When Bekah Coffey met with her client Brittany Bowers one afternoon, she was planning on new workout routines and fitness talk. Right away the health consultant could tell Bowers was having a rough day. Instead of going forward with the planned routine, the two of them jogged over to Jamba Juice, where Coffey bought Bowers a slurpee and allowed her to vent. Coffey stated that mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health.
Known for her kindness, sincerity and hard work, Coffey, a dietetics major at BYU, created her own health consulting business designed to help anyone on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Coffey helps clients plan their diet and workouts according to their individual needs. Her business started with eight clients in September and has grown to 12. Coffey is dedicated to her clients, and her genuine interest in their lives drives her far more than making money.
“Bekah isn’t going to sit back and watch you struggle; she will work just as hard to help you along,” said Bowers, a senior at UVU. ” She just acts like a friend who wants to help another friend feel better, and that is something money can’t buy.”
Coffey inspires her clients by getting to know them on a personal level and learning what their individual needs are. She doesn’t stop at a professional relationship; when Coffey gets to know her clients, she is getting to know her friends.
“I’ve learned that every body is very different, and what works for one person might not work for another. I figure out what their habits are, what their likes and dislikes are, and what they do on a regular basis,” Coffey said. “It’s really fun because it’s just like getting new friends.”
Coffey’s success doesn’t surprise her childhood friend, Lizzy Early, who has known Coffey since their days surviving girls’ camp together. For as long as they have known each other, Coffey was always conscious of her health choices. Early also remembers Coffey as always being someone who is not afraid to go after what she wants.
“I remember one time when she was 14, and I tackled her to the floor trying to change something about her hair, but she wouldn’t have it,” said Early, a blogger and cookbook writer for Deseret Book. “She didn’t care what the trend was or what anyone else said; she was always going to do what she wanted.”
This mentality followed her when Coffey decided not to take jobs that didn’t accomplish her main goal of helping individual needs.
“She’s had countless companies come to her and offer incredible jobs, but she turns them down every time because she doesn’t like the way the company functions,” Early said. “The companies are all about making money, while Bekah’s approach is all about changing lives.”
Coffey’s love of sports and fitness influenced her decision to get a degree in exercise science at BYU–Idaho, but Coffey didn’t feel like she had gotten everything out of the program that she wanted. After talking to a former teacher, Coffey realized that she loved nutrition and made the goal to become a registered dietician.
Her knowledge and dedication were seen by her friends who wanted to improve their own lifestyle, and soon she was helping friends and friends of friends with their diets and workouts.
The last person she worked with before the hobby turned into a business was a man she met just by going to the gym. School, work and other pressures piled up on him until he got to the point of being overweight and pre-diabetic. After three months of working with Coffey, he was in the clear. He lost 84 pounds and gained his confidence back.
“The best part was seeing his confidence come out. By the time we were done, he looked like he owned the gym,” Coffey said. “I have had good experiences with all of my clients, but that was the one that pushed me to give the business a shot.”
Being her own boss gives Coffey the freedom to work with her clients in different ways. She can meet them wherever they need her most, whether that be at the gym, a park or their own apartment.
“I have one new client that I just talk to through email because they live in a different state,” Coffey said. “They just contacted me through Facebook and asked if we could try it. So it really just depends on the client and what their needs are.”
Coffey is currently taking the semester off of school to focus on the business and is still deciding what her next step will be. Although signed up for winter semester classes, Coffey is considering taking off one more semester and working more on the business to see what else she can do with it.
“Every day I write down everything I like about it and everything I don’t like, and then I can change it,” Coffey said. “Hopefully the longer I try it the more well-rounded it will become, which will help me and my clients.”
Despite what she decides, Coffey will always stick to her primary goal to help the most amount of people in the best way she can.
“I have people come to me in tears saying they don’t like their body, or their self-esteem is really low, and it hurts to see that,” Coffey said. “So if I can do anything to change that and to make someone feel more confident in who they are, it is just so rewarding for me. It makes it all worth it.”