Meet AnnaMaria: Mother of 3 and supreme badass when it comes to lifting weights.
Like you and so many other moms reading this, AnnaMaria’s journey – the path leading her to what she defines as “taking care of this single body and spirit of mine” – was and continues to be a journey of discovery paved with progress, not perfection. AnnaMaria says:
“[As a mother], trying to strive for balance in a single day or week can be discouraging and unhelpful so thinking ‘big picture’ and staying grounded in your most important values seems to be a more worthwhile goal to strive for.
Find what works for you and aligns with your values, fit it into your routine and then embrace it. You don’t have to go to the gym every day. Sometimes the role of professional or mama or wife or just needing more rest takes the lead any given week.”
As a mother with many leading roles, how is AnnaMaria making it all work? What’s her #1 piece of advice for others facing the same challenges when it comes time to taking care of yourself and those you love?
1. THINK BACK TO WHEN YOU JOINED RESULTS FITNESS. WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
I love being committed to things I do so when I decided to take the plunge (which started with the manageable 30 Day Kickstart), my biggest fear was not being able to sustain waking up at 5 am. Also, I worried so much that life (kids’ illnesses, my illnesses, husband traveling, work commitments) would get too much in the way for me to remain committed to the gym. Those were my 2 biggest concerns- 5 am wake up and not be able to give it my all.
2. HOW DID YOU CONQUER YOUR FEAR?
I simply told myself, I will try. I will give it a shot and not freak out about missed workouts due to life. I will enjoy my time at the gym and do whatever it is that I can handle. No pressure.
And you know what? All of the crap I was worried about happening…happened!
Especially the first year of my membership: we passed around strep infections multiple times, got the dreaded stomach bug multiple times, started a new work venture, my husband traveled, I have been tired, etc. etc. etc. I know all my fellow Results Fitness peeps feel me on this. Life happens. But I went for it and since have been so pleasantly surprised and happy about the plunge. One of the most fun and rewarding aspects of my life now is my time at the gym. Yikes, I really do sound like a gym rat, haha.
3. WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST FITNESS STRUGGLE & HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
When I first started working out at Results, I felt I wasn’t real strong, physically. I knew, however, lifting weights would really drive results because in the past, lifting heavy and consistently has proven super effective. At Results Fitness, weight lifting is totally fun, and I can do it! Again, I show up and just give it my best that particular day without comparing myself to others. Additionally, feeling bored was something I used to struggle with from time to time and it just doesn’t happen at Results Fitness – I am never bored!
My other fitness struggle is nutrition, as it pertains to my overall fitness/health picture. The Results Fitness coaches provide a ton of sound advice and information, we’re talking legit information and not the latest fad or extreme, and I really appreciate it. Plus, lots of support and practical tips from my fellow RF peeps helps me stay motivated and focused in the nutrition area. While definitely still a work in progress, I will keep looking to the RF coaches and members for support along the way!
4. THINKING BACK TO WHEN YOU FIRST JOINED, HOW IS YOUR LIFE DIFFERENT NOW?
Before Results Fitness I worked out at home (dvds) or ran. Often my workouts would get interrupted by kids or home stuff. I loved them seeing me exercise but truly hated the interruptions and sometimes, would even resent them (ok, fine, I would get rage-y) when I had to break up a fight or get a snack when all I wanted was to finish a set. So, I definitely resent them less, at least when it comes to working out!
Since joining RF, I am more focused on my priorities. I wake up at 5 am because that is the only time I can exercise without interruption and thus my waking hours can be super focused on being in my other life roles. So everything else falls in place around that which means, basically, less shows, less mindless internet and going to bed early-ish.
Overall, I am pretty proud of my daily decisions because they mostly align with my values- that is, taking care of this single body and spirit of mine by getting in physical activity daily or several times a week.
5. HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE THAT FEELING OF “MOM-GUILT”?
One thing really important to me is ensuring the gym doesn’t take up too much of my kids’ waking hours so I can be “present” with them as much as possible. I would rather other things take my time away from my kids (e.g., work, a fun night out). This is a completely personal choice, and not right for everyone. Also, I try emulating lots of my values for my kids (imperfectly, for sure) but I model kindness, honesty and persistence, so why wouldn’t I model fitness? Of course that is an important thing for them to see (in my opinion, at least).
As a sort of aside, I actually feel most guilty about leaving my husband hanging when he wants to binge watch Netflix, and I need to go to bed early! So we just have to do that Friday nights and spend other times together. He sees how strong I have gotten in my time at RF though and is both happy for me and proud of my dedication. That feels pretty great!
6. WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE FOR OTHERS WHEN IT COMES TO TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF AND THOSE YOU LOVE?
You do you. Find what works for you and aligns with your values, fit it into your routine and then embrace it. Your kids will see a strong, healthy mama which is important for them. You don’t have to go to the gym every day. On busier weeks I go less frequently and acknowledge and feel good about my choice for that week. Sometimes the role of professional or mama or wife or just needing more rest takes the lead any given week. Trying to strive for balance in a single day or week can be discouraging and unhelpful so thinking “big picture” (and staying grounded in your most important values) seems to be a more worthwhile goal to strive for.
A great way to start is the 30 Day Kickstart intro package. If you are intrigued and loving the amazing community and workouts (which you will!) then go for the 3-month membership and then the annual membership. You don’t have to be all in, all at once. For me, this approach felt more manageable.
Also, I can be a bit reserved. If you are like that, maybe try putting yourself out there and get to know the other people in your classes (still working on this). There have been times when I haven’t really wanted to get up and go to the gym but it was someone’s birthday and I knew I’d see them at the gym and wanted to wish them a happy birthday. That is crazy to me. Despite years of working out in isolation, knowing I would really enjoy and sometimes crave the camaraderie of my fellow exercisers is novel and special to me. The peeps at RF are very kind and interesting and while we are all a diverse group of individuals, we tend to have a common health focus that is uplifting and motivating. That is unique and special to our gym. I love our gym!!!
I guess one final note on how social and supportive our gym is… If you are someone who is not crazy about big, social groups (maybe you are a little more slow-to-warm-up, like me) don’t be intimidated by this boisterous bunch. There is something for everyone and you might just end up making friends despite your introverted ways.