Before Long Island City resident Michelle Cady was a health and self-care guru, she worked in the fast-paced world of finance.
The author of “Self-Care in the City” and founder of FitVista knew what it was like to be a high-achieving city dweller and has made it her mission to help people take control of all aspects of their well being.
Cady released her inaugural book earlier this year to teach people how to take care of themselves while living in an urban environment like New York City. She drew from her personal experience of living in the city for work, in addition to the stress-related symptoms, like adrenal fatigue, infertility issues and trouble taking deep breaths, that she suffered from as a result of her environment.
“The noise in New York City and the stress, it’s so different than our natural environment like mountains and hills. That’s what I really enjoyed thinking about, doing the research and reminding people that it’s not easy to live here,” Cady said.
She added that she wanted to make readers aware that there were parts of living in a city that could be impacting their lives without them realizing it.
But her career focus was not always on health and wellness. From 2008 to 2014, she was at the top of her career as the associate vice president of a Manhattan-based investment firm. She had made it a personal goal for herself to live a well-balanced life filled with career success, a healthy body and a thriving social life.
As time went on, she found that she was starting to get over stressed and burned out from trying to achieve this balance. After climbing the ranks at her company, the former finance exec came to the realization that her job was getting harder with each passing year.
“I had recently been promoted and I thought that with each promotion things would get easier,” Cady said. “I had associates working for me, I had someone else crunching the numbers on Excel so I was more client-facing and I was getting to go on business trips all the time. I was about to turn 28 years old and realized that I couldn’t imagine the next 20 years of my life like this.”
In 2014 she left finance to pursue her true passion in nutrition and fitness. During her free time at work, Cady said she would pore over health and fitness books and articles, soaking up all the information that she read. She attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2014 and became a health and wellness coach at her own company, FitVista in 2015.
Since then, she has taken on clients who are living the similar high-stress lifestyle she once lived. Her approach as a coach involves making individualized nutrition, fitness and lifestyle changes that work for each person instead of giving her clients a cookie-cutter approach that may not necessarily work for them in the long run.
Much of what she does as a health and wellness coach at FitVista overlaps with what she writes about in her book and shares that she uses “Self-Care” as a teaching tool for clients when they start working with her. Cady provides 100 tips for how those who live in the city can “optimize their nutrition, fitness and wellness.”
Her tips cover a range of topics including “BYO Veggies” that gives readers insight about bringing their own vegetables to snack on when they go out, “How to Survive the Subway” and “Solo Walk and Thinks” that teach readers about the benefits related to different styles of walking.
She said that though her book is about surviving and thriving in a city, many of her readers are people who do not live in New York or similar big cities.
“While the story is set in New York City, so many of the tools and tips are mental shifts that can work wherever you live. I have people in Texas read it, in Ohio, in Europe,” Cady said.
In addition to her coaching business, Cady also does corporate talks and book clubs. Her first book tour is also coming up this month and kicks off on Sept. 18 at Athleta Upper West Side. For more information on “Self-Care in the City” and FitVista, visit www.fitvista.com or @michellefitvista on Instagram.