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My life radically changed 2 years ago…

As a full time single parent, I was struggling to juggle it all.  I was struggling to keep up with the demands of a full time job whilst juggling full time single parenting.  I had been wanting to leave my job to start my own business since 2008, however, was struggling to rationalise it in my mind from a financial perspective.

How does one bite the bullet and leave the security of a full time job as a Chartered Accountant, which pays well, to start from scratch .. essentially creating something from nothing?

Two things were a certainty:

(1)  I knew I could do it!

I had recreated and transformed my career previously going from being a Medical Scientist to a Chartered Accountant at the age of 27.  So I knew that it was possible to change, I just wasn’t sure how to rationalise the loss of income in the initial startup stages.

(2) My life was falling apart around me:

I had in a period of 8 years experienced 1 divorce, 2 deaths, 10 house moves, and 5  different job roles.  I was in a state of flux.  To compromise things even further, the pressures of keeping up with a full time job as a full time single parent were adding pressure to my family life, impacting on my 8 year old son and I just felt I was out of balance.  I didn’t feel like I was doing anything all that well, although most of my friends were telling me that I did the juggling act remarkably well.  I was also struggling to keep up with my son’s learning needs.  My home life was suffering.  I was struggling to provide healthy meals at home, opting to dine at nice restaurants an average of 2 to 3 nights per week.

So it was in March 2012 that everything changed in my life.

I was rejected for life insurance due to abnormal liver function tests and it was a sign that made me stop and pay more attention to my health and wellbeing.  I subsequently underwent further tests and investigations, saw a hepatologist who diagnosed me with Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD describes a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat within liver cells. It is very common and in many cases is linked to being obese or overweight. Most people with NAFLD do not develop serious liver problems. In some people, the build-up of fat in the liver can lead to serious liver disease. However, all people with NAFLD have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and stroke.

As a Medical Scientist, I was always having my bloods tested and in my 20’s and 30’s had never had any abnormal blood test results.  I had always exercised and thought that I had maintained a reasonably healthy lifestyle up until then.  It was only when I actually stopped and took a microscopic look at my life, that I saw a person that was in a chronic state of stress, trying to juggle a life that was out of balance and in a constant state of “fight-or-flight”.  My sympathetic nervous system was having a ball!!!  I had lost sight of what was really important.  I was not living life and being present in my wondrous nature.  I was not in the moment and consequently, I was not living my truth.

I left my job as a Chartered Accountant in July 2012 not knowing what the future would hold.  It was particularly nerve wrecking because as a full time single parent, I have the responsibility of an amazing young man to look after, and having to provide for him and ensure his life is not compromised weighed heavily on my mind.  However, I realise now, that a lot of what had been stopping me up until I took the plunge was “fear”.

Fear is the monster in my head, that had provided me with all the reasons in the past as to why I had to keep working for an employer to provide my family with financial security.  I had grown up in an Italian immigrant family who worked exceptionally hard, so financial security always came first to the detriment of everything else.  This was my role modelling and this is all I knew.  My outlook is the polar opposite now and I have a very different relationship with money.

So much has happened in the past two years.  I qualified as a Personal Trainer in 2013 and gained the fitness knowledge I needed to get healthy again.  I am currently studying with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Health Coach and loving it!!!  I have achieved many qualification in my lifetime as you can see from my “About” page, but this is by far the best course I have ever done in my life.  It is growing my nutrition knowledge exponentially and the course makes sense!  There is nothing else like it!

I have a better understanding of my son’s learning needs and have invested a significant amount of time undertaking research into his dyslexia to be able to provide him with the tools that he needs to thrive.  He is thriving and exceeding benchmark grades for his age.  He is the only dyslexic that I know that has achieved an increase of 3 years reading age in 12 months and is 1.5 grade levels ahead in reading!!!  I was so passionate about this cause and ensuring that other kids can benefit from my research that I set up a Facebook Page called Helping Children Learn and Thrive (https://www.facebook.com/HelpingChildrenLearnAndThrive) which is detailed in the “Giving Back” page.  My plan is to one day set up a not-for-profit that will have as its focus helping children to learn and thrive.

All this would not have been possible, if one day on a wonderful Monday afternoon, I caught up with my boss and sternly told him I was over the shit and I was ready to start my own business.

I took back the power and I put me first.

I am where I am now, a new and transformed person because I learnt to manage the fear and follow my dreams.

There is a lot of uncertainty about the future.  I have no idea whether I will have a roof over my head in years to come… All I know is that I am NOT compromising on my life.  I have taken back the power and I am never giving it back.