Kirstin McKinnon of McKinnon Health Solution is her home-based business in Qualicum Beach. McKinnon combines her knowledge as a nurse practitioner, a certified personal trainer and a certified health coach to customize weight loss and wellness plans. — Lauren Collins photo

Qualicum Beach-based McKinnon Health Solutions offers weight loss, wellness plans

Kirstin McKinnon strives for ‘no return customers’

Kirstin McKinnon has always wanted to combine her love of health promotion and fitness and, after working for years in the health authority, she has finally taken that step.

McKinnon, whose business McKinnon Health Solutions is based in Qualicum Beach, is a nurse practitioner, a certified health coach and a certified personal trainer. McKinnon Health Solutions combines McKinnon’s years of work as a nurse, her time as a personal trainer and her experience as a health coach to help her clients develop healthy habits.

McKinnon said the goal for her business is to help her clients lose weight and keep the weight off.

“I strive for no return customers. Most businesses don’t work that way,” said McKinnon with a laugh. “They want them coming back for more. My goal is long-term weight loss. It’s tough to do, but it’s very doable.”

Her consultations with clients, McKinnon said, are based on unique research-based weight loss and a health promotion program that focuses on using the right strategies for weight loss at the right times — with the right mindset.

McKinnon said she went into nursing two years after graduating high school.

“In the third year, I nearly dropped out because I expected as a nurse I’d be doing a lot more preventative work, health promotion work, than what I was doing in my training,” said McKinnon, adding that she was treating people who had already had a heart attack or who had a limb amputated because of diabetes.

“I thought, ‘I don’t know if I really want to treat this late down the road. My desire is to do the prevention.’ Then I learned there are more nursing opportunities to do that type of work.”

McKinnon said she ended up sticking with nursing, eventually becoming a nurse practitioner. She said nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have met advanced practice education requirements to prescribe medications, order tests, make referrals to specialists and diagnose conditions.

As a nurse practitioner, McKinnon said, she was able to focus on health promotion and prevention, and prevent those health crises.

However, McKinnon said, she still couldn’t quite find the job she was looking for.

“I decided to step out of the health authority, which had given me a great opportunity and a great job for a long time, but I decided to go into the world of working for myself, so I can do what I truly want to do,” she said.

While McKinnon worked as a nurse practitioner and a personal trainer on the side, she started to see a connection between the two professions. But as a nurse she couldn’t give advice as a personal trainer, and as a personal trainer she couldn’t give advice as a nurse.

“The majority of people I see, they come in and they tell me they’re weak and that they have no willpower. We do a lot of work around that to help them see their potential while developing new, healthy habits so those habits turn into a new lifestyle.”

Owning a business in which she’s able to combine her love of health promotion and fitness is one of her purposes in life, McKinnon said.

“If I wasn’t doing this work, I would eventually regret it,” she said. “If it means having to leave a secure, good job to go into a riskier world to live my passion, this is what I choose to do.”

The programs McKinnon offers are for six months with one- to three-hour consultations/coaching sessions per month. McKinnon said her rates are about $100 an hour or roughly the same as going to a massage therapist.

For more information on McKinnon’s business visit www.weightlossqb.ca or contact McKinnon at 250-927-3454 or kirstin@weightlossqb.ca. McKinnon Health Solutions is based out of her home which is located at 481 Linden Place, Qualicum Beach.