Deidre Lue-Kim swapped accounting for health coaching and she’s never looked back
When you think of accountants, you probably think by-the-book and buttoned up. But Deidre Lue-Kim? While the 54-year-old mom was employed full-time as a professional chartered accountant, she realized what her true passion was: coaching people to live healthy lifestyles.
She lives a healthy lifestyle herself, of course. If she had to choose any fitness activity, without questions, for her it’s running. ”It was my first love. It was simple to do and to get out and run since you only need running shoes. You can run anywhere!” she says, adding that she loves to run when she travels. “It gives me a good sense of the energy of the place and I see a lot more while taking it all in.” Her love of the sport goes back to ninth grade. She was on the cross-country team in high school and stepped up with the disciplined training when she began training for marathons in her early 30s. Running races for 16 years? “I always felt great and alive. I noticed I was stronger, had more energy and muscle tone from running,” she says. Along with the physical training for which she worked with a few coaches, she also researched different training and nutrition techniques. She had one major running goal in mind: to run the Boston Marathon. She reached her goal and then some; after completing nine marathons, she finally qualified for the Boston Marathon, and has now completed the prestigious race three times.
As determined and driven as she is, the mom of two recognizes that R&R is an important part of her healthy lifestyle. For her, self-care comes in the form of walking in nature, listening to music and occasionally binge-watching movies. Being at home is a source of comfort, too, whether she’s in the kitchen baking or creating healthy meals, or outside gardening. In fact, Debbie feels most herself when enjoying some downtime. “I feel most myself early in the mornings when it is still quiet, and when I am in a quiet forest hiking or walking, or after a good run.” Dawn, in fact, is her favourite time of day. “I like waking up early as the sun comes up, the air is cooler and it is quiet and slowly everything comes to life.”
Not that time with loved ones is ever overlooked; from her mom and two brothers, to her two kids and her boyfriend, this circle of support, along with a few close friends, business partners and advisors, is who she connects with. Meet any one of them and they’d probably tell you that Debbie is straight up, kind, disciplined yet easy going, resilient and a great mom and good listener and she agrees – guilty as charged!
And those traits come across when Debbie speaks to what she’s most proud of in her life. She’s most proud of her children and how they’re growing into responsible, self-reliant and resourceful young adults. That discipline? It’s paid off and she’s got the great health and fitness accomplishments to show for it. And her resiliency? “I am proud of the challenges I have overcome and feel that I have grown more in different parts of my life – spiritual, emotional and financial,” she says.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, what fills her cup are the endeavors that took discipline and
extreme effort. Her fitness accomplishments, for example. “They took 100 percent of my own personal dedicated, focused energy and forced inner growth to achieve,” says Debbie. Work is especially fulfilling when she’s persevered and found solutions to big challenges – she attributes her mental fortitude to her marathon training and fitness competitions. Her kids, of course, and motherhood have proven to be fulfilling. “I believe I am emotionally and spiritually richer from being a mother and the love for and with my children is never-ending and everlasting.”
As proud of she is of what she’s accomplished in her life so far, when she defines success, she thinks first of her clients. “I define success when, first off, my client reaches their goals and overcomes fears and challenges that were holding them back. I feel successful when my client has an “aha moment” from my coaching them to have a different way of looking at things,” she says. Although she doesn’t overlook that feeling of success that comes from people seeking her out to coach them. “Word of mouth is the best endorsement and symbolizes success to me,” she says.
Now in her 50s, her outlook has changed from when she was younger. “I choose things and activities that interest me and make me happy first. When I was younger, I chose things that were ‘safe,’ responsible, and respectable, or what was expected,” she says. With her current outlook, her dream life is one grounded in her passions. She’d love to be traveling and exploring, while life coaching, around the world. In fact, she’d love to live on a sailboat or in different countries, close to the ocean and beach, where it’s perpetually springtime. “I’d love to live with other cultures to learn how they practice a healthy lifestyle and incorporate it into my own health and coaching practice,” she says.
And while she’s achieved so many of her goals, Deidre is not slowing down whatsoever. Check out her bucket list!
Deirdre Lue-Kim’s Bucket List
♦ Buy a sailboat to live on it.
♦Travel the world by all different modes of transportation – foot, car, boat, plane.
♦Complete the Il Camino De Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain.
♦Run the Amsterdam Marathon at age 60.
♦Be an active grandmother.
♦Buy property in a country down south.
♦Learn to surf. Or surf daily.
♦Eat in a four-star Michelin restaurant.
Photos by @chrisvlinton