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Hi, how are you doing? Welcome to today's podcast episode. I'm really, really happy to be here.

I love chatting to you on my podcast.

It's my favourite platform to be on a little bit of a struggle to do other bits of content like um uh Instagram and other platforms.

But I love this.

I feel like it's a much more intimate, real chat and I love how you guys are chatting back to me and letting me know how, what you felt about each episode and sharing with me your thoughts.

It's just wonderful.

We're building up such an amazing community here and it's wonderful for me to know that there's so many of you out there that feel similarly to I do.

Um So what I, what I really wanted to chat to you about in today's episode is about your self worth and I want to just ask you straight out is your self worth tied into your weight.

And the reason I want to ask you that is because of what I've been going through over the past couple of weeks ever since I got injured.

Um I got injured a couple of weeks ago, I hurt my back in my sleep.

I think I had a nightmare and whatever way I jerked it, I really woke up in absolute agony.

So I went to my physio.

You guys are probably so bored of this story by now and um I, I, I'm off workouts for a couple of weeks and I just have to take it a little bit easy just until I fully recover.

So I don't relapse and I love working out so, so much that I'm just taking the words of the physio extremely seriously.

Um Because I just love, love moving so much and being injured has really showed me and taught me how important movement is.

I know that sounds so obvious.

Um But it, it really is.

When it's taken away from you, you realize just how wonderful movement is and exercise is.

Um It's just such a wonderful, powerful tool to feel good.

So I, as you know, struggled with my weight for many years, even when I was a kid fitness coach, I struggled with my weight for a long time.

Always trying to lose weight, always having really unhealthy habits, um, alongside my healthy habits.

So I would go through phases where I would be fits, but I would still be eating a lot of unhealthy food and turning to alcohol to unwind.

And this was me for years, healthy habits, living alongside really unhealthy habits, drinking way too much wine at the weekends, eating really unhealthy food.

Finding it really difficult to make dinner my last meal and not eat sugary foods.

And on and on, I went until I figured out how to actually get healthy, to stay healthy, to become consistent.

And I got into shape.

I got fit and healthy.

And for the first time in my life, I, I'm healthy, I'm, I'm healthy, I'm consistently fit and healthy and it feels great and I work out three times a week and I also walk.

So I would lift weights three times a week with my clients online.

And then I also do walking and I feel I felt great.

I felt really, really good.

And then I got injured and it's only been a few weeks, nearly three weeks.

And I haven't been able to, to, to work out.

And I have realized that I, I found it very triggering to go back into the low self esteem that I have had for years, I have had really low self esteem all my life.

Um And one of the reasons has been because I have been overweight and my clothes have been really tight and it has really affected my self esteem.

However, I have been working on my self esteem and my confidence and my self love.

As I have worked on my physical body and exercise and eating healthy.

And I got to a place where I felt really, really good and really confident in how I looked for myself.

And then when I got injured and I wasn't able to work out, I realized hang on a second, Jessica, you have work to do.

I found the whole idea of not being able to exercise really triggering.

I've caught it and that's exactly what I want to share with you today.

I started to feel unconfident again and my self esteem started to drop and there's a few reasons behind that, which I wanted to share with you.

Um And just give you a little gentle reminder today to, to separate out your self worth and your body.

This is a really important topic, a sensitive topic.

I find it a little bit difficult to talk about and lay my soul out there.

Um But a very important topic and you know what, I've only just finished watching Supermodels with Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista, Christy Charton and Naomi Campbell over on Apple TV.

I found it absolute, absolutely brilliant.

And they also spoke about your self worth being tied into your looks.

And then Linda Evangelista goes on to explain, I'm sure you guys know about.

That's one of the reasons why she went and did that fat reducing uh procedure on her body that actually caused her to gain fat.

And um she, she was very insightful about the reasons that she was drawn into doing that in the first place.

So what I want to do, first of all is describe to you um I have it written down here, what self worth is.

Um I, I found a really good description of what self worth that I want to tell you what it is.

So self-worth often referred to as self esteem or self-respect is a fundamental aspect of a person's psychology and emotional well being.

It is the value and regard that individuals have for themselves, the belief in their own worthiness and their perception of their own intrinsic value as human beings.

In essence, self worth is the foundation of one's self concept and self identity shaping how individuals view and treat themselves.

Isn't that so interesting?

And the relationship between self-worth and one's body image and weight can be really significant although it varies from person to person.

And this is the piece that I find so fascinating.

Your body image, body image refers to your perception and evaluation of your own physical appearance, including your size shape and overall attractiveness.

When self-worth is closely tied to body image, your self-esteem may rise or fall based on how you perceive your physical appearance.

For example, if you believe that you have an ideal body, your self worth might be really high because you feel attractive.

Um or else you feel low when you perceive flaws.

Also, if you have a positive self worth, somebody with a positive self worth may have a more stable and positive body image, accepting their imperfections without undue stress.

So tying self worth to weight involves attaching your value as a person to the body weight or size.

And this is what I want to chat about because this has been what I've noticed has happened to me since I haven't worked out in a few weeks.

I've stopped myself, but I started to look at myself in the mirror again.

In a really critical way.

I started to get really obsessive about how my stomach was looking and I started to get really worried about showing up on camera again and doing my workouts.

Um When I was able to go and do the workouts, I noticed that when I was looking in the mirror, I started to call myself bad names again and see myself as fat.

And all those negative things started coming back for me.

I started to feel really low.

I started to be super kind of vigilant about my body looking at it in a very critical, harsh way.

Um, I started worrying about it changing and getting softer.

Um, and I started worrying, I suppose about how I would be perceived when I got back to my workouts.

Another thing that I started doing, um, was I started to get really worried about food.

Um, and this is, this is hard for me to admit, but I have to be honest, um, that I'm only human and that I struggle too and I just find the whole thing.

So interesting when, when exercise is taken away from you, are you strong enough?

Have you healed your relationship enough with your body to still love yourself and be kind and gentle or is there work to do still?

And I found out that there is definitely still work I need to do.

Um which I am turning the whole episode of hurting my back into a positive one because this has thrown up so many things for me that I thought were fully resolved.

However, they've made me realize I have lots of work to do.

So I've written out here tying your self worth to your weight involves attaching your value as a person to your body weight or size now because I was overweight for so many years.

The excitement of being fit and healthy and feeling toned and feeling good in my clothes has been amazing and to be able to do all that without dieting and calorie counting and being restrictive on my food and working out for hours to actually healing my relationship with food and working out three times a week, um, just for 30 minutes lifting weights and, and having that whole mindset transformation has just been incredible.

I have loved every minute of feeling good in my clothes, so I didn't realize it.

But I also, I have been attaching my self worth to how I feel.

I look and for you listening, just to let you know that your self worth tying it into your, your weight can manifest itself in many ways.

And I have, I have a couple of examples for you here.

So weight loss is validation.

So some people, you may believe that losing weight is the only way to prove your worth.

And this may lead to unhealthy dieting or exercise habits.

Now, that may be for some of you that get validation from, I don't know your partner or your parents or your friends that say to you, you look amazing.

Oh my God.

Have you lost weight?

And you just get so addicted to that feeling that you tie in your self worth to your weight.

Um It may manifest itself in weight gain as failure and this is kind of the trap that I've been falling into that.

I'm not gaining weight, but I'm noticing just little tiny changes from exercising.


It sounds terrible when I'm saying it out loud.

But I have to be honest, um So gaining weight may be viewed as a failure, causing feelings of shame and inadequacy.

Now, this resonates for me, this is what has been coming back for me.

Um Noticing that I've tied in my self worth to how I feel.

I look which I feel I fit well in my clothes and I feel fit um that my changing body because of being injured.

I was noticing feelings of inadequacy and shame coming in and like, what are people going to think when I show up to my workouts?

And what if my stomach gets bigger and all these like devastating things that I would think about myself that I thought were healed, um perceived judgment.

So for some of you, you may tie your self worth to weight.

Um You may believe that others will judge you for your appearance and that can lead to a lot of social anxiety and insecurity.

So self worth linked to body image and weight, your sense of self esteem can become influenced by how you're perceived with your physical appearance and whether you meet societal or personal standards of beauty.

And this can lead leads to a cycle of self criticism, anxiety, potentially harmful behaviors in pursuit of your idealized body, all of which has a huge negative impact on your physical and emotional well being.

It's really important for me, it's really important for you to work towards um taking away and separating out decoupling your self worth from external factors, like appearance and weight and cultivating a sense of self worth based on qualities, values and accomplishments that can lead to greater resilience, self acceptance and overall well being.

So I've had a big epiphany if you want to call it or just a shock.

I suppose that all the, the stuff that I have been working on myself, like self love and accepting myself.

I've gone on a journey and I have a lot of self acceptance and self love.

But the second exercise was taken away from me.

I felt so triggered.

II I worried so much about having my treat nights that I enjoy so much at the weekend or like having an ice cream and all these things started coming back and I started to look at myself differently in the mirror and I started to like get obsessive about maybe my stomach getting a little bit bigger.

Um And I also then worried about what other people would think of me.

Yes, I did.

I, I worry about getting back into the workouts, not looking the way I did and people thinking bad things about me and, you know, I can't believe I'm admitting this, but it's good to share our struggles.

So for me these past few weeks and the next couple of weeks are going to be me um working on myself and I'm going to share with you the tips, the things that I'm doing now that are helping me once again, decouple, separate, take away my separate, my, my self worth from my physical appearance.

More important than ever us women over 40 who have, who are going through the menopause, going through the peri menopause.

Maybe you've been through the menopause more so important that we separate our self worth from our looks and from our body with all the hormonal changes.

So important that we separate it out.

So important that we realize that society and the idealized body type and body shape isn't accurate.

So important that we are open and honest that so many of us worry about how we look.

Our changing bodies are changing faces.

Um weight gain, it becomes easier to gain weight as we get older are are changing bodies.

And if you're so used to being trim or slim or you've recently lost weight or you've always like associated or identified with a fit looking person or you've always identified with a trim person and then sometimes menopause comes along or you get injured or maybe you're losing weight and you're self worth is low because you, you've weighted on, you're going to find things difficult, you're going to develop unhealthy habits and behaviors that are only going to make you feel bad.

So I suppose the question is how can we unpick all this and and continue to work, continue to unlock our self worth.

Um Genuine self worth, not pretend self-worth but genuine self worth.

So, when our hormonal changes and when changes happen in our body that we can still love ourselves and we might have little blips in the road the way I am having them now.

Um We, we, we'll get these lessons, we'll get things will happen to us.

Our bodies will change and these will be lessons that will show us that we still have work to do and let's do the work so that we love ourselves so much.

So how can we do that?

First off before I share with you my tips on the tips that I'm doing at the moment.

Um I want to share with you some of the negative consequences that will happen if you aren't separating out your self worth from your weight gain.

So you're going to have potentially some of you low self esteem.

This was me um tying your self worth into your weight.

You're going to experience low self esteem when you gain weight or your body changes and you're gonna feel you may be judging yourself constantly based on your appearance means that you're going to be feeling inadequate and that self criticism and that negative inner talk and that negative inner dialogue is just going to get so loud when your body changes and so loud when you gain a bit of weight and you're only going to feel ok when you feel like you are a certain size, um it may lead to depression feeling low when you're just not hitting that idealized body that you have for yourself, which can be really emotionally draining and disheartening.

Um It can lead to anxiety disorders.

So, anxiety building up in you because you're this, this expectation you have in yourself, you're gaining weight, your body is changing, um which can completely lead to anxiety.

Yes, box ticked for me, eating disorders um can can occur when you have your self worth tied into your weight.

Um These involve unhealthy behaviors related to food, weight and body image.

Um, perfectionist tendencies can come out which is really not great.

Tying yourself worth to your weight can lead to perfectionist tendencies where you may feel like you must meet these impossible standards.

So you get really perfectionist around your food habits, your exercise habits, your self-care habits, your healthy habits, and this can lead massively to chronic stress and obsessive behavior.

Um social isolation, some of you may not want to socialize because you don't feel like you physically look good, which means you're going to be losing out in connections which is awful.

Um, a reduced quality of life, your quality of life is just going to go down if you're constantly thinking about your body, if you're constantly thinking about your appearance, you are going to limit yourself and cut yourself off to enjoying the moment, enjoying a walk, enjoying your workout, enjoying food.

And I got a tiny glimpse of that over the past couple of weeks when I stopped enjoying food as much um dissatisfaction and, and, and, and unhappiness when even when you, you have achieved your goal weight, tying yourself worth to your weight is going to lead to just this persistent niggly dissatisfaction and unhappiness because the underlying issue of low self esteem remains unaddressed.

It's still there.

So, and, and last thing that I want to say, rigid thinking um and we've chatted about on this different, different episodes but all or nothing thinking black and white thinking um where your ideal weight is seen when you're not at your ideal weight is seen as a failure.

Um When I say weight, by the way, it's not the weighing scales, that's how you feel in your clothes.

Um So this rigid, rigidity, rigidity, um this black and white thinking this all or nothing thinking can lead you to just seeing things as bad or good, which is never good.

Um which isn't great for your mental health.

So if you have, these are the signs that your self esteem, your self worth is tied into your weight, you have a constant preoccupation with your weight.

So you're constantly thinking about your weight and your physical appearance, your mood fluctuates dependent on your weight.

So your mood is down when you, when you don't feel happy with your body and your mood is up when you do feel happy with your body, if you seek external validation.

So you're looking for the approval of validation of others regard regarding your appearance.

Um If you extreme diet or you extreme exercise, if you, if you do either of those things just to maintain a specific weight at all, at the expense of your physical or your mental health.

If you avoid social situations, if you compare yourself to others, if you've got very negative self talk, if you define success by weight loss, if you feel worthless or inadequate because you aren't fitting in your clothes, if you have difficulty accepting compliments, and if you avoid self care, you neglect self care practices that are unrelated to weight because you feel undeserving of self kindness and self compassion.



Mind blowing.

And such a really a food for thought.

You know, if you had said to me two weeks ago is your self worth tied into your weight?

I would have said, are you absolutely joking me?

I am fit and healthy and I have the best self esteem going now and then exercise gets ripped out from under me.

And all of a sudden I realize I have work to do on this.

Um There are 12 tips to help you decouple your um your self worth from your weight.

And I'll share with you all of the 12 tips and then the tips that I'm doing.

Um number one, practicing self compassion.

So treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend challenging your inner critic and replacing the negative self talk with positive talk.

Now, this has been a game changer for me.

It's so simple.

However, it's, it's something that you're able to do all of the time.

You know, you don't have to sit down with a self help book once every couple of weeks and say, right, that's it.

I'm working on this now.

You can put it into practice in your everyday life and it's something that I do all the time.

Observe your thoughts, challenge those thoughts and come up with a more empowering thought.

So if you catch yourself saying I'm fat, I'm ugly.

So would you talk to your friend like that?

No, you would be, you would be kind and gentle to your friend.

Challenge the thought, replace it with positive thought.

It helps so much and be careful with the words you use to describe yourself if you have a daughter or a mother or a sister or somebody you can think of as a female and just say to yourself like how would you feel if you heard them calling themselves that or would you ever call them that?

And the horror that I'm sure you will feel at the idea of calling somebody that or or um or thinking of somebody like that have that same amount of horror for yourself calling yourself that challenging your inner critic and replacing negative self talk with positive self talk is huge.

It sounds really simple but for example, if I start looking in the mirror now and going, oh my God, you're gaining weight.

Here we go again.

Um You look awful.

Hang on a second.

Don't speak like that.

We've done that.

We don't do that anymore.

You are a kind caring, beautiful person from the inside out and my weight is not tied to my self-worth bang with practice that works.

Number two, set realistic goals.

So set goals outside of weight drop, weight loss as a goal and focus on getting fit, feeling healthy, getting outside in nature.

Um also tied into the goal is to celebrate your accomplishments and just constantly be thinking about all the things that you're achieving and that you're doing.

Um and the connections that you have and the amazing family that you have, the different types of accomplishments that you have that are nothing to do with your physical impairment.

Embrace your strengths, identify your strengths as number three, your talents and your unique qualities.

This will help you recognize that your self worth isn't about how you look.

Now, I get how difficult this is, especially for generations and for some of us that have been brought up maybe in households where we have been told subliminally or not.

Um that we're not good enough because we're not small enough or we've seen people in our household jumping up and down on weighing scales.

Maybe your mom did it.

Maybe you constantly saw her looking in the mirror turning to the side, showing her stomach jumping on the scales, calling herself fat or maybe you were called fat or big or you just got the impression that you weren't good enough because of the way you looked at this is you.

This is a journey for you.

And I understand that just oh embracing your strengths, it's, it's not going to be like overnight.

However you'll get there, you'll get there.

If you practice, you won't get there.

If you say there's no point um cultivating self acceptance, really accepting yourself, work in progress, acceptance, acceptance.

This is me, this is who I am.

Am I so lucky um surrounding yourself with supportive people um is really, really important in being in a community of people, your friends, your friendships, making sure that there's nobody in your life that is going to trigger you into feeling bad about yourself that the people you have in your life, they're in your life because you love them, not just because you're afraid to break that connection.

Um But really thinking long and hard about the people in your life and the people that you surround yourself with and talk to frequently and how they can affect your self worth.

And really important that you limit contact with people in your life who promote negative body image or judgment, mindful self care is another one engaging in self care activities can really help nurture your physical mental and your emotional well being.

Um so things like going for a dip in the sea, getting a walk in the fresh air with a hot chocolate.

Um anything that you like sitting outside in the rain under an umbrella with a good book and the heater on with a blanket on you, like finding things in your life that you love to do that aren't connected to your physical appearance and challenging the media and social media and not just taking, not just taking what, what's out there for the truth.

So making sure that your social media feed, you don't find it triggering like there's loads of influencers out there that many people follow that are that are promoting this idealized life, body image um weight, the way you should live your life, maybe champagne at the weekends massively into fashion.

If you're not into fashion, you're not cool, you're not good enough that can be very triggering.

So finding when you go on to social media and it being filled with people you really admire and think are really genuinely, really cool.

They might be people that are in business if you've got your own business um or, or different cool people out there that you love that you find really uplifting.

Um It can absolutely change the game and doesn't put you into a cycle of that self loathing.

I'm not good enough because I'm not doing this.

Um And, and that's what I do like my social media is, is only filled with people that I think are really cool.

Um and challenging what the media see as beautiful.

And even if 80% of Ireland, for example, or the world think they agree with what the media portray as beauty, but be that 15 to 20% of people that are, that think differently and that are the minority that don't get impressed or think that's cool.

And like I was mentioning at the start that supermodels thing on Apple TV.

Um They spoke about at the end how their Linda evangelista herself worth was tied in so much to how she looked.

And um it was one of the main reasons she went and got that horrible um procedure that, that didn't work for her.

Um So yeah, um practicing gratitude really is really terrific and building up your self worth, really feeling in your body and mind all the things you feel really grateful for nature, your family, your friends, I do this with Joe and Arthur and Emily every evening after dinner around the kitchen table and I wasn't sure we would stick with.

We do it every night religiously.

We close our eyes and we think of three things each we're really grateful for.

And I've noticed on a bad day how tough it is, which makes me want to stick to it even more.

And um it really helps change your mindset over time and you become more grateful over time.

Um mindful eating habits.

So paying attention to the food side of things, what your relationship was like with food, not going near strict diets or weight loss trends and learning to love yourself, developing a healthy relationship with food that focuses on nourishment and enjoyment.

That is for a whole other episode.

Like our us controlling our food as a way to feel in control and it being tied into our self worth is for a whole other episode.

So what I will say about this is I definitely face issues with this myself.

I enjoy food less when I feel like I can't exercise.

Um So it's important that you figure out what's your relationship like with food?

What if you could never work out again?

Uh If, if you're seeking comfort through food now, um you have to be careful that when you fix that, that you don't see comfort from food anymore, that you go the other way and you, and you try and control it too much the other way.

Um Engaging in physical activity, not for weight loss, but for uh fitness, for feeling good for your physical health and your mental health.

Um And the last tip I have for you is to practice self validation, learn to validate yourself, forget, compliments, forget, put downs and validate yourself, your own feelings and experiences without seeking external validation.

All these tips I am actively doing myself.

So if this ever happens again, um if I can't work out again that I truly have such a beautiful relationship with myself that I love myself regardless of my appearance.

Um I will work on this.

I will improve on it.

I will watch out for the triggers.

I will watch out for my negative self talk and um food for thought for you today.

I hope you enjoyed this episode all about self worth being tied into your weight.

And if you have any thoughts on this episode, I'd love to hear them come over to my Instagram, Jessica Cook and let me know uh, what you thought of us.

Um If you're listening to this podcast on your favorite podcast platform, Spotify, Apple, please rate us.

I'd really appreciate it.

It'll just get in front of more people, which I would appreciate so much.

And finally, um, you can download my free guide five steps, unleashing your fitness and cam by going to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash unleash or you can sign up to my weight list coaching program, my thrive coaching program.

There's a waitlist currently in operation by going to Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash coaching.

That's Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash coaching.

Have a wonderful day.

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  • Podcast 131: OMG!!! Jessica!!!! You’re just unreal!!! My self esteem and self worth wasn’t just tied to my weight ….. it were WELDED to it! I always credit you with your sheer honesty and “laying your soul on the line” …… and this time you excelled again! Thank you for your honesty! You’re such a brave leader! Your honesty with us helps me to lift that veil of shame…lift that “ssshhh! don’t pretend that…” mentality. There’s soooo much in this podcast for me! Oh my days …. strap up tight…..Jessica is taking me on ANOTHER bit of the roller-coaster and boy do I feel safe! Xxxx thank you, thank you, thank you. Xxx

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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!