Izabella Niewiadomska – I Consider Myself a Survivor


After losing her health through stress and ending up temporarily paralysed – and with a loss of speech, Izabella quit her successful career as a journalist and discovered her passion for wellness. She read countless books, and attended training events and seminars with famous scientists, including a Nobel Laureate in medicine. In addition, Izabella studied nutrition, NLP techniques and personal development strategies, and became a member of Andy Harrington’s Professional Speakers Academy.

Her personal great results inspired her with the confidence to help others, with inexhaustible energy and passion. In her work with people she draws back to her personal dramatic experiences and the skills she developed during the last twenty two years as a Wellness Coach & Herbalife member.

You have been living in London for more than twenty years now, what has been your experience of life during this period?

As it is for many migrants, my journey wasn’t easy and straightforward. I came to the UK over twenty four years ago on a provisional visa (that was the procedure back then) which meant that I had to arrive on a specific day without any guarantee to enter the country. The interview with an immigration officer at the border was a final deciding factor. I felt relieved and grateful when I got through.

After that, there I was, all by myself, speaking only basic English, without any support, and – pregnant. That was a challenge in itself! I came for three months to study English but then my husband followed me, leaving behind his career as a veterinary surgeon and we decided to stay.  Our families couldn’t understand why we have chosen to swap a good life in Poland for a hardship in another country.  I guess sometimes good is not enough, and you have to take the risk and cope with the temporary difficulties if you want to follow bigger dreams.

Our early days were full of challenges and humbling experiences. Poland wasn’t part of the EU and our qualifications weren’t recognised here. We had to study and work very hard to pay for our choices and to put food on the table.  We stayed true to our values, maintained our dignity and took pride in every job we did, giving our best and having a positive attitude.

As my English improved I was able to study more and learn new skills, get better jobs, start my business and be a mum at the same time. Our lifestyle improved and things got better. I would have never achieved that and to become who I am if it were not for the struggles I faced that shaped my character. My journey was a mixture of ups and downs, personal challenges, growth and self discovery.

What are the best steps you have made to integrate into British society?

I was always looking for opportunities to meet people outside of the Polish community, to engage in the social and cultural life of London, constantly forcing myself to speak English – the best way to learn the language.

My fascination with British literature, history and culture helped me to understand better the origins and dynamics of my new country and its people.

I wanted to find my place as a migrant woman on British soil and strived to become a more valuable member of the society.  In the quest to expand my knowledge and skills I completed many courses, became a member of different groups and organisations, and got involved in projects serving people in the community. My Herbalife business helped tremendously with that. I encountered amazing people in the process who are now my friends and they represent different cultures of the UK.

I read Shakespeare since I was twelve, dreamed about adventures of Sir Francis Drake, James Cook, Dr. Livingstone, and got inspired by famous British people who influenced and shaped up the course of our history.  My fascination with British literature, history and culture helped me to understand better the origins and dynamics of my new country and its people.

How much do you still feel connected with your homeland – and where do you believe that you more belong?

Like most migrant men and women, I consider myself a survivor. To live and thrive in another country, you need to have the ability to adapt and adjust. You need the spirit and the courage of an adventurer to face obstacles and the unknown. You also need to allow the past to live inside you but without holding you back.

My Polish roots are part of my identity. Poland is where I was born, received an education and where my parents live. Now, London is where my home has been for the last twenty four years. This is where I run my day to day life. My son was born here, and so in my heart I’m both Polish and British.

You have become a successful woman – do you feel fulfilled in life?

If I said yes, that would mean that I have nothing more to look forward to. Fulfillment to me is not only a state but also an ongoing process.

At 51 my metabolic age is 19.  I’m grateful for my life but there is so much more to learn, to achieve and to give!

I have a wonderful son, a fine young man of 23.  I have a successful business I am passionate about.  I live and breathe what I teach. I’m healthy and feel great. I started running last November and recently completed 25 kilometer race. At 51 my metabolic age is 19.  I’m grateful for my life but there is so much more to learn, to achieve and to give!

People fascinate and enrich me. I know that I needed to experience struggles, to develop a deeper level of understanding and compassion that allow me to be more effective in helping people with their lives. That’s where I find my fulfillment. That’s what I love doing – to be of service to people.  I don’t think I will ever want to retire!

What is your secret of looking so young and full of energy?

I believe in living life with passion, and loving what you do, which makes you feel inspired and good about yourself.  Together with a balanced nutrition it is a brilliant formula for a youthful look and boundless energy. However that is not enough.

I don’t think I have all the answers but I know what works for me and why. I would happily share it on a regular basis in Migrant Woman magazine. There are many factors affecting our body, energy and the aging process. The more we know the better and healthier choices we’re likely to make.