After reaching the point of burnout in 2018, Kirstie Baker-Slater knew she needed to make a positive change. She was overworked, stressed, overweight and overwhelmed, while dealing with the emotional exhaustion of her son’s so-far undiagnosed autoimmune condition. It was the realisation of the impact of diet on his behaviour that started her on a path of health and nutritional discovery, and a subsequent overhaul of her family’s wellbeing. Retraining as a Health and Nutrition Coach, she launched WholeHealth, offering inspiring one-on-one programmes that teach and encourage her clients to change habits and mindsets around food and lifestyle one small step at a time, helping them to make simple, better choices for their health and wellbeing.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
In 2018 I was in crisis. I was working 50+ hours a week in a corporate job, caring for our sick son, surviving on coffee to get going, junk to keep me going, and waiting daily for wine o’clock.
I was overweight, overwhelmed, burnt out, LOST.
My son had become seriously ill at age three, and we very nearly lost him. He recovered but was left with an autoimmune condition that presented both physically and behaviourally. This went undiagnosed for four years, leaving us all confused, exhausted, and unsure where to turn.
Finally realising the impact that diet had on his behaviour, we went to work with a Health and Nutrition Coach to overhaul his whole way of eating and to restore his gut health.
In spite of the incredible improvements we saw in him, I still felt disconnected, overwhelmed, and just flat-out spent. I was overweight, unfit, constantly bloated, plagued by IBS, and lacked the energy to even ‘mum’.
This is when I acknowledged that something needed to change, and I began the slow, difficult, but enriching process of overhauling our family’s lifestyle. I gave up my corporate job, we moved closer to the sea, and I began to make my health and wellness a conscious choice.
By retraining as a Health and Nutrition Coach, I learned how to eat well to live well, and how to guide others to make their own lifelong change.
Today I am driven to get the message out there to anybody who feels as overwhelmed as I did, that there IS a way forward, just one small step at a time.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I think I am still in the beginning but what a journey it has been so far!!
I registered WholeHealth as a business at the end of February 2020 and then Lockdown hit – which was certainly an interesting time to start a business as EVERYTHING was shelved for 8 weeks of homeschooling.
Finally, in May, I was able to focus on WholeHealth, where I realised from the get-go that my biggest asset was (and is!) ME. I am so passionate about getting my message out there of ‘progress, not perfection’ that the key driver for me is visibility, so you will find me at markets, libraries, community centres (even my son’s school!) just talking health whenever I can!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
For me personally, it was making the decision in June last year to work directly with a business mentor specifically tailored for Health Coaches.
Whilst it was invaluable to learn the more masculine business pieces (marketing, systems, copywriting etc), for me the game changer was the work that we did on the more feminine energy of business owning, working on my personal development and learning to identify and overcome my own limiting beliefs and ‘blocks’ that may be halting the creative process.
This work around subconscious mindset has been invaluable to me in my coaching, as I believe it is the work that I do around mindset and the emotions of eating that brings me the deepest and most sustainable success with my clients.