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You're really welcome here today and thank you so much for being here.

I want to chat to you today about the secrets to getting fit and the common misconceptions out there about what it is to be fit and get fit with the outcome being in this episode that if you're struggling to exercise, you're struggling to work out that I want to really help you on your journey to becoming really consistent.

Getting consistent with exercise is one of the most amazing, powerful things you can do for yourself.

I know I've done so many episodes so far.

And the benefits of exercise.

But they are just amazing.

It is my firm belief that everything good starts from exercise.

The one habit of working out consistently transforms you and it makes all the other healthy habits much, much easier to do.

They come much more naturally to you when you're exercising, as opposed to when you're not, you're fit, you're calm, you're in control, you're more productive.

So, with that in mind, let's dive straight into the secret to getting fit isn't what you think.

And what a lot of us think when we're starting in our fitness journey or when we think about the idea of getting fit, I always imagine seeing a woman in a park really struggling with a run or seeing somebody really struggling in a, in a, in a, in a boot camp class or a workout class.

I used to always think of workouts and exercise as being breathless, feeling unfit, really a real negative experience, a really, really negative experience.

And what a lot of us do is we think of exercise as something that we have to get right, something that we have to do properly.

We've got to lift heavy weights, we've got to get breathless so that we become fit so that we won't be breathless anymore.

And every single thing that we do in terms of fitness has to be a struggle and a challenge or else it's not, we're not getting fit and this is where so many people fall off and stop exercising because we start exercise after maybe having been away from it for a long time and we get stuck in and we want to do the best we possibly can.

And all these negative things come back.

We get breathless.

We, we struggle, we push, we pull and sooner or later we want to stop.

Now, this has happened to me over and over again in the years that it took me to become fit and healthy and how inconsistent I was, I spent so much wasted time thinking of getting fit as exactly how I just described.

I remember so well, me trying to get fit after just being so unhealthy, I'd finished college, I'd come back from Paris.

I wanted to get healthy.

I was just all work.

I had no balance and I was really, really unhealthy overweight, eating too much food.

And I remember when I moved to Galway trying to get into jogging in Salt Hill, I started at the Claddagh and just the pain, the sweat, the stitch being really breathless and thinking it was just horrific.

And I think I lasted about 20 minutes and at the end of the 20 minutes, I said, ok, well, look, it's done.

And I tried to go a couple of days later and the experience that I had was just so bad that I didn't want to go back.

And it was the same with the countless amount of times I joined the gym as well.

I'd go to the gym, I'd put the treadmill or the cross trainer on the highest setting I'd sweat really hard.

I would think workout done after about 20 minutes.

And then I would never want to go back.

And I always associated that with getting fit really sweaty, really tough and really out of breath the whole time.

I'm here to tell you that it's not about that at all.

And if you are struggling to get fit, that, I want you to know that in order for you to get fit, you have to become consistent.

And that act, in actual fact, consistency is better than the workout itself.

Consistency is better than the workout itself.

So the real question is how do you get consistent?

And this is where again, so many people fall off because a lot of us think that to get consistent, we need a lot of motivation when actually to get consistent.

We need discipline.

And there's so many things I want to share with you about this.

The first one being that if you agree with me that it's about consistency and it's not actually about the workouts, it's about consistency with the workout.

So it doesn't really matter how the workout goes.

You could do a five minute workout, a 10 minute workout, a 30 minute workout.

You can lift weights or follow along a workout with no weights in your hands.

But it's actually the showing up part in the first few months.

That is way more important than the actual workout itself.

Because when you think about it, you're building the habit of exercise, you're moving your body, that's the most important thing.

And then you can move on to potentially improving your actual workout session.

Or if you start with 10 minute workouts, then you can move on to 30 minute workouts when you're ready.

So if you're in agreement with me, now that it's actually to become consistent with your workouts is more important than the actual workout.

Then the real question is, how do we get consistent?

And what we don't do is we don't let ourselves think that motivation is going to bring us consistency.

What is going to bring us consistency is discipline and I want to share with you um the official definition of motivation.

Um and this is by the um Cambridge willpower.

Willpower.

So willpower is um a very strong determination to do something.

I know I've got the willpower to do it.

Joan attempts to stop smoking by willpower.

Joan attempts to lose weight by healthy eating.

Now, will power is something that will get you started.

And willpower and motivation is the natural human drive to achieve something.

And it's, it's your why at the very beginning, I want to lose weight because I don't feel great in photographs.

Now, that's definitely enough to get you started.

But motivation doesn't last forever.

Milk willpower doesn't last forever.

No matter how much you want something, it's an absolutely scientifically temporary effect created by the brain to boost you in the right direction.

Isn't that so fascinating?

However many of us myself included, rely on willpower, rely on motivation because we don't know any differently.

And that's what happens when, you know, I hear so many people say, and I've done it myself as well.

I'm great in the first couple of weeks and then I always seem to stop.

And to me that's somebody not quite recognizing yet that that's because they had willpower, they had motivation at the beginning.

But when that goes for scientific reasons, it leaves your brain and you haven't built up or learned how to become disciplined, then you're going to stop.

Now.

I absolutely love knowing this because it really does quieten and silence your loud, negative inner voice that tells you here you go again.

And when you hear yourself, say that to yourself, the next time you start something rather than think here I go again.

I'm being so lazy.

You can think to yourself.

This is actually my willpower leaving.

This is just science, willpower and motivation.

Only last roughly about three weeks.

I want my, I'm going to get my self discipline to kick in.

So if you agree with me at this point, that consistency is better than the workout itself.

And then the next step for you is to agree with me that we get consistent through self-discipline, not motivation or willpower.

Then I want to share with you what the definition of self-discipline is.

Now, I want to give you two definitions.

One is in the Cambridge dictionary, the other is in the Collins dictionary.

So this is the Cambridge dictionary, self-discipline.

The ability to make yourself do things, you know, you should do even when you do not want to, the ability to make yourself do things, you know, you should do even when you do not want to.

Now, I think that definition is pretty good, but I just don't like the word should.

I don't think we should have to really do anything in terms of what I'm talking about anyway, fitness and health.

We want to get fit and healthy because we want to not because we feel like we should.

So I'm not such a huge fan of that word should in there, but I still think it's a really good definition.

And then the Collins is one is the Collins Dictionary is self discipline is the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do.

I'm just going to repeat that self discipline is the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do.

I like that too.

Not such a big fan of the work hard.

But yeah, behave in a particular way.

So, self-discipline is absolutely.

What is going to get you where you want to be?

Discipline creates your habits, habits make your routines and your routines become who you are.

Isn't that amazing?

And I'm just going to say it one more time because when I first read it, I wanted to reread it over and over again because I just loved it.

So much discipline creates habits, habits, make routines and routines become who you are.

Discipline, helps us train our minds and body and enables us to focus on our goals and to regulate our emotions.

It's like a muscle, the more you train it, the stronger you become a self-discipline is really, really cool and it has brought so much joy into my life.

Now, the old version of me would have looked at self discipline and self disciplined people as very negative.

They're restricting their dieting.

And I just know that now to be so not true, that discipline brings around such joy.

I mean, even that description that it helps us train our minds and bodies that we're not controlled by our thoughts that our bodies aren't these really overweight, unhealthy things that we have to look around, that we've, we've trained them, we've trained our mind, we've trained our bodies and therefore that enables us to focus on our goals and being disciplined also helps us regulate our emotions it's just so amazing.

And I just want to give you some examples because I've gone from a very undisciplined.

I've been a very undisciplined person to a very disciplined person.

And I want to just give you a couple of examples of when I was very undisciplined.

And the first one I want to start off with is the morning time.

So as a very undisciplined person, the morning times were very, very stressful and very, very emotional for me.

I used to wake up in the morning, really stressed out that it was the morning again.

I felt like I had spent the whole day before trying to feel, ok, trying to get to that place where I felt, ok.

And I would just about manage it when the evening time rolled around and I was sitting down after a long day that I would get that dread, that pit in my feeling stomach, that really scary feeling.

I just felt terrified about going to bed because I knew going to bed meant that I would have to face up to the next day and do it all over again.

So I would wake up in the morning, extremely stressed out and feeling like, oh my God, what's going to happen today?

How am I going to cope with today?

I'm just scared and tired of the emotional roller coaster that I knew I was about to face and I was very, very cranky in the morning, Joe used to find it very hard to talk to me and he was saying to me like what's wrong and I knew I would be feeling so cranky and kind of nobody talked to me and just feeling like I had these barriers up.

But I couldn't even put it into words.

I didn't even know what it was back then.

But it was a lack of discipline.

It was a lack of discipline in my life.

I had no regulation over my emotions.

I had no training of my mind.

I was unhealthy as well.

And my morning times were extremely stressful.

Another example that I want to give you about how, um, a lack of self discipline was in my life was back when I owned the gym, the gym on the Tune Road in Galway.

I owned a women's only gym gym.

I'm all online now.

Um, and for some of the years it was really, really stressful owning that gym.

You know, we had a team of five of us and a really, really big facility.

I'm brutal when it comes to knowing square footages and all that.

But I think it was about 2500 square foot.

It was right slap bang on the Tune Road.

The rates were huge.

The rent was huge and financially we had to work super, super hard to make sure that it was in profit.

And one year when my kids were still really small, um, our tap leaked in the kitchen and just overnight and it went everywhere and it leaked down into the under, into the downstairs of our neighbors downstairs who also had a business and I was, we kind of cleaned up all the stuff anyway.

And it didn't look like there was too much damage.

It didn't look like there was very much damage at all.

Actually.

Um, downstairs when the owner brought us down to it, we went down to him, of course, and we looked around and he was ok.

But a couple of months later anyway, when it was coming close to Christmas time, when gyms always get a little bit quieter, um, financially, things were really, really tight and we were trying to run a really tight ship.

It's very difficult to get new clients in the door, um, around Christmas time.

Of course, because a lot of people wait for January and I walked into work one day and there was a letter there waiting for me and it was that downstairs were suing us for a huge amount of money and I, my legs just gave way and I bawled my eyes out crying and I was just completely out of control and I spent the next couple of weeks really so hyper stressed out that all I could do was sit in front of the computer when I was in work privately or in front of Joe and just cry, just cry and just almost wish for like new people to come in the door just to wish that things could be different just to wish for something good to happen.

And I look back now really kindly and compassionately to the person that I was back then because I had no idea how to process things or how to deal with challenges that come your way, which now I know they're always going to come your way.

You can't escape challenges.

And that example, the way I behaved was the way I behaved.

Any time a challenge came my way, crying, desperate, I would freeze, moved away from even 1% thinking of what I could do about it.

And solution focused to just overwhelm, stressed out, anxious, frozen.

And there are so many stories I have of the gym with situations like that because it was such a difficult time in my life.

But that was the way I always handled my problems.

And I realize now there was such a lack of discipline in my life.

I had such an inability.

I just didn't have the tools back then because you can, you can learn everything to handle things, to tackle things, to focus on solutions, to come up with solutions, to regulate my emotions, to manage my emotions so that I could step into a leadership role.

Um so that I could also compartmentalize things and still enjoy my home life.

But everything just was chaotic and all the challenges in my life just fed into my whole life.

If there was a problem in the gym, there was a problem in my whole life and that's all changed for me now.

And it's down thankfully to discipline that I've created and how I've learned about discipline, which I'm going to share with you.

Um, and another example of a lack of discipline is, is all those long days in the gym that I would just find so stressful.

I used to just find the whole financial side of the gym really, really stressful.

Um because the rate and the rates and rent were so high, everything was just operating on such a high level.

You know, you have to take in a huge amount of members all the time, make sure that everything was just run so tightly.

And Arthur and Emily, I mean, Arthur was only Emily was just born in 2015 when we moved into that place.

So I was really two tiny babies, a one year old and Emily just been born and we had just moved into our new house.

So it was just such a stressful time every single day.

I used to drive by Apple Green on my way home on the Tomb Road and just go in there and get like a bucket of the chicken that you get in the Chinese place in Apple Green.

I can't remember the name of it and just sit in the car and drive home.

And eat it and just take comfort from the food.

Or I would go and I'd get a kit kat and a packet of crisps or two spring rolls or anything that I felt just to eat my emotions because I didn't know how to regulate them.

And I had no discipline in my life.

I was unhealthy, unhappy, stressed out and anxious and I didn't know how to tackle challenges and I didn't know actually that you could have challenges in your life and still be happy that you can face all these things and still actually have peace and calm inside of you.

And that's what self discipline brings to you.

Um I would skip workouts because I wasn't in the mood and I, I actually part of me thought that's the way you did it.

Well, I'm not in the mood to work out today, so I'll do that tomorrow now that I understand about discipline and the importance of not doing that because you need to be proving to yourself all the time that when you say you're going to do something, you do it because that really um builds your self confidence in yourself.

And it really makes you believe that you're becoming a disciplined person.

And when you believe you're becoming a different disciplined person, you then become more disciplined because you're so proud of yourself.

So it just has this wonderful knock on effect and an effect that I never had for.

Absolutely years.

It's only been in the recent years that I have truly transformed.

And the last example that I want to give you about a lack of discipline and the impact it had on me is that I couldn't eat anything sugary or sweet or unhealthy without overeating.

It would just set me off.

And I would say like, oh God, I'm just, you know, one and I'm all or nothing and these throwaway kind of flippant remarks and, you know, there's so much hurt and pain for a lot of people when they're actually saying they're very all or nothing.

It's a really horrible way to feel that you are and it's not how you're born, you're not an all or nothing person, you're either hurting and you need to heal.

You're using food as comfort, you're in pain somehow.

You don't know how to change that behavior.

But it is a behavior and it's not you and who you are.

Um So be so gentle with yourself around that kind of all or nothing, I'm all or nothing because as humans, we're not designed to have one biscuit and then eat the whole pack.

We're not, it's not inside of us.

We're not born that way to just bang five packets of crisps because I've had one where discipline will really help you actually be able to eat healthy and eat unhealthy things in moderation, things that bring us joy, like desserts and lovely things like that.

You really, and truly can get to a place where you have discipline.

And I want to just say to you one thing about discipline that there's many people I know from my old life that I think, look at me sometimes and think that I am restricting and controlling myself when actually it couldn't be further from the truth.

And most people that I see trapped in a cycle of binging and eating and overeating and drinking too much alcohol.

They are actually the really unhappy ones and that's how I was for absolutely years.

And discipline can bring you so much joy and happiness and it can help you feel really good about yourself.

And if you want to be healthy, which I think everybody does deep down, I think everybody wants to be healthy.

And if you agree with me that you want to be healthy, then I really encourage you not to look at being disciplined as something to be embarrassed about or as something to hide, which is something I did at the beginning of my journey when I found out through writing out my avatar, through writing at the person that I wanted to become, that I wanted to be disciplined.

And I hear this a lot with, with my clients.

Um, so some of my clients have told me and me in the past too that when they're going around to visit people, they, they're too embarrassed to say no or they're in work and they're offered little of sweets that they don't want to be seen as the person on a diet or restricting.

Well, if you're not on a diet and you're not restricting and all it is is you being disciplined that you love being fit and healthy.

You love how your body feels in clothes or you want your, you want to feel good in your clothes that these are really positive things, being healthy and being trim and being fit and having strong muscles is really positive.

And in my opinion, to be that person, you need to show self discipline.

So don't be embarrassed or shy about going around to your sisters or your friend's house and them offering you something and you really want to say no, say no thanks.

And rather than kind of no thanks.

Apologize and come up with some excuse or reason like, oh, I'm watching my weight.

Maybe you're not, maybe you don't want to say it like that.

Maybe it's like, no thanks and just leave it at that.

They say why, what's wrong with you just say I just don't want it.

You don't have to tell people why.

And if people want to assume that it's because you're watching your weight or something really old fashioned and less empowering than that.

Let them, you are practicing the art of self discipline.

You are taking control of the health of your body, of your mind.

You're building, you're flexing that muscle, you're gaining confidence with every, every time you say no, when you want to say no.

And last thing just be really proud of yourself, be proud to say no, thanks.

Ok.

So I want to share with you how to become disciplined.

Ok.

So I just want to pull it up here.

Um And I have it written down in my steps here.

Um So how to become disciplined in seven steps between five and seven steps.

So the best way to gain discipline, number one is to know your strengths and weaknesses.

When you understand what you excel at easily in and you understand where you're going to struggle, you're going to be able to set a much better plan for yourself based on you and your strengths and your weaknesses.

Step number two is to remove temptations initially in that very beginning new phase when you want to work out and eat healthy and you struggle, remove the temptation from your house.

It is the only way it is.

The only way you'll get disciplined, you'll learn discipline.

You'll become, it'll become easier for you to eat healthy.

But why set yourself up?

Why?

Say to yourself, oh, well, look, the kids like a treat.

Oh, well, look, my husband just ask them if they love you, they will be your biggest cheerleader and if they don't want to help you, then, then you need to have a serious conversation with them about how important it is to you.

So step number three is to set clear goals and have an an execution plan.

So what is it that you actually want?

I want to be fit and healthy.

I really discourage you to write down any weight loss goal or anything like that.

I want to be fit and healthy.

So your execution plan is OK.

Well, what, what does that look like in terms of your action steps for me?

Not for anything I've seen on the internet or somebody, something's told me to do.

But how many workouts per week for that is good for me.

How many walks?

What's my guideline around the water?

Follow my five step framework.

PMS have action steps on your physical movement, your accountability and support your hydration, your mental health and your self care action steps.

That's going to give you a wonderful holistic approach around your health.

Too many of us think of our health as just fitness and nutrition, fitness and nutrition.

And then we get obsessed.

It gets boring, drop it.

Whereas health is so much more than that, it's about reducing anxiety, reducing stress, loving yourself, creating boundaries, making connections, exercising, eating healthy, drinking water.

So if you've, if you're working on all these disciplines in the week and you have a week where you, you might work out well, you're still focusing on connections, water, food.

But when you're just so laser focused on food or exercise, and you might have a week where things didn't go your way with the food and exercise, you all of a sudden feel like you're failing with your health.

Whereas you may have met up with your friends twice a week and laughed so much, your belly hurt, you may have drank water and you may have gotten to bed on time with a good book that is health.

So you need to be super, super clear about what it means to you to be healthy.

What does it mean for you?

OK.

So next thing is to practice self-discipline while you're creating your new habits and rituals.

So first of all, just practicing discipline every day, which for me involves being really aware of myself and observing myself around all the times that I'll be triggered.

Like if I'm with somebody and they ask me, do I want a dessert with my coffee self-discipline for me?

Is is, is saying no thanks and stopping speaking and not saying no thanks.

I'm just trying to just, no thanks.

Why am I giving you a reason?

No, thanks.

If you offered me a sandwich, you wouldn't be like, why, why, why, why, why if you want to reduce alcohol and you're in a book club or you're doing something nice for yourself?

And somebody says, do you want a glass of wine?

You don't need to say no thank you because I'm driving.

No, there's no thank you.

I'd love a sparkling water though.

Oh Right.

Why are you not drinking?

I just don't want to and leave it at that.

And I know the temptation is to keep on speaking because you feel so bad, especially if you're a people pleaser.

You don't have to do any of that.

And then you're practicing discipline and you're also, you're not just practicing the discipline of saying no, thank you.

You're also practicing the discipline of not people pleasing, which gets pretty brilliant when you practice it over the weeks and over the months, create new habits and new rituals.

So if you're always meeting or doing something that is unhealthy, don't do it anymore.

And I know that sounds easier than it is, but create new rituals, create new habits.

When myself and Joe first gave up alcohol, our rituals kind of stayed the same.

Like we would still go out the first time.

We went out after giving up alcohol, we went out at half eight at night and it was horrific.

We went to a bar um because we, you know, we didn't really know what else to do and we just sat there and had waters and a nice chat, but it was too noisy, it was too loud and we were around everybody that was drinking and then we went for a meal at nine o'clock and it was too noisy and it was too loud as a person that doesn't drink anymore.

It's so much more fun for me to go out at lunch time or to go out early in the evening and then get home early, get into my jamma pajamas and still have enough time to have a hot chocolate and to sit and relax and watch something on the TV.

I love that.

That might be somebody else's worst nightmare.

So come up with new rituals and remind yourself you don't have to do the same thing if it's not working for you anymore.

And if you don't enjoy something, maybe it's time to stop doing it, create new rituals, create new habits that are going to help you become the person that you want to become and um understand and change your perception about willpower and lastly be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Discipline again, isn't another stick to beat yourself with becoming self disciplined.

Isn't like right.

That's it.

I understand.

I'm going to be self disciplined.

Bang perfection all or nothing back to square one because you think you can't be disciplined.

Don't we all do that as women?

It's such a female thing to do that.

OK.

Thank you.

I'm going to be disciplined bang.

It's not working.

I'm not disciplined.

Oh God, I'm being so um I'm being so I'm being so bad.

Here I go again.

No, it takes practice and the very word practice should conjure up for you.

Setbacks, setbacks while you get good practice means practicing something you want to get good at.

So if you want to get good at it.

Allow yourself all the setbacks and challenges it takes for you to become the person you want to be.

Only a few years ago.

I was so unhealthy, walking around with a flushed face, drinking too much overeating every night, eating sugar every night, overweight, uncomfortable in my clothes.

Self esteem at rock bottom.

A constant pit in my stomach feeling like on the verge of a panic attack.

Now, I didn't go and get a brain transplant.

I worked on myself and even the word work sounds hard.

I just practiced these things that I'm sharing with you.

Now, you still go about your day the same.

However, you start to become aware of what you want to change and you move towards changing it, allowing yourself setbacks and challenges along the way.

I want to remind you that um where did I put it?

Now?

I want to remind you that discipline creates habits.

OK.

So discipline creates habits, habits make routine and routines become who you are if you're not happy with yourself.

Now, if you're not happy with the way you are, if you want to be fit and healthy and you feel like you're outer body, your shell, who you look at in the mirror, you don't recognize that person start your journey of becoming who you want to become and don't take your setbacks to mean anything other than you're just in practice mode.

You have got this, I am so so proud of you.

And I really hope you enjoyed this episode.

If you did come on and share with me your thoughts over on Instagram, you can find me.

My Instagram handle is just Jessica Cook.

Have a wonderful day and thanks 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.

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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