The Midlife Business
Episode 16: Jane Webber on why it’s never too late to start your own business or change your lifestyle
In this week’s episode, I am joined by the brilliant Jane Webber. After 40 years in the software and IT industries, Jane decided on a change of career and retrained as a nutritionist after years of yoyo dieting. Jane launched her business, Jane Webber Nutrition in 2019 where she focuses on making good nutrition easy by looking at lifestyle habits, mindset and coping strategies. We chat about the importance of good nutrition, her latest service which is DNA personalised wellness, the challenges of starting your own business and the freedom it can bring.
- (02:03) The importance of mindset in making healthy choices
- (07:04) Our current mindset is “if I want it I can get it”
- (09:21) There is accountability which helps change your mindset
- (12:39) Jane explains the DNA personalised wellness service
- (18:59) The best thing about running your own business
- (20:41) What Jane struggled with early on in her business
- (24:31) What advice Jane would give her younger self
- (27:20) Jane’s final piece of advice for someone who wants to become healthier
About Jane Webber:
After 40 plus years in the software and IT industries in roles including Sales and Marketing, Managing Director and European Director, Jane decided on a change of career in 2017 and retrained as a nutritionist after years of yo-yo dieting. Jane set up her business Jane Webber Nutrition in 2019 after her case studies said her approach to nutrition was sensible, easy to follow and not judgemental.
Jane is the nutritionist who makes good nutrition easy with habits that help focusing on easy-to-follow healthy eating and lifestyle habits, including mindset and coping strategies. Her Feel Great in 8 nutrition plan is designed to reset mindset, eating and lifestyle with 10 habits. Her latest service is DNA personalised wellness for people who wish to refine their diet, nutrition, exercise and understand their sleep and stress resilience.
Connect with Jane:
Join Jane’s Facebook Group
Find Jane in the following places
Link to Jane’s freebie
Hello, and welcome to the Midlife Business Show with Suzanne Mountain. This is the podcast that celebrates all those of us who are building a business during our middle years. I’m an ex corporate girl who started my business six years ago in my fifties. And I’m loving it. This podcast is here to inspire you with conversations with other entrepreneurs about the messy and magical ups and downs of this period of our lives. Plus, I’ll be sharing simple, actionable step by step strategies to help you build a business with impact and a life that you love
Speaker 1 (00:43):
Hello, and welcome to the Midlife Business Show. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Jane Webber after 40 years in the software and IT industries roles, including director level roles, Jane decided on a change of career and retrained as a nutritionist after years of yoyo dieting.
Jane set up her business: Jane Webber Nutrition in 2019 after feedback said her approach to nutrition was sensible, easy to follow and non-judgmental.
I mean, that’s what we all want. Isn’t it.
Jane makes good nutrition easy with habits that help focusing on easy to follow healthy eating and lifestyle habits, including mindset and coping strategies. Her Feel Great in Eight nutrition plan is designed to reset mindset, eating and lifestyle with 10 habits and very excitingly her latest service in DNA, personalized wellness for people who wish to refine their diet nutrition, exercise, and understand their sleep and stress resilience. Welcome Jane.
Thanks very much Suzanne, for having me. So I’ve been looking forward to this chat.
We’ve known each other a little while. I want to ask you about the whole role of mindset with regards to healthy living. Where does it fit in?
For me, it underpins healthy living and lifestyle and eating. Whilst you can think that you are following something that is healthy, you can easily be derailed by just the simple things. You know, having an argument with your other half, the kids are being a pain in the backside disruption like moving or just simple things like that. And it is so easy just to reach for foods that may comfort you, but may not be that nutritionist for you because comfort eating, stress, eating. It’s all about security, nostalgia, um, feeling safe. And often there are foods that bring you joy, bring you solace and make you feel comfortable, but they don’t always feed you in the way that your body really needs.
So having the right mindset so you can overcome some of these things are very important. Okay. And so is it about not having those things in your diet at all those perhaps things that you grew up with are less than healthy options? Is it about giving them up and, and using other tools instead or no? Um, you can’t give up everything in life. We all know. We only have one life for me, it’s about moderation for me. It is around that, that you understand what your trigger points are and try to mitigate because if you try and give everything up, that is bad for you, we’d all be very boring, um, and miserable and miserable. Absolutely. You know, there’s certain things that comfort me. I love the smell of newly baked bread because I am the granddaughter of bakers. So for the me that reminds me of my grandfather getting up at three o’clock in the morning and starting the bakery and coming down by six o’clock and there would be always fresh bread on the table.
Uh, and so that gives me that solace, that comfort, you know, uh, polo mint that reminds me of my grandmother. You know, if I smell polo min, I just see her handbag and things like that. So it’s not about giving things up. It’s about working out what your trigger points are, how you can mitigate them, but not sort of say, thinking to yourself, I like chocolate buttons, but I’m not actually gonna eat the whole packet of them. I’m gonna have enough that will comfort me and I’ll leave the rest for another time. Because if you eat the things that aren’t great for you, you then, and I remember it myself, fear self-loathing that I had failed again. So I was obviously a failure at everything just because I, at a bag of chocolate buttons, that’s ridiculous. You can’t have that type of mindset. So, you know, it’s not about giving up.
It’s not about self-loathing, it’s thinking of ways that you can cope, but still enjoy the foods that bring you solace that bring you joy, that bring you comfort.
Yeah. Yeah. And I’m right with you there. Although, you know, any guidance you’ve got for husbands who have bought bread making machines, who keep making gorgeous, delicious, homemade bread and the house smells wonderful, but it’s not good for me. <laugh>
I did see when you said he had a bread making machine, I thought. Hmm, lovely. And, you know, I can understand why he’s got a bread making machine because the smell of fresh bread is just absolutely glorious. It is. And, and at least we know what’s in our bread. You know, we’re not buying stuff with, you know, 10 ingredients when it should only be three or four or, or whatever, you know, it’s beautiful and fresh bread, but the tendency is cuz it’s so lovely and delicious and, and you can smell.
It is, you know, instead of one slice, it’s all, well, go on, I’ll have another one then because it’s tasty and it’s not doing my waistline any good <laugh> but it’s about real foods because one of the things that happens is that in the UK, nearly 60% of the foods that adults eat are ultra process. So I think we have lost the, the connection between our food food is readily available. So whereas before you had to think about where you got your food, even in my parents’ age, you know, there wasn’t big supermarkets or anything else like that. So you had to think about it and maybe money was quite tight and you appreciated your food. Nowadays, the mindset is if I want it, I can get it and you know, okay, my mobile, phone’s not with me at the precise moment in time, but I could do Just Eat or Uber eats you name it. And the click of a button, somebody could be on their little moped coming out to where I live with a, a cup of coffee and a muffin. So, you know, the mindset is around retraining your mind about why you are eating, what you are filling your body with. And real food is so much better <laugh> yeah.
So, so a little anecdote on that subject, because as you know, I’ve recently moved from, from outside Reading, you know, huge town or city in Berkshire to a small town on the East Sussex coast and the restaurants here close at eight or nine o’clock some of them. They certainly don’t open on a Monday. There are no Uber eats or Deliveroos or any of those options. You know, it’s like going back 20 years, but actually, you know, it’s no bad thing that those things aren’t on demand. But certainly having lived somewhere like Reading where the Tesco store was open 24 hours a day, I came here and you know, the shops close early and a lot of them don’t open on a Sunday and, and it’s like a, a whole readjustment process of being organized.
Mm-hmm <affirmative> and not having that expectation that you can have any, anything at any stage.
Yeah. And certainly when I work with my clients, we talk around the mindset about why they do things when they do it, how we can mitigate it, but also about planning about thinking about how they plan their meals, how they then plan their supermarket shopping, making sure that they’ve things in the house that are easy to get to. So, you know, making sure that their snacks are healthy, that their breakfast is healthy, that they’re planning their lunches and their dinners.
They don’t have to plan weeks in advance. You know, if they can do at least three days, then they’ve got in their mind, they know what they’re eating for the next three days. And they stick to that plan and because they have to send me their food pictures, you know, there’s a lot of accountability and that helps with their mindset as well because they have to think to themselves, do I really need this snack? You know, do I really need that extra glass of wine? Do I need such a large portion on their plate? So that helps with their mindset as well because it makes them account. Yes, they’re accountable to me, but actually when I’m gone, they need to be accountable to themselves. So it does actually bring them up, you know, to the point that go, I’ve taken a picture and then it makes them think I’m gonna send it to Jane.
Actually, this is the chance now to take a step back. And there’s always that gap between the stimulus and the response, you know, that 10 seconds count for 10 seconds. Do I actually need it? No, I don’t. So often I get a picture and then it gets deleted and I go, what happened? They went, put it back in the cupboard. Don’t need it. Mm-hmm <affirmative> that’s interesting. Isn’t that really interesting. Um, one of the things you mentioned was ultra processed food. Did you sell yes. What, what falls into that category? Well, definitely not. Um, frozen peas. Yes. It is a process, but it’s a process to actually make the piece safer and last longer and be more convenient. Ultra processed food is something that has been manufactured in a huge manufacturing plant and have probably has more than three ingredients. So the diet types of foods are our, our favorite biscuits.
Uh, our favorite cakes, our pies, our ready meals. Even I hate to say it breakfast cereals because technically they’re alt processed. You know, how many bits of puff wheat do you see and all those other bits and pieces. So their classes alt processed foods and because food is so readily available, that’s where the supermarkets and the manufacturers make their money. They make very little money from selling you an apple. Um, my brother works for Tecos. He know much how knows how much they pay for the apples and how much they sell the apples for. They, they’re not there. They’re not big profit margins where all the supermarkets where the manufacturers make their money is from gathering cheap ingredients and making them into an expensive product. And I, because they’re taking, they’re making it convenient for you so that you don’t have to spend the time making a lasagna or making a white source or a past source.
Speaker 1 (11:38):
It’s in a jar. They’ve spent the time, but they are high in the three things that nutritionist, dieticians and health professional hate it’s F S S: fats, sugar and salt, right? The badies in, in our food. Yeah. And the fat’s not bad for you because we need fat in our body to help our joints be, you know, lubricate our joints, we need salt cuz we don’t get enough salt. Um, fat’s bad for you. We need sugar. Um, obviously, you know, certain types of sugar so that it fills our muscles so that we can actually do the things that we do. But it’s, it’s the excesses that we’re getting. And that’s one of the reasons why in the Western world, we are getting larger and our obesity problem here in the UK, you know, young five year old children starting at school that are already overweight.
That should not be, that’s not a good thing because you know, ultimately what you learn when you are young continues on as you get older.
Yeah. Yeah. Which leads us beautifully to this DNA, personalized wellness. Tell me, what is that? What does that mean?
Well, we are all different. What works for you, Suzanne and what works for one of my clients won’t work for another client. So the DNA is what makes us unique. That’s what’s made me only five foot. I think I’m taller than you, which obviously made joy. <laugh>
I knew you’d have to get that in. <laugh>
Sorry, Suzanne. Um, it’s what you know, so I’m, I was never going to be six foot because my mother is five foot. Well, she’s shorter than me now, but she’s 87 and my father at his tallest was five foot seven. So I was never going to be six foot.
I have blue eyes, you know, I have pale skin. That is my makeup. So it stands to reason that when you are looking at your wellness and what you eat and your optimum diet type and the nutrients that you should have and how you deal with stress and how you sleep is going to be personal to you. So DNAs come a long way. It’s not just about finding, uh, people that have done terrible things. It can be used to hone your, your lifestyle and your diet, uh, down to that suits you. Okay. So for me, yeah. Sorry. Does it work? I was gonna say, how does it work? It is literally no scary needles involved. I think we tired of having needles at the moment. Um, it is mouth swab. Um, it goes to, uh, a laboratory, uh, here in the UK and you get back quite a few reports.
So one is about your diet. One is about your optimum activity, fitness routine, one’s about nutrients. And the other one is about, uh, how you deal with stress and, and whether and how you, how you sleep type of thing. And there’s also a bone mineral density report and a, uh, obesity report as well, obviously linking into what I talked about before. Really interesting. So what sort of adjustments might people need to make, you know, on the basis of their report? Well, if I take myself as an example because, um, obviously I went through it myself, so I could then do all my training. Mine came back and said that I need a low carbohydrate diet. So what I mean by carbohydrates in this particular case is starchy carbohydrates. So rice, pasta, potatoes, um, bread, that type of thing. Uh, and I, I think I knew in my heart of hearts, they didn’t really agree with me, but basically it said that, you know, my intolerance to those types of products, uh, was actually quite high.
So it has meant that I’ve really looked at what I eat. So if somebody came to me and their DNA said that, uh, they need low carbohydrate diet and they had toast for breakfast sandwich for lunch and a jacket potato for an evening meal and probably did complain about having bloating, that type of thing. I would then be able to advise them because they share also their food diary with me. I would then be able to sort of advise them that maybe they should have, you know, something like, you know, eggs for breakfast and maybe, uh, a bit of Porridge or some yogurt and some fruit, that type of thing, and have, you know, more sort of, um, maybe stir fries for lunch. Uh, and then the evening, you know, maybe cut down on the portion size of their starchy carbohydrates and have more protein or you know, more fat.
And that’s the type of thing that we could work with. Another thing obviously is from a fitness point of view now, yes, I’m only five foot and I always wanted to run, but could never do it. I mean, if I run a hundred meters, that’s about it. I know you saying bolt, but the DNA results came back and said that endurance was not my type of, um, fitness activity. And I’d found about four years ago, I loved weightlifting. I had a personal trainer that enjoyed doing weights and I’m actually quite good at it. I mean, in front of me is my mood board that shows me lifting about 90 kilos and I only weigh about 50 and actually my DNA results came back and said, that was my optimum, you know, exercise type because my DNA came back and said, I’m actually very good at building muscle, not bulky muscle, but building muscle.
So, you know, for me, it just reinforced the fact that this was the type of exercise that suited my body type, which is great because I love it.
Yeah. And that’s fascinating, isn’t it? That, that there’s a type for everybody a type that suits people.
Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Because you know, when I’m talking with clients, you know, it’s really good, especially if they work with me and decide to, with the, feel great to have the DNA so they can hone it down more, some get halfway through the program, go, actually, this is really interesting. Could I have my DNA done, uh, some start it straight away or some, just have the DNA test with a consultation with me. So there’s different ways that we can, you know, slot it into how they want to work because we’re, we’re not all the same, you know? Yeah.
Um, just because one thing works for one person, you know, just because my next door neighbour likes running doesn’t mean that I’m gonna be able to enjoy running. And we see that with athletes all over the world. Yeah. You know, you, same bolt, you know, obviously tried football for a bit, but wasn’t very good at it. He was never gonna be a boxer. You know, he, he may have been quite good at high jump, but he was never gonna be a great marathon runner ultimately because he hasn’t got that body type. His DNA’s not down for that. He’s definitely sprint go, go for it. That type of stuff. Yeah. Explosion stop.
Yes, absolutely. Yeah. Really interesting. So just moving on and changing the subject a little bit. So like me, you have a, an ex corporate background, high level ex corporate, and now running your own business.
So what’s the best part of running your own business?
Well, tomorrow I’m taking tomorrow off. Um, <laugh> I, um, I, I volunteer for a great organization called SmartWorks. We help women get back into work. I’m gonna be in Baun by 8. 30am, because at quarter tonight I’m talking to work coaches at the jobcenter plus, uh, about what SmartWorks do. And I looked at my diary and I thought, yeah, we’re gonna go out for the day. So we’re gonna go off to Kenilworth, drop something off, and then we’re going to have a day out. And I would’ve had to plan that like ages in advance. If I’d worked for a corporate, I’d have to sit there and juggle my diary around. And I probably would’ve been made to feel guilty to about the fact that I was having a day off in the middle of the week.So for me, that’s what I love.
Yeah. Yeah. And there is something special about that. Isn’t there yesterday. I had not a full pack day with client work. I don’t see clients on a Monday and yesterday was a Monday and I had lots slotted in that I was going to do, but the weather turned out to be glorious. So I decided to get out because I looked at the forecast for today and it’s nasty, you know, it’s, it’s wet and foggy. So I got out yesterday and moved some of the things that I would’ve done yesterday into slots for today, so that, you know, I made the best of the good weather and, and I love that we can have that flexibility to sort of be a bit spontaneous perhaps.
That’s what I love about it, but it’s not all fun, is it? There are some bits where we struggle or get frustrated or overwhelmed. So what are they for you?
One of the struggles that I have was, well, certainly earlier on, was honing down about who my ideal client was when I did my nutrition training. When I went back to college, I did nutrition for sport and exercise, weight loss, older adults, pre and post pregnancy, young people, you name it. And actually it was you Suzanne, that was, you know, certainly in part of your business confidence cafe was always talking about who’s your ideal client. So I know who my ideal client is. I talk to my ideal client. So that was probably my, my, one of my biggest struggles about who was I talking to? What was my message? What was my offering?
Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s a common issue that I see. So I think it’s very prevalent in nutritionists and in coaches as well.
The organizations make sure that we’re very thoroughly trained and they train us in lots of different modalities for lots of different needs, which is fantastic. But actually it’s very hard to build a business, being a generalist like that.
We need to actually focus in on one group and then that helps us market ourselves better by clarifying our message. But actually we come out of school, nutrition school, coach school, and we just want to help anybody who needs our help. And we just want some clients. So we’re out there and, and we’re trying so hard, but we don’t know who we are talking to yet, who we should be talking to.
So that piece is some, is one that sometimes we overlook at the beginning of our business and it takes us, you know, potentially a year to actually realize. And I’m exactly the same. I resisted that niche because you know, in my head at the time I thought, but if I niche, I’m gonna be talking to less people.
So I’ll have less clients rather than I’ll get more clients. I couldn’t get my head round how that might work. But people nowadays are looking for specialists. They’re looking for the one person who can help them rather than generalists. So finding and really focusing on your ideal client is, you know, is a great piece of work and really opens things up for you rather than closing them down.
Absolutely. Because one of the reasons why people come to me is because I know their pain points because of where I’ve come from because you know, I was the tired overworked, exhausted exec that was constantly on a diet that was just getting bigger and bigger. And so once, and then that was the reason why I retrained because I found somebody that helped me. Yeah. Um, so often people come to me because I’ve walked in their shoes.
I know the fact that, you know, I was the one that stood in front of the mirror and cried my heart out, thinking I was successful at everything else, but why could I not be successful at the one thing I should be successful was which was losing weight and having a healthy lifestyle. Yeah. And you know, people come to me because I talk about my personal story. Uh, and I, and for a lot of women, because that’s the majority of my clients. That’s very powerful.
Yeah. Yeah. And you’re spot on isn’t, you know, most of us, our ideal client is us two years ago at, at that point where we were at, because we feel for them, we know the pain that they’re suffering and we found a solution and we want to share it with them because we don’t want them to feel the way that we felt at that time.
Speaker 1 (24:22):
So yeah, absolutely. Spot on. So, you know, you’re talking about your, what you’re doing now and your life as an exec, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self Jane?
Oh, <laugh> I remember when you put that to, in, I thought to myself, gosh, what was the piece of advice I was expected to pass my 11 plus, remember those days <laugh> oh yeah, yeah. And, and I failed. I, uh, I failed and I shock yeah. Shock. Yes. My parents were brilliant about it. I was really worried because I thought that they were, you know, gonna be angry and they weren’t angry. And I suppose, you know, it wasn’t, if I was been able to talk to my 11 year old, you know, self, it was that it’s not going to be a disaster failure in your 11 plus your world has not ended.
So yeah. I mean, that’s going back a few years, but I think at that point I thought that that was it mainly because my head mistress just turned around and said to me, you’ll make nothing of yourself, young Jane <laugh> I know.
Oh, oh. I mean, we know the damage that those type of comments make don’t we nowadays certainly in, you know, in the work we do on ourselves and yeah. Helping our clients with mindset quite often, when we dig deep, it’s that voice of that critical teacher or head mistress that, that still replays in, in people’s, uh, heads.
Oh, I, it Scarred me for life <laugh> this is, I, I, I can still remember her, her study, the smell of the study, the, the, the, you know, Persian rug on the floor type of thing, you know, you know, she made it very clear, big on girl, you know, and, and I don’t think she spoke to me after that.
<laugh> dear, dear, dear, dear. But also, you know, you saying, you know, that was, you were 11. And I think about the 11 year olds that we have, you know, around us now and the experiences, you know, that they’ve been through with the pandemic and now with, you know, the war in Ukraine and stuff. And I just think good heavens, you know, I hope everybody’s just sort of putting their arms around them and telling them, you know, it’ll be okay. You know, also with, you know, with all the GCSEs and the, those that have had to go through the exam system during this time, you know, it’s just extraordinary times, isn’t it? And oh, AB absolutely. Yeah. These things that we think when we’re that young, that we think are the make and break of our lives now, you know, with both of us in our sixties, gonna look back and go, you know, that’s, it is nothing, it’s a blip on the landscape.
Absolutely. It was a small pothole in the road. <laugh> yeah. And it wasn’t meant to be, you know, for whatever reason that wasn’t meant to be, you know, and absolutely gosh, yeah, that, that’s a really key one. That is.
So finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to adapt a healthier approach to life? So what’s, where should they start?
Well, it’s never too late to start. Definitely. The number one thing was I say to people is drink more water. I mean, I’ve got my water bottle here. We, we live in a country where water, well, we see how much rain we’ve had today. Water is all around us. Um, definitely drink more water, get out into the fresh air, walk in. I think I’d put on my Instagram yesterday, it’s the oldest exercise, but it’s the most modern exercise it’s accessible, you know, get out there and walk, you know, because you don’t need to join an expensive gym.
You don’t have to have expensive kit. Um, you probably need one into boots and a decent raincoat today, but just get out there because you need the fresh air. And since I’m a nutritionist, you need your vitamin D it’s sunshine vitamin. But also if you have good top, top vitamin D, well, it’s an antidepressant. It’s absolutely brilliant. So yeah. Water walking outdoors. <laugh> brilliant. So a question came to my mind when you were saying that around vitamin D. So it’s cloudy, as I said to you here today, fog sort of foggy. Do we get any vitamin D from going outside in this weather? Yes, we do. You’d have to be out there a little bit longer in the summertime. You know, you can be outdoors just for less than 20 minutes and get all your, what your body needs, uh, because your body needs constantly to be topped up with vitamin D.
Uh, certainly obviously the government guidelines changed slightly, cuz they did sort of save for people, especially elderly people, people that couldn’t get out that much, do the exercise, uh, maybe top up your vitamin D, but you should, majority of us should be able to get it from just going outside. Uh, you know, doing a bit of gardening, you know, getting it from your fruits and your vegetables, that type of thing. But vitamin D is one of those things where it does make you feel good.
Mm-hmm <affirmative> sounds good. And you mentioned your Instagram. So tell us more about where people can connect with you if they want to find out more about how you work. Well, I’m on Facebook. I have a free Facebook group, which is the Jane Weber nutrition habits that help which Suzanne you were my first member. Of course, <laugh> of course.
Speaker 1 (29:44):
Um, I’m on Instagram as well. I’m on LinkedIn. And of course you can go to my website as well, which is Jane Weber, nutrition.co.uk.
Excellent. And the, uh, links to those places will be in the show notes for anybody. So if you didn’t catch that, just check out the show notes. So thank you very much, Jane, for being my guest today. Thank you. And that’s it for this week. Please check out the show notes for Jane’s links and you’ll also find links to my Facebook community where Jane hangs out as well. And that’s called the Business Confidence Cafe.
I look forward to speaking to you next week. Okay. That’s a wrap for today. Thanks for listening, please subscribe, rate and review the Midlife Business Show. And if you’ve enjoyed it, tell your business. It’s all about it.
Bye for now.