TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Jackie Vanover knows what it's like to live the 80-hour workweek, commute home, put your kids to bed and sneak in more work after that. She once did exactly that.
Now Vanover shows other professionals how they can make it all work.
“I help busy professionals find a life of joy,” she said. “So I help them move from being in a complete state of overwhelm, which is where I was when I was a corporate executive, to a state where they have happiness and happy, fulfilled life where they find themselves and they achieve their dreams.”
Vanover, a Tarrytown resident, has been a certified health coach since 2009. Today she works to help busy professionals reach their health and wellness goals—things that may take a backseat to career achievements.
“We will seek out a mentor for that in two minutes, and yet in the rest of our life, we think 'Oh I think I should be able to figure it myself,' ” she said, calling it a dichotomy. “It's just not true. You need mentors in both places.”
Vanover has always enjoyed nutrition and healthy eating, and would eventually take up running marathons and triathlons. Her healthy habits sometimes took a backseat when she moved to New York or moved up the corporate ladder. Things came to a head when she gave birth to a daughter.
“Along came a baby and a promotion and sort of everything I ever wanted, which was amazing, but the stress level went through the roof. It totally skyrocketed,” she said, adding she started asking herself, “How am I going to handle this and feel like I felt before?”
Vanover found a health coach, who taught her how to find a healthier lifestyle specific for her situation. While the coach helped her, Vanover said she felt at the time there was much more to learn.
“I came out of the program feeling two things: one, that there was more to it than she had given me and, two, more people needed to know about it.”
Part of Vanover's job is getting professionals to talk about what they want out of life. Her job helps them find a way to do it.
“Sometimes just talking about things brings them to life,” she said. “It's because you're thinking about the things that you need and starting to articulate those things... it starts to happen to you.”
Her favorite part of the job is helping people find the “aha!” moments, such as a client who discovered she could be at peace with food without a pill or a crazy diet.
“That's the best part: the self-growth that I see in people,” she said. “They just transform.”
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