Today's Episode


Hi. You're really welcome to today's podcast episode where we are going to be chatting about how to obsess how to stop obsessing, overweight and food.

I'm a little bit tired today.

I have a nice cup of peppermint tea beside me.

Well, I have had three coffees already today.

Um, and I'm tired because I'm working on something new.

I am working on having more connections in my life.

And is it just me or is it so much more tiring, making connections over the age of 40 than it was years ago?

I look back at my school days with such rose tinted glasses it just felt so easy back then, making friends, being in a group of people, everybody knowing each other's flaws and good things.

And it was just such a easy time.

Um, in my life anyway, maybe in years too, to make friends and, you know, connections is something that I have dropped over the past however many years since I moved to Galway.

Um, mostly because I was in a bad place.

And then secondly, because I had kids and I was running a gym back before we moved online.

So I didn't really have any time.

So I neglected that area of my life and now that I feel much more healed and ready for connection, I'm feeling such a gaping hole in that part of my life.

So I've been getting myself out there a little bit more and it is tough, tough, tough because uncertainty is coming back like self doubt.

And then you're aware that I'm aware that uncertainty and self doubt is, is coming back and I'm like, no, just be yourself and it's a little bit of a minefield at the moment and it's left me a little bit tired, but, you know, I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

I'm giving myself a couple of years to grow and develop wonderful connections in my life.

I have a lot to give and I also want to be in lovely, beautiful relationships that last until the day I die.

So I'll keep you posted on that goes and, um, I'd be interested to hear from you.

How do you find it?

Do you have loads and loads of friends?

Are you really secure in that area of your life?

You lucky duck if you are, hang on to them.

Um, it sounds absolutely wonderful and I'm looking forward to being able to say that myself too.

So I wanted to chat to you today about how to stop obsessing over food and overweight.

Because isn't that just such a frustrating place to be in when all you can think about is the food that you eat and the weight that you are.

Isn't it so boring?

Um, and I'm not surprised like with the weight loss industry the way it is and with so much crap out there about weight loss and food, no wonder we all feel so fed up and so obsessed, the weighing the weight loss industry would make you feel that the only way to lose weight is to become obsessed about it.

And the only way to live your life is to be obsessed over the way you look and what you weigh and the food that you're eating and it's just so boring at this stage.

Like it's really cool that Pamela Anderson was makeup free the other week and I just thought she was absolutely deadly for doing that.

And wouldn't it be wonderful if more of us just did what we wanted to and became leaders and if we didn't want to wear makeup or we just wanted to be healthy and the size that we are, wouldn't it just be terrific if we started to really step into our authentic selves as we are now and unashamedly and as ourselves just lived our lives.

And the fact that we even have to say that is just so crazy.

I mean, what is that thing?

The sex and the city, the, uh, and just like that, I find that difficult to watch because I don't think that they're reflective of a lot of women out there just so pruned and preened and which is great if that's what they want to do.

I just don't think there's enough role models out there for women to go and look at and think.

Wow, they're so cool.

They're healthy.

They're authentically themselves.

That's what I want.

And when we don't have that around us, it can feel like, you know, you don't want to step out and be the leader in that sense and you tend to kind of follow what everybody else is doing without stopping and thinking.

Hang on a second.

This makes no sense for me.

I want to be a leader like this.

Have you ever looked at another woman and gone?


She's so cool.

She's not conforming.

I wish I was like that.

Well, let's be like that in whatever way we want to be.

Let's step up and be authentically ourselves.

I was doing a little bit of research for this podcast episode and I was just getting more and more frustrated.

I was going on to different weight loss clubs, all the very famous ones.

Um and looking at how they're still giving the message out there about different types of food and them being bad.

And I want to give you an example.

One of the big slimming clubs out there talks about free food and then food that you kind of have to track.

Um, and it said about the free foods that you can eat as much food as this as you want.

And then it listed all the foods that you can eat as much as you want.

And I just thought that was so triggering.

I just thought that was so bad that we're being told by weight loss clubs that we can eat this food in unlimited amounts.

And I just think when are we going to stop seeing food as the problem?

And when are we going to start seeing it as the symptom of the problems that we have food is just the symptom of the deep internal problems that we have.

And if you're a weight loss club and you're telling these vulnerable women that they can eat as much food of this as they want, but they have to track this.

It's just still promoting overeating and sitting down and just consuming without thinking.

And I don't agree with it and I think it's wrong and I think it keeps women locked in a cycle of restriction and binging, deprivation and binging.

And I think if you are trained to eat unlimited amounts of one type of food and you have a bad day, you're only going to put that behavior onto unhealthy foods.

So, if this Slimming club tells me, you can eat unlimited eggs and fish and vegetables, which is pretty much what it says.

And I think great because all I want to do is eat, to eat my emotions.

So I'm going to eat all of this because I'm allowed.

This person has told me to and then I have a really bad day and I feel really upset.

I haven't learned anything about overeating and that being a trigger that I need comfort and I need to self soothe.

So I'm going to just turn that behavior to chocolate bars and biscuits.

So if that's why these things never work, because if you say to me, ok, I'm going to lose £8 between now and Christmas.

It's October now, I don't doubt you.

Everybody can do that with enough willpower if you think.



It's October the 10th today and I've got until December the fifth and I'm going to lose £11.

I don't doubt you.

Of course, we all can.

That's easy.

But you do that with all these silly things.

You know, you cut, cut, cut, you restrict restrict, restrict, you get to your goal weight, you get to the finish line and just like you do, if you're training for a Five K race or 10-K race, you don't continue that level of training.

And when you're, when you're focusing on weight loss, you're not going to continue it on past December, you're going to just pile all the weight back on again.

So you haven't changed or transformed or changed your lifestyle or gotten any of the wonderful benefits that you get when you heal your relationship with food.

Um So that really wrecked my head seeing that I saw on another very famous website um about bananas.

And it says here that bananas are a nutritional powerhouse rich in vitamins, minerals and potassium.

However, they are relatively higher in natural sugars and calories compared to certain other fruits.

While they offer energy moderation is key for weight loss for weight management.

Practicing moderation with bananas is recommended as they contain relatively higher natural sugars and calories.

Opting for slightly less ripe bananas can be beneficial as they have a lower sugar content compared to fully ripe ones.

Now, that is a load of bananas and I have promised myself to curse a little bit less on podcast episodes because I was only thinking the other day that you guys might have people beside you listening in, in the car and was a bit of a oh thought that I had last week, but I really want to because that just makes me so angry to think again that we're focusing on healthy foods and how to reduce and look at healthy foods and get really into the detail of healthy foods as opposed to healing our relationship with ourselves, as opposed to healing our relationship with food.

These are just masking the real problems.

Food is just the symptom.

And if you are focusing on whether bananas are fattening or not or that you should avoid bananas, you are distracting yourself.

You are not going into the nitty gritty of what's actually wrong and why you're overeating.

I have yet to meet one person in my 14 years of coaching women that has gained weight because they're eating too many bananas.

Um And these, these things out there on these weight loss websites and clubs are very destructive and they only promote even more an unhealthy relationship with food that you're going to spend the day trying to avoid bananas.

But no problem is being solved here.

We are still, we still have the same problems.

We are going to go home and eat crap on the couch at night.

But wait, we didn't have a banana.

Um They said the same with avocados that any high calorie fruit should be consumed less.

One of these high calorie fruits is avocado.

It is said that 100 g of this fruit contains about 160 calories.

Now there are 210 calories in a chocolate bar.

Um, and none of these websites discuss healing your relationship with food, healing.

Why you might be turning to food for comfort.

Why you might be sitting down on the couch at night time when you promised yourself that you wouldn't.

And you've popped a packet of crisps or you've opened up a packet of biscuits and you can't seem to stop.

No, it's chatting to you about avocados and the fact that they're very high in calories.

So they shouldn't really be, they should be consumed less and they are just masking.

They don't, the more detail they keep, the more they keep you focused on this detail, the more they have you locked in this cycle and that's what they want, that's what they want.

They want you to be spending your day listening to what they have to say.

They want you to be reading this stuff on their website and in their program.

Oh, I can have, I can have grapes but I can't have bananas.

No, actually you're not allowed have grapes on their plan.

Uh I can't have grapes or bananas or I should watch that carefully, but I can have like strawberries and black currants.

I should really watch avocados, but, you know, I'm not going to go into any real answer as to the real problem that food is just a symptom of the problems that I have on another website.

It says that spicy foods can help you cut back on calories.

They become caps a compound that's because of a compound found in jalapenos and peppers may increase your body's release of stress hormones which can speed up your ability to burn calories.

Um Another example is that it says that 100 calories from an apple is better for you than 100 calories from a doughnut.

Yeah, obviously my God, sure.

They're identical in terms of calories, but they're worlds apart in terms of nutrients.

Now, reading this statement and not knowing any different, you would be like, ok.


Thanks a million.

So they're the same in calories, but just the apple has more nutrients.


So hang on a second here.

I find that very triggering.

Like because there'd be days where I would think, well, feck having the nutrients today.

If 100 calories in a doughnut is the same as 100 calories in a banana and an apple, then it's the same.

So I'm going to have a doughnut when that's simply not true.

Doughnuts are really unhealthy.

They have no nutritional value and they make you, they, they can, they can aid in weight gain.

Apples just cannot aid in weight gain.

Whereas this very famous popular website is leading you down the path of thinking that no, they are the same, they're the same in calories.

And the only difference is that you get more nutrients in the apple and, and it says here and whereas you don't get much from the doughnut.

I mean, it's absolutely cracked.

And again, it's keeping you locked thinking that your lack of knowledge in the food department is the reason why you're overweight as opposed to looking at the real reasons that you may be overweight.

And that's why we can all really successfully lose, wait for a short period of time.

I know this period is very successful with those weight loss clubs very popular between October and December getting towards that Christmas body.

And then, you know, let's put all the weight back on again and then let's do the summer bikini body and it's really damaging and you don't get any reward or lifestyle change from it.

Um Then you have the calorie counting um websites, calorie counting, it says is the process of recording all the food and beverages you consume in a day, its portion sizes and its corresponding calorie count.

It can be done using a simple notebook or food journal or calorie tracking app.

Love the way it says the word simple.

Whereas nothing about calorie counting is simple.

With the latter.

You can log the food and drinks you consume quickly and you'll have access to an extensive nutritional information data database that can provide the caloric content of your food and beverages as well as its macronutrient content, macronutrient content.

I know macronutrients just exploded onto the scene.

I think what is it about now, 10 years ago now uh maybe eight years ago.

And I mean, as women over 40 if we want to be fit and healthy and strong, we do not need to know the macronutrients of the foods that we're eating.

And if it is my belief that when we go down that route, we're going down a really unhealthy route uh, of, um, of obsession that we don't need in our lives.

And that again, it's only masking the real underlying issues as to why we're, um, over consuming in food.

And remember that food is only the symptom of the problem.

And the weight loss industry.

Generally speaking, as a whole wants you to believe that your lack of knowledge in food is the problem.

And they're going to teach you through their education on bananas and avocados and calorie counting and macronutrients.

That, that has been your problem up until this point.

And this is why you're overweight and they'll teach you through recipes and their knowledge on food, how to get trim, you know, listening to this and listening to me now that it's not true and you know that if I put a gun to your head right now and said, I'm going to kill you, if you don't drop a stone in six weeks, that you could easily, easily drop a stone in six weeks, you know exactly what it takes to lose weight.

Food is not the problem at all.


It's just the symptom of the problem that you have.

And it's uncovering that problem and getting rid of the obsession of the weighing scales and your food.

And when you take away that obsession and you're left with just yourself stripped back and raw, then you can really start to heal the relationship that you have with yourself and all the things that are bothering you and troubling you right now.

So it says to maintain your weight, the number of calories you consume must be roughly equal to the number of calories you burn.

Now that again is really destructive talk.

Um I says, meanwhile, to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than you burn.

Um, as you learn how much or how little you're eating, you can adjust your calorie intake and macronutrients to better support your food goals.

So it's saying that the calories um, in must be roughly the same as the calories out and that's to maintain your weight.

So to lose weight, then the energy out must be greater than the energy in.

And that's a big thing with the weight loss industry and the fitness industry as well is to track your calories burned in a day.

Something that I wholeheartedly disagree with.

And I went on to one of the very famous websites and I used their calories burned by activity calculator and I put in, um, my, my stats.

Um, and uh, what the workout that I would do on a daily basis.

And first of all, it says to use this calorie, burned, exercising calculator.

You'll need to pick your activity.

Enter how long you performed it and enter your weight though.

You're burning calories all the time.

Simply by doing your normal daily activities.

Exercise can help you burn even more.

The amount depends on the type of exercise and how many calories and how long you do it.

And it told me that I have burned 152 calories while doing body weight exercises.

Um, I got a, I got a, it says you've got a strength training session with those moves, practicing them can help you lose weight over time.

And then it tells me to incorporate a, you more into your next routine for a bigger calorie burn.

Now, I put in the fact that I was doing 30 minute workouts, full body strength training workouts, which are absolutely terrific.

If you're doing that three times a week for a, as a woman over 40 you're being really healthy.

Well, that's telling me that I've burned 152 calories in that session and that the next time I should try more, which is just so awful and really damaging and very destructive to say that a me, like calories burned in a session.

Like if, if I was into calorie counting and I thought it was cool, which it really isn't.

It's very, very destructive and, uh, very negative and it doesn't make sense at all.

And I read and I was vulnerable and I wanted to lose weight.

I was too stone overweight and I just felt very vulnerable and I believed everything that I read, I would think.

Oh, my God.

Is that all?

I only burn 100 and 52 calories in that session.

What is the point?

Or it would make me go the other way and think that's nothing I need to do more and more and more.

I'm going to do an hour the next time and all of a sudden I'm into excessive over exercising to try and burn more calories to make up for the food that I've eaten or to get into a calorie deficit.

Now, calories burned in a, in a workout.

They don't make sense and without even becoming part of the triggering thing, it's your metabolism and getting your metabolism lovely and high and building lovely muscle and getting fit and healthy.

It's about your metabolism all throughout the day and, and lifting weights and doing body weight exercises and, and resistance training and strength training, which is what we do as women over 40 to stay capable and fit and strong and healthy.

Um, it, it improves your overall health and when you're doing it consistently, it's about your metabolism in general as a whole, not about the time that you did it in your workout.

Um So it's really inaccurate to tell somebody that they will only burn 152 calories in a session.

Um, because the session, it does so much more than that and it really keeps your metabolism lovely and high all throughout the day.

Um, and, uh, I find that very difficult to read and I feel so sorry for anybody that reads that and takes that as face value.

Um, and then thinks, well, I had a chocolate bar and that was 210.

So my God, that cancels out that and exercise.

It doesn't work that way.

Um, and, uh, it's, it's very, very bad and, um, I think you should stay away from it.

Um, so symptoms of other things going on.

Um, sorry, I lost my train of thought there.

But I, because I just wanted to think about that because it just makes me so angry thinking about these things that I, uh, that I forget what I was going to say next.

So I want you to know one thing that I know that if I had a gun to your head and I told you that to lose weight in six weeks that you easily could all of my clients, all you listening into the episode, you could easily do it.

If I said to you between now and Christmas, I want you to lose weight.

You would do it.

And I know so many of you that lose weight for weddings and events and for Christmas.

And you do it easily and then you forget how easy it can be.

And when you don't have that massive drive or willpower, like there's no event coming up, it can feel a lot more difficult.

So that's because there's no lifestyle change there.

And it's, it's when you, when you really lose weight and you lose and you use, you pretend that food is the problem, you mask what the real problems are And that's why we only ever lose weight temporarily when we do it this way, when we just zone in on the food and overexercise and cut food groups out and, and, and do what these websites suggest.

It's why it's only ever temporary.

It's just like the person saying that they're going to go and they're going to go for a run at 10-K and they're just going to do 1, 10-K in their life.

It's an itch they wanted to scratch.

So they train, train, train, they, they train when they don't normally do.

They go home after a long day's work and they get out and they practice their five K, their five K, their five K and they get to the race, they do it, they get their medal, they're done and they never go back to those habits or they might decide to, again if there's another event coming up, well, focusing in on your food like this is the exact same.

So what I really want, you to do is is start to really let go of the notion that food is the problem.

And I really want you to maybe allow in the idea that food is just the symptom of what might be going on.

Um, and just like other symptoms, like scrolling on your phone and staying up too late and seeking comfort outside of yourself, drinking too much wine, um, only taking time left at the end of the day for yourself.

Um Having no boundaries working when you, when you, when you, when you're not in work, canceling on yourself, using the weighing scales, not making any time for yourself.

Dieting, being really hard on yourself, having a negative inner critic, um being really stressed out and anxious all the time and people pleasing that these are just symptoms of the of problems and the real problem um is, is the thing that you need to figure out and heal and you do that by developing a relationship with yourself and being very authentic in, in, in, in what the real problem might be.

And one of the best ways to do that that I have found is to get rid of the distractions and the distractions out there are the calorie counting.

Um all, all, all the the food stuff out there, all those slimming world clubs.

Um and I have written out nine things that I hope may help you um stop obsessing over your weight and your food and instead help you on a new path where you decide not to go down, um, the old route anymore that you let that part go and get rid of.

Um, so tip number one is to find exercise that you really enjoy and that is really good for you.

Once you find that you'll feel really happy and you'll love how it makes your body feel and your mind feel.

There is nothing really that beats feeling capable and strong and being able to like lift a little kid up off the ground or jog lightly up the stairs and not even realize you're jogging lightly or, um picking up your shopping and finding, finding it.

Ok, or just feeling generally lighter and more agile on your feet.

Uh More, more movie as you go throughout the day.

Number two is to find a community or a tribe that really, really gets you and understands you, that's really, really important so that you don't feel alone and that, you know that there is a lot of people out there just like you and I'm sure that's what Pamela Anderson did a couple of weeks ago when she stepped out to whatever it was the Oscars or whatever, um, with no makeup that she made a lot of women think.

Wow, it's not just me that doesn't want to, um, appear in public like this and wants to be maybe more authentic and true to how she feels.

I'm sure she made a lot of people feel not alone, finding your tribe and community and really knowing that there's lots of women out there that may feel just like you is a really cool thing to have.

Um We have that in our community and it only makes our will stronger when we're having a bit of a bad day.

Um Number three is to develop the relationship with yourself.

So, working on your identity, finding your purpose, what you feel passionate about what find figuring out now um as you're older, what you hate and what you love, figuring out what you want to do, what goals you may have, the cities that you might want to go and travel, but really starting on a beautiful new path of developing your relationship with yourself and all the different parts of you um is just the most rewarding thing that can ever happen to you in particular.

If you're only used to really thinking of yourself in terms of your size and your looks and your weight.

Um And if you've been obsessing about food, it really is very liberating to start to develop a relationship with yourself.

Number four is to go through your social media and the people that are in your life and get rid of anything that brings you down.

So if you currently are following people on social media that are like influencers um that are really into like weight or clothes or looks and you don't feel into that.

Then why not give them a little unfollow sometimes.

We can think we're into something because everything else is and actually we realize it makes us really unhappy.

And that happened to me.

Um, and I stopped it a couple of years ago.

I was following all these people on social media that I, when I sat down and thought about it I didn't agree with, but I kind of thought I agreed with like, oh, cool.

She's wearing that.

She, she bought this in this shop and, and then I kind of was like, oh God, I find that really triggering.

I feel like I'm not worthy or I'm not enough or I don't meet up to those standards.

But then I was like, but hang on a second, I don't want to, it's really cool that she's into that, but actually I'm not into it whereas I had never thought before that I wasn't actually into it and that can really happen.

Like, especially if you've been brought up or, or you just used to think that you were into it.

It can be really wonderful to actually realize.

Well, actually I'm not really into that and just unfollow anything that you're not really into and start to follow things that you are into.

It's really, really cool and the same with friendships as hard as it can be to let go.

But like, if there's things you don't really, like, if, like, if there's people that are in your life that you don't agree with at all or that you find extremely negative, maybe they're just constantly tearing people down.

It's ok to let go of those people and allow room for new people in your life.

Um, number five is deciding to let go of the weighing scales.

Um, just letting go and deciding you don't agree with it.

Like maybe now you may decide that you're actually going to let go of calorie counting and weighing yourself.

And maybe when people are chatting to you about the weight that they have lost, um or like the foods that they're eating and it kind of brings you back a little bit and you feel like you're going back to old ways and you find it very triggering, maybe just practice saying to yourself because we will all get triggered and pulled back temporarily.

The odd time into that diet culture mentality just think, well, what they're describing to me is, is only a temporary solution to their real underlying problem.

These are all just symptoms and I could lose weight too very quickly if I wanted to.

But that's not what the problem is.

That's just a symptom of the problem.

And that would just be very temporary and it would all come back instead I know to develop a relationship with myself, but don't underestimate the power of just deciding to let something go in the moment right now and saying you know what?

Actually, I'm not just going to hide the weighing scales, I'm actually going to throw them out.

Don't be afraid to say, you know what, I'm actually not going to temporarily see how it goes with, with giving up counting calories or tracking my food.

Maybe decide that you're going to let it go, maybe decide that you don't agree with it.

Maybe sit down with a pen and paper and you decide, maybe go on to those websites yourself and ask yourself with nobody else's influence what you think of the messaging that's out there.

And if you decide for yourself that you don't agree with it, then maybe it is time for you to let go, let go of that messaging, let go of that culture and be a standing, uh be a leader and be a shining example to the people that are watching you in your life.

You can disagree with people.

It's really cool and maybe you haven't flexed that muscle enough yet.

Number six is to decide who you are and what you stand for.

I have really developed that muscle over the past year.

I, I know a lot now about what I stand for and what I don't like having censored and silenced myself and tried to conform for many, many years.

It's very, very liberating.

Number seven is to remember that it's actually really cool to be in a minority of people.

It's, it's wondrous.

It's absolutely wonderful.

If everybody is doing one thing, then maybe for you, you go the other way.

Maybe that's a sign that, well, if everybody's doing that, hm.

What's in that?

There's a lot of conforming in that.

If everybody is doing this one thing, everyone's conforming to this way.

Why, why is everybody conforming to this way?

Maybe I'll go my own way and don't be afraid to go your own way.

I've always been afraid to go my own way.

Number eight is to focus on being healthy and ask yourself what does healthy mean to you?

Ask yourself you what healthy means to you.

That's without listening to anybody else and taking in anybody's opinions, ask yourself what does healthy mean to you.

Um And number nine is to embrace healing, healing the relationship with yourself.

I do that um with my clients through affirmations and gratitude and working on our limiting beliefs, question the beliefs you have around things um in your everyday life that you haven't questioned before and really start to find your own voice and what's important to you.

Um I'm working on a manifesto for our thrive coaching community and I wrote something out today on the back of creating this podcast episode and this is for all my thrive coaching clients.

And I want to ask you what you think of it.

So you must let me know I'm going to share it in our members group later, but I wanted to share it here first.

So our manifesto, we say no to diet culture, we say no to the weighing scales.

We don't need to know what we weigh.

We don't desire or need to track count or weigh anything in order to be healthy.

We have set ourselves free.

We have set ourselves free from all the things that tear us down.

We move away from negativity and destruction and lean into peace, calm and authenticity.

We love feeling healthy, fit and strong.

We love feeling capable, being able to lift a weight over our head and not feel out of breath.

When we go for a hike, we love supporting and helping others and being a terrific example of what it means to be a woman.

We love to set a great example of what it means to be healthy.

As a woman to our younger generation, we have learned to love ourselves, take care of ourselves, protect our boundaries and develop a beautiful relationship ourselves.

We reject society's toxic, unrealistic and harmful beauty standards and we don't let society set the standards for our health or happiness.

We have learned to embrace our bodies, care for them, respect them and treat them kindly.

We love authenticity and showing up for ourselves as our authentic selves.

We embrace our authentic selves and it shines out from us brightly.

You must let me know what you think of that.

That is our manifesto in our thrive coaching group and you must let me know if you enjoyed it and if you agree with it, um Thanks for listening to this episode.

It would mean the world to me.

If you could rate this episode, wherever you get your podcast, it just means it gets in front of more people and you can head over to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash unleash and download my free guide five steps to unleashing your fitness and C AM.

Or you can join the waitlist to my thrive coaching program by going to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash coaching.

That's Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash coaching.

Thank you so much for listening.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch.

Don't forget you can head on over to Jessica Cook dot IE where you'll find lots of free stuff to get you started on your journey.

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