WendyY: And when you get older, your body tells you no.
Maria: Right. I discovered this health and wellness in my mid-thirties. I’ll be 46 in a couple of weeks.
WendyY: Yeah. And I’ve got 11 years on top of that, you know, I’m 57. So when I think about, by the time this airs I’ll be 58. So when I think about everything you’re described, it really started to hit me in my mid-forties.
And I’m a diabetic. So let me just in the way of full disclosure, everything you described, I experienced it at some point in time, over the past 11 years since I’ve been diagnosed and I used to manage it with my diet. And what I discovered is that there came a time when I wasn’t able to do that anymore because I actually needed some support. I just couldn’t do it anymore. So you’re, you’re talking to somebody who would benefit from working with a wellness person like you.
Maria: Yeah. The whole idea is to prevent diabetes. We are living live with the symptoms and think to ourselves, “I will deal with this later. I will push through.” We are a push through society. So you do just that. And everything is more important in our health. Eventually, our energy starts decaying slowly. You go on and start to wake up in the morning with less and less zest to do the things that you really love in life.
WendyY: Yeah. The thing that I’m hearing in, what you’re saying is there’s a call to action before it gets to be something that’s truly detrimental to your health. When I was diagnosed, for example it was quite by accident. I was at the doctor’s office. I had a regular doctor’s appointment. And when I went to the doctor, they tested my sugar based on some things that I was describing. Some of the symptoms that you even described when they tested it, it was almost at [glucose] 400. Yeah. It was almost at 400 and I’m predisposed to it, genetically and all that kind of stuff. So I knew that I needed to look out for it, but I wasn’t like I was eating whatever I wanted to. And, and when I thought of healthy, I thought of fruits and fruit juice and all that stuff. That’s high sugar content that as a diabetic does not do your body. Well, it does not serve you at all. So the thing that I learned in that experience is what you just described and what most people go through. They walk through life and say, Oh, I’m just a little tired or, Oh, I’m just a little bad. And they don’t pay attention to their health. What do you say to the person who is in that space of not attending to their health? What do you say to them that kind of wakes them up about where they are?
Maria: Well, I’m going to say what I told myself. When I started my health journey 10 years ago, I started questioning about how I wanted to age. At the time, several incidents happened that made me stop, take the time out and say to myself “Maria, wake up.” And I mean, the symptoms that I had, some of these who are describing, you know, some of these I experienced, but not to like an extensive degree, you know, I had those symptoms, right. That I was buffering off with caffeine and energy drinks. I knew about the disorder. I knew about my emotional eating. I knew about my sugar addiction, which was extreme. I knew about my digestive issues, but I never wanted to deal with them. I didn’t know how they [habits] were impacting my body, mind, and performance.
WendyY: I’ve always got tomorrow. I don’t have to deal with it today.
Maria: Yes, I could go on with my day and still do the things that I want to do. The question is at what expense? When I started to ask myself questions, I was single—and still am today. My family is in Brazil. I don’t have anybody over here. It’s me or me, financially, mentally, emotionally. I don’t even have dogs. I also thought of the worst-case scenario. As I age, I’m going to be in some other country other than Brazil, away from my family, without a companion or kids.
I asked what’s really important to me, what makes me happy? I’ve been depressed once in my life. I will do my best to never get to that position again because it was one of the worst times in my life.
So, what do I need to continue to do, things that I love, to not feel that way again, enjoy life, and age independently? Having companionship is a bonus.
I start to think and research and the answer came to health and eventually I understood that was more than health. It was a healthy lifestyle.
What’s a healthy lifestyle? That became the umbrella. Then I started digging into studying and changing. And I got so excited.
What people don’t understand and I didn’t understand is that prevention of chronic diseases and metabolic diseases is beyond nutrition. Yes. Nutrition and exercise are the two very important things, but stress can kill you. Poor sleep is going to cause all lifestyle areas to fall apart.
WendyY: It’s all connected. That’s the thing I’ve learned on my journey is it’s all connected.
So Maria, who’s a typical client that you serve.
Maria: I served the person who is trying to lose weight. They’ve tried multiple things to lose weight but they didn’t work. They are missing accountability. They’re missing the right formula for them. They’ve tried this tried that didn’t work. They fall apart. They, they are in the yo-yo place. Right. And they’re stuck. So they’re trying to lose weight. They are fatigued. They have some fears. They’re starting to feel like, “Oh my God, this can become a problem. Or I have problems in my family. Such an such has this and that, and I don’t want to go through the same path. I’m missing accountability. I’m missing the motivation. I’m basically stuck in a rut. There are too much information and conflict. It’s so overwhelming. “
WendyY: It’s a huge amount of information out there. And some of it is misinformation. You gotta do some due diligence to make sure that you are talking to the right people. And Maria, I got to tell you, I can tell through your training and education. I didn’t mention it, but you hold an MBA as well. Right?
Maria: Yeah. I did my MBA at Emory University here in Atlanta. I did the executive MBA and I have no idea that was going to become an entrepreneur.
WendyY: So you were working in corporate America. And when you started really going down this rabbit hole around health and fitness, it wasn’t something you planned to do as an entrepreneur. What made you say I’m ready now to take this step?
Maria: I took the step because of anxiety.
WendyY: Yeah. So, so how long has it been that you’ve been a full-time entrepreneur.
Maria: It’s going to be almost six years now. I left corporate in the beginning of 2015.
WendyY: Oh, nice. Nice, nice. I love it. The thing that I’m really hearing in your story is that you can have dreams that are sometimes deferred, but sometimes you just have to go for them. You know, you’ve got to create what you want and I can tell six years later that you’re good with that decision.
Maria: Yes. Look, this road is not being filled with roses. It’s very challenging. And you know, there is no $100,000 MBA program that is going to teach you the things that I learn as an entrepreneur.
WendyY: It’s a whole different journey when you’re an entrepreneur. For sure. Yeah.
Maria: If the listener is an entrepreneur or thinking to become one, your WHY is what is going to keep you strong and keep moving forward. The same applies to your health.
Why do you want to get better health? What is that you want to do if that better health? What is that you want to do with this undiscovered potential that you have under your skin often unknown?
If you have a dream…go for it. It doesn’t matter what it is. Maybe it’s playing with your grandchildren, continuing to do your grocery shopping, to walk in the mall, walk in the park and hold hands with your loved ones. Or maybe, your dream is to transform the world in some way or another. To leave your mark, you’re going to need energy and health to live a fulfilling life.
WendyY: To need your health. You’re going to need your health to do all of that. Yeah.
Maria: So you’re going to need your health. It gets very tough. Even as a coach and a trainer, I need accountability as well. So I make myself accountable in different ways.
WendyY: And I realize in, in everything that you’re saying, and, and you know, if people aren’t hearing this, I want them to, yeah. When you don’t have health, you don’t have the means to create wealth from your business as an entrepreneur, from your life, from whatever it is that, that you do, you don’t have health. You don’t have the ability to create wealth.
Maria: Yeah. Correct. There is no wealth without health And so that’s what I’m saying. You got to put ourselves first. I woke up to that. I did some test because I had hit a wall. I remember when I got the results back, I cried and cried. And I told myself “I failed myself.” As an entrepreneur and as a coach, I had failed by not listening to my own body,
WendyY: I don’t see that as a failure because you learned, and in that learning, you were able to turn things around with your health. I think that’s a great story to share.