“From the outside, it seemed like I had it all: a loving husband, great kids, a beautiful home, time to paint and to enjoy it all. But something wasn’t right. I wasn’t happy. I was restless and uneasy. But I couldn’t figure out what was wrong or how to fix it.
I spent months thinking, writing, meditating. I knew there was an answer and I just had to find it. After some time had passed, I realized that I had simply lost myself. You see, I’m the kind of person who goes all in, no matter what I do. When I was just out of college, I went all in on building my business, and I didn’t rest until I was at the top of my game. After 7 years, I’d achieved success in one of the toughest businesses in the one of the toughest cities… and then I met my husband, got married, and moved from NYC to DC to start a family with the same fervor with which I’d built my business. I was passionate about raising my kids. Teaching them everything: how to appreciate art, how to cook, how to paint, how to be kind, how to read, how to be a good friend. I arranged for them to go to schools that would nurture them, even though they were far from where we lived and I had to drive them to and from school every day. I loved them and was happy to do it. But after more than 15 years, it had started to take its toll. I was cranky, tired and short tempered. I was drained. I hadn’t been taking care of myself, and even painting was beginning to feel unsatisfying.
I knew something had to give. I knew I needed to change. I could no longer be everything for everyone. I had to stop. Part of my transformation was my decision to go back to school and study nutrition. This was my first step in redefining myself. At 53, I was starting something completely new and suddenly felt like everything was possible. The sun was brighter, food tasted better, and I was happy again. What I was learning lit me up. It had been so hard to see that this is what I needed to do until I did it. And then it seemed such an obvious choice.
It’s been several years since I graduated from IIN. I continue to develop myself, became certified by the Raw Food Institute, and am continuing my studies with plant-based nutrition courses. My passion for talking about the benefits of a healthy life with others has become the basis for my growing health-coaching business. I’ve been able to help hundreds of people become healthy again, ease the symptoms of chronic disease, lose weight, and reduce inflammation in their bodies.
What I could never have known is that, this year, my mother would be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Because of the in-depth training that I have, the fabulous contacts that I’ve made, and the passion that drives my focus to help others, I’m in the unique position of being able to help facilitate her healing. We’re closer now than ever before, and I feel so grateful.”
Joanne Schneider, Certified Health Coach and Raw Food Educator at Nourished Body & Mind