, and finally a well-balanced mind and body through mindfulness-based practices like yoga, meditation, and awareness. It’s been a lifelong journey, and she is most fulfilled when she is helping others live their healthiest life. When she’s not working, Heather enjoys time with her family, cooking, staying active, and exploring the great outdoors.

Image photo of Heather Rotella

Heather Rotella, Heather Rotella Health and Wellness Coaching

Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.

Born and raised in New Jersey, I have spent the past 20 years living, working and raising my family in the suburbs of central Pennsylvania. We live on the edge of our mini city, full of culture and lots to do. Nothing like the streets of NY or Hoboken where I spent much of my younger years, but a food and entertainment scene none the less. Philadelphia and Baltimore are also a quick car ride away to take in more sights and sounds. When I’m not adventuring around, I love laying low and living life in my cozy home with my two teenagers and sweet Tabby cat, Vera. When I’m not working, you can guarantee I’m filling my days doing things I love – Cooking. Gardening. Meeting up with friends. Taking classes at the gym. Lifting. Anything to be on the water. Hiking. Biking. And of course, traveling. I'm also good for a nice rainy day Netflix binge.

What inspired you to start Heather Rotella Health and Wellness Coaching, and what motivated you to focus specifically on health and wellness?

I've always worked in a health education and promotion role in some capacity throughout my career. Whether I was teaching classes, presenting to an audience, hosting trainings, or writing health curriculum to be shared around the world, I was always most inspired when working one-on-one with people. Whether I was helping a patient in the physical therapy department understand their injury and how to heal or working with an employee after their biometric wellness screening, I have always felt most accomplished after working with someone to get better. This makes me feel so alive. It’s where I feel I have the most impact and where my strengths lie.

I decided to apply this passion at our local health club when I got hired as a wellness coach. It was here that I got to really dive in and discover the barriers people face when trying to improve themselves and get well. My clients didn’t want to only look better, they really wanted to feel better. I quickly learned that there is so much more to getting healthy than simply diet and exercise alone. News flash – you can be in the best shape of your life.. eating well and exercising regularly.. and still feel like crap. Challenges and roadblocks to feeling fully alive and well are often buried in the stress we carry. The trick was figuring out how to get to the source of that stress and then what to do about it once it was revealed. This was the exact same road I was on for years and for as long as I can remember. I was determined to figure out how to best help my clients and this motivated me to continue focusing specifically on health and wellness coaching.

Could you provide an overview of the services you offer and how they are tailored to meet the unique needs of your clients?

In my coaching program, I start with a free discovery session to determine what the goals of each client are and if we are compatible to work together. Our next session is an hour-long intake and assessment designed to get to know one another on a deeper level so that I can fully understand what their vision of wellness looks like. What exactly is it they want and desire for themselves? What does success look like? Next, we take these wants and desires and turn them into clearly defined goals with end dates and outcomes. Each ongoing session after that includes client-driven steps designed to get them to their goals. Lasting change doesn’t happen overnight, so we work together to choose a timeframe that feels right to meet these goals. I am committed to setting clients up for success, so we start small and build upon their weekly successes to continue working toward that desired goal.

What sets Heather Rotella Health and Wellness Coaching apart from other health and wellness coaching services available in the market?

First and foremost, I believe some of the training I have received is from the best there is. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and A Wellness Revolution’s integrative national board-certified health and wellness coach training program are two that have shaped so much of who I am and what I bring to my clients. I am also a Compassion Resilience and Trauma Informed trainer and am certified in Mental Health First Aid. My lived experience and compassionate nature help me work with almost everyone I meet, provided their goals are in line with what I’m trained to do.

Can you share some success stories or testimonials from clients who have benefited from your coaching programs?

I am proud to say that I have been able to help clients achieve goals related to more than just weight loss (something I believe many think health coaching is all about). In addition to healthy weight management, my clients have successfully worked on building healthy eating habits, reducing their stress, improving their self-care and sleep, incorporating regular physical activity into their busy schedules, improving their sense of value and self-worth, and one that is so very critical - chronic disease management. As one of my clients told me in her post-coaching testimonial, "You are such a great accountability partner, Heather. Always positive and affirming, with the utmost compassion and sensitivity with no judgment. My medical conditions have reversed themselves and my health has improved significantly. I’m so grateful for you stepping up to help me when I needed it."

How do you approach developing personalized health and wellness plans for your clients, and what factors do you consider when tailoring these plans?

I always focus on what matters most to my clients. I do this by gathering information through a comprehensive wellness intake and assessment. We talk about what they want and what goals they have. Depending on what those goals are, we will work together to determine the best way to achieve them. One of the tools I really love working with is the Enneagram. This personality typing helps me better understand my clients and what motivates them. In turn, they often learn so much about themselves, including the way they think, react, and carry themselves in the world. It also helps my clients better understand their interactions with the people in their life. 

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for Heather Rotella Health and Wellness Coaching, and how do you envision continuing to make a positive impact on the lives of your clients?

Without our health, life can be really challenging. We only get one shot at this life, so it's really important to me that our life is one lived well. In my opinion, we can’t live our best life without being in our best health. If I can wake up every day and continue helping others get on a journey to good health and live the best life they can… I will feel more than accomplished. My goal is to help as many people as I can in a given day. The beauty of doing this work – thanks to the internet – is that I can make a positive impact on the lives of my clients anywhere around the world at any time… and that feels really good to me!

If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?

I really wish health coaching was more accessible to people. Currently, most health coaching services are paid for out of pocket. The good news is coaching models are being looked at and studied to determine if they can fall under our health insurance plans. This will allow us to work with more people who really need to get healthy and free up our healthcare dollars for those who need it most.

Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.

I have experienced very low lows and very high highs in my short time on this earth. Once I figured out how to comfortably live in the middle and not take this life for granted, I felt moved to help others do the same. Don’t get me wrong, I still battle my own battles and struggle with the best of them, but for the most part I can say I’m living every day to the fullest and always striving to be better. I saw life tragically come to an end way too young and decided on that day that I was not going to crumble. That I was going to shake off the dust and conquer this life with zest and full of energy. The only way I know how to do that is to take the best care of my mental and physical health that I possibly can.

It’s not a one size fits all solution and it’s taken me a long time to figure out exactly what this looks like for me. I often think about the teenage me who struggled daily to feel comfortable in her own skin and was highly critical of herself. I was constantly in search of ways to feel better about myself. Unfortunately, no matter what I did nothing seemed to do the trick. I never quite felt the way I wanted to. I soon learned that my mental health was equally as important as my physical health, and began my journey to healing. After many years of learning and self-discovery, I finally figured it out. For me, it is all about balance. Balancing my social circle. My work life balance. My food intake. Staying physically active even when life gets hectic. Balancing rest and play (aka lots of quality sleep). It’s not easy, but for every ounce of work I put in, I get 100 times the pay back. Being healthy feels so good. And now, one of the things I'm most passionate about is helping others get there. To find their balance and what makes them feel their best – in both mind and body. 

Image photo of Heather Rotella

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