I want to chat to you today about your journey, your fitness and your health journey. And I want to empower you and inspire you to go and be fit and healthy without all the negative stuff that is associated with losing weight, getting fit, and living your absolute best life.
I always try and have one goal, one thing that I want you to leave the blog with. And today it’s really reiterating that nothing about your fitness journey or your health journey has to be negative, nothing. And everything about your journey can be really positive.
It drives me absolutely bananas, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, all the things that are about taking away counting, counting points, counting calories, counting sins, checking, weighing writing.
Life is isn’t about that. And I don’t want one more person to spend any more time than they have to weighing, counting, writing, obsessing, not going out there and living your life.
For example, you know how long it takes people to fill out My Fitness Pal with the calories and the protein and the fats. You could be going for a walk in that time. We all know how to eat healthy, but somewhere along the way, women got sucked into this weight loss. Must lose weight, must obsess, must make sure the whole thing is really negative.
I’m either on it or I’m off it, and I want to dispel some of those myths with you.
Your journey doesn’t have to be miserable. It can be really amazing and happy and fun and positive. And when you make your weight loss journey or your fitness journey happy and positive, you forget about it. You just take all the feel good feelings that comes with being healthy and you go and you live your life. You don’t think about it anymore. You’re just fit healthy and you’re living your best life. It’s amazing. It’s amazing.
It takes a little bit of a mindset switch. It takes work on your mindset, that’s the only work it takes. And I’m talking to you now, if you are looking for food plans and diet plans and you want to be told what to eat, you know, you and me know that’s not the issue. That’s not the problem.
You and me both know that the problem is deeper, that there’s something else going on. Were you bullied as a kid? Did you have a bereavement in your family? Are you lonely? Have your kids flown the nest? Do you feel bad about your body? Are you feeling weaker? Are you worried about the future? Are you scared?
These are the things that’s making you stay away from your goals that’s preventing you from being fit and healthy. It’s not knowing what to eat. You and me both know you know what to eat. If I had a gun to your head now and I told you, “Look, you’ve got to lose 20 pounds in two months.” Could you do it? You could, couldn’t you?
And that’s not a bad thing to acknowledge. You’re acknowledging right now the next step on your journey, and that’s going to make you go forward to the next step. The next step, the realisation that, yeah, brilliant. If you need help, a coach is amazing to hold you accountable and to make sure you’re strategic with your training and your food plan. But the surface problems you’re having that’s preventing you from achieving your goals aren’t your real problems, they’re your surface problems.
So what is holding you back on your journey? Eating 1200 calories a day, depriving yourself of food and going really low and restricted on calories. You know that doesn’t work. You know your body goes into starvation mode and you’re going to feel bad, and you’re going to hate on everything. And you’re going to feel on a diet.
And you’re going to have to restrict self and say no to loads of things.
Restricting calories only works for a couple of weeks time. You lose lots of muscle. You lose lots of water. Your body goes into starvation mode, which means it tries to cling onto fat. Your metabolism slows down, but ooh, short term gains. My clothes are feeling a little bit looser. Short term gains, they’re no good. You’re always trying to think of the bigger picture.
Doing endless amounts of cardio is rubbish too. Like wearing a hole in the ground that you walk on. You know yourself. You’re beating the ground. You’re walking so fast. You’re walking and walking for hours on end. And you’re walking, walking, trying to work off the extra calories you’ve eaten. You’re frustrated. You’re bored. You’re constantly in the zone of trying to lose weight and it’s all you can think about.
Oh my God, it’s so horrible. Negative, negative, negative. Miserable, you don’t need that. Cutting out carbohydrates, that’s a big one. Lots of people cut out carbs. When you’re cutting out carbs you’re cutting out energy, and you need energy to be happy and healthy and fit. Happy and healthy and fit versus no energy, but feeling skinny your clothes today. Carbohydrates, reducing them. You might feel lighter and your stomach might feel flatter, but you haven’t lost weight.
It’s just a false economy. You’re taking away your energy. You’re going into that keto. It’s absolutely rubbish and you don’t need it, and it’s not good for you. Carbohydrates are really, really healthy. And let’s not forget your eye health and your brain health, and your muscles and your bones and energy to feel happy.
And one of the real negative side effects from cutting out carbs is it can actually make you feel really low. And the worst thing about it is not many people know that. So you can walk around feeling low thinking you’re low, and actually it’s just a food problem that you have.
Try and remember that when you’re gaining weight it’s because you’re eating too much food. It’s not because of the rice you had on Tuesday or the pasta you had on Monday, it’s because you’re eating too much and the calories that you’re eating is more than the calories that you’re using up.
And it sounds really simple, but it is very simple. And I often find it quite relaxing when you bring it back to the simplicity of life, that you’re just… If you’ve got pounds to lose, you’re eating too much. And don’t be blaming one food group for that weight gain.
Another way to make yourself miserable on the journey is counting points, counting anything really. Do you want to spend your life counting things or do you want to go and in that space of time read a good personal development book and change your mindset? Do you want to count your calories and points or do you want to decide just to eat healthy? And eat healthy and follow the 80 20 rule, and still have your treats when you head away? And do all that lovely fun stuff and still enjoy your weekends and pretty much still have your cake and eat it?
Or you can count the calories and count your sins and count your points, and weigh this and weigh that and check what your macros are. You really don’t need your macros checked.
If you’re a woman and you are over the age of 40, and your goal is to be strong and fit and healthy and maybe lose some weight, you don’t need to have your macros checked. Your macros are really important for athletes. It becomes really important then, but you don’t need to know your macros when you’re just trying to be fit and healthy and feel good in your clothes.
Equally, you don’t need to follow a caveman diet or a paleo diet or the keto diet, or any of those diets. You really don’t. And if you were to be honest with me, and if I was to say to you now, “Tell me three things that if you did them today and you started today and you did them for three weeks would get you on your goals.” What would your answer be? Honestly, what would your answer be?
Would it be that you are late night eating on the couch? Would it be that you are eating extra food throughout the day that you’re not really counting? Does your dinner have massive portions?
What is it? Because I know it’s not that you’re not on the keto diet, and I know it’s not that you’re not on the paleo diet. Is there too much wine going on during the week? You know. You know the story, we all know the story, but we can sometimes not be truthful with ourselves. It happens all the time. And that’s why having a coach is really cool, because the coach can help you see what’s in front of you sometimes. And we can all forget about that.
Remember that when you focus on deprivation, restriction, and dieting, you’re going to go around and around in circles for the rest of your life. Not to mention that you’re wasting your happiness in this one life that you have. Another really negative, negative, miserable thing on your journey is if you are still weighing yourself I’m going to jump through your phone and kill you, because weighing yourself… We’ve come too far women for weighing yourself.
Why do you need a number to say something? Why do you have to be a certain number on the scales? Let it go. What would happen if you gave up the weighing scales forever, which I have, and you focused on feeling good and feeling fit and feeling healthy? And as your marker, we all have skinny jeans that we love to wear. You just figured out, did you fit well in your clothes? And if you didn’t fit well in your clothes, you work on that and you eat a little bit less, and you do the right type of exercise. And if you do feel great in your clothes, well then you don’t need to be checking up on your weight.
But get rid of the weighing scales, they’re absolutely pointless and you don’t need them. You really, really don’t need them. You don’t need to be a certain weight.
I totally, totally, totally get that you want to fit great in your clothes. So do I. So get a pair of skinny jeans and figure out what size is healthy for you. We’re all built differently. For some of you, a size eight is going to be your healthy size. And for others, a size 14, 12, 10, 16 is going to be your healthy size. Decide upon it.
The lovely thing about fitting into your jeans is you’re not constantly checking. You either fit into your jeans or you don’t. And if you fit into your jeans, you can let it go. You can absolutely let it go. So why not flip it on yourself and change your mindset around fitness and health. If you change your mindset around fitness and health, you change your life. Why not today, in this episode with me, choose to only see things from a positive point of view. And be fit and healthy and strong and only focus on that.
One thing I want to say to you is that when you are striving towards a goal, be it health and fitness and weight loss, you’re going to feel like a failure more than if you’re not trying at all.
And that’s one thing that I have really come to understand on a really deep level over the past couple of years. I used to be one of those people that just hated failure so much that I didn’t want to try. I wanted to just be successful without trying. Does that make sense?
It doesn’t make any sense, but it made sense, made complete sense to me. Successful without trying was success, but that’s completely and utterly garbage.
The people that you see that are successful, that come across like success with ease, have put boundless amounts of time and energy and thought and work and knock backs and setbacks into getting where they are.
So I really encourage you to make sure that you’re following people and listening to people that are very honest with the setbacks and knock backs. The most successful people in the world are the ones that are suffering the most setbacks and failures, because they’re the ones that are getting out there.
So if you want to be consistent with your exercise and your fitness and health, it makes sense that you’re going to feel more failure feelings than if you’re not doing anything. Because if you’re not doing anything, your problems are different. You’re going to feel like shit, your clothes are going to feel bad. You’re going to feel lazy. You’re going to have no energy. But if you’re striving to be consistent, if you’re fit and healthy, you get a whole new set of problems. And those new problems are having to get up and go and do your workout and not being in the mood pretty much every time. Not making bad food choices, which is going to temporarily sometimes make you feel like shit because you’re going to want to eat the bad food.
Making the better choices the whole time. Turning up to your training sessions. Forcing yourself when you want to drink water. Knowing when you’ve skipped a workout and been really annoyed with yourself versus not knowing because you don’t work out.
So remember that when you’re feeling these feelings, when you’re struggling, when you’re feeling like the worst person in the room it’s because you’re doing good things and you’re out of your comfort zone.
So let those feelings now be a guide for you that you’re doing something right, rather than what I used to do and let them reaffirm that I’m doing something wrong, that I’m useless, that I’m shit.
Don’t do what I did for years. You guys, change it now in an instant. If you feel out of your comfort zone, if you feel like you’re not good enough, if you’re eating crap food while on a healthy food plan, if you’re skipping workouts while on a workout plan, you’re winning, you’re succeeding, you’re going for it. So don’t be worried about those feelings of failure.
Now back to the goals, don’t let your weight loss goals take you away from living a happy and healthy life. It’s one part of the picture. Weight loss is one part of the fitness and health picture. You work out and you eat well most of the time, and you are doing so much good stuff. You’re lowering your blood pressure and your cholesterol. You are improving your skin, nails, and hair. You’re improving your heart and your lungs. You’re improving your bone density, your lean muscle mass, your metabolism. There’s so many things that you’re doing.
You’re getting fit. You’re being healthy. You’re being strong. Make sure that you’re not looking at the one aspect of your program which might be weight loss and making the whole thing about weight loss. And just keep in mind all the other stuff that you’re doing.
Things that are making you go around in circles, too little food, too much food, too much exercise, too little exercise, overthinking everything and getting tired. Obsessive behavior, restrictive behavior, giving stuff up completely. Focus on being healthy and keeping it simple. And remember, keep it positive and keep it happy.
And these are the things that I do with my clients. It’s called the schewwwt challenge and I’m obsessed with it ever since it came to me one day when I was thinking, I really want a cool code of conduct that’s really simple and easy to remember that I can just think of it daily and not get complicated. And the simplicity in it helps me keep things simple.
S C H E W W W T. Self-care, healthy eating, workout, walk, water, and tribe.
Self-care, getting those pockets of 10 minutes throughout the day where you’re taking care of yourself. You’re reading the newspaper. You’re going for a coffee. You’re relaxing. You’re doing nothing. You’re reading a good book. You’re going to bed. You’re putting your phone on airplane mode. You’re reading 10 pages of your book every night. You’re laughing. You’re being silly. You’re doing a silly dance in the kitchen.
Healthy eating, you’re healthy eating. It says so much while being so simple. Not dieting, not restriction, healthy eating is saying more about what it’s not about than what it is about. You’re not restricting, omitting food groups, weighing your food, weighing your calories, counting your calories, you’re healthy eating most of the time and you’re allowing yourself to live your life and enjoy your favourite foods.
Workout. Workout three to five times per week, 30 minutes, the right type of training, which is strength, interval, cardio, core work.
Walk. Fresh air, low impact, steady state cardio.
Water, two litres every day.
Tribe. Having a tribe to connect with, a coach, a tribe, our inspire tribe. Finding people that are like you, where you’re not the odd one out. You’ve found your tribe. They’ve got similar core values and similar goals. Find them and they will lift you up if they’re the right type of tribe. They’ll support you and they will wish you well and encourage you and be your biggest fans.
And if you do all that, if you do the schewwwt, if you shoot for the stars every day you’re going to get it. You’re going to be healthy. You’re going to lose the restriction, just like pebbles that you’re getting rid of on your pockets that are weighing you down.
You’re going to get rid of the weighing yourself. You’re going to get rid of the judging yourself and what you weigh and what you look like. You’re going to get rid of restriction, and you’re going to be a leader. You’re going to be a leader. People are going to look at you and go, “Wow, amazing. A woman who’s healthy eating and working out and isn’t being defined by what she weighs on the weighing scales. Wow. God, great.”
People around me can know that I don’t have a weighing scale, so there’s more to me than that. I’m freeing up my brain for more important stuff because I’m a complete legend and I’m not spending the whole time thinking about what I weigh. I’m spending my time on personal development, on hiking, on doing fitness events.
I hope you find this helpful. I try to keep these episodes short but to the point, because I don’t want to waffle on for you. I hope you enjoyed this. If you’ve any feedback for me or if you’d like to see a topic covered, I would love you to email me on Jessica@inspirefitness.ie. That’s Jessica@inspirefitness.ie.
I hope you enjoy this post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Jessica Cooke X