VIRGINIA BEACH-One career path has seen a huge boom in the last decade. According to the International Coach Federation, there are now 18,000 certified life coaches. That's double the number of 10 years ago.

Two local coaches believe the economy has played a role as people want to better themselves and feel more in control.

Billy Yancey, a former Mr. Virginia, knew he needed to make some changes.

'I had an aggressive nature about me. I was really really edgy and I attribute a lot of that to types of foods that I ate.'

He met his coach, Gary Smith, though yoga. 'Smitty,' as he's called taught Yancy that his eating was a symptom of his ways.

'The typical North American is very attached to their food and this reflects a lot in the rest of their lives. The way they resist things. You can see resistance patterns, you can see how it affects the rest of their life and their stress levels and our stress levels have a lot to do with how we digest our food.'

Life coach Bert Bennet takes a different approach. In fact, he says he doesn't need to see someone in person to affect change. Certified through the International Coach Federation, Bennet conducts leadership training for clients all over the world from his Va. Beach home.

Bennett charges $250 an hour to start. 'Smitty' charges $295 for four sessions. The first one is free. Yancy says what he's learned is invaluable.

'I'm 44 years old. It's the best I've ever felt; the best I've ever looked,' said Yancey.

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