For many years I struggled with comfort eating, weight fluctuation and too much drinking at the weekends. A kind of Jekyll and Hyde approach. Super healthy during the week, plenty of workouts, but a real all or nothing approach to food.
I used to be obsessed. Years ago, I was obsessed with calorie counting, food tracker apps and the weighing scales. When I realised that didn’t work, I moved on to just generally been obsessed about food. Restricting carbohydrates, having a tiny breakfast, eating very little during the day… I’ve truly done it all.
I’ve restricted and dieted for so many years but funnily enough, now, having giving all that up, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been. I’m really proud to say I feel really fit and healthy but what got me here has been a complete revamp of my lifestyle.. and changing my whole approach.
It’s this new approach that I want to share with you with the hope, as always, that if you’re reading this or you follow me on social media that I can help you become. the fit and healthy person you truly want, to be if you’re not currently feeling that way now.
Too often we are looking at the wrong things to fix. We drink too much alcohol but focus on reducing or carbohydrates. We comfort eat at night time but ponder over the best breakfast choice to make. We don’t work out, but check the weighing scales every day. It hit me a few years ago that this is what I had been doing.
I’d been looking in the wrong places, I was trying to change habits that didn’t need to be changed and I wasn’t looking at the habits that did need to be changed.
For example, the habits that I did need to change were how I dealt with stress, how I spoke to myself, my inability to self soothe, my need for external validation, my lack of belief in myself, my tendency to drink too much at weekends to unwind, my tendency to eat big dinners for comfort… Moderation is something that I didn’t think I would ever achieve.
I’m really excited to tell you that calm, peace, fitness and health is there for you if you embrace change and are willing to go at it a new way.
Here are the things that have worked for me that may work for you too.
In order to move forward and to achieve true health, I believe you need to give up all forms of dieting and restriction. I believe you need to let go of everything you learned about weight loss and truly start to eat healthy. If you comfort eating or are overindulging, don’t let that affect what you’re eating in a day. Don’t let the fact that you comfort eight at night time make you restrict what you eat the next day. By that I mean focus on having a nourishing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Focus on eating from all the food groups. Carbohydrates do not make you fat. If you’re overweight now, it’s not because of carbohydrates, it’s because you’re eating too much and that is what we need to address. Why are you eating too much. Which leads me onto my next tip.
Peace and calm
Finding peace and calm has been life changing for me. It has helped me embrace self soothing which means I no longer turn to food or anything outside of myself for comfort.
This has been huge and the effect of having peace and calm in my life has been one of the main reasons I have gotten so healthy. I do something with my clients called Thrive Time, which lasts between 10 to 15 minutes and we do it four days per week. It’s a combination of journalling, meditation, silence and affirmations and it’s through this thrive time that I have started to thrive.
If you’re over eating because of stress or anxiety or comfort, diet plans don’t fix that. You can’t fix comfort eating with a diet plan. You can’t be told what to eat, you know what to eat but we get scared of working on what we need to work on. Do you have the tools to manage stress, why are you stressed out, why do you feel anxiety? This is the stuff that takes longer to figure out, but once you have it figured out, you can learn to self soothe. Self soothing, for me, is when you don’t need to look outside of yourself to feel better. When you crack this, comfort eating will no longer be needed in your life. You’ll realise it doesn’t serve you anymore and it doesn’t do anything for you anymore because you found a new way that makes you feel so good that doesn’t involve eating.
Strength training and water
Lifting weights three to four times per week will get you so fit and so healthy. Just working out four times per week for 30 minutes. Lifting weights will get your metabolism nice and high, which means you’ll burn fat at rest, which means you’ll fit great in your clothes and feel fit and strong. Add in some walks for fresh air and stretching and you’ll be fit, strong and healthy.
A great bedtime and morning routine
When I figured out what kind of a bedtime and morning routine worked for me to enable me to grow and change as a person, I changed and I grew. Having a time in the evening time to go to bed at, the same time every night, doing small little rituals like putting your phone on Airplane Mode, getting into bed with a good book for 10 minutes, really bring about positive change to your life.
Realising that your bed is always going to be so tempting in the morning and that most of us aren’t morning people, getting over that and then choosing to get up even when you’re not in the mood brings about real positive change.
I never want to get up when I get up, I always want to stay in bed. It’s a habit that I least like, but I do anyway. Being organised in the morning, getting up before you have to, having rituals like getting your workout in, your thrive time, drinking water, having a coffee, enjoying your shower will bring about so much positive change in your life. It’s difficult for me to describe just how much change these rituals will bring to your life because it’s so different for everybody but they’re all positive, that I can promise you.
Set up your own morning and bedtime routine what works for you you don’t need to follow anybody else’s. I used to try and follow other peoples and I never stuck with it because it was never my own.
I hope you find this helpful. For me, life is great when I’m fit and healthy. I have spent too many years struggling with anxiety, stress, weight fluctuation and a deep sense of unhappiness. I love life now, I embrace life, I choose to surround myself with people who I trust and love.
Embrace YOUR journey, make a plan and decide how you are going to move forward. If I could recommend one thing is that it would be to take one action step right now to bring you closer to your goals. if you’ve never lifted weights before I put workouts for you to try out on my YouTube channel which you can subscribe to here and you can also enjoy my free healthy habits guide that I made for you as a gift to get you started on your journey.
All my love, Jessica Cooke
PS I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section below