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Today's Podcast Episode

Hi, welcome to today's podcast episode.

I'm super excited to get stuck into this one.

We're bringing it all back to basics and I want to share with you in this episode, the secret to getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 in, I think I have written down here seven steps, seven steps to you getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 feeling comfortable in your skin, feeling flexible, mobile agile, feeling, strong, feeling good in yourself, feeling positive, feeling, calm, feeling in control.

Would you like all that?

Well, I know for sure.

I definitely want all of that and I haven't had it for a long, long time and now I have it, I'm going to continue to work at it because life is so much better when you feel good and when you feel fit and when you feel healthy, and I thought it was quite apt to do this episode now because it's that time of year where there's a lot of stuff out there about getting fit and dropping pounds and losing weight and all those weight loss clubs like Slimming World and Weight Watchers are just preying on us all trying to get us to fall into the trap of eating way less and dieting and restricting and feeling guilty and counting and tracking and weighing and calorie counting and all that things, all that stuff that takes us away from living our best lives from living our lives as humans, not like woman over 40 trying to lose weight, but as a person wanting to be fit healthy and feel great in your clothes, and I've simplified the whole thing for you and broken it down into steps.

The first most important step that I want to share with you today is learning how to love yourself again.

Now learning how to love yourself again is the umbrella term I am giving for you right now because for you to love yourself again, you have to give up dieting, you have to give up weighing yourself on the weighing scales.

You have to give up, restricting your food during the week and then binging at the weekend, you have to focus on letting go of turning to food for comfort.

You have to establish healthy boundaries.

You have to let go of negative self talk.

You have to let go of perfectionist tendencies of all or nothing mindset.

So it's not just step one.

Learn to love yourself again.

Step two, it's learn to love yourself again.

And what does that mean to you?

Learning to love yourself again, is drawing a line in the sand and recommitting to yourself, which is what a lot of us need to do when we get over the age of 40.

And the reason for this is so much of our focus may have gone up to this point on other people or on work.

You may be in your sixties seventies fifties, forties listening to this and thinking, God, I've lost myself.

How do I get back to myself?

Well, this is all in learning to love yourself again.

Step one of getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 is learning how to love yourself again and you love yourself by putting up me time establishing healthy boundaries with yourself.

Something we've just done in the previous episode.

If you want to listen back, it's improving your self image, learning how to speak kindly to yourself, learning how to treat yourself with compassion with kindness, learning how to let go of things that aren't serving you and that are holding you back.

It's learning how to turn inwards for comfort rather than outwards to food and alcohol.

It's learning how to reflect and it's practicing self actualization and visualizing success.

That's how you learn to love yourself again.

And when you learn to love yourself again, you will drop the weighing scales, dieting, restricting and your whole focus on yourself will shift from a potentially negative one to a really, really good one.

I drank way too much alcohol and, and ate way too much food.

I comfort, ate and drank my way through my twenties and thirties up until my early forties.

And I didn't realize it was through a lack of self love.

I didn't honor my needs.

I didn't honor my commitments.

I gave out to myself all the time.

I had no boundaries, setbacks and challenges completely derailed me because I had perfectionist tendencies and perfectionist tendencies actually can come from a lack of self love.

You feel this inadequacy inside of you.

So to overcompensate for the inadequacy, you try to do everything really perfectly.

Isn't that insane?

That's what I did for years.

I didn't understand that.

That's where it came from.

You have a completely all or nothing approach, lack of self love.

You don't give yourself any compassion or kindness and think, ah, this week was ok.

It wasn't so great in the sense that I only got a workout done and I didn't eat as healthy as I wanted to.

However, let's, let's let's improve that next week.

You're thinking much more in black and white terms.

Like I can't believe I'm such a failure.

I can't believe I didn't do any workouts again.

Here I go again, starting something and doing the same thing over again and you know what, nine times out of 10, it's the negative, the negative stuff that you feel towards yourself, derails you, It's not your actual commitment or desire or want.

You could easily get back on track next week and go and do three workouts.

But instead your mindset stops you.

Your negative self talk, your lack of self love stops you.

Oh my God.

I ate shite last night.

What's the point?

Lack of self-love.

Oh No problem, Mr Boss or Miss Boss.

I will definitely take a call at that time instead of going and doing your workout.

You've no healthy boundaries.

You're letting people walk all over your me time.

So number one, how to get fit and healthy.

If you're a woman over 40 step, number one, the most important step.

The step that I didn't do for years that I've only been doing the past two years max that completely transformed my life.

Learn how to love yourself again and then the rest becomes easy.

I promise you the rest becomes easy.

It's just like thinking of a house.

You want to build a house.

You have all the best intentions you want to make the house amazing.

You want to get lovely underfloor heating.

You want to get gorgeous paintings on the wall.

You want to have a really nice living room, a lovely place in the kitchen for you guys all to eat your dinner and you visualize it and you think, yes, I want that.

That's going to make me feel so good.

And you run into the house and you sit at the kitchen table and you fall through the floor, all the floorboards break the underfloor heating, floods and the you all fall through the floor and it all breaks.

The foundations weren't right.

The house looked good, but the foundations weren't right and trying to establish healthy boundaries.

It's kind of like building a house without any solid foundations that the healthy habits are never going to stick.

Think of the foundations of your house as self love.

And if you love yourself, the foundations are solid, they are rock solid, they're going nowhere and then you build your healthy habits, you build a house on top of that and it becomes easy to become consistent and it does become easy because I have gone from a place of feeling so bad in myself because I've been so inconsistent thinking.

It was a personality trait to learning how to love myself again, to becoming consistent with everything I want to be consistent in my life with my whole life transformed.

And I see it with my clients that are consistent too, they have the foundations in place and even when they fall off track because remember consistency isn't about perfection.

It's about the ability to get back on track.

So my most consistent clients, they just get back on track.

It's no big deal.

They have that muscle memory of getting back on track.

So step one, get those solid foundations in place, learn how to establish healthy boundaries to ring fence.

Me time, work on your self image, learn how to become compassionate and kind to yourself.

Turn inwards, let go learn how to let go learn how to reflect, learn how to visualize, self-actualize and then the rest the other steps become easy.

Step number two, easy.

Once you have step number one in place is to lift weights.

You know, now as a woman over 40 lifting weights is going to make your life a hell of a lot easier.

20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, you lift weights.

Oh you know the story, you know the story, your metabolism gets really high.

When you lift weights, you burn fat at rest.

When you lift weights, you become strong, flexible, mobile agile, you be able, you're able to get up off the floor, unaided, get up off the couch without groaning, walk up the stairs without being out of breath, throw the shopping bags into the car, lift the shopping bags from the shopping trolley into the car without hurting your back lift weights, it gets you strong, it gets you fit, it gets you healthy.

You feel really empowered.

You build a confidence through lifting weights like no other lifting a set of dumbbells over your head.

Light ones, two kg over your head is so empowering.

It gives you confidence.

It spills over into other areas of your life.

You feel so good, you feel so empowered, you feel so calm, productive and in control.

When you lift weights, not to mention the fact that it improves your bone density, it improves your joint health.

You get fit, you get healthy, you burn fat at rest, you feel better in your clothes.

Step number three, you've got to do cardio alongside the lifting weights.

Just a few walks every week.

You want that flexibility, that mobility in your body lifting weights is terrific.

It builds strength, it builds lean muscle, you get really fit, you get really strong, you, you, you, you become much trimmer adding in a little few walks here and there getting in some cardio is really good also for your heart health because lifting weights is really good for your heart health too.

But also for just that lovely mobility in your body.

When you lift weights and you go for walks, the walking just stretches out your muscles again.

And it's a 10 out of 10 in terms of you as a woman over 40 your fitness.

If you were to ask me now, Jessica, I just want to get fit and I want to work out in the most time efficient way.

What's going to get my core, strong, me strong, what's going to get me fit and healthy?

From a cardiovascular point of view and from a mobility flexibility, strength point of view.

I'm going to say to you, I want you to lift weights 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week.

And I'm also going to get you to walk and in those workouts that you do, I want you to make sure that you're doing things like lunges and squats and planks and press ups.

We're going to make sure that you're lifting weights over your head that you're squatting, holding a weight.

You're going to do all the stuff for all of the muscles in your body and you're going to get a 10 out of 10 and you're going to be fit and healthy and mobile and agile and flexible and strong.

And the knock on effect is you're going to build your confidence and that confidence is going to spill over into all of the other areas of your life.

Step number four, it's simple.

It's hydrate, drink 2 L of water every day and you'll notice your skin, nails and hair improve.

Is it we're made up of, is it 70% water?

60 to 70% water.

Think about that.

We're made up of 70% water and most of us are walking around dehydrated.

The biggest win to your health is to drink 2 L of water every day.

Also, can I say that when you drink water?

So when you're dehydrated, you can sometimes feel lethargic and demotivated and low on energy and think that you're demotivated and low on energy.

Well, actually all it bloody well was, was that you were dehydrated.

Did you know that when you're dehydrated, you can actually feel low in your mood and it can literally be because you're dehydrated.

Imagine somebody saying to you and God, I completely get that.

You can also feel low for feeling low.

I'm just talking about dehydration.

That's all that.

You can actually drink 2 L of water every day.

Quick win because herbal teas count and um hot water counts, not green tea, but like peppermint tea and all the, the nice stuff that all counts to your 2 L that you can actually feel better by drinking 2 L of water every day.


Next one, what have I written down here?


Number five is rest just getting rest, menopausal perimenopausal.

Let's not put too much stress and say sleep, eight hours, get to bed at a certain time, get up at a certain time and aim to rest for eight hours a day, eight hours in the night time.

Number six, I've made it number six, eat healthy because we're way too obsessed with food and I see most people or just food food, food, putting it as number 10 my God, food, food, number six is food, eat, healthy.

Focus on eating healthy, eating breakfast, eating lunch, eating dinner, focusing on taking the power back from anybody that has your power right now.

When it comes to your nutrition, my fitness pal or Slimming world or Weight Watchers, do they have your power?

Are you inputting your food into an app that's telling you things that you just don't need to know.

You know, the crack, you know, the porridge is good for you.

You know that a salad is really tasty and healthy.

You know, that vegetables with a bit of fish or meat and potatoes is a really terrific dinner.

If we all focused on eating healthy, with the big focus being on cutting our unhealthy habits, we'd be really healthy.

What most people don't do myself included for absolute years is focus on the unhealthy habits.

We get really frustrated with ourselves for not being healthier.

So we dissect the salad that we've had on a Wednesday and think, well, I had dressing on the salad.

I had ketchup on my burger.

I had three extra potatoes and we don't think for a second about the four bottles of wine, the packet of biscuits, the five packets of crisps, the massive portion of pasta with garlic bread, the snacking on the toast, all the extra food that we eat.

We laser focus for some funny reason.

We laser focus in on the little healthy salad that we had and we think, how can we make this healthier?

It must have been the extra bit of veg.

How can I make my breakfast better?

I know I'm going to throw chia seeds on it, which is really healthy.

But that's where our focus tends to go.

The real detail of the unhealthy food, of the healthy food and not enough honesty around our unhealthy habits.

Honest to God, it wasn't until I got clear with myself on my unhealthy habits.

Did I actually get healthy?

Which was only two years ago, I can say I actually got healthy in all my years as a fitness coach, I look back now and say I wasn't truly healthy healthy to me back then was a focus on fitness and nutrition.

That's what focus meant to me.

Now, I understand it to be physical fitness, hydration, self care, mental health connection.

It means so much more to me.

Now, when you are laser focused in on your nutrition, on your healthy eating and you're ignoring the fact that you're drinking way too much alcohol or you're binge eating or you're secret eating or you're overeating, you're going to go round and around and around in circles and still you start getting real with yourself.

You can eat more than you think.

It's just many of us are trapped in a, in a diet culture.

So because we're kind of restricting so much in the week and then going mental at the weekends, we assume that we can eat way less than we think.

But if you stop restricting so heavily in the week, which will stop you from binging.

So crazily at the weekends and you get this over time healthy balance where you're just eating, you're eating your breakfast, lunch and your dinner and you're not dieting and you're not going mental, you'll get really healthy and you'll heal your relationship with food.

What many of us do?

What I did for years.

I did it.

I would restrict so much during the week that it didn't really feel like I was binging at the weekend.

It just felt that I was letting off steam or just relaxing.

But I was way overeating and if I, if I wasn't restricting during the week, if I hadn't have restricted during the week and I was just eating, normally, I would recognize it more that I was overeating at the weekends.

Be careful that your weekends aren't overeating.

Like eating tasty treats and indulging in what you want is different to overeating.

So, an unhealthy relationship for food with food for me was getting to the weekends and overeating and going crazy.

Whereas now I get to the weekends and we eat out and I have desserts and I eat ice cream if I want it.

But I'm not overeating, I'm not binge eating, I'm not sitting on the couch and having five packets of crisps.

The way I used to, I'm having a dessert or I'm having like sharing a box of chocolates with Joe over dinner.

And yeah, then I probably still will go and have a dessert, but it's just a different buzz.

There's not like five garlic bread sticks stuck on a massive big spaghetti bolognese.

Wake up the next day, have loads of toast and bacon and just because it's the weekend it's different and it feels good next up is connection really, really important.

One of the secrets to getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 is to have friendships and connections in your life and to make time for friendship and connections that's going to reduce your stress, reduce your anxiety, reduce your work like the way you think of work.

So for me, for example, when I didn't really have any connections or friendships, my whole life was work.

And then when I started meeting up with people and having connections work became a little bit less in my life in a really healthy way.

And that helped me feel better about myself and it reduced my stress and anxiety.

And I felt really good and I enjoy, I really enjoy meeting up with people now and that all feeds into the whole healthy, bigger picture, healthy body, mind and soul.

And the last step that I want to share with you getting fit and healthy over the age of 40 is to take really good care of your mental health.

Now, in thrive in my thrive program, we do thrive times, which is 10 minutes of a practice that we do 3 to 4 times a week um that involves different things that help you with your mental health and help you reduce stress and anxiety and turn inwards, practical tips for taking care of your mental health, making sure there's a little bit of silence and pause in your day doing a little bit of journaling, being with yourself and your feelings, meeting up with friends, making sure you have a good phone relationship, cutting out the scrolling, having a good bedtime routine where you are minding your mental health, that you're not on your phone, on your phone, on your phone, lights off its phone on airplane mode.

Read a few pages of a good book.

Lights out.

It's reading fiction books, having fun with friends, making time to laugh, not just being all about work, establishing good connections and good friendships in your life.

And if you don't have them start, start now, it's never too late this time.

A year and a half ago, I thought it was too late.

I never imagined myself having more connections and friendships in my life.

And now I do still a work in progress, but I do making time for hobbies.

And if that involves you getting out of your comfort zone and joining a group, get out of your comfort zone and join a group.

Well, I hope you found this podcast episode useful and helpful.

And if you did, I would love for you to either share it with a friend or rate the podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Thank you so much for listening and have a wonderful day.

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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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 and break free from unhealthy habits holding them back. (oh, and also I love playing with my two Miniature Schnauzers, Buster and Ozzy)

I’ve now supported over 6,779 women over 14 years in my Thrive Coaching Program get fit and break free from unhealthy habits!