Inspire Fitness Newsletter

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Est. 2008

"ad astra per aspera"

November 2020 Edition

Hi! If you haven't already listened to my new podcast, you can check it out here on Apple, here on Google, or by visiting my Podcast page.

If you can... laugh and let go!

By Jessica Cooke

Dear Inspire Tribe,

We now have stretched in front of us, a really nice block of time to take us into Christmas and we have so much to be thankful and grateful for. We in this tribe get to focus every day on our health and getting fitter, while having fun along the way. 

I am so proud of each and every one of you in our community and I feel so blessed that I get to work with each of you in this group. You blow me away with your commitment to exercise and it's really cool that we’ve found each other and our shared love of feeling fit and healthy. 

How much more amazing is life when you focus on being fit and healthy rather than the weighing scales/dieting/calorie counting/any type of weight/restriction crap?

If I had a magic wand I would banish all that crap so as women, we were only ever striving for good health. That we didn’t have to figure out that that was all bullshit and actually it’s only ever been about being fit and healthy, just like when we were kids! What a waste of time all that rubbish is!

If you’re feeling anxious and uncertain, remember it can be really relaxing to throw your energy into a really good routine. It's one of the reasons I love exercise so much. It helps keep you grounded and provides certainty for your day.

We’ve roughly now another seven weeks ahead of us before we take another active rest break for Christmas. We’ve got AMRAP’s,

fitness challenges, and on the 18th of December,  we’re also going to do our 1,000 Squat Challenge again, this time for the Samaritans.

I’ll be sending you all out Calendars next week to help get you really organised for the rest of 2020, and you can decide exactly what you want out of the next few months, and plan accordingly.

We’re so so lucky we get to workout and move our bodies in such empowering, powerful ways. Let’s really embrace this time and have some fun along the way. Remember that motion creates emotion. When you’re feeling low, tired, uncertain, move your body and you will very quickly change your mood. I challenge anyone to do an Inspire workout or a hike and be in a bad mood after! Keep that to the forefront of your mind when you’re not feeling in the mood, and just keep valuing action over feelings, when it comes to exercise and all the stuff that’s good for you.

It’s OK to laugh and let go too, and this is always something I have to keep reminding myself! Bad things don’t happen when you allow yourself to let go, what’s going to happen will happen anyway, regardless of whether you allow yourself to relax or not. We have one life, this is it. It’s OK to have fun ,be silly, and let go.

I wish you all a very peaceful November. Always be gifting yourself self-care,

All my love,

Jessica Cooke X

Monthly Myzone Results

October 1,500 MEPs MyZone Challenge

Please help me give a massive well done to to Deirdre Ooi, Barbara Hughes, Andrea Hughes, Jacinta Dalton, Cera Belviso, Stephanie Meehan and Isabella Coffey for hitting 1,500 MEPS in October. Very well done to you all. Keep up the great work.

First to 1,500 MEPs Winners

The winners of the first to 1500 MEPS in October!
First place: Deirdre Ooi
Second Place: Jacinta Dalton
Third Place: Barbara Hughes
Fourth Place: Andrea Hughes
Well done to to you all ladies!

"Weekly Wrestle"

This month we had two teams both competing for the most MEPS every week. Team Helen and Team Melissa. It was so close every week, and I’m delighted to announce that Team Helen won two weeks and Team Melissa won two weeks making it a tie!

Team Melissa: Isabella Coffey, Deirdre Ooi, Jacinta Dalton, Dee Dowling, Stephanie Meehan, Susan Casserly, Joanna Fitzpatrick, Joe Mee, Melissa Clinton.

Team Helen: Deirdre Fitzgerald, Andrea Hughes, Eimear Killian, Barbara Hughes, Ceara Belviso, Gemma Murphy, Gillian Shaw, Annmarie Garrett

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AMRAP Challenge Winners

(As Many Rounds As Possible Challenge Every Friday)

"The Black Mamba": Isabella Coffey, Deirdre Dowling, Gemma Murphy and Gillian Shaw.

"The Tiger": Deirdre Fitzgerald, Gillian Shaw and Ceara Belviso

"The Jaguar": Isabella Coffey, Jacinta Dalton and Gemma Murphy

"The Hyena": Xin Ming Coffey, Gillian Shaw and Ceara Belviso

Client Inspiration: Gemma Murphy

Coaching Program Legend Gemma

My biggest struggle was finding time for my own self care. As a ex pat Irish family living abroad, we have no family nearby to lean on for any help. I am fortunate to be a stay at home mum while the children are very young.

My days were typically dedicated towards taking care of our young family, home and 3 pets. Cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, errands, school runs and Zoom calls.

I could only plan time alone for myself when my husband was able to watch the kids on the weekend and that usually meant errands, groceries and cleanup and laundry, definitely no self care there! 

Where on earth was I going to find time alone for 30 minutes a day 5 times a week  It seemed a daunting challenge.

It was mother’s day weekend In the USA when I reached out to Jessica. I had received her email about the online coaching program she was running during the Covid lockdown.

I kept the email in my Inbox, I had been a member of Inspire fitness back in 2015 so I was still on the mailing list.

While I was only there for a short time, under 3 months, I had dropped a full dress size. I felt great and full of energy. I knew what it would be like and what the program entailed but I had done it as a working person minus kids.

It was easier to schedule "me time" then. I have a basement with exercise equipment but I just never seemed to have time to use it. The truth is I never made time to use it.

The other big challenge, how was i going to really stick to the program being in another country and a 5 hour difference time zone? Could I manage the live classes, what if I can’t?

Would I be accountable for my actions if I was never going to be checked? Lots of questions were going round in my head.

Jessica emailed me straight back and reassured me that the program could work for me being as remote as I was, and, she went on to explain that she had lots of past clients returning virtually who had moved away from Galway over the years.

I was beyond excited.

Food and wine are another struggle.

I have a bigger appetite as a result of nursing our youngest and I figured I could afford to eat the all the treats, after all, I needed the extra calories. Right?  But that is not the case.

My main meals were typically healthy, my snacking and the lethal sweet tooth I developed during my second pregnancy were more difficult to address. I had to stop myself eating tidbits/left overs off the kids plates and cut out the "something nice" after dinner with a cup of tea was tough.

I love my wine and having a couple glasses here and there midweek to relax after the kids were put to bed was that was another bad habit I had to stop. It was a just a vicious cycle of being tired and drained all the time.

After I signed up for the program I sat down and discussed it with my husband, to see how we could manage watching the kids between us in order to do my 30 minute sessions.

We came up with a plan. Seemed good on paper, not so good in the execution. I quickly found that between his work meetings and my kids fondness and need for only  “Mommy” do it.

I would have to change the plan. I decided I would do the work outs from the recorded sessions during baby's morning nap.

My 4 year old daughter would usually join me in the basement to play alongside or “exercise" herself or simply critique my technique.

There are even days when I have both kids in the basement with me. I have set up a safe play space for them to play and entertain themselves while I do my workout while I can keep and watchful eye.

Sure, there has been times when its been far from perfect but for the most part it has worked out great.

I now find that my day just doesn’t feel right or complete if I don’t do my work out. It's become second nature now to get the session done, regardless of how busy and the time of day.

I have found though it's so much easier to get a morning session done and cross it off the to do list than to have it hang over you for the day.

I have gotten rid of some of the bulky exercise machines that I had gathering dust and dug out my old faithful  skipping rope, step and weights.

My fitness levels have come right back. My core has really strengthened and I have finally got some muscle tone in my abdomen, badly needed after 2 Cesarean sections.

I have a waist!!  I have also noticed that the weights I had weren’t fatiguing me anymore so I moved up to heavier weights.  I have bought some new strength items to push my self a bit harder.

My sleeping Is way better now. I notice muscle tone on my upper arms and my clothes finally fit me better again.

I was even able to wear a pair of jeans I have had in the wardrobe that I have owned for the last 20 years.

I had definitely dropped inches according to the measurements I took on the outset of restarting the program for comparison. My energy levels have improved and the most important thing is that I mentally feel better knowing I took some time out of a busy day to do something for just me.

My husband has been good about his self care all along and now instead of throwing him the evil eye when he would go for a cycle, thinking it's well for some to get time to work out,  I don’t resent it anymore and its made for a more enjoyable life. We plan or weeks, when each of us will get time to do our workouts and our family activities.

From time to time when things get hectic trying to pack life's activities into the day, I find myself thinking it would be easier if I didn’t have to work out as much and that’s usually when I will watch a quick v-log from Jessica coaching us to not give up and keep on going.

The group check ins are fun too and good to see that we are all in similar situations and had good weeks and bad weeks yet we don’t give in. I still have to keep my snacking in check but for the most part I’m happy with the balance I’m striking.

Client Inspiration: Isabella Coffey

Coaching Program Legend Isabella

"I started with Inspire Fitness just over 5 years ago. Totally unfit and allergic to exercise.

Slow forward to March of this year and after a few bumps along the road healthwise I'm feeling so fit and healthy (and lighter).

Then Covid hit. I really felt this would be the end of feeling fit and healthy for me as I did not think the online program would work for me personally.

BUT how wrong was I. I have gone from working out in the studio 3 days a week to working out at home 5 days a week most weeks.

Not only that but I lost more weight and am even fitter than I was in March, Turns out online training suits me very well.

I did struggle in the beginning with not having the trainer in the room but because of the weekly check ins and" throwing things in the chat box" it was so easy to follow the workouts.

I was really lucky to also have company doing the sessions, it became a family affair and really set us up for the day.

Now things have got busier again and I can really see the benefit of online training. Before I had to fit in getting to the studio, now my workouts are non negotiable.

I do the live sessions when I can but I love that I can fit them in any time, and if there is any issue with WIFI which happens alot in our house there are plenty of workouts in the vault to do instead.

I no longer worry about my fitness.

I used to be so stiff and tired all the time. Now I get tired but it's a good tired and feel like I can take on anything.

The difference exercise can make to your mental health has shocked me. It clears your head and I definitely don't worry any more about things I have no control over.

I really feel going forward that the online training is going to be a big part of my life, the weekly check ins for the coffee and chat and the monthly meet ups. I'm not dreading the next roundy birthday, I'm going to look forward to the fact that for a "woman of that age" I'm doing all right.

Thanks Jessica, it's really good to see how far I have come."

Happy Birthday!

No birthdays to celebrate this month!

6 Minute Core Finisher

Why don't you try this out and let me know how you get on?

This 6 minute core workout is tough and great to add on to the end of any run, walk or workout! A strong core gives you better balance, helps reduce and prevent back pain and improves your posture!

5 Reasons to Workout That Have Nothing To Do With Weight Loss

Weight loss is a positive 'side effect' of feeling terrific.

#FEELGOOD Focus No. 15

5 Tips To Consistency

Recipe of the Month: Simple Spelt Bread

Easy bread recipe is a hit with all the family.

Simple Spelt Bread


  • 1/4 cup (60ml) warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 cup (250ml) non-dairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups (~500 grams) spelt flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


Add the water and honey to a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast overtop and let it sit for ten minutes. After ten minutes, it should be foamy. If the mixture doesn’t foam, discard – you need new yeast.  Add the milk, olive oil, 2 cups (300g) of the flour, and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until a loose dough forms. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, kneading between each addition, until a smooth, springy dough forms.

This should take 8-10 minutes. It should be quite smooth and not really sticky. Place the dough into a large greased bowl and cover with a tea towel or large plate. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for one hour, or until doubled in size. When the dough has risen, punch it down gently and place it into a parchment-lined or well greased loaf pan,

Cover with a tea towel and place the loaf into a warm place to rise again for half an hour longer. While it’s rising, heat your oven to 350F/180C. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes, or until golden, and it sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan and cool for ten minutes on a rack before cutting.

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