April E-News: Aging, HSA use, & More!

Spring has sprung! Did you catch the eclipse? We only got about 65% coverage here in FL, but I was on a restaurant patio with a friend for a few hours at peak, and we were sharing our glasses and phone camera filters with staff and other patrons who didn’t have any. There was so much glee and camaraderie! For a few hours at least, there was no divisiveness, no political parties, no hatred. There was just shared awe, happiness, curiosity, and I loved every minute. (Eclipse image mine; all others credit to pexels.com).

A Unique Take on Aging

Within the last 6 months or so, I learned about Chip Conley. He started out very young owning a bunch of boutique hotels, and then became an advisor at Airbnb when it was just a fledgling company. He was in his 40s, and the developers were decades younger. He earned the moniker, “The Modern Elder.” He now has developed a Modern Elder Academy, complete with various retreat options, but he’s all about Learning to Love Midlife (anywhere from 35 to 80 and beyond, really!), which is the title of his recently published book.

He said something in a presentation I saw that blew me away. He invited the audience to consider how long they thought they’d live. Most of the women said around 90, which is entirely reasonable these days. So, say you’re not an “adult’ until you’re 18. That means if you’re 54, you’ve been an “adult” for 36 years. But if you expect to live to 90, you STILL HAVE ANOTHER 36 YEARS TO GO! This struck me as particularly profound because I was 54 when he said it. I’m truly only at midlife.

Where are you? What do you plan to do with the rest of your adulthood, given that it extends far beyond what we used to think? Chip is all about combating aging stereotypes, and his emails (often with guest contributors) are often super thought-provoking. (His blog, Wisdom Well, is here:  https://www.meawisdom.com/wisdom-well). I get them by email.

As a health coach, we talk about life span, but even more important is your health span. If you live to be 90, but the last 15 years are spent debilitated, that’s not much fun. However, if you have taken care of yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, socially, intellectually, financially, etc., you stand a chance of really enjoying and embracing your life into those later Elder years.

All of these dimensions of your life are perfectly reasonable to discuss in coaching. Where do you feel you could use a change, or a refresher, but aren’t quite sure how to go about it?

Will my insurance pay for health coaching?

Not yet, but you probably can use HSA/FSA funds to cover the costs! While not explicitly clear, the consensus seems to be that if a doctor deems it medically necessary and the coaching is for treatment or prevention of a chronic disease, it likely will be a covered expense (https://yourcoach.health/health-coaching-might-be-covered-by-your-hsa-or-fsa.html).

And if not, I invite you to consider this:  the “average” health coaching client has sessions 2x a month. If you give up 2 dinners out a month, or one dinner and a handful of Starbucks drinks, or one or two impulse buys, you likely have the cost of health coaching. It’s all in what we value.

Hate exercise?

It’s not a moral failing. Consider this:  We still share most of our genetics with our hunter-gatherer ancestors, whose very survival was contingent upon moving all day long. They foraged, they hunted, they fished, they played, etc.  It’s only been really recently (think millimeters on a football field timeline of our genetics) that our lives have become so convenient that we actually have to LOOK for ways to move! And since it’s new, it doesn’t always come easily or naturally. Forcing yourself to go to the gym when you are tired and stressed to do a workout you hate is not a sustainable path to better health. Conversations with a coach can help you figure out what might be best for you, given your goals and your current life circumstances.

Random Advice:
A grad school professor of mine, Dr. Merv Wagner (may he rest in peace), once said, “Choose a life partner whose mental health is the same as, or better than yours.”

Hmmm. Why do you think he said that? In what other areas of your life besides mental health do you think choosing your company laterally, or “up” makes sense?

Grace Under Pressure: 
I had a chance to see James Clear, who is the author of Atomic Habits (fabulous book which breaks down changing our behaviors and habits into digestible and actionable chunks) do a live presentation (I was part of the online audience). He had a few stumbles! I made a LinkedIn video telling the story about what happened, and how he kept his composure. I want to invite you to think how you might evaluate yourself if you were doing a presentation and had these kinds of challenges. More is here:


Studies are showing that health coaching is effective (here is one article with a good overview: https://www.acefitness.org/resources/pros/expert-articles/7781/what-does-the-future-of-health-coaching-look-like/). If you’ve got an area of your life where you feel stuck, or know you need a change, but aren’t sure how to start, or are concerned you won’t be successful, please get in touch. Consultations are free, all virtual. [email protected].

I’m grateful for shares of this newsletter, and ask simply that you credit me as the author. You can unsubscribe at any time – just reply Unsubscribe.

Until next time, to your good health!

  Bottled water for the toast above.  😉

Janet Frank, Ph.D., A-CFHC, NBC-HWC, PFAC

National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach

ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach

Certified Professional Food Addiction Coach


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