AMBASSADOR OF THE MONTH: SABINE VAN ZEIJL
Meet Sabine van Zeijl. She’s 29 years old, half Spanish, half Dutch and lives in Rotterdam. As an entrepreneur in PR and media, Sabine always knows where the latest buzz is. She will get married to Thom in October. We couldn’t wait to hear more about this spicy lady with a running addiction.
Tell us more about your passion for PR and Media
I have always found the media industry a little magical. When I was younger I loved the idea of being in the spotlights. Now, I find it more interesting to see how media actually works. After studying Media & Entertainment management, I worked for RTL Boulevard, after which I started my own business in PR.
You’ve been an entrepreneur for a while now. How did you make the decision to start working for yourself?
Both of my parents are self-employed, so I grew up with their entrepreneurial spirit. I have seen their struggles, but also the satisfaction that comes from building something you can own entirely. I have always been stubborn; working for somebody else’s dream never appealed to me.
Do you think there are specific advantages to being a female entrepreneur?
Well, from my experience, I know it can help to use your female charms [laughs], but this can have the opposite effect too. I want to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur, without losing my feminine touch. I hope that more and more women will decide to start their own business and make their way to the top. Without losing their femininity. That’s often a problem: that women start to play the business game the same way men do. We have our own special qualities, which we should be proud of!
Tell us more about your lifestyle, how do you cope with your busy schedule?
No day is the same; I never know what’s going to happen, which makes my life sparkling and exciting. However, I’ve learned that some activities need to be part of my routine. I don’t want to live to work. I learned the hard way that. So I reserve a set number of hours per day for my work, and I have to fit everything into this timeframe. I work out at least 3 times a week. The rest of the time I spend with my parents, friends and, of course, my fiancé.
Have you always been this organised?
Hahaha, no, I wish! I really had to discover the importance of scheduling time for my loved ones, and for myself, as well as for my work. Whenever you start your own business, there are a million things you have to take care of. It takes a lot of time and it is quite stressful too. There have been times when I did not take care of myself properly. Perhaps it comes with age, but I feel that I have now found this balance.
How does running help you in this?
I started running because of my boyfriend. He was the one who coached and trained me for my first marathon [in 2014, after which he proposed] I always wanted to run a marathon, but it was only on my birthday in December 2013 where I went for it with complete focus. Running taught me how to focus and to set priorities. For instance, it was out of the question to drink alcohol during my preparations for the marathon. For some people around me, this was hard to accept, but for me running is not just something I do, it’s a lifestyle.
How does exercise benefit you in your daily life?
My body needs to exercise; I feel less focused and a bit saggy when I don’t work out. I mainly run, but every Saturday morning at 7.30 a.m. I do core training. As a runner, your core needs to be in top condition in order to avoid injuries. I feel many women underestimate the power of strength training, especially when you hit 30. You need to work those muscles to stay in shape. And don’t forget I’m getting married soon (laughs).
This edition of FITSHE magazine is about how to fuel your body when working out. What’s your advice?
First of all, it is of great importance that you give your body food with enough nutritional value that fits the type of workouts you do. For instance, when I was training for my marathon I was on a food schedule that was mainly protein based, so with hardly any carbohydrates. Seriously, I could not get my body to move forward. Now I have a much more balanced diet – with carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. I eat enough proteins after my workouts to recover, but I also make sure I can perform during my training by consuming carbohydrates in advance. I guess it’s all about listening to your body, and learning how it responds to certain foods.
Well… [smiles]… it has to be liquorice….I have this terrible liquorice addiction.