Today on the podcast:

Derval is an Irish former sprint hurdles athlete. She competed internationally in the 60 and 100 metres hurdles, and is the Irish national record holder in both events. She participated in two Indoor World Championships, five Outdoor World Championships and the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics.

She is also a coach on RTE’s Ireland’s Fittest Family, proud mum and best-selling author of two cookbooks The Fit Foodie and Food for the Fast Lane.

I first met Derv on the set of Ireland’s Fittest Family in 2018 and we’ve been friends ever since. This episode was long overdue. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed recording it. Listen is as Derv discusses how to build a healthy lifestyle that helps you lose weight; how to set realistic weight loss goals and learning from past failures; how to learn resilience; the major thing that holds people back with their health and fitness; the power of committing to one coach, program or plan; advice to busy mums; the importance of self-care and prioritizing yourself; and much more.

Episode Outline

  • 04:12 How Derval entered the world of fitness and set up her business
  • 11:51 The biggest struggle that members in Derval’s community tend to have
  • 16:05 A recent client question that challenged Derval
  • 19:22 Advice for those looking to start a fitness journey
  • 23:54 Learning resilience
  • 27:28 What holds most people back from achieving their fitness goals?
  • 31:15 The benefits of keeping a healthy lifestyle journal
  • 38:20 A belief that Derval has dropped since starting her journey
  • 43:07 How Derval curates her social media consumption
  • 47:21 Derval’s self-care protocol
  • 48:44 Prioritizing sleep as a mom
  • 49:30 What Derval is most excited about right now

Key Points

  • Four-week challenges (and other short-term challenges of any length) aren’t in themselves sustainable in the long-run. Your goal when creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself is to actually make it a lifestyle—not merely a diet or a program.
  • When looking to start a fitness journey, start something realistic. Many clients have tried and failed in the past because they set unreasonable expectations for themselves in terms of time and effort. If you are already time-poor or relatively new to fitness, do not put too much work on yourself or you will lose motivation fast—or worse, sustain an injury or adverse reaction to a sudden change in your diet.
  • Adopting new habits, healthy or otherwise, takes time. Just as you should be focusing on taking on a long-term lifestyle over a short-term program, and just as you need to be realistic about implementing only what works for you, you should be patient whenever you want to incorporate a new habit into your life. What helps is tweaking the small things and working your way up. For example, instead of completely overhauling your diet, start on your breakfast first, then lunch, then dinner, then snacks in between, then your portioning and timing, etc.

Powerful Quotes by Derval

  • I felt that there was a way to embrace a healthy lifestyle that isn’t miserable or restrictive.
  • When it comes to food, it’s not sustainable to be healthy long-term if what you’re doing is miserable.
  • It’s really detrimental to think that you have the answers to everything.
  • It’s not about winning or being your perfect self all the time. It’s about being on the road to progress.
  • Life can be hard; but the thing is, you only have one life.
  • You don’t—and shouldn’t—need to listen to everyone. Pick and choose who you follow on social media carefully.

Derval O’Rourke

3 Time Olympian & Best-Selling Author

Derval O’Rourke is an Irish former sprint hurdles athlete. She competed internationally in the 60 and 100 metres hurdles, and is the Irish national record holder in both events. She participated in two Indoor World Championships, five Outdoor World Championships and the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics.

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