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IIN Blog
How I Knew ...
Published: June 8, 2024

How I Knew IIN Was Right for Me

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Hi, I’m Marissa Vicario, IIN Class of 2009, and founder of Marissa's Well-being and Health, a health coaching practice that empowers women to kiss their unhealthy habits goodbye and transform their relationship with food. I enjoy running, training for triathlons, yoga, cooking, green juice, photography and traveling. You can connect with me on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

My decision to enroll at IIN didn’t happen in an instant – it was one that took me years to make and was a leap I wish I’d had the foresight to make a lot sooner.

For as long as I can remember, I’d felt unfulfilled and immobile in my corporate job. I tried to rationalize that doing public relations and corporate communications for technology start-ups was serving the world with my unique gifts, but I couldn’t make the connection. I knew I had something bigger to share with the world and had always dreamed of owning a business, but never felt clear on what that would look like for me.  

Simultaneously, my long-time love of fitness was blossoming into an interest in healthy eating. Most days, my co-workers were more concerned with the healthy food I’d brought for lunch than my PR strategy for a product launch.

When I discovered health coaching, all the pieces fell into place and I knew I’d found my calling. I loved that at IIN I could learn more about nutrition theory than I already knew and also build a thriving business as a Health Coach. For years, IIN was like my little secret. I would scour the website, call and speak with admissions advisors, and told a select few people about my dreams of becoming a Health Coach.

Only fear kept me from enrolling. How could I afford it? What if I wasn’t successful? How could I be responsible for the health and wellness of someone else? What would my friends and family think?

With two degrees from prestigious universities, it would certainly be easier to stay at my desk job and go with the flow, but inside I was dying to break the mold and do the work I knew with all my heart I was put here to do.

After five years of “thinking it over,” I finally enrolled. I had just turned 30 and at the time, I was dealing with a tremendous heartbreak, growing more disenchanted with my job, and feeling stuck in unhealthy patterns that spanned from food to relationships.

I knew nothing would change unless I did.

Once I enrolled, all my fear dissipated and soon after, things in my life fell into place as I began to feel fulfilled in ways I never imagined possible. I was inspired to start a blog, was working with paying clients, speaking at events, hosting tele-classes, had my own web site and I finally attracted a loving partner into my life.

My intention was to coach on the side while I kept my full-time job, but the more momentum my health coaching practice gained, the more I saw that I could actually sustain it full-time. When the time was right for me, I left my corporate job and never looked back.  

I credit IIN with giving me the tools I needed to change my life and allow me to clear the space to support other women on their own journeys to health and happiness.


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