In her late 20s, Bella Zanesco’s life was all about work.
As a business executive for Fortune 500 companies like Optus and Pepsi, Bella knew nothing but long hours, incessant travel and dark boardrooms.
“I used to be the head of strategy and transformation for large organisations and my role was to look for the next business to buy, start or partner with. I was really looking for the money: the future money,” she tells Mamamia over the phone from her Sydney home.
She started in the business world quite young and so, she knew little else but the intensity of the workload around her.
“I started quite young and when you start something young you’re full of energy and you’re a bit naive. You jump in head first.
“At 23, I was the head due diligence lead for a three billion dollar deal, so yes, it was pretty intense. They threw me in there. At the time, I was pretty ill, I just didn’t know what it was. I thought I was just doing what every other 29-year-old did and that was work hard and play hard.
“It wasn’t until my mid-30s when everything started crashing down.”
To understand why Bella's life came to such a screeching halt by her mid-30s is to understand the magnitude of her workload.
"I was travelling non stop. For two weeks a month, I'd be in the Philippines and the other two weeks in Sydney. These were big international flights, and Manila isn't the most unpolluted city in the world. I was eating a lot of bad food, living across different time zones, not getting much sleep and working quite late.