Vida App: Your Personal Health Coach

This post is sponsored by Vida, but the opinions expressed are all my own. 

vida app

If you’re like me, you’re kind of fascinated–kind of overwhelmed by the sheer number of apps out there. And when it comes to health apps? I lean more toward the overwhelmed side of the spectrum. Every once in a while I’ll hear about something new — some remodeled food diary app or calorie counting app and I’ll think, “Aren’t there 600 of those?” I guess there’s always room for one more. But when I heard about this app called Vida, and how different it was from the others I’d tried or even thought of trying, I knew it was worth a download. If you know how preciously I guard against clutter on my phone screen (all of them — not just the home screen), you will understand this as a somewhat grand gesture.

What Is Vida?

Vida is an app that pairs you one-on-one with a personal health coach. Your own real, live coach [Oprah feelings]. This coach can help you with anything from fitness to weight loss to mindfulness and general health goals. They help you create a fully personalized health plan and give you specific advice based on your goals. And you choose the style of coaching you want: stricter, more motivating, compassionate and mindful…it’s all up to you.

Every day, your coach is available 24/7 on the app to take questions and check-in with you about your progress, goals…whatever you’re working on. From talking to coaches at Vida, I’ve learned that some clients like to interact up to 30 times a day while some prefer far less contact. I tried the app for a while and my coach, Morgan (more on my experience below!), was happy to do a morning check-in to set daily intentions and talk about breakfast, then quickly message at lunch to see how the day’s going, and again later that night to discuss the day’s successes, struggles, things to work on tomorrow…but again, it’s entirely up to the user. In the end, I think establishing a routine where you know your coach is going to check in with you at certain times creates a support structure to the day, and also a builds in accountability.

vida app

Every week, you also do a video consultation.

For those of us who already use other health apps and devices (like a FitBit, JawBone, or MyFitnessPal) Vida will sync with those so you can even share the information with your coach.

Who Are these Coaches? 

Vida coaches are nurses, nutritionists, fitness trainers and exercise physiologists, health educators, diabetes educators, mindfulness practitioners, and more — all experienced with different health conditions and able to help their clients optimize their whole health and wellness in every way.

Is It Expensive?

It’s $49 per month. Now, I would never say what is or isn’t in your budget, but for me — considering that $49 would provide me with my own coach anytime (and really, anywhere I am) — the price is worth it. But for me, my weight, health, and wellness has been my greatest struggle, and I think about how crucial having a support system has been to me throughout my journey, and how, if I didn’t have Daniel, Sabrina, Kate, and Mom to go to with every little anxious moment — from needing someone to help pull me back in from the ledge of a binge…to needing comfort after the binge…to being my cheer squad when I’ve had a non-scale victory (like not choosing to emotionally eat when I was really tempted to) — I don’t know what I’d do.

There are times I recall, during my weight loss journey, when I had so many questions, so many comments…and I did wonder if I was boring or annoying everyone around me with my “diet” chatter. Having a dedicated coach whose job would be to listen to those questions and comments and weird concerns I had when my weight stalled for two weeks in a row [cue hair pulling]…would have been nice. And honestly, it probably would have been enlightening. Maybe they could have helped me to re-focus weight-wise and mentally.

My Experience Using Vida

I used Vida for a little while this summer, and the sign up took 5 to 10 minutes. I went through a series of questions geared toward helping me find the right coach and also supplying that coach with a sense of my health history, preferences, and goals.

signing up on vida

Based on the goals I had and the type of coach I wanted, I was presented with a few options for coaches:

choosing your coach on vida

 

choosing your coach on vida

 

choosing your coach on vida

The next 10 or so steps were answering questions based on my exercise habits (how often? Which kinds do I prefer? Do I exercise alone?), my nutrition, and the stress in my life (one question in this section: how many hours do I sleep per night?).

The first time I talked to my coach, Morgan, she told me, “First of all, Andie, there’s no judgment and no unrealistic goals to set.” She knew that I didn’t want a drill sergeant; I’d already specified that in my sign-up process — I wanted a friend and motivator, which is why I was working with Morgan. “So let’s set small goals that make you feel good,” she said. “And focus on adding healthy habits. Because we always feel better when we add things, and a little bit of lack when we take things away.” Add not subtract. Was this woman made for me, or what?

Knowing that I’m always working on mindfulness when it comes to eating and living, Morgan would send me tools to work on that. One day I woke up to an article from her, “Tips to Master Mindful Eating.” Another morning I got, “The Gift of Rest,” because I’d told her, so briefly I wouldn’t have assumed she’d pick up on it, that I have trouble slowing down. The next day, she sent me an apple cheddar frittata recipe. Again, Morgan was showing up as thoughtful.

My Overall Impression

More than anything — more than the extreme personalization and on-demand coaching — I love that Vida understands that it’s not just the plan or the workout routine that matter for losing weight. It’s the full-lifestyle: direction, accountability, support, and all. For those of us who have tried every diet, we know there’s no “one size fits all” approach. If it were as simple as eating and exercising like Beyonce, maybe we’d all feel like Bey by now. It’s not, though, is it? It’s a whole lot more and we need heaps more help than what can be written on paper. Now having used it, I feel like Vida‘s a move in the right direction for health and health apps. 

For You: Try the Vida app free for a week by clicking here!

Or, download Vida in the App Store or Google Play Store and use code ANDIE (use all caps!) to get a week free!

This post is sponsored by Vida, but the opinions expressed are all my own. 

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