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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.

OK.

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.

Brilliant.

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.

Ok.

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.

Ok.

Ok.

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.

Exactly.

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?

Nothing.

You're just dehydrated.

Ok.

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.

m.

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.

OK.

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?

Ok.

Why is that?

Ask yourself why?

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.

m.

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.

Please.

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.

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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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