by Gideon

June 23, 2017

How do you instantly start improving the quality of your life? The short answer is – you start by taking care of and optimising the “machine” that’s carrying you around. Yes, your body. Make no mistake, your body is an incredible piece of engineering, but like all “machinery” it has to be taking care of to get the most out of it. Not doing that would be like being a Formula One racing driver taking part in the most important race of their life with a banged up car. Not only will the experience suck but the race will be short lived also. If you want to have a better quality of life, start with your body and become obsessed with getting the most out of it.

Let me give you some eye-opening stats by the New Zealand Ministry of Health on obesity in New Zealand.

The Annual Update of Key Results 2015/16: New Zealand Health Survey found that:

  • almost one in three adults (aged 15 years and over) were obese (32%)
  • a further 35% of adults were overweight but not obese
  • 47% of Māori adults were obese
  • 67% of Pacific adults were obese
  • adults living in the most deprived areas were 1.7 times as likely to be obese as adults living in the least deprived areas*
  • the adult obesity rate increased from 27% in 2006/07 to 32% in 2015/16

The Annual Update of Key Results 2015/16: New Zealand Health Survey also found that:

  • one in nine children (aged 2–14 years) were obese (11%)
  • a further 21% were children were overweight but not obese
  • 15% of Māori children were obese
  • 30% of Pacific children were obese
  • children living in the most deprived areas were three times as likely to be obese as children living in the least deprived areas*
  • the child obesity rate increased from 8% in 2006/07 to 11% in 2014/15.

New Zealand has the third highest adult obesity rate in the OECD, and our rates are rising.

Why am I sharing these statistics with you? In fact, why am I talking about obesity at all?

For one reason:

the fatter we get the unhealthier we get and the unhealthier we get the more our quality of life decreases.

It’s all connected.

So many people think that a better quality of life is something elusive that only becomes possible when they have heaps of money or have won the lottery. Now, not having to deal with financial stresses every day definitely goes a long way in creating a better quality of life.

But, living in a body that is falling apart is even more demoralising and stressful. And unlike winning the lottery, you can do something about the quality and state of your body.

You can have a lot of money but without your health you cannot enjoy it.

Research has now shown almost without a shadow of a doubt that most of the illnesses we deal with today, are even directly or indirectly because of our lifestyle choices, especially dietary.

Just check out this list (according to

And this list is by no means the whole story. It goes on and on.

So many people live (if you can call it that) having to deal with many of these debilitating states, while spending heaps of dollars on medication to give them some relief. But ironically, all they’re doing is feeding the very thing that’s adding to their suffering.

If you want to take control of your life, my sincere encouragement and challenge to you would be to take control of your body, especially the state of your health.

And to do that, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on weight loss programs or supplements, you simply need to become aware of some life-saving and altering information.

Even though the Age of Information is filled with absolute BS, there is also information available that can change your life in any way imaginable. You just have to look.

The question you have to ask yourself is, do you want a better quality of life and are you willing to do something for it?

I would also encourage you to imagine what life could be like if you had more energy, less pains and aches, more focus, more clarity of mind, more strength, and longevity?

Or what would that mean to you as a grandmother?

Or as a single mum? What would it mean to you as dad and role model to your kids?

I’m very passionate about this topic, as I almost messed up my opportunity to be better for my wife and kids (and friends).

Five years ago my health hit a brick wall. I got told that unless I did something very quickly, i.e. go on medication and finance the pharmaceutical companies, I would have a heart attack before the age of 40.

Of course, I didn’t listen to their advice, but decided to go about it on my own.

In the process I managed to lose around 30 kg, turn my health around, and become a world ranked masters sprinter.

I also went from consuming steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner to being a pescetarian. Nobody believed this to be possible, but I assure you it is, even after five years.

And during this journey I’ve made more and more changes in order to keep improving  my health and hopefully longevity.

“I want to die young at a very old age.”

That’s my goal. Because if I can be around long enough with enough energy, clarity of mind, strength and health, I can make a significant difference in this world. Starting with my family and beyond.

You can’t do that if you’re constantly ill (or dealing with some form of illness), or if you’re only around for a few years.

Now, I appreciate that we  don’t control our time here on earth, but that doesn’t deter me, it motivates me.

If I only have so much time then I better make sure I’m using my time to the best of my ability, and that means I need to be in the best physical state. If I’m spending all my time and money between doctor’s appointments, what’s the point??

So, recently Tony Robbins started endorsing a book called “The Plant Paradox” by Dr Stephen Gundry which I bought and read.

Before I started reading it, I thought it was going to be a typical book endorsing veganism like all the others.

But I was wrong.

This book is indeed a plant paradox, as  it shows you hard-core evidence that not all plants are created equally.

In fact, some are toxic to you.

Yes, even those we’ve been told are very healthy.

And Dr. Gundry has loads and loads of patients to back it up.

The focus of this book is to give us a new understanding of what to healthy eating really is, especially in light of longevity.

What we should consider eating if we want to maximise our health and live long as a result of it, without being dependent on medication or medical assistance.

I was pleasantly surprised by “The Plant Paradox” and I think you will be too.

But, if you’re more a watcher than a reader, then I would encourage you to at least watch the interview between Peter Diamandis and Dr Gundry in the video below. You will learn heaps from it.

Listen, at the end of the day it is true that “you are what you eat.” 

I truly believe that you can instantly start to create a better quality of life by taking control of your body, and what I mean specifically is, your health.

The moment that falls in place, so many more doors seem to open.

I still remember how my enjoyment of exercise skyrocketed as my sluggishness and injuries disappeared.

It filled me with the motivation needed to exercise while thoroughly enjoying it.

This led to increased fitness and a better physical appearance, which then lead to a desire to train and exercise even more. It became a very positive and beneficial cycle that fed on itself.

Imagine if that happened to you.

Well it can.

And it starts with watching the video below. It will give you good food for thought (pun intended).

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave them below and I will personally respond to each and everyone.

Until next time, stay healthy live fully!

GH, Gideon Hanekom, Life Coach, High Performance, Trainer, Consultant, Personal Development, Writer, Thought Leader, Speaker, Pastor, M.Div, Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand, New Life, Better Life, Blog

About the author 


Gideon is the Owner of The Relationship Guy, a top-100 marriage advice blog that helps married couples create happier relationships. He is a trained professional counsellor (DipProfCouns., DipMSHT.), has been happily married for over fifteen years and is a dad of two.​ He also holds Bachelor and Master degrees in the field of Theology and is currently studying Psychology at Massey University (New Zealand).

Get this Free E-Book

Keep Your Relationship From Breaking Down By Learning 4 Steps To Communicate Better And More Lovingly As Couple!