Own Your Health – An Interview With Jesse Cheesman

Changing The Way You Think, Eat & Live.

Jesse Cheesman has completely revamped his health over the last few years, completely changing what he eats and how he lives. He has had a complete physical and Spiritual Transformation. 

I am constantly inspired by his kindness, his discipline, and his point of view. Plus he is one of the most fashionable and good-looking men alive. My husband agrees. 

I interviewed him this week and can’t wait for you to hear what he has to say.

Jesse, for those who don’t know You, can you give a brief description of who you are and what you do.

“I am a husband and a father of two little cuties.  I am a lover and follower of Jesus.  I work full-time at a coffee roaster in Brisbane City.  I love playing with my kids, whispering sweet nothings to my darling wife, Sarah, reading, writing, playing sport and pushing human and spiritual boundaries.  I enjoy long, deep chats and despise small talk (though I find myself engaged in it more than I please).  My life is geared towards making every moment count.

Can you talk about what discipline means to you?

Discipline is looking ahead and making the right choice in any given moment based on your understanding of what the future holds. It’s a scramble of self-control, integrity and selflessness. Whether it’s holding your tongue, getting up early to run or keeping your word, discipline is often challenging in the moment but has rewards that are priceless.

You are in amazing shape and I know being disciplined about what you eat and how you train is a focus in your life. Can you talk about Your journey to why this is so important to you?

I have always loved playing sport but there was a time (my twenties) where immediate pleasure and gratification were a subconscious priority.  It took a moment of disgust, a realisation about planetary health and a kind whisper from God to set me straight.  I realised that I wanted and needed to be healthy not only for myself but for my family and the world.  It sounds a little dramatic but my motivation to get healthy for others helped me to value myself more when I was able to see what I could become.

How has this evolved over the years?

Lot’s of experimenting and failure.  Especially as our little family has started to grow, time has become an even more valuable commodity.  I have had perfectionist tendencies that have resulted in a lot of missed opportunities to take advantage of the time that I do have.  The biggest evolution has been taking those moments and doing something with them even if they don’t look or seem to be ideal.

What is your normal exercise regime?

I don’t really have one.  I play basketball every weekend (which I love!) but everything else I do is based upon the time I have whilst not neglecting my family or God.  They are my priority but can also turn into my exercise if I get creative.  I love incorporating incidental exercise into my daily routine.  For example, I stretch while I read and pray, playing outside with the kids is a workout and a half, and I try to do push ups and chin ups throughout the day as I work (I have a chin-up bar in my office).  As I mentioned, I have scheduled basketball games each week and try to go barefoot running as many mornings as possible. Although this isn’t a strict routine my goal is to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to me to work out daily. This keeps exercise fresh and I’m always up for sport of any kind!

What is an average plate for you? 

I try not to eat a whole lot during the day, if at all and fast sporadically throughout the week. I follow a plant-based diet and have done so for over 3 years. My favourite meals are Mexican, curry and a killer lentil pie my wife makes. All of these are jam-packed with colourful veggies, beans and legumes (maybe a little tofu). I also eat a tonne of fruit. I am careful to drink lots of water throughout the day especially while I’m fasting.

You are vegan. What led you to this journey and what health benefits have you experienced from this?

“The first thing that led me there was learning about the effects the animal agriculture industry is having on the earth.  When I looked into it further I realised there were a lot of people whose health improved upon implementing a vegan diet.  When I was finally convinced to make the change I lost about 20kg in 6 months (just by changing my diet) and had energy to burn.  I know there are a lot of different opinions and science to validate all sides of the diet argument. I think it’s important for people to find out what works best for their body and needs. I function most efficiently mentally and physically when I eat a vegan diet.

What podcasts, books, and people do you listen to, read about, and become inspired by?

3 podcasts that helped me gain understanding and inspiration in fitness and diet are The Rich Roll Podcast, The Plant Proof Podcast and Feel Better, Live More.  One book that helped me look beyond what I perceived to be my human limitations is “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins.  His story and what he has accomplished made me realise the limitations that I thought had been placed on my time and motivation were just excuses.  However, my main inspiration to live healthily and stay healthy comes from reading the Bible.  It is my go-to for health, not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well.  From a fitness and discipline perspective, it’s teachings on taking your thoughts captive, living for others and not submitting to the desires of the flesh have helped me stay disciplined even when my desire had been elsewhere.

Working full time, and a dad to two young children, how you do you prioritise exercise, fitness and health for you, with the demands of work and fatherhood?

Like I mentioned before I try to take the time that I do have to at least do something.  My health and fitness goals aren’t driven by a particular aesthetic or arena but by functionality and longevity.  That means a lot of what I do focuses on mobility and strength and that makes it easier to do the little things when I get the chance.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to change the way they eat and Move?

Don’t focus on the end goal, focus on today’s goal.  So often I have found myself discouraged when I have been so focused on where I want to be that I lose sight of the purpose of what I am doing where I am.  The reality is that it takes achieving today’s goals over and over again to improve your health and fitness.  Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow so you can give your attention to doing the best you can today.  I also encourage you to educate yourself. Find out what you are actually putting into your body and eat for your long-term health. Educate yourself about the effects your lifestyle and practices are having on the planet and obey the commandment to steward the earth well. Find out what exercise and practices work best for your body so you can hit those measurable, achievable results you’re pursuing. It starts with being honest with yourself.  Realising that your current health status is based almost entirely on the decisions you’ve made in the past can be a sobering and humbling thing.  It also gives you perspective on how every decision you make going forward can either work for you or against you.  “Owning your health” is making those decisions not based on feeling or impulse but on what you know to be good.  This year I’ll be taking my own advice and trying not to get too far ahead of myself and focusing on what I can do now to aid the achievement of my goals.


Jesse and Sarah Cheesman and their friendship is such a gift to Greenie and I. There is such wisdom and balance in his words here…

I hope you will check out some of the podcasts Jesse recommends and let’s continue to own our health together!

You are richly loved,

Dr Christine Greenwood

Own Your Health – Changing the way we Think, Eat & Live

Wink: It is day one of term one at the Academy! I am SO blessed by our gorgeous students and my amazing husband! Righteousness will exalt the nation! See more here!

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