My name is Cristina and I’m a recovering exhausted, emotional eater with an easily irritated bowel. For years before I became a nutritionist, I was a corporate banker – doing great work on the outside but struggling on the inside. These are my confessions:
That prawn curry in Singapore…
God, I sure love a curry. And there was a restaurant on Dempsey Road in Singapore which was my go-to for the ultimate prawn curry. I took a colleague there for dinner the night before Day One of a roadshow for a syndicated loan we were mandated to bookrun.
I knew eating that curry the night before I presented to a room full of investors was a bad idea. But I was in beautiful Singapore, high on roadshow excitement & the heat of tropics coupled with the expense account called out – carpe diem!
The next morning was grim. The stabbing abdominal pain was particularly bad this time. This wasn’t my first irritable bowel rodeo. I travelled with my case of trusty drugs & by 9am, I was strutting my designer suit into the meeting room at the Fullerton Hotel, where by 9.15am it was “lights, camera, action”.
That’s my jam.
The spotlight releases a redeeming flood of adrenaline that makes me feel unstoppable. And for years, that adrenaline masked my ongoing health struggles.
How could my health be compromising my performance if by all business metrics, I was doing great?
And sure, I needed to be forcefully body-slammed out of bed in the morning but was my exhaustion really an issue, when I was still able to lead marathon-long conference calls well into the night?
My brain fog couldn’t really be something I needed to sort out if I was still able to price a multi-million dollar loan with precision.
Whatever I was grappling with from a wellness persepctive, was my private issue that didn’t spill over into my career and so it did not need my attention. My physical and mental health were good enough.
Until one day, they weren’t.
I’ll be getting to the straw that broke my back in another confession. But COVID has shown that women are bearing the brunt of adapting the family to the new realities of pandemic life — and this additional load is acting as the proverbial straw for many women.
In the finance sector – where considerable efforts have been made to boost the number of women in leadership positions – 1 in 10 women have seriously considered leaving their jobs, whereas no men have even thought about it. An overall survey of Canadian professional women showed that one in three women have considered leaving their jobs, compared to one in six men.
The threat of burn out is real.
And women are being cornered into bowing out.
Listen closely and you will also hear their confessions of exhaustion & brain fog, of rising mental health issues, stress eating and sleep disturbances.
Leaning in is now coming at too high a cost. And that cost isn’t just personal. At the corporate level, the above-cited surveys are already showing that COVID burnout is coming at a cost to diversity and inclusion.
But the biggest hidden cost that corporates are already absorbing now is IMPACT.
Fewer and fewer women – and I dare say, fewer and fewer people – are jumping out of bed in the morning with the boundless energy, mental clarity and emotional stability it takes to lead with impact and lean in with confidence.
Impact starts at its core with physical and mental resilience.
2020 was the year for surviving.
Are you ready to make 2021 the year for thriving?
Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist, TEDx speaker and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice. Her “#SLP Confessions of a Banker Turned Nutritionist” are based on her own struggles with sleep, emotional eating and irritable bowel and how these undermined her physical and mental performance. She now helps women leaders optimise their performance through the use of evidenced-based mindset, nutritional & gut health protocols that empower the resilience of mind and body. #SLP stands for “Sleep Love Poop”, the title of her TEDx talk and overall mantra for wellness.