Today's Episode


Hi and welcome back. I am super excited to be with you today.

I am talking about a topic that I feel extremely passionate about and that is eight bad habits, the weight loss industry want you to keep and the reason I want to talk about this today is because for many, many years, I followed a lot of the things that the weight loss industry recommended all the huge big companies that we all know.

And that many of us have no reason to distrust them because they're so massive and so many people follow them.

This is what happened to me and it is one of the reasons why I stayed overweight and so unhealthy for so many years, I have felt absolutely desperate for years and years.

Never really, ever being able to get a handle on my health.

I was three stone overweight.

If I wasn't losing weight, I was gaining weight.

You know, that cycle does that resonate with you?

Do you know that cycle where you're stuck either in that you're in that cycle where you're either literally losing weight and if you're not in the, in the weight loss phase, you're gaining weight, you're never just fit and healthy.

I had a huge alcohol problem in the sense that I used alcohol to escape to unwind and I drank way too much of the stuff.

At the weekends I over ate, I comfort ate, I had massive portions at dinner.

I'd sit on the couch most days a week in the night time and eat crap on the couch.

Biscuits crisps.

I was obsessed with food.

I would exercise to overcompensate for the food that I had eaten.

I definitely had disordered eating.

I would restrict for periods of time and then binge for periods of time and I tried everything under the sun.

I felt so bad in myself.

I was sweaty, uncomfortable in my clothes.

I just felt permanently unhealthy.

My face was bloated and puffy.

I was sweaty.

I have really low self esteem and low confidence and I just couldn't seem to break free.

I never seemed to be exactly where I wanted to be.

And looking back now when I did have moments where I felt ok, ok, I'm, I'm where I want to be.


Looking back, it was all to do with weight loss.

I only ever felt like that if I temporarily felt just about ok in my clothes, it was never about how I felt.

And I've come to realize because hindsight is really terrific that the weight loss industry is so, so damaging and there are still so many people out there, so many women out there, maybe even you listening in that are stuck in that cycle and I'm here to help you break free from that.

I'm here to help you get fit, get healthy and find the freedom to love yourself again.

And when you find the freedom to love yourself again and you're able to let go of everything that hasn't served you up until this point and start a new journey, you're going to be really successful and you're going to get really fit and healthy.

So here are eight bad habits that the weight loss industry want you to keep stuck in.

Number one is overeating.

There are so many big weight loss companies out there at the moment.

I'm sure you've experienced these weight loss clubs that tell you that you can fill up and free food as much as you want.

These food foods are like points free.

You can, you can fill up on these foods as much as you want or they give you a points budget and they tell you, don't worry if you go over, you have zero points food that you can eat any time.

From my experience.

This has been the problem.

One of the problems for me is that I used to do that.

And it's one of the reasons why I stayed overweight for so long.

I wish I had known back then that filling up this, this notion of filling up on free food as much as you want didn't fix any of my problems with overeating.

In fact, it almost, it did encourage me to continue to overeat because yes, you could say fill up on as much peas as you want and, and put these peas in your dinner.

I'm saying peas because this is what I used to do and fill up on that food as much as you want.

However, you're still having a massive dinner portion and yes, you mightn't gain weight by having a truckload of peas with your chicken and potatoes, but you're still overeating and you're not getting to the reason that you need such a massive portion of food if, if, if, when I used to have breakfast at 10 a.


and then I would, for example, have lunch at 1 p.


And technically speaking, I shouldn't really have been hungry.

And if I had I was hungry, I could have had a banana.

But the notion of free food just kept me stuck in this.

What can I eat?

What can I eat?

How big is the thing that I can eat mass portions of broccoli and cauliflower.

Constantly thinking of is what I have on my plate.

Enough big, big big.

My problem was that I was eating too much food when I was sitting down for my meals and what I found what in hindsight, so unhelpful is these weight loss companies that so many people turn to actually exacerbate this problem.

And they actually tell you to go ahead and to, to, to don't bother fixing the problem that you might be overeating.

Don't bother fixing the problem that you can't seem to sit down at your dinner without having a huge portion that go ahead.

We're not going to fix that problem.

We're just going to get around that problem and we're going to tell you about all this free food that you can have so you can continue to stuff your faces and never get to the root cause of the problem.

Never get to the root cause of the problem.

Never just keep going, the way you're going, keep going the way you're going.

My second problem is that number two, the bad habit that it wants to keep you in overeating.

It wants to keep you overeating.

That was my problem.

Number one.

My second problem is that it wants to keep you obsessing.

There are very many weight loss clubs out there and there are very many like tracker and point systems and things that you input online.

Like my fitness pal that recommends you save barcodes, save meals, save recipes and that you upload all this stuff and that you check for the detail of the backs of the packets of all these things that you're buying in the shop.

I don't know about you, but for a very long time, I used to do that.

I used to check the backs of the packets of popcorn of crisps of sweets, of protein bars of naked bars, you know, those naked bars of sauces.

And in hindsight, I look back, what was I doing?

I was obsessed and how is being obsessed helping you with the problem that you have?

How is becoming obsessed helping you?

How are any of those trackers, helping you fix the problem that you have, which is your relationship with food?

I remember so well, spending so many days counting my calories and I would get to the end of the day and I would feel amazing if I had under eaten my calories or I get to the end of the day.

And I would feel so bad because I had gone over in my calories and I used to just either feel bad or feel good every day dependent on whether I was up or under my calorie intake.

And I remember I went through a period of time where I was thinking, well, hang on a second.

If, if this, if this app, if this club is telling me to eat 1500 calories a day, what would I, what would happen if I ate 1200?

And I remember going through a phase where I went probably a tiny bit underweight very, very briefly, just for maybe a few days because I tried, um, this, uh, to eat really, very small amount and to try to really hone in on as little calories as possible.

And I became obsessed and I used to get like such a buzz.

I used to just jump on the weighing scales every day and I used to count my calories and this was like, my whole worth, my whole self worth was tied into the calories.

I was eating and the weight I was, and you know what my biggest problem with that is, is that because I was so distracted because I was so focused on this.

It kept me so far away from looking at all the other things around me that I could have been focused on and having fun with and achieving and, and, and going after because my head was full, my head was full with the obsession of food.

And the weight loss industry wants to keep you trapped in this obsession with food because that's why you'll keep going back to them and you'll keep paying them money and they'll keep feeding you this more and more information.

You need these recipes.

You need to know the new thing with food.

We're going to help keep you on track.

You've just got to keep tracking you.

You've just got to keep obsessing and if you get it wrong, it's your fault because we're laying it out in black and white here, how to do it.

And these are your metrics that you have to hit and if you're not doing it, it's your fault.

And this is what so many women believe.

I've met so many women.

I've been coaching women now for over 16 years and this is what so many of them believe that they're the failure.

And this is why so many women are so scared to actually take the jump and focus on becoming fit and healthy because they believe they've tried so many times in the past and they've failed.

Not what they've done has failed, but they failed.

And it's just so not true.

It's not what they have done.

It's not them that has failed.

It's what they have done that has let them down and nobody, nobody really speaks about this and yet it's so, so damaging, so damaging.

The third habit that they want to keep you trapped in is, is a mis focus a micus.

They want you focusing on the food, which isn't really the problem that's focusing on the symptom of the problem.

But they don't want you to focus on the root cause of the problem, which is why you are overeating.

There's no money in it for them when they do that, it's easier for them to make you think that your problem is with food and that they have the solution that if you follow their system of tracking and counting and new recipes and calorie, counting and weighing and knowing your grams and your fat.

And if you can't do that, you're failing.

So all you have to do is get back and keep doing what they say you're going to do and then you're on track and, but the blame stays on you, then they're winning.

But we can't be hacking away at the leaves.

We have to get to the root.

We have to get to the root of the problem.

Like the analogy of the tree, we can't be up here hacking at the leaves hacking at the symptoms.

We have to get down to the root, the actual real problem, the root cause of the problem, which is something that they never want you to do.

They want you to look at your zones.

Look at your BMIs.

They want you to scan barcodes, save meals, save recipes.

They want you to have a relationship with the number that they're, that they're telling you to have, like they want you to have a relationship with the amount of steps that you're counting with the amount of calories that you're counting.

And if they can do that, they're winning, you're hooked.

The fifth, bad habits that they want you to keep is overcompensation of exercise through food.

And there are so many fitness trackers and calorie counters and fitness apps that really show calories burned.

And in the most cases, calories burned, which is really, really damaging.

And I know so many people that overcompensate on exercise because of the food that they've eaten.

There are so many things wrong with that.

I remember so well, I went through a phase, a long phase of working out five days a week.

And I remember I was working out five days a week and still feeling really unhealthy.

Of course, I was drinking too much at the weekends.

I was eating too much food.

I was eating after dinner.

I was eating sugar often.

I was having big portions.

I was eating too much.

I was stressed out.

I was anxious and I thought to myself, I was working out five days a week and I was just feeling really sluggish, feeling really bloated, feeling really bad.

Again, hindsight's great.

Not knowing that I had all like not knowing that I needed to fix the root cause of the problem.

I decided the solution would be to add on two extra workouts to my week.

Now, some of you might be listening in and thinking.

Are you serious?

You thought the solution to your problem was to add on two more workouts, two runs.

I tried to go and do like a little four K loop twice a week on top of my 5 30 minute workouts.

But I know some of you are going to be listening in, nodding your head and going.

Yeah, I've done that.

Yeah, I've done that.

I'm either doing that now or I've done that.

And the problem with that is that there's, there's a mis focus, you're, you're putting the focus on an area of your, of your habits, of your healthy habits that you've actually, that you're actually doing really well, you're exercising.

But you think to yourself because of a lot of the messaging out there and a lot of these weight loss companies, you're thinking, well, actually if I add in more exercise that's going to solve my problem of weight gain, eating too much food.

And I have come across a lot of apps and weight loss companies that actually encourage you to not indulge in any treats on the days that you are not exercising.

And that's something that I used to do and it leads to obsessive behavior.

And it can also lead you to, um, overeat and binge and then under eat and it's really, really damaging.

There's so many things out there that, that, that, that try to get you to exercise on an empty stomach or on a full stomach or, uh, do cardio on an empty stomach or don't eat treats when you're not working out, or this workout will burn this amount of calories.

And by the way, that's actually just scientifically inaccurate because it isn't, the calories burned in a workout.

That even counts that even that metric is just so bananas and inaccurate.

And, um, Harvard did a study there recently that, um, and you can, you can look it up online if I can just try to remember it.

It was something like 76% or something as high as that, um, are so off.

Their, their, their inaccuracy is so bad.

They're actually off by 27%.

Yes, this is it.

Um, um, one study from the Stanford, sorry, Stanford University School of Medicine compared these fitness trackers and estimated that they were off by 27%.

Um, calories burned in a workout isn't, isn't even an accurate measuring tool.

Anyway, if you're lifting weights, you're a woman over 40 it actually is about all that energy that you're burning all throughout the day, which is terrific when you lift weights.

So, it's not even about that at all.

And all it does is keep you obsessed and thank God Thank God when I um learned that I had so much problems to fix, that would fix my healthy habits and that it was nothing to do with exercising more.

Thank God, I had that realization and I was able to take my focus off of the exercise and continue to work out and focus on the other problems that needed my focus.

But the weight loss industry don't want you to do that.

They, they want you mis focussed, they want you focused on the thing which is the obsession with the food or the obsession with the fitness.


Ko is another one which can really trigger disordered eating.

The keto diet is really, really bad.

It tells you that it makes you feel that carbohydrates are bad.

It can lead to very restricted behavior which can trigger eating disorders.

The keto diet, many people find it extremely triggering and extremely bad for us.

Diet tells you to ignore your cravings and your body signals and to, and to go super low with carbs.

It intensifies obsession around food.

It creates rigid rules about what to eat and what not to eat and it causes you to fixate on weight loss, all the really damaging things that I used to do.

And it is what used to keep me overweight or in the cycle of weight gain, weight loss for so many years fixating on weight loss, which again is keeping you off the real focus of action steps and turning into the person you want to become and focusing on being healthy and enjoying your life.

Instead, it just simplifies it inaccurately into just what do I weigh today?

And rigid thinking about what to eat and what not to eat.

I was in that trap for many years.

I didn't become healthy because of it.

All I did was get obsessed all day long about what I could eat, what I couldn't eat.

What are the rules about my food?

And these are all just characteristics of disordered eating.

And if you're stuck in that cycle, now, I want you to know there is another way, but I understand there's so much fear about changing because you're afraid you might be afraid you're going to balloon up.

Um, but it, it's not the case you're going to set yourself free.

If you finally decide to let go of all these things that haven't been serving you up to this point.

The only thing that's going to happen is that you're going to set yourself free, you're going to set yourself free, you're going to be able to let go of the shackles of the weight loss industry and actually start to really enjoy the journey of becoming fit and healthy through focusing on action steps and a healthy lifestyle, which is amazing.

Um, so number seven, the seventh bad habit I have just two more to go.

Um, is, is tying your fitness into your nutrition and I kind of just cover that in the point below.

But I feel like it's worth saying that for years and years and years when I was really unhealthy and I couldn't seem to break free and get to the next level.

I made my health about my fitness and my food.

Am I exercising enough?

And am I eating little enough?

And that was my focus and the problem with that focus was that it didn't keep me or help me get healthy at all.

Now, in my thrive Academy program, we have a five step framework pas that we follow that encompasses all aspects of our health.

And that's physical fitness, accountability and support, hydration, mental health, action steps, and self care, action steps and action steps that embody all of those things help us feel great and be fit and be healthy.

Whereas for many years, for me, it was just what am I eating?

Am I working out?

And that's it.

And many of these weight loss clubs want you to stay stuck in the fitness and nutrition because that's what their whole business model is built on.

And that's why they're telling you there's this amount of calories burned in a workout.

Don't eat on the days you don't work out, make sure that when you are working out, you're burning this amount of calories, make sure when you're exercising, you're doing this amount of steps, it's all to just keep you so trapped in this bubble where you don't actually ever get to the root cause of the problem of why you're overeating of why you are turning to food for comfort of why you can't seem to face into the day of why you, you, you, you can't seem to not press the snooze button of why you can't seem to face your workouts of why you're feeling low of why you're lonely of why you're eating through boredom.

It doesn't want to address any of these things.

However, I'm telling you, I addressed them finally and I broke free and I got fit and healthy.

I did that.

I focused on my fitness and nutrition and I, I was drinking way too much alcohol.

I was eating way too much food and I wasn't healthy.

I was stressed out.

I was anxious.

I comfort ate.

I was a people pleaser.

I didn't feel like I was living the life.

I was here to live.

My interest in life was gone.

Number eight, my final one, they want to keep you fixated on weight loss.

They don't want you to think of the person you might want to become of the healthy habits.

You might want to embody of the, all of the aspects of your health.

They want you to jump up and down on the weighing scales and they want you to judge their program by your weight.

Do you know why that is so that they can make sure the blame stays on you so that they make sure the blame can stay on you.

If you're a woman over 40 weight as a measuring tool, it's not going to work anyway.

It's an inaccurate measuring tool.

Muscle weighs more than fat.

There's so many reasons why weight on the scales isn't an accurate measuring tool.

All it does is measure the full weight of you.

It doesn't take into account body fat percentage or if you're lifting weights or lean muscle mass or any of that stuff.

So from the get go, it's an inaccurate measuring tool.

However, if they can tell you that you are successful or you are failing based on your weight, just the weight no other way and you, you don't hit your metric, you don't, you're not happy with what you see on the scales.

What's going to happen.

All you're going to do is blame yourself and you're going to feel bad and you're going to feel even worse about yourself and you're going to get stuck in that cycle, that's going to trigger you to be even more restrictive, which you're going to make and lose a little bit of weight.

But because that restriction, you can't keep it up, eventually you're going to crack and eventually you're going to put the weight on and what are you going to do?

Then you're going to blame yourself and around and around and around.

You go never once questioning that maybe the program that you're doing is flawed.

I'm here to tell you, you can set yourself free from all of that, all of it.

And when you do set yourself free, you'll get to the root cause of the problem of, of, of, of why you're overeating of why you're struggling to work out of why you find it getting up so tough in the morning of why you're sluggish of why you're anxious of why you're lonely and you'll have simple habits that focuses on all the parts of your health, which is much more fun.

Anyway, my following my pms framework action steps around your physical activity around your accountability and support your hydration, your mental health, your self care, which makes fitness and nutrition.

Just a small part.

I want you to know you can set yourself free.

A part of it is learning how to love yourself again.

But that is a different topic for a different episode, break free from the cycle and set yourself free.

Get rid of the weight loss industry from your life and step into your power as a woman and embrace all the parts of you.

You don't need any of this.

I really, really hope you enjoyed today's episode.

I would appreciate it so much more than you'll ever know if you could share this episode with a friend, send them the link.

Um And it helps me, it just helps me with my mission of getting my podcast in front of more people so that I can help you, help women over 40 get fit healthy and find the freedom to love themselves again.


Thanks for listening to another episode of the Jessica Cook podcast.

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