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Photo by: Karen McEnany-Phillips - Life coach Julie Shepardson and client Lisa Rogers often meet on the walking trails outside of her office.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011 9 years ago

Life coach cheers clients' every step

Life coach cheers on clients
by: Karen McEnany-Phillips

Like many women, Lisa Rogers felt out of balance, defined by her roles as wife, mother and career professional.

In late 2009, Rogers met Life Coach Julie Shepardson, who spoke at her local YMCA. Shepardson’s message resonated and Rogers decided to try her services. A year later Rogers feels transformed.

“Issues with eating brought me here, but I have learned so much more about myself internally as a person. My relationship to food, body image and my family has completely changed. I’ve learned to prioritize my life. I’ve found balance,” said Rogers.

Shepardson was trained by life coach guru Martha Beck and beams with pride at Rogers’ journey. “We spent a lot of time focusing on what Lisa wanted and defining her personal happiness,” she said.

Shepardson sees many people hoping to make changes in weight, health, relationships and careers, especially in the months following the New Year.

“A big off shoot from our economy is people are out of work so they are at a place to focus on themselves, to bring themselves more joy in order to move forward. They may not have the big house and car but they want to live in a more meaningful way. They are interested in connecting to their own happiness and in finding their life’s purpose.”

Shepardson and her clients talk about who they are, what they value and where they come from. They discuss goals and how the client wants their life to look or feel. Then they get down to business, organizing and prioritizing these goals.

Life coaching, which is widely used in the corporate world, gives clients the chance to work with someone who only has their agenda in mind. “We rarely give ourselves that gift. Once my clients start with a coach they can’t believe they waited so long,” said Shepardson.

Shepardson tailors her coaching methods to each client’s needs. They can choose one session or several months’ worth. They may meet at her office, out for coffee or even walk and talk on the tree-lined paths near her office.

Each goal is cut into specific, bite-size morsels. Clients are encouraged to verbalize goals to themselves and to others. Then they make a written list and place it in familiar places like the office, bathroom mirror or car visor. Friends and family are encouraged to be sources of support for weekly goals.

Finally, Shepardson suggests building in little rewards along the way as goals are met.

Setbacks are inevitable but a coach comes in handy when family, work, and life get in the way. Shepardson said understanding your mindset and you act when you’re derailed helps to regain focus.

“We design the goals to set ourselves up for success so we are prepared for some setbacks but don’t give up. If that one, little thing happens, it doesn’t derail the whole process,” she said.

She expects to be busy with new clients in January and February – post holiday rush, when people can focus on themselves again.

Rogers’ results are tangible. She is currently training for her first half marathon at Disney this weekend and now finds time to exercise, train, journal and seek personal solitude on a regular basis. A surprise for Rogers was finding not only a coach but a cheerleader in Shepardson, who understands what a big deal her small and large accomplishments are.

“She understands how far I’ve come,” Rogers said. “I’ve let go of judgment, of myself and of others. For the first time in my life, my goals don’t involve food.”

Watching her clients grow and reinvent themselves is exciting for Shepardson. “I love my work, it is different everyday. I don’t ever want to do anything else.”

Road to Re-invention

Julie Shepardson, MA

Weight Loss & Life Coaching


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