“Self-care is the most important thing we can do if we want to take care of anyone else.”
Meet GirlCrew Dublin member and health coach, Orla Vaughan.
In Ireland, we often hear of people leaving our shores in search of jobs and sunshine abroad. One person who followed this path was GirlCrew Dublin member, Orla Vaughan, but despite the many advantages to this life she was struggling in other areas. “I was living in the Middle East, working in a very stressful, male-dominated environment. I was making good money and living the dream as far as nice things and beautiful 5-star living went. But my health was taking a battling – I was more than 3 stone overweight, my skin was still like a teenager, and my moods were out of control.”
Orla led an active lifestyle, playing squash, attending spinning classes and kettlebells but no matter what she did her “…weight was just ballooning!” Orla tried diets and plans from Weight Watchers to Slimming World, “I even went vegan for a while, but nothing stuck. I was following lots of health gurus on social media and dreamed of having jobs like theirs, the laptop lifestyle was so appealing but so was their health and attitude.” Spurred on by the desire to make a more lasting impact on her lifestyle, Orla began to look elsewhere and signed up for the Health Coaching course through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York. “I studied over 150 dietary theories and learned how to mentor clients to help them feel their best through food and lifestyle changes. Of course I started with myself.” Starting with herself meant using the tools she had learned to turn her life around, and get a little help along the way “…I hired my own coach and what following has been life changing. I lost 3 stone, my skin cleared, my digestion is on track, I have the constitution of a horse as they say in Ireland”. And this was only the beginning and the changes didn’t just stop there “I quit the job and moved back to Dublin 6 months ago to start my own coaching business and now I am my own boss, working for my own dream!” If you are interested in finding out more be sure to look up Nuts about Avocados for their next course. Her spring detox starts April 11th and you just might be in with a chance to win a free place on it too. Keep an eye on her Facebook page for details.
1. What is the best thing about your role?
Helping other women lose weight and get their confidence back. I work mainly with women who know that diets don’t work and have started to think seriously about long-term health rather than love handles but they go hand in hand, concentrate on getting your health under control and you lose the love handles!
2. What did you find most challenging about it?
Convincing clients that they need a long-term lifestyle change rather than a diet. Diets don’t work. They don’t last. I know, I yo-yo dieted for years! It took me a long time to figure it out and it wasn’t until I admitted that I was a complete and utter sugar addict, I realised sugar was the cause of my extra 3 stone, my acne, my PMT, my monthly migraine and my bad moods! Once I got it under control the weight fell off, my periods became regular, the migraines disappeared and my skin cleared (I’d been on Accutane twice in the past 10 years). People are slow to change and when some changes involve giving up things you ‘love’ it is harder. I still don’t deprive myself, I just make much better choices.
3. What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
Quitting the day job to work for my own dream! I left Ireland 4 years ago to work in the Middle East, I did love it but work was hectic, I was a Business Development Manager for a Media Company. It nearly broke me in the end, it was all consuming, something had to give, my health was suffering and everything around me was falling apart. I was also studying Health Coaching at the time and with the support of my own coach I realised what I needed to do – quit, move home and get my life back! It was a huge decision, I left a very well paid job (that security was huge), a relationship, friends and the sun! I am very proud of what I have done the past 6 months; I’ll never look back.
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
Concentrate on your own story first – because for you to become a good coach you will have to sell your own story; your story is what people are interested in. So if you are in a place that is not right for you, you are in a relationship that isn’t right, a job that is making you sick, you have health issues like IBS or skin problems, you have been carrying extra weight for years, work on yourself first. Grow to love yourself. Self-care is the most important thing we can do if we want to take care of anyone else.
5. What would be your motto in life, and in work?
You are what you eat – physically, mentally and emotionally!