Ollie Matthews is a health coach for stressed out over-30s. Ahead of the launch of his new brand in Norwich this Thursday, the functional medicine practitioner and nutritionist shares his personal story
When did you first launch OJay Health and what motivated you to start your own business?
The inspiration to work in health was triggered when I was 15 years old but without realising it. My dad, my hero, passed away at 47 years old. He was always working on providing for his children, stressed out but successfully climbing the managerial ladder in various East Anglian holiday parks. He suffered from sleep issues and migraines – things I work on with people now – and unfortunately in 2001 he went into hospital with a migraine and ended up having a stroke and passing away. It wasn’t until 2016/17 I realised this was my calling. I was an overweight guy growing up, cravings left right and centre. When I dropped a lot of weight to compete in bodybuilding (around 100lbs in 18 months), I worked various jobs in fitness centres and the corporate world. After messing around with potential redundancy and the panic attacks triggered by the uncertainty, I took the leap to create what is now Ollie Matthews Health Coach (we have just launched the new brand, originally OJay Health) in 2014.
Who have you worked with over the years?
I used to work with physique athletes and then professional endurance athletes on their nutrition, but it was always focused on just A to B performance, and not ‘health’. I worked with a Tour De France athlete, as well as World Champion Ultraman athletes and Olympic athletes who all performed endurance training, but it wasn’t until I worked with a guy called Rick Barker (who was Taylor Swift’s manager when she launched her career), that I really noticed I was able to help people just like my dad, and it was priceless. Since then, I have focused on professionals and entrepreneurs. I have had clients who have high profile jobs in the military through to security for celebrities but the thing I focus on is people who have usually tried a LOT of different solutions to fix their health and not succeeded.
What do you specialise in?
Functional medicine and the impact of stress on the body. I describe it as finding the root cause of the problem. Instead of just treating the symptom, such as the headache, with a paracetamol we go to the cause, maybe dehydration for example. If it’s sleep, we will investigate hormones, glucose management and – again – stress that is going on.
How important is hormone balance, for example, when it comes to our health and fitness?
Hormone balance isn’t an actual thing in the sense that we should have different levels of each hormone in our bodies at any time, but balancing those specific levels is ridiculously important. For example, the number of guys I see with low testosterone is ridiculous but as they still have sex drive, they don’t notice it.
And is preventing burnout something you are particularly passionate about?
Beyond passionate. If there’s somewhere I can speak I want to be on that ‘stage’ to spread the message. We see so many signs of burning out – waking through the night, afternoon energy dips, low motivation, low sex drive, hormone issues, weight gain etc – but then push them to the side because either we don’t see them as signs, or we do see all these things, but it’s too overwhelming thinking about how you’re going to even start. I break that overwhelm down into simple steps, looking at one area at a time.
What can you tell us about the new brand launch on Thursday? What else are you launching?
We are rebranding from OJay Health to Ollie Matthews Health Coach to make things a bit more personal. The launch party will be held at Rooftop Gardens and will involve me being interviewed, so this is where I am going to share the story about my dad and how it’s led me to become the person I am today. There will be an amazing health panel and above all else – some fantastic networking opportunities. I am also proud to announce that it’s a fundraiser for SOUL Church and their new building – we will be holding a raffle and are looking for raffle prizes from local businesses who want to get their brand out to 50 professionals/businesses locally. And this is an opportunity for people to hear about the launch my new program ‘The Optimal Man Club’ which is aimed at busy professionals over 30, alongside The Optimal Man Podcast which will be dropping then too. There’s a lot happening so I’m very excited but also a bit scared no-one will turn up!
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Simply that a child gets to see their parents grow old and care for them, based on a lifestyle change that has been implemented from the information I have given them. If I can help someone then genuinely just message me, I am here to help! My dream is that both men and women stop putting their health on hold and reach out so they can begin to move forward.
The branch launch party for Ollie Matthews Health Coach, plus the launch of The Optimal Man podcast and the fundraiser for Soul Church Norwich, takes place at the Rooftop Gardens in Norwich on Thursday September 28, 2023 from 6-9pm. Visit Eventbrite. Also, visit olliematthewshealthcoach.com and follow on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Featured images – supplied by Ollie Matthews