The Healthy Post Natal Body Podcast

How to plan for, and succeed at, improving your health in 2022

January 02, 2022 Peter Lap
The Healthy Post Natal Body Podcast
How to plan for, and succeed at, improving your health in 2022
Show Notes Transcript

This week, since it's the start of the New Year, I thought I would do an episode on "how to plan for, and succeed at,  improving your health".

No matter what your goal is this year, I will talk you through how to actually make it stick this year.

Want to lose weight? Want to improve your cardio vascular fitness? Want to lift heavier things or just get started with doing some exercise?

Maybe you'd like to just slow down and improve your mental health a bit.

Or is this the year where you'll finally improve your posture, stop your back from hurting and heal your diastasis recti.

It doesn't really matter what your goal is, if you follow some basic steps you are guaranteed to get the results you want. And it won't cost you the world.

Here are the questions I always ask that I go over in the podcast so you can copy them and go through them yourself (make sure ou listen to the motivation behind each question though)

I've written them down for diet and exercise but you can apply this to any goal!

1; Have you ever done any form of diet/exercise before and what did you enjoy about it?
2: What are your diet/fitness goals? i.e. Lose X amount of weight, be stronger, complete a marathon etc.
3: Why are these your goals? i.e. Why do you want to lose this specific amount of weight?
4: On a scale of 1-10; how determined are you to reach your goals?
5: When do you want to achieve these goals by? Be as specific with your date as possible.
6: How much time are you realistically willing and able to spend in an effort to achieve your goals?
7: What obstacles can you think of that might prevent you from reaching your goals? i.e. big   events coming up, work deadlines, nights out, dietary knowledge etc.
8: On a scale of 1-10; How confident are you that you can achieve your goals? And why do you feel this level of confidence?
9: What assistance would you most benefit from? (This is in bold for a reason!!)

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Playing us out this week; "Story" by Half Measure

Welcome to the Healthy Postnatal Body Podcast with your postnatal expert Peter Lap. That, as always, would be me.

Today. I am talking about how to plan for, and succeed at, improving your health in 2020.

And this will go whatever your goals are to do with physical and mental fitness.

Basically, it's the start of the new year. So I thought I'd do an episode on how to make sure that this year it sticks. If you've tried before to improve your health, whether it's weight loss or weight gain or going to the gym more,  just moving a bit more, improving your diastasis recti, improving your posture. Maybe finally, this is a year your back will stop hurting and all that sort of stuff.

 I will talk you through how to do it and make sure it sticks this year. Without it, of course, costing you the world. Right?

So that's what we're doing today, nothing else to it! It’s a New year. So happy New Year. And that's what we're doing. We're going to make sure that 2022 is a year that you can actually achieve all your fitness goals. Right? Doesn't that sound awesome? Doesn't that sound worth sticking around for? I think it does. Right. Here we go.


After intro music;


Hey, welcome to the Healthy Postnatal Body Podcast. Like I said, it is just little old me this week. Happy New Year. This is the podcast for the 2 January 2022. So it's a new year.

And to be honest, I was going to do like a compilation show or something like that this week. But I didn't really have enough time to put together and I thought compilation shows are one of those lazy “I've got nothing to talk about and see how wonderful I am” sort of compilation things show that you get at the end of the year. 

Maybe I should have thrown it out as a bonus or something like that, could have done it just in case there was an episode you missed and you thought snippets. I might start doing that because we've been going for a little while again, every now and again throwing a snippet out. But I thought that's a bit. If the podcast had come out on December 31 or the 30th, I could have done it. 

And I can look back to the past year, but I really wanted the last few weeks of the year to lead up to momentum for change to set you up well in 2022. 

So that's why I did the binge eating thing with Dr. Livingston last week. With Glenn.

By the way, still go to his website, click whatever you need to click. Have a look at the old podcast description for last week, and you get a free copy of his book, right? Just for being good people who listen to this podcast.

We did a plant-based dietitian. I did one on “why your plans usually fail” and everything was basically gearing up towards you being able to have everything in place to succeed in 2022. 

And then I would have ruined all that momentum by doing some sort of look back sort of thing. I'd much rather do a program on how you can succeed in 2022. 

Let's make sure this year it sticks, right. Everybody a lot of people have some goals. You see, all the dietitians, all the intuitive eating and anti-diet dietitians. On the other hand, Noom and Keto, Huel, and all those horrible fucking companies, Pardon my French, out there now trying to sell you whatever they're selling. 

Everybody's selling you stuff. That's kind of what they do. Nobody's helping, everybody's selling. And let me be the voice of calm in an oasis of noise. (joking)

So I'm just going to tell you how you can: plan for and succeed at and make it stick this year. 

Whatever your goal is, it doesn't matter whether it's weight loss or weight gain or like I said, fix your diastasis recti or finally improve your health a bit. Maybe that shoulder that's always been hurting. Maybe this is the year that you'll finally get the right tools and with the right planning, we can make that stop hurting. If you have pelvic floor problems, this is the year you can get that sorted. 

All we have to do is set ourselves up to succeed. And the same goes for weight loss and all that sort of stuff. It doesn't matter what diet you're thinking of choosing. I will talk you through it and how to make sure that you can actually succeed at those goals without immediately after three weeks throwing your toys out of the pram and going back to the old way of life and then having wasted another year not getting to where you want to be. And that's the important bit right? Now of course, we'll talk about how goal setting and all that sort of stuff in a little bit as well. 

But what I'd like to start off with basically, I'll take you through a form that I use with all my personal training clients and one or two other people. And at the end of this, my goal is for you to have a clear idea. If you answer these questions clearly and you write this stuff down a little bit for yourself, you will have a clear idea as to what your goals really are and what is achievable and not and how to plan to succeed for that. 

Right, so I'm going to stick as an example to weight loss and exercise. That is just as an example for your goals. But that is just so I have a constructive, a clear narrative throughout the podcast. So this goes, like I said, goes for any goal. If you're looking to de-stress, if you're looking to sleep better and all that sort of stuff, this will help with that if you just follow these steps. Right, so let's get cracking. 

The first question I always ask anybody when they come to me for fitness and exercise and health and exercise. And all those sort of stuff is: have you ever done any form of exercise before or, if you're looking at diet, Have you done any form of dieting before? And what did you enjoy about it? 

That is the starting point of any successful health management program, so to speak. If I use, if it doesn't sound too jargony. Any sort of health management program is what do you enjoy about it? 

If you start on a negative with any of this sort of stuff, you are not going to be able to succeed because you can't do something negative for years and years on end. You can't do it. It simply it's horrible and you won't enjoy it. And that's why most people fail. 

So have you ever done anything like that before? And what did you enjoy about it? 

So ask yourself the question if you're looking at exercise. Erm…I don't know. Say you've done three or four things. Say you've played football in the past or you’ve played a team sport in the past, and you've gone to the gym occasionally for weight training and you've gone to the yoga classes or local Pilates studio. 

Say those three things are all things that you've tried before. So have you ever done any of these forms before? Yes, these three. What did you enjoy about it? If you then come up with saying I hated the weightlifting. I hated the yoga, although I did quite enjoy the yoga when I used to go with my friends, but I liked the football. Then that is what you kind of should write down.

So you like the football? Why do you like the football, right? What did you enjoy about it? Because that is the next step.

And if then it turns out the element you like about it is the team element, which is also why you enjoyed going to yoga with your friend and why you hated lifting weights by yourself. Then you can say, okay, the best way for me to achieve something, to achieve whatever my goal is, weight loss or muscle gain or whatever, is by doing it with somebody else. Right? That is the whole point of that first question. What have you done before? And what did you enjoy about it?

So if you say actually, my goal here is to tone up, to get stronger then the solution that you might otherwise come up with is saying “so that means I need to go back to the gym. And I hate lifting weights. It's going to suck” and all this stuff, right. Because the only way to tone up and to get stronger is by lifting things. That is just the way it is. 

However, if you enjoy the team element of it, then you can say, hey, maybe a CrossFit type gym or a gym, at least with a strong team building atmosphere is maybe for you. Maybe group exercise classes are the way to go for you within Edinburgh, we have two or three gyms that are specifically set up for them. I'm not going to name their names. 

But every place out there has a good fitness gym. Every city in the world will have this, a good fitness gym where there's a strong team building element, a strong group atmosphere. So that might well then be for you. So the reason you didn't like weight lifting in this particular case wasn't that you hated the lifting of weights. It's like you hated doing it by yourself. 

It's the same as most people will have done some form of diet before. If you've been trying to lose weight for a while, for a few years, and you likely have tried one or two things. If you say, okay, I hated keto. I despise it because I hated the low carb element of it. But if you then said, I like counting calories,

Let's stick to diets at work, right? So that rules out Weight Watchers and Scottish Slimmers and all those bloody clubs.

I liked to eat healthy on the Mediterranean diet because I like to eat a lot of fish and all that sort of stuff. That's what I enjoyed about it. Then, you know, they will …

Say you've tried keto. You've tried counting calories and you've tried the Mediterranean diet, those three. Now, what did you like about it? Well, I really liked the variety in the Mediterranean diet. I hated counting calories on the keto diet…, on the counting calories diet. And I wasn't keen on keto because it was just a bit boring.

 I enjoy carbs too much or whatever. Then you know, not only are keto and thingme not for you. Then you can look at the Mediterranean diet and write that down. I enjoyed the variety of it. 

And then you could potentially say, “okay, Mediterranean diet maybe didn't work for me”. Although, of course, that doesn't mean that you have to go back to the Mediterranean diet. But it then mean that the Mediterranean diet works for you because there was a large amount of variety in there or a large amount of fish or whatever you enjoyed about that diet. That is what you focus on.

 Right? We'll come to the obstacles in a little bit with these things. 

So what are your fitness goals, right? Is the next question. So have you done any form of exercise or diet before? And what did you enjoy about it? That is your fundamental question. Where can you find the joy? That's the most important thing. 

And secondly, what are your fitness goals? Do you want to lose X amount of weight? Do you want to be stronger, complete a marathon or heal your diastasis recti or whatever you want to do? 

Write them down. Always. Always write your goals down. And when I say, write your goals down. I'm talking about your long-term goals. 

I'm not talking about a month. I'm talking about 2022. Write it down. What do you want to achieve this year? 

Your goal could well be “I want to lose 80lbs this year”. Doesn't matter what the figure is, right. You want to lose 200lbs this year? You can write that down. I'm not saying your goals have to be achievable at this stage. I need you to just write them down as you have them in your head. 

Because if you don't write them down as you have them in your head, then you'll never be pleased with the results you'll get. So write them down. 

Lose X amount of weight, increase my deadlift by 50kg, complete a marathon or a half marathon, or heal my diastasis recti or fix my posture. Right. 

Any of these questions will do. Be able to play with my kids without being in pain, all that sort of stuff or just be less stressed, whatever it is. 

Like I said, we'll stick to diet and exercise for this particular example, but this works for absolutely everything. 

So what are your goals? That's the second thing. Your goals for 2022. 

The next question has to be, Why are these your goals? Right? 

In this particular example, why do you want to lose this specific number of weight? Why did you write down 80lbs? Why did you write down 200lbs? 

The goal isn't to question the number here. The goal is to question the thinking here. Right? So when people come to me and say, when I say, what are your fitness goals? And they say, I want to heal my diastasis recti, because that's still one of the main reasons people come to me. Awesome. Why is that your goal? And then you say because it will make me feel better, because I'll be stronger, because it really bothers me. Whatever the reason is, you need that on paper. So if you don't specify what the reason is, it could be any superficial reason. It's completely fine. Right. Because I think I look better and I want my friends to all be jealous of me. Yeah, fine. Go for it.

Because I just broke up with somebody and I want to look amazing next year, so they'll be jealous. I want to be back on the market. It doesn't matter what the reason for the goal is. It really doesn't, not at this stage. So write them down. Why is it your goal? Why is it 100 kg? I get a lot of people that come to me saying, “I want to lose weight”. I don't do an awful lot of weight loss, but I still have two or three weight loss clients, because the methodology works, right? So they come to me and they say, “I want to lose X amount of weight” and then when I say, “Why do you want to lose this particular amount of weight, this specific amount of weight”. They usually come back with something, especially men, they'll come back to me saying, “yeah, because this was the weight I was when I was still playing rugby when I was 25”. That's okay. It doesn't matter why it is your goal. That's what you need to write down at this stage. 

Now, on a scale of one to ten, this is the next question; on a scale of one to ten. How determined are you to reach that particular goal that you've just written down? Right

 It's really important that you think about this. So a ten is I will do whatever it takes to achieve this particular goal. So that's very strong. That means I will do absolutely anything, that means missing birthday parties. If that means…never to drink again, whatever for the course of the year, until my goal is achieved, then that's fine. That's a 10, a one is. I don't actually want to do anything for it. This is also completely fine. Whatever your motivation is, your determination is, you just write that down and you say on a scale of one to ten, how determined am I actually to reach that goal? 

Anything in between is fine. So a seven is pretty determined. Don't write down a nine if you don't really mean it, right. This is all about honesty, and you're only writing this down for yourself. So there's no point in lying. A lot of people tell me when they've never exercised before and they come to me and they say, I'm determined to exercise three times a day. I'm going to get this goal. It's about a nine on my list of priorities, and it's clearly only about a two or three because fundamentally, they have other priorities. If your family and all that is significantly more important to you, as in you're not an Olympic athlete, because those guys and girls are all selfish arseholes, right? Because you have to be to perform at that level, right? There's a lot of sacrifice to be made if you want to be at that level, that's a ten. That's Olympic athlete level determination. An eight isn't that, an eight is saying “I don't know. I'll still want to attend one or two birthday parties, have a a piece of cake”. 

A five. If you're talking about weight loss, five is” I can't really be bothered changing my diet too much, but I'll try”. That sort of thing. So how determined are you to reach your goals? 

Then the next question is quite an important one, but for a different reason than most personal trainers think it is. When do you want to achieve these goals by?

So say again, we're talking about losing a bit of weight. Save 80lbs or 200lbs or heal your diastasis recti. It doesn't matter, right, what you goal is

Say 200lbs. I want to lose 200lbs. Okay. When do you want to achieve these goals by and be specific with the date. Really nail that down because there's always a reason why it's in your head. There's always a date in your head. If your date is “sometime this year.” Okay fair enough. For most people they have some sort of idea. I want to lose 200lbs. We'll stick to that example because there's a reason I'm saying it. So say, on a scale of one to ten, you're an eight at determination. You want to lose 200lbs and you want to do that by June 1, because that's when it's holiday season again. Right? 

As soon as you're writing that down, you can already see things starting to fall apart a little bit, I hope. Right. But write it down. When do you want to achieve these goals by. So if you have had diastasis recti for three years, it's completely fine. “This year is the year I'm going to fix it”. When do you want to have your diastasis recti healed by? Just write it down and be as specific as you can. Then the next question pops in.

How much time are you realistically willing and able to spend training, dieting, cooking, whatever it is, in an effort to achieve your goals?

Big question that. How much time are you realistically willing and able to spend training?

I get a lot of people that come to me saying I can go to the gym three times a week for an hour. I can exercise three times a week for an hour. And these are usually moms, one or two kids. And I'm just go: “No you can’t. You don't have the time to spend three or 4 hours a week training. For most people, unless you have help and all that sort of stuff and you can maybe make it work. But most women, especially have other things to do. Guys tend to have jobs. Women tend to have a million things to do, including jobs.

In my case, there's a woman I deal with, baby duties and toddler duties and all that sort of stuff.

So how much time are you realistically willing and able to spend training in an effort to achieve your goals? 

Now, if you're talking about weight loss, we're not just talking training, right? We're talking cooking and all that sort of stuff. How much time are you realistically willing and able to spend cooking in an effort to achieve your weight loss goal? 

How much time are you willing and able to spend planning your weekly meals in an effort to achieve your goal? 

So how much time are you…. with regards to mental health? How much time you realistically willing and able to spend meditating in an effort to achieve your goal of improved mental health? 

That is the question you're asking, how much time are you going to put in? 

Remember you told me what your goals were. You said to yourself, why these are your goals. You said how determined you are to reach those goals. Right? So if you say I'm at ten on a scale of one to ten, I'm at ten and determined how to reach my goal. 

And then you tell me you only want to spend two or 3 hours working on your goal. Then those two things are not really compatible. Right? If you're a level ten determined level 9-10 determined. You're willing to do whatever it takes. How much time you realistically willing and able to spend?? “however much time you want me to spend in there. Peter”, that is the answer. How much time..

 I've had clients come to me before and we're talking like higher end, financially, very secure clients whose main goal for their work is to look a certain way, to feel a certain way and they will do whatever I tell them to do. People that work towards movies and all that sort of stuff. Like again, Olympic level athletes, they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal, to spend however much time it really takes. Andy Murray spends 4 or 5 hours a day training, or used to, before he messed up his hip. What are you willing to sacrifice? Yes, I won't see my daughter being born, but that's what I'm willing to do because I'm training this afternoon doing leg presses.

 So again, write that down and make sure everything matches up. Don't lie to yourself. If you say “I can commit 2 hours a week to achieving my goal”, then that is fine. There is no right or wrong here. There is no catch, there is no trap. It's all very straightforward stuff. 

Right. Then we get to the next question, which is: 

What obstacles can you think of that might prevent you from reaching your goals? Of course, when you scale of one to ten determined, you're ten determined. There's nothing that gets in the way because everything gets cancelled. But for most normal people, things like big events, meals out, parties, all that sort of stuff. 50th birthday party coming up,40th birthday party coming up, work deadlines for a lot of people, they've got stuff to do. They've got a busy job, a lot of my clients.

“I have a couple of toddlers running around”. That sort of stuff can be an obstacle to you exercising a lot, having to take care of your kids, nights out, lack of dietary knowledge, not knowing how to cook. If you’re talking weight loss, not knowing how to cook your own food is an obstacle to weight loss. Not being in the right frame of mind is an obstacle to reaching your goals, Always! With regards to say your mental health is struggling, suffering from anxiety and depression, that can really get in the way of any sort of health and fitness goals, right?

You have to account for that stuff. So let's write that down. What obstacles can you think of? 

And this is if you're honestly, and if most people are honest about this, this can be quite the list. 

I don't trust people that say “none”, because if you tell me on a scale of one to ten, you're eight or nine+ determined and you can't think of any obstacles, then you would already be an Olympic level athlete or have achieved your goals. 

There isn't a single person out there that is level ten determined, that has no obstacles that hasn't already started, right? That is not level ten. It just isn't. 

But write down your obstacles. And again, it doesn't matter how many there are. 

We'll overcome them all! Right? 

Then the next question: on a scale of one to ten, how confident are you that you can achieve your goals? And why do you feel this level of confidence?

As in: make sure you have something to back this up for yourself. Again, this is not for me. You're not trying to convince me, right? 

You write down and you say “I'm a level nine confident that I can achieve this”. Okay, if you've tried something ten times before and it's not really succeeded, then why are you now level nine confident? 

Write down what your level, what backs that level up. That level of confidence. And again, just be honest with yourself. This stuff is all about self-discovery and finding out what really works and what will not work for you. 

So we've established just at the end of this little thing because the next question is the big one. 

We've established what you used to enjoy about stuff, whether it's diet or exercise. What your goals are. Why they're your goals on a level ten, scale of one to ten. How determined you are to reach them when you want to reach them by. How much time you're realistically, willing and able to spend on achieving your goals. What obstacles you have and how confident you are of those right now. 

Then you go back over the form and you have a look to see whether everything matches up. 

So say you want to lose 80lbs. You want to lose it by March. You want to lose 80lbs because you know, the last time you were 80lbs lighter, you were 25 and you were playing loads of rugby or something along those lines and you now weigh 80lbs more than you used to at the time. You're now 45 and you've got a busy job and a couple of kids and all that sort of stuff. 

Now the question is, you then have to ask is “how realistic is my goal?”. On a scale of one to ten how determined are you to reach that goal? I'm a level ten, but I've got a couple of kids. 

Am I willing to never see my kids for the next X amount of time in an effort to achieve the goal? So is my goal now realistic with regards to the time frame that I've put on it, is the first question. 

Is my goal realistic? Am I able to meet this goal with the level of time I'm willing to commit to it? 

Is my goal realistic with regards to the amount of obstacles I have in my way, do I have other obstacles to overcome first, on my journey to achieving my goal, such as, I don't know, I don't know how to cook, but I want to lose X amount of weight. 

So I'm relying on convenience meals and takeaways and all that sort of stuff, but I don't know how to cook, right? It's important to figure this out, because the next question is what I always ask people that come to me is “Okay. What can I do to help you achieve your goals?”

What assistance we can benefit of from the most? What is the most useful form of assistance you can bring into your life to help you achieve your goal.

So when we're talking about diastasis recti, if one of you have you done exercise before? “Yeah, I didn't mind exercising. I like it by myself.” Awesome. What's your goal?  “Heal my diastasis recti”. Why?” Because I want to have a flat tummy”. On a scale of one to ten how determined are you? “ Yeah about a six or seven”. When you want to achieve it by? “I don't know. Sometime this year is fine. 9th of September”. Whatever it is. How much time are you willing to spend on it? “A little bit of time? Not too much because I'm a couple of kids because those are my obstacles. I’ve a couple of work events coming up. I'm not eating all that well and all that. As in, my diet makes me bloat a little bit every now and again, which I'm not willing to change,”. And that's all completely fine. How confident are you? “Six or seven?” What assistance would you benefit from the most? “Well, I need to know how to heal my diastasis recti.” 

So then the best thing you can do is ,in this particular example, which I used deliberately, sign up for HPNB for and start on a postnatal program. Of course, as I would always say, start on my postnatal program rather than MuTu because you'll save yourself a bit of money.

If you're talking weight loss, what assistance would you benefit from the most to help you achieve weight, to help you lose weight? If you don't know how to cook, is probably not a personal trainer, right? 

It would be useful to have a personal trainer and have some accountability and all that sort of stuff. But the main thing you would benefit from, if not knowing how to cook is your biggest obstacle to achieving your goal of weight loss, is taking cooking classes, healthy eating cooking classes. 

And I'm not talking about bloody mindful-chef or NOOM or any of those companies. I'm not saying that they won't be useful, I'm just saying that it doesn't have to be. Hellofresh and all those clowns, right? I'm saying: maybe a cookbook, maybe spend a bit of time with a chef or in a cooking school. I know cooking classes can be expensive, right? In Edinburgh. Definitely, Edinburgh is not cheap for cooking classes. Asking friends how to cook is a cheaper way of doing it. 

Asking other people for assistance is by far the easiest way to get to your goal, by the way. Right?

 I always say work with an expert if you can afford it. If you can't afford it, fine. Go to YouTube and figure it out for yourself. So healthy eating. Make sure what you're looking at on YouTube is actually healthy eating related and not low-calorie doughnuts. Or “this is how you cook a steak” and then drown it in butter. Not healthy eating. Healthy eating is not necessarily equate to weight loss, by the way, but for most people, it does, right? Just because you're cutting a lot of rubbish out when you eat healthily. Again, if this is your goal, if your goal is to lose weight and the obstacle is not knowing how to cook, learning how to cook is by far the most important thing to do. 

And then you ask yourself, what can I afford? What assistance do I need and what can I afford to do? If you're not willing to ask for help at this stage to help you overcome your obstacles, I would argue that your level of determination is pretty low. 

So making sure you are aware of your obstacles is actually key to overcoming those obstacles and succeeding, right? Every obstacle you've written down is an obstacle that can be overcome. Every single one of them. When you're talking work deadlines or something like that, you just take them into account. I'm going to have several female clients that are sporadically, really busy with work like high-flying executives, and every now and again, they know they've got a big project finishing end of April this year, and they know that for a two to three week period that month, they're not really going to be able to focus that much on their health and fitness as they otherwise would. 

They're not going to be able to focus that much on achieving the goal, that they might have, as they otherwise would. In that case, you just bump your goal out by a couple of weeks. (As Buddy Snores in the background, he's very comfortable). 

You have to take that into account. The obstacle that is in your way is not necessarily an obstacle that can be overcome easily, as in that you can just move aside saying, like I don't know, a nightout coming up with colleagues, but I don't want to go anyway, so I'll just cancel that. But it's always something that can be dealt with. There isn't a single obstacle that I can think of that people have that cannot be taken account of when it comes to achieving your goals.

I've had people with four kids exercise regularly, even four young children exercise regularly in an effort to heal their diastasis recti. All it needed was a bit of amendment on my side of the time of my postnatal exercise package. So this is Edinburgh based, right? So not for most of you guys. 

But we can always make allowances for this. That's kind of what I'm saying. 

So make sure once you've gone through all these things… I have never come across anyone that looks at this entire list answers all the questions openly and honestly, then analyses it, looks at it again to see whether they're being realistic with their goals or whether they've just plucked figures out of thin air or realistic with it that did not meet their goals that year. 

Because, believe it or not, meeting your goals is nothing to do with motivation. It really isn't. At the start of January, everybody is motivated to lose a lot of weight, but the motivated people aren't the ones that are still there at the end of the year achieving all their goals.

It's the people that have put a plan in place that is realistic. If your goal is to lose 50lbs and it doesn't matter when you lose it. You know…say.

 I’ll just throw this out there. Say you're 35 years old. It's pretty much dab in the middle of the demographic of this podcast, 32 to 35 years old, and you're a woman and you've been struggling to lose weight for the best part of, I don't know, six or seven years. Which is again not unheard of for a lot of people. 

And you'd like to lose 20lbs, 30lbs something like that. So a stone and a half/two stone, something like that. Does it really matter whether you lose that by March or June or December? 

No, I would argue it doesn't unless you have a big thing coming up, it probably doesn't. But if you have a movie coming out and you need to lose 20lbs, you don't give me a bill, I’ll help you out, but the studio would probably pay for it, and you probably don't need me. If you have a wedding coming up in June, then maybe it matters that you reach a goal by June. 

But for most people, unless you have a really specific date that you need to achieve it by, I would argue that the date doesn't matter that much and therefore a lot of obstacles that might be in your way can very easily be overcome because you're not rushing.

Looking at that piece of paper then, if you say I want to lose 30lbs and I want to get that done sometime 2022, it would be nice to end 2022 20lbs lighter, because then I'll feel better and I'd like to be healthier and I'd like to be more toned and all that sort of stuff. My lack of cooking knowledge is one of the obstacles that is holding me back.

 Awesome. January is an excellent time to go and invest or go and look at and spend some time planning your YouTube journey and your weight loss journey and to think to yourself, okay, what recipes do I like to eat? 

What kind of food do I enjoy eating? What kind of diet? And then question one, have you ever done any form of diet before? 

What do you enjoy about it? That is where you start. It starts with joy. It has to start with what you enjoyed. It has to. Otherwise it's not going to stick. I promise you, it's not going to stick. 

And then you can take I'm not saying put it off because you're not putting off because you're taking action then at that stage, right? 

Action doesn't start at the moment where you start eating less. Action starts at the moment where you're planning, right? And this sounds maybe rather counterintuitive for people. But if you say again, stick 20-30lbs to lose, end of the year is completely fine. The best way for you to do that is by starting your cooking journey. So you say, “okay, then not knowing how to cook is an obstacle. Okay. I'm going to learn one recipe this week”. 

Just one. All you need to do. I'm going to find a meal that I enjoy. Healthy eating, right? Always stick to healthy eating. That's what I always say.

That is your basis of everything in life. I'm going to find a meal that I enjoy and I'm going to find, I'm going to learn how to cook it. So I don't rely on convenience foods and takeaways and all that sort of stuff. Hellofresh and all those sort of things anymore. I'm going to figure out that Hey, this is Chile and I'm going to go to Sainsbury’s or Marks and Spencer or Tesco or wherever you go, Lidl,  you go to whatever shop you go to and you buy the ingredients to learn how to cook that one meal.

And you're going to try to cook it. And It’ll take an eternity because it always does. Even a 15 minutes stir-fry takes a long time to get right. If you've never done a stir-fry before, right.

 I know Jamie Oliver did a book, 15 minutes meals or something like that and it’s “Bish bash bosh”. 

Yeah, once you know how to do them, they're 15 minutes meals.

 But the first time you spend an hour and a half just dicking around in the kitchen. Sorry “messing around” in the kitchen. So accept that it's going to take a bit of time. And there will be frustrations along the line. Like I said, if you have a friend that really knows how to cook, don't just ask them for the recipe. Just say, “hey, next time you're making up, can I potter about the kitchen and see how you do it? Can you help me? Can you teach me how to cook this?” Too many people just ask for a recipe. Do you know how many recipe books are sold every year? It's a depressingly high number of recipe books are sold that are never used, ever. Because they're just recipe books. I like Anjum Anand. She's one of my favourite cooks. I like Rick Stein and all those sort of guys. I have Rick Stein's “Road to Istanbul” book. It's a great book. Anjum's got a lot of cool books out there. Ottolenghi has some Simple, Sweet and whatever books out there.

If I don't feel like messing about with those things, if I were friends with them, I'd ask them. Let me put it that way. If I knew Rick Stein and, your know “Inshallah”  or some stage, I may well do. If I bump into Rick Stein, he was my neighbour. I wouldn't buy his book. If I didn't know how to cook, I would ask him, Hi, Rick. You like cooking? I liked what you did on the program the other day. Would you mind showing me how to cook this? Friends don't mind showing friends how to cook stuff. Friends don't mind showing how to friends how to do something they are good at. 

They love that stuff. So that is what you need to do then.If your biggest obstacle is dietary knowledge, get someone to help you right. That is level one. If you know someone who can cook, well, get them to help you cook. If you don't know someone to help you cook well, awesome. Go onto YouTube, find someone you like to follow who doesn't oversimplify stuff. So who knows what they're talking about? It doesn't just go to Jamie Oliver “Ah Bish Bash Bosh that’s the job done.” The Joe Wicks approach, the “Lean in 15” nonsense, because this stuff takes a bit of time to learn. 

So you want to lose 20-30lbs by the end of the year. That's fine. In January, you've learned how to cook four healthy meals and if ever you just keep adding a bit to it and then you start experimenting with it because you're doing the thing you enjoy doing. You're eating the thing you enjoy eating. 

That's the first question. If you can get some exercise in there, awesome. That will help you lose weight quicker. But if your biggest obstacle is dietary knowledge and that is what you improve. And you probably find that come March time, you won't have lost that much weight yet. That's okay. You’ll have lost 5lbs, something like that. Actually, 5lbs puts you bang on target to lose 20 by the end of the year, so say you've lost 2lbs, 2lbs by March. 

That is not the stage to get concerned cus you're still learning and you're planning and you're plotting and you're scheming and you're building up to having the knowledge to drop the pounds in the second part of the year. 

Too many people, when they set themselves a relatively long-term goal, or a goal without a date, get bogged down in the first few weeks or months or days of that thing, which is why they keep choosing shitty diets. 

Which is why they sign up for personal training and a gym membership in the first week of January, when they haven't never visited the gym before. They never met the personal trainer before. They haven't had a chat with them to see if they're nice people. They haven't looked to see whether they get on. They went out to Nike, to the Nike shop on day one. They bought all the expensive fitness gear. They signed up to the expensive gym and they bought ten PT sessions with someone who they don't know is qualified. Who they don't know will support them in achieving their goals. Or they sign up to weight-watchers or they go full keto and then buy one of those crappy “Send me keto meals at home”. Sort the deals right? And they go full on. I'm going to do keto this year and there will be no cake and there will be no dis and there will be no doubt. And everything comes from a place of deprivation, a place of denying yourself the joy. And by allowing yourself the joy I don't mean eat all the doughnuts in the world. I mean of depriving yourself joy. And that is doing something you hate. 

I'm going to do something I hate this year. I'll do it for the year in an effort to achieve my goal. No one has ever succeeded doing it that way. Ever. It just doesn't happen. 

So take the time to plan this stuff. Answer the questions. Have you ever done anything like that before? And what did you enjoy about it? Where do you find a joy? 

What are your goals? Write them down and be specific in what your goals are. 

Why are they your goals? Why do you want to lose X amount of weight? 

What is your motivation? Any motivation is fine. 

What's your determination? Scale of one to ten. How determined are you to reach your goals? 

Pick a date, any date when you want to achieve these goals by. Right? 

How much time are you realistically, willing and able to spend on achieving your goals? 

Then look back and see if it's realistic: Are my goals not too far out of reach. 

Do I need to adjust my goals? You don't stop and say my goals are unachievable. I can't lose 80lbs in six months so I don't want to lose any at all. I won't lose any weight at all. No, you adjust your goals. You move your goals. Everybody always moves their goalposts and you can do that at the start. 

You're not going to end up disappointed, right? 

What obstacles are in your way? Real obstacles: dietary knowledge, kids, childcare, all that sort of stuff. It all matters. Write it down and see how you can overcome those. 

See what help you need in helping them overcome those. If your biggest obstacle in succeeding your goals and you're determined. But your biggest obstacle is childcare. 

Can you get someone else to look after your kids whilst you're doing something to achieve that goal, such as, I don't know, going to the gym. Can you look at someone? Does your gym have a creche facility of a childcare facility? Do you have a friend that can look after the kids for a while? 

Or can you go to the gym while your kid is in school? Or can you exercise at home with your child? Right? 

Those are the questions you need to ask, because those are solutions you can come up with. 

Everything we do is a positive. Everything in this thing is a positive. We're starting with joy and then, yes, we have obstacles, but we're overcoming those by putting solutions in place.

Every obstacle that I've ever come across has a solution. It just takes a bit of time and maybe a bit of help to figure out what that particular solution is.

On that happy note: I think I've waffled for quite a while. I have no idea how long I've been going for, because my timer doesn't even show it. I think I'll leave that. I think we've done all right. Right.

So just remember, answer the questions. I will put the questions in the description of the podcast. All that sort of stuff. by the way, right. Always. If you ever think to yourself, I get what you're saying, but I'd like a bit more assistance. Send me an email. I'm not even charging you. I've never charged anyone for answering any emails I haven't ever. 

And that reminds me. I have to respond to someone who contacted me before Christmas. I can sometimes be terrible at answering emails. It can sometimes take a while because I'm terrible for forgetting stuff and thinking I have responded to something when I haven't yet. So chase me up. Right? More than happy to answer anything. Whether you're a member of HPNB or not, it doesn't matter too much. I love answering questions from people. I'll be back next week. I don't know what I'm doing yet in 2022 because I haven't done my goals for me. But you take care of yourself. There's a new bit of music. Bye now