#148: How to Stay Healthy Over Christmas

Hi. You are so welcome back to another podcast episode.

I am super excited to be chatting to you today about how to be healthy over Christmas time.

But before you switch off and think, oh my God, please don't tell me to, for example, t into Turkey and limit my carbs, fill up on vegetables, check the menu in advance.

I'm not going to tell you to do that.

In fact, I'm going to tell you that I would have used to have told you that in the past.

So by the end of this podcast episode, just to be super clear, I want to be, I want to give you really simple, easy to follow action steps for you to feel good and healthy over Christmas time.

And what I mean by good and fit and healthy over Christmas time is literally um reduce stress, reduce anxiety, have fun and feel good.


So I want to give you clear action steps so that over Christmas time, your stress can stay reduced or be reduced, reduced, same with your anxiety and you can feel good and you can have fun.

Now, I know most of you know this, but back in the day, I used to own a gym.

I used to own a women's only gym.

I started out in 2008 doing classes in leisure land.

Then I had my own studio in Barna and then I moved to this massive facility um on the Tomb Road in Galway and then COVID came along and the gym shut down and it was so terrific.

I stayed online now every single year between 2000 and roughly eight and 2020 I used to host a Christmas survival workshop.

I also used to hand out a free downloadable Principal Christmas Survival Guide.

And in doing a little bit of my research for this podcast.

I had a little look online of other things out there to help you have a good Christmas and they were pretty much exactly the same, like a carbon copy to the advice I used to give out.

Now, the advice I used to give out, I look back now and I realize there is a woman talking who is still in diet and restriction mode.

She still hasn't healed her relationship with herself.

She still hasn't healed her relationship with her food and every single thing to do with her health, she assumes it's to do with food.

God, I used to be food obsessed and that's what I thought being healthy, used to mean, it used to mean, are you working out and are you eating healthy?

And you were unhealthy if you weren't eating healthy or you were unhealthy if you weren't working out?

And now I understand it.

Of course, it's such a much more holistic approach.

How's your mental health?

How's your mindset?

Are you connecting with people?

All this sort of stuff that I now understand to be such part of our whole health.

But back then I was drinking too much alcohol at the weekends.

I had such a bad relationship with food.

I was binging, restricting, worrying about sauces on my salad during the week and then just going hell for leather with absolutely everything at the weekend.

So I first of all want to read out the advice that I used to give and I want to see does this resonate with you or have you been given this advice?

So, to be healthy over Christmas time, it's a good idea to limit your carbohydrates.

So to eat way more turkey and way more veg and just wherever you go throughout the day, over the few days at Christmas time to limit your carbs.

Now, that is absolutely crazy.

It's another action step that makes us feel like we're on a diet that we're on and off.

And this is my biggest bug bearer with the slimming world stuff.

The, the slimming, the weight loss clubs out there is that it's eat healthy to lose weight and then be on a diet.

Stay on a diet.

Always be thinking about food, lose weight, get to Christmas and then over Christmas time, make sure you go for the veg.

You go for the turkey, you limit your carbs again all.

Like where's the crack?

Like, where's the sitting down having Christmas dinner?

Having fun and just eating your dinner.

Where is that?

And if that's missing for you and you can't do that.

And that's why you tend to gravitate more towards the slimming world like, like weight loss stuff, then maybe it's time for you to think about this a little bit differently and, and work on healing your relationship with food and you can do that.

And a lot of it involves getting rid of this all or nothing thinking that we have around food that like we're super healthy up until Christmas time and then Christmas time, we're kind of dieting around us trying to fit in what we can rather than just enjoying Christmas time.

So um other examples that I used to always say myself is try to eat a bit less at other times.

Check the menu in advance, choose healthier options.

Tuck into turkey.

Stick to spirits, which I think is, is, is a really terrible one.

I mean, you know, don't have beer, don't have wine, stick to spirits.

Like not to mention the fact that you could get absolutely hammered on spirits and then eat five plates of food because you're so drunk and the problem with these weight loss things.

And the problem with me years ago, the problem with me giving this advice too is it's just so dangerous and just so damaging.

And if we were all of us to move out of this mindset and decide to be healthy, well, when we're healthy, there is no on or off, you're healthy and then you have Christmas Day and you enjoy your dinner and if you drink alcohol, you go out and you have a night out and you're not like overthinking it and thinking, well, I'll have like a gin and slimline tonic.

No, I'll just have a drink.

Um Slimming friendly snacks is another one, you know, make sure that your fridge is loaded up on slimming friendly snacks.

Again, a real foodie action step, you want to be healthy over Christmas.

Well, stock up your fridge with slimming friendly snacks.

A lot of the advice that these weight loss places give out is all to do with food.

And I know that really sounds obvious and when I was stuck in this trap of thinking everything was to do with food and obsessing about food, you think it's brilliant advice until you actually get off the rat race of this food obsession.

And you think, well, if I'm trying to be healthy over Christmas time, why would I stuff my fridge with slimming friendly snacks?

Sure, I would just go and have a piece of fruit if I was hungry in between meal times, why do I need to get like, you know, festive hummus and Rita with this chutney or whatever it is?

Like there's no need for it.

If, if you're, if you're, if you want to be healthy over Christmas time and you're eating three meals, just stock up your fruit bowl and have a banana if you're hungry.

And if that sounds crazy, but if you work in your relationship with food and you work on getting fit and healthy, then it won't sound so crazy anymore.

It'll be, it'll feel really normal.

I really encourage you.

And I'm just saying this to you now because I did it for years that if you're worried about Christmas time and you're worried about all the food that's going to be around you rather than think of alternatives to have.

Like, I'll swap this for this.

Just have a little think about maybe first off with the snacks, not snacking or snacking on fruit and then for your meals, all I'm guessing breakfast is, is gonna be pretty normal, especially if you want to be healthy.

I'm guessing you're gonna be having something healthy.

So that really leaves lunch or dinner and then alcohol.

And what's the problem with if you drink alcohol, just going out and having the drinks, whatever it is that you want and sitting down and having a dinner that actually has like potatoes in it and enjoying yourself and then working at it at that dinner not being triggering ie indulging in that dinner and having drinks and a normal dinner, not using that to think.

Oh, well, I've gone off course or I've blown out.

So getting this insatiable appetite and feeling like you're off the unhealthy wagon, you're off the healthy wagon.

So therefore, what's the point there?

Eating loads?

Well, none of that really makes sense if you think about it just for a second, like let's say you go out on a Friday evening and you have drinks and food and desserts.


That sounds really great.

And then you wake up the next day.

And you drink loads of water and you have a healthy breakfast and you've lunch and you snack on fruit if you're hungry.

I mean, that's just you going about living your life being healthy and you might have had a couple of drinks the night before.

So you might be feeling like more sugar cravings than normal and rather than think, oh, here I go.

I feel so bad because the last night and then giving into those sugar cravings just think.

Oh, my God, I've got sugar cravings.

Um, because I went out last night and I had, I had alcohol, hence me feeling a bit craving for sugary stuff.

Ah, well, I'm going to get the banana into me.

I'm going to drink loads of water and it's that, that you focus on instead of what can I eat?

What snacks can I eat?

Loads of that won't gain weight because that's what I used to do.

I used to find the healthier versions of things but then eat way too much of it.

Or I used to have dinners with like one tiny potato, but then I would have five times the portion of chicken and I would have my plate like so laden high with veg.

And I know veg is really healthy and you can eat like buckets of veg and it's all good, but it's not really good really for training yourself into just eating a little bit less.

One of my biggest problems was that I just used to eat too much.

So, when I would be dieting, which was all of the time for years and years.

If I was avoiding rice or pasta, I would just have the biggest mountain of veg and protein on my plate.

And sure, what does that do?

Other than just tell me that I just need all this food and that I can't go lower in carbs unless I have my plate filled high with something else.

And you know what, I should have just had the bloody potatoes in the first place and stop eating too much food.

And I used to do the same with, same with snacks around Christmas time as well.

I used to just eat so many snacks thinking I was being a healthier version of myself.

Oh, well, look, I'm not having that volant.

I'm over here having 20 carrot sticks and six tablespoons of hummus.

And I would have just been best off just having the bloody volant and just going about my day.

But the problem is that I never stopped.

Everything was a trigger.

No, like if I have that one volant, I'll have 20 if I, so therefore I'll have the 50 carrots and hummus sticks over here.

You know, I won't have that beer.

I'll just have a load of food instead and I'll have white wine, but I'll still have 10 glasses of it.

Um, it's amazing.

I used to just look at all the wrong things.

And a lot of the reason that I did that was because I was just constantly dieting, but I didn't know any better.

You know, when you, when I used to go on to these things, like the slimming clubs, the weight loss clubs, watching your weight, all those sort of things.

The advice is there, limit your carbs.

Don't eat sweets.

Only take off the 25th and 26th of December, load up on veg stick to veg, stick to spirits, have, um, have other snacks in your fridge, just stay away from beer.

So, so I wanted the first part of this podcast episode to be reminding you to put the blinkers on and just ignore all that stuff that if you're striving to be healthy and that's not what healthy people do.

And I do think there's a common misconception out there that healthy people are dieters and healthy people will say no to the potatoes and they won't have a beer and they won't like indulge and some of the healthiest people I know and especially when I was a few years ago on my journey of becoming healthy.

They're the ones you see talking into the steak with the chips, but it's just that there's, they're talking into it and it's not triggering anything because they're so far removed from the diet culture, they'll have a lovely meal and then they'll just stop and move on or they'll open up a box of Quality Street with their family and they'll have whatever they want and move on.

They're not ruminating over it all night long.

Oh, my God.

I had the green triangle and then I had the purple one and Jesus did I have two Toffee squares or the two chewy toffee ones?

Toffee pennies.

And I used to do that all the time with how many drinks I had, I would be, like, secretly recording and adding them up.

Why, why I mean, when I was getting to like number eight, number nine and it was hard to stay out.

I was like getting really obsessive like, but like I had that seventh over when I was sitting over there and the same with sweets like, OK, so I had three there and six there.

If any of this resonates with you and you're like me and you do this too.

There is another way.

There is absolutely another way.

What I want to chat to you today is how to be healthy over Christmas time and healthy to me means how to have fun, reduce stress, reduce your anxiety and feel really, really good.

Being healthy doesn't have an on off switch.

And when you're still in that, on off diet, on diet off mode, you may still have some healing to do and that is OK.

So based on my five step framework PMS, I want to give you clear, simple, easy to follow action steps for you to be healthy over Christmas time.

Now, my five step framework palms starts for starts, stands for your physical movement, your accountability and support your hydration, your mental health and your self care.

So I'm going to give you action steps in all of those.

I'm going to be presuming that you're listening and you're going to be taking a few days off over Christmas time and you're going to be out of your routine.

Um, so let me just find, ok, so let's start off with the exercise.

So I really want you to put your blinkers on and not listen to anybody that tells you to like, do squats while you're making a cup of tea or to, um, do fasted cardio or to work out every day to burn off calories.

I really want you to focus on getting rid of that mindset and that negative, uh, toxic relationship that people put on exercise, which is such a cool thing to do and nutrition.

And I really want you to try and separate out fitness from nutrition.

You never want to be thinking, working out to lose weight and you never want to be working out to burn off calories.

That's a really unhealthy way of looking at exercise.

Exercise is a beautiful, wonderful, amazing gift.

You can give yourself exercise, helps you feel calm and in control it releases endorphins into your system that help you feel instantly, really, really good.

You can get really capable and feel really capable.

When you exercise, you feel much more in control of your body, in the sense that you become really mobile and you can become flexible and fit and healthy and strong.

It clears your mind.

So therefore you're in such a much better position to make better choices for you.

They exercise helps you sleep better.

It helps you get more naturally sleepy in the evening times, which is a really lovely thing.

And one of my favorite things about exercise, it's that it's that it tires me.

It physically tires me, which is really healthy to get to the end of the day and be physically tired.

We, I don't believe were, were made, were built for sitting around a computer all day.

That's what most of us do.

I sit at a computer for seven hours, uh, 4 to 5 days a week and it's not natural.

What used to be natural was when we used to go out and hunt for our berries or whatever we used to do.

We were very, very mobile and we were very active.

So I love the feeling that you get at the end of the day when you're physically tired and you get that through movement and when you're physically tired, you're much more relaxed and it helps stop with the worrying in the future, the ruminating on the past and it helps keep you alive and vital and energetic.

So when you're attaching such a wonderful thing like that to exercise is going to help me burn more calories off.

I had five gin and tonics last night, so I better go and pound the pavements.

That is just horrifically depressing.

So, we want to get rid of that and instead get excited about what exercise can do for us and think.


Well, well, I want to be healthy.

I am fit and healthy.

So how am I going to fit in?

My lovely workouts over the Christmas period.

And if you've been working out, I'm, I'm hoping you may want to take a little rest because at some point, if you, if you and this isn't really spoken about enough, I don't believe.

But at some point, if you're working out consistently all year long, you do want to take a rest.

We're all focused on trying to be fit and trying to be healthy that it's always about how to get in workouts, how to get in workouts.

But for some of you, it's, it's about actually just taking the time out and leaving the workouts alone, letting your body just recover from the workouts you've been doing and then get lots of lovely walks in.

Lots of lovely walks for those of you that are fit and healthy already, lots of lovely walks with no timer set.

You leave your house when you want to and you come back when you want to and you might get fresh air for 10 minutes or you might get fresh air for 30 minutes or an hour and you're in this lovely position where you can trust yourself.

You know, you work out, you know, you're going to get back on the workouts and, you know, you need a rest.

So there's no 33 walks for 30 minutes, four days a week.

It's just, you're going to go out and you're going to get lots of lovely fresh air safe in the knowledge that you're going to get back into your workouts at the beginning of January, or when you feel like you've had enough of a rest and there is no right and wrong answer to that.

You might want to take the full Christmas time off workouts and then get back at it in January if you're exhausted and tired, um, or you may decide you want to take a week off the workouts and then get back to it after a week, whatever way it is, it's very personal to you and there is no one fits all.

So just don't compare yourself to anybody else.

And if you're chatting to your buddy and you're like, I'm wrecked, I won't be working out and they're like, what, what are you talking about?

It is just different for everybody.

I sometimes find over Christmas time that I'm so exhausted from such a long year of working and taking care of the kids and exercising that I like to kind of take a rest from all the routines.

I love to take a rest from the working out.

The school runs, work and, and workouts.

And I do lots of walking instead and I enjoy it so much and it keeps the mental health ticking over nicely if you haven't been working out very long and it's very important for you to keep the exercise habit up or you have been working out and exercise is just going to help you feel really good over the Christmas period, then make a little plan.

But again, don't have any time limit on it.

You can do 10 minutes or 20 minutes or 30 minute workouts.

You don't have to get super rigid over Christmas time and think I'm going to work out for 30 minutes three times a week.

I'm going to take a break in the 25th.

It could be much more light than that.

And you could say, well, every week I work out three times and I'll either do a 10 minute, a 20 minute or a 30 minute.

And because I'm enjoying my Christmas time, I don't have to decide that in advance.

I have, I have that I'm working out three times a week.

I can do them when I want and I can decide in that moment whether they're going to be 10 or 20 or 30 minutes long.

And then again, saying for you guys just make sure to get some lots of lovely walking in and fresh air in.

The most important thing is that you do.

What feels good if you are absolutely knackered from the year that's in it and you're exhausted and you're working out and you're feeling resentful and you're feeling tired.

How is that going to make you feel come January when you're back to all your routines again, it's going to make you feel 10 times worse.

So, be mindful that you're not wrecking yourself for January when it would have been ideal for you to have rest now and to go at it again in January.



So we're moving on the a part of Pam's stands for accountability and support.

Now, if you're in our members group, if you're a client listening in that, for example, is just great accountability and support having somewhere where you can go and ask a question or if you're having a bad day, you can put up it as a post.

I'm having a really bad day.

Does anybody else feel the same?

I'm really struggling with this.

Does anybody else feel the same accountability and support?

Isn't just when you think of it, like of a personal trainer standing there like whipping you into action.

Accountability and support can come in many forms.

It can be chatting to a best friend that you're struggling to keep up with your workouts.

It can be in a group like our group in a member's group where you can chat about your different struggles and what's going well.

So look for accountability and support in your fitness and health journey, whatever shape or form that is for you, get chatting to somebody about it and you know, maybe if you are in groups that, that I like, I used to be that are posting up food pictures or meal plans and you just, you're sick and tired of it.

It's just not working out for you anymore.

I do want you to know that there is another way.

You're not all of a sudden going to start being unhealthy because you're not watching Jane drop her £2 in Slimming world every week.

That stuff is just there to keep you on this never ending cycle of dropping two, gaining one, dropping, three, gaining one and you don't have to be in a weight loss group or focus on weight loss for you to lose weight and feel good in your clothes.

You just don't, it's the most obsessive negative way to be healthy and fit.

In fact, it doesn't matter what you weigh at all.

You could get rid of those weight loss clubs.

You could get rid of anybody in your life talking to you about weight, weight gain, what weight they are, what weight you are?

You can just get rid of it.

I did, you can over time just get rid of it.

You can slowly but surely if there's people in your life constantly talking to you about weight over time in a very gentle way.

You can just go, oh, look, I don't like to talk about weight anymore.

And, yeah, the first couple of conversations might be a little bit awkward.

Like, what are you talking about?

Like, especially with sisters and, and good friends.

What do you mean?

What's wrong with you just say?

Oh, look, I just, you know what?

I just made a bit of a decision to myself that life is too short and I'm sick and tired myself, not you myself of talking about my weight.

So I thought in order to make my life easier, I don't want to talk about weight to anybody.

And yeah, for 10 seconds she might be thinking, oh God, what's wrong with her?

And then the next time she might bring it up, you might be like, look, no.

And then she'll know not to over time.

So don't worry about the first initial reaction.

Just get, get, get everybody used to it and all of a sudden you will wake up one day and you'll be like, oh my God.

I don't know what I weigh and nobody talks to me about weight and I don't have to ever see another before and after pick for the rest of my life.

Is it just me or does anybody else hate those social media before and after picks where they have women with their stomachs hanging out over their underwear and then they have an after pick beside it like with their stomach looking slightly smaller.

Like where are we going with this?

What about the empowerment of women of being fit and healthy?

Like we don't need to be in our underwear showing progress picks for us to have seen progress and for us to feel progress and to feel a mighty and to feel fit and healthy, you could completely transform your whole life from the inside out, from top to bottom and upgrade the quality of your life tenfold and still look the same physically.

I mean, you can like lose loads of weight, build loads of lean muscle, look the exact same on the weighing scales and literally have 10 extra life and transformed your life from the inside out.

So you don't need that stuff.

You don't need the before and after picks, you don't need your friends telling you about weight gain.

You don't need that conversation around the water cooler.

If you don't want it in your life, just decide today you're actually going to weed it out.

You're gonna, you're sick of talking about it.

Um OK.

So onto the hydration, that's really simple.

Biggest win 2 L of water every day.

When I don't drink water.

I am extra hungry.

I'm cranky.

I'm irritable.

I have a headache.

I don't sleep well at night like it's insane.

I drink 2 L of water every day.

I carry it around me.

Like a crazy person.

My water bottle, even my hairdresser the other day was like, gosh, you're very good with the water, aren't you?

She just notices that the bottle always goes everywhere.

So, what I need the water into me 2 L.


Get it into you.

It's ok.

You've got to carry around the bottle if it helps.

Um, and you'll feel so much better, you'll feel so much better.

You'll feel clear headed.

You'll be hydrated.

We're made up of, I think it's 70% water.

So it makes sense that we get a lot of water into us.

Uh You just function better.

Your performance with everything is better.

It's remarkable.

Honestly, sometimes you can, I can be really cranky and I think, oh, what's troubling me today?


You're just dehydrated.


So on to the mental health action steps over Christmas time that are going to help you feel better.

So, we've chatted so far about coming up with a nice good exercise routine depending on where you're at right now.

And then we chatted about accountability and support figuring out where you're going to find that um throughout the Christmas period and then we chatted about hydration.

Now we're moving on to mental health and this is part of your health.

This is part of you making sure your stress is reduced, your anxiety is reduced and you're having fun and you're feeling good and remember that reducing your stress and anxiety has a huge effect on like comfort eating, for example, or not showing up to your workouts.

When I feel super stressed and anxious, I go into freeze mode.

I don't want to do anything.

So every time for years, not anymore, if I got really stressed out, I wouldn't want to work out.

So I would skip workouts.

I'm also, I used to be actually a massive comfort eater.

So anytime my stress and anxiety went up, I would eat more.

So it makes sense that if you work on your whole health at reducing stress, reducing anxiety, that is also going to have a wonderful knock on effect on the other areas of your health to like fitness and nutrition.

So things like dipping in the sea is really lovely, is a good example as an action step.

Um keeping your connections up for many of you listening to this podcast.

Know that in 2023 has been a big year for me.

I started off the year feeling very isolated with very, very few friends and I won't get into it now.

But it's just the place I ended up, I lost the connection with all of my old school friends.

And you know what I do believe that was the best thing for me now.

I mean, at the beginning of this year when I had very few connections in my life, I was feeling very sorry for myself that I had cut off connections with my friends or lost connections with those school friends.

But it's easy, it was easy for me to think that there was nothing better for me around the corner.

I, I really truly believe there was no, there was nothing better for me around the corner in terms of connections.

I thought I would like die like this like that my connections would never improve.

Um So when that happens, you, I, I ended up just reminiscing about what I had.

But what I had, I was never really me, I was always really stressed out when I was younger and I was a huge people pleaser.

So those friends that I had back then, I mean, there wasn't me and who I am now.

So I've made peace with that and I'm glad of it.

But I ended up at the beginning of 2023 feeling very isolated and lonely because like I mentioned, I had no friends from my previous years.

Also, my kids are eight and nine.

So those 1st 8 to 9 years, you're so busy in early parenting mode.

I had no hobbies.

I had no, nothing outside of the house.

I had very, very few connections.

And at the beginning of 2023 I really felt that isolation and I had felt it for a couple of years.

So I decided to do something about it.

And the reason I, I I'm sharing this with you is because I want to talk to you, if you feel a bit isolated or lonely, maybe Christmas time is a big triggering thing for you.

Maybe you have no kids or your kids are left home or you're just feeling lonely that I encourage you to reach out and to make a plan yourself and connections won't fall on your lap.

And what I thought, especially with groups and meeting people and going out and meeting people was just that, oh, everybody in groups are really bitchy.

Everybody in groups are really not nice.

And I, I genuinely believed, I suppose you could call it a limiting belief.

Yeah, a limiting belief because hang on a second here.

Now, a limiting belief is when you have a belief about something because of an experience you've had.

So therefore, therefore you're telling yourself a story.

So for example, I did join a club a few years ago in Galway and I did have a really horrible experience and I did find everybody quite clicky and bitchy.

So therefore, the story that I told myself was that all groups in Galway are clicky and bitchy, which stopped me from doing any more.

And I just labeled everybody in groups not very welcoming until 2023 when I stopped telling myself that story.

And I actually kicked myself out the door and I joined a couple of clubs and I remember the first club I went to, I was sitting in the car, I can't believe I'm admitting this.

But I was, I started to bawl my eyes out crying.

I was supposed to walk in the door at 10 a.


and start this hobby with these people.

And it was 10 to 10 and my legs started shaking and I started crying and I rang Joe and I was like, oh, I actually can't do this.

Why am I putting myself through this?

They're not going to be nice.

And, um, I'm going to really struggle.

Oh, I'm getting emotional, sorry.

And Joe said it's ok.

Go on in, take a deep breath, walk in the door, you'll be absolutely fine.

Oh, and I was, and I met that day, some of the nicest people I have ever met in my whole life and they were so, so welcoming and they were so so kind and I had the best time ever.

And that's what I want to share with you today that if you want connection in your life, you need to put up with the uncomfortable feeling and you need to, you need to be ok with feeling rejected or feeling that people won't accept you or want you as part of the group that you have to be ok with that before you walk in the door and not let that stop you.

So be ok with all outcomes and think it's ok.

Whatever happens, it's not, it's not going to if it doesn't go, well, I'm not going to give up, I'm going to keep going and keep going and keep going with this group until I settle in or change groups or find another hobby until you find it.

And that's what I did this year and it has, it's changed my life in every way.

I've completely changed as a, as a person.

Um, and, and, and from walking in that door to meeting those wonderful kind people that I'll never forget that they're now in my life and I am so fulfilled and so connected in ways that I, I truly thought I never would.

Ok, let's move on a good book, like stock up now.

A good book can be great for your mental health to read over Christmas time and it can feel like a best friend.

You know, you're coming back from visiting somebody and you get the fire on and you sit in the living room and you're like, oh, I'm just going to get stuck into this lovely book now.

And it's like being reunited with friends again when you open your book, goal planning and journaling can be really, really terrific um because it keeps you like excited if you're feeling not so great around Christmas time and you get out a cork board and post it notes and start to create your vision board for 2024 and all the goals you want, you can get back to being excited again if you really find Christmas time.

Very tough.

It's I I think that, well, then why not plan for a terrific 2024 and spend a lot of your time just making loads of goals at the, at the time will pass.

Um If you're a member of the group, our group doing lots of thrive times can be helpful.

They're only 10 minutes long.

And in that we do lots of affirmations and um affirmations and visualization and it'll really help you feel grounded and centered.

And if you're not in our members group, doing 10 minutes of silence can be really, really helpful too, just sitting on your chair and actually just, just doing 10 minutes of silence with your eyes closed on your hands, on your thighs, just breathing, breathing, having your feet flat on the floor, tapping your feet left and right.

Find what you find.

Grounding over Christmas time.

Discover what that is.

What do you find grounding?

What helps you be centered for me?

It's laughing um getting out of fresh air doing my thrive times, which is affirmations, visualization, sitting in silence and having a really good book and of course, connections, which is now in my life.


So we're nearly there.

The last couple of action steps that are going to help you feel healthy over Christmas time is the s part of Pam's the five step framework.

So it's the self care part, which is kind of think of the, the self care is more like the routine part like your nutrition routine, your bedtime and your morning routine.

So with the nutrition, I did cover it a lot.

But I just want to remind you with the nutrition that it is focusing are not being obsessed with food.

So remembering the triggers, like if somebody is saying just like stock up your fridge full of snacks think, no, I've got fruit.

If I'm extra hungry and understanding that loads and loads and loads and loads of healthy food is equally as obsessive.

Let's call it as having unhealthy food.

I really encourage you when it comes to your nutrition.

To eat healthily ie, eat breakfast, eat lunch, eat dinner.

If you're going out for drinks, enjoy those drinks and focus on getting up the next day and carrying on is normal.

Or if you go visit a Christmas market and you have a mulled wine or a hot chocolate with a crepe or a hot dog or a doughnut, but that doesn't mean anything bad.

And you don't need to be sitting in the car on the way home thinking.

Oh, well, I've blown it now.

What exactly do you think you've blown?

No, you've just had a glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate and a doughnut, whatever and move on and have your dinner or have your lunch.

Don't take meaning from, from what you've eaten.

If that makes sense.

Equally, if you sit on the couch with the fire on and you decide to have three desserts or loads of chocolates.

All you've done is have had loads of chocolates.

It doesn't mean anything.

It doesn't mean you're overweight.

It doesn't mean you're off track.

It doesn't mean you have no willpower.

It just means that you sat on your chair around Christmas time and you had lots of chocolates and you can get up the next day and not die.

It just have your breakfast and chat about something else and really try and watch yourself like to maybe not turn around to your husband or whoever's listening and say, oh, I can't believe we had all the just how are you, how are you this morning?

And you don't have to be worried about like getting out into the fresh air or getting into a walk because you ate treats last night.

No, not at all.

Don't let that trigger that keep the fresh air, the exercise completely separate from, from how you handle your food.

And if I could give you one more nutritional tip, it would be just to observe yourself because we do learn through reflection and observing.

So I, I really encourage you to just observe and then just tweak as you go.

So you're eating your healthy foods, you're eating your healthy foods.

You have a night out, you really enjoy yourself.

You get up the next day and you carry on as normal.

That's a win.

That is brilliant.

That is brilliant.

Or you, you, you're eating healthy, you're eating healthy, then you, you know, decide to have loads of treats in the fire and you wake up the next morning and you feel like that's triggered you.

So you start eating like toast after toast, after toast and then you start snacking on the sweets and you just hold on a second.

What am I doing here?

What am I doing?

I'm walking around mindlessly eating.



Why is that?

Ask yourself why?


Oh, because I overindulged last night and now I'm just, you're just what you're eating more today because you overindulged last night.

That makes no sense.

Come on.

Come on, this is, this is kind of how I talk to myself.

Come on, Jessica.

You love being healthy.

Are you telling me you're trying to eat chocolate today because you ate chocolate last night?

What is with that?

That makes no sense?

Um So self care then also is your bedtime and your morning routine.

Like if you're absolutely knackered over Christmas time, get to bed if you're feeling good over Christmas time and you want to wake up at 6 a.


and go for a walk and have a cup of coffee in a journal.

Go ahead and do it.

You don't need anybody's permission, which is something I'm only learning in the past couple of years.

Don't be embarrassed to do what you want to do.

Being healthy is not dieting, being healthy is not restriction, being healthy.

Is being healthy.

Go to your friend's house and if they ask you, do you want a slice of cake or a biscuit cake?

Don't be afraid to say no thanks with no explanation needed.

You're not dieting saying no, isn't dieting.

I have to make up for all the lack of nos that I gave all over the years total people.


I didn't know how to say no.

And boy did I need to say no to some people over the years.

I'm making up for it now.

No, thanks.

You know, do you want that?

No, thank you.

Do you want that glass of wine?

No, thanks or whatever it is that you want to say no, thanks to.

You're not weird.

You're healthy, you're healthy, you're not dieting, you're healthy.

So say yes, please or no.

Thank you.

Depending on what you want.

Not on, on how you're coming across or what, you know, you think the other person needs to hear and it's not rude in Ireland to say no, thank you to somebody offering you stuff.

I do hear that a lot and I disagree.

I don't think it's rude at all.

Whoever's house you go to, it's not rude to say no, thank you.

You just don't want it like you're sitting there eating somebody watching you eating and you're trying to please them by letting them watch you eating.

It's so fucked up and messed up to say no, thanks.

I don't want that and laugh, like, think of the alternative that you're going to sit there and eat to make them happy.

How weird is that?

How weird?

Well, our time is up and I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did.

And I, I do want to thank you so much for being here.

I feel like we went on a big journey this year together.

And, uh, yeah, I thank you for that.

I thank you for being here.

And if you could share this podcast with somebody who you think might enjoy it, I would be forever grateful.

Have a wonderful day and bye for now.

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?

You can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash playlist.

Answer four easy questions and get a unique to your goals, playlist of the Jessica Cook podcast episodes in the area that you want the most help with.

That's Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash playlist.

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#147: The Secret to getting fit isn’t what you think

You're really welcome here today and thank you so much for being here.

I want to chat to you today about the secrets to getting fit and the common misconceptions out there about what it is to be fit and get fit with the outcome being in this episode that if you're struggling to exercise, you're struggling to work out that I want to really help you on your journey to becoming really consistent.

Getting consistent with exercise is one of the most amazing, powerful things you can do for yourself.

I know I've done so many episodes so far.

And the benefits of exercise.

But they are just amazing.

It is my firm belief that everything good starts from exercise.

The one habit of working out consistently transforms you and it makes all the other healthy habits much, much easier to do.

They come much more naturally to you when you're exercising, as opposed to when you're not, you're fit, you're calm, you're in control, you're more productive.

So, with that in mind, let's dive straight into the secret to getting fit isn't what you think.

And what a lot of us think when we're starting in our fitness journey or when we think about the idea of getting fit, I always imagine seeing a woman in a park really struggling with a run or seeing somebody really struggling in a, in a, in a, in a boot camp class or a workout class.

I used to always think of workouts and exercise as being breathless, feeling unfit, really a real negative experience, a really, really negative experience.

And what a lot of us do is we think of exercise as something that we have to get right, something that we have to do properly.

We've got to lift heavy weights, we've got to get breathless so that we become fit so that we won't be breathless anymore.

And every single thing that we do in terms of fitness has to be a struggle and a challenge or else it's not, we're not getting fit and this is where so many people fall off and stop exercising because we start exercise after maybe having been away from it for a long time and we get stuck in and we want to do the best we possibly can.

And all these negative things come back.

We get breathless.

We, we struggle, we push, we pull and sooner or later we want to stop.

Now, this has happened to me over and over again in the years that it took me to become fit and healthy and how inconsistent I was, I spent so much wasted time thinking of getting fit as exactly how I just described.

I remember so well, me trying to get fit after just being so unhealthy, I'd finished college, I'd come back from Paris.

I wanted to get healthy.

I was just all work.

I had no balance and I was really, really unhealthy overweight, eating too much food.

And I remember when I moved to Galway trying to get into jogging in Salt Hill, I started at the Claddagh and just the pain, the sweat, the stitch being really breathless and thinking it was just horrific.

And I think I lasted about 20 minutes and at the end of the 20 minutes, I said, ok, well, look, it's done.

And I tried to go a couple of days later and the experience that I had was just so bad that I didn't want to go back.

And it was the same with the countless amount of times I joined the gym as well.

I'd go to the gym, I'd put the treadmill or the cross trainer on the highest setting I'd sweat really hard.

I would think workout done after about 20 minutes.

And then I would never want to go back.

And I always associated that with getting fit really sweaty, really tough and really out of breath the whole time.

I'm here to tell you that it's not about that at all.

And if you are struggling to get fit, that, I want you to know that in order for you to get fit, you have to become consistent.

And that act, in actual fact, consistency is better than the workout itself.

Consistency is better than the workout itself.

So the real question is how do you get consistent?

And this is where again, so many people fall off because a lot of us think that to get consistent, we need a lot of motivation when actually to get consistent.

We need discipline.

And there's so many things I want to share with you about this.

The first one being that if you agree with me that it's about consistency and it's not actually about the workouts, it's about consistency with the workout.

So it doesn't really matter how the workout goes.

You could do a five minute workout, a 10 minute workout, a 30 minute workout.

You can lift weights or follow along a workout with no weights in your hands.

But it's actually the showing up part in the first few months.

That is way more important than the actual workout itself.

Because when you think about it, you're building the habit of exercise, you're moving your body, that's the most important thing.

And then you can move on to potentially improving your actual workout session.

Or if you start with 10 minute workouts, then you can move on to 30 minute workouts when you're ready.

So if you're in agreement with me, now that it's actually to become consistent with your workouts is more important than the actual workout.

Then the real question is, how do we get consistent?

And what we don't do is we don't let ourselves think that motivation is going to bring us consistency.

What is going to bring us consistency is discipline and I want to share with you um the official definition of motivation.

Um and this is by the um Cambridge willpower.


So willpower is um a very strong determination to do something.

I know I've got the willpower to do it.

Joan attempts to stop smoking by willpower.

Joan attempts to lose weight by healthy eating.

Now, will power is something that will get you started.

And willpower and motivation is the natural human drive to achieve something.

And it's, it's your why at the very beginning, I want to lose weight because I don't feel great in photographs.

Now, that's definitely enough to get you started.

But motivation doesn't last forever.

Milk willpower doesn't last forever.

No matter how much you want something, it's an absolutely scientifically temporary effect created by the brain to boost you in the right direction.

Isn't that so fascinating?

However many of us myself included, rely on willpower, rely on motivation because we don't know any differently.

And that's what happens when, you know, I hear so many people say, and I've done it myself as well.

I'm great in the first couple of weeks and then I always seem to stop.

And to me that's somebody not quite recognizing yet that that's because they had willpower, they had motivation at the beginning.

But when that goes for scientific reasons, it leaves your brain and you haven't built up or learned how to become disciplined, then you're going to stop.


I absolutely love knowing this because it really does quieten and silence your loud, negative inner voice that tells you here you go again.

And when you hear yourself, say that to yourself, the next time you start something rather than think here I go again.

I'm being so lazy.

You can think to yourself.

This is actually my willpower leaving.

This is just science, willpower and motivation.

Only last roughly about three weeks.

I want my, I'm going to get my self discipline to kick in.

So if you agree with me at this point, that consistency is better than the workout itself.

And then the next step for you is to agree with me that we get consistent through self-discipline, not motivation or willpower.

Then I want to share with you what the definition of self-discipline is.

Now, I want to give you two definitions.

One is in the Cambridge dictionary, the other is in the Collins dictionary.

So this is the Cambridge dictionary, self-discipline.

The ability to make yourself do things, you know, you should do even when you do not want to, the ability to make yourself do things, you know, you should do even when you do not want to.

Now, I think that definition is pretty good, but I just don't like the word should.

I don't think we should have to really do anything in terms of what I'm talking about anyway, fitness and health.

We want to get fit and healthy because we want to not because we feel like we should.

So I'm not such a huge fan of that word should in there, but I still think it's a really good definition.

And then the Collins is one is the Collins Dictionary is self discipline is the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do.

I'm just going to repeat that self discipline is the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do.

I like that too.

Not such a big fan of the work hard.

But yeah, behave in a particular way.

So, self-discipline is absolutely.

What is going to get you where you want to be?

Discipline creates your habits, habits make your routines and your routines become who you are.

Isn't that amazing?

And I'm just going to say it one more time because when I first read it, I wanted to reread it over and over again because I just loved it.

So much discipline creates habits, habits, make routines and routines become who you are.

Discipline, helps us train our minds and body and enables us to focus on our goals and to regulate our emotions.

It's like a muscle, the more you train it, the stronger you become a self-discipline is really, really cool and it has brought so much joy into my life.

Now, the old version of me would have looked at self discipline and self disciplined people as very negative.

They're restricting their dieting.

And I just know that now to be so not true, that discipline brings around such joy.

I mean, even that description that it helps us train our minds and bodies that we're not controlled by our thoughts that our bodies aren't these really overweight, unhealthy things that we have to look around, that we've, we've trained them, we've trained our mind, we've trained our bodies and therefore that enables us to focus on our goals and being disciplined also helps us regulate our emotions it's just so amazing.

And I just want to give you some examples because I've gone from a very undisciplined.

I've been a very undisciplined person to a very disciplined person.

And I want to just give you a couple of examples of when I was very undisciplined.

And the first one I want to start off with is the morning time.

So as a very undisciplined person, the morning times were very, very stressful and very, very emotional for me.

I used to wake up in the morning, really stressed out that it was the morning again.

I felt like I had spent the whole day before trying to feel, ok, trying to get to that place where I felt, ok.

And I would just about manage it when the evening time rolled around and I was sitting down after a long day that I would get that dread, that pit in my feeling stomach, that really scary feeling.

I just felt terrified about going to bed because I knew going to bed meant that I would have to face up to the next day and do it all over again.

So I would wake up in the morning, extremely stressed out and feeling like, oh my God, what's going to happen today?

How am I going to cope with today?

I'm just scared and tired of the emotional roller coaster that I knew I was about to face and I was very, very cranky in the morning, Joe used to find it very hard to talk to me and he was saying to me like what's wrong and I knew I would be feeling so cranky and kind of nobody talked to me and just feeling like I had these barriers up.

But I couldn't even put it into words.

I didn't even know what it was back then.

But it was a lack of discipline.

It was a lack of discipline in my life.

I had no regulation over my emotions.

I had no training of my mind.

I was unhealthy as well.

And my morning times were extremely stressful.

Another example that I want to give you about how, um, a lack of self discipline was in my life was back when I owned the gym, the gym on the Tune Road in Galway.

I owned a women's only gym gym.

I'm all online now.

Um, and for some of the years it was really, really stressful owning that gym.

You know, we had a team of five of us and a really, really big facility.

I'm brutal when it comes to knowing square footages and all that.

But I think it was about 2500 square foot.

It was right slap bang on the Tune Road.

The rates were huge.

The rent was huge and financially we had to work super, super hard to make sure that it was in profit.

And one year when my kids were still really small, um, our tap leaked in the kitchen and just overnight and it went everywhere and it leaked down into the under, into the downstairs of our neighbors downstairs who also had a business and I was, we kind of cleaned up all the stuff anyway.

And it didn't look like there was too much damage.

It didn't look like there was very much damage at all.


Um, downstairs when the owner brought us down to it, we went down to him, of course, and we looked around and he was ok.

But a couple of months later anyway, when it was coming close to Christmas time, when gyms always get a little bit quieter, um, financially, things were really, really tight and we were trying to run a really tight ship.

It's very difficult to get new clients in the door, um, around Christmas time.

Of course, because a lot of people wait for January and I walked into work one day and there was a letter there waiting for me and it was that downstairs were suing us for a huge amount of money and I, my legs just gave way and I bawled my eyes out crying and I was just completely out of control and I spent the next couple of weeks really so hyper stressed out that all I could do was sit in front of the computer when I was in work privately or in front of Joe and just cry, just cry and just almost wish for like new people to come in the door just to wish that things could be different just to wish for something good to happen.

And I look back now really kindly and compassionately to the person that I was back then because I had no idea how to process things or how to deal with challenges that come your way, which now I know they're always going to come your way.

You can't escape challenges.

And that example, the way I behaved was the way I behaved.

Any time a challenge came my way, crying, desperate, I would freeze, moved away from even 1% thinking of what I could do about it.

And solution focused to just overwhelm, stressed out, anxious, frozen.

And there are so many stories I have of the gym with situations like that because it was such a difficult time in my life.

But that was the way I always handled my problems.

And I realize now there was such a lack of discipline in my life.

I had such an inability.

I just didn't have the tools back then because you can, you can learn everything to handle things, to tackle things, to focus on solutions, to come up with solutions, to regulate my emotions, to manage my emotions so that I could step into a leadership role.

Um so that I could also compartmentalize things and still enjoy my home life.

But everything just was chaotic and all the challenges in my life just fed into my whole life.

If there was a problem in the gym, there was a problem in my whole life and that's all changed for me now.

And it's down thankfully to discipline that I've created and how I've learned about discipline, which I'm going to share with you.

Um, and another example of a lack of discipline is, is all those long days in the gym that I would just find so stressful.

I used to just find the whole financial side of the gym really, really stressful.

Um because the rate and the rates and rent were so high, everything was just operating on such a high level.

You know, you have to take in a huge amount of members all the time, make sure that everything was just run so tightly.

And Arthur and Emily, I mean, Arthur was only Emily was just born in 2015 when we moved into that place.

So I was really two tiny babies, a one year old and Emily just been born and we had just moved into our new house.

So it was just such a stressful time every single day.

I used to drive by Apple Green on my way home on the Tomb Road and just go in there and get like a bucket of the chicken that you get in the Chinese place in Apple Green.

I can't remember the name of it and just sit in the car and drive home.

And eat it and just take comfort from the food.

Or I would go and I'd get a kit kat and a packet of crisps or two spring rolls or anything that I felt just to eat my emotions because I didn't know how to regulate them.

And I had no discipline in my life.

I was unhealthy, unhappy, stressed out and anxious and I didn't know how to tackle challenges and I didn't know actually that you could have challenges in your life and still be happy that you can face all these things and still actually have peace and calm inside of you.

And that's what self discipline brings to you.

Um I would skip workouts because I wasn't in the mood and I, I actually part of me thought that's the way you did it.

Well, I'm not in the mood to work out today, so I'll do that tomorrow now that I understand about discipline and the importance of not doing that because you need to be proving to yourself all the time that when you say you're going to do something, you do it because that really um builds your self confidence in yourself.

And it really makes you believe that you're becoming a disciplined person.

And when you believe you're becoming a different disciplined person, you then become more disciplined because you're so proud of yourself.

So it just has this wonderful knock on effect and an effect that I never had for.

Absolutely years.

It's only been in the recent years that I have truly transformed.

And the last example that I want to give you about a lack of discipline and the impact it had on me is that I couldn't eat anything sugary or sweet or unhealthy without overeating.

It would just set me off.

And I would say like, oh God, I'm just, you know, one and I'm all or nothing and these throwaway kind of flippant remarks and, you know, there's so much hurt and pain for a lot of people when they're actually saying they're very all or nothing.

It's a really horrible way to feel that you are and it's not how you're born, you're not an all or nothing person, you're either hurting and you need to heal.

You're using food as comfort, you're in pain somehow.

You don't know how to change that behavior.

But it is a behavior and it's not you and who you are.

Um So be so gentle with yourself around that kind of all or nothing, I'm all or nothing because as humans, we're not designed to have one biscuit and then eat the whole pack.

We're not, it's not inside of us.

We're not born that way to just bang five packets of crisps because I've had one where discipline will really help you actually be able to eat healthy and eat unhealthy things in moderation, things that bring us joy, like desserts and lovely things like that.

You really, and truly can get to a place where you have discipline.

And I want to just say to you one thing about discipline that there's many people I know from my old life that I think, look at me sometimes and think that I am restricting and controlling myself when actually it couldn't be further from the truth.

And most people that I see trapped in a cycle of binging and eating and overeating and drinking too much alcohol.

They are actually the really unhappy ones and that's how I was for absolutely years.

And discipline can bring you so much joy and happiness and it can help you feel really good about yourself.

And if you want to be healthy, which I think everybody does deep down, I think everybody wants to be healthy.

And if you agree with me that you want to be healthy, then I really encourage you not to look at being disciplined as something to be embarrassed about or as something to hide, which is something I did at the beginning of my journey when I found out through writing out my avatar, through writing at the person that I wanted to become, that I wanted to be disciplined.

And I hear this a lot with, with my clients.

Um, so some of my clients have told me and me in the past too that when they're going around to visit people, they, they're too embarrassed to say no or they're in work and they're offered little of sweets that they don't want to be seen as the person on a diet or restricting.

Well, if you're not on a diet and you're not restricting and all it is is you being disciplined that you love being fit and healthy.

You love how your body feels in clothes or you want your, you want to feel good in your clothes that these are really positive things, being healthy and being trim and being fit and having strong muscles is really positive.

And in my opinion, to be that person, you need to show self discipline.

So don't be embarrassed or shy about going around to your sisters or your friend's house and them offering you something and you really want to say no, say no thanks.

And rather than kind of no thanks.

Apologize and come up with some excuse or reason like, oh, I'm watching my weight.

Maybe you're not, maybe you don't want to say it like that.

Maybe it's like, no thanks and just leave it at that.

They say why, what's wrong with you just say I just don't want it.

You don't have to tell people why.

And if people want to assume that it's because you're watching your weight or something really old fashioned and less empowering than that.

Let them, you are practicing the art of self discipline.

You are taking control of the health of your body, of your mind.

You're building, you're flexing that muscle, you're gaining confidence with every, every time you say no, when you want to say no.

And last thing just be really proud of yourself, be proud to say no, thanks.


So I want to share with you how to become disciplined.


So I just want to pull it up here.

Um And I have it written down in my steps here.

Um So how to become disciplined in seven steps between five and seven steps.

So the best way to gain discipline, number one is to know your strengths and weaknesses.

When you understand what you excel at easily in and you understand where you're going to struggle, you're going to be able to set a much better plan for yourself based on you and your strengths and your weaknesses.

Step number two is to remove temptations initially in that very beginning new phase when you want to work out and eat healthy and you struggle, remove the temptation from your house.

It is the only way it is.

The only way you'll get disciplined, you'll learn discipline.

You'll become, it'll become easier for you to eat healthy.

But why set yourself up?


Say to yourself, oh, well, look, the kids like a treat.

Oh, well, look, my husband just ask them if they love you, they will be your biggest cheerleader and if they don't want to help you, then, then you need to have a serious conversation with them about how important it is to you.

So step number three is to set clear goals and have an an execution plan.

So what is it that you actually want?

I want to be fit and healthy.

I really discourage you to write down any weight loss goal or anything like that.

I want to be fit and healthy.

So your execution plan is OK.

Well, what, what does that look like in terms of your action steps for me?

Not for anything I've seen on the internet or somebody, something's told me to do.

But how many workouts per week for that is good for me.

How many walks?

What's my guideline around the water?

Follow my five step framework.

PMS have action steps on your physical movement, your accountability and support your hydration, your mental health and your self care action steps.

That's going to give you a wonderful holistic approach around your health.

Too many of us think of our health as just fitness and nutrition, fitness and nutrition.

And then we get obsessed.

It gets boring, drop it.

Whereas health is so much more than that, it's about reducing anxiety, reducing stress, loving yourself, creating boundaries, making connections, exercising, eating healthy, drinking water.

So if you've, if you're working on all these disciplines in the week and you have a week where you, you might work out well, you're still focusing on connections, water, food.

But when you're just so laser focused on food or exercise, and you might have a week where things didn't go your way with the food and exercise, you all of a sudden feel like you're failing with your health.

Whereas you may have met up with your friends twice a week and laughed so much, your belly hurt, you may have drank water and you may have gotten to bed on time with a good book that is health.

So you need to be super, super clear about what it means to you to be healthy.

What does it mean for you?


So next thing is to practice self-discipline while you're creating your new habits and rituals.

So first of all, just practicing discipline every day, which for me involves being really aware of myself and observing myself around all the times that I'll be triggered.

Like if I'm with somebody and they ask me, do I want a dessert with my coffee self-discipline for me?

Is is, is saying no thanks and stopping speaking and not saying no thanks.

I'm just trying to just, no thanks.

Why am I giving you a reason?

No, thanks.

If you offered me a sandwich, you wouldn't be like, why, why, why, why, why if you want to reduce alcohol and you're in a book club or you're doing something nice for yourself?

And somebody says, do you want a glass of wine?

You don't need to say no thank you because I'm driving.

No, there's no thank you.

I'd love a sparkling water though.

Oh Right.

Why are you not drinking?

I just don't want to and leave it at that.

And I know the temptation is to keep on speaking because you feel so bad, especially if you're a people pleaser.

You don't have to do any of that.

And then you're practicing discipline and you're also, you're not just practicing the discipline of saying no, thank you.

You're also practicing the discipline of not people pleasing, which gets pretty brilliant when you practice it over the weeks and over the months, create new habits and new rituals.

So if you're always meeting or doing something that is unhealthy, don't do it anymore.

And I know that sounds easier than it is, but create new rituals, create new habits.

When myself and Joe first gave up alcohol, our rituals kind of stayed the same.

Like we would still go out the first time.

We went out after giving up alcohol, we went out at half eight at night and it was horrific.

We went to a bar um because we, you know, we didn't really know what else to do and we just sat there and had waters and a nice chat, but it was too noisy, it was too loud and we were around everybody that was drinking and then we went for a meal at nine o'clock and it was too noisy and it was too loud as a person that doesn't drink anymore.

It's so much more fun for me to go out at lunch time or to go out early in the evening and then get home early, get into my jamma pajamas and still have enough time to have a hot chocolate and to sit and relax and watch something on the TV.

I love that.

That might be somebody else's worst nightmare.

So come up with new rituals and remind yourself you don't have to do the same thing if it's not working for you anymore.

And if you don't enjoy something, maybe it's time to stop doing it, create new rituals, create new habits that are going to help you become the person that you want to become and um understand and change your perception about willpower and lastly be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Discipline again, isn't another stick to beat yourself with becoming self disciplined.

Isn't like right.

That's it.

I understand.

I'm going to be self disciplined.

Bang perfection all or nothing back to square one because you think you can't be disciplined.

Don't we all do that as women?

It's such a female thing to do that.


Thank you.

I'm going to be disciplined bang.

It's not working.

I'm not disciplined.

Oh God, I'm being so um I'm being so I'm being so bad.

Here I go again.

No, it takes practice and the very word practice should conjure up for you.

Setbacks, setbacks while you get good practice means practicing something you want to get good at.

So if you want to get good at it.

Allow yourself all the setbacks and challenges it takes for you to become the person you want to be.

Only a few years ago.

I was so unhealthy, walking around with a flushed face, drinking too much overeating every night, eating sugar every night, overweight, uncomfortable in my clothes.

Self esteem at rock bottom.

A constant pit in my stomach feeling like on the verge of a panic attack.

Now, I didn't go and get a brain transplant.

I worked on myself and even the word work sounds hard.

I just practiced these things that I'm sharing with you.

Now, you still go about your day the same.

However, you start to become aware of what you want to change and you move towards changing it, allowing yourself setbacks and challenges along the way.

I want to remind you that um where did I put it?


I want to remind you that discipline creates habits.


So discipline creates habits, habits make routine and routines become who you are if you're not happy with yourself.

Now, if you're not happy with the way you are, if you want to be fit and healthy and you feel like you're outer body, your shell, who you look at in the mirror, you don't recognize that person start your journey of becoming who you want to become and don't take your setbacks to mean anything other than you're just in practice mode.

You have got this, I am so so proud of you.

And I really hope you enjoyed this episode.

If you did come on and share with me your thoughts over on Instagram, you can find me.

My Instagram handle is just Jessica Cook.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for listening.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

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#146: How to Step into Your Power

Hi and welcome to today's episode where I'm going to be chatting to you about how to step into your power.

Now, this is going to be a great episode for you.

If you are feeling like you're a little bit lost in yourself, you're feeling stuck.

You don't have any boundaries up and maybe you're feeling like every day is a groundhog day and there's not much joy in it for you for you at the minute.

Um to chat to you about how I have stepped into my power and I am starting starting really starting my journey of stepping into my power.

Knowing who I am and not tying my self worth into how people treat me, perceive me or feel about me and finding my own truth, my own truth in this world.

And I hope you find your own truth and your own space in this world too.

Just back from a trip.

Um, we went to New York.

It was a trip of a lifetime.

I've always wanted to go to America.

I've had it on my vision board for a long time.

Um, since 2013 actually, and this year was the first opportunity we got to go.

Kids are a little bit older, Arthur nine, Emily eight.

And we just thought it was a great time to go.

And it was, I'm a little bit wheezy today though, from all the air conditioning that was over there on the flight home and poor Arthur, we got back on Saturday morning.

So, you know that America is five hours behind and he came to us in the, in our bedroom at one o'clock this morning, crying saying I still can't get to sleep and I don't know what to do.

And I'm so tired.

So he got to sleep at about two o'clock this morning and then he was straight into school.

However, it was really worth it and it was absolutely amazing.

Um, it's great to be back and great to be back into the routine.

Um, I'm stepping into my power.

Are you joining me?

I'm giving you.

Um, I think about seven tips in this episode to help you step into your power.

If you're feeling lost, if you feel like you've got no boundaries and your identity is gone somehow and you feel like you need to find your voice again.

I have spent most of my adult life feeling like I have had no voice and not really knowing myself very, very well for those of you that listen to my podcast, you know, that, that um showed itself up in my weight.

I was three stone overweight and when I wasn't three stone overweight, when it looked like I was a normal weight, I was struggling big time stuck in a cycle of restriction with my food, overeating binging.

Um So I may not have been overweight for all my life, but I was always battling and struggling with my weight.

Um I've drank way too much alcohol at the weekends, comfort, ate, emotionally ate, binge, ate restricted, dieted for a years.

Um I've been very hard on myself, perfectionist tendencies, massive people pleaser absolutely no boundaries.

I've had people in my life that I haven't wanted in my life that I've had, you know, lots of contact with me and I haven't wanted to have contact with them and I would just felt so stuck.

Um My journey of stepping into my power has only been over the past couple of years and I want to share it with you because the quality of my life has just gone so great that I need to share it with you in case you're not feeling so great.

If you're feeling stuck in the same trap, I was stuck in where I felt so low.

I felt so anxious.

I had a permanent feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I felt anxious.

I felt stressed out.

I was ruminating on things the whole time.

I was worrying about the future.

The whole time I was people pleasing and then despising myself after I left the company of people because I knew I wasn't being true to myself, almost feeling like I was fake laughing or, or, or, or, or, or privately not agreeing with people but publicly agreeing with everybody.

I had no boundaries.

I had no hobbies, no pastimes.

I would only meet up with one friend every week, every couple of weeks.

I didn't have a social life at all.

I isolated myself.

Um I felt very bad at myself really low when I would look in the mirror or see myself in a reflection in a, in a shop window.

And I felt really awful.

It was only when I decided to do something about it after years of dieting and exercising and realizing that it's dieting and trying to control my weight is never going to get to the reason of why I was overweight.

It was only in the past couple of years that I decided to figure out why I was overweight, why I was struggling with my weight so much, why I was so inconsistent with exercise, why I seemed unable to eat less food.

It was only when I went on that journey that I discovered this whole journey of self love and understanding that in order for me to be healthy, I needed to learn how to love myself again.

And that's where we're at now sharing with you the real way to become fit and healthy, the real way back to yourself because there is so much misinformation out there that if you're overweight, you need to diet and it's just your willpower.

That's the problem or you're overweight and you just don't know the correct foods to eat, which is just insanely untrue if we have weight issues, if we're eating too much, if we struggle to show up to our workouts, it's not that we're, it's not those surface problems like, oh, well, we're lazy.

We have little motivation.

We have no time.

It's always much deeper than that.

And when we focus on that deep stuff and we get to heal and really rediscover ourselves again, then that's when we can start to really flourish and grow and become healthy for the rest of our lives.

We can give up the weighing scales and dieting and restricting and binging and that cycle of feeling bad all of the time and starting again on a Monday, the moment you realize your worth isn't tied into how people treat you perceive you or feel about you.

You can go and find your own power, true value and purpose.

And I believe one of the most difficult things a woman will do in her lifetime is make the choice to step into her power.

Part of the reason for this difficulty is the courage it takes to own your truth, set your boundaries and allow yourself to be seen unfiltered absolutely authentically as you are.

It takes an awful amount of courage if you haven't being true to yourself, if you have now, so many habits that you do that you're so used to and the people around you that you love are so used to like you, you have no boundaries, you silence and you censor yourself and you don't really speak your truth.

It takes an awful lot of courage to change that and step into your power, especially if you don't like confrontation.

Because for me anyway, it felt quite confrontational at the beginning when I decided to actually step into my power and own my truth and truth be told I did actually row more with my husband Joe in the initial phases of me stepping into my power because I was so used to just wanting to shut myself off from disagreements that I would always just try to not row rather than speak my truth.

And it took a lot of practice to get me there.

But I want you to know now that stepping into your potential and stepping into your power can happen at any time, it can happen right now today, if you are willing to confront the challenges that comes with going against the grain and going against what you're used to and creating a new life for yourself.

And if you decide to do this with me today, go on the journey of um stepping into your power, you will always feel moments where you're kind of questioning if it's worth the effort.

Like I mentioned, for example, I started to argue with Joe a little bit more.

Um The few friendships I did have in my life also got a bit tense because I was changing and the dynamic within my friendships were changing because I was starting to speak my truth and move away more from the people pleaser that they had gotten used to.

And I by stepping into my power, wanted to start to have more from connections and friendships and relationships that weren't so one sided and that I was getting stuff out of the friendships too, um which took an enormous amount of work and it is difficult.

However, it's really exciting and it's really worth it.

And at the other end of it, then you really um blossom and grow as a person and the right people are in your life and you can just have this wonderful, wonderful life.

You um have to really get to know your identity and who you are.

You have to really free yourself from the limitations of mainstream media standards.

Stop going after like keeping up with the Joneses and things that you think you should be doing and really put blinkers on and figure out what it is that you want and what you stand for.

Um, and again, not going against the grain, you need to trust that, you know what is best for you.

And when you start listening to yourself, it becomes really addictive.

You start to listen to yourself and you start to make changes.

All you want to do is listen to you.

I used to always go to advice um for advice to my husband Joe who is a wonderful person and I still always go to him for advice and chats.

However, I used to only go to him and never myself.

If I had a problem, I would go to him straight away.

Whereas now I think about what it is that how I feel and how I want to change it.

And then we have a good chat.

Um So it's owning your power requires an awful lot of confidence as well.

You really have to put your shoulders back and go for it.

So for whatever reason in your past, you have lost your power.

Um Only you know why you have, um, and ways that that has come out for me is I have been a huge people pleaser.

Um I have really seeped, sought approval from people outside of myself and I've gone to great lengths to please people um at the expense of my own needs and my own desires.

And I have done that for most of my adult life.

Um So if that resonates with you, great, this is what we're working on.

Uh Also difficulty saying no, um stepping into your power, you're going to really practice the art of saying no many of us that haven't stepped into our power yet.

Um Fear conflict and rejection.

Um I've always feared conflict um because I feel that I will be rejected with conflict.

So I've always found it very, very difficult to set boundaries and fear of confrontation has been a huge one for me.

Um And that's why I've always avoided conflict or confrontation.

And it is a total sign that you haven't fully stepped into your power, especially if you go out of your way to avoid difficult conversations and they just stress you out so much, so much to the point where you can't do them a lack of goal setting.

So for some of us, it manifests itself is that if we don't have a strong sense of personal power, we might struggle to set meaningful goals and not, maybe not even know what it is that we want.

Um You may have a lot of self doubt, negative self talk can be totally indicative of someone who hasn't embraced their power, um passivity, over reliance on external validation and frequent comparison to others and perfectionism and difficulty making decisions.

So, if you feel like you're in that zone right now where every day is a bit of a groundhog day and you don't have much joy and happiness in your life.

And you feel, I feel like you have lost your voice and I want to give you some tips for you to start your journey um to reclaiming your power and finding your voice and starting to really put those shoulders back and declare what it is that you want out of your life right now rather than waiting.

So the first thing you've got to do is you've got to embrace your feelings and rediscover who you are, rediscovering yourself again, stepping into your truth, no hiding or masking how you really feel.

So this means working on turning inwards rather than outwards, you can hear yourself.

So when I was eating and drinking too much, I didn't know how I felt.

I didn't feel many emotions.

So I didn't need to understand them.

Now, I would spend the week stressed out.

I had no boundaries.

Um I had that horrible pit in my feeling the whole time that I was never enough that I was never doing enough.

So because of that, I was so driven in work to just do as much as I possibly could.

Um at the detriment to myself and I would live for the weekends and although I was healthy during the day, during the week, I would live for that time at the end of the night where I could sit down and have food, junk food, crisps, biscuits because I didn't want to face how I was feeling and I didn't want to change things because I was scared and I don't even think I knew that back then.

I just wanted treats.

That's just what I thought of it.

I just wanted something sweet.

Now, I know that I was trying to change how I felt and the five pm wine at the weekends five pm on a Friday, I was drinking to change how I felt and I was drinking too much because I wanted to unwind and escape from my reality.

And I got so used to doing that that I really got out of practice of feeling feelings.

I mean, I felt like a baby when I, when I gave up alcohol and stopped emotional eating and, and started to experience the feelings and the sensation of those feelings on my body and the feeling in my mind of what that those feelings were.

I felt like I was reborn starting again, it was quite stressful.

Um So in order for you to turn inwards and embrace your feelings and rediscover who you are, you're going to have to commit to not eating or drinking them.

Um And now that, that, that might mean just during the week and you might still want to drink alcohol and have treats at the weekends.

But in order for you to feel your feelings to rediscover yourself and feel how you feel, you're going to have to knock the emotional eating on the head.

So I want to give you a couple of tips to do that.

And the first one, it sounds really obvious, but it's to sit with your feelings and the way I do that is to use Tara Bracks, which, which I've mentioned on this podcast so many times, acronym Rain, which is to when you're feeling stressed, when you want to eat, you sit there, you close your eyes or a in you, you recognize the feeling.

So you say the feeling out loud, I'm stressed or I'm anxious and then a acknowledge or aware, you acknowledge the feeling in your body.

Um You, you feel it, you say, OK, this is here.

Um I investigate why am I feeling like this, which so many of us don't do.

I didn't do that.

I used to spend all my time during the day stressed out and anxious.

Never 1% questioning why I was, it was just such a default behavior for me to act and feel stressed out and anxious.

So the eye part is to investigate where that's coming from.

And then the end part is to nurture yourself and to mother yourself and to self soothe and say it's ok, it's ok.

And to ask yourself, what can you do right now to help yourself?

What do you need right now?

Um, number two is to, it sounds really basic, but it's to clear your house of junk food and alcohol during the week.

If it's not there, you're not going to have it and if it is there and you don't want it, but you're keeping it in the house, then maybe that's something you need to, you own up to.

Why are you keeping it in the house?

And so often I used to say this for years.

It's oh, it's because the kids might want something.

It's because Joe, when really, it's great for the whole family to be healthy during the week.

And if you have people that love you in your house and you're telling them I'm really struggling, I really want to start getting in touch with myself.

One of, one of the ways for me to do that is to stop reaching for food after dinner or reaching for that glass of wine.

However, I'm really struggling with having it in the house just temporarily for the next couple of weeks while I break the habit.

Is there any chance just between Sunday and Thursday, we could keep it out of the house.

I would appreciate that so much.

All the people that love you in your life are going to say, yes, straight away, it really does help, especially in the initial phase where you're trying to break the habit.

And remember when you've got junk food and alcohol out of your house, midweek, you are going to sit there with your feelings and you're going to have to experience your feelings and through experiencing those feelings, you're going to get to know yourself.

And over time, if all you do is just keep experiencing all the feelings that are bubbling up and you don't turn to external forces like online shopping or scrolling on your phone or eating or drinking, you're going to get better at coping with how you feel, which is really cool.

Um My next tip is just to have like herbal teas in the house for the evening time after dinner when you might be struggling a little bit, a peppermint tea can be really warming and really comforting.

Um Exercise is my next tip for you to be able to sit with your feelings.

Um not exercising instead of eating.

I just mean that it will help reduce your stress and anxiety.

So if you're working out three times a week, your stress and anxiety is automatically going to be reduced.

And the fifth tip for you to rediscover your feelings and tap into your feelings is to identify your triggers.

Identify who and what makes your emotional state change makes you feel stressed out or anxious.

Maybe there's somebody in your family who rings you once a week in your extended family.

And you haven't noticed it before, but you just are so un centered and ungrounded after the phone call and you just want to eat everything, which is how I used to be.

Um, or maybe it's when you speak to somebody in work or when you don't stick to your boundaries and you put an appointment in with your boss when you should, when you wanted to work out, um, whatever your triggers are to make you want to turn to food or alcohol or scroll and your get to know them and then go back to that acronym reign.

The Tara Tara Bracks reign where you sit, you recognize the feeling you allow it in, you investigate it, you nurture it and, and, and let for the feeling to pass and wash over you.


So that's the first, almost like foundational step that worked for me.

And the very first step is, is you have to first off, get in touch with your feelings.

Um The second thing I did is to put up boundaries.

Um I had to start at the beginning.

I, I've never had boundaries before.

Um, the past couple of years I remember so well, like members of my family ringing me years ago because they would want to chat.

Um And I would just stay on the phone for as long as they wanted to.

I remember one time specifically going on a date with Joe in the prom and one of my family members ringing me and we had just met up and I stayed on the phone until the other person wanted to for an hour.

And, um, that was kind of how I operated.

My phone would ring.

I would answer it.

I would stay for however long they wanted.

Um, in particular, if it was somebody who didn't respect me or respect my boundaries, it's kind of easy to say.

Look, I gotta go when it's somebody where there's mutual respect and trust.

But for those people that are in your life that might take advantage or don't care about you as much as they should if they're in your life.

Um It can be very difficult to have boundaries when you have never been taught what a boundary is or how to have boundaries or how to respect yourself, which I definitely feel something that was missing for me growing up.

So it's really difficult to put up boundaries at the start if you're a people pleaser and if you're so used to being a people pleaser, it can be really, really scary.

I have been so scared of rejection and people telling me that they don't love me um that I have really wanted to stay in people pleasing mode like genuinely I would say to myself actually, no, this isn't worth it.

I would start a boundary and I think no, it's not worth it.

I don't want to upset that person.

I want them in my life or I don't want them to be annoyed at me.

So that's so much I don't want them to be annoyed at me.

I'll just stay as I am.

Um almost like you're trying to control the outcome.

Um Whereas I've learned that letting go of all outcomes is really healthy.

Boundaries are really important for you to have a really great life for you to be happy and for you to rediscover yourself and for you to nurture and take the time for yourself.

I I'm almost getting emotional at the idea of some of you listening in not having boundaries.

I have never had a boundary up until maybe a year and a half ago.

Um You need to decide for yourself what you want and you need to decide for yourself what you want and deserve without fear of using your voice to let others know your worth.

Once you do this heavy lifting at the start, everything will really flow in alignment and things will get really, really good for you.

It's really difficult to go from no boundaries to actually putting up a boundary.

And I'm going to share with you how to uh put up boundaries now.

Um But recognizing that setting boundaries is an act of self care.

It is a good thing to prioritize your well being.

It's a good thing to say no, when necessary and taking care of yourself allows you to be more present and effective in your relationships and you get to enjoy your life so much more.

Um If you have a lack of boundaries, you're probably feeling taken advantage of in certain situations.

You're probably saying yes to please others at your own expense, not getting your needs because you tend to fear conflict.

You may often feel disrespected by others by not standing up for yourself.

You may have a fear of being rejected or abandoned and this leaves you accepting less than you deserve and you engage in people pleasing behaviors in order to be liked and to receive approval and maybe you don't have any respect for you time, healthy boundaries.

So examples of you having healthy boundaries include being able to say no, being able to clearly communicate your wants and needs, honoring and respecting your own needs, honoring and respecting your commitments, ring fencing me time, which is really, really important.

Um So how do you set up boundaries?

Um Three steps, you define your boundary, what is it and why are you putting it up?

You communicate the boundary, who whoever needs to know and you consistently uphold your boundaries.

So number one, defining your boundary, like, what's the boundary for?

Is it for your well being your self care, your physical health, your mental health, is it a work boundary for the relationships you have at home?

You don't want work to seep into home life, like define the boundary and why it's there and why it's coming into play.

For example, I have boundaries now um that ensure that I can get my work done.

I also have boundaries in place that make me stop work at certain times in the day, I have boundaries.

Now in my week, at certain times throughout the week I go and engage in my hobbies, which is really important.

That means my boundary is up.

The kids know my husband knows.

Um I have now time in my calendar where I meet my friends, they are boundaries.

They're bounded up.

I don't put appointments in on these times.

I don't answer phone calls in these times.

I make sure that nothing else comes in the way of when I meet up with my friends.

Um, I have boundaries now for my mental health.

If I want to go upstairs to my bedroom at a certain point in the day and just zone out for 10 minutes.

I do.

Um, I tell the kids not to disturb me, not to talk to me.

I have many boundaries in my week now.

I don't answer the phone when it rings.

If I don't want to.

Uh, I don't feel the need to automatically respond to people.

If they message me, I'll do it when I have a little bit of free time and it doesn't mean that I love them less.

Um I defined the boundary and then I communicated the boundary for me.

It's mostly that I needed to tell my husband Joe Arthur and Emily, these are the times that I am not free.

Also putting boundaries in work.

I work for myself.

So I didn't need to tell a boss.

So this is the time I finish work, but I needed to have that very clearly communicated on my AAA project thing that I go home at this time.

I start work at this time and work for me isn't about sitting down at 9 a.


and maybe getting up off the chair twice and finishing at 5 p.


and working like an absolute dog, which is how I thought it should be.

No work is for me now about ease and flow and doing less and doing what I do to a great standard as opposed to trying to do so many things because I'm so afraid of being rejected because I'm not doing enough, which is just cracked this feeling that if we're not mental busy the whole time, we're not doing enough, which is something that I have done all of the time.

And don't forget, number three to consistently uphold your boundary check in every week is your boundary up.

Is your boundary up?

I get really irritated now when I drop my boundaries or if I can't, um if say one of the kids has to go to somewhere and you know, I have no choice and I can't do the thing I wanted to do.

I just get so frustrated and irritated.

Um, I just feel like the boundaries are so, so important.

Um, and this leads me on to the third thing.

So the first foundational step is to rediscover yourself, get in touch with your feelings, um, learn how to turn inwards.

And the second thing then is setting up boundaries so you can step into your power and you can use your boundaries to start to meet up with friends, uh, engage in a hobby and, um, uh, take care of your physical and your emotional.

Well being, the third thing is to not silence or censor yourself.

Um, this can be really difficult if you're used to running away from confrontation.

Um, knowing that disagreeing is ok.

Now, this, I've had a lot of work to do with this, with the people that I really love.

Like my husband, for example, Joe, Poor Joe, he gets mentioned in this podcast so much and he's, he's not sometimes when he's doing the transcriptions for me, he's like, I've just skimmed over it.

Why am I seeing the word Joe so much?

That's so funny.

Um, but I suppose with the people that I love who he was really affected the most, um, because I seemed to be more argumentative when actually I was just saying the things that I would have privately thought and I would have been privately thinking them to avoid an argument.

Now, I really work hard at not avoiding an argument.

And if I disagree with something he is saying not to think.

Oh, I'll just save time and not say anything to say it, to say it.

Now, there's things I do like they say, look, will you sit down for a second?

You know, I can be a bit dramatic, um, because I'm still not used to arguing in a healthy way.

Um, but I'm getting better at it now.

That's with people that you love so much and that you trust so much.

You can kind of start to not silence and censor yourself and, and the extra disagreements initially are ok because you'll chat to each other and you'll let him know or her know that this is because you're beginning to say how you feel, that's fine.

And then you've got maybe some friends in your life where it's going to be a little bit more tricky because you're not going to be able to just chat to them so freely, maybe about the way you might with your immediate loved one.

And in that sense, I don't just blurt out everything that I feel.

Sometimes I mightn't like full on disagree, but I do not iii I don't agree.

I rather than argue, I just don't agree.

Um So I'm not talking about being confrontational with people.

Um Just not silencing or censoring yourself and practice saying like, oh, really?

I don't agree with that.

Um Can be wonderful on this, not silencing or censoring yourself for people that are in your life that you're not particularly fond of for whatever reasons, limiting time spent with people who don't make you feel good is really important.

And that includes, that includes apps and phone calls and messaging apps and any channel that somebody communicates with you, that you're not a big fan of that.

For whatever reason, you feel bad when you get off the phone or messaging with them and you know, you put your phone down and now that you're getting in touch with your feelings, you feel like God, I feel really bad.

You know, those people where you just feel really anxious and stressed out and ungrounded and un centered after you've spoken to them.

That's tho those people just limit the time that you spend talking to them and boundary it up.

If there's somebody calling you that you don't like them calling you, if they give you enough to miss calls and you just message them, how can I help what's up?

Then they'll get the message you are.

It's a good thing for you to protect yourself.

And if there's people in your life that have made you feel bad in the past or make you feel bad, now, it is ok to lessen your contact with them.

They don't deserve you in their lives and they need to move on.

Um The next couple of things that I want to mention to you before I wrap this up is to um, exercise, exercising is brilliant.

It'll help you feel like you're more powerful, you'll get physically strong.

And when you get physically strong, you just automatically start to get mentally stronger.

When you're doing shoulder presses and squats and lunges, you are automatically getting mentally stronger.

When you work out, you get physically strong and that's going to help and have a lovely knock on effect in you reclaiming your power and stepping into your power.

It's going to build your confidence from the inside out.

My next tip is to my second last tip is to practice self discipline.

This can really have a really terrific effect on your confidence.

So mini disciplines throughout the day, like things like I love to do like make my bed every single morning.

That's an easy one.

Drink 2 L of water, self-discipline, making dinner.

My last meal like closing the kitchen dinner is done.

Food is done that requires self discipline and it's really cool to look at it in a self discipline way, in my opinion, rather than uh diety restricting.

Oh, I'm not having any, any sugar junk food.

It's not about that.

It's about discipline.

I've had my dinner, I've had enough.

Now I'm going to practice the art of self discipline.

And wow, does that make you feel good?

Your confidence soars?

You feel terrific.

And the beautiful knock on effect of being self disciplined is that you feel terrific and you're healthy.

Um And getting organized the night before.

I love those mini disciplines, like organizing my workout gear the night before organizing my work day, the night, the night before those mini disciplines that you do every day, in my opinion, make, make you an absolute legend.

They make you grow into person who is disciplined, motivated, calm in control, productive, in touch with their emotions.

You act instead of react, you're the director of your life rather than the manager of your life.

And my last one is to set goals and have a hobby and it's ok to try something and then not like it.

Like, maybe you want to pick up tennis once a week or badminton or you want to do a chess thing or, or, or, or, or, um, something else.

But I really encourage you to have a hobby that you really enjoy.

And when I was starting out on my journey with this, I instantly thought, oh, I'll volunteer.

I'll volunteer.

Um, and volunteering wasn't the right time for me when I was learning and rediscovering myself and stepping into my power.

Um, a hobby depending on where you're at in your life is really important.

Something that you get really enjoyment from.

And then when you rediscover yourself and have your boundaries up and your taking care of yourself, then you can maybe explore the idea of volunteering.

Um, but a hobby is really cool.

Don't be afraid to try a couple and embrace the difficulty of doing something new.

Embrace the difficulty of walking into a room where you don't know anybody and you're afraid of being judged.

Embrace all that and feel the fear and do it anyway.

I really, really hope you enjoyed this episode.

I have a really exciting brand new, um, downloadable for you.

I've created a playlist based on what you need out of this podcast.

So, if you go to Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash playlist and do a little quiz at the end of the quiz, you'll be send a playlist based on whether you need more fitness and nutrition support or mental health or mindset stuff.

You'll just get a playlist sent of each of those.

It's really cool.

You can go to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash playlist.

It's your very own playlist based on this podcast.

Thank you so, so much for listening.

I hope you have a really wonderful day.


I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

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#145: Your step-by-step game plan to stick with your workouts

Hi and welcome to today's short little episode on how to show up to your workouts.

I'm going to share with you my five step framework that I use to help myself show up to my workouts and to help my clients show up to their workouts.

A lot of you listening are really busy and you have all the best intentions in the world to work out.

However, it can be really difficult to actually get to show up to your workouts when they, when you're just trying to shoehorn it in into your already busy week.

I promise you if you give the pre workout stuff.

A little bit of thought you're going to make the actual workout a lot easier.

I encourage you to think of your workout as the last step in your workout.

Um, instead of the first step, sometimes when we think of the workout as the first and only step, we don't think of anything else that's going to help us show up to the workout.

However, if we think of the workout as the final step in the process, I promise you, it's going to help you show up to your workouts much more easily and smoothly with ease and flow.

That's what it's all about, isn't it?

And you know that lovely analogy of the ax and the tree that to cut down a tree sharpen your ax for five hours and then it takes like the hour at the end to cut the tree.

That's exactly the way I want you to think of your workouts.

The workouts are the final step in the process and everything becomes a lot more easy when you do this.


So this is for you, if you are struggling with your workouts, you're struggling to show up to your workouts.

You're really inconsistent.

You feel like you never have the time to exercise and you, you just go round in loops, you might work out for a couple of weeks, then something throws you off and you get back on track and your head is just wrecked by this and you wish you could work out consistently, which is, of course, the coolest exercise habit that you could have in the world because it makes you feel so good.

And when you feel so good, you're coming at your life with such a better feeling and approach and mindset.

Instead of approaching everything in your day from an unhealthy sluggish tired feeling, you approach everything in your day with an energy with a vibrancy, You feel productive, calm, energetic, you've got a massive dopamine hit.

Your endorphins are flowing.

It's, it's wonderful and you do make healthier choices.

You naturally do get to bed earlier.

You want to sleep earlier, you want to make healthier food choices.

You want to drink more water, everything starts to flow when you work out consistently for 30 minutes, three times a week and it mightn't happen overnight.

It mightn't happen for, I mean, you'll feel amazing straight away, but you might notice the other better choices that you start to make after a couple of weeks.

Of course, you're going to start the exercise and you're going to feel unfit and you might sleep very well because you might be getting off the midweek snacking and the alcohol.

So you're going to have these toxins floating around, which is going to probably lead you to feel restless and uncomfortable.

Of course, of course, that's going to happen, that might happen for the first couple of weeks and then you're going to feel amazing.

So without further ado, let's get stuck into step number one and that is to organize your space.

It's really important that when you're working out, you have a designated space.

You don't want to be exercising in the main thoroughfare of the house.

You don't want to be exercising where your whole family can see you.

And they are asking you questions and bombarding you.

I want you to associate your workouts with time for yourself, your me time.

And if you can do that, if there, if there is a space in the house that, that even just minimizes the amount of times people go through brilliant somewhere a little bit peaceful, as peaceful as you can.

You want to associate as many good feelings as possible with your workouts.

And if it's an absolute afterthought and you're winging the mat down on the hall and the dogs and the kids or whoever is living with you is just traipsing over and back making it really uncomfortable for you in a way.

It's almost giving you an excuse to say, oh, it's not working.

So be careful what you are putting up with and go get that designated space in your house and, and, and let it be as quiet as possible.

Of course, for some of you, the quietest space in the house is still going to be busy.

But the quietest space in the house is what you want.

You only need a little bit of space.

When you're working out from home.

Also, you want to make sure your equipment is easily accessible.

So you don't want to have your equipment miles out in the back garden.

If you go and work out in the kitchen, for example, it's just another barrier to you.


Ideally, you want to have your equipment, like even somewhere just hidden away in the kitchen would be amazing.

So it's workout time, you pull out your match, you pull out your weights, you pull out your step, you're ready as opposed to, oh, I'm supposed to be working out in five minutes.

My equipment is all the way upstairs tucked away in a cupboard and I couldn't be bothered.

Remove the barriers.

Have a good space to exercise a consistent, good space and have your equipment there.

Step number two is to make sure you have equipment is only so long you can improvise and wing it.

You want to respect your workouts and give it the respect that it deserves.

And the more equipment you have, the more fun it's going to be for you and the better you're going to feel.

So, go get the mini band, go, get the long looped band, go and invest in a step and go and get a set of weights and I promise you, your workouts will be loads of fun.

You'll have a nice space to work out in the quietest place as possible.

You'll have nice bits of equipment that you can um, purchase over time, think of that as opposed to the main thoroughfare of the house using tins of beans.

Just constantly forgetting to buy equipment like the mini bands and the long looped bands.

They make your workout so much fun and they make the workouts actually a little bit harder for your muscles.

So you just sweat more and you feel amazing.

So it's, it's really, really good, well worth investing in equipment if you have the intention to work out for the rest of your life.

Step number three is to ideally feel nice, feel nice.

Now, this was an important one for me.

It mightn't be an important one for you, but I just got a couple of nice sets of workout gear.

It just made me look forward to my work out more and you know what else it helped me do.

It helped me be able to leave the house straight away after my workout if I needed to.

So, before I didn't, I don't know, I just, I didn't invest in myself, I suppose.

I didn't really allow myself to get nice things.

So I used to just throw on my oldest T shirt with a pair of gross leggings that are for 10 years old that I've gotten in Penneys and the elastic had been out and just as crappy pair of runners and I would go and do my workout, but it always meant that I had to quickly get change afterwards if I needed to run anywhere.

And again, just more barriers.

I can't work out now because I have to go and collect the kids.

I can't work out.


I have to go do the shopping.

Whereas if you actually just have a couple, one or two nice pieces in your wardrobe, I can't believe I said pieces.

Um, you feel nice, you turn up to your workout, you feel lovely in your workout gear and then if you have to, you can throw your coat on and leg it out of the house.

It just makes life so much easier.

Um Step number four is to schedule time for your workouts.

I am crazy about this step.

This is just such an important step.

What many of us do is we just try to shoehorn in the workouts and I promise you that never works long term.

What you want to do is get up your Google calendar, get up your work calendar, whatever calendar that you follow on a daily basis and put your three times a week workout time there as nonnegotiable me time.

It's really, really important that it gets on your calendar as an appointment as an appointment and you don't move it.

That's the thing.

Too many of us move our workouts because we can just because you can, doesn't mean that you have to don't, which brings me on to step number five.

The last step have boundaries when you've bounded everything up, you're not going to move around your workout times.

This was me a few years ago.


I like to work out at 3 p.


on a Monday, Wednesday and a Friday.

Joe would call, my husband would call at three o'clock, 5 to 3 and I'd answer the phone and I would stay on the phone.

Well, actually, maybe not Joe, maybe not Joe because, well, maybe, yes, Joe, if I wanted an excuse to not work out, but no, Joe, if, if I, if I was in the zone and I wanted to work out, I'd say to Joe come back.

So not Joe, somebody else.


A family member if the phone rang and I didn't want to speak to them, I would answer the phone and speak to them for as long as they wanted to speak to me.

For that is me having no boundaries.

If, um, the kids said to me at 5 to 3, can we go to the park, please?

I would probably have said yes, no problem.

Let's go.

Sure, I'll do my work out later.

That is me having no boundaries.

That is me again.

Um, putting somebody's needs in front of my own if your boss asks you to do an appointment at 7:30 a.


on a Tuesday morning.

And that's when you do your workout practice, saying I actually have an appointment at that time.

Would 830 or nine am work for you instead.

Bang that is you boundary up.

That is you having a boundary.

It's 5 to 8, your workout scheduled at eight, your phone rings.

You don't answer that is you having a boundary.

You do your workout, you call the person back now.

You might need help with boundaries initially.

Like not checking your emails, turning your phone on airplane mode, but putting your work out time in your calendar will help for you to be for it to become a boundary and boundary it up because you'll see it on your calendar and you'll start to practice, say no to people.

You'll start to practice saying and initially you might be like, oh, I'm so sorry.

That's the way I used to do.

Oh God, I'm so sorry.

Is there any chance now?

I just say no, I'm not free at that time.

Is there?

You know what else works for you?


So they are my five steps.

Number one, sort your space out, number two, sort your equipment out.

Number three, sort your workout gear out.

Number four, schedule in your workouts on your calendar, three times a week for 30 minutes in non movable times.

Number five, boundary yourself up, practice having boundaries, practice saying no, that doesn't work for me.

What about this?

And some extra little tips before I go minimize the time spent thinking about your workouts.

And the way to do that is to compartmentalize it only think about your workouts five minutes before you have to do them.

And the tips that I gave you about boundaries and scheduling time allows you to not think about it for the rest of the day.

And too many of us spend all day long thinking about our workout.

We're never going to keep up with workouts if we're 8.

5 hours thinking of it and a half an hour of doing it and we're turning it into a nine hour workout.

You're never going to stay consistent like that because when you stop working out, you're, you're leaving yourself of nine hours of thought.

So be careful of that one.

Allow yourself to show up cranky sometimes.

I think we go, oh I'm not really feeling it.

So that means I shouldn't work out.

No practice saying no, we don't do that anymore.

We don't do, we don't say later we do now, we don't do that anymore.

We do it now.

It's ok to be cranky when you work out, it's ok to not be in the mood.

It's ok for it to be the last thing you want to do.

That doesn't mean that you don't go ahead and do it and you go ahead and do it anyway.

Go slow.

Another common misconception is that you need to be out of breath.

No, you don't, you can go as slow as you like as steady as you like as cranky as you like you get your workout done?



Well, I hope you found this podcast episode helpful, some free resources for you.

My five steps to unleashing your fitness and can Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash unleash a tool kit designed to help you with this exact thing to get organized to structure your week.

Go to Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash tool kit.

And if you want to subscribe to my free newsletter, go to Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash newsletter.

Thank you so, so much for listening.

If you know anybody that struggles to show up to their workouts, send them on this podcast episode, I would be forever grateful.

Thank you so much and bye.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get.

You started on your journey.

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#144: The EXACT way I’ve stopped late night snacking

Hi and welcome to today's short little episode.

I hope you're doing really well.

I'm up and at it really early today, we are heading away for a few days and of course, Arthur is coughing.

He started coughing yesterday.

I'm like, oh, no, why does this always happen with kids every time you're about to head away?

And the more excited you are about a trip, the more the Children they seem to get sick.

So, off to bed, he went last night with some calpol and some cough medicine, whatever it was and fingers crossed.

I didn't hear him coughing in the middle of the night.

So I hope he's ok.

I hope you're doing well wherever you are, I'm looking forward to um doing this podcast episode with you.

This episode is very close to my heart.

I love to talk about giving up alcohol and being able to quit snacking at night time, which are two of the biggest things that held me back and kept, kept me locked in very unhealthy habits.

And I want to chat to you about this one little practice that I learned that completely transformed, transformed me.

It completely helped me give up that late night snacking.

And it also helped me stop turning to things outside of myself because isn't that what we do?

Isn't that what we do when we overeat?

And when we overdrink and when we're sitting on the couch at night time, isn't it that we, we want to change our state as Tony Robbins says, change our state.

We want to change how we're feeling.

Now, if you had told me that like five years ago, I would have said to you, what are you talking about?

I don't want to change my state.

I want to have something sweet because I enjoy the taste and I have a bit of a sweet tooth.

It really has only been in the past couple of years that I've been able to reflect and really understand on a deep level that what I was doing all those times was I was changing my state.

I was trying to change how I was feeling.

Now, think about this for a second.

You're sitting on the couch, you've had your dinner, you're sitting down, you're watching TV, and you want something sweet.

You want something sweet.

You also have been saying over the past while and that day that you want to be fit and healthy and you've eaten your dinner.

Now, if it was just as simple as you fancying something sweet, you'd be able to say to yourself.

No, not tonight.

I want to be fit and healthy.

I, I want to lose weight, feel good in my clothes.

I've just had my dinner.

I'm not going to have something and you'd be able to pretty much say that to yourself and not have anything.

And I remember so many nights not being able to do that, I'd be sitting on the couch.

It'd be really cozy dinner would have been a couple of hours ago, curtains, blinds closed fire on, you know, the usual Netflix kids just gone to bed that time of night.

So many times I've turned to Joe and said, you know what, let's have something sweet.

And all those years, I have also wanted to be fit and healthy too and, you know, I've been fluctuating with three stone for years and years and years only in the past couple of years actually have gotten to an authentically fit and healthy place.

And if it was just as simple as having something sweet.

We'd be able to say no because you're listening to this podcast.

Chances are you want to be fit and healthy?

Like me, I want to be fit and healthy too.

It would be a no brainer, but it's not a no-brainer because there's another reason there's a stronger pull and that pull is that you don't really particularly like how you're feeling in that moment and you want to change it, you want to change the chemical makeup reaction in your brain and you're going to do that through food or a glass of wine or for some of you online shopping or scrolling and then you go and have that packet of biscuits or cream slice, whatever it is and you do temporarily feel better.

I want you to be aware of this the next time you do it, you do temporarily feel better and I'm putting it to you today that you are turning to food for a feeling not for maybe 1% taste 99% feeling.

It's the same when you overeat.

Now, honestly, if you had have told me this years ago, I would have said just stop but stay with me here.

You have a really big dinner.

What's the first thing you do when you have a really big dinner?

You eat your dinner, you get full, you sit back, you take a deep breath in and you take a deep breath out and having overeaten temporarily changes your state.

You feel relaxed.

It's the same as a sugar.

Think of yourself on your couch now or your favorite place in the house where you sit down to relax at night time.

Think of yourself there if you struggle with late night snacking, what are you trying to do?

You go and get the sweet thing, you sit down on the couch and you eat it.

You know what?

You sit back, you temporarily feel good before all those feelings of dread and here I go again and oh no kick in, but just before they kick in, you feel good, you're trying to change how you feel.

You're trying to change your state.

And I noticed this, I think I mentioned this to you guys a couple of weeks ago.

I was feeling really stressed out.

Work was really busy.

Work is really busy and I have to really structure my days and my week to make sure that I fit everything in.

I use a Sana and I have everything like you're doing this on a Monday at 12.

You're doing this on a Tuesday at three.

It has to be super structured, especially with all the kids um activities and stuff, you know, the score.

And I was working from home and I'm, I'm quite strict on myself now but having three coffees um because I used to, he was creeping up to four sometimes five and it just didn't make me feel good.

I felt stressed and anxious and I was like, why am I making myself stressed and anxious with coffee?

Yet, on the other hand, I am working at being more relaxed, it didn't make any sense.

So I said to myself, I'd stick to a three coffee per day limit.

And boy, is it hard sometimes?

And boy, do I love coffee?

I love the feeling.

I love the feeling.

I love the taste.

I love the flavor.

And I was sitting down at my, at my desk and I felt really overwhelmingly busy.

And I said to myself, I have to get a coffee.

I'll have a coffee and I just sat there for a second and I was like, hang on a second.

You've literally 20 minutes ago, had your third coffee.

Why do you want another coffee?

And I said to myself because I was talking to myself, oh, I'm stressed out.

Oh, ok.

You're stressed out.


Well, let's do this.

Let's, let's sit down, let's relax.

And I started the practice that I want to share with you today.

And it's called Rain, rain.

And I learned it from Tara Brack who is a very famous um mindfulness coach over in America.

And this small practice has truly changed my life.

Now, I share every single thing on the pod on this podcast with you that has helped me go from overweight, unhealthy, shackled to unhealthy habits and this is one of them So it's not like the single reason, but it is our solution, but it is a huge solution.

It has helped me so much, quit overeating, late night snacking and it helped me quit alcohol for good.

Most importantly, it's helped me sit with my feelings and I hope I've explained that in a simple way that it's the feeling that you're going after because you don't like the feeling that you have before you go and have your glass of wine during the week now or your sugary stuff.

Um And if you don't believe me or you're still unsure, keep an open mind and look out for it tonight, you have to eat properly.

Now you have to like have your breakfast, have your lunch, have your dinner, you have to ensure that you're not hungry after your dinner.


And really look out for you changing your emotional state.

Now, the emotions that you might, that you might want to be changing could be something as simple as boredom.

You might feel a little bit anxious.

You might have just this feeling in your stomach that you're not sure why it's there.

You might feel stressed out lonely, you might be tired, you might just feel uncomfortable in your skin.

There are so many different emotions that you might be trying to not sit with and if you're out of practice from this, you mightn't even notice you're doing it.

So I want you to pay good attention in all my years that I've been drinking alcohol at the weekends to unwind and, and overeating and snacking on food.

Late at night.

I didn't know that I was trying to change my feelings, but when I learned this I couldn't unlearn it.

And I noticed that I'd be sitting on the couch and I'd be thinking, oh, no, no, I just need to go and get something sweet.

So, explore, that need to go and get something, explore that.

And I encourage you to keep an open mind and and not just bash it away as a sugar craving.

And if you're this unpracticed, if you're, if you're very, if you're not used to paying attention to your feelings and how you're feeling, you're going to just think it's a sugar craving.

But if you want to be fit and healthy and it is just a sugar craving, then you should be able to say no, no, no, thanks.

I want to be fit and healthy.

And if you struggle to say no, keep an open mind and explore it.

So this is the practice that I do every time I want to get a late night snack or have a drink, for example.

So this is what I used to do back when I was starting my journey of quitting, I don't need to do it with alcohol anymore.

I'm free from alcohol.

However, I do need to do this practice with alcohol and with or sorry, with coffee and with sweet stuff sometimes.

So it's a turning inwards instead of a turning outwards now, before we get stuck in and it's only going to take a few minutes.

I want you to think of a really bad day.

Weather wise, it's freezing cold.

It's lashing rain, it's absolutely pouring down rain and it's really, really windy and it's just wild outside and you're standing in your hall and you're tired and you need comfort.


Can you picture yourself in your hall tired and needing comfort?

You're not in your living room.

However, there's a roaring fire in your living room.

It's really cozy.

There's a blanket or something lovely on the couch waiting for you to step into and there's a lovely warm cup of tea.

You need comfort.

Can you open the front door and you stand outside in the flimsiest of pajamas?

Just these like cheap cotton pajamas that don't keep you warm at all and you stand there in the cold and in the rain, you're freezing cold.

You have no socks on, your feet are freezing and you're wet.

And that's what we do when we turn outwards, when we turn outwards to external things like alcohol and food or, or scrolling or online shopping to comfort ourselves.

And what if we just chose not to do that anymore?

What if we chose to start our journey of turning inwards and we left the cold outside and we went into the house and we went into the living room and we sat on the couch and we put the wrap or the lovely blanket around us, the fires on and we got a cup of tea or a cup of hot chocolate.

And we sat there and we got really, really warm.

The outside is the alcohol and the food.

That stuff makes us feel worse when we're heading out the door.

We are thinking temporarily that it's going to make us feel better because we're moving, we're moving away from the hall.

We're feeling uncomfortable, we need to move.

So we're going to go outside.

So we temporarily feel like we're doing something to help us.

However, we only ever feel worse and it's not true comfort going into the living room, putting a blanket around her shoulders and having a cup of tea.

Think of that as a turning inwards into yourself to feel better, turning inwards, comforting yourself that's actually going to work and give you comfort and the more you practice this, the better you're going to get with it.


So rain, the acronym is rain.

And this is what I want you to do when you, when you're feeling like you want to change your state.

And the trigger for me when the way I notice that I want to do this is when I suddenly think to myself, I want something sweet, I want to eat and I don't need food.

So the R stands for, recognize what's going on, recognize.

So you sit down, it only takes a minute max, it can take longer if you want to.


You sit down and you say, OK, or that's, that's recognize and you recognize the feeling and you name it OK.

I'm feeling uncomfortable.

I have a pit in my stomach.

My heart is racing a little bit and you call it, I'm feeling anxious.

You give it a name.

OK, let's say for example, it's anxiety.

I'm feeling anxious and notice where it is in the body and then move on to a allow, allow it to be there.

Allow the thoughts, the emotions or feelings or sensations you have recognized, simply be there.

So allow them, we tend to fight our feelings even in a subconscious way, we we tend to fight them.

So allow them, feel them and allow them there and sit with them.

Avoid nothing.

Don't try to fix them, just allow them.

So for example, the or recognize them.

So you might recognize fear and allow us by whispering to yourself or mentally whispering.

It's OK or this belongs or yes and then the I stands for investigate.


So why am I feeling like this?

What happens and have a real focus towards why it's there?

What were you thinking about or what happened during the day or the week that you just can't shake off really investigate?

And then when you have your answer, the end starts for nurture.

It's ok that I feel like this.

It's ok.

What most needs attention?

Now, how am I experiencing this in the body?

What do I most need right now?

And your answer might be, you need warmth.

You need to, to be still, you need to chat with somebody for two minutes.

You need comfort and the whole thing can take about 60 seconds and it has changed my life.

So let's run through it one more time together.

It's rain or a in recognize allow investigate nurture you're sitting on the couch or you're stressed out during the day, you're in work and you suddenly feel these feelings and you're thinking that you don't want to sit with them or you're going to get something sweet or you're going to unwind with a glass of wine and you don't want to.

So you sit down, you close your eyes, you say or OK, recognize, what is this?

What is this feeling that I'm trying to avoid?

What is this name?

The feeling?

It's fear, it's anxiety, it's loneliness, it's boredom.




I'm going to allow us sit with it.

I'm going to allow it in.

I can feel it in my body.

It's OK.

I'm going to allow it in.

It's here.

It's OK.

This belongs.


Allowing creates a pause that makes it possible to go further into it.


Investigate Investigate with curiosity.

Why am I feeling like this?

Where did this feeling come from.

Is it something that happened today or yesterday or during the week?

Is it a memory or why?

Why is this here?

Why is this feeling here?

And then in nurture, what most needs attention?

What do I need right now in this moment?

Be extremely self compassionate with yourself.

You can whisper a message of care to yourself.

You can say an affirmation, place a hand on your heart or your cheek, gently show yourself love.

Go to your pet, your dog.

Ask yourself, what is it that you need in this moment and nurture yourself with compassion and kindness, maybe gently rub your shoulder, maybe gently place your hand on your heart, whatever it is that you need to do that helps you feel better.

I wouldn't be sharing this with you now, if it didn't absolutely change the game for me and really, it's, it's a way to learn how to sit with your emotions and to self soothe in a sense.

It's, it's absolutely wonderful self sooth, self mother.

So that's it from me for today.

I really hope you enjoyed this episode, this short little episode and that you've got lots out of it if you have any questions at all about it and don't hesitate to contact me.

I'll see you over on Instagram, send me a message, tell me how you got on with this episode.

My Instagram handle is just at Jessica Cook.

Um If you want to join my newsletter, my free newsletter that I send out every week.

Just head over to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash subscribe.

That's Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash subscribe.

And I share my best content with you via an email once a week.

It's like a little newsletter that I like to do.


That's it from me.

Have a wonderful day.

And thanks for listening.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

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#143: The secret to getting fit & healthy over 40

Hi, welcome to today's podcast episode.

I'm super excited to get stuck into this one.

We're bringing it all back to basics and I want to share with you in this episode, the secret to getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 in, I think I have written down here seven steps, seven steps to you getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 feeling comfortable in your skin, feeling flexible, mobile agile, feeling, strong, feeling good in yourself, feeling positive, feeling, calm, feeling in control.

Would you like all that?

Well, I know for sure.

I definitely want all of that and I haven't had it for a long, long time and now I have it, I'm going to continue to work at it because life is so much better when you feel good and when you feel fit and when you feel healthy, and I thought it was quite apt to do this episode now because it's that time of year where there's a lot of stuff out there about getting fit and dropping pounds and losing weight and all those weight loss clubs like Slimming World and Weight Watchers are just preying on us all trying to get us to fall into the trap of eating way less and dieting and restricting and feeling guilty and counting and tracking and weighing and calorie counting and all that things, all that stuff that takes us away from living our best lives from living our lives as humans, not like woman over 40 trying to lose weight, but as a person wanting to be fit healthy and feel great in your clothes, and I've simplified the whole thing for you and broken it down into steps.

The first most important step that I want to share with you today is learning how to love yourself again.

Now learning how to love yourself again is the umbrella term I am giving for you right now because for you to love yourself again, you have to give up dieting, you have to give up weighing yourself on the weighing scales.

You have to give up, restricting your food during the week and then binging at the weekend, you have to focus on letting go of turning to food for comfort.

You have to establish healthy boundaries.

You have to let go of negative self talk.

You have to let go of perfectionist tendencies of all or nothing mindset.

So it's not just step one.

Learn to love yourself again.

Step two, it's learn to love yourself again.

And what does that mean to you?

Learning to love yourself again, is drawing a line in the sand and recommitting to yourself, which is what a lot of us need to do when we get over the age of 40.

And the reason for this is so much of our focus may have gone up to this point on other people or on work.

You may be in your sixties seventies fifties, forties listening to this and thinking, God, I've lost myself.

How do I get back to myself?

Well, this is all in learning to love yourself again.

Step one of getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 is learning how to love yourself again and you love yourself by putting up me time establishing healthy boundaries with yourself.

Something we've just done in the previous episode.

If you want to listen back, it's improving your self image, learning how to speak kindly to yourself, learning how to treat yourself with compassion with kindness, learning how to let go of things that aren't serving you and that are holding you back.

It's learning how to turn inwards for comfort rather than outwards to food and alcohol.

It's learning how to reflect and it's practicing self actualization and visualizing success.

That's how you learn to love yourself again.

And when you learn to love yourself again, you will drop the weighing scales, dieting, restricting and your whole focus on yourself will shift from a potentially negative one to a really, really good one.

I drank way too much alcohol and, and ate way too much food.

I comfort, ate and drank my way through my twenties and thirties up until my early forties.

And I didn't realize it was through a lack of self love.

I didn't honor my needs.

I didn't honor my commitments.

I gave out to myself all the time.

I had no boundaries, setbacks and challenges completely derailed me because I had perfectionist tendencies and perfectionist tendencies actually can come from a lack of self love.

You feel this inadequacy inside of you.

So to overcompensate for the inadequacy, you try to do everything really perfectly.

Isn't that insane?

That's what I did for years.

I didn't understand that.

That's where it came from.

You have a completely all or nothing approach, lack of self love.

You don't give yourself any compassion or kindness and think, ah, this week was ok.

It wasn't so great in the sense that I only got a workout done and I didn't eat as healthy as I wanted to.

However, let's, let's let's improve that next week.

You're thinking much more in black and white terms.

Like I can't believe I'm such a failure.

I can't believe I didn't do any workouts again.

Here I go again, starting something and doing the same thing over again and you know what, nine times out of 10, it's the negative, the negative stuff that you feel towards yourself, derails you, It's not your actual commitment or desire or want.

You could easily get back on track next week and go and do three workouts.

But instead your mindset stops you.

Your negative self talk, your lack of self love stops you.

Oh my God.

I ate shite last night.

What's the point?

Lack of self-love.

Oh No problem, Mr Boss or Miss Boss.

I will definitely take a call at that time instead of going and doing your workout.

You've no healthy boundaries.

You're letting people walk all over your me time.

So number one, how to get fit and healthy.

If you're a woman over 40 step, number one, the most important step.

The step that I didn't do for years that I've only been doing the past two years max that completely transformed my life.

Learn how to love yourself again and then the rest becomes easy.

I promise you the rest becomes easy.

It's just like thinking of a house.

You want to build a house.

You have all the best intentions you want to make the house amazing.

You want to get lovely underfloor heating.

You want to get gorgeous paintings on the wall.

You want to have a really nice living room, a lovely place in the kitchen for you guys all to eat your dinner and you visualize it and you think, yes, I want that.

That's going to make me feel so good.

And you run into the house and you sit at the kitchen table and you fall through the floor, all the floorboards break the underfloor heating, floods and the you all fall through the floor and it all breaks.

The foundations weren't right.

The house looked good, but the foundations weren't right and trying to establish healthy boundaries.

It's kind of like building a house without any solid foundations that the healthy habits are never going to stick.

Think of the foundations of your house as self love.

And if you love yourself, the foundations are solid, they are rock solid, they're going nowhere and then you build your healthy habits, you build a house on top of that and it becomes easy to become consistent and it does become easy because I have gone from a place of feeling so bad in myself because I've been so inconsistent thinking.

It was a personality trait to learning how to love myself again, to becoming consistent with everything I want to be consistent in my life with my whole life transformed.

And I see it with my clients that are consistent too, they have the foundations in place and even when they fall off track because remember consistency isn't about perfection.

It's about the ability to get back on track.

So my most consistent clients, they just get back on track.

It's no big deal.

They have that muscle memory of getting back on track.

So step one, get those solid foundations in place, learn how to establish healthy boundaries to ring fence.

Me time, work on your self image, learn how to become compassionate and kind to yourself.

Turn inwards, let go learn how to let go learn how to reflect, learn how to visualize, self-actualize and then the rest the other steps become easy.

Step number two, easy.

Once you have step number one in place is to lift weights.

You know, now as a woman over 40 lifting weights is going to make your life a hell of a lot easier.

20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, you lift weights.

Oh you know the story, you know the story, your metabolism gets really high.

When you lift weights, you burn fat at rest.

When you lift weights, you become strong, flexible, mobile agile, you be able, you're able to get up off the floor, unaided, get up off the couch without groaning, walk up the stairs without being out of breath, throw the shopping bags into the car, lift the shopping bags from the shopping trolley into the car without hurting your back lift weights, it gets you strong, it gets you fit, it gets you healthy.

You feel really empowered.

You build a confidence through lifting weights like no other lifting a set of dumbbells over your head.

Light ones, two kg over your head is so empowering.

It gives you confidence.

It spills over into other areas of your life.

You feel so good, you feel so empowered, you feel so calm, productive and in control.

When you lift weights, not to mention the fact that it improves your bone density, it improves your joint health.

You get fit, you get healthy, you burn fat at rest, you feel better in your clothes.

Step number three, you've got to do cardio alongside the lifting weights.

Just a few walks every week.

You want that flexibility, that mobility in your body lifting weights is terrific.

It builds strength, it builds lean muscle, you get really fit, you get really strong, you, you, you, you become much trimmer adding in a little few walks here and there getting in some cardio is really good also for your heart health because lifting weights is really good for your heart health too.

But also for just that lovely mobility in your body.

When you lift weights and you go for walks, the walking just stretches out your muscles again.

And it's a 10 out of 10 in terms of you as a woman over 40 your fitness.

If you were to ask me now, Jessica, I just want to get fit and I want to work out in the most time efficient way.

What's going to get my core, strong, me strong, what's going to get me fit and healthy?

From a cardiovascular point of view and from a mobility flexibility, strength point of view.

I'm going to say to you, I want you to lift weights 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week.

And I'm also going to get you to walk and in those workouts that you do, I want you to make sure that you're doing things like lunges and squats and planks and press ups.

We're going to make sure that you're lifting weights over your head that you're squatting, holding a weight.

You're going to do all the stuff for all of the muscles in your body and you're going to get a 10 out of 10 and you're going to be fit and healthy and mobile and agile and flexible and strong.

And the knock on effect is you're going to build your confidence and that confidence is going to spill over into all of the other areas of your life.

Step number four, it's simple.

It's hydrate, drink 2 L of water every day and you'll notice your skin, nails and hair improve.

Is it we're made up of, is it 70% water?

60 to 70% water.

Think about that.

We're made up of 70% water and most of us are walking around dehydrated.

The biggest win to your health is to drink 2 L of water every day.

Also, can I say that when you drink water?

So when you're dehydrated, you can sometimes feel lethargic and demotivated and low on energy and think that you're demotivated and low on energy.

Well, actually all it bloody well was, was that you were dehydrated.

Did you know that when you're dehydrated, you can actually feel low in your mood and it can literally be because you're dehydrated.

Imagine somebody saying to you and God, I completely get that.

You can also feel low for feeling low.

I'm just talking about dehydration.

That's all that.

You can actually drink 2 L of water every day.

Quick win because herbal teas count and um hot water counts, not green tea, but like peppermint tea and all the, the nice stuff that all counts to your 2 L that you can actually feel better by drinking 2 L of water every day.


Next one, what have I written down here?


Number five is rest just getting rest, menopausal perimenopausal.

Let's not put too much stress and say sleep, eight hours, get to bed at a certain time, get up at a certain time and aim to rest for eight hours a day, eight hours in the night time.

Number six, I've made it number six, eat healthy because we're way too obsessed with food and I see most people or just food food, food, putting it as number 10 my God, food, food, number six is food, eat, healthy.

Focus on eating healthy, eating breakfast, eating lunch, eating dinner, focusing on taking the power back from anybody that has your power right now.

When it comes to your nutrition, my fitness pal or Slimming world or Weight Watchers, do they have your power?

Are you inputting your food into an app that's telling you things that you just don't need to know.

You know, the crack, you know, the porridge is good for you.

You know that a salad is really tasty and healthy.

You know, that vegetables with a bit of fish or meat and potatoes is a really terrific dinner.

If we all focused on eating healthy, with the big focus being on cutting our unhealthy habits, we'd be really healthy.

What most people don't do myself included for absolute years is focus on the unhealthy habits.

We get really frustrated with ourselves for not being healthier.

So we dissect the salad that we've had on a Wednesday and think, well, I had dressing on the salad.

I had ketchup on my burger.

I had three extra potatoes and we don't think for a second about the four bottles of wine, the packet of biscuits, the five packets of crisps, the massive portion of pasta with garlic bread, the snacking on the toast, all the extra food that we eat.

We laser focus for some funny reason.

We laser focus in on the little healthy salad that we had and we think, how can we make this healthier?

It must have been the extra bit of veg.

How can I make my breakfast better?

I know I'm going to throw chia seeds on it, which is really healthy.

But that's where our focus tends to go.

The real detail of the unhealthy food, of the healthy food and not enough honesty around our unhealthy habits.

Honest to God, it wasn't until I got clear with myself on my unhealthy habits.

Did I actually get healthy?

Which was only two years ago, I can say I actually got healthy in all my years as a fitness coach, I look back now and say I wasn't truly healthy healthy to me back then was a focus on fitness and nutrition.

That's what focus meant to me.

Now, I understand it to be physical fitness, hydration, self care, mental health connection.

It means so much more to me.

Now, when you are laser focused in on your nutrition, on your healthy eating and you're ignoring the fact that you're drinking way too much alcohol or you're binge eating or you're secret eating or you're overeating, you're going to go round and around and around in circles and still you start getting real with yourself.

You can eat more than you think.

It's just many of us are trapped in a, in a diet culture.

So because we're kind of restricting so much in the week and then going mental at the weekends, we assume that we can eat way less than we think.

But if you stop restricting so heavily in the week, which will stop you from binging.

So crazily at the weekends and you get this over time healthy balance where you're just eating, you're eating your breakfast, lunch and your dinner and you're not dieting and you're not going mental, you'll get really healthy and you'll heal your relationship with food.

What many of us do?

What I did for years.

I did it.

I would restrict so much during the week that it didn't really feel like I was binging at the weekend.

It just felt that I was letting off steam or just relaxing.

But I was way overeating and if I, if I wasn't restricting during the week, if I hadn't have restricted during the week and I was just eating, normally, I would recognize it more that I was overeating at the weekends.

Be careful that your weekends aren't overeating.

Like eating tasty treats and indulging in what you want is different to overeating.

So, an unhealthy relationship for food with food for me was getting to the weekends and overeating and going crazy.

Whereas now I get to the weekends and we eat out and I have desserts and I eat ice cream if I want it.

But I'm not overeating, I'm not binge eating, I'm not sitting on the couch and having five packets of crisps.

The way I used to, I'm having a dessert or I'm having like sharing a box of chocolates with Joe over dinner.

And yeah, then I probably still will go and have a dessert, but it's just a different buzz.

There's not like five garlic bread sticks stuck on a massive big spaghetti bolognese.

Wake up the next day, have loads of toast and bacon and just because it's the weekend it's different and it feels good next up is connection really, really important.

One of the secrets to getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 is to have friendships and connections in your life and to make time for friendship and connections that's going to reduce your stress, reduce your anxiety, reduce your work like the way you think of work.

So for me, for example, when I didn't really have any connections or friendships, my whole life was work.

And then when I started meeting up with people and having connections work became a little bit less in my life in a really healthy way.

And that helped me feel better about myself and it reduced my stress and anxiety.

And I felt really good and I enjoy, I really enjoy meeting up with people now and that all feeds into the whole healthy, bigger picture, healthy body, mind and soul.

And the last step that I want to share with you getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 is to take really good care of your mental health.

Now, in thrive in my thrive program, we do thrive times, which is 10 minutes of a practice that we do 3 to 4 times a week um that involves different things that help you with your mental health and help you reduce stress and anxiety and turn inwards, practical tips for taking care of your mental health, making sure there's a little bit of silence and pause in your day doing a little bit of journaling, being with yourself and your feelings, meeting up with friends, making sure you have a good phone relationship, cutting out the scrolling, having a good bedtime routine where you are minding your mental health, that you're not on your phone, on your phone, on your phone, lights off its phone on airplane mode.

Read a few pages of a good book.

Lights out.

It's reading fiction books, having fun with friends, making time to laugh, not just being all about work, establishing good connections and good friendships in your life.

And if you don't have them start, start now, it's never too late this time.

A year and a half ago, I thought it was too late.

I never imagined myself having more connections and friendships in my life.

And now I do still a work in progress, but I do making time for hobbies.

And if that involves you getting out of your comfort zone and joining a group, get out of your comfort zone and join a group.

Well, I hope you found this podcast episode useful and helpful.

And if you did, I would love for you to either share it with a friend or rate the podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Thank you so much for listening and have a wonderful day.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

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#142: How to Establish Healthy Boundaries

Hi. You are so very welcome to today's episode where we are going to be talking about all things boundaries.

I don't know what is wrong with me today. I have started and stopped this episode so many times.

This is like my fifth time getting stuck in. So I'm just going to get stuck in. I have my water beside me.

I'm ready to go.

I have all my notes.

I am ready to help you.

Do you ever feel in that mood where you just can't seem to get into your flow?

And then I start to overthink it and then my perfectionist tendencies come in and I'm thinking, you know what?

Actually, let's not do this, let's do this at the end of the week, but the end of the week is too late.

I want to be consistent with my delivery of my episodes to you twice a week.

Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So I'm just going to get stuck in and I am not restarting this episode no matter what happens.

I'm celebrating a little bit today.

It's been a year and six months, a little bit over that I decided to quit alcohol, give up alcohol for good.

And I don't label myself sober or you know, all those kind of labels.

I just don't drink alcohol.

Alcohol had such a control over me.

And the last thing I want is to be labeled and feel still controlled by the alcohol label.

If you're thinking about giving it up.

Oh, if you're sick and tired of drinking alcohol, oh, I couldn't recommend it enough.

It's the single handedly most freeing thing I've ever been able to do for myself and giving up alcohol.

Really kick started my journey towards self love.

And one of those things that I needed to do on starting my journey of self love was establishing healthy boundaries in my life and healthy boundaries is something that I have never experienced ever.

I remember this time two years ago, whatsapping clients sitting in the bath because I wanted to make sure that this client that was whatsapping me got the correct answer to what they needed the answer to as quickly as possible.

So I decided, first off, what was I doing?

Checking my work messages in the bath on a Friday night at 7 p.


Second of all, why was I letting people whatsapp me?

Why was I establishing another line of communication through my work when I have emails and loads of other ways?

Thirdly, why could not have waited?

Fourthly if that's even a word.

Can't you see that?

Like I wanted the client to know the answer to a technology issue as quickly as possible.

So I put that need in front of my own and my own need in that moment was needing a bath, needing down time because I had just had a very, very tough week and it was Friday evening at 7 p.


and I was sitting in my bath with the candles, lit the book beside me on my phone, whatsapping a client.

That was one of the biggest times that I realized I needed to establish boundaries.

And for those of you that don't know my career background, I owned a gym for many years until COVID hit.

When COVID hit, I moved everything online and it was so successful and I enjoyed it so much that I stayed online.

However, when I moved online, the moving online and it all becoming about coaching and me delivering the program and it became less about having a team of five and managing a gym and more about me delivering a program to my clients, it really threw up in my face, the lack of self love I had for myself and I spent the first year and a half in COVID with no boundaries, no work boundaries at all.

I would be emailing and Facebook messaging and commenting in the members group.

Literally from the second I woke up in the morning to the second I went to bed and that there's not one bit of exaggeration in that I would wake up in the morning.

I would turn my phone on in those few minutes in bed.

I would check my phone and then I would just reply back to anything that anybody had sent me.

I would check my emails and I would quickly reply back.

And I spent the day like that, I spent the day like that I would go for lunch and I would be commenting or emailing to people.

I didn't have any boundaries around lunch, any boundaries around coffee break.

I used to bring my laptop when, when things had reopened again and I wanted to do a little bit of work in a cafe.

Um I would work, go and take a break, bring my laptop with me and work on my break and it all came tumbling down and it all got way too much.

I look back now with such compassion and kindness for the person.

I was because I just didn't know, I just didn't know nobody had told me or I hadn't asked, I didn't know anything about boundaries.

I didn't know I had such a lack of self love.

And how did this manifest itself?

So, if you were looking at me, um, from two years ago, like prior to two years ago, how would you have known?

I didn't love myself.

I didn't have one hobby.

I had very few friends.

I have literally not anymore.

Over the past year and a half, I've really been working at establishing connections in my life, but I had no friends, pretty much no friends, one or two, but very lonely.

I was isolated.

I focused only on work.

I had no hobbies.

I didn't know what my likes or dislikes were.

I think if there was an award going, I would have gotten the award for biggest people pleaser out there.

And I didn't even know it was people pleasing.

I wasn't even aware that it was people pleasing.

I just went about my day the way I've always gone about my day.

And I'm, I'm really, really glad that the whole thing happened because I got to see the lack of self love and I was able to fix it and I was able to establish healthy boundaries.

And from that first step of establishing healthy boundaries was I able to lose weight, keep it off for good, become fit, become healthy, give up alcohol make friends have hobbies, know what my likes or dislikes are, give up people pleasing, have an opinion, not censor or silence myself anymore.

It has been truly wonderful.

So if you're listening to this episode right now and you are struggling with, let's say consistency, you might be struggling with consistency because you don't have any healthy boundaries up yet.

You think you call yourself lazy, demotivated no time.

Well, actually, it could be just the fact that you don't have any boundaries in your life.

I'm going to list you out a couple of symptoms that I think this is from my experience are the reasons you might be inconsistent because of a lack of boundaries.

You don't make any time for yourself.

You feel like you have no time in the day.

You only take the time left over at the end of the day for yourself.

You tried to shoehorn in time for yourself on top of an already busy schedule.

You don't honor your commitments, you struggle to respect your needs.

You don't have any nonnegotiable, healthy habits for yourself.

And the big one that's really obvious that you have no boundaries is that you're inconsistent.

So let's go into that a little bit deeper.

And let's, I want to ask you if you say yes to any of the following questions.

Do you have a lack of boundaries?


So my first question, do you feel, do you feel taken advantage of in certain situations you say yes to please others at your own expense.

Oh my God.

That was a big one for me.

Always at my own expense.

Always at the detriment to my own healthy habits.

I would say yes to everybody not getting your needs met because you tend to fear conflict and you give in to others.

You often feel disrespected by others by not standing up for yourself.

You have a fear of being rejected or abandoned and that leaves you accepting less than you deserve.

You engage in people pleasing behaviors in order to be liked and to receive approval and you don't have any respect for your time.

Now, I can answer yes to all of the above.

I have done all of the above.

And what happens when you do that is that you don't work out, you don't have hobbies, you don't have unwind time, you're at the beck and call of everybody else and it's nobody else's fault but you are.

You put everybody else's needs in front of your own.

And I want you to imagine that you've got this little like really cool invisible layer that's around you and surrounding you.

And when you have healthy boundaries, you have this little invisible layer like this invisible bubble that goes all around you and everybody else's needs are outside that bubble and everything inside the bubble is you, you take care of yourself.

You work out, you eat healthy, you have time for your down time, you have time for making connections and to laugh and then everybody else's needs are outside the little bubble and you get to them afterwards.

But when you don't have healthy boundaries, everybody's else's needs just comes into your bubble.

So your bubble is just really full the whole time.

Just think of it like a bubble around you and it's just bursting with all these loud voices of everybody asking you for stuff.

How in the hell are you ever going to make time for yourself?

How in the hell are you ever going to be happy?

And I think what a lot of us do.

What I certainly did is I kind of envisaged this time in the future when I would have hobbies and me time and you know what?

That's, it just doesn't work like that.

I had a really interesting chat with a dear friend of mine who's also a member, psychotherapist Trisha mchale.

And she spoke about women in their fifties and sixties feeling a real loss of identity.

Um, because they have lost their identity, they've come up to empty nest and realized that they don't really know who they are or what their likes or dislikes are.

And it's always a really good idea to work on all this stuff before those big life changes happen.

And it is so true.

And I used to think that yes, in the future, I will have this, this, this, but for now.

It's all about the kids and work and I, I, I've done it both ways.

So up until a year and a half ago, it was all about the kids and work and I was overweight.

I was unhealthy.

I was comfort eating.

I was drinking too much alcohol.

I was stressed out all the time.

I was anxious all of the time and I didn't see anywhere in my calendar.

I was going to be able to fit in me time.

But then somewhere along the road to say it simply, I said, fuck this.

Something has to change.

I don't care if it feels like I have no time.

I'm going to create time.

And by me saying that meant that I was taking absolute responsibility for my own life and not blaming anybody else because we, we, we can't go around saying we've no time, we've no time, we've no time.

We have to create time.

So I did and I started to really focus on developing connections in my life, on having hobbies on carving out nonnegotiable me time.

And it felt like crap for ages for a couple of months.

I persevered because that's the biggest thing that we do.

We sometimes what we can do at the detriment to ourselves, something feels uncomfortable and bad.

So we think that we shouldn't do it.

So we stop.

Whereas the biggest thing I learned is if you, if it feels uncomfortable, it doesn't mean it's bad.

It just means you're not used to it.

So keep going.

So my life changed by setting boundaries for myself, by deciding to have healthy boundaries in my life so that I could focus on things that make me happy.

I ended up getting really fit and healthy because of it.

So if fit and healthy is your, is your goal and then you're at point A and fit and healthy is point C A lot of the time, we just try to go from A to C and we try to shoehorn everything in when we've got no time when we've got no boundaries.

When actually there's a step in the middle and that's point B establishing healthy boundaries is going to get you to point C which is your fitness and health goals.

Can I just say one more thing?

You don't need to go on a weight loss diet to lose weight.

You don't need to join a six week shred your fat to shred fat, to lose weight.

You need to decide you want to become fit and healthy.

You need to decide on fit and healthy action steps and you need to establish healthy boundaries that are going to enable you to become fit and healthy.

Now, examples of healthy boundaries, examples of a person exhibiting healthy boundaries, this is what a person with healthy boundaries looks like.

They're, they're able to say no, they are able to clearly communicate their wants and needs.

They are, they, they honor and respect their own needs.

They honor and respect their commitments.

They ring fence me time every single week and they, they know what non negotiables are and they stick to their nonnegotiable.

So I'm just going to say that again.

If you're a person with healthy boundaries, you're able to say no, you're able to clearly communicate your wants and needs you, honor and respect your own needs.

you honor and respect your commitments.

You ring fence me time and you stick to your non negotiables.

Now, this is what I do now and it felt so bloody uncomfortable when I first did it is that I got my calendar out and I put in all my stuff first and then I put in everybody else's stuff second.

Now, I just want to be super clear.

I have two kids.

They're eight and nine years old.

Arthur's nine, Emily's eight.

So for things like that are on their calendars, like football on a Monday at 6 p.


I'm not going to say, well, I'm doing a workout at that time, so I'm not backtracking, but I just want to be clear that there are, there's stuff that I can't move on the calendar.

So I'm kind of aware of that when I'm putting in my non negotiables.

So you have to also be realistic.

So let's say I know that Emily's got football on a Friday evening at five and Arthur's got taekwondo on a Saturday and Wednesday or whatever it is.

I have their stuff in the back of my mind when I'm doing it and I open up my calendar and things that are movable, things like in work, in, in, in all the other areas of my life that are movable.

I keep them off the calendar and I put my nonnegotiable times for my workouts and my thrive times and my hobbies and my connections and that's a lot.

But it's, it's a person living their life.

It's a person not being just identified by their work or just identified by their kids.

That's a person with a life something I haven't had for years.

And then I put in all my commitments to everybody else and all my work stuff and that's how I do my calendar.

So for you, I, this is how you're going to practice enforcing healthy boundaries.

If you, if you don't have any boundaries at the moment, there's three steps to getting in a boundary.

Number one, define the boundary.

What is it?

Number two, communicate the boundary to yourself and to everybody else.

And number three is to consistently uphold the boundary.

So just to give you a little example for your workouts, OK.

Number one, define your boundary.

Well, I want to work out three times per week at a set time with no interruptions.


What time might that be at?

I want to work out for 30 minutes at 7 a.


Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Ok, you've defined your boundary step.

Number two.

Communicate the boundary.

Hey, Joe Arthur Emily at 7 a.


on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I'm going to be working out in the spare room.

I don't want any interruptions.

I want to be working out three times a week on these times.

Please don't bother me or hassle me.

It's really important that this time is left alone just for me.

Ok, consistently uphold the boundary.

So every single Friday at the end of every working week, I will look back on my week and go.



I set the boundary.

I worked out at that time.

I didn't let anybody get in the way.


Going forward, that's our boundary for next week.

So you're just consistently checking in with yourself to making sure you are upholding your boundary.

So here's how to practice enforcing healthy boundaries in five steps.

Number one, goal setting, ask yourself questions like what is the goal in setting this boundary or needing to get a boundary?

So your goal might be that you need more time to unwind, have connections in your life, have a hobby or work out.


Number two is to start small.

And I want to say now setting boundaries can be really difficult and uncomfortable, it can feel really hard.

I went from zero boundaries to so many boundaries like I have so many boundaries.

It's crazy.

And my husband Joe had, had, had it, took him a while to get used to it.

Like, what do you mean?

You can't XYZ you're going for a walk.


I've got walk time.

Um, and, and everybody gets used to you not having boundaries.

You know, my mother calling and me answering the phone at any time of the day or my friend or my other family members or Joe.

No, no, no, I don't answer the phone here.

That's when I record my podcast episode.

But start small.

The key is to start small and focus on one boundary at a time.

I really want you to know I would have gotten an award if there was one going for the biggest people pleaser in the world.

So I really want you to know that if you're going, oh God, I can't, I can't, I can't set these boundaries.

You can, if I can do it, you can do it and we can do it together.

Number three is to be clear, focus on what you want as clearly as possible, which means to make it really simple.

The fourth step is to practice if, if thinking about setting a boundary makes you really nervous, write out what you want to say beforehand, practice it.

So before you speak to your boss or your husband or your wife or your friend, you have it practiced.

And the fifth step is to keep it simple.

So less is more with boundary setting don't overload somebody with too many details.

Just tell them the bare minimum, pick the main thing and focus on that.

Now remind her how to set healthy boundaries.

Three steps, define your boundary, communicate the boundary to everybody and consistently uphold the boundary.

So if you open up your Google calendar or a Sana or whatever it is that you use for your projects, I use a Sana.

I love it.

I have my calendar for the week in work.

I have so much to do in a week that I have to know what I'm doing in a day.

I have set things for Mondays right up until Fridays.

Um But in that calendar, I have my nonnegotiable me time.

So I have my walks and workouts on that calendar as time blocked out.

I also have the hobbies that I love to do.

I go out of the house and do hobbies like twice a week and I also meet friends twice a week.

Oh my God.

I can't believe this is me.

That's so exciting.

And I have that on the calendar.

And you know what it does initially, I was really nervous about having less time for work because all I've ever known is dedicating my whole day to work.

I mean, literally throughout COVID, I would start work at 8 a.


and I would be doing an Instagram or tiktok live at 8 p.


that evening.

Oh my God.

I have such compassion for that person.

Like, what was I thinking?

I, I just didn't know boundaries.

I just wanted to help people so much and I didn't understand the importance of taking care of myself anyway.

Um I really recommend you do that.

Just, just get it all in your calendar and worry about how you're going to do it later on.


Oh yeah, that's what I want to say before I went off on a tangent that it'll force you to work smarter.

It forced me to work smarter when I decided that I was going to um go and meet a friend on a Friday morning, for example, for a dip in the sea, it meant that I had one hour less to do the work that I normally had one hour extra for.

So now on a Thursday, I really tightly plan my Friday so that when I get back from meeting my friend, um I know exactly what to do and I can just like work much smarter than maybe other Fridays where I had a bit more time and I was a bit more relaxed about it.

So don't be worried about a lack of time, just get everything that you want to do on your calendar and then figure out how to do it.

And that's why I love a Sana.

You can like move around your projects and tasks and things like that around on your calendar.

But whatever calendar it is that you use you get your time up on that calendar and then you watch your life transform, you'll have hobbies, you'll have connections, you'll work out, you'll have downtime and you'll also be a legend in your work because you will be using your time to the best of your ability.

It'll force you.

You might be not so great at it for the first couple of weeks, but it will force you to get really good at, at, for example, for me, it's like, ok, I've got to shoot a podcast episode at 2 p.


I have no choice.

I have to show up to shoot this podcast episode at 2 p.


If I'm feeling not into it, I have to still go for it.

So go for it.

Well, I hope you found this episode, this short little episode helpful on how to establish healthy boundaries.

If you're inconsistent, don't automatically think it's because you're lazy.

If you're inconsistent, don't automatically think it's anything to do with you other than the fact that you may just not have boundaries in place.

And a reminder to you that it is difficult to implement healthy boundaries, but don't let difficulty put you off.

It can feel really uncomfortable feeling like you have all this time for yourself in the week.

But if life isn't about having hobbies and connections and laughing and having fun, what is it about?

Are you a workhorse?

Do you want to just dedicate your whole time to chores and family and work because that was me for years.

And it's one of the reasons why I was so unhappy and anxious and stressed out and overweight and comfort eating and drinking.

How was it?

Once I started to put boundaries in place and put up with the feelings of discomfort.

It got really easy and I really feel I'm in my absolute prime.

I was desperate.

I was desperate.

I was desperate Only a year and a half ago.

I felt desperate.

Absolutely desperate in myself.

Really rotten, mental health, anxious, stressed out, overweight, bloated, turning to food the whole time for comfort.

So deeply unhappy, no friends isolated.

If I can do it, you can do it.

We do it together.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode, I would love for you to rate it or share it with a friend.

Just grab the share link and think, you know, I have a friend who needs to hear this right now.

Thank you so much for listening.

All my love and have a wonderful day.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get.

You started on your journey.

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#141: Exposing all the reasons why you haven’t achieved your fitness and health goals (YET!)

Hello, dear friends and welcome to today's podcast episode, first and foremost.

Thank you for being here.

I just love our chats and I'm excited to get stuck into today's podcast episode, which is all about exposing all the reasons why you may not have achieved your fitness and health goals yet.

And the reason that I want to do this is because it's coming up to the festive season and there's still plenty of time for you to achieve your goals this year in quarter four.

And I want to help you get there.

I am feeling completely on top of my game.

Having been injured.

I was out with a back injury.

I pulled a muscle in my back while sleeping and, um, I had a five week recovery process.

I wasn't able to work out.

I'm back on the workouts, excuse me a couple of weeks now.

And I'm feeling really good and I was sitting and having a cup of coffee in my local coffee shop today.

And I thought to myself, how best can I serve my clients?

How best can I serve my podcast listeners?

You guys today with about seven weeks before the end of year.

And I thought, I know I'm going to write a list of reasons, a list of every possible reason I could think of, of why you haven't achieved your goals.

And we're going to help each other in this episode.

This isn't about calling out bad behavior or feeling bad that we're not doing something.

This is about taking control, taking charge of our fitness and health so that we can finish the year strong.

We can finish the year fit and healthy.

I want to remind you that you don't have to wait until the New Year and do it with all the crazy people that go crazy in New Year's for a couple of weeks and then stop.

I want you to achieve every single thing that you want to achieve with your fitness and health right now before Q four ends.

And um, no better way to do it than today's episode.

So let's get stuck in.

I'm going to just list out all the reasons why you mightn't have achieved your fitness and health goals yet.

And if one resonates with you, maybe make a little note and decide what you're going to do about it and the different approach that you're going to take.


So I want to list a couple of reasons why you may not be fit yet.

If you are struggling to become fit.

Number one, you're not lifting weights.

So you're either in the gym, you're doing cardio, maybe you're doing classes like Zumba or cardio exercises, maybe you're pounding the pavements, maybe you're on the treadmill on the cross trainer.

This is why you haven't become fit as a woman.

Over 40 lifting weights is the coolest thing ever.

It only takes 30 minutes three times a week and all we need to do is lift dumbbells.

And what that does is that gets us super fit, super strong, really mobile.

It's excellent for improving your fitness with day to day activities.

So think of getting in and out of the car, lifting shopping bags, putting things on a shelf over your head, dropping something on the floor and having to squat down and get it, getting into bed, getting off the couch, all those things, I'm not even talking about going on a hike or a walk.

I'm talking about your everyday functional fitness, your movement, your everyday activities, lifting weights is what makes your quality of life better.

Lifting weights is what makes your life easier to go about your day to go shopping, to lift bags, all that sort of stuff.

Lifting weights is important.

Also, to mention it improves your bone density, which is going to help with osteoporosis or help prevent you getting osteoporosis.

If you have it, it's going to help you manage it.

It's also really good for building lean muscle, which means you're going to have a higher metabolism, you're going to be burning more calories at rest than if you didn't lift weights.

Really important.

Really terrific for your mental health.

It helps you burn fat at rest.

Lifting weights is the way forward.

If you're, if you're a woman over 40 you're not lifting weights, you're missing out.

All lifting weights does to you is help you build lean muscle, helps you become trim.

You don't bulk out, you don't get big lifting weights.

The second thing you're just not exercising.

And I know that sounds a little bit crazy to say, but I used to not call myself out on this stuff.

I used to walk around giving out that I was overweight or unfit.

And I never used to think to myself.

Well, Jessica, it's because you're not exercising.

I used to just walk around giving out, I had a victim mindset.

A negative mindset.

I was always giving out to myself about why I wasn't doing about me not being fit about me, not being unhealthy.

And I hope you and me are buddies now.

So I just want to say to you from friend to friend, maybe you're not fit because you're not working out and maybe this will be the kind of eureka moment where you might go.

Oh, yeah, I'm actually not working out.

I never really thought of that.

The next reason is that you're not consistent, you're just not consistent with your workouts can be a big reason why we're not fit.

And if you're anything like me, you've got your blinkers on, you can't see that it's as simple as that you're giving out.

Maybe that your workout isn't hard enough or it's too hard or it's too easy or that you are not putting in enough effort or that your weights are too light, your weights are too heavy.

Maybe you're just not consistent enough with your workouts.

Maybe you haven't been consistent for long enough a time.

Often I find with myself and for a lot of us is that we're inconsistent with our workouts, then we become consistent for like two weeks and then we wonder why we're not super fit.

Well, we've only been consistent for two weeks.

So a lack of consistency is generally speaking, one of the biggest reasons I see people not be fit that sounds really basic and simple, but often it's the basic and simple things that we are blinkered to.

I remember going on this like crazy hunt for the best diet that was going to help me lose weight.

I was eating too much takeaways.

I was eating crap on the couch every night.

I was skipping breakfast.

I was eating way too much food at night time.

But no, I didn't want to address any of that.

That was far too basic and simple.

I wanted to count my macros.

Find out what the calories were in all my food because that somehow seemed easier.

That's just distraction.

That's just distraction.

So, if you're not fit at the minute, I ask you, are you exercising, are you consistent with that exercise?

And are you lifting weights maybe as well?

You're not scheduling in your workouts.

So, maybe you're consistent and you work out and you lift weights.

Well, actually, my next point about you not scheduling in your workouts means you're inconsistent and that's why you're not fit.

So, my next point was maybe you're not scheduling in your workouts to your calendar.

So you're trying to wing it.

That could be a reason why you're not consistent.

You really need to take this seriously if you want to become fit, if becoming fit and healthy is a goal of yours.

They need to be on your calendar.

Why is it that we are so crazy about scheduling in all our work stuff?

We're very serious about it.

We never miss our child's, um, activities, but when it comes to our workouts.



Yeah, we'll fit that in somewhere.

It needs to be on your calendar.

It needs to be a nonnegotiable.

It needs to be part of your week.

Another reason why you mightn't be fit yet is because you're not protecting your me time.

You're not protecting your workout time.

So you have it on your calendar.

You have the days and times but something comes along and you just go.



No, cool.

I'll do that.

No problem.

I can move my workout.

It was only my workout.

It's, it's not, it's not very important I can schedule for a couple of hours later and you don't go to your workout every single time.

I reschedule a workout in the past for somebody.

I don't do my workout and I feel resentful towards the person, even though it's not their fault at all.

They didn't know you were going to do a workout.

And I feel resentful towards life and everybody around me and annoyed and irritated.

You don't need to feel annoyed or irritated.

You need to put the workouts in your calendar and make them non negotiables.

And if somebody in work says, hey, any chance you could start early on Wednesday and you have your workout planned at that time, they ask say, oh, I actually have an appointment at that time.

What about X or Y time at X or Y day?

Or if your family member, your husband said to you.

Hey, look, I need your help.


Well, maybe if your husband needs your help, that's fair enough.

But, I mean, an easy help.

Like, hey, are you doing anything this evening?

I was hoping to, you know, go somewhere for a half an hour.

Oh, well, actually I have a workout scheduled at this time, any chance we could do it another time.

And you know what if you're out of practice?

It sounds really weird and selfish.

However, it's not really weird or selfish.

The first few times I did it, I was really embarrassed.

I felt really bad in myself.

However, I stuck with it and I knew deep down there was nothing to feel bad about.

And now I'm kind of addicted to it.


I, I say it really easily and it's, it's just one of those things that you need to do for yourself, taking care of your health needs to be a nonnegotiable in your life.

If you're going to stick with it.

Ok, weight loss.

These are all the reasons that I think you may not have lost the weight you want to lose and remember it's not too late.

You're following diet culture.

You're obsessed.

You're on this obsession restriction binging and you're just continuing to do it.

You're doing the same thing over and over again and you're not changing.

So you're doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, but you're not, you're not willing to try anything new and you're not willing to let go of diet culture.

Because for some reason you think that if you do let it go, you won't get any results.

However, you're not thinking clearly.

This was me.

You're not getting results anyway.

I was really scared to give up diet culture to give up calorie counting to give up weighing myself because I thought that for some reason I'd go off the rails.

I was off the rails.

I thought, oh my God.

If I stop weighing myself, this is going to be out of control.

I was out of control.

If it's not working, if you're fluctuating all the time, it's not working.

Nothing bad is going to happen.

If you let it go, you're just scared of change.

You, you, you, you're scared, let it go if it's not working for you.

Another reason why you may not have lost the weight yet is that you're overeating.

Now, this is a sensitive subject, but many of us overeat and not think that that's the reason that we're overweight.

We want to learn more about the perfect salads.

We want to distract ourselves with other stuff going on with the food.

When I was dieting for all those years, I was just overeating.

I was eating too much.

I was eating too much food and it wasn't until I healed.

My relationship with food was I able to start eating less.

So maybe for you, you're overeating.

But because you think you're dieting, you don't think that's the problem.

And I chat to you about this literally in the podcast episode just gone by.

I think it's 140.

It is.

It's 140, so I won't get into it too much here.

But overeating may be one of the reasons why you're overweight.

And I, and I'm not being funny here.

It's really easy for me to call the things out now that I'm out of it when you're stuck in the middle of it the way I was.

And I was really struggling for years.

I was three stone overweight.

If somebody had said to me, Jesus, do you ever think that you're overweight because you're just eating too much food?

I would really have appreciated that because at the time because I was feeling that I was eating less feeling because I felt like I was on a diet because I was obsessing about it and thinking about it so much and eating my lunch, wondering what am I going to have for dinner and what am I going to have for my 4 p.



Because I can't get hungry.

I've got to eat like hummus and crackers because I was kind of in that mindset.

I never for a second thought Jesus just eat a little bit less.

Now, I do understand in order to eat less, you need to heal your relationship with food because you may be comfort eating.

But one of the reasons that you're overweight is because you may be overeating and it's a good idea to look at that.

Another reason you might be overweight is that you're eating too little at meal times and then you're overeating at night time.

So you're fooling yourself, but you haven't called yourself out on it yet, which is really normal.

And I did that all the time.

So after a lot of dieting and a lot of calorie counting, I said that's it.

I'm going to eat less and I really restricted my breakfast and I really restricted my lunch.

And I, I'm, I've got to be honest, I always am in this, in these podcasts that, that hunger feeling felt good.

I felt like I was in control now.

That's crazy.

That's like a very bad relationship with food.

But that restriction that I did in the day made me feel in control and I felt good.

However, I would overeat then so much at night time.

And if it wasn't that night, it was the weekend, it always caught up on me.

I would eat like crazy because I was so hungry.

So maybe one of the reasons why you're overweight, why you're not hitting your weight loss goal is because you're eating too little at meal times and then come the night time, you're eating way too much or you're eating too little during the week and come weekends, you're going crazy.

Now there's no secret solution to this.

You've just got to do the work on yourself.

You've got to try and figure out why you're restricting yourself so much, why you're overeating so much and why your relationship with food is not good.

Ok, another reason that you may still be overweight is that you are drinking too much alcohol, simple, plain and simple, too much wine at weekends.

Like you're going crazy or you are eating, you're drinking too much too often.

Like you're drinking four nights a week or you're having a glass of wine every night of the week or maybe you're only eating, drinking twice a week, but you are going mental when you do.

Um, good to look at that.

Really good to look at that.

Not just for weight loss reasons, for other reasons too.

Um, next reason you're eating too many takeaways.

I remember I used to eat two takeaways every weekend.

And then I said to myself, well, I'm only going to have one takeaway and when I stopped eating takeaways, not from a diet point of view.

I don't eat takeaways anymore because I find them unhealthy and I don't like to enjoy my food through takeaways.

It's just a personal decision.

I don't enjoy takeaways anymore, but I used to eat them the whole time and it used to be a real stress reliever for me.

Maybe that's why I don't like to eat them anymore.

It's just bad memories, you know, the delivery guy arriving.

Nobody talked to me, sit down at the dinner, put something on, numb the brain.

I hope there's no ads while I'm eating my Indian takeaway and just forgetting the world for five minutes while I was eating overeating to get relaxed to get that deep breath.

You know, when you get so stuffed and then you're able to breathe and you just go, oh, that was causing me to be overweight.

So, back when I had kind of lost the weight about two years ago, but some of my habits were still different.

I was still about a stone, a half, a stone overweight and I was having my takeaway every week when I got rid of that.

The last bit got rid of it for me.

And I want to be super clear here that you can, of course, enjoy your takeaways.

It's just if you're not enjoying them and you're eating them for the wrong reasons.

And it's another reason to comfort eat and your clothes are tight, dump them.

You won't look back.

Um, yeah.

And my last point about weight loss is you're just going mental at weekends.

Going mental at weekends is unhealthy.

It's not that like, oh, well, I, I've eaten really healthy during the week so I can indulge at the weekends if you're comfort eating.

If you're overeating to me that's being unhealthy.

And I never copped that before.

I never thought for a second when I like there's been so many stages to my health.

So back at the stage where I finally got healthy during the week, but I was still at my, well, I can just do whatever I want at the weekend phase.

I would have a huge dinner on a Friday night, spaghetti bolognaise, loads of garlic bread and then I would eat what I wanted.

Treat wise.

Now that's unhealthy to me because that's overeating.

That is overeating.

That is comfort eating and comfort eating.

If I ever find myself comfort eating, I have a little chat with myself and say you're comfort eating.

What's wrong.

So if you're wondering, you know, how many treats I can have at the weekend, what are the rules around the weekend?

That is still an unhealthy relationship with food, enjoying your meals at the weekends and maybe indulging in a dessert or things that you like, you know, yourself, take your power back.

You know, the story, you know, when you're being unhealthy for, for comfort eating's sake and then, you know, when you're indulging and enjoying yourself and the two things are completely different for me at the weekends.

Now I've lots of tasty food, enjoyable treats and it's done in moderation and it's healthy and I love, it mightn't be classified as healthy, like as in, I have pizza or pasta or whatever I want.

I enjoy it.

I have desserts.

I might have had the same thing three years ago, but in a really unhealthy way eating super fast eating to escape eating for comfort eating.

So, um, you really need to kind of get to know yourself and figure out what works, ok, we're nearly there.

So the reasons why you mightn't be achieving your health and fitness goals yet, why you haven't achieved them yet.

This is why you're, you might find it difficult to embed healthy habits.

You're not making any me time.

So you're not making any time for yourself.

You're not making any time for yourself.

And you're wondering why you're not fit and healthy.

You've got to make me time.

You've got to get it on the calendar and you've got to have nonnegotiable me time or you're not going to get fit and healthy by winging it and putting it last to the bottom of the list.

No, you're going to bed way too late.

It is virtually impossible to get fit and healthy.

How can you show up to your workouts and not eat shite all day if you're absolutely wrecked and I'm not putting any pressure.

I hate those people that tell you, you know, eight hours sleep, eight hours sleep.

As women hormonal fluctuations changes the menopause.

That's not guaranteed but rest.

Getting to bed by 1030 11, reading a few pages of a book, lights out phone off, whatever comes, comes, but allowing us space to rest and have that is really, really important.

You're not getting any downtime So you're stressed out, you're anxious, stress and anxious leads to overeating, eating crap, feeling really bad.

Staying up too late, it all feeds into itself.

So if you're not making any downtime for yourself during the day, 10 minutes with a cup of tea or coffee and a journal, 10 minutes with a good book, 10 minutes sitting on a chair doing nothing.

10 minutes of thrive time.

If you're not doing that, you're making life harder on yourself.

Your stress and anxiety may go up and everything else gets affected negatively.

You have no, you have no boundaries.

That's another reason that you just don't have boundaries.

If somebody calls you, you answer the phone.

If your friend asks to meet you at a time that doesn't suit you, meet them.

If somebody asks you to do something at a time that you'd work out or thrive time scheduled, you do it and you don't have boundaries, which are, which is just so important.

You don't take your health seriously.

That might be another reason.

You're just not taking it seriously.

And maybe you haven't realized you're not taking it seriously.

And maybe right now you're like, oh my God, I just haven't been taking my health seriously.

I haven't been putting it as a priority, but I want it to be a priority.

And the last one, no, the second last one, you're being too hard on yourself.

So you're taking setbacks and challenges way too seriously.

Who cares if you didn't work out for a week, who cares if you didn't eat healthy for a week?

It's ok.

What many of us do is we take that so seriously.

We, we, like, put it on to ourselves.

Like we're failures.

I'm a failure.

I didn't work out all week.

That must mean something that must mean I'm a failure.

Absolutely not.

It just means you didn't work out for a week.

It means life got in the way you're human or you were just particularly demotivated or you had loads of symptoms of the menopause or you were premenstrual, whatever your reasons, you just didn't work out that week.

When you look back over the past year, you're not going to be able to pick out the weeks you didn't work out and they're not important in the grand scheme of things.

Consistency is the ability to get back on track.

So stop being so hard on yourself.

If you have a week where you eat shite or you have a week where you didn't work out or two weeks or a month, it's all about getting back on track.

And the last thing, the last reason why you may not have achieved your fitness and health goals yet is because you don't love yourself.

You don't love yourself.

And when you don't love yourself, you don't make time for yourself.

You have no boundaries.

You don't take your work out seriously.

You don't eat well because you don't love yourself.

And that's the most important.

One of all of the ones I've just spoken about loving yourself.

Do you love yourself?

Do you take, if you don't know if you love yourself or not, then answer this question for me?

Do you take the time to take care of yourself?

If the answer is yes.

The chances are you probably love yourself.

There may be a little bit room for growth there.

But the chances are you're, you're learning to love yourself again.

If you struggle to take care of yourself, if you struggle to make time for yourself, then I put it to you that you may have a self-love issue.

But there may be a little bit of a lack of self-love there.

And rather than looking for the solution in calendars and workout and food, then maybe for you, it's learning how to love yourself again.

And if I can leave you with this one tip that's working for me, we change our thoughts by first off observing them, hearing what we're telling ourselves, challenging them and coming up with a more empowering alternative.

If you're very hard on yourself, if you don't love yourself, the very first step to do is observe your thoughts.

What are you telling yourself on a daily basis?

And it's ok to stay in that phase for a long time, just listening, no pressure.

And then when it feels right, we start to challenge the thought Hang on a second.

I am worthy.

I am worthy.

Hang on a second.

I am enough.

I do deserve me.


I am going to put myself first and over time you'll, you'll start to love yourself and then putting in meantime, and putting in boundaries will become a lot easier.


Well, I hope you've enjoyed this podcast episode.

I have a couple of free resources for you.

So the first one is my five steps to unleashing your fitness and c you can go to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash unleash and that will give you a five steps, my five step framework to getting fit healthy and feeling great in your clothes.

Again, my next one is if you feel really disorganized and you're not sure where to start, you just feel overwhelmed with the whole fitness and health thing.

You can go to Jessica Cook dot IE tool kit.

That's Jessica Cook dot IE tool kit.

And there you'll find a really great tool kit that will help you organize and structure your week and put in your action steps, your healthy action steps for the week and month ahead.


That's it.

Thank you so much for being here.

All my love to you.

If you wouldn't mind doing me a favor of rating this podcast wherever you are listening to it, I would be forever grateful.

Thank you and have a lovely day.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

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#140: 5 Ways to Reset Your Relationship with Food

Hi. You are very welcome to today's podcast episode. I'm excited to get stuck into today's episode.

I always love chatting to you about nutrition.

I hope you're doing really well.

I had a really nice weekend with Joe, my husband and my two kids, Arthur and Emily, we went to County Cork.

Oh, I love Cork.

I just think it is the nicest, one of the nicest cities in Ireland.

There's so many little side streets and so many little restaurants and just walking around Cork is so fun.

You don't need to have anything booked.

You can just walk around and take in the sights and get lost, walking around the little side streets.

I just love it so much and we went to Fota Island as well, which I always love.

There is something so relaxing about looking at animals and admiring them and having fun with the kids.

I just find so, so relaxing.

I hope you're keeping really well.

I want to chat to you today about your nutrition and five ways to reset your relationship with food.

So this episode is for you.

If you don't have such a great relationship with food, I feel very passionate about chatting to you about nutrition.

I have felt really, really bad for years and I have had a really bad relationship with food.

If there's anything probably that you're thinking of right now that you're doing when it comes to nutrition, I've probably done it too.

Um, the diets, the calorie, counting the weighing scales, the, weighing the food, the obsession with the food, food, food, food.

Oh, I'm so sick of it.

And I see people all around me also being so obsessed with food and I want to help you not become obsessed with food.

I was obsessed with food for years and it just, it just takes so much away from you.

You're a wonderful, smart, intelligent human being with so much to offer.

Think of all the wonderful hobbies or things that we can be doing instead of obsessing about food and obsessing about food.

Keeps you obsessed about food.

It keeps you locked in this cycle.

I can't bear to see all those weight loss clubs and the recipes, the never ending recipes I'll be fit and healthy.

If I keep making all this food and recipes and all that stuff does is keep you obsessed with food, obsessed with food.

Whereas if that works for you great.

But I'm talking to you if, if it's not working for you.

But all that did all those diet clubs, weight clubs recipes make this, make that snack, that prep that kept me overweight.

It kept me thinking and obsessing and worrying about food and prepping food.

And if I wasn't eating food, I was making food and if I wasn't making food to eat right, then I was prepping food.

I was thinking about food.

I was restricting and overeating and binging and the cycle just went on and I can see it now online with everybody gearing up to, um, go towards Christmas and try and lose weight.

It's, it's just this food obsession and it's, there's another way and I want to share with you this way on today's episode and I want to help you change your relationship with food.

So let's just get stuck to number one and number one, how to, how to improve your relationship with food is to stop overeating.

Now, before you get annoyed at me, that, that sounds really basic.

Just want to go into it a little bit deeper dieting is very much thought of about eating less and restricting your food.

However, I was a part of diet culture for many, many years and diet culture didn't lead me to lose weight and keep it off.

Every time I dieted I tend to eat more.

So that's kind of what I, that's what I mean by stop overeating.

When we get obsessed with food, we have a tendency to eat more of it.

And I know many, many women that would agree with me on this one and that have a similar issue with food.

When you diet, you end up eating more.

Like dieting doesn't just impact people that they eat too little and they lose weight temporarily and they can't keep it off for many of you.

And I fall into this category.

When you start to diet, you start to eat more and I properly lost weight and kept it off two years ago, properly, lost weight and kept it off two years ago.

And for the first time in my life, I'm eating less food and it's because I, I gave up diet culture and I stopped dieting.

So many of us are overeating when I was dieting, I was overeating.

Everything for me was about more everything when I was eating my dinner because I was on a diet, I would try to eat less potatoes.

But because of that, I would have way more veg and way more protein when I was dieting.

I got really obsessed about snacks.

So, for my snacks I would think to myself, well, I'll have to have some hummus and crackers and because I'm on a diet, I want to make sure that I don't get too hungry.

So I'll have some extra crackers with my hummus.


I'm not going to have hummus today.

I'm going to have some cooked chicken with some Riitta now because I'm dieting, I'm going to make sure now that I don't get too hungry and I'm going to have three Rita with a breast of chicken.

I better have bread with my eggs because I don't want to get hungry because I'm on a diet.

Oh, I better have an extra salad with my soup.

I'm on a diet.

I'm not eating bread.

So, you know, I don't want to be hungry.

I better eat all this salad.

I'd better have extra crackers with my snacks.

I better have popcorn after dinner.

I better have fruit and yogurt after my dinner because I'm on a diet and I'm not eating dessert.

I better have a proper mid-morning snack because if I don't, I'll be hungry because I'm on a diet.

And when I look back now I was overeating the whole time because I was dieting.

So the truth is when we overeat, we gain weight, when we overeat, we gain weight.

And I know it is more difficult to lose weight as we get older.

But I promise you with a few really good action steps.

And if you stop obsessing about the food and you give up the dieting, you'll start to develop a really healthy relationship with food.

And the reason you'll develop that healthy relationship with food is because you've allowed yourself to start developing a healthy relationship with food.

We can't develop a healthy relationship with food while we're dieting.

So that door is closed, we can't focus on, on getting healthy, on healing our relationship with food until we give up dieting.

So if you need to reset your relationship with food, the number one thing to do is to stop dieting, to stop overeating.

The second thing is to stop counting anything to do with food, stop counting calories, stop counting and tracking macros, stop keeping a food diary, stop checking the backs of packets and tins and sauces and start using your own brain.


What I believe diet culture and the weight loss culture and clubs want us to do is to take away any self reliance we have on ourselves on our own intuition and keep us locked in this silly game where we think we don't know how to eat healthy and we need to be told what to eat and when to eat it.

And we need to be asking somebody is this sauce OK?

Can I eat this with this salad?

Can I put this on?

My dinner is a little bit of ketchup.


Am I allowed to have butter on my potatoes?

If you find yourself asking these questions?

I want you to really imagine somebody, whoever you're asking has power, your power and I want you to take your power back and start to turn inward and ask yourself when it comes to your nutrition.

Like, what do you think?

Do you think a little bit of butter on your potatoes is ok?

Do you think a little bit of ketchup is?


Do you like dressing on your salad and really start to ask yourself what you think?

I mean, it's very rare.

I've never met a woman who I said, like, look, stop checking the backs of sauces or packets or tins and just start relying on your own intuition.

They never come back to me and say, oh my God, that was the worst thing I ever did because I ended up having a bit of sauce in my dinner and there was like 20 g of sugar in it or whatever.

Like it just doesn't happen.

It's, it's, it's, it's an obsession.

It's feeding into this obsession again with nutrition and it's keeping the focus off the things that are actually going to heal your relationship with food and actually going to get you fit and healthy.

So every time you look at the back of a packet of something and you're checking the grams of fat or sugar, just get rid if you want to have sauce on your dinner have it.

It's not going to make any difference whatsoever to your weight and to your health.

If there is stuff in the backs of the packets, in terms of weight loss that you are afraid of, just have the full fat, have the full fat milk, have the full fat cheese.

It's the overeating.

That's the problem.

It's not the full fat of anything.

Anything diety, 50% reduced fat, get rid of all that stuff.

Get rid of the crisps.

That, that's say 50% reduced fat.

Don't go for ice cream that says nine calories in the tub or whatever because you'll only end up eating more of it.

And this is my experience and I am trying to help you um from my experience.

So I do understand that maybe for some crazy people out there, that stuff works, but I am just dead against it and think if you're going to have a chocolate bar, you sit down, you enjoy that chocolate bar.

What is the point of getting one that is like 50% reduced fat?

Same with those protein bars.

They know what they're at.

They have them at the front of the till they are targeting people, women that are dieting.

They want you to still buy chocolate bars.

You've said no, you're on a diet.

So you buy a chewy protein bar instead.

You don't need your trainer to tell you that those protein bars are unhealthy.

That's why you're asking because, you know, they're unhealthy.

You put them in your mouth, they taste really good and chewy.

They're not great.

I would get rid of all those bars and it doesn't matter what they say, 0% fat, no sugar, I would get rid of all of that stuff.

Every single thing you see on the shelves that's geared towards a dieter.

I want you to call it out and go.

They're marketing to me.

They're trying to get me to buy this because they know that I'm on a diet and that I don't want to buy the other stuff.

So they want to keep me buying the unhealthy stuff and it's still really unhealthy.

It's still extra food, it's still processed food and we don't need it and we take a stand.


So the third thing to do to reset your relationship with food is to recognize that you may be emotionally eating, emotionally eating has been the number one reason why I have been overweight for years.

I blamed the food.

I blamed my lack of knowledge, but ultimately, it was down to me eating my emotions any time I felt a feeling that I didn't want to feel I would eat.

So for example, my time to eat, my emotions was after dinner.

If I had a stressful day, I would eat something sweet.

If I felt wound up and anxious, I would eat something sweet.

If I felt sad or bad I would eat something sweet if I had just been with a family member who stresses me out or somebody that stresses me out that night time I would eat, I would eat for comfort.

What I didn't need was a weight loss club or a diet club telling me what to eat.

Instead, like have this three low calorie jelly pot with this low calorie ice cream, you can throw them some fruit in there because that doesn't count.

No, I didn't need anybody to tell me that because that's still promoting emotional eating.

What I needed was help.

What I needed was to be able to turn inwards to feel the feeling that I was feeling and be ok with feeling it and let the feeling pass.

That's what I needed.

But those weight loss clubs that are telling you to substitute your chocolate bar or your dessert or your sweet thing for something else are continuing you on the path of emotional eating.

And that's what I used to do all the time after dinner when I was on a diet.

When I was on a diet, it was recommended to me after dinner.

Have yogurt with berries, have a bowl of fruit.

Have low calorie jelly, have low calorie sorbet ice cream, dip some apples into some chocolate sauce, have some dark chocolate.

Oh, there's so many, isn't there?

There's so many sorbet frozen yogurt.

No, no, no, no, no.

You're overeating.

You've had your dinner you don't need any more food.

If you're eating food after your dinner, you're comfort eating.

If you have a proper dinner and a proper lunch and a proper breakfast and you snack on fruit.

If you're hungry, that's not hunger, you're feeling after dinner.

And if it is you haven't had a big enough dinner.


The next thing to do if you want to reset your relationship with food is to stop exercising, to burn off calories.

You can't out train a bad diet.

Exercise isn't going to help you lose weight if you're overeating.

And that's the common mistake.

A lot of women make that.

They say, well, look, I'm, I've eaten heavily so I'll go for a big walk.

I'm eating more so I'll exercise more and it doesn't work like that.

You chase your tail.

You are much better off exercising for your physical and mental well being, commit to a certain amount of days and times you're going to exercise every week.

And then if you overeat, you overeat, but you don't wrap it up and tie it in a relationship with exercise, your exercise stays the same.

If you've overeaten, you've overeaten, get rid of the shame and guilt.

Who cares?

You've overeaten.

That's ok.

That's totally normal.

We're human when we overeat.

That means nothing.

We get up the next day and we have our breakfast as normal.

Nothing bad has happened.

Allow yourself to have those days.

It's ok sometimes to have extra food.

But what happens when we're stuck in diet culture is we have extra food.

We wake up the next day and we continue to have extra food because we feel so bad about it.

Striving to be fit and healthy, becoming consistent.

And then having more food one day means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

If you don't make it mean anything, it means nothing.

It's the shame and guilt that you put on it.

That makes it mean something.

It doesn't have to mean anything.

The next my final tip to improve your relationship with food, to reset your relationship with food is to keep it simple.

Keep it simple and get fancy later if you want to.

But what happened to me and what I see a lot of people do is that they complicate things.

They get in loads of weird ingredients.

They figure out all these recipes.

They prep like a crazy person.

Well, actually to reset our relationship with food, what we need to do is eat breakfast, then eat lunch, then eat dinner.

And then if we're hungry in between meals, let's snack on some fruit.

And we don't need to ask somebody what they eat for breakfast.

We know how to eat healthy.

We know that if we sit down with a big bowl of alpen that that's going to be full of sugar, not the best brand in the world, not super healthy.

We know if we sit down with a bowl of porridge or a bowl of fla and's high eight muesli or some eggs that were healthy.

We know that if we sit down and we have no breakfast and a coffee that's not very healthy.

And we know if we have eggs and three slices of toast and a bowl of porridge that, that's overeating for lunch.

We keep it super simple.

We know if we sit down and we have a Chinese takeaway that that's unhealthy.

We know if we have soup and a sandwich or a salad or soup with brown bread that that's healthy.

We know how to eat healthy.

It's the implementation that can get a little bit difficult because there's other things around us, external forces trying to make it really complicated for us.

We know what a healthy dinner is.

We know when we overeat, we know when we undereat, keep it really simple.

If you're struggling with the nutrition, just burn all things diet wise, just get rid of it.

Just reset your relationship with food, eat breakfast as much as you can at the same time every day, then eat lunch, then eat dinner.

It doesn't matter what time you eat dinner or what time you're home or just eat dinner and then snack, snack on fruit.

If you're hungry between lunch and dinner, sometimes I find I get extra hungry and so that I don't rock up to my dinner starving.

I have a yogurt a Glen esk, um, Greek style yogurt and a banana and it's, it's loads and then I have my dinner and then I'm done and I have a lovely little hot chocolate at night time because I love it and I enjoy it.

So keep it really simple and don't be afraid to start from scratch.

Just rip up the rule book, rip up everything you've been doing to this point.

If you have an unhealthy relationship with food, if you're obsessing, if you're dieting, if you're jumping on the weighing scales, if you're counting things, there's another way and you don't need to do it, you exercise consistently, you get fresh air, you eat healthy, you take care of your mental health, you drink 2 L of water every day, you get good rest in at night time and you go and enjoy your life, you live your life, you enjoy your life.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode.

If you did, I have a big favor to ask you.

I don't mind what star you give me.

I would really just appreciate it.

If you could rate my podcast on the platform that you're listening to it.

And if you would share it with a friend, if you thought that they would get something out of it, I would be forever grateful.

Last thing if you haven't downloaded my free tool kit and you're feeling unorganized with no structure I recommend you do.

You can go to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash toolkits.

That's Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash toolkit.

It's a great resource.

It will help you structure and organize your week and help you set your healthy action steps, intentions for the week so that you feel organized and in control when it comes to your health.

Have a wonderful day.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

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