Women Like Us
This is Anna – No Hurdle Too High:
Anna is an amazing woman I’ve known since kicking off in business. In fact, she’s one of the ‘founding members’, of my Small Group/Semi-Private Personal Training sessions.
What inspires me most about Anna is her consistency! Now, I’m always reinforcing to clients how important consistency is, when embarking upon any behavioural change process…. and Anna is definitely one of the ‘star performers’. Incredibly, she manages to stay consistent even while juggling 2 young boys, helping out with her hubby’s business, and managing shift work in her own demanding service driven career!!
I recently got to catch up with Anna and learn more about her motivation to maintain good health.
Anna had always fit and sporty growing up. Basketball was ‘her game’ and at one point, she was either playing or training most days of the week. As she got into her 20’s however, she became a little more inactive and over time, the weight began to creep on.
Slow Smoulder or Spontaneous Ignition:
Anna had two children within 10 months of each other, both via C-section. She admits that her attitude during pregnancy was that she was “going to get fat anyway”, so she didn’t really pay too much attention to the things she ate, or to her weight gain.
After the pregnancies however, Anna found it really difficult to accept the changes that her body had undergone…. not only in terms of weight gain, but also its shape. Looking below her shoulders had become a struggle, and she was unhappy.
As a busy mum, juggling children, helping out with her husband’s business as well as managing shifts as an enrolled nurse, Anna initially made excuses about having no time and being restricted by the lack of opportunities that worked with her competing demands. “I’ll do something, when I’m ready”, was her catch cry.
And the weight kept creeping on…..
It all came to a head in a sudden moment when she realised that her ‘fat clothes’ didn’t even fit her anymore, and that after two years since giving birth, the additional weight she was carrying, was no longer simply ‘baby weight’. It dawned on her, that the reason she was out of breath was because her fitness levels had diminished (significantly), and that her back pain (as confirmed by a chiropractor), was due to her body being out of alignment, due to lack of exercise.
It was time to do something!!
Activating the Health and Wellness Revolution:
Anna was determined to set herself up for success right from the beginning…. & she did an incredible job!!
Rather than go out ‘all guns blazing’, lose weight and then gain them back three-fold like she had in the past, she chose instead to approach ‘this time’ as a long term lifestyle adjustment for both herself and her family.
She mindfully established a list of new habit-based goals that she wanted to develop and all the benefits (motivating factors), of doing so. One of those habit-based goals included “exercise most days of the week”…. and that’s how Anna & I first met.
Anna concedes that she found the first class tough. After having represented NSW country basketball for two consecutive years, to now struggling to jog the length of the room, was quite a shock…. however, rather than give up, she made a commitment to herself to attend the class every week! From that point forward, it was going to be her new ‘sport’.
Bounding Over Barriers:
With multiple competing priorities, Anna ensured that she had her weekly class scheduled in and contingency measures in place, to ensure regular attendance. To put it simply, Anna made class attendance a PRIORITY! She also established routines (habits) at home to support her physical activity goals.
For example, putting the washing basket on the other side of the room to where she was folding each item, increased her number of daily steps…. performing a bodyweight squat every time she picked up another item of clothing to hang on the clothes line, improved her lower body strength…. raising the clothes line as high as it would go, so she had to reach high and stretch to hang the clothing item, improved her upper body endurance and mobility….
Having learned correct form and technique during her weekly exercise classes, Anna used this to her advantage & now made all forms of incidental movement more of a ‘workout’. She knew that although it may have only been for 5 or 10 minutes, it was more than she had been doing before…. And she gave herself the little pats on the back along the way to celebrate!
Champion Over Challenge:
Anna admits that some days she can feel like she’s hit a bit of a slump…. particularly if she’s been a little unwell.
When she’s having those internal arguments about getting up and being active or just sitting back and being comfortable, she simply reminds herself of all the reasons why she initially committed to making lifestyle adjustment to begin with.
She wants to be an active mum…. she wants to be a good role model for her kids…. and she doesn’t want to put weight on again!
Anna IS the active mum that she wanted to become! With the boys now 5 and nearly 6, the family regularly go on bike rides together and playing soccer also features in the workout repertoire! She also now actively looks for opportunities to set and prioritise exercise into her regular weekly schedule.
In the summer it’s easy to take a walk after dinner…. but in winter when it’s cold and dark, Anna has shifted her mindset to embrace early morning walks and choses to focus upon the joy of watching the sunrise, the town wake up, and the “priceless” peace, quiet and time to herself!
Greatest Self Discovery:
“I’m happier when I’m healthier…. I’m a nicer mum, a nicer wife and a nicer friend”.
Another significant realisation that Anna has made, is the impact of nutrition on her moods. She is very aware that some foods &/or over-indulgences can make her feel tired, lethargic and snappy…. and that’s not the person she strives to be.
Exciting Times Ahead:
As a nurse, Anna sees (on a daily basis), how import exercise is, particularly as we age. It prevents falls, and at least reduces the severity of injury if one does occur. Exercise also prevents disease, increases cell oxygenation and, increases brain power…. so she’s looking forward to a future of good health and all the benefits that exercise brings!
Although she’s still making advancements in her nutrition, Anna’s steps have been steady and she feels that she’s becoming the happiest she’s been in herself for a very long time… and it just keeps on getting better!
- Just DO IT!! Do it for your own happiness!!
Simple words of wisdom Anna!!
What inspires you every day? My children (2 boys)
Food you can’t live without? Chocolate
Cardio or resistance? Resistance
Favourite exercise: Shoulder Press
Best self-care ritual: Breakfast
Greatest health myth or fallacy: ‘Detox’ diets/fads
Best personal tip: Just ‘do it’!
Greatest inspiration: My hubby Johnno. He does simple things that make me feel nice.
KEEP UP THE AMAZINGLY CONSISTENT EFFORT ANNA!! <3
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