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Hello and welcome to today's episode.

Thank you for tuning in.

I'm excited to be here.

I hope you're doing really well.

Wherever you're tuning in from whatever you're doing a big hello from me to you.

Let's get stuck in today's short little episode is a reminder and it's a reminder to you that it's not about getting fit and healthy is not about eating less and moving more.

It's not just about eating less and moving more.

Now, that is a statement that I used to often say as a fitness coach, I have been coaching women since 2008 and it's, it's, it's something that I've always said eat less, move more.

You've just got to eat less and you've got to move more.

And that could not be further from the truth.

In fact, I think that statement is uh is very negative and very damaging and it can make a lot of people feel like failures.

Wow.

So simple to eat less and to move more.

How can I be failing at something so simple?

And I think it just feeds into the whole diet trap, the all or nothing trap that so many of us get stuck in because we're bombarded on the radio and TV, and magazines about dieting and exercise that if you're not fit and healthy, it must be because you are just eating too much and not moving enough.

And that is such a crazy oversimplified, incorrect statement, incorrect statement.

And it just keeps us further away from figuring out how to become fit and healthy.

And it was my simplified oversimplified belief that getting fit and healthy over the years that getting fit and healthy was about eating less and moving more that kept my blinkers on.

And that kept me stuck in a cycle of weight gain and weight loss.

I was always, always either losing weight or gaining weight.

I was never just healthy.

I was always overeating or undereating.

I was always overexercising or underexercising.

I was never just being healthy that didn't exist in my world.

Even in all the years, I was a fitness coach and I, I had my own gym.

I'm all online now.

But back when I had a physical gym, it was all about the struggle, the chase, the chase of the weight loss goal, the chase of the clothes feeling good temporarily for them to feel tight again.

It was, it was, it was just always up, always down, always going around in circles.

And I always believed, always believed that it was just about eating less and moving more.

And the biggest problem for me about that is that it kept me focused on the wrong things.

And when I look back now, I can see it so clearly.

I see a woman who was very overwhelmed, very stressed out, very worried about work.

I had no sense of self.

I wasn't grounded.

I was anxious and stressed out.

I had no sense of peace and calm.

I had no time for myself.

I had no boundaries.

I was a total people pleaser.

I was really afraid of, of, of confrontation.

I used to censor and silence myself the whole time I had no hobbies.

I had very, very few connections.

I wasn't in any way engaged in the community where I lived.

I had made my world really, really small because I felt vulnerable.

I had so many things that I had to heal from the past.

There were so many things that I was carrying around with me that I hadn't quite let go.

It was all these things that were getting me down and for me to have simplified the reason that I was overweight and unhealthy and unfit to a statement that well, I just need to eat less and move more is just so bad.

It, it's just, it's, it's not being very kind, it's not being very empathetic and it's not looking at the whole picture what I was doing for years on myself was I was always just treating the symptoms of the problems that I had and the symptoms were that I was overweight.

I was eating too much.

I wasn't, I wasn't exercising enough.

They're just symptoms.

They were just my symptoms of the root cause of my problems.

My real problems were, was that I was lonely.

I was very stressed out and anxious and not only was I stressed out and anxious, I didn't know how not to be stressed out and anxious.

I didn't know that you could be peaceful and calm while all was going on around you.

I didn't know that I kind of thought they just made that up.

You know these girls, they just said that but secretly they were stressed out.

I didn't know you could feel peace and calm when all around you was chaotic.

I was so lonely.

I had such few friends.

Somebody told me recently enough that you, you make your world smaller when you vulnerable.

When you, when you're afraid of being hurt, when you feel exposed, you make your world really small.

And that's what I did.

I had so many things that I had to heal from my past.

I was afraid of meeting people.

I was afraid of getting hurt.

So my solution to that was don't meet people, don't make connections, just go to work and come home to Joe and the kids and my world was very small and I didn't have any hobbies and I was too afraid to go out and meet people.

I was too afraid to be myself and I had all these problems and these problems were, they made me unhealthy.

They made me want to comfort, eat on the couch at night.

Well, you know, I'm not going to fix any of these problems.

I'm going to sit here after dinner, I'm going to sit on the couch and I'm going to get the living room really cozy and I'm just going to eat and that's going to make me feel better.

I'm going to look forward to my massive portion at dinner.

I'm going to really eat the hell out of the house at the weekends, I'm going to just eat what I want at the weekends, I'm just going to enjoy, I'm not going, I'm just going to put off the feelings of badness.

I know I'm going to feel really bad on Monday.

So let's just suck it up at the weekend.

Let's just really overindulge just to temporarily escape.

I'm going to drink this bottle of wine and it's going to be great.

I'm going to pretend it's going to be great.

It's a sunny day outside in the garden.

I'm going to sit out at 5 p.

m.

with my rose, my cold rose that I have fridge and I'm going to feel better about this and I'm going to chat to Joe, I'm going to right all the wrongs in the world and things are going to be better and they were never better.

I was just making everything 10 times worse.

I was just making myself overweight unhappy, bloated, sweaty.

Oh God, I hated those times so much.

I hate alcohol.

Now, I hate it so much.

All it did was take me further and further and further away from the person that I wanted to so desperately be, which was fit and healthy, not fit and healthy.

From a struggling diety point of view, just fit and healthy.

I'll never forget those days sitting in the back garden in the sun pretending that I was enjoying this dumb thing that is pushed on us to enjoy, you know, cold glass of rose sun shining.

No, no, no.

Give me a hot chocolate.

Now any day and what I was doing was I was trying to find solutions in all the wrong places.

I was trying to find solutions to how I felt at the bottom of a wine bottle.

After five packets of crisps, I could never eat one packet of crisps.

I would plan to eat five after a packet of biscuits.

After a massive pasta dinner.

I was always looking to feel better through these things.

And then in my day to day life, I was trying to exercise more and eat less.

So if, if, if I'm just looking at it really coldly, that was my strategy.

Try to eat less, try to move more and then comfort myself through food and alcohol.

That was it.

And I had to stop that.

I came to a big realization.

I was chatting to an old coach and he said to me, I was telling him I was right back at square one with my, with my fitness and health.

I gained weight again and he said he wasn't surprised that he's never met anybody that's so hard on themselves as I am.

And I'll never forget when he said that to me because I had never been told that before.

And you know, I mentioned it to Joe.

He was like God, yeah, of course, you are, you're so hard on yourself.

And then that started me off on this whole journey of learning how to love myself again and understanding that I'm being led by a very loud negative inner critic and how damaging that can be.

And then, you know, I learned and went on this journey all about mindsets and oh, it's just been transformative.

And I want you to know if you're listening to this, that if you're struggling to be fit and healthy, if you're struggling to, to lose weight, I understand, I understand how it feels and I also understand how much of a failure you may be feeling because you think because you've been told what's wrong with you, it's just about eating less and moving more.

However, I am here to tell you, this is what we need to focus on to be fit and healthy.

We have to create boundaries in our lives and this is going to be especially difficult for those of you listening in who really aren't loving yourself or aren't showing yourself or taking action on loving yourself.

So, creating boundaries is the very first step that you need to take for you to become fit and healthy.

You need to put boundaries on people in your life that you don't really want in your life or that they have to be in your life, but you need to boundary them up.

You need to decide when you're going to work, what time you're going to finish work?

You need to decide when your me time is going to be, you need to boundary up your me time so that it can't be intruded upon.

There's so many boundaries to put into place.

That is the very first step, the foundational step on becoming fit and healthy.

You need to figure out why it is that you overeat.

Why, you know, there's so much talk about how to portion control when actually we need to ask ourselves why we're overeating.

I'm sure all of you listening in myself included, know when we're overeating, know when we're undereating and know what a healthy balanced plate is.

And I, I really feel very strongly about this.

I do get asked that question a lot, how to portion control.

And I believe everybody that asks me knows the answer.

It's just, it's a lot more difficult to actually stop overeating than it is to continuously chase how to portion control.

And that's where all the ladles come in.

The, the way the measuring ladles, the tupperware, the smaller plates.

When actually why are we overeating the answer?

If you can fix that?

You are going to begin your journey of stopping to overeat.

I overate for years and years.

In fact, it was, it was probably the biggest thing that I had to fix.

And I've done that whole thing about portion control, smaller plates.

I used to, instead of overeating on potatoes or rice or pasta.

I used to like load up my plate with veg.

You know what?

I fundamentally disagree with that now and it's something that I encouraged before in the past, with myself and with others to load up your plate with veg.

However, I, I don't believe in that anymore because I think you're still overeating, you are still overeating.

You're not really training or fixing yourself in any way.

You're just, instead of having a big bowl of pasta, I'm going to have a big bowl of edge.

You're not really learning anything.

Um We're just still comforting ourselves through food.

Um And that's, that's what I needed to fix.

I needed a fix.

I needed to stop comforting myself through food.

I needed to learn how to comfort myself without doing anything at all just to actually self.

So I do that now through the thrive times that I've been doing that were born in COVID, I do them with my clients now.

And it's the things that we do in the thrive times that actually stopped me from turning to food for comfort.

Um You need to ask yourself like instead of saying like, how do I stop going crazy at weekends?

You need to ask yourself why do you go crazy at weekends?

This is another thing that I hear an awful lot.

Um Like, why do you know I'm really healthy during the week and then I go crazy at the weekends.

What can I do?

And the answer to that is you need to learn why you are going crazy at weekends because going crazy at weekends, weekends means you're overeating and, or you're overdrinking or you're both.

So why are you doing that?

And I think we can oversimplify things and think, oh, I just go crazy at weekends.

What can I do to fix that?

Well, hang on a second here.

Why are you going crazy?

And this is what I'm saying so much Like for myself, I identified with somebody who went crazy at weekends and I just thought that was normal.

I thought everybody just goes crazy at weekends.

That's normal.

What's abnormal are these weirdos you might come across on youtube that say they're healthy?

Um, but they're not, they're just weird because they, they don't go crazy at weekends.

And actually I've come to realize that they were telling the truth the whole time that people that say they have balance at the weekends and, you know, they're healthy at the weekends and they don't go crazy.

Well, that, that's actually normal and what isn't normal, in my opinion is going crazy at weekends, I believe.

Now that that's a sign that you're, um, either stressed out or you're anxious or you're, something is going on in your life that's leading you to overdrink and overeat.

Now some of you might think, oh, finally Jessica, you got there, obviously.

But iii, I really did think that that was the normal thing.

Um So you really need to ask yourself why you go crazy at weekends and fix the why and not just kind of look for a what?

Not just not look for like a OK.

Well, how do I stop going crazy at weekends?

Well, if I do XYZ, no, just you need to fix the root cause of the problem.

Um We need to look at our stress levels and our anxiety levels.

Again, bringing it back to the topic of this podcast episode.

It's not just about eating less and moving more.

It's about reducing your stress and your anxiety.

How can you possibly expect to turn up to your workouts if you're feeling super stressed and super anxious, stress and anxiety bring about the fight or flight or freeze.

So if you're feeling frozen um or fight or flight, it's very difficult to go and do your action steps during the week if you're feeling super stressed out and anxious.

Um I know when I get really anxious, I tend to freeze.

And the last thing I want to do is move my body um as well with stress and anxiety, I would turn to food to reduce my stress and anxiety.

I know that doesn't work, but that's what I used to do.

So we really have to genuinely work on our stress and anxiety levels as part of our whole health, as part of the to become fit and healthy.

We need to reduce our stress and reduce anxiety I had panic attacks for years.

I was super stressed out, super anxious.

I used to get so anxious about any problem in my life and it would just be all time consuming, especially to do with financial stuff, especially when I ran the gym and I used to just turn to food the whole time and it was so unhelpful for me back then to think.

Oh, it's just about eating less and moving more.

No.

Actually, if I had have reduced my stress and anxiety, I might have felt um a whole lot better.

I would have felt a whole lot better.

Um, I was overweight when it was just about eating less and moving more.

I was overweight when it was just about eating less and moving more.

I was obsessed with food.

It doesn't work when you start to heal.

When you start to look at all parts of your health, you become fit and healthy.

When you, when you stay obsessed with just food and food and exercise, you stay unhealthy.

That's my belief.

We have to look at balance.

We have to look at not just, um, eating less and moving more but balance the other parts of you.

Do you have buddies?

Do you have hobbies?

Do you have a strong identity or have you lost yourself because you've had kids or empty nest syndrome or like you need balance.

You're not just a parent or you're not just work, there's other parts of you there that need to be nurtured.

And I believe when they're not nurtured, that's when you can start becoming unhealthy because you're not fulfilled or you're lacking in some areas.

So you seek the, you, you fill the void with food or alcohol.

That's what I did.

Reading connections, self care, nutrition, but not eating less and getting detailed about what you're eating.

But working on getting rid of those unhealthy habits that doesn't get as much airtime, that doesn't get spoken about as much as eat these, eat these grams of fat, eat these grams of protein, put this in your salad.

Make sure you've got this in your porridge.

Yeah.

But what about all the crappy unhealthy habits that we're doing nutritional wise?

What about those?

You see, that seems too difficult and too boring to fix.

So, so many of us look for the dried nuts, the cranberry, cranberry seeds, chia seeds, quinoa cous cous, we, we, we look at all this stuff and we tend to not focus so much on all the wine we're drinking on all the sugar we're consuming on the massive portions and we just get super detailed.

It's really, it's really such a big part of my ethos that healthy eating will just become a really normal part of your life.

When you focus on all the other parts and you learn to let go of the obsession with food.

You'll start, you'll start your journey of becoming healthy and you don't need to be obsessed with food.

In fact, if, if many of us worked on our unhealthy nutritional habits, we would be healthy, we would be healthy.

You know, we don't need to get so super detailed about the type of bread we're eating.

What's in that soup that we're eating?

What's in that salad?

Are we putting seeds on our porridge?

All that extra stuff, extra, extra, extra, it's just feeding the machine more food, more food.

Um And actually why are we overweight?

Why are we overeating and then working on that?

Um, working on why we're missing workouts.

Why exercising is such a struggle working on those side of things.

Um And a couple of questions that I like to ask myself that you might like to ask yourself too, you can journal around them or meditate on them.

Um Why am I unhealthy?

I love that question.

I love that question because it cuts out all the crap and it's a really authentic straight question if you're listening to this now and you're, you're like the way I was, you're struggling with your weight.

You just, you're just never really feeling healthy.

You might feel like temporarily healthy on a Thursday evening and then come Monday, you just feel like back to square one if that's you.

God, I can relate to that so much.

And you're kind of looking at like dieting and restriction and you're starting today off thinking ok, here we go, here we go.

Here we go.

I had to sit down on a chair, pen and paper to say, why am I unhealthy?

And the answer is going to blow your mind and it's going to make you really straight and honest and just not that you're not straight or honest.

I mean, like, it's going to bring up a really straight answer.

Like if we ask ourselves, like, why, why am I still overweight?

It's like, oh, because I'm eating too much of the day, but why am I unhealthy?

Why am I unhealthy?

And for me, my answer was that I was stressed out.

I was anxious.

I didn't love myself.

I had no boundaries.

I was a huge people pleaser.

I had a loud negative inner critic, all these things that I could work on.

Finally, all these really cool concrete things.

Another question to ask yourself is why do I overeat?

And again, if you've been telling yourself for a while that you have a sweet tooth that it's just normal to eat food after your dinner, that you can't help yourself, that it's just the way you were brought up all these things.

And if you just say to yourself, why do I overeat?

It cuts out a lot of crap.

I, I do that with myself a lot.

Like why are you overeating Jessica?

Why do you overeat?

Oh, I can answer that because I get a lot of comfort from food 00 my God.

You get a lot of comfort from food.

Ok.

Well, if you didn't get comfort from food or you didn't need comfort from food, what would happen?

Well, a part of me would become healthier.

Oh, ok.

So shall we work on that?

Shall we work on?

You?

Getting comfort from within?

Yeah.

Ok.

Oh, it's cool.

It's cool.

But you can only get there if you say to yourself.

I overeat.

Why do I overeat?

Rather than I have a sweet tooth.

I like to have something sweet after dinner.

No, you're overeating.

Why my, my last question is why do I skip workouts?

Why do I skip workouts and a part of you might straight away be like, because I have no time.

Yeah.

But why do you have no time?

Because I realize it myself, you can't have no time and be serious about wanting to work out and, you know, the whole thing that if that, if you're serious enough you'll make time.

And that just is so true.

That is so true.

I, I will always make time for my hour of Netflix every single night.

I will always, nothing will ever stop me.

I will never go to bed without having watched an hour of TV.

Never, I would never dream of it.

So if I was to apply that to the thing I was really serious about, I would make time, I'd have the time.

But if I wasn't very serious about it.

I probably wouldn't make the time.

So why do I skip workouts?

Why do I not work out?

Your brain might first say to you, you have no time.

I encourage you to delve a little bit deeper and figure out why it is.

You have no time and focus on that and fix it, fix it or you're just going to be going around and around and around in circles, never having fixed the problem.

Whereas if we do the work now and it's, it's not that difficult.

It's, it's, it's like obser observational work on ourselves as we go through our day, we're going through our day anyway.

You'll get there, you'll get there.

I got there some of the action steps that I followed to help me get there.

I journal every day.

Now, some days it's just writing my goals and my action steps for the day.

Other days it's writing out my avatar.

Sometimes I write out what my goals are for the year.

Other times I write out how I'm feeling or why I'm holding myself back or what my limiting beliefs are or what I need to improve on or what's going well or what's not going well.

So every day I try to do a little bit of journaling, even if it's just bullet points about what I have to do for the day.

And that helps.

I feel like this is a little part of me.

Always working on myself through journaling observation.

I observe myself.

Wow, you're overeating today.

Why observe your thoughts?

Wow.

I'm negative.

I'm really hard on myself.

Here I go again looking for my reflection in a window just to tell myself I'm awful.

Observe, become really aware of how you react to things.

Become aware of what you're like on day to day.

Do I people please?

Am I myself when I meet people?

What am I like in conversations with people?

Do I try to impress or when I'm meeting up with a friend?

Do I try and get something out of it too or do I just care about how they are having a good time?

All these things that can, that, that are telling you so much about your identity and, and your behaviors and all that sort of stuff is so interesting and you don't have to do anything.

Just go about your day to day and observe and the answers are, are there if you, for example, if you've noticed how much of a people pleaser you are?

Well, you know what you need to work on for me when I realized I was such a massive people pleaser, I realized that I didn't think I was good enough.

I really didn't love myself very much.

Wow.

I need to work on that.

Wow.

Um Reflection is great like getting to the end of the week and reflecting on how the week went, reflecting on how the day went.

Reflection is a huge part of the growth journey and learning how to love yourself again, how to be fit and healthy, learning about yourself and going on this wonderful journey of self discovery, reflection is really important too.

So that's it.

I really hope you enjoyed this episode.

Um On the reminder that being fit and healthy isn't about eating less and moving more.

It's so much more.

And I want you to know that it's not over until you quit.

And it doesn't matter how many times you've tried.

If I had a finite amount of times to try to become fit and healthy, I would have had to have quit a long time ago.

I'm so glad I stuck with that.

It really is worth it.

Life is brilliant when you're fit and healthy, life is brilliant.

So rewarding, it's the most enjoyable feeling in the world being fit and healthy and you can get off the train of seeing your clothes fit, seeing what weight you are.

It's, it ends your identity changes, you're fit and healthy.

You don't, you're not on the hamster wheel anymore.

I promise.

I hope you enjoyed this episode and if you've got any enjoyment out of it whatsoever or if you've got one thing out of it, please do, share it with a friend or someone you think might really enjoy it.

I would really appreciate it.

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

Thank you so much for listening.

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

Did that go by way too quickly or is it just me if you want more, you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash playlist.

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That's Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash playlist.

About the author 

Jessica Cooke

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

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

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