Today's Episode


Hello and welcome to this latest podcast episode. I'm so excited to be here with you and thank you so much for tuning in. I want to talk to you today about one of the most important aspects about becoming fit and healthy and that's creating a supportive environment. I remember like it was yesterday, the day I decided to change my health. And finally for once and for all get fit and healthy and it was the beginning of a really, really rewarding journey. I remember the day so well, I had just finished a really busy day in Fat Freddy's.

I was a pizza chef in Galway for a period of time. And I walked out having done a really long shift in the kitchen. I was covered in flour. I was still in my uniform. It was a really hot summer's day in Galway. And I walked out, walked down street, went across the river, sat at the, on a bench and I just felt desperate in that time just to give you a bit of a kind of a background. I was three stone overweight. I was comfort eating every night. I was eating at really erratic times, eating processed foods. I felt so bad in myself.

My self esteem was at rock bottom. My clothes were really tight. I just remember my stomach just feeling so horrible. My jeans like just bet into me and I was drinking every night, glass of wine or more every single night more at weekends, glass of wine during the week. And I just to put it simply, I felt absolutely like shit. I was so unhealthy. There was like sweat coming out of my skin toxins coming out. My skin was puffy, my face was red, my clothes felt really uncomfortable. My self esteem was at rock bottom and I've, I've talked to you before in different episodes about what that meant to me and how it impacted my life. But like, I felt so ugly and uncomfortable in my own skin to the point where I felt uncomfortable.

People just like making eye contact with me and looking at me and as I was sitting there on that bench, you know, it was one of those summer days in Galway where everybody's out and people are looking like they're having an amazing time. And I just felt so low. I felt so low and I just had this desire, I wanted to be really healthy. And the favorite thing about being healthy that I, that I used to. I remember so well, sitting in a restaurant one day, sorry to go into a tangent and seeing a family sit down at around six o'clock and order food and like water and sparkling water went to the table and I, I looked over, I was sitting there with my wine with my shackled to the wine.

You know, it was like those, those handcuffs, one handcuff, one of the cuffs was on my hand and the other cuff was on the wine glass. And I just remember looking over and just looking at the mother and going, oh my God. Wow. She, she was everything I wanted to be. She was, she looked healthy, she looked happy and she was sitting down at dinner having a, having a glass of water and I just was like, but she's in a restaurant. How does she do that? How was she able to order a glass of sparkling water? Like how was she able to do that?

And in that moment on that bench, I dreamed of that a day where my unhealthy habits didn't controlled me. And in that moment on that bench I had, I had felt, I had tried everything I had dieted. I had walked the butt off myself. I had joined weight loss clubs. I had calorie counted. I remember so well, all the way back to university counting the calories in my popcorn and the McCambridge's brown bread and my slice of ham and going ok, that's about 350 calories. And, oh God, I went on that night then probably to have six pints or whatever. But like, it's funny when you're calorie counting you, you, you don't really see the bigger picture until you're out of all that garbage. And on that bench in that moment, I wanted to be so healthy. But the big challenge for me was, I didn't know where to start and I was so unhealthy. 

Like I don't think I had one healthy habit back then. Like I didn't even drink water. I don't think I had much glasses of water. Even back then. I made a decision on that day on that bench and that was, that I was done that I, I mightn't be able to fix everything, but I was done with the way I was living and I made a commitment on that day on that bench on the cla in Galway that I was going to start exercising and I was going to forget about everything else. Um However, I was going to focus on exercising and you know what, the very next day after having loads of wine that night and my newly excited decision about, uh about being healthy. Um I started to exercise.

So I remember I walked to the and I tried to jog and I knew in that moment then that jogging wasn't for me. It didn't feel good. I didn't like being so out in public and I came home and I went on to youtube and I just came across the coolest workouts, the rest, strength training, what I do with my clients now. But at the time, I didn't know what that type of training was. And II, I decided that I was going to follow this video. I was going to do it three times a week. It was the same video and I started to exercise three times a week and my whole life changed. No. The reason that I'm sharing with you, this story is because of one other habit I did alongside working out three times a week.

And it's a habit that I want to share with you in this podcast episode. And that is the fact that I created a supportive environment for myself that enabled my healthy habit that was in, that helped me change my life and my life did change from that one habit of exercising consistently. However, I wouldn't have been able to do it if I hadn't backed it up with my supportive environment. And that's exactly what I want to talk to you today about this podcast episode. If you're struggling to become healthy and you don't have a supportive environment, I want to give you tips on how to create that supportive environment for yourself that are really, really simple and easy to do back when I was really unhealthy. Um I had a really unsupportive environment that I had created for myself. And can you relate to any of this? So I always had treats in the house. I was always able to access crisps and treats.

Always, I always had alcohol in the fridge chilled and I always had alcohol in, in a storage space, unch chilled. Um My trainers, my runners, my workout gear were always like hidden away, tucked away under like under stuff. Um Parts of my house that I needed to, to help me that I know now were were messy. I had no routine. So back when I used to kind of attempt to work out and do stuff when it didn't work, I didn't have a routine. I would just try to wing it in that day. Um And I, I ate at different times. I didn't have anybody on board. I didn't have any support or accountability. All sounds crazy. Now, I didn't chat to any of my friends about what I was trying to do. So, can you see from that? How I was always going to be destined to fail.

And that it was only on that day, on the cloud when I committed to my one habit of working out three times a week. However, I also changed my environment that I was in that I had created to from an unsupportive environment to a supportive environment that I was able to, it was able to back up my habit and pad my habit. And that meant I was able to become successful at that one habit of working out three times a week. I see this all the time with um with, with people that I work with and, and they always go on to change their supportive environment, which is really cool. A lot of the time when women start with me, um they have a really unsupportive environment and that's just exactly what I did.

You're not really thinking about, do I have a supportive environment? You're just trying to become fit and healthy. However, the reason for that is it can be very difficult when you're in the thick of it and you're feeling stressed out and overwhelmed with all the stuff that's going on in your life to be wondering, do you have a supportive environment? So they're just the stuff I want to go through with you now today. Um So the first one is to establish a daily routine, to set yourself up for success, its success. It's really important that you have a consistent schedule. Um, especially if you've got a lot going on in your life. I really recommend that you set a schedule for exercise, for meals, for relaxation, for self care, for work. Like having a routine, helps you stay really organized and prioritize your health.

Like back then when I made that one commitment to work out three times a week I had a really solid plan of exactly the workout I was going to do how long it was going to take the days I was going to exercise and the times so a lot of the work was done before I even put on my trainers and did my workout. Yes, I had to go and do the workout. However, it was just 30 minutes of my day and I didn't have to think about when I was doing it and where I was doing it. I had that all decided with a cup of coffee with a pen and paper and that's a huge overhead gone. It doesn't sound like much you might be thinking right now. Yeah, Jessica. But you've got to still go and do the workout. However, I encourage you to give it a go, have every single other thing sorted before you go and do your workout. Like, know your exact days, know your exact times, know everything about your workout, the equipment you need, where you're going to work out and it does become easier to go and show up for your workouts.

And my second tip is to create a dedicated workout space. It's so cool now that we can all work out from home and like with my clients, I coach them. However, it's all virtual, it's all online, which is really cool. You don't need to leave your home anymore, which is amazing. You, you save so much time, which I think is terrific and the way it should be with everybody being so busy finding it difficult to fit it into their life. 30 minute workouts from home is the way forward. Um However, setting yourself up for success and creating a successful and a supportive environment means you have to have a dedicated workout space rather than trying to push it in around people in your house. Having a dedicated workout space is really important and it might just be as simple as clearing a corner in some room, putting down a mat, something as simple as that, that you don't have to keep clearing every time you go and do a workout.

You just go around your house, look for a corner. It can be the smallest corner. You only need the size of a mat and go right. That's where I'm going to work out. So it doesn't chop and change the whole time. You don't want to get to a point where everything is always changing. You want consistency and those familiar feelings when you're going to work out like, oh it's workout time. Oh, well, I just go over to that corner and I roll out my mat and I just get stuck in and my next tip is to surround yourself with motivation, whatever that means to you. So the things that I did and I still do to this day and um I talk about it a lot is I have visuals in my home studio, my, my home office, which I'm doing this from now where I have a big board and on my board, I have pink and yellow post it notes and I have daily and weekly action steps and I have down written out very visible all the action steps I do in a week and in a day to do with my health, I also have a journal.

I carry around with me every day. I also listen to people I find very motivating um online and I don't listen to anybody that stresses me out or demotivates me or puts me in a bad mindset. I only listen to people that, you know, I think it's a good sign that if you're listening to somebody and you're like, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And you're getting motivated as they speak. I think that's a good sign. I think if you're listening to somebody and you just are getting stressed out, um that's not good. So surround yourself with motivation dipping in and out of like five minute chats or listening to podcast episodes can really help and that all adds up to creating a supportive environment. The amazing thing about social media now and the huge website and online thing that's happening now is we have such access to all this stuff, which is really, really cool.

So you can really go from having an unsupportive environment to having a really supportive environment in an instance. And I love that my clients have our tribe, we have like our lovely members, community group and we pick each other up and support each other. And we always have that we can always dip into that group and get our motivation. You're never going to wake up and feel motivated. 100% of the time motivation comes around so few and far between, I'm never in the mood to work out, ever, ever. I never want to work out. It's a pain in the butt. It's normal though.

Why on earth would you want to naturally go from a relaxed state where you feel cozy in your clothes to like feeling sweaty and getting hot? It's amazing once you get started. However, I do believe you need to be listening to things and be inspired on a daily basis to continue to keep up with your healthy habits. If you set goals on the first of June and you decide you're going to work out three times a week and by the middle of June, you haven't reaffirmed why you work out or you haven't listened to anybody tell you recently the benefits of working out you're gonna lose motivation. It's so normal. My next tip is to stock up on healthy foods and get rid of all the treats in the house.

So get your family on board with this. I used to really struggle with food because you could always find treats in our house. Always, there always be crisps and there's, there would always be chocolate. The problem with that is it's all well and good in the morning time to write out that you are going to stay off the sugar today. However, if you've had a really bad day or even if it's just lashing rain outside and you're tired and you come home and there's treats that moment of weakness, it's going to get to you. So why struggle? And I often have this chat with, with, with many people, many of my clients and, and women and we debate it. I'm like, can you not just get rid of it on your house? And what I often hear is that, um, they, it's not fair on the other members of the household or, uh, you know, they might have visitors coming over. However, I would argue back that if this action step, if this goal of not eating shit during the week meant that much to them, then surely you would do whatever it took.

So if, if you want to do whatever it takes, if you, if you seriously want to give up sugar midweek if, if you really do and I do question whether you do if you're not willing to get rid of it out of the house. I do question if you actually want to get rid of us. Um, it's the same as people that struggle with alcohol. However, I think sometimes people with sugar don't think of it as the same. However, I think it's very much the same if you were chatting to your friend and she said she thinks she had a problem with alcohol. And, and you said to her, well, first things first, get rid of it out of your house. And she said, well, no, I don't really want to get rid of it out of my house just in case somebody calls around, you'd be like Jesus, she clearly doesn't want to give up alcohol. That's the same thing for sugar. You know, if, if you really want to get rid of it, you're going to seek help and that help might be through telling your children, telling your partner.

Look, I am sick and tired of reaching for sugary stuff when I'm feeling low in the evening times. Is there any chance? Just while I'm going through a new habit building process. Is there any way we could just keep it out of the house at weeks during the week and have a treat night? And if you're met with like, no, well, then that's just not supportive. Um, you know, in a, a, they have a saying and I absolutely love it. I'm not in a, a but I love this saying and it's the first drink gets you drunk and it's a really good way of looking at your, your, your, your drinking because so many people and I've done this myself is that you don't plan to get drunk however, you know, you're going to, but you can convince yourself and say, well, I'll just have one. But for a lot of people, not all, a lot of people, it's that first drink that leads on to the last drink. It is always the first drink that leads you to the last drink. That's, that's just a fact and it's the same with sugar.

You know, it's the first bar of chocolate that for many people leads to the 10th one. It's the first packet of crisps that leads to the 10th one. So if you know that about yourself, you can then say to yourself well, then that means just temporarily even I can't have it in the house. I'm going to make my life easier. I'm all for making our life easier these days. Like why? Battle through the night time and spend your whole night thinking of the crisps that are in the, in the press, just get rid of it. Um And I promise you, I really do promise you because I've been through this myself.

You, you will find it easier. I, I know you can get the keys. I've done it myself and you can drive and, and, and spend time in the car or walk to the shops. I do know that, but at least it's still one extra step that you have to take. And if you do take that step the whole way in the car or the whole way walking, you can, you can say to yourself, like, look at what I'm doing, look, look at what I'm doing. I'm walking to the shop to comfort eat and the more honest and real you are with yourself about what you're doing. I promise you the easier it's going to eventually become to, to, to, to help stop that healthy ha the unhealthy habit that, that's what worked for me when I, when I was um giving up alcohol for the two years I spent trying to give up alcohol. I was kind of talking to myself while I was drinking.

I was saying to myself, oh my God, look at you like you're, you're driving 20 minutes in the car to go to Tesco, to buy wine because you want to get drunk. And it was that honesty that really helped me. You know, it really helped me give it up and it was the same for comfort eating. Wow. Look what you're doing. You're having that first packet of Chris knowing full well, you're going to have five and the honesty kills you because you're like, fuck, I have nowhere to hide now. Um So my next tip for creating a supportive environment and I touched on it with, with the tribe that we have going on is to find an accountability partner or to connect with a friend or to connect with a group online. Uh come and join us if my coaching program is open, go to If there's space, the page will be open. But if there isn't space, there'll be a waitlist there which you can get on to uh find yourself a group of people, a group of women um that all kind of share similar values that you will help bring you up and motivate you and on, on those days that we all find tough that we do find tough declutter your house. It can really help with a supportive environment.

So clean out your fridge, organize it, well, clean out your bedroom, organize it, well, clean out your work space, make sure you've got a workout space cleared out and de cluttered and make sure that you get rid of stuff that no longer serves a purpose or brings you joy. Decluttering can really bring a sense of calm and focus and remember it's calm and focus is what you want when you are creating a supportive environment. Um minimizing like scrolling and negative digital online stuff and reduce spending time as much as you can on the phone if you need to. What I've done is I've gotten rid of whatsapp, I've gotten rid of notifications on my phone. I don't receive any notifications apart from text messages and these days hardly anybody texts anymore. Um, I don't have any notifications for Facebook or Gmail or anything like that.

It's just like an actual phone phone. It's an iphone, but it's just used for a phone. I have to click into the apps. Unsubscribe from unnecessary email lists. Don't follow people that stress you out. Um which moves me onto my next tip, which is to let go of negative relationships. Anybody that's negative in your life, cut them off or if you can't cut them off, put boundaries around them, boundary up to the hilt, protect yourself. Make sure that the people you're in contact with are bringing you up, not bringing you down that want to see you succeed, not secretly want to tear you down when you're with them. Are they complaining the whole time or do you get something out of the relationship so important that it's not one sided?

Letting go of toxic influences, negative influences people that make you feel a bit negative. Um People that bring out the worst in you, you ever notice when you're with somebody and, and you kind of start to complain too just to kind of get on with them. Well, maybe that's not good for you. Maybe get rid of that letting go of all that stuff. Um And my final two ones are uh release limiting beliefs. So what are limiting beliefs? Well, they, they're limiting beliefs or like negative self talk or things that you believe at the minute that are holding you back, however you need to figure out what your limiting beliefs are. And the only way you can do that is through self reflection. So for example, like, are you walking around calling yourself fat or stupid or like, do you have a very negative self talk? Like noticing that?

Do you have a belief at the minute that you couldn't possibly be fit that? It'll be too hard, too difficult, too confusing that you're too old. Like notice the feelings that bubble up and the thoughts that bubble up every time you say to yourself. Oh, I love to be fit. Do you think that all I'm too old for that? It's too late. Like they're all old limiting beliefs that aren't accurate. So first things first is to about like recognizing what limiting beliefs are holding you back, questioning them and then coming up with new beliefs, new empowering beliefs and it just takes a little bit of practice. Like I'm not too old, you can get fit at any age, which is completely accurate and you might have to say that for a while until you believe it, however it is on the path, it's, it's the right path to having new empowering beliefs, uh, our, our, our limiting beliefs really, really hold us back. What you think you can or what you think you can't, is just so true.

It's just so true. If, if you think you can't do something, you're not going to, if you think you can do something, you've got a much higher success. If you've been able to do it, whatever, you think it's going to become a self fulfilling prophecy. If you walk around calling yourself fat every day, chances are, if you're overweight, you're going to stay overweight. If you walk around saying to your saying to your friends, oh, I'm so lazy. I'm so lazy. I, I can never be bothered working out. That's the way you're going to stay. So be really careful. Watch out and listen, spend a week just listening to yourself when you're chatting to a buddy and you're talking about fitness and health. Notice what you say. Like, do you pick apart your body?

Do you say like, oh, I'm just a person who's all or nothing. Well, then you're going to stay all or nothing, you know? Oh, I'm a perfectionist. Well, you're going to stay a perfectionist then, you know, what would be more helpful would be? God. I've really noticed I have perfectionist tendencies. I'm so excited to address those and, and not become a perfectionist anymore and not see things so much in black and white anymore. Oh, I'm all, I'm always all or nothing up to this point. I have really just done too much or too little. I'm going to address that. Now, don't tell yourself what you are in a very, I can't fix this point of view.

I just lost my train of thought there. I just wanted to go back to, oh yeah, the point of creating a supportive environment. So I think I have said everything that I wanted to see. Um my last, my last tip for creating a supportive environment is practicing self reflection, which I, which I believe I just touched on there. But figuring out what truly matters to you and assessing the different areas of your life and figuring out what you want to let go of and what you want to bring into your life will really help with fostering this lovely supportive environment.

I want you to know that if you want to become fit and healthy, you can become fit and healthy. Figure out what being fit and healthy is to you figure out your action steps and create a supportive environment. If you need help with this. If you want to join my coaching group, you can go to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash coaching. And if there is a space for you, you are so welcome into it. If you're ready to commit to yourself, I'd be excited to have you in the group. That's If there's no space you can get on the waitlist. Have a wonderful day. Thank you so much. Thanks for listening. And if you know somebody who you know, that would really benefit from this podcast episode, I would love you to share it with them. Thank you so much. I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch. 

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