4

March

How To Get Out Of The Rut You’re in Now And Become Fit, Healthy & Feel Great Again

I’m super excited about this topic. I want to talk to you about how to get out of a rut, burn fat, get fit, and feel really, really good and healthy. This is a really passionate topic of mine because having gained three stone, gone through a complete breakdown, I feel like I am knowledgeable in this topic in the sense that I can help you if you currently are feeling bad and in a rut. I’ve been through it. I know what it takes, and I have coached 1,000s of women at this stage in the 15 years of helping women feel good. So it is my most favorite, most passionate topic to talk about, and I hope you get just one thing out of it. Just one thing out of this post is all you need to potentially make the change that’s going to propel you forward and help you progress.

So I’m talking to you right now and you might be going through the menopause or noticing changes in yourself because you’re getting older, or maybe you’re going through a very tough time in your life and you’re feeling really, really bad and that’s making you have bad habits that aren’t helping you, or you’re just so busy and because of that busyness, you’re also feeling really bad.

I’m talking to you now if you’re feeling bad and stuck in a rut. We can all feel bad regardless of each individual person and what they’re going through. So if you’ve gained weight or you’re feeling just really unfit or you’re feeling really bad about yourself, I find that these things come from us going through a tough time.

Generally speaking, when you’re going through a tough time, it’s the time that it’s really difficult to have healthy habits. Many of us turn to wine or alcohol, sugary foods and we’ve bad habits and it’s very difficult to get out of that rut.

Or maybe you aren’t particularly going through a bad time, but you’ve just noticed that your body is changing and you’re gaining weight and you literally are not doing anything differently and you don’t know what to do and you’re just looking in the mirror going, “Help! I don’t know what to do.

I’m gaining weight, and this is not how I want to look and it’s not how I want to feel.” Well, this blog post is going to help you take back control again of your narrative.

So let’s just say now that you’re feeling bad and you’ve gained weight and you’re feeling unfit. What’s going to make you worse, and these are the things that I want you to now cut out of your life, is dieting, calorie counting. The problem with calorie counting is it doesn’t work and it leads to you eating bad foods.

So for example, if you are calorie counting, that potentially means that you’re looking at the backs of pockets of so-called health bars and protein bars and thinking to yourself, “Oh my God, that’s only 200 calories. That’s fine. I can eat that.” The problem with that is you could still be eating sugary, high-fat content, foods that aren’t good for you, and that aren’t healthy for you, and that don’t make you feel good.

Calorie counting is really bad. A 200-calorie chocolate bar is not the equivalent of 200 calories of vegetables. Calorie counting will lead you down an obsessive route that doesn’t work, and you’re only going to open yourself up to the opportunity of eating processed, unhealthy foods because your focus is going to be on calories rather than on healthy food. It’s also going to make you feel trapped in a cycle of calorie counting, and my goal is to get you out of the trap you’re feeling in, and for you to take control and not have the weight loss industry controlling you by their marketing.

Weighing yourself has got to stop now if you want to get out of this rut. Weighing yourself is the most ridiculous thing to do in 2022. Why do you care what you weigh? It makes you feel down about yourself. It’s very demotivating after say, a couple of days of good action steps, you jump on the weighing scale, you don’t see results and it can potentially lead you to wanting to binge eat or give up or not work out. Absolute crazy stuff. Weighing yourself is, for me, a constant and consistent thing in your life, a way for you to beat yourself up every few days.

Only walking is another problem because you’re not building any lean muscle mass when you are walking and you’re not getting any upper body strength and you’re not raising your metabolism. You’re just pounding those pavements, wondering why the weight isn’t coming off. You’re going to have to get rid of thinking about it all the time. When you’re on your fat-loss journey or getting fit, if you’re thinking about it 24/7, I pretty much guarantee you that you’re going to end up quitting.

Trying new recipes, trying more recipes, and trying more food isn’t going to help you lose weight. But the weight loss industry is so clever that it has us believing that if we eat this thing, we’ll lose weight. Think about it. So by eating this, I’m going to lose weight, and I know it sounds cracked saying that now, but actually, subconsciously, that’s what we do. Well, I’ll eat this because this recipe book said eat this and that’ll help me lose weight when actually, you have all the recipes you need in your brain now to lose weight, and trying new recipes, only masks the problem.

The same as following a diet plan, that’s got to stop. You have to take control of your health and your fitness, and you’re not going to take control by following somebody else’s diet plan based on their life. Also using MyFitnessPal. Tracking and tracking and tracking and tracking your macronutrients and your fats and your proteins. The chances are you’re not an athlete, nor do you need to be. I get that athletes with their coaches need to be tracking their macros, but if you are a woman and you are over 40, and you want to lose weight and get fit and healthy, the macros can go.

So I want to help you now go from acknowledging that you’re in a bad place, and knowing why you’re in a bad place, and now I want you to realize all the things that are making you feel worse that I’ve just gone through, that I want you to let go of now.

Now I want you to draw an imaginary line in the air, draw sand in the air of all of the stuff I’ve just mentioned that doesn’t work for you, that makes you feel bad.

Now, next step, I want you to start framing the whole health, fitness, and fat loss journey differently.

I want you to stop doing what you hate and for the rest of your life now, stop thinking about weight loss and health and fitness from a negative point of view, and from now on, decide you’re only going to see it in a positive light.

Now that sounds really simple, but that is huge because Weight Watchers and Slimming World and all these, jump up, have you lost a pound, or are you up a pound? We’re so conditioned to see health and fitness from a negative restriction point of view that we’re driving ourself mad.

I have met so many women that the fit and healthy person is bursting to come out of them and they love workouts. The pre-workout feeling might be tough, but they really enjoy exercise, and they know they do, and they really want to be fit and healthy. But the things that I mentioned hold them back so much because we’re so conditioned to think that we have to think of it negatively in order to succeed and that something bad might happen if we actually go,

If you are exercising at the minute now and working and eating healthy, but your mindset is wrong, you’re not going to get very far.

You might for a few weeks or a few months, but I promise you, your mindset will drag you right back, and you’ll just be yo-yoing and cycling and going from all or nothing. So know where you’re at now. Know why where you’re at now. Identify the stuff that’s making you feel worse, like weighing yourself and counting calories and thinking about it all the time and thinking you need to try new recipes and following a diet plan and using MyFitnessPal and jumping on the weighing scales, draw a line under all that now. Focus on this new mindset that you are deciding to adopt, and it doesn’t have to take months to adopt.

You can choose to change now in an instant with the click of a finger. That’s an absolute fact.

I learned that from Tony Robbins and it was one of the most powerful things he taught me, that people think it takes years to create a habit when actually, it’s taken years to lead up to that point where they instantly change. And I just thought that was, wow, so powerful. Because if you look back on the times you’ve changed, it generally speaking has been because you’ve had a revelation because of what somebody has said, or you’ve read something in a book and it’s changed your mind in an instant. It’s really cool when you think about it.

So the mindset shift has changed and you are deciding right now, on this date, that you are going to focus on all the good stuff. So we’ve got to talk about your nutrition and your sleep and your water intake and your exercise and the happiness levels in your life.

I want to talk to you about the food first.

So you’ve committed to me today now to get rid of calorie counting and weighing or measuring and all that kind of stuff with your food and you’ve drawn a line under that. And you’re like, “Okay, Jessica, you tell me what to do.” So I’m going to recommend that you focus on eating healthy during the week. Eat normal, healthy food. Have a breakfast, have a lunch, and have a dinner, and have two very small snacks, one between breakfast and lunch, and one between lunch and dinner. Then I want to recommend to you that after dinner, you don’t eat any food. I also want to recommend that you don’t eat junk food, and I call junk food biscuits, cakes, sweets, chocolate, crisps, junk food.

And it’s helpful to call it junk food because it puts a bad association on the food. Rather than saying, “Oh, chocolate,” you say, “Junk food,” and you get rid of all that during the week. You eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time. Now what you eat in those meals, the brief for you is healthy, just healthy.

I often find women that struggle a lot with their food, they struggle with eating the same stuff repetitively. I’d love to say to you if you’re that woman, that if you’re constantly looking to change your breakfasts around and change your lunches around, there may be something else at play because ideally, breakfast is just your fuel to start the day and porridge five days a week, or eggs, or an omelette five days a week is what you’re looking for. If you’re getting stressed out by needing to change it up all the time, then you have to ask yourself, why? Why is that? Why are you needing to change up your food the whole time? What’s at play there? Because that’s holding you back. So I say to you to just have a healthy breakfast, have a healthy lunch, and a healthy dinner.

I feel very passionate about not telling you what to eat, because again, that’s negative, it’s falling down a rabbit hole, and it’s leading you to think that I have the perfect magic secret, that the second I tell you what to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, that’s it. And you know that that’s not the case.

You know what healthy food is and you know what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now the tough stuff with the food comes from getting rid of the bad habits. Not trying new recipes out for dinner, but doing things like having a healthy dinner, but eating somebody else’s chips is going to stop you from burning fat. Also, if you’re preparing the kids’ lunches or somebody else’s food and you’re snacking as you’re eating, that’s going to hold you back. Also, if you open the fridge door and just start eating stuff in between meals and not really counting it as food, that’s going to hold you back. So it sounds really simple what I’m saying, but there’s lots of habits that you have to omit.

That’s really what I love to do with my clients, work on omitting the bad stuff, because I often find with people, they’re too focused on working on the healthy stuff and trying to fit in all their macros and trying to make this perfect stew when actually, all they needed to do was not eat shite that day and they did. So there’s no point getting super-focused on a perfect stew and then having five packets of crisps. A potato, a bit of veg, and some meat or fish would’ve been better, than this low-calorie, low-GI stew, and then eating shite after it. So you have to just be really truthful and really honest with yourself about where you’re at, and once you do that, you’re going to start to see massive progress and massive changes to your waistline, and your clothes are going to start to feel really, really good. I absolutely promise you that, but you have got to get the food correct in your head.

So let’s move on to the exercise, and the exercise part is a really, really, really important part of you losing weight and getting fit and being healthy and feeling fit and feeling strong. A lot of people, what they’re doing now at the minute is, as we get older, once we hit 40 plus we start to lose a lot of muscle mass and muscle mass is what makes us burn calories at rest. So if you’re doing lots of walking and let’s say for example, and I hate to talk about calories burned in a workout, but you burn 300 calories in a walk for 30 minutes, and then another person burns 300 calories in an interval training session or a strength training session.

So the person that just walks burns a couple of calories in their walks, but the person that does strength training and builds lean muscle mass on their body burns calories at rest. All of our calories burned, most of our calories burned, comes from when we’re actually resting, not from the actual workout, whereas a lot of people think differently. They think maximum calories are burned during workout, nothing during the day when actually, we’re burning calories all day long. So if you’re building lean muscle on your body, you’re going to be burning so many more calories at rest.

Then if you were somebody that just did walking, not only is strength training and interval training extremely good for building lean muscle mass, it’s also really, really good for you to move your body and move your muscles in all different sorts of ways. Putting weights over your head, doing a plank, working on your core, getting strong, balanced stability, being able to squat, being able to get up and down off a chair, and being able to lift something over your head, being able to push something away from your body. We need to be moving our bodies like this in order for you to be healthy and fit into older age and old age and for you to be doing the absolute best thing you could be doing for yourself.

So exercise, I absolutely love the idea of five days of movement for 30 minutes. So getting in three to five, really good 30-minute workouts per week, and also adding in walks, and if you don’t have time for that, getting in three solid 30-minute workouts of strength training, interval training, and then two walks. Walking is amazing and it compliments strength training and 30-minute interval training sessions so well. It stretches out your muscles, it helps you move more and it’s just adding more movement into your day. Walking is absolutely, absolutely terrific, don’t get me wrong, but if you want to burn fat and build strength, walking just won’t cut it.

Sleep is really, really important and you are fighting an uphill battle if you are going to bed way too late, not winding down, and getting up in the morning wrecked because you’re going to have sugar cravings, you’re going to be cranky and you’re not going to work out.

How can you survive on too little sleep and be motivated to work out? You can’t. So it all starts with sleep. Jeepers, if you’re not sleeping well, well no, forget that because you might not be sleeping well because you’re going through the menopause. But if you’re not going to bed by 10:30 every night and reading a book for five minutes, that is the problem. And I know many people think that they’re demotivated or they’re lacking in energy, but take a look at your sleep patterns, and if there’s a win there, if you can improve that, take it, absolutely take it.

Water, drinking enough water. We’re made up of 70% water. So it makes sense that we need to hydrate ourselves the whole time. So two liters of water is absolutely critical. Remember that if you’re in bad form and you’re lethargic and you’re dehydrated, it has a knock-on effect to you wanting to exercise and eat healthy. So this all combines together. When you think it’s just exercise and food and that’s it, and then you’re not really caring about your sleep or your water, well, then you’re not going to eventually want to work out and eat well. So you have to remember it. You have to take such a holistic view and look at all the bigger picture of your health. Sleep well, drink water, eat healthy food, work out.

And then the final bit is your clothes. The best measurement you can use to see where you’re at is to use your clothes as measurements. Skinny jeans, a top, a dress, whatever it is, your clothes don’t lie. I really, really recommend, if you were to take one thing from this episode, it is to get rid of the weighing scales and all things measury, and go and find that pair of skinny jeans that is not fitting you or that you feel uncomfortable, and focus on that. I don’t recommend that you go and, what was I going to say there? I thought my MacBook switched off, so it threw me.

So don’t weigh yourself. Don’t measure yourself. Use your clothes to measure yourself, and also, that’s what I wanted to say, make sure you’re not just constantly walking around in stretchy clothes. So take the emotion out of it. Because if you have three really good days and you’re wearing leggings, you’re going to feel really skinny and trim. It’s so funny what leggings do, and I’m laughing because that’s what I do. I’m like, “Oh my God, I feel so good.” And then you go and try on your jeans and you realize, okay, they’re just a tiny bit tighter. So you’re going to stay in that emotional place if you’re just constantly wearing stretchy clothes, hoping to make changes.

My recommendation absolutely is to stop wearing stretchy clothes, even if you have to temporarily go and buy a dress size bigger, a jean size bigger and buy a pair of jeans that fit you now and start to face up to where you’re at with your clothes, rather than wait until you fit in your clothes. I truly believe the journey is going to take you longer if you wear stretchy clothes because you’re going to have more emotional days than non-emotional days, and the skinny jeans don’t lie and they don’t make you feel emotional.

I really hope you enjoyed this blog post, and I really hope that it helps you get out of a rut if you’re feeling in a rut or if you’re feeling stuck. And if you’re feeling super, super, super stuck, and really, really bad, then my recommendation to you is to only focus on the exercise.

Only focus on that one goal of moving five days a week, and even if you’re doing nothing now and you’re feeling so bad and you’re drinking too much wine and eating too much, just go for a walk, five days a week, and only do that. I promise you because motion creates emotion, you’re going to feel progress, and progress is going to help you feel really, really good.

All my love. I hope you enjoyed this, Let me know in the comments if you did,

Jessica Cooke

About the author 

Jessica Cooke

I love drinking coffee, and my favourite thing in life (apart from my family) is to empower women to lead fitter, healthier and happier lives. (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 to lead fitter, healthier and happier lives.

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