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Hi! You are so very welcome to today's podcast episode and thank you so much for tuning in. I appreciate it so much. I love our Tuesday and Thursday chats. So in today's podcast episode, I want to chat to you about self love, self care and just ask you where you're at with it. And the reason I want to talk to you about this is because if you want to become fit and healthy, you're going to find it very difficult. If you don't really love it yourself very much, you can focus on all the workouts in the world and you can focus on your food and keep trying and trying. If you don't have a lot of self love, it's not going to last very long. Um, body, mind and self love. It really is the trifecta of true well being.

And I talk so much in this podcast on this podcast about how to become healthy, the type of exercise you need to do all about nutrition. And I just really felt now was the right time to talk about self love. How much do you love yourself or how little do you love yourself? And I, I've kind of wanted to talk about this before, but I haven't really felt very ready because my self love hasn't been as big as it is. Now, there's definitely so much room for improvement and I'm still on a big growth journey when it comes to loving myself. However, I do feel in a place that I have grown to love myself so much more than this time last year that I feel. Finally, I have a little bit of experience on what it's like to love yourself for the very first time in my life. Um For those of you that don't know me, I've struggled with stress and anxiety and panic attacks, nearly almost all of my adult life until fitness completely saved my life.

That one habit of exercising three times a week for 30 minutes, completely transformed my life. However, I've been on such a journey. Um when it comes to loving myself too because I didn't use to love myself at all. In fact, I really hated myself for a very long time. I hated every single part of me. How I looked, my height, my build, I always thought I was too big, too tall, too overweight, too ugly, too fast, not intelligent enough. Um, and I have been extremely hard on myself over the years and I have made everything so much more difficult for myself, although I have strived very hard and I've worked very hard looking back. It's like I've had two kettle bells on my arms and I've been shackled to the ground of with, with extra weights.

The lack of self love I have had for myself has just made things so much harder. I've been walking around with sandbags on my back, the sandbags reflecting myself holding myself back that things could have been so much easier for myself. Um I have neglected my self care and that's manifested itself in like being very rough with myself and I've been having showers, not putting cream on nicely, not getting nice clothes. Um Having no boundaries whatsoever when it came to the telephone, whatsapp people contacting me.

No boundaries in terms of my kids being able to just come in if I was getting any work done, just no boundaries at all. And the whole self love thing for me has always felt very kind of airy fairy to the sense that I never really understood if I really did love myself or if I didn't love myself, I'm much more of a factual based person. I, I understand it so much more if you talk to me in fact. So when you ask me to look at my action steps and let my action steps show me whether I've loved myself or not, then I completely get it so much easier. So I ask you now dear listener to look at your action steps and are your action steps showing you that you love yourself or that you don't love yourself?

For example, I want to ask you right now, what's your self care like? What are you like when you're in the shower? What do you like when you put on your cream after your shower, on your face? Are you really rough? Are you really fast? Do you take your time? Are you gentle when you dry yourself? Do you put a little bit of thought into the clothes that you're going to put on? Do you give yourself time to brush your hair slowly when you're starting a fitness program or a program? Do you have absolute full belief in yourself or do you just think you have belief in yourself when you visualize the future for yourself? Do you visualize your goals being achieved or when you think about it?

Now, does a part of you think it's absolutely cracked that you're not going to achieve your goals when you walk by a shop window and you catch yourself a glimpse in the mirror. Do you absolutely hate on yourself? Do you call yourself fat and ugly regularly? Are you very, very harsh on your body? Do you give out about your stomach all the time? Do you complain about yourself in the mirror all of the time? Do you compare yourself to others? I've relocated, um, over to Spain for the month. Um I'm doing, doing all my work here and just living life as we would in Ireland. And one of the first things I noticed when I came over here is I started completely comparing myself to everybody.

And after a few days, I was like, oh my God, what am I doing? I've just found this so triggering, I'm back to thinking I'm fat and ugly and horrible again. And I just gave myself a good chat, a good talking to and literally in the space of three minutes. I went from starting to feel very bad about myself and bad about my body that I wasn't enough to absolutely loving myself again was just a key reminder and it just these few reminders that I want to share with you today um that you can love yourself, that you can become really secure in your body. No matter what your age, you can become really secure in who you as who you are as a person and you can absolutely love yourself.

And if you have a couple of non negotiables in your life, a couple of non negotiables in your week and you have some boundaries set up and you start to change how you talk to yourself. I promise you, you are going to first off, enjoy your day to day so much more because you're going to be so much happier in yourself and you're not going to be thinking all these crazy things about you being fat and ugly and this and that, while trying to enjoy your day, that doesn't make sense. You're going to stop comparing yourself to others. You're going to become really secure in your own skin and then that's going to give you the freedom to enjoy the moment more enjoy right now because now is all we have and a lovely knock on effect about believing in yourself is that when you're striving to be fit and healthy, you're not going to let the stop starts bother you or the failures along the way bother you.

You'll embrace that part of the journey so much more and be able to laugh at all the, all the things that go wrong and that don't go our way. So just a gentle reminder to ask yourself where you're at now. And if you do talk very negatively to yourself, and if you don't have much of a belief in yourself, then I want you to know that you can change and it really doesn't matter what age you are and when you do change, you're going to get so much more happiness out of life. I absolutely, we promise you so much of my day and time was taking up not liking myself physically and not liking who I was and being so just uncertain in myself and uncertain in my abilities, always doubting myself and never thinking that I could do it, that I could do what I wanted to do. Oh, it's, it's just so terrific to change.

So the first tip that I want to give you today is to be kind and understanding towards yourself, wherever you're at right now. If you speak really harshly to yourself, that's really ok. The first step is to step into this a lovely awareness phase. Have you ever noticed that you think you're ok? However, then you go and you do a new course or for example, the other day I had to switch because we've rented a car over here to a manual car as, oh my God, I couldn't get up a hill.

Actually, I was on my own. I'd gone out to the shops and I couldn't get up a hill and I had to do a hill start. I have an automatic car at home and not just that driving on the different side of the road, driving on, uh using the other side of the car, you know, the steering wheel on the other side of the car and I literally was stuck for about, I'd say five minutes until a man behind me in the other car had to, uh come out and get into my car and bring it up the hill and my legs were shaking and I was apologizing so much and I was being really hard on myself and I was like, I can't believe you're like this never again.

And then when he left and I pulled into the side of the road and I was just shaking and shaking for ages. I got home and I spoke to Joe and Joe was like, what is wrong with you? Who cares? You couldn't do a hill start in a foreign country on the other side of the road. Get back into the car tomorrow and try again. What is wrong with you? He's like, how can you be blaring P!nk's Trustfall from like out loud and say Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Female empowerment. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And literally like the next day, be so hard on yourself.

For the fact that you couldn't do a hill and it just got me thinking that we're just always, I am still on a journey of self love. And it's in those moments. The reason I'm telling you this story is because I want you to look at yourself. It's easy to think when everything's going well. Yeah, I do love myself. Yeah, I do have self belief but look at yourself when you are doing something new or you aren't getting something or you're temporarily failing at something. Listen to yourself talk, then that is what you truly think of yourself. So if you've started a fitness program and you're giving out about yourself, that you're not fit, that's how you feel about yourself. Or if you like me, couldn't manage a hill start or something else throughout the day.

Notice yourself talk then and that's a sign that you need to take care of yourself. If you straight away, jump into negativity mode, I can't do this mode, apologizing mode and all you have to do is practice. So this is what I'm going to do the next time this happens to me because I'm sure. Well, if I have to do that, he'll start again. So let's say I do that, he'll start again and it doesn't work out for me. I'm going to take a pause and I'm going to not apologize and I'm not going to jump into, I can't believe you can't do this mode.

And I'm going to just take a pause, take a breath and keep on going until I get it. Worst case scenario. If I don't get it, I'm still not going to apologize or be hard on myself. I'm going to practice and I encourage you to practice it too. The next time you feel like you're not getting something or you feel like you're not good enough or you're not doing something well, they are the moments to practice how you treat yourself. Ok. So on to my next tip, which is establishing healthy boundaries. It's all about bounding up when you are taking care of yourself and showing yourself self love.

Remember that boundaries protect your physical, emotional and mental well being. So it's really important to establish boundaries around yourself and that those boundaries are important when it comes to your friendships, your kids, your family, um and your work and you first off asked, have to ask yourself what boundaries are really important to you that you're breaking right now and you can go and pause this episode if you like and, and write down what are the, what are the boundaries that you, that you need to have up that you're not currently doing and get really straight with yourself? Be really honest with yourself for some of you that are beginning to get into workouts.

Are you, are you prioritizing those 30 minutes enough? Are they as non negotiables in your calendar? Is the door wide open? Are you allowing people to interrupt your workouts? Are you allowing the phone to go off in your sessions? And if you don't mind that that's fine. But what I used to do um is I did mind it, but I did let people in which meant that I wasn't prioritizing myself. And that was another clear sign to me that one of my action steps was showing me that I wasn't respecting and loving myself enough because I didn't have the boundaries and I was getting irritated by people doing what I didn't want them to do. However, I hadn't expressed anything. So it's a work in progress.

Sometimes I have these boundaries and then I let them slip a little bit. But if you want to just take care of yourself and give yourself a little bit of respect and build up yourself love, then then start with boundaries. Where do you need to boundary up? I got rid of whatsapp. I felt that that was in too much intrusive on my boundaries. I don't like whatsapp at all. Um I have all notifications off on my phone. Um If I'm going to work, I make sure that I work where I can't be interrupted. However, I do have to check in with this every single day because my boundaries can slip quite often. But what are your boundaries?

So first off, we're going to practice self love. We're going to get more into self love while you're focusing on being fit and healthy. So first off, we're going to improve our self talk and remember that when things are going wrong, that's when you want to practice it the most, then you're going to start building in some boundaries. And I want you to spend your day to day taking a look at where you need to boundary up and just think, ok, I need a boundary up. And then I also want you to start thinking my third tip is to start embracing self acceptance. I want you to get into this mind space mindset of accepting yourself as you are everything as you are, your imperfections, your flaws, your uniqueness, everything that you are your body.

And although we, we love to strive to be fit and healthy, I also would love you to look at your body and love your body and every part of you and understand that it's carried you this far and that it's been through so much and that all the marketing stuff and the advertisements about a bigger booty, a smaller waist, a smaller stomach and all these advertising campaigns subtle and not so subtle that are letting us know that we're not enough are just taking our power away. And I love to think of myself as a human being. And that makes me feel so much more alive and thinking of myself as a human being, an intelligent human being, keeps the pressure off the physicality side of being a female and all the pressures that come with that.

I think of myself as a wonderful human being on this planet earth developing and growing. And when you take away the the the pressures of the female to conform and to like pluck this and tweak this and do that and to look younger and to wear makeup and to do all these sorts of things if you don't want to do that, I want you to know that you don't have to do that, you know. And it's, again, it's like a daily thing that we have to remind ourselves with. I started feeling a little bit of pressure there a while ago.

Because I'm very front facing on camera and I've been through a big journey with accepting myself and loving myself. However, it is something that I have to work I get every day because I have to look at my body every single day when I'm uploading my workouts and when I'm in the front of camera. So I was thinking to myself and I've never been a big fan of makeup or kind of changing my face. Um But I decided there a couple of weeks ago, you're going to laugh at this. This sounds really silly, but I decided a couple of weeks ago to get my eyebrows and eyelashes tinted. I was like, well, look, I don't really like wearing makeup.

So why don't I get my eyelashes and eyebrows tinted? So I look kind of a little bit more camera ready. Um But it means that I can still feel like myself because I like a little bit of makeup, but I, I prefer to not wear makeup. So why am I not wearing makeup then? Maybe I feel a little bit of pressure too. So anyway, I arrived up and I chickened out of the eyebrow tint, even though I've got some gray eyebrows and stuff, I just couldn't go ahead with it. But I told her to give me an eyelash tint. And that was like the day before two days before we had arrived in Spain. And I was literally so upset afterwards and all it was was an eyelash tint, but I couldn't look at myself in the mirror for ages afterwards. I felt so upset.

I felt so untrue to who I was. I felt so different. I felt like my eyes were all black and weird and I felt like I was showing up as a completely different person and not one that I wanted to be. And I couldn't recognize myself in the mirror. I know this might sound really silly, but it really upset me that I couldn't recognize myself in the mirror. So I finally confessed all this to Joe the other day. Like it was on the first day that we had arrived, like we'd slept the night, woken up the next day. He was like, well, why did you go and get that eyelash tint? And I was like, well, I didn't really want to, but I just kind of thought that I had to because I'm thinking now that I'm more on camera that I need to kind of, you know, keep improving how I look.

And he's like, well, do you want that? Like, no, but you know, that's kind of what you do, isn't it as a woman? And he's like, well by who, or is it the thing that maybe you, you want to go in a different direction, maybe you want to lead and show people that it's ok to not wear makeup or to wear makeup or just to be themselves and to show up whoever way you want. And oh, it was just another life lesson straight away. It was like, here I go. Here. I was thinking that I needed to do this. The pressures of being a female can be so subtle. You don't even realize them creeping up on you and me showing up on camera every day and subtly through trolls, not so subtle feeling like I needed to improve. I needed to change going and getting an eyelash tint and an eyebrow tint booked because I thought that I had to because I thought that's what you do. I don't need to do any of that. I don't need to do any of that.

I can just show up and be myself and however I want to show up, however, the way I feel looks good to me um is the most important thing. So yeah, sorry for that little tang going off on that tangent there. My next tip is to celebrate your accomplishments. I think it's time for all of us when we are going through this chapter of our lives to just forget about the things that we're not doing. So well, especially, you know, we're going, going to be going through the menopause or some of you are going through the menopause and you're going to have brain fog and maybe forget things and like there's no point feeling hard on ourselves for anything.

Let's just celebrate accomplishments, celebrate and acknowledge what you're doing. Well, achievements, big and small and taking pride in them and giving yourself credit for your efforts and for your growth. Life really is too short to be concerning yourself about all the things that you feel you're not doing well. Why not forget about your weaknesses and focus on all the things that you're doing really well. And yes, there'll be areas that you love to improve on, but focus on them with a simple mindset shift of just focusing on improving them and getting better at them and just letting go of the things that you don't feel so good. So, so, so, so good with it's back to this showing up as the true you as the person you are uniquely you.

I promise you if you set boundaries and if you start to notice your negative self talk and start to practice talking to yourself in a more kind and compassionate way. And then if you put some boundaries up and focus on a couple of key action steps that are going to help you feel really good and fit and healthy, I promise you you're going to feel really good you're gonna feel really good because you're going to move from this dietary restriction focused on food, being hard on yourself, giving out to yourself, giving out about how you look and how you are to coming into this lovely place of self acceptance where you start to love yourself.

And when you start to love yourself, and when you start to get into this place of self acceptance, you then automatically start to nourish yourself a little bit better and you start to focus on your health from a really kind of cool way. You're much more positive about it. You're like, well, I actually kind of really like myself. So I'm going to work out and I'm going to eat well and drink water because I love myself and no longer am I going to spend time jumping up and down on those fucking weighing scales? And no longer am I going to spend time looking in the mirror thinking? I'm not good enough, good enough for who be careful about who you are thinking? You're not good enough for, for me with my eyelash tint.

I was getting these messages that I wasn't good enough. I'm getting these trolls because I'm growing on tiktok and youtube and social media platforms. Of course, trolls are going to start coming after me and calling me fat and ugly and all these kind of things. Do I let that affect me or do I work on my self love and rise up and continue to be the person that I I am, that I am and life gets so much better when we drop all the stuff that has been bombarded onto us or put onto us. Life gets so much better when we move from thinking how we should look to how we look to how we look and loving ourselves from the inside out. I promise you if you are struggling with your self care, if you are struggling to become fit and healthy, just draw a line.

Turn over your page in your journal and just start from fresh. What are your three nonnegotiable, healthy habits? For me, it's always the three Ws: workout, walk and water. They are my baseline, foundational action steps from there. Work on your negative self talk from there, put up boundaries next up, notice how you talk to yourself and become kind and compassionate to yourself. And the last thing accept yourself as you are right now and get into this lovely state of self acceptance. And when we as women start to accept ourselves and love ourselves, we start to open ourselves up to having more fun, to having more enjoyment in our lives and to being able to show up fully as ourselves. 

Well, I really hope you enjoyed this podcast episode. And if you just got one thing from this episode, I would be absolutely delighted. Please do let me know how you get on with this and if you enjoyed it and if you know a friend who would need to hear this or love to hear this, then please do it, send it on to them all my love and have a wonderful day. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and you must let me know by getting in touch. 

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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