All Work, No Play
Annie Gaudreault used to be a work-obsessed executive on the brink of total burnout. At the time, life was about work and nothing else: Her life partner doubled as her business partner, she had no social life, and she never made time for herself.
Overworked and overwhelmed, Annie turned to a business coach, who implored her to do something outside of work. The coach’s words permitted Annie to do something for herself for the first time in a long time. Annie took up running—Though she says running chose her, not the other way around.
Getting into running wasn’t easy. The act of running is an embodied experience; When we do it, it’s hard to distract from our internal monologue. Before she started running, Annie couldn’t see the true breadth and depth of her inner critic. With nothing to focus on but her thoughts, Annie realized how unhappy she was, as well as how mean she was to herself.
Running helped Annie chip away at her inner critic. Soon, running with her thoughts became a game—How far could she go to prove her inner saboteur wrong? Eventually, she started to run marathons.
Running brought her tremendous joy, but she was still miserable personally and professionally.
She found herself at a crossroads. She could either continue to let her inner critic be the pilot of her life, or she could get back in the driver’s seat. Though the idea of change scared her, running helped her push through the fear. Whenever she found herself overwhelmed by fear, she reminded herself that she ran literal marathons. She said to herself, “I can do this because I did that.”
Leaving it All Behind
Annie left her business, as well as her business partner/significant other. Her journey as a runner led her to realize that older women are underserved in the holistic wellness community. She knows firsthand that aging brings forth challenges for women that make them feel vulnerable. She decided to become a licensed nutritionist so she can help older women age with compassion.
Annie says her past career helped her hone her masculine energy—The more ambitious side of her that loved to acquire wealth and acclaim. Now, sensitivity and compassion guide her work. This is especially true as she writes her upcoming how-to book. She likes to write like she’s journaling and work from there.
Learning to Live With Yourself
Annie’s still in the process of learning self-compassion. She does her best not to judge her inner dialogue, but old habits die hard. She treats this head-on by choosing activities where she’s alone with her thoughts, like yoga (We think she’d like Kristin Neff’s work on self-compassion). She also likes to treat herself by cooking good food.
Connect with Annie Annie Gaudreault is a licensed holistic nutritionist, wellness coach, and guide. Her business, VEEV Health & Wellness, offers women in their 40s and 50s tools and strategies to age with vitality and strength. Follow VEEV on Instagram and Facebook, and be sure to check out their Linktree, too!