Posted on May 20 2015
This week's Wednesday Woman is the amazing Vanessa Vickery who changed her career and life to become a qualified nutritionist and the creator behind Becomingness. Read her inspiring story here:
Newnham: Tell us about your background - what were you like as a kid?
Vickery: I'm Vanessa Vickery (or Ness as I am more commonly known). I am a qualified holistic nutritionist, mother of two energetic toddlers, and the creator of Becomingness – a health and wellness website which aims to help women achieve their health and wellness goals, and the ideal starting point for women who want to take charge of their health, but are not sure where to begin.
As a child, I was mostly quite active and into skiing, squash and basketball. I come from an Italian/Maltese background so I ate mostly traditional Mediterranean foods, plenty of meat, fish and vegetable dishes and lots of pasta. I always wanted to be a doctor when I was young, but I got turned off because I did not like blood. My favourite subject in high school was health but I ended up studying Human Resources (HR) at university and then working in HR, recruitment and training type roles.
Newnham: How did you get into health and wellness?
Vickery: During my twenties, I had become quite unhealthy. I was enjoying the party scene a bit too much and was also making poor choices when it came to food. I remember for a few years, I was always eating take out and having wine quite often. I ended putting on quite a lot of weight, particularly after snapping my Achilles tendon in 2006. It really affected me emotionally. I was unhappy with myself, my career and I felt that I wasn’t making a difference in this world.
It was during my first pregnancy, that I decided that I wanted to become a good role model for my children. So, I enrolled into the Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine at Australasian College of Natural Therapies via distance mode. From there on, everything seemed to change. I started to eat better and had already cut out drinking as I was pregnant. Then after my second child was born, I started to exercise regularly and really focused on my nutrition, which was clean eating based. I really got into my cooking and I had started adapting recipes, so that they were gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. I decided in late 2013 that I wanted to start a website, so that I could share my recipes with others and so Becomingness was born.
Newnham:Who/what inspires you?
Vickery: I am inspired by quite a number of people in the health and wellness space. I am big fans of Rachel MacDonald, Tara Bliss, Alice Nicholls, Pete Evans, Amy Crawford, Danielle La Porte, Melissa Ambrosini, Gabby Bernstein and Marie Forleo. They have all played a part in inspiring me to do what I do now through the messages that they share with their tribes.
Newnham: You're very active online - how do these networks help you and your business? And how do you manage your business and social media, whilst also being a busy mummy?
Vickery: I have found that growing my email list, focussing on two social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram), networking with other bloggers, and featuring my recipes on other sites, have been the key for growing Becomingness.
Last year, was a very full on year and I decided that 2015 was going to the year of balance, so I made the conscious decision to give myself more “ME” time and I try to not do as much blogging/recipe development at night. I have found that using a calendar, like Google Calendar, has really helped with that scheduling and allowing time for myself.
Newnham: What advice would you give to other women who are working mums but want/need to take time to look after themselves, eat healthy etc?
Vickery: Take small steps. If you try to change too much, you may be overwhelmed. Write up a to do list of everything that you need to do, however pick only three tasks from your to do list that you want to focus on each day. The tasks could each be small, like spending five minutes before you kids wake up to meditate, or spending 30 minutes putting together a meal plan for the week. I use google calendar to schedule everything and I have learned to just do a little bit each day and make sure I have enough time to spend with my children, my husband and also some ‘me ‘ time.
Newnham: If you could offer one piece of advice to a younger Vanessa, what would it be?
Vickery: To follow your dreams no matter what others say to you to discourage you. Always believe in yourself.