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Quality work experience, strong technical skills and excellent soft skills may be a determinant for you to rise above the sea of applicants for a job. However, your appearance and zest could also play an additional role in helping you land that job or position!

Eating right is that key that can unlock that burst of energy, help improve your appearance and make you look up to the task thus winning the heart of the recruiter or hiring manager. You need to look the part, especially if you are being recruited for frontline roles. 

Why so? People’s perception of you determine where they place you in their minds—a favorable or unfavorable position. Before even having any conversation with you, they will have formed a thousand and one opinion about you based on how you appear on the outside.

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For instance, for a long time in my life, people always told me that I am soft. I have this look of what lagosians coined “ajebutter”.  This has cost me a job that I almost had. We were only two left from over a 100 applicants. The hiring manager and I finished on a great note! But on my way out, I was told the CEO would want to have a word with me. During the conversation, he asked: “Do you think you can do this job”? And I responded with a “yes” and a great smile. His response was “But you look soft”? The rest they say was history.  I didn’t get the job.

That same weekend, in a meeting with my pastors, someone suggested I was given a role that would demand a huge amount of physical energy to deliver but my pastor interjected in the conversation with a question: “Can she do it”?  He asked. He made a little gesture to indicate what he meant–me being soft. We all laughed but then, it gave me insight into what happened to me back in the interview room.

I can’t remember how I stumbled upon the information that made me discover my food choices were affecting my well-being, but what I remember and still do today is the big difference it has made in my life. I knew I had to start eating right, so I cleaned my diet. No more white carbs but complex carbs, plenty of vegetables and everything nutritionists say makes a meal whole and healthy.


In short, after every meal, how I feel determines what I keep in my plate continually and what I discard. So I may still have the soft look, but I no longer feel lethargic, clumsy or find it difficult to carry my weight. And the day I am not very active or just want to stay in my shell, my superiors or colleagues must ask me if everything is all right. This tells me that I have really changed. I am now bursting with lots of energy. Always excited and ready to make things happen.

Unlike the past, I no longer fear to attend those meetings that stay beyond the scheduled time. I also no longer shy away from the ones that leads to debate and more debate. In fact I am always alert and fully present even when the speaker is obviously boring.

Do you want to come across as someone who is bustling with life, full of zest and have an executive presence? Then, the answer may just be in what you put in your plate that finds its way to your stomach.  

The benefits of eating right transcends just impacting your career but your entire life.

A woman sitting and eating an array of foods.

I used to think food was just about the taste and filing up an empty stomach. But some health challenges I have experienced along the way has thought me otherwise. For instance there were days I wake up holding my head in my hand because of a pounding headache. In this case, I discovered white bread and white rice were the culprits. I have had a sore mouth and after eating a sauce made of green leafy vegetables and sliced tomatoes, I discovered it got healed a few hours later. Food is medicine for the body.

When younger women tell me they are having irregular periods accompanied with pounding headaches, I tell them to check up with the doctor and most importantly clean up their diets.(Many woman are facing fertility challenges today and changing their diet may just be the answer).

A few months ago, I attended a celebration of life ceremony where a very wealthy man was the spokesman for his clansmen. At every pause he makes between sentences, his arms and body shook. He looked well built, has medium height and chubby but the way his body shook showed that something was not all right with his body or health.

I have also attended a wedding ceremony with a group of employees working for a national oil firm. On our way back, some men asked the driver to halt so they could use the toilet.  Back in the toilet, as a particular man was urinating, others observed that he was collapsing at the same time. They quickly rushed towards him and did all they could to resuscitate him. That man could have died that day. Although, we may not know the cause of what happened to him, but a healthy body starts with feeding your body with foods that nourish you not those that kill the body.

Research has shown that many diseases people suffer today are as a result of their food choices and lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle is a breeding ground for diseases but an active lifestyle keeps your heart and body healthy.

You may have great career ambitions and may occupy enviable roles today but if you do not take care of your body by censoring what goes into it, you may not have that body to fulfill your ambitions. The age old saying” health is wealth” is apt here.

Make healthy choices by eating right to affect your personal and professional life positively.

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