Summary:

Today is a special episode as the tables are turned and listeners get to know Jen Arnold, founder of Redesigning Wellness. Bob Merberg not only convinces Jen that it’s important for listeners to know her story; but interviews Jen himself. Jen shares her beginnings working as a wellness professional in a corporate setting before pivoting to the entrepreneurial world of wellness. She openly shares about how her shortcomings and lack of knowledge at the outset of her experience and how it motivated her to learn more, teach more, help more, and continue the discussion of wellness through her company, Redesigning Wellness. Tune into find out the weaknesses of an outcome-based based program when it comes to wellness and the importance of looking at one’s health holistically.

Time Stamped Show Notes

03:33 – Bob Merberg welcomes Jen Arnold

04:28 – Jen takes us through her wellness career since her college years

06:52 – In her last job, Jen was the manager for a team of health and wellness professionals in the sales department of a health plan

07:18 – Jen was tasked to make her team wellness experts

08:03 – Jen felt her team was trying to please everyone and it was not effective. She thought it would be better to provide a wellness product or service that people can pay for

08:43 – Part of the team was changed into a revenue generating team

09:02 – Jen loved the team aspect and the ability to create something was a real accomplishment

10:14 – The wellness products they created were not the main priority of the company. Jen realized she was working for an insurance company that has a main focus for their business which is NOT wellness.

12:17 – Jen got exposed to the Corporate Athlete course. The course was about energy management and a multi-dimensional model. Jen convinced her former boss to let her take the course and become trained as a facilitator

13:41 – Jen interviewed Rebecca Johnson about Mindful Eating. This interview changed Jen’s way of thinking.

14:15 – People eat even when they are not hungry and there is a ‘why’ behind their eating. Jen got trained at Mindful Eating

14:33 – Jen teaches resilience and mindful eating to employees and does individual workshops for mindful eating

15:40 – Jen has seen participants in the Mindful Eating workshops experience an ‘ah-ha moment

16:05 – Bob asks Jen if she has an experience where a participant encounters difficult feelings

17:14 – People don’t always want to dig into the ‘why’ of their food choices, but it has a tendency to surface

19:40 – A lot of people think they can be a nutritionist or a wellness professional even though they do not have the credentials

20:35 – Jen has been trained to say Wellness Program. Per Rosie Ward, a program implies a start and an end date, but wellness does NOT start or stop. Jen has not yet found the perfect word as an alternate to “program”

21:31 – Bob is also thinking of a new word to use

22:45 – Jen’s journey from leaving a corporate job to becoming an entrepreneur. She has always thought of herself as a corporate person but looking back, Jen realized she always had entrepreneurial tendencies

24:04 – Jen did not like the limits that was imposed on her as an employee. She talked to her husband and they planned out how she would transition to becoming an entrepreneur

27:11 – Prior to quitting her job, Jen already started a blog about wellness. She kept seeing incorrect information regarding wellness and wanted to correct it. Jen was brainstorming names and checked the domain name for Redesigning Wellness and it was available

29:23 – Jen elaborates on the outcome-based wellness programs and her regrets. Employees were dissatisfied because they felt forced to do things just to get a premium contribution. Jen checked the data and decided to try an outcomes-based program

31:04 – Only one person did not agree with Jen’s idea, but she did not listen. She was glad she did not let the premium rely solely on the outcomes. Jen realized you can’t always rely on BMI.

32:44 – Jen has also encountered mindful eating and realized wellness is a complex subject. She learned that data is only ONE factor of a person’s wellness.

33:25 – Jen experiences deep guilt doing the outcomes-based program. Bob says wellness professionals do the best they can

35:40 – Jen can firmly say that an outcomes-based approach is NOT effective

36:39 – Bob says Jen is the high priestess of wellness podcasting and asks her how she got started

39:02 – Jen says doing a podcast is hard work, but she enjoys interviewing guests and learning from them

40:16 – Jen shares the process in making a podcast: selecting guests, recording, editing, writing shownotes, promoting

41:30 – If you are a wellness professional, connect with Jen on LinkedIn

41:43 – Jen asks listeners to review and rate the podcast on iTunes

43:01 – Send Jen an email at jen@redesigningwellness.com

43:06 – Jen does consulting work, Mindful Eating workshops and resilience training

43:51 – Jen thinks the conversations are shifting in the industry and wellness professionals are looking beyond just the physical understanding of wellness and health

44:26 – Jen thinks the larger organizations, health plans and insurance brokers should also shift their conversation to make a bigger impact on the industry

3 Key Points:

  1. To be a good wellness professional, you have to respond and evaluate the holistic needs of your clients—not just the data.
  2. Mindful Eating is more than just a diet or weight loss program; it is about knowing the root causes of your relationship with food.
  3. The shift in the wellness industry might take a long time, but the conversation has started to change.