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Hi. You are so very welcome to today's episode.

I am so excited to be here and I'm going to be chatting to you today about what nobody tells you about being fit and healthy.

Five truths, five truths that I wish I had known right back at the beginning of my journey many years ago when I was striving to be fit and healthy, it has taken me years and years and years to get to where I am, which is fit and healthy.

And I absolutely love it so much.

I love the feeling.

I love the buzz you get from being fit and healthy.

I love how good it feels and I want to share it with you.

I want to share it with all of you.

I want to help as many of you as I can become fit and healthy because the struggle is so annoying.

And I thought up until a couple of years ago that the struggle was such a huge part of being fit and healthy that most of us were going to struggle to be fit, struggle to become consistent for the rest of our lives, struggle to get our workouts in, struggle to eat healthy.

That the normal way to live was to always feel like you were restricted that you were dieting.

Well, that's how I felt.

I felt my quest of being fit and healthy was one long constant diet or not diet on or off.

The struggle to go to the workouts, the struggle to not make dinner my last to make dinner, my last meal, the struggle to not eat sweet stuff.

And then because of that struggle all week, I used to go crazy at weekends because I didn't drink during the week.

I used to go crazy with alcohol on Friday and Saturday nights because I was so restricted with my food during the week.

I would really overeat at weekends and I was always trying to lose weight.

And if I wasn't trying to lose weight, I was in my gain weight cycle.

I was unfit.

I was inconsistently healthy.

And towards the end, just a couple of years ago, I just felt bloated puffy in my face from just going overboard at the weekends.

And I felt so desperate and this is how I thought I was going to be for the rest of my life, the constant struggle.

And I'm here to tell you that that's not the case at all.

And I want to tell you these five truths to, to help you get cracking with them straight away or to change your belief about how you're feeling about getting fit and healthy.

Now, especially this time of year where so many of us are getting back on track after the festive season and getting healthy.

I want you to know that if you're struggling, we can switch a few things, we can tweak a few things so that it's not a struggle.

So let's get stuck in number one.

It's not about the end game, it's about a lifestyle change.

So for years and years and years on my quest to become fit and healthy, I was always very focused on the end game on the result, whether that was trying to lose two stone, trying to get fit, trying to achieve the goal of fitness and health.

I had always just presumed in my head it was an end game now that threw up so many problems for me over the years that I can see really clearly now and I can see it with, with everybody that is in my circle in my, in my program, people that struggle and we chat about this all the time when you are so fixated on an end goal, sometimes you will do anything to achieve that goal.

And that can mean that you will go super strict with your diet until you get to a certain weight or you might overexercise until you get to a certain point.

Now, there's so many problems with this.

Number one, it's not sustainable.

So you're going to do what you have to do for a certain period of time to get to that end goal, which might be to lose weight and 100% you are going to stop doing what got you there because it wasn't sustainable.

And that's why so many of us, that's why myself.

I got so stuck in that loop of gaining weight and losing weight because we do things to get to a certain end goal that we can't continue to do.

So we go back to the way we were and all that does is it amplifies and reinforces it's a struggle and that will eventually fail.

And there are so many women I meet that feel like failures with this.

So they think I can't fail again.

I've done it so many times.

And part of that, it's my opinion, it's my belief that a big part of that is that so many of us myself included are focused on the end game instead of it becoming a lifestyle change.

And when you make that simple switch, if you're listening to this now, and you feel like you have always struggled, I really encourage you to make that simple yet powerful switch on the way you're looking at your fitness and health action steps that it must become a lifestyle change.

And if you're not willing to make it become a lifestyle change, then I put it to you that maybe you're not serious about getting fit and healthy that maybe you just want to lose weight temporarily for a wedding coming up that you're a guest at or some big event that you're not actually serious about becoming fit and healthy that you want to get, you want to lose weight for an event.

But you know, deep down in your heart that you're going to go straight back to doing what is that you want now, for those of you that are deadly serious and would absolutely love to be fit and healthy.

I really, really encourage you to look at this as an absolute lifestyle change and there are so many benefits to, to, to viewing it as a lifestyle change.

When I started to view it as a lifestyle change.

First thing that happened to me was the pressure totally went off.

It, it completely came off.

I didn't have to worry about losing weight or getting fit for a certain timeline.

So I didn't feel under pressure and I was able to take my time.

And when I started to take my time, I started to become more relaxed about the whole thing.

And when I became more relaxed about the whole thing, I was able to observe my behavior patterns, more my thoughts, more my action steps more in a much more relaxed way.

And when you get into that lovely observational phase where you're observing, maybe your negative inner critic, maybe you observe, oh my God, I'm, I'm saying I want to be fit and healthy.

But every night after dinner, I'm eating treats on the couch.

Wow.

I never really noticed that before.

It was just autopilot.

You start to notice all these things because you're so much more relaxed because you're focusing on a lifestyle change.

Embracing a lifestyle change means as well that all the habits that you're going to do are much more sustainable.

So when I started to focus on getting fit and healthy as a lifestyle change, I stopped dieting, I started to focus on doing things that I was actually going to be able to do in the long term.

Like, for example, one of the silly things that I used to do was try to really reduce my carbohydrates.

I genuinely thought that was the only way to lose weight.

Now I know it was, I was, I was overweight because I was eating too much.

I was eating too much food.

I was stressed out.

I was anxious.

I wasn't exercising the right way that there's so many reasons why I was overweight.

But back then in all those years, I honestly thought it was to do a lot of it to do was carbohydrates because that's what you do.

When we're so programmed, we're so conditioned to think of our weight as eating less and moving more, which absolutely wrecks my head about the weight loss industry and all these ads were being bombarded with and targeted that it's all so serious about the food that you're overweight because you're eating too many carbohydrates.

You're overweight because you're not eating enough protein.

And it's just simply not true for, for me, I was never overweight because of the carbohydrates.

I was eating, I was overweight because of all the extra food I was eating.

So when I started to focus on a lifestyle change, I stopped doing silly things like cutting out carbohydrates.

Um being seriously restrictive at lunchtime, leaving long gaps between meals and then eating way too much and drinking way too much at the weekends or eating too much after dinner because I had restricted my food so much during the day and on and on and on this loop went that all stopped for me when I got deadly serious about it being a lifestyle change.

For example, I was able to sit at the dinner table and eat potatoes because I knew this was a lifestyle change.

And my fear was that I would eat potatoes with my dinner at dinner.

And then after dinner, I would have something sweet and I would just put on even more weight.

So at least if I cut the carbohydrates out, then if I did have something sweet, it wouldn't be an absolute disaster, which is a crazy mindset to have.

It's like, well, I'll focus on this thing that I don't really need to focus on to make room for this really unhealthy thing that I don't really want to address.

I don't really want to focus on the elephant in the room.

I don't really want to focus on the fact that why I don't want to focus on the reasons why I'm overeating after dinner.

Why am I turning to food for comfort?

Why am I eating sugar after dinner?

I didn't want to address the fact that I might have been stressed out or lonely or anxious or feeling bad in myself or scared.

I didn't want to address those things.

It was much easier for me to focus on dieting and what was going on around me and social media and cutting out carbs for dinner and making that my focus because it kept me distracted from the real root cause of the problem of why I was overweight.

And when I started to focus on a lifestyle change, I ate the potatoes at dinner because I know they're healthy and it forced me to focus on the reasons that I was overweight.

And it's remarkable and you can take that and you can put that into every single part of your health.

But when you focus on a lifestyle change, you start to really view your action steps with no blinkers on with no distractions.

Oh, hang on a second.

I, I, I'm, I'm not distracting myself by putting my carbs or points or whatever into my fitness pal or into this app.

I, I'm not, I have no distractions.

I'm not distracting myself by keeping a food diary.

I can actually see that I'm not attending my workouts.

Oh, ok.

I'm not attending my workouts.

I'm skipping my workouts.

Why is that focus on that problem?

I'm not making any time for myself.

Focus on that.

I've a allowed inner critic that's keeping me from doing things because it's telling me that I'm going to fail anyway.

Ok.

Well, we need to focus on that and there's so many things that start to come up for you authentically that will help you become fit and healthy when you stop being distracted with the next best diet with recipes with before and after pictures from other people with all those diety things and you get real there, there's a really wonderful feeling.

And for me, it all starts with forgetting the end game and focusing on a lifestyle change.

My second truth.

The second thing that I wish I would know that nobody tells you about, it's that it's not about staying focused, but about changing your identity.

And what I mean by that is for years and years and years, I thought it was always about staying focused.

I must stay really focused on getting fit and healthy.

I must stay really focused on my diet on my exercise.

If I can just stay focused, I'll stay on track and I'll do this and I'll be fit and healthy and I'll feel good in my clothes.

However, that is stressful, it's highly pressurized and again, it's a struggle.

It's, it's a feeling of a constant struggle to try to be fit and healthy.

And what I didn't realize for years and years and years is that if you can actually change your identity, change your belief system change, how, what you believe about yourself, then everything becomes much more simple.

And I'm telling you this because this is what has happened to me that I identified for years and years.

And I only realized this, by the way, when I started to do step one, which was to decide it was going to be a lifestyle change.

So I became more relaxed.

So I was able to start observing myself.

And when I did become more relaxed and decide that it was going to be a lifestyle change.

I started to realize what my identity actually was.

I identified with somebody who loved to drink alcohol.

I identified with somebody who loved to overeat.

I identified with somebody who always struggled with their weight.

I identified with somebody who loved to unwind by drinking wine and I identified with somebody who always struggled with their weight.

Everything was a struggle and I really identified with all or nothing.

That's what I used to call myself.

Oh, I'm very all or nothing.

I'm very all or nothing.

And if you think about it, if I go around telling people, oh, I'm so, I'm so all or nothing.

And I've always struggled with my weight and I, I love to drink wine to unwind and I just love to over overeat.

I love that feeling of having massive portions.

If I believe that.

And I go around telling people that then I am never ever going to change.

And that is an absolute fact.

Think about it.

I was walking around for years and my identity who I identified with was somebody who really struggled, always with their weight, who was very all or nothing who loved to overeat and who loved to drink alcohol to unwind.

Now, I know that none of those statements are true.

However, that's what I identified with.

So I had to go on this big journey recently enough, two years ago, Max of first off observing these thoughts, observing the fact that I believed this.

And the only way I was able to do this was just to spend my time observing my actions and observing my behaviors and observing my thought process and learning and doing courses and learning all these things.

And what I did was I spent my time observing and understanding that I was actually identifying with this identity.

I decided that I wanted to change and that I'd had enough.

So I wrote out my avatar, I wrote out the, the person that I wanted to identify with somebody that is fit and healthy that loves to eat healthy food has no issue with food that hates alcohol, that loves to exercise.

I wrote out my avatar and I wrote out the person that I wanted to be that I genuinely wanted to become and I wrote out the action steps, matching those that avatar the action steps that I would follow on a weekly basis.

That was all based on a, on a lovely, simple, easy lifestyle change.

And I follow those action steps even when it was really tough and I wanted to quit, I just kept going and I didn't quit and I started to change my identity through something which I do with my clients, which is thrive times part of that is affirmations, telling myself, identifying myself with these new beliefs, these new affirmations, these new thoughts about myself.

And when you go through that process, that thrive time in, in my thrive academy, and you start to let go of limiting beliefs, you start to observe your behavior, you start to heal from the past.

You start to understand that you've been going around telling yourself these, these things, these are, this is just the way you are and that's not simply true.

You change and your identity changes and you identify with different action steps.

Like now I, I don't drink alcohol and I don't overeat anymore.

And I find those two things really easy now and I never in my life did I think I would ever find not overeating.

Easy.

Overeating has been a part of my life since I can remember.

I remember being seven or eight years of old telling my parents we went to the park that I had had seven bowls of all brand and I was so excited about it.

It sounds really bad.

I know.

I know.

And they were like what?

And I was so surprised that they were so surprised.

I've always wanted to eat loads of food and I never, in a million years ever did.

I think I would not have an issue with overeating.

I always, it was always the reward.

It was always the treat.

And you know what that a lot of that changed for me when I changed my identity, when I rolled out my avatar.

And if you're listening to this, I encourage you to write out what you're identifying with now and listen to how you speak about yourself to other people.

When you're meeting up with a friend.

Are you like, oh, I'm all all or nothing now.

I, I'm, I'm, I'm all or nothing.

I always struggle with my weight.

Oh, I just love food.

Oh, I have a sweet tooth.

All these things are really, really damaging.

Now, they're really damaging to you.

They're really damaging to where you want to be.

They're really going to hold you back.

Ok.

So my third thing, my third truth that I wish I had known years ago is that food becomes a normal part of life if you're on the journey now where you're struggling to be fit and healthy and you're jumping up and down on the weighing scales and you are dieting and calorie counting and restricting your food and cutting carbs out at the evening time and you're doing all these crazy things and you're, um, maybe getting a low fat milk, low fat cheese.

Um, you're taking all these supplements to help you lose weight.

I promise you if you heal and you identify the reasons why you are overweight, you, my friend will not need any of that stuff.

And food, I promise you, I swear to God, food becomes a normal part of your day.

I promise you there will come a time where you will sit down, I sit down now and I have my breakfast and then I'm over my breakfast and those of you that struggle with your food.

Know what I mean?

When I say I'm over it because when you're, when you're in that cycle, when you're in that trap, you're not over it.

You're obsessed.

You're like how many grams is in that porridge?

Oh my God.

So I've put a teaspoon of honey in.

Have I put more honey in?

OK.

So where's my next snack?

What am I eating next?

And it's just this constant, never ending, constant and never ending struggle, obsession with food.

You're thinking about food, you're eating food, it's all just so food, food, food, food, food.

And if you do all the things, if you heal, if you heal your relationship with yourself, if you learn how to love yourself again, for, for, for nearly everybody that I've coached and myself included when there's massive struggles with getting to the workouts with eating healthy food.

Nine times out of 10, there's something missing, there's a lack of love there.

And if you think about it, it's my firm belief that most problems to do with being fit and healthy can be traced back to a lack of love for yourself.

And it's about finding the freedom to love yourself again, which is what my program is all about.

Um Missing workouts, you're not making enough time for yourself.

You have no boundaries, struggling with overeating, overdrinking, feeling, anxious, feeling stressed out and a loud negative inner critic not having healed from the past.

Feeling like you're not good enough.

So many things can be identified and brought back right back to you needing to learn how to love yourself again and how to heal and let go of the things that are making you overeat and I promise you it's not what you're eating.

It's, it's if you go more towards a why you're overeating and you do all these things, I do it all in my program, you'll get to a place where food's just a normal part of your life.

And I know that might sound crazy.

Now, it sounds crazy to me too still.

I can't believe it.

I have to pinch myself.

I'm, I'm just so thrilled, so, so thrilled about it.

I mean, just the other day, um, I went to visit somebody myself and Joe and normally after that, we would have both two years ago before I stopped drinking.

I can't believe it's nearly, well, it was May 2022 that I stopped drinking.

I can't get over that.

Now, um, we would have just gone home, gotten drunk because the visit would have made us just feel really stressed out and that kind of changed then to going home and just like had lots of treats.

And only recently I went visiting somebody who, normally I feel a little bit stressed out after visiting and I just went home and I had a cup of tea.

No, I didn't.

I had a hot chocolate and, um, it was just remarkable.

I was really proud of myself.

I was really proud of myself in that moment because when you get really good at observing yourself and observing your behaviors and your thoughts, you, you notice things all the time and it was amazing.

I just was like, oh my God, I can't believe I'm just going to sit down and have a hot drink.

This is incredible.

Um And it was remarkable.

Yeah, so I just wanted to share that with you.

Um OK, my fourth truth is that you're never off track or on track when you're healthy, you just become consistent.

So I believe when you are not truly healthy, you're just kind of on that hamster wheel wheel that I've been describing.

You're always talking about yourself being off track and on track.

Whereas I know with myself and my most consistent members.

So maybe my new clients or, or maybe people that struggle, they view, they say that they're on track and off track like they might do weeks of exercising and healthy eating and then they might have like four days where they're off on their holidays.

Let's say you use that phrase as an example and they go off on the holidays and they eat loads of lovely food that they love and they don't do any work out and then they come back and then they say that they're on track.

Whereas I've noticed with some of my longer term clients, they are, they go off on their holidays, they come back and it's like, yeah, I had a great holiday.

So I'm telling you this because I think it's helpful and it helped me too.

If you stop viewing your health and fitness as being off track and on track and just strive to be inconsistent, you'll feel great because there'll be no, I have to get back on track.

There is no getting back on track.

You're consistent and you went on holiday and you come back and you trust yourself enough to just go at it again.

There's no off and on eating out and having a really nice meal and having an ice cream afterwards.

Isn't you being off track?

It's part, it's part of being healthy.

You can kind of wrap your arms around it and bring it in.

You don't have to have a wall against you and these, these, these, these treats and when you miss workouts because of things that have happened in your house and you're consistent, that's not you being off track.

You're, you're just going to do a workout in another few days.

I know it sounds really small, but it's a really powerful mindset shift and I really encourage you to not view it as off track and on track.

If you've been working out for a while, if you've been eating healthy for a while and just be consistent and trust that if you can't work out because something's happened in your house or that you'll be back on it and trust that if you go on holidays, it's not, you being off track, you're on holidays and you're a fit and healthy person and that goes back to your identity, identify as a fit and healthy person and go on holidays and enjoy it.

Um I have one more thing to share with you and that is um, ok, my last one here, I have them all written down here.

Ok.

My last one is you need to heal and learn how to love yourself again to change.

So you need to heal and learn how to love yourself again in order for you to change.

And what I mean by that is for me, for example, I was always trying to eat less and move more and it was never working out for me.

You can see you can, you can look at my old Instagram videos when I was a fitness coach.

Well, I am still a fitness coach and I'm overweight in so many of my videos that I used to do or else I wasn't or I was or I wasn't and it was just this constant cycle.

And I didn't know at the time that I was only ever treating the symptoms of the root cause of the problems.

Why I was overweight, why I was overeating.

And there's so many reasons why I was unhealthy.

I had no boundaries.

I made no time for myself.

I only ever focused on work.

I was stressed out.

I was anxious.

I had a very loud inner critic.

I was a huge people pleaser.

I hated confrontation.

I would silence and censor myself.

I didn't think I was good enough.

I had imposter syndrome.

I felt like a fraud.

I had very, very low self esteem.

I had very, very low confidence.

I thought I was very fat and very ugly.

I found it very difficult to look at myself in the mirror.

I had lost myself.

I didn't know what I liked and disliked.

I had no hobbies.

I made my world very small because I felt very, very vulnerable.

I had no connections.

I had very, very few friends.

Now, these were the problems.

However, the weight loss industry would make me think that I was overweight because I just hadn't quite discovered the true art of weight loss, which is bullshit.

The weight loss industry will encourage you to focus on the symptoms.

I'm encouraging you to focus on the root cause of the problem of why you are doing things right now that are making you unhealthy.

It is amazing when you focus on the good stuff.

It is the most rewarding transformative journey in the world.

Now, you have to be patient and remember, you have to decide it's a lifestyle change.

So when all your friends around you are saying, how many pounds have you dropped?

Da da da da.

You have to tune out of all that stuff and you have to throw out your weighing skills and you have to forget the results and you have to just start your wonderful transformative journey.

The most amazing thing about the journey to being fit and healthy is that you, you'll have changed in every way and your confidence will have grown and you'll have boundaries and you'll make time for yourself and you'll have hobbies and connections and you'll feel great and you'll have inner peace and calm and it'll be all so wonderful.

I promise you.

I really, really hope you enjoyed today's podcast episode.

And if you could be so kind as to share this episode with a friend or somebody, you think that might enjoy it, I would appreciate it so, so much.

It is my absolute mission to help as many women as I can get fit healthy and find the freedom to love themselves again.

Thank you so much for listening.

Thanks for listening to another episode of the Jessica Cook podcast.

Did that go by way too quickly or is it just me if you want more?

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About the author 

Jessica Cooke

I love drinking coffee, and my favourite thing in life (apart from my family) is to help women to get fit, healthy and learn how to love themselves again. (oh, and also I love playing with my two Miniature Schnauzers, Buster and Ozzy)

I’ve coached more than 6,140 women over 14 years get fit, healthy and learn how to love themselves again.

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