‘I want to guide more Nigerians to better health, wellness’
Adedamola “Askdamz” Ladejobi is a UK certified personal nutritionist with a diploma in nutrition. She also has a law degree from the University of Exeter and a BL from Nigerian Law School. A premium weight loss consultant and the CEO of Askdamz, she recently stepped out with some new projects. Coaching men, women and children all over the world on ways to live healthy in order to achieve wellness, she speaks to TOBI AWODIPE about her personal journey into wellness, dumping Law for entrepreneurship and how a health scare forced her into changing her life.
You dumped law to start your own business, why is that?
I’m a trained lawyer by profession and I practiced briefly but found it very boring. I was practicing the law but was always reading about science and this didn’t make sense then, but it makes sense now. I dumped law finally and went into weight-loss coaching fully four years ago and I have coached thousands of people in over 70 countries worldwide in every continent. I don’t regret it.
How did your journey as a weight-loss coach start?
My journey as a weight loss coach started due to my personal experience with weight loss. Earlier in my life, I had severe GERD (Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease) and my size affected not only my health but my passion for fashion as well because I couldn’t fit into most of the outfits in the stores. Also knowing that a lot of people are going through these same issues as I did and the drive to want to help people live a healthier lifestyle, look and feel better about themselves hence the birth of Askdamz. I started losing weight strictly for myself. I lost 40kg on my own, I used to be a size 20 but now, I’m a size 10 and went down four dress sizes. I wanted to look better in my clothes but God showed me that if I were ill, I wouldn’t even look good in any clothes. I had hyper-acidity, I wanted that to go and I wanted to look good as well. So I killed two birds with one stone, I regained my health and lost a lot of weight. Wellness was my inspiration.
Tell us about your new project in detail?
There is the Askdamz app, the Askdamz Wellness institute and online wellness Academy. The wellness institute and academy will train people on how to live a healthy lifestyle and achieve general wholeness. I’m proud to say that the app is the first of its kind in Africa and Nigeria. It’s the first fitness app where you have a step counter to track your steps, a calorie counter to check our different type of Nigerian foods. Normally, if you go on all these fitness apps, you can’t track egusi, elubo, eba and so on. All these foods are not bad, they are natural, but our methods of preparation sometimes affect the eventual outcome. There is also the fasting tracker as a lot of people are big on intermittent fasting these days. The great thing is that it’s not a one size fits all approach and there are different packages for different purposes.
It also boasts a sleep tracker, BMI tracker, water tracker; daily weight loss tracker to help you keep track of weight loss goals, there’s also a blog that talks about wellness, health, food and nutrition. There are also pop-up ads on the site where people can place ads on the app or blog and it’s free once you’re registered on the site. The academy has courses people can take to understand the intricacies of fitness and wellness so they’re fit to teach others and live healthier lives. This will create a ripple effect, leading to more jobs and a healthier, more informed populace. Once you register on the wellness institute, after completing the course, you will be Askdamz certified but we’re presently working with the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) to legaliSe the certification properly. Our tutors and contributors are experts in their respective fields and we’ve launched 19 courses so far. There are tests and assignments you’ll take during the course duration and at the end, you’ll get a certificate of completion in the particular area you registered for.
How much do the courses go for?
The app itself is free and available on Android and iOS. It took 20 experts to build the app and institute so far and we aim to add more in the near future. The most expensive course is ‘how to begin a career as a weight loss and wellness coach’ done by me personally, whilst other courses range from 10, 000 Naira and above. However, we don’t want people to just take the course and go, we actually want to educate and re-orientate people’s minds one course at a time. We started building the app about three months ago but the real journey started about eight months ago. However, the idea for the app was conceived three years ago.
What has stood out for you so far in this journey?
What has stood out for me was the kind of reviews I got from clients, they come to me and tell me their doctor gave them an all clear on their health after I coached them to wellness.
I was surprised and told them I didn’t give them any medication, as I’m not a doctor. I only changed their lifestyle and it helped me realize that weight loss is greatly tied to wellness. I’m a living proof; I used to be 40kg heavier than I am now but I changed my lifestyle and the weight came off, leaving me much healthier and better for it. Most of my clients are referrals and that’s my ultimate fulfillment and satisfaction.
What would you say to women looking up to you?
Any woman that wants to lose weight, I’ll tell them to take it easy on their selves. Don’t be too hard on yourself; take it easy. Our metabolisms vary. Two people can be on the same plan and lose weight differently. Be your own kind of beautiful, just stay focused, determined and consistent. Decide, commit and succeed is my mantra. If being overweight causes you discomfort, change positions, you’re not a tree is what I usually tell people.
QUOTE: I’ve realised that weight loss is greatly tied to wellness. I’m a living proof; I used to be 40kg heavier than I am now but I changed my lifestyle and the weight came off, leaving me much healthier and better for it