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693: New Year – Old You, With Some Tweaks! – Dr. Uche Odiatu

Do you want a better year, but don't know where to start? With a few small tweaks, you can make it happen — and you don't have to change who you are! To help you achieve the year of your dreams, Kirk Behrendt returns with Dr. Uche Odiatu, one of ACT’s favorite health and wellness gurus, with tips to improve every dimension of your well-being. Small changes lead to big results! To start your journey to a better year, listen to Episode 693 of The Best Practices Show!

Dr. Uche Odiatu Bio: 

Dr. Uche Odiatu has a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). He is a professional member of the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), a Certified Personal Trainer (National Strength & Conditioning Association) NSCA, and the Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals (canfitpro). He is the co-author of The Miracle of Health (c) 2009 John Wiley (hardcover) & (c) 2015 Harper Collins, and has lectured in Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, the UK, and Europe. He is an invited guest on over 400 TV and radio shows, from ABC 20/20, Canada CTV AM, Breakfast TV, to Magic Sunday Drum FM in Texas. This high-energy healthcare professional has done over 450 lectures in seven countries over the last 15 years. 

Learn About Dr. Odiatu:

Episode Resources:

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Main Takeaways:

Take care of your body to take care of your brain.

Invest in your body like you do in your practice.

Make your health span equal your life span.

Be intentional with your “I am” statements.

Have an abundance mindset about time.

To be fit, spend time with fit people.

There is no shortcut to fitness.


“Oftentimes, people have four things they want to do. ‘This year, I want to be kinder to my team. I want to lose 10 pounds. I want to do CrossFit. I'd like to learn yoga. I'm going to become certified in oral systemic health.’ Oh, really? By the seventh [day], you're falling off the wagon, angry at yourself. So, why not focus on one thing, realizing that falling off the wagon is completely normal, and enjoy the journey?” (3:23—3:44) -Dr. Odiatu

“In life, being time-bound creates a sense of always running out of time. ‘It's 11:00. It's 11:30.’ I have this one friend of mine — I've got a few people now that say, ‘Oh, there are never enough hours in the day. Never enough hours in the day.’ And guess what? They've actually shown, physiologically, their blood pressure is higher, and their pulse is higher because they're always worrying about the time thing. Obama has 24 hours. Trump has 24 hours. Biden has 24 hours. Jack LaLanne had 24 hours. You name it, we all have 24 hours. Ariana Grande has got 24 hours. So, to talk about not enough time — who are you, this self-absorbed dentist or hygienist, to talk about not enough time? There is enough time for anything you find important. If you say it's important, you'll make time for it.” (5:11—5:53) -Dr. Odiatu

“Look at all the money you invested in your team, your equipment, your training — Kois, Pankey, Dawson, LVI, or whatever it is. How much did you spend on your body? Most dentists will be shocked how little they spent. And if you don't spend a little, guess what? You're getting back nothing. Sciatica hasn't gone away. Reflux is still there. Blood pressure that's unrelenting. So, that financial investment in your body has to be there. It doesn't happen by happenstance.” (7:36—8:04) -Dr. Odiatu

“Michelangelo, who carved David out of a huge block of stone, said in his mind he saw David. So, in the dentist's mind, they have to see their vision of how they want to look and feel. Then, you’ve got to cut away or chip away anything that doesn't serve that purpose. So, that half bottle of wine at night doesn't serve that purpose. Hanging out with your friends from high school who still like to binge-drink on that small island — guess what? You've got to carve that away. You'll get to that idealized version of your David if you cut away anything that doesn't serve you. And it doesn't have to be all-or-nothing either. It could literally be if it doesn't serve you, if it sabotages your end goal, cut it away. Let it go. I think you do have to let go of some things — and maybe let go of some people.” (9:03—9:46) -Dr. Odiatu

“So many of us put all our eggs in one basket. ‘I got this new iTero. It's going to happen,’ or, ‘I just learned this new technique. It has to happen.’ It's nice to have something now, but the brain loves to have something on the back burner. It likes to have something coming up. So, I might be on a cool trip now. But I'm also doing a talk in a month in another really cool Caribbean vacation spot. That's in the back of my mind, so I'm not counting down the days. But I would count down the days, though, if I hadn't been on vacation in 15 years because I have 17 offices and I'm micromanaging because I haven't hired Kirk as a consultant.” (11:55—12:25) -Dr. Odiatu

“I don't have 17 apps to get healthy. An app might help you. But I think the mindset, and as you said, getting around people that support you and having good systems in place, is the way to go.” (13:46—13:56) -Dr. Odiatu

“Instead of waiting for the results, celebrate that decision to do it. Like, a lot of people don't get the dopamine spike or enjoy working out. I enjoy thinking about the gym. I enjoy putting the sneakers on. I enjoy walking towards the gym. You'd be surprised how many times you can actually celebrate going, and being there, and the afterglow. You could literally have a hundred associations with the gym. Most people associate one, ‘Getting rid of my flat butt,’ or, ‘I want a flat stomach.’ But get more associations with making it happen, and now you can have a hundred ways to enjoy it other than the results or looking at the scale.” (14:29—15:09) -Dr. Odiatu

“If you lose weight without strength training, you're literally losing lean body mass, which means by the time you're 40 falling off the wagon again, you might weigh the same, but now fat has taken up more of it than muscle. That's why it's that slow progression of that little old man, little old lady syndrome where you get weaker and weaker. They're like, ‘It's funny, I'm the same weight I was in college.’ Well, you've lost muscle — one percent every year. At age 70, that's 40%. When most dentists are retiring and want to enjoy their dream home and their lake home and their cottage home, they're too weak to take care of it. They downsize out of a two-bedroom, two-story dream home and now they slide into a one-story — one more slide right into the coffin, I say. You've got to build some inconvenience into your life. I know I got a little morbid, and I get a little graphic to give people some visuals. But sliding right into that six-foot-under happens if you make your life too convenient. So, having some inconvenience is a great way to get in shape.” (15:20—16:14) -Dr. Odiatu

“There's something about taking care of your physical body that allows your brain to work better.” (18:16—18:20) -Dr. Odiatu

“The science says if you're physically fit, the brain gets more oxygenated blood. If you're physically fit, you have more of this neurotransmitter called BDNF, brain drive neurotrophic factor, which allows better communication between all 85 billion neurons. The 100,000 synapses that are at the end of every axon communicate better with each other. You have more neuroplasticity when you're healthy. So, it becomes a no-brainer, really — no pun intended. If you're not exercising, your brain is at the slow, downhill slide into that reflux, chronic inflammatory condition. So, what's good for the body is good for the brain. Do not think the body work is just good for the high school reunion, or the college reunion, or because you're on your fifth marriage. No. That workout keeps that brain going so you can enjoy yourself right to the end.” (18:28—19:19) -Dr. Odiatu

“Every time I go into an audience, I'll say, ‘Who here wants to live to 100?’ A few people put up their hand in an audience of 800 people. And I say, ‘Okay, let me qualify that. Who wants to live to 100 with a good brain, good hips, good heart, good mind, and good joints?’ All of a sudden, 50% of people now put up their hand. People always assume the last 10 to 20 years is decrepit and disability — and it is for anyone who is not taking care of themselves. So, you want your health span to be as big as your life span.” (19:59—20:26) -Dr. Odiatu

“We're going to leave the planet some way. But in order to make your health span as big as your life span, this is where physical activity has to come in. And it's so badly done. I think they've shown that 80% of North Americans have no physical activity in their lives at all. The other 20%, it's not even a complete program. They're doing yoga, maybe. They're running, maybe. No one is doing all three components: strength, cardio, and flexibility. Only three percent of the population does all three. If you're not doing all three, you will suffer from lack of range of motion. If you're just running, you will have core problems. If you just do weights, you will maybe fall over because you don't have good balance or stability on those joints. So, doing all three puts those dentists — I want to appeal to their egos — into the top three percent.” (20:26—21:10) -Dr. Odiatu

“You’ve got to work on your body as much as you do on your skills. You’ve got to work on your body to take care of your mind. If you want to be a good dentist, it's not just about learning the clinical skills and putting in implants and doing bone grafting and sinus clips. You’ve got to take care of the body.” (22:11—22:25) -Dr. Odiatu

“Taking care of your body and investing it as heavily as you do your office, it can become your best friend again. And when it becomes your best friend, it becomes predictable, solid, fun, engaging, and fulfilling.” (22:40—22:52) -Dr. Odiatu

“There's no guarantee I won't leave the planet early. However, I'm stacking that damn deck in favor of my health span equaling my life span. No guarantees in this life — but stacking the deck in favor of my health span equaling my life span.” (23:09—23:24) -Dr. Odiatu

“They've now found prescription drugs that you can buy that makes you less likely to enjoy eating, so people are losing weight. So, right now, a lot of people who've never lost weight before lost weight. And no one ever brags about what they're on. Everyone is saying, ’Oh, I cut down.’ No, they're taking a prescription drug, most likely, if they've gone on yo-yo diets and they've never kept it off, and now they’ve kept it off. The challenge, though, by doing it this way is you don't get the benefit of losing weight with exercise and nutrition. It's like winning the lottery. Sure, you have $500 million. But you didn't earn it. And if you didn't earn it, that's why people, within 24 months, lose it. If you get fit and you look great by something that got you there in 90 days, 120 days, you got none of the benefits in going there — none of the dopamine, none of the neurotransmitter balancing, none of the discipline.” (25:03—25:55) -Dr. Odiatu

“Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist out of California, says a part of your cortex — it's called the anterior mid-cingulate cortex — gets bigger in people who do hard things. It gets bigger in people who have discipline. It gets bigger for people who work through lunch on that emergency. It gets bigger with dentists who take difficult CE courses. It gets bigger in people who do tough things. So, if you take a drug and lose weight, that anterior cortex stays tiny because your mind didn't get bigger to take care of that new weight. So, you don't get any of the benefits, except on paper it looks like, ‘Oh, I lost 30 pounds.’” (25:55—26:33) -Dr. Odiatu

“There's just as much discipline in an overweight person or an obese person as someone who is lean. But society has this belief that someone who is overweight or obese is lazy . . . So, there's a big pressure for someone to take this shortcut. And it's a shortcut, for sure. At least if you lose the weight, your joints will be happier, and you'll have less body fat. But you're not going to get any of the benefits of the journey there. It's like someone who is an associate, and someone gives her 20 offices. ‘Hey, here are 20 offices.’ You think, ‘Wow, they own 20 offices.’ [But they] don't know how to run them. They don't know what to do with them. They’ve got no system to get there. It was given to them. It's like anything that's given. You didn't earn it, and so there's no skin in the game. But I see people are desperate, so I can see why it's attractive.” (27:30—28:16) -Dr. Odiatu

“Three things that I would do if someone doesn't have any fitness habits or has never invested in their health before — their office is amazing, their team is amazing, and they’ve got the best looking team, they’ve got all these systems in place but have never invested in their body, I'd say, one, you need to develop a vision, thinking it's possible for you. I added an Instagram post the other day. Any time we say the words “I am”, it's very powerful. What are you saying after? So, “I am” must only contain positive things. I hear people all the time saying, ‘I'm so stupid,’ or, ‘My memory is going,’ or, ‘I'm such a ditz,’ or, ‘I'm so bad with endo.’ And “I am” is so powerful. I challenge anyone to, for the next seven days, catch yourself when you say the words “I am.” You can say, ‘I feel tired,’ not, ‘I am tired,’ or, ‘I feel old,’ not, ‘I am old.’” (28:58—29:48) -Dr. Odiatu

“Look at what you're investing in your body. So, invest in some better-quality food. Don't buy the cheapest sneakers at the gym. Go to a better-quality gym. Invest in unlimited yoga, hot yoga, at the studio close by. Three, invest in the best gear. I know dentists like to spend money. So, invest in the best gear. Buy nice home gym equipment so it looks good. I know you can't ignore the aesthetics. And ultimately, get fit people in your life. Hang around other fit people because we have different conversations. We're not going to bring attention to, ‘Oh, you're only going to have one glass of wine?’ We support you. We will not bring attention to the old you. We're not going to remind you of how you used to be. So, there you have it: mindset, gear, look at the percentage you spend on equipment, and get around fit people. Then, you and I will have a different conversation, hopefully, in January 2025.” (30:17—31:12) -Dr. Odiatu


0:00 Introduction.

2:16 New year, old you, explained.

3:50 Everyone has 24 hours.

5:30 Invest in your body.

7:41 The importance of your environment.

11:14 Have something to look forward to.

13:32 Build a little bit of inconvenience into your life.

15:49 The link between the body and the brain.

19:13 Life span and health span, explained.

24:02 Earn your fitness.

28:42 Three fitness tips and habits.

31:13 More about Dr. Odiatu.

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.