Happy February, friends! Was it just me or did January just drag on FOR FREAKING EVER?! Eesh.
With February here, you might be still chugging along with your New Year’s goals, or perhaps you have “dropped the ball” or “fell off the bandwagon” or “thrown in the towel” or had a bad case of the flu. (So sorry if you have been sick! It’s serious out there, you guys.)
Anyway, I am writing you this brief little pep talk to remind you that…
A: There is NO ball that you must keep in the air perfectly from day one until the end of time.
B: There is NO bandwagon to get on, or to get off, when it comes to making better lifestyle choices.
C: The only towel you should be throwing is the dirty one after your sweaty yoga sesh. P.U.
The more I’ve been chatting with you guys (and analyzing my inner dialogue), the more I’ve been realizing that so much of our mentality around health + fitness is black and white, all or nothing. Be the best + do it perfectly or don’t do it at all.
Life doesn’t work that way. So, why confine yourself to such rigid guidelines that are unattainable? IMO, it causes you way too much unnecessary stress. (Which in turn, works against the exact goals you might be striving toward)
When it comes to our health, sure, some drastic changes might need to happen. Like quitting smoking, or the weekly late night pizza binges, or just being lazy AF because you feel bad for yourself as you scroll through IG.
Buuuuuuttt, I’m PREEEEEETTTY sure you didn’t sprint a marathon-winning time when you took your first baby steps in this world. You most likely stumbled and fell, tried again, fell again, braced yourself, fell again, took a chance, and finally made a step in the direction you were wishing to go.
DROP THE NEGATIVE TALK
Your parents on the other side weren’t criticizing you for how terrible you are at walking. NO. They would never have said the awful things you tell yourself when you “fail” at something. (At least I think every decent parent wouldn’t.) No. Their instinct is to pep talk you to keep going; convincing you to work towards something worth fighting for. They encourage you to try, and try, and try again. And maybe you do. Maybe you try one more time, or army-crawl your way, or shuffle on your knees, until you are feeling brave enough to stand up again.
Then it happens. After getting out of your head, those little moments of effort pay off. You are walking. And each time it gets easier. You might have a scary moment and stop trying for awhile, but the freedom you experienced keeps calling you back again. And before you know it, it becomes second nature.
Now, it’s time to run your heart out, learn to skip, climb trees, and take your first swim lesson.
YOU’VE GOT THIS BOO.
You get what I’m saying though, right? The first time you try something new, you aren’t going to be great at it–unless you are some sort of wizard, Harry. You most likely will suck, and get frustrated, but something in you keeps calling you back. To try.
So, here I am. Giving you your parental pep talk, in hopes of encouraging you not to give up on what you truly want for yourself in this life. And to remind you that everyone started somewhere, and they most likely failed several times, but they kept getting back up.
Let’s learn to get out of our own way, open ourselves up to trying something new, and remember that it doesn’t all happen overnight. Take it one meal, one moment, and one movement, at a time. You’ve got this, boo.
Alright, on to this week’s Wellness Women post! Anna and I go waaaaayy back. But not what you might think. We’ve actually never met IRL. Only via IG and a couple of Skype calls! Internet still blows my mind sometimes. Ha.
We connected via our Tone It Up days, and since then, have been encouraging each other in our pursuits toward wellness, entrepreneurship, cycle-syncing, and spiritual growth (to name a few).
Watching her through her journey, I have learned so much about building confidence, getting out of my own way, claiming who I am, and pursuing the dreams and life I want to create for myself. I can’t wait for you to meet this beautiful, loving, firey, gorgeous redheaded friend of mine!
I’m Anna! A life coach who helps multi-passionate entrepreneurs slow down, find their happy, and create a life that lights them up from the inside. I live in Chicago and while I feel most alive around mountains and big trees, I’ll always be a Midwest girl at heart. I’m on a mission to help women connect with their unique purpose, prioritize self care, and make a positive impact on the world. I’m super interested in learning and teaching about how women can tune into our cyclical energy to break free from the stress and pressure that comes from conforming to a linear, masculine energy-driven society.
Random facts: I was voted “Best Hair” in high school, I’m a dual US-Dutch citizen, I have a MS in Geography and researched historic changes in forest structure and wildfires, and I started a wedding design magazine in 4th grade.
I believe in creating success without hustle, that courage comes after you make friends with your fear, and that eating outdoors is the best.
FAVORITE FOOD? TREAT? INDULGENCE?
Pizza, good red wine, skillet cookies.
MUST HAVE SELF-CARE ITEM?
WHAT TYPE OF MOVEMENT BRINGS YOU JOY?
Running outdoors, a tough hike, lifting weights, or a good yoga class. Basically, anything that does not involve a ball flying at my face! (haha, I feel you girl.)
SHARE A BIT ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH JOURNEY.
Oh man, this has been quite the evolution! Growing up, I was never into sports and hated PE. I was a bookworm, straight A student, and my physical activity was limited to exploring the ravines in my backyard. In college I quickly gained the stereotypical “freshman 15” and realized I’d have to start making intentional lifestyle changes if I wanted to feel my best! I started exploring healthy eating (college style, ala slow churned ice cream and lean pockets), began running and working out at the fitness center, and quickly became obsessed with my physical appearance and being as skinny as possible.
When I reached my mid to late 20’s and hit my post-school quarter life crisis phase, I started focusing more on the inner transformation that I was noticing in my confidence as a side effect of taking care of my body. I became a health and fitness coach to inspire other women to put themselves first too and create a positive relationship with their bodies and food, which led me into life coaching since health and fitness is a great gateway into deeper self-discovery and empowerment.
More recently, I quit the birth control after 9 years and have been learning how to heal my hormones and get to know my natural cycle again. My personal goals revolve around being as healthy and strong as possible on the inside and out! I believe that “health” encompasses all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, and that we should meet ourselves where we’re at with compassion and grace while constantly expanding and exploring our full potential to thrive.
DO YOU HAVE A HEALTH PRACTICE? WHAT DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN?
I offer health and fitness coaching through virtual accountability groups, and mentor other women who would like to use their passion for fitness and serving others to start a business and add an extra stream of income to their families and household. I specialize in helping high achieving women break their “all or nothing” mindset around fitness and nutrition and create a holistic self-care routine that makes them feel their best on the inside and out, using at-home fitness programs, balanced whole foods eating plans, personal development, and lots of community support.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO CONVEY TO OTHER WOMEN SEEING OPTIMAL HEALTH FOR THEMSELVES?
I want women to know that “health” is a never-ending journey that’s extremely personal and unique to each of us. We have to follow our intuition, listen to our bodies, and experiment to figure out what feels best to us. It’s ok to make your own rules! It is also extremely empowering to learn about our cycles and how our hormones impact our energy, mood, endurance, and basically everything about our lives. It’s ok to be consistently inconsistent with your performance and habits 🙂 You can’t “fall off the wagon” because the wagon is your life! (OMG I just wrote about this!!! #notplanned)
IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE TIP TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT ON THEIR OWN HEALTH JOURNEY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Focus on making one small change at a time instead of trying to overhaul everything about your life all at once, and celebrate every single micro-victory along the way!
Bonus tip: FIND SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY.
SHARE YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SOURCE OF INSPIRATION.
“It was about no longer being the kind of person who takes what she can get, and finally becoming the kind of person who creates exactly what she wants.”
— JEN SINCERO
HOW CAN SOMEONE REACH OUT IF THEY WANT TO CONNECT WITH YOU?
Via my website: annamarialocke.com
Fitness IG: @annainspiresjoy
IF YOU COULD PICK TWO WORDS TO REPRESENT YOUR PERSONAL MANTRA, WHAT WOULD THEY BE AND WHY?
Courageously Authentic. Because it takes so much courage to be our true selves in a world that’s constantly telling us we’re not enough.