Episode 55 – New Year Fitness Goals with Jenna MacAvoy

In this episode, Sarah talks to a personal trainer Jenna McAvoy about setting realistic goals for fitness and how to maintain regular exercise in the new year.

Jenna is a former professional watersports athlete turned personal trainer with a mission to build strong women through her online coaching program Empwr

Hear how Jenna sets goals at 2 minutes, how she gets busy women to prioritise themselves at 13:07 and at around 17 minutes, and how sleep and stress affect our fitness.

Find Jenna on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenna-mcavoy-4b1546142/
on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jenna_mcavoy/
The walking pad Jenna mentions LONTEK Under Desk Treadmill and the book she is currently reading, The Mountain is You, by Brianna Wiest

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Therapist Corner


ATT55 Transcript

Wed, Dec 14, 2022 2:06PM • 35:00


clients, goal, gym, week, big, lifestyle, people, nutrition, strategies, busy, feel, women, struggle, walk, thinking, absolutely, bit, steps, set, sleep


Jenna McAvoy, Sarah Rees


Sarah Rees  00:09

Welcome to Ask the Therapist, a monthly podcast for everyone who’s interested in how our minds work building resilience through journaling, and all things therapy. I’m your host Sarah Rees, a mental health nurse and CBT therapist with over 20 years of experience in the field of mental health.


Sarah Rees  00:27

Happy New Year. Thank you for joining us. My name is Sarah. This is Ask the Therapist. Tt’s 2023 and today we have Jenna McAvoy joining us. She’s a fitness coach, personal trainer and she runs Empower. I will put a link to all her socials and her website below. She’s got a free download, a meal planner that I am just about to download now because I have to try it. I’ve been watching her prep her meals like a boss every Sunday for a while. And I need a bit of that. I got Jenna on a little bit for myself, I must admit, because I need a little bit more motivation, getting my head in gear. I’ve set myself some goals. What we’ve talked about today is made me rethink how I set my goals made them a bit more realistic. It’s given me a real motivational boost as well. And I think it’s going to do the same for you. So sit back, grab a coffee and enjoy the episode.


Sarah Rees  01:27

Hi, Jenna, lovely to have you here. Thank you so much for joining me today on Ask the Therapist. 


Jenna McAvoy  01:34

Thank you so much for inviting me. I’m really excited to talk today. 


Sarah Rees  01:37

Ah, pleasure I’m some of it is because of some of the things that I’m really keen to learn about as well. So it’s for my own gain. But I want to dive straight in and ask you, I’d love to know what a fitness coach’s goals are for 2023. So that’s my first question, a nosy one. So what are your goals? 


Jenna McAvoy  02:00

So my goals? I kind of do them every 90 days.


Sarah Rees  02:03

Oh do you?


Jenna McAvoy  02:05

Yeah, I do. Because I think if you just have that one big goal across the year, it can be quite overwhelming of how to achieve that. And that one big goal is normally broken down into lots of little ones. And things change all the time as well. So I quite like to do it every 90 days. So I look at kind of like the big rocks of the year of what have I got going on that year. Where am I travelling to? What do I want to experience? What do I want to experience my business and my personal life? And then break it down. 


Sarah Rees  02:39

That’s such a good idea. What I do is set massive goals and then come January the fifth I’ve broken them. But I love that idea. Go on anyways. 


Jenna McAvoy  02:48

Yeah, so kind of breaking it down to that. And I do this with my clients as well I teach my clients to do the same thing to have kind of that short term goal leading up to that bigger goal. So at the end of February, I’m hoping to go away on holiday. Haven’t been away for quite a while with my other half of having a full on switch off and break. So for me personally at the moment, it is aiming to that to that holiday feeling my most confident self. I think, when you’re on holiday and you’re in your swimwear and you’re dressing up for dinner, you know, feeling confident in yourself is such a good feeling. So short term goal at the moment. And I just find that as a really good driver for me personally. And then throughout the year, it’ll be like strength PBs. So what can I achieve and in the gym, in terms of like my big lifts in the gym that I really enjoy doing. And then breaking that down into kind of small, smaller actions and things like even just social things. So being able to join one of my friends, she’s super super fit and she’s just got into CrossFit where I’m not really into that. But to be able to go along to a class with a friend and have the confidence to walk in there and give it a go without thinking oh my god, you know what’s gonna happen here? So yeah, that’s kind of my fitness goals walking into 2023 and the big big goal is is to show what is my best self so that I feel confident my business and helping my clients and showing up for my partner not grumpy and, and burnt out.


Sarah Rees  04:24

Yeah, they’re lovely goals and well, I suppose I had an idea that they’d be like completely off the scale and but they’re just like all the goals we all have, aren’t they?


Jenna McAvoy  04:34

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. 


Sarah Rees  04:37

I think the big takeaway from that is that I’m going to think about is having these rocks in my year but smaller goals that is going to be really useful for me so thank you and I’m sure that everybody listening as well. 


Jenna McAvoy  04:50

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. We always put this pressure on ourselves to make this huge goal and we always end up so disappointed and frustrated at ourselves that we didn’t reach it. 


Sarah Rees  05:01

Yeah. And how did you get into the fitness world? What’s your journey been to where you are now? 


Jenna McAvoy  05:08

So I’m from the Lake District and I used to live on Lake Windermere as a child. So I’m a water baby, beautiful place to be brought up very, very lucky. Because I was a water baby, I was always on the lake waterskiing, and wakeboarding. And I was a professional wakeboard athlete. So I would travel around the world, mostly America, to go and train and compete over there. And over here. And yeah, I’ve just always been super sporty. And also, because it’s such a male dominant sport, I was a real advocate for women, getting them into a male dominant sport and promoting more females involved, and ended up coaching in that space. And then yeah, it’s just been a gradual, I had to grow up and get a proper job, because that wasn’t going to pay the bills, I have had the most incredible lifestyle, travelling the world and meeting amazing people and being the top of my sport in the UK. But yeah, I had to, I had to get a real job and decided to retrain as a personal trainer, and was a trainer in the gym, Europe’s biggest gym for five, six years. And then the pandemic hit and decided to transfer everything online. 


Sarah Rees  06:28

As we all kind of had to do, but it’s transferred, not too badly hasn’t? 


Jenna McAvoy  06:33

Yeah, it’s incredible, it’s actually given me the opportunity to work with people all over the world where before, you know, any people in the local area could work with me where now everyone around the world can access my coaching. 


Sarah Rees  06:47

So that is fantastic, isn’t it? I have the same thing that it’s kind of people have so much more choice about who they work with now. So you can get people that that absolutely the right fit for you. Because you don’t have to travel. It’s fantastic. And one of the challenges I have in kind of the therapy world and I’m wondering if you have it, I’m sure you do have it as well in the fitness world, is that we work with clients that kind of know what is right for them, they’ll kind of come into 2023, and like you say, want to be the best versions of themselves and have these goals and really know what they should be doing to get themselves there. Like I do have my fitness and diet, I know what I should be doing. And I let myself down quite a lot. So we have this problem where people know what they need to do. They know the stats, and they really struggle doing it. And I was just wondering from, you know, looking at a completely different profession, how you do that how you support people in getting them to do the steps that they know really helped them? 


Jenna McAvoy  07:49

Yeah, absolutely. So first of all, there is a lot of overwhelming information out there. So we know what to do and, and try to do it. And we think we know, but we actually don’t know. When we try to do everything all at once. And we try to do the things that have worked in the past. But actually, they didn’t really work in the past because we’re still here, you know, we’re still struggling with the same things that we’ve tell ourselves or that work, but it only works short term and not long term. And then if you’ve had like a PT or or a fitness instructor helping you in the past, you’re trying to follow it like an old plan. That was in your past lifestyle. So your lifestyle changes all of the time, your routine changes all of the time. So we need to set something up that’s achievable. And what we do, especially at this time of year, is we try to do everything all at once. And we try to cut things out of our diet out of our nutrition, things like carbs, and alcohol, we try to exercise like five times a week, this is what I’m going to do. We set all these unrealistic things into our diaries, when we’re so busy already. So we need to set something up that’s achievable. And also, we go down this kind of mindset, once we set that up in our heads of this is what I’m going to do. And when I cut this out, when I do all of this, all of this, and I’m going to get so fit this year, and I’m going to be in the shape of my life. But what what happens is, is that we go down the mindset of the all or nothing and the perfectionism. 


Sarah Rees  09:22

And I think that’s really interesting what you said, because I’ve worked with the PT in the past, and I probably still follow a lot of what I was doing them, but my life style is completely different now. And I hadn’t thought about that, you know, and you know, kind of that updating all the time, but I know what works for me when I do get it right is been really small. And as soon as I say don’t eat this, that’s all I want to eat. I’m dreadful for that. 


Jenna McAvoy  09:48

Exactly. So we tried to deprive ourselves so we’re depriving ourselves of the foods that we really enjoy. We like and then we’re overloading ourselves when we’re already super busy anyway and it’s just it, we become overwhelmed even more. So that saying that we, we think we know what to do, but we don’t do it. And the reason that you don’t do it is because you’ve overloaded yourself, you’re starving, and you’re knackered.


Jenna McAvoy  10:14

How do we look at your lifestyle, and have a look at the structure that you need, and the habits kind of comes from that big goal or that that 90 Day goal? And working back from that? And you’ve got to find out with the 90 Day goal of why is that so important to you? Why do you want that? And it’s not because we just want to feel confident on holiday, or we want to drop a couple of dress sizes. It’s once you start breaking that down and finding that why what then happens is, we find that drive, and that’s where a lot of motivation comes down to. And then we look at your overall lifestyle of what obstacles are getting in your way. What are your struggles? What do you need support with? And what strategies you need to be able to achieve feeling that way of meeting your goal,? 


Sarah Rees  11:09

Do you see common kind of blocks common kinds of things that block people from getting to their goal? 


Jenna McAvoy  11:15

Yeah, so the common blocks that working with busy women is the all or nothing mindset and the perfectionism. And what happens is we don’t have that flexibility, which as busy women, we need that flexibility, because nothing goes to plan.


Sarah Rees  11:33

Absolutely. So one of the things that I think is done really well in the fitness world and not so well, in the world of therapy is working on consistency. So how do you help people kind of maintain consistency? 


Jenna McAvoy  11:48

Yeah, so it is progress over perfection. So it’s building those habits step by step. So what I was talking about before in terms of structuring your goals, you have a goal, we set the structure, and we set the actions that we need to take. So what are these habits? What are these pillars of health that we need to implement, so that you can be consistent, then rather than overloading you with doing too much, and I help my clients and coach them through that. So we set all this structure and we can say, right, well, this is what you need to achieve. But when clients message me and go, Jen, this week, I’ve really struggled with this, then I help them kind of unpick, well, why have you struggled with this? What happened in your week that made you struggle with that? And then implement put some kind of strategy and some support in there so that they go and work on that, that week, and the next week, they’ve achieved it. And they learn. And that’s kind of why I call it Empower is because I’m empowering my clients to be able to go off and do that and learn so that when I’m not around, you know, they’re not going to be my client forever. But they have that knowledge and that understanding and that strategy.


Sarah Rees  13:07

And they learn how to do it themselves. It sounds like you’ve got a really slick formula going on of what you help. Because I was just thinking when I looked at your website, one of the things you’ve you set yourself a really big mission, I think to help busy women kind of prioritise themselves. But these women are so busy, aren’t they that they are you probably used to putting everybody else first, how do you get these women to prioritise themselves. 


Jenna McAvoy  13:35

Again, it all comes down to that first structure that we put in of, of that reason why it’s important to them. When you get down into that deeper reason, that deeper dive of like why this is important, then you set that foundation for your busy client to be able to prioritise themselves, but also with the structure that I put in place is it’s almost like a roadmap and a bird’s eye view of their lifestyle going actually, I do have time. And I can do that. And it’s having that realisation that you can do that. And when it comes to consistency, because they have that accountability each week, and they have that support in case they struggle with anything. Once they can see they have those small wins each week, that’s where you build the consistency. And I asked my clients every single week, what’s your biggest win of the week? Because what we end up doing is looking at everything we didn’t do. 


Sarah Rees  14:40

Yeah, I think that’s almost I mean, I know lots of therapists listen to this and think, How often do I ask my clients what’s gone well this week? I’m like, Oh, my God, you know, that’s so useful to check in with yourself and think what’s gone well, this way. It’s so simple, isn’t it? 


Jenna McAvoy  14:54

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And and that is where that mindset shift kind of happens with your nutrition and health of rather than focusing on what you didn’t do and what you didn’t achieve, you know, then that’s where we have that all or nothing perfectionism. What’s the point? I can’t do this and give up and kind of get on that yo yo cycle. This is how we break that yo yo dieting, going at it in the gym, seven times a week. 


Sarah Rees  15:24

I know, I was just thinking with the women that you work with a very busy, maybe struggled to prioritise themselves, do you find that you have to help them do less rather than more because of that they come to you thinking, right? She’s gonna get me to do what this that and the other. But I wonder, just as you’re talking if you’re actually worked with women to kind of do a bit last and they’re like, What, but doing last but being more strategic? 


Jenna McAvoy  15:49

Yeah, absolutely. It’s being smarter with the time that you do. We do all have that time. It’s how we structure it and how we prioritise it. And it’s a little bit of kind of shifting around of things. And you just need that person to show you and guide you to do that.


Sarah Rees  16:07

And I think having somebody like you the accountability that I know that really works, that’s why I’ve worked with coaches and stuff. I’ve got nutritionist I’ve worked with for years, but it’s that accountability, just knowing that I’m going really keeps me thinking about my food all the time. 


Jenna McAvoy  16:24

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And that is what the what my clients get out of me is that knowing, so they know, because I track, so I have literally track them. They’re like, how do you know everything? Have you got cameras on me?


Sarah Rees  16:41

But you do track them? 


Jenna McAvoy  16:43

Yeah, I do track them. So they have. So if they have like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, I have a my coaching tool of how I communicate with clients is through an app. So their watch connects to my apps. 


Sarah Rees  16:57

Oh my gosh, there’s no sitting on the couch saying yes, Jenna, I’ve done it all then is there? 


Jenna McAvoy  17:04

Yeah, see, I can see you know, how many steps they’ve done, how well they’ve slept, the quality of sleep they’ve slept. And I can see their nutrition because they track their nutrition. Again, that just depends on the person of the strategies that we’ve put in place. And whether they’ve done their gym session or haven’t done that gym session. 


Sarah Rees  17:26

Gosh, that’s taken accountability to the next level. That’s that’s just amazing. 


Jenna McAvoy  17:33

Yeah. And then they track there depends what their goal is. But if it’s like a body transformation, or wanting just to kind of feel more confident in themselves, then every single week, we track their their measures as well. So we can I can give them tips and hacks and tricks and what we need to work on every single week. So they have that accountability. And then of course, like that human side of things, like how is their stress levels? What’s caused them stress this week? What can we do looking into the next week? 


Sarah Rees  18:06

Because if you’re stressed you maintain your weight, don’t you? Which I just learned recently that it’s hard to lose weight when you’re stressed, something to do with the cortisol. I can’t remember what the science is though but being calmer helps you lose weight.


Jenna McAvoy  18:21

It really does. It’s so important and sleep. Sleep’s the biggest foundation. 


Sarah Rees  18:25

Yeah, it is. That’s what we talk about a lot as well. Yeah, it is hugely important. And with the women that you work with that keep that consistency and motivation. Are there common things that they’re doing that the ones that can’t struggle with consistency and motivation and not doing? 


Jenna McAvoy  18:43

Definitely. And just like I mentioned, there is sleep that if I look at kind of all the data that comes through my bit of a data geek, all the data come through to me and I can say I’ll look at their kind of their checking for him. It’s like I’ve had a really bad week. I’ve really struggled to get to the gym, I’ve really struggled at work and really stressed. And then I look at their data in terms of how well have they slept, compared to last week, where last week, I’ve hit all my gym sessions. I feel on top of the well they feel amazing. And you can see the data where they haven’t they’ve slept really well the week before but this week, they haven’t slept very well. 


Sarah Rees  19:21

That’s amazing because you’re seeing it not just for the individual clients for the all the women that you work with. So upping our sleep is the key and say hypothetically, we’re kind of moving into the new year. And if you have a bad night where you just hit the wall and most women have a glass of wine and then we want some chocolate or some food as well and it all goes to pot. I really need some advice for everybody listening and a little bit for me as well of when you kind of when you really spoil it. Because sometimes if I have one thing that I think oh I shouldn’t really I just think I will now I’ve had one, I’ll have 10. So what do we do in that situation just in case it happens.


Jenna McAvoy  20:05

Just in case because it will happen, it will happen. It always happens. 


Sarah Rees  20:10

What I do I’m dreadful for is that after Christmas, I think we all had this chocolate all over the house. And I just think, right, just go for it, eat it, and then it’s gone. And I shouldn’t do it. 


Jenna McAvoy  20:21

No just give it away, you know, this is the thing this time of year, we still have like things left over from Christmas, we’ve got these boxes, sweets, everybody’s given us kind of biscuits and treats, and it’s all in the cupboard, and our brain knows it’s there. And as soon as we feel that way of like, I’m so stressed, I deserve this, I need this, it’s listening to that inner critic as well. And that’s a big one. But you don’t need those things in the house. Unless you can kind of control it and, and enjoy these things without that kind of guilt and bingeing on it, then don’t have it in the house. Give it away to charity, give it away to, to people. So rather than it sat in the cupboard, it depends on your goals. You know, if you’re trying to achieve a goal, and you have all of that type of food in the house, you don’t really need it there. I would give it away to food banks. But also, the reason why you may be feeling that way is because you’re depriving yourself of it completely. I always say to my clients, you know, life’s for living, like what is life without biscuits and crisps and wine and chocolate? You know, we enjoy those things. So allow yourself to have these things. But also in moderation. 


Sarah Rees  21:32

Yeah, it’s all balance, isn’t it? I suppose. And if there was, I’m gonna put you on the spot a bit now. But if there was five things that we could be doing, like for your health, fitness, what what would those kind of top five things be so that we can all get a little bit of that strategic planning in place? 


Jenna McAvoy  21:50

Okay, so the first thing I’d start with is your goals. Look at your goals, what is it that you want to achieve? The first thing or pop to your mind, like, I want to drop the dress sizes, or that’s the first thing that will probably pop up. But then keep asking yourself, why find that deeper reason of why you want to change and what you really want. And that’s going to be a big motivational driver. So when that motivation dips, you go back to that reason of why, and that’s going to give you a motivational kick. The second thing is actually look at your structure of your of your lifestyle. What are you struggling with? What are your obstacles? And what strategies and what support do you need in there? And once you start asking yourself those questions, you’ll start placing that structure of what you need. Massively focus on your sleep, how are you gonna get optimal sleep? Not just in terms of hours, but how can you improve the quality of your sleep? How can you prepare your food so that you’re not constantly on the go and starving yourself and getting hangry and just grabbing and going, whatever. 


Sarah Rees  23:01

I see your preparation every Sunday, I’ve seen it a few times. looks so cool. And it that does motivate me to get a little bit more prepared. 


Jenna McAvoy  23:11

Yeah, that’s it. That’s a big, big struggle for a lot of busy women is that we don’t prioritise our nutrition. And we just think we’ll just grab it on the way and for a little bit more prepared and a little bit more organised, then that will help us keep on track as well with nutrition. Just spend every so every Sunday, I give myself like half an hour, it literally takes me half an hour to prep, three days worth of food.


Sarah Rees  23:34

That is not too bad at all is it?


Jenna McAvoy  23:38

You know, literally just getting breakfast together. So it’s with some frozen berries, some peanut butter, with some eat milk that’s thrown in the fridge, and it’s there for three days. And I can just grab and go and heat it up. It’s kind of breakfast snack and and lunch, and then just make dinner every evening. So yeah, being organised with foods. I could talk all day about different strategies of nutrition…


Sarah Rees  24:02

And what is your weekly fitness routine looks like? What do you do? What are your non negotiables that you kind of do? Are you in the gym every single day for hours or


Jenna McAvoy  24:15

No. Nobody has time for that. So for me personally, I like to get four workouts in in a week and always in the morning because I always find that if you don’t get it done in the morning, is that you’ve kind of got this little inner critic going and like you need to you need to you need to. And so yeah, I always say get it done in the morning. 


Sarah Rees  24:38

And you do four a week for kind of workouts. 


Jenna McAvoy  24:41

Yeah, so I train in the gym four times a week and I really enjoy strength training. I really enjoy lifting weights. It keeps me strong. You can you know, again, targets and goals of kind of lifting those weights. You always feel amazing after a workout. And then of course, we’ve got the peloton as well at home. So I use that I’ve got a little treadmill in my office like a little pad, 


Sarah Rees  25:08

I’m seeing these all over TikTok walking pads. So it’s not the big, horrible, massive machines, it’s just a pad. 


Jenna McAvoy  25:17

It’s just a pad, say, let’s so I have had a day in the office where I am so focused on work that I may not get a chance or I just haven’t gone out for a walk, then at least I’ve got my backup plan of getting my steps in and hitting my targets on there. I’ve got a gym in the garage, but also a member of other gym because I want to see people we felt that in the pandemic. But I’ve kind of got these different strategies that when I do get really busy then I’ve got different things that I can do at home or I can go to the gym. What about yourself? 


Sarah Rees  25:53

At the moment I try about three times a week, but I really I really like the peloton, I really enjoy it. I definitely do it on a Monday and Tuesday morning and I try and do it on a Saturday or Sunday. And I’m just starting to do more strength because I know as we get older we really need the weights don’t we? To do the strength training. But like you we’ve got a gym two minutes up the road and I’m starting to eye it up because I really want to get I want the they’ve got swimming pool and sauna. And I just want to get slight you see people and get I do miss the classes. Although I love the peloton, and we work it’s a big investment isn’t it and we were thinking oh my god really splash out. And then we don’t use it and it’s just getting dusty, but because it’s so interactive, we kept it up. So you have to enjoy it don’t you?


Jenna McAvoy  26:40

That is the key to consistent exercise is finding that thing that you really love. It doesn’t have to be the gym, it can be a class, it can be Pilates, it can be just or yoga or just something that you enjoy you’re more likely to do it. Don’t force yourself to do exercise that you don’t like doing because that’s not really enjoyable is it?


Sarah Rees  26:59

And I’ve got dogs as well so I’m out I will do what the dogs every day but um when in part of the move we moved away from I don’t know if you know Yoga Life in Wilmslow, so I had yoga on my doorstep so don’t have that anymore. So so like you were saying before that lifestyles change and it’s you know, I’ve probably not really kind of got a really good routine going considering my lifestyle change but I’m getting there. Hope maybe do the gym. That’s what next thing. 


Jenna McAvoy  27:26

Yeah, like you say like things do change. And when we when we start feeling that that resistance of like, Why isn’t this working anymore? You know, I want to get to the gym, but I can’t get to the gym, it’s looking at looking at what that barrier is. And then placing that strategy in place and finding that exercise that you enjoy doing. 

Sarah Rees  27:42

Yeah, I have to enjoy it. Yeah. And if I set my goal of losing weight, I just I start to eat in anticipation of possible hunger. And I just can’t do it. So it has to be about kind of just feeling good for me. And 


Jenna McAvoy  27:56

yeah, exactly and you know how amazing you feel after doing a peloton ride, you dread it and then you after it, you’re like, oh my god, that was amazing. 


Sarah Rees  28:04

You do feel great. I do. Especially if I’m doing like, doing this interview this morning I’ve been on this morning, because it does kind of fires your brain up doesn’t it, and gets you kind of just working better for the day. Are there things that you recommend for your clients at all any resources or books or you know, you’ve got an app? 

Jenna McAvoy  28:24

So I do have a busy women’s we’re talking about meal planning, free downloadable on my website, it’s www.empwr.co.uk. 

Sarah Rees  28:37

And I’ll link that in the show notes. So is that your meal prep? 

Jenna McAvoy  28:41

So it’s a guide. It’s like a guide for Busy Women for meal prep and nutrition. And and also The Mountain is You. 


Sarah Rees  28:52

Is this what you’ve been reading? 

Jenna McAvoy  28:54

I always recommend it to clients. Yeah, it’s fantastic. 

Sarah Rees  28:58

And I need to know which walking pad you have got?

Jenna McAvoy  29:02

Amazon, I’ll have to put a link in for you. 

Sarah Rees  29:07

Yes, send me the link over I’ll put it in the show notes because I think these pads are going to be the new thing. Because they’re so discreet as well. They don’t take up any room. 

Jenna McAvoy  29:16

No, they don’t take any room and little bit noisy, a little bit noisy. But also you have to concentrate on them. We see these kinds of TikToks and Reels and Instagram, um people you know, I’m working all day on my you know I’m walking and typing and no let me tell you I’ve fallen off

Sarah Rees  29:37

because there’s no bars to hold is there?


Jenna McAvoy  29:40

No. So you can walk very slowly on it if you want to kind of work but I quite like to jump on it listen to a podcast or put something on Netflix to kind of just switch off zone out, or put a little bit of learning on. 


Sarah Rees  29:53

How many steps do you do a day? 


Jenna McAvoy  29:56

So it varies for everybody depending on what’s going on in their lifestyle and what’s achievable for them, but personally, me, and it’s 10,000 steps. And what can happen is I don’t reach that that every day. But let’s say at the weekend to have a little bit more time, then I’ll chase those steps that I missed out on a week day to the week trying to hit my overall target. What about yourself? 


Sarah Rees  30:20

I’m about I’m ten, but I kind of I do a walk with the dogs every morning. So I get a good four. But then, I mean, my job is so sedentry. I sit down all day, which is so bad for your health, it’s really not good. So I will try and even if it’s just kind of whizz around the block in my lunch break to try and get a few extra steps, since I don’t always hit it. But I’ve never done that kind of kept track of it and thought at the weekend, I’ll try and do a bit more. So that’s maybe something that I could add in. 


Jenna McAvoy  30:52

Yeah, definitely. And it’s even like walking with a friend going for coffee with a friend. We need to sit in, sit in, you know, a Costco or a coffee shop and just have a catch up plan a walk with a friend on a beautiful day. It’s so nice. I always have like a monthly catch up with one of my friend.


Sarah Rees  31:12

Coffe and walk rather than coffee and sit. 


Jenna McAvoy  31:15

We have about an hour and a half thought just chatting and at the times gone and you’ve caught up and you’ve done about 15,000 steps. 


Sarah Rees  31:22

That’s amazing. That’s fantastic. And what my final question that I asked kind of all the people that come on the podcast is what would you say to your 15 year old self, you now kind of looking thinking about where you are in your life, you could go back to the 15 year old version of you, what would you say to her? 


Jenna McAvoy  31:40

God a lot.


Sarah Rees  31:41

I know, I wish I could do it.


Jenna McAvoy  31:45

A lot. And oh my goodness, that is such a hard question, isn’t it? It’s such a , I don’t even know. I think, I think the biggest takeaway, and this is something quite recently is that you are going to make mistakes, and it’s going to be a big journey. And that these mistakes that you make from being a teenager throughout to late 30s is gonna make you who you are and be proud of that. But you can do anything you put your mind to. 


Sarah Rees  32:17

What were you doing when you were 15? Were you kind of doing the wakeboarding and all that?


Jenna McAvoy  32:21

Yeah I was a Professional wakeboarder in America. Yeah. Swanning around America. And 


Sarah Rees  32:28

wow, did you feel invincible doing that all? 


Jenna McAvoy  32:32

What I miss is the lifestyle and the weather. I miss Florida. Yeah, the weather. And yeah, it was incredible. 


Sarah Rees  32:44

It sounds absolutely incredible experience. And if people I’m sure people who are listening to you today, and we’ve talked a lot about that accountability, how important that is. And you know, I always I just think it is so beneficial to really work with somebody specifically looking at your needs at some point, even if you just did it for three months or something. You can carry that on for you know, years and years can’t you? How can people find you? Or where’s the best place to follow you? Where are you do you hang out most on social media? 

Jenna McAvoy  33:17

Places that I hang out most is Instagram and LinkedIn. Also have a free support group for Busy Women. So we go in there and, and share loads of tips and tricks and recipes. 


Sarah Rees  33:29

Is that a Facebook group? 


Jenna McAvoy  33:31

That’s a Facebook group. Yeah, so anyone’s more than welcome to join. And I’ve got little masterclasses and workshops in there as well. And kind of jump on and have a little chat like this. And yeah, loads of content in there that can help and kind of cheat sheets and Downloadables. 


Sarah Rees  33:51

Thank you so much. I’ve learned so much literally taken notes from today, so I’m feeling more positive about my 2023 Thank you so much. 


Jenna McAvoy  34:01

That’s okay. No problem. Thanks so much for having me. And, yeah, great. Happy New Year. 


Sarah Rees  34:08

Happy New Year.

Sarah Rees  34:12

Thank you for listening to Ask the Therapist. For more information about the CBT journal, visit my website at www.sarahdrees.co.uk. You can also sign up to download your free guide to building emotional resilience delivered straight to your inbox. You will then also receive regular newsletters where I share my blog posts, podcast and tips and strategies for better mental health and psychological resilience. Don’t forget to review and subscribe to the podcast and you can also share episodes on social media using the hashtag #AskTheTherapist. This episode was written and presented by me Sarah Rees and edited by Big Tent Media and produced by Emily Crosby Media.

This episode was written and presented by Sarah Rees. It was edited by Big Tent Media and Produced  by Emily Crosby Media.



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