Meet Michele, Omada Prevent Health Coach

Michele Geraldi is a Prevent Health Coach. She hopes her experience of losing (and keeping off!) 80 lbs herself will encourage others.
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Michele Geraldi, Prevent Health Coach

Interview Transcript

Michele Geraldi is a Prevent Health Coach. She’s a certified personal trainer with coursework in nutrition, Turbo Kickboxing instructor, triathlete, swimmer, half-marathoner and outdoor lover. She enjoys playing baseball, basketball, soccer and tennis. She also helps coach children’s teams in her spare time.

  • Bill – Today we have Michelle Giraldi, one of the first health coaches that Omada hired and looking at your resume, certified personal trainer, kids’ nutrition specialist, personal fitness and chef, lifestyle coach and lifestyle weight management.
  • Kaptain Jack – What is your home phone number so I can call you whenever I have an issue, I need you in my life cuz you are so smart you could answer anything
  • Bill – Tell us a little bit more about your background.
  • Michelle – Sure. What I wanted to say is the reason I wanted to join Omada is because I was an overweight child. Throughout my years I was able to piece together and make a healthy lifestyle which made me want to help other people.
  • Michelle – I came across Omada which was basically teaching people what I learned on my own so I was really eager to get in that area and help as many people as possible.
  • Bill – That is great! Tell us a little bit about the role of a health coach in the participant experience.
  • Michelle –So it’s a very special role, they are given the tools which include the scale and the app website and the coach is there as someone who knows about weight loss and healthy behaviors, but also who is going to be a friend to them for anything they are going through, the struggles along the way, personal matters and obstacles to overcome and the coach is there to get them through each one of those in reaching their goals.
  • Bill – That’s great. We have a driver participant that will be on with us later. You know our drivers are on the road many hours.  The convenience stores are the easiest options. How do you think they can find healthy foods and stay active with a schedule that doesn’t allow much time for a gym or outdoor activity?
  • Michelle – Well it can definitely seems daunting at first but there are really great ways to do all of that, that takes just a little bit of time and experimentation.
  • Michelle – For the convenience store stop, that if you took a little bit of time to look and not grab the first thing you’re used to, there are other options. Also taking the time to find where there are grocery stores along the route they are just as convenient as the convenience store.
  • Michelle – Keep in mind that exercise can be any activity like a short walk, lifting cargo within the truck, just any type of physical activity can add up over the day.
  • Bill – That’s interesting. We were working with a company on obesity out of California and Kathy, the lady I was working with, was going down Highway 101 and she saw a driver walking around his truck.  She turned around and went back and asked him what he was doing.
  • Bill – The driver said he saw a health tip from the Healthy Trucking Association that if I walk around my truck so many times it burns this amount of calories and it gave me exercise.
  • Bill – That’s one of the things we try to do and that is give them little tips to make their lifestyle changes. Tell us about some of the memorable people you have coached who were truck drivers.
  • Michelle – Sure and someone that comes to mind was he had been driving very long hours and stop for the night and write to me during that time. He was very descriptive of what he saw along the way, the landscaping, animals, some crazy drivers (laughing), it was like we had that pen pal relationship and that I was the one he wanted to write to and I would imagine him sitting there being able to do all of this knowing he would wake up the next day on a positive note.
  • Bill – So you became their friend in addition to being their coach?
  • Michelle – That was my approach yes, because I feel like the happier they are the healthier they feel so that’s my goal: that whole weight loss experience.
  • Kaptain Jack – On average how many times a week do you speak to these people?
  • Michelle – Ok so it really depends on how much time they have and how much time they want to invest. So, they do know they can reach out to their coach at any time. There are some that are private and don’t want to reach out that way, but for those who do we are always reachable, and they can connect that way.
  • Bill – They work such irregular hours, nights, weekends so is the coach pretty much accessible?
  • Michelle –Right. So it’s a lot like emailing a coach, they can email and we do get back to them very quickly. There is also the group dynamics to reach although their coach is there, they are all reaching out at different hours. So, there is a constant availability for them to reach out to.
  • Bill – That’s great. Well, Rod, a driver, who will be on later, said he was so comfortable with the coaching aspect of it. I interface with her but I need to do more. What do you think sets the Omada product apart?
  • Michelle – To me it is just the collection of what they get. So many people find value in the tools — some more on the text side, a lot of them love the friendship with the coach, some like the communication with the other participants within the group. Some learn a lot from the resources and all the lessons they are getting which some of it is new information to them. They seem to find this really simple and on a condensed platform, being able to get through and fast, and they benefit from all of that.
  • Bill – That’s right and what we were so impressed by was the outcome studies and how they can look at that but when you see the weight loss and how they have improved their health it is amazing to me.
  • Kaptain Jack – What is your favorite story about progress? One that really sticks out to you?
  • Michelle – One participant I had was home bound and so overweight he never left the house. His sister would bring him food. Through a lot of hard work and a long period of time to get the weight off, he finally was able to get out of the house.
  • Michelle – I remember feeling so excited for him when I saw he was going to parks and enjoying life it made me teary eyed.
  • Bill – Wow that’s great.
  • Kaptain Jack – Well you are a dedicated lady. I can tell that and anybody that would have you for a coach would be very fortunate. I appreciate what you do.
  • Michelle – Thank you so much.
  • Bill – Well Michelle thank you we look forward to talking to you in the future.
  • Michelle – Thank you.

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