Makeover your morning routine

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One thing I've mastered (at least to the point of being proud of myself) this summer is my morning routine.

Is it perfect? NOPE

Is it consistent every single day? NOPE

Do I accomplish everything I want to do for myself before the day begins? NOPE

But that's why I love it -- it's imperfect, inconsistent, but I have been showing up for myself in a way that feels really great.

Here's what it looks like in this season of my life:

M/T/TH/F

5:30: Wake up, put on workout clothes, drink pre-workout mocktail, read personal development until Ben wakes up. He pushes PLAY at about 6:05 so I am forced to work out whether or not I am "ready." (<<this has been key to overcoming my procrastination. GET A BUDDY.)
6:45: Make my post workout recover, post on instagram, check in with my challenge group, shower and get ready, eat breakfast, get on with the day!!
Around 8, after breakfast but before work I will probably journal to organize my thoughts and record where I'm at in my cycle and how my energy/mindset is feeling. Extra credit: do my "write the word" devotional.
I try to be at "work" by 8:30ish in my home office, or get out of the house to a coffee shop.

***To make this happen, I need to be in bed by 9:15 and in a perfect world asleep by 9:30/9:45 to get enough sleep!! This is a work in progress. I also love to read before I sleep, which has been a challenge lately since we are also trying to get preggo (hey just keeping it real) and I also have been obsessed with Game of Thrones which is a horrible bedtime reading selection.***

WEDNESDAY

Rest day! I "sleep in" until 6ish, then spend some time on the deck journaling, reading, reflecting/meditating chilling. If I have lots of energy or motivation I might get outside for a walk/jog/run while listening to a podcast which is one of my favorite ways to pump myself up into a fabulous mood.

SATURDAY

Grab bag! I might go for a jog, meet a friend for yoga, or just sleep in and have a lazy breakfast and spend 5 hours reading Game of Thrones.

SUNDAY

Again, I might get outside for a jog or else sleep in, then do our meal planning and make a grocery list (get my meal planning guide here!), go to church, and hit up Aldi on the way home.

Why is it important to have a morning routine?

I'm sure there are a billion blog posts and articles that will tell you all about the science behind kick starting your day with positive energy, but I'm going to keep it simple.

I love having a morning routine because it makes me feel FREAKING AMAZING, and it's always great to have enough discipline to prove to yourself that you can follow through on your commitments to yourself.

But mostly, I just love feeling good :) Waking up at 5:30 doesn't feel good, but once you get through the first 5 minutes and get moving, it's fine.

Do you want to whip your morning routine into shape? Here is my strategy!

How to makeover your morning routine (and follow through)!

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1. PREP

  • What time do you need to leave the house/get to work?
  • Do you have kids//other responsibilities in the morning?
  • Work backwards: how much extra time do you want to add? Start with 15 or 30 minutes.
  • What time will you need to go to bed to get 7-8 hours of sleep?

*use the Bedtime setting on your phone, or use a regular alarm clock and put it across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

  • What will you have to REMOVE/STOP DOING at night in order to go to bed early? Will you have to sacrifice your Netflix time? Social media scrolling? Set the intention and remind yourself why this is important to you. Your inner little kid might rebel or throw up some resistance. Be an adult and set some boundaries for yourself!

2. CREATE YOUR ROUTINE

I know you're an overachiever, but don't fall into the trap of trying to do allthethings. Set your "baseline" routine first.

For example, you don’t have to go to a one hour yoga or workout, meditate, make a green juice, go for a walk, journal, read, all in the same day. You’ll only set yourself up for failure and fall back into the “all or nothing” trap and end up right where you started.

Instead, pick 1-3 non negotiable activities you want to make the baseline of your routine, small and easy things that are so easy to do it will feel natural like brushing your teeth. Heck, brushing your teeth could be one of them! The goal here is to prove to yourself that you can show up and follow through on the intentions you set for yourself.

It’s ok to start small, once your confidence builds you can add on! It’s like training for a marathon. You don’t set out by running 20 miles. You start with 2-3 miles and grow from there! Trust the process.

You can also create “good/better/best” goals to give yourself some flexibility if you have extra time.

For example:

If your “non negotiable” habit is yoga:

  • GOOD (this is your baseline) = do a few sun salutations.
  • BETTER = do a 30 minute Yoga video from beachbody on demand
  • BEST = go to a 60 min yoga class

Once you have your baseline, make a “self care menu” of other things you could do as a bonus for the days you have more time. This is like offering yourself dessert. Nice to have, but optional.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but as humans we are fickle creatures and almost never follow through with our own best laid plans. Who can you find to hold you accountable? Your spouse/partner/roommate? Get a friend on board and text each other a selfie when you’ve done your routine?

Get other people who are important to you to invest in your intentions too!

If you need a kickass support system, I've gotchu covered girl.

4. FOLLOW THROUGH AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN

Show up! Remember that your routine doesn’t have to be the exact same thing every day.

I also love adjusting my morning routine based on where i’m at in my cycle. During my period, there’s a lot more resting and I give myself permission to be “lazy.” During the early and later parts of my cycle I have a lot of energy so I channel that into workouts, or extra time writing (like right now!) to get all my swirling thoughts out of my head.

Like anytime you're trying to change your habits or behavior, knowing yourself and your weaknesses is power. Let's be honest, self sabotage never takes us by surprise. Think ahead -- where do you know you're going to struggle? How can you set up systems or accountability in those areas? How can you have your own back?

And finally, remember this:

Imperfect but consistent action trumps occasional perfection.

This isn't about having a consistent routine for 21 or 30 days and if you miss a day you have to start back at square one. This is about making small, achievable shifts towards supporting yourself and growing into the person you want to be!

And at the end of the day, feeling freaking amazing.

You've got this.

xo Anna

5 tips for staying healthy on vacation

Ben and I both LOVE traveling and experiencing new places together, especially through food and culture, so I thought I'd share some of my tips on staying relatively "healthy" and balanced on vacation!

staying healthy on vacation - 4 tips to feel amazing and vibrant while traveling

Healthy Travel Tips

1. Make a plan in advance and decide what kind of trip this is going to be. Will you try to adhere to your normal routine? Or are you going to give yourself a little flexibility GUILT FREE to indulge in special treats?

2. Take care of yourself while traveling. If my flight isn't too early and I know I'll be sitting for the rest of the day in a plane or car, I'll wake up and squeeze in a quick workout. I also make sure to pack SNACKS!! Because airport food is $$$$ and limited.

My favorite travel snacks:

+ drink a smoothie on the way to the airport

+ pack an empty water bottle to fill up after security

+ apples

+ snack veggies like carrots and snap peas

+ Shakeo Brownie Bites!! THESE ARE A LIFE SAVER

+ nuts and trailmix

+ healthy bars (BeachBars are going to be a new staple)

On the plane, opt for water to stay hydrated. Anything carbonated (even water) will make you extra bloated with the pressure and altitude changes, so be aware! And yeah, I usually eat the plane snacks. Because I can't say no to free snacks.

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3. Explore your destination by foot. It's easy to rack up the steps while traveling and exploring a new city. Walk, hike, go out for a run, and soak up your new environment! Don't worry too much about fitting in "workouts," if you're staying active that's all your body really needs.

healthy travel tips - enjoy the local food

4. Eat like a local. Eat as may fresh fruits and veggies as you can, but give yourself some flexibility and ENJOY local treats! When we're in Europe, I eat lots of bread and cheese. In Hawaii it was easy to find fresh food everywhere, but I also had delicious local beer, cookies, and ice cream too.

5. Give yourself grace and live in the moment. Traveling is a chance to fully live life to the fullest and make memories that will last a lifetime. Don't waste your energy stressing about gaining weight or falling off the wagon, and don't immediately feel like you need to jump into a "detox" or reset as soon as you get home. Our bodies are resilient, and if you ease back into your normal routine (maybe with extra veggies and water when you get home), your body will respond. 

I know it might sound basic and obvious, but sometimes the best way to stay healthy and stick to your wellness goals is to KEEP IT SIMPLE and stop making everything super complicated.

Healthy is a way of life, not a number on the scale. And health is not an all-or-nothing thing! Give yourself space to enjoy foods and experiences you normally wouldn't have back at home, guilt free.

Have fun!!

 

Monthly Goal Setting Journal Prompts

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Every month I host a goal and intention setting workshop for our team, and it’s always my favorite team call.

There’s something really powerful about declaring your intentions and vision for the month ahead. Even if you don’t actually follow through on the plan (because inevitably life happens and curveballs are thrown to distract us!), simply making the plan triggers something in your subconscious mind and things will start to fall into place.

What we focus on becomes our reality!

We’ve been reading The Happiness Advantage this month in our personal development book club (click here to join, it’s free and we pick a new book every month!), which has only been reinforcing this fact to me.

When we focus on being overwhelmed, stressed, and trying to make it through the day, we will feel overwhelmed, stressed, and stuck.

But if we accept the fact that life is always going to be a little overwhelming and stressful, and start focus on the things that we’re grateful for, the things in our control, and the things that are going to make us feel happy and fulfilled… well, can you feel your energy shifting already?

Here are a few of the journal prompts I love visiting each month when I’m ready to set new intentions.

Shout out to my friend and fellow life coach Jen Wille for introducing me to most of these amazing prompts!

You can do this at the beginning of the month, or you could also do it at the beginning of your menstrual cycle if you want to practice “cycle syncing” your life! True fact: when you’re on your period, your hormones and brain chemistry are ideally suited for goal setting, seeing the big picture, and setting intentions! I’ve been getting my period at the beginning of the month lately which has been super convenient haha.

1. What were my wins and victories from last month?

Spend a few minutes brain-dumping everything you can think of, big and small. So often we are only focused at where we’re failing or what’s not going right or how far we are from our goals, so let’s celebrate our wins and remind ourselves we’re making progress too!

2. What do I want to STOP DOING? What do I want to START DOING? What do I want to CONTINUE DOING?

Draw three columns on a new page in your notebook and brainstorm some ideas for these prompts. Then choose your top 3 from each column and focus on those!

3. What do you want your morning routine to look like? Evening routine?

What do you need to do to start and end your days in order to live up to your best self? I like setting a “baseline” of non negotiable things, then adding some bonus ideas too for days where I have extra time.

4. What are your TOP 3 goals for the month?

What would make you incredibly proud to accomplish? Pick 3 and focus on them!

Each week, set Top 3 that will feed into your monthly Top 3.

Every evening, set the Top 3 actions for the next day that will feed into the week’s Top 3.

Get it?

This practice will keep you focused and eliminate distractions and overwhelm.

It doesn’t matter what you do, or what you choose for your daily Top 3, as long as you’re moving forward.

5. What is your “why?”

Re-visit the reason why you’re doing what you do in the first place. Why is achieving these goals important? How will it change your life? Who else will benefit? Where will you be if you DON’T move forward?

Life isn't always about being as productive as possible and achieving allthethings as fast as we can. It's also about enjoying the process, giving ourselves space to grow, and making sure we tune into what's truly important so we can enjoy the fruits of our labor instead of constantly rushing on to the next thing.

Click here to subscribe to my wellness newsletter and get encouragement and motivation straight to your inbox!


homemade nutty crunch granola

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Homemade Nutty Crunch Granola

DRY INGREDIENTS

2 ½ c old fashioned oats

3 c mixed nuts and seeds

(I used sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans, chia seeds, and millet. This is perfect if you have a lot of nearly empty bags of random baking nuts in your pantry!)

1 ½ T cinnamon

½ tsp salt

 

WET INGREDIENTS

½ c melted coconut oil

½ c maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 300*F.

In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients.

In a smaller bowl, whisk wet ingredients until combined.

Stir wet into dry until the granola is evenly coated with the syrup/oil mixture.

Spread mixture evenly in 2 large baking sheets and bake 30-40 minutes, stirring and rotating pans every 15 minutes.

Take granola out of the oven and let it cool before transferring into large jars or bowls for storage. It will get crispy and toasty as it cools, so don’t worry if it doesn’t seem “done” when you take it out of the oven!

OPTIONAL: once cool, stir in dried fruit or chocolate chips!

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when to take a guilt-free rest day

I’m writing this post to you from my couch, where I’ve been planted all morning catching up on the Bachelor in Paradise and reflecting on my goals for the next month. I’ve been feeling extra exhausted lately and started my period this morning so that would explain why!

Even though I’m technically starting the second round of my bootcamp program with my accountability group this week, I’ve already taken an extra rest day on Monday and decided to skip my workout again today because I honestly just don’t have the energy to push through an intense bootcamp right now. 

I used to feel guilty for taking extra rest days, like I was letting myself down or failing for not perfectly following through on my plan. I know you’re a fellow overachiever and probably feel the same way. Maybe you even throw in the towel and give up if you can’t be perfect with a fitness program, which sends you down the cycle of self doubt and affects your belief in yourself to follow through with hard things.

But lately I’m learning how to listen to my body and figure out when it’s time to push through, and when it’s time to rest.

As women, our bodies operate on a cyclical pattern and it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to show up for hard workouts at our max capacity day in and day out without a break to let our energy and bodies rest and repair.

So next time you’re feeling exhausted, burned out, or have been working out intensely for several days in a row, give yourself a permission slip to take a rest day guilt-free, even if it's not on your plan.

You aren’t doing anything wrong. In fact, listening to your body and trusting the messages it’s sending you is absolutely and always the right decision.

But yes, I know there are also times when you really do need to push through.

How to tell if you need a rest day or if you’re just making excuses?

Take this quiz!

Should you take a rest day or push through your workout?

  • How many workouts have you done this week?

    • If it’s 4-6+, a rest day is probably beneficial to your muscles

  • Are you physically tired, or just mentally/emotionally tired?

    • If the resistance in your head or you're just feeling lazy, a workout will give you energy!

  • Where are you at in your cycle?

    • If it’s the first week or two, you have energy to burn. If it’s the days leading up to your period, your energy will start to dip so do something less intense like yoga or a walk, or take extra rest.

  • What’s your history of showing up and following through for the goals you set for yourself?

    • If you tend to fall off track or give up easily, push through and keep your groove alive! If you know you can motivate yourself and will have more energy to bounce back, take the rest.

Whether or not you’re working out, remember that what you eat affects weight loss or physical changes in your body even more than your workouts, so focus on your nutrition and make sure you’re fueling your body with healthy, whole foods!

If you need some new recipes or a meal planning system that will save you hours every week and keep you on track, click here to download my FREE Meal Planning Magic e-book.

In the meantime, keep trusting your body! It's wiser than any cookie cutter plan.

xo Anna


My Coach Summit 2017 Recap + Takeaways

I spent this past weekend in New Orleans for our annual coach summit with 11 other coaches from my team Inspire Joy. This was my THIRD summit but this year felt different to me. Despite all the crazy overstimulation and high energy, I felt so much more relaxed, like I was at home! For an introvert to feel at home on the floor of the Superdome surrounded by 20,000 people and a light show...well that is saying a lot, ha! I can't believe this is my life now.

It was also very eye opening-- a wake up call that showed me what I’m doing right and where I’ve been holding myself back.

I am so excited to share my recap and takeaways with you!

What the heck is Summit?

For over three years I’ve been a health and fitness coach with Team Beachbody, the company that makes the amazing at home programs like 21 Day Fix, PiYo, and Insanity. I run virtual accountability groups for women who want to get in shape with these programs, and I also mentor a team of almost 200 women who have decided to pay it forward and earn extra income by becoming coaches themselves.

The reason why I LOVE Beachbody is that it truly reaches, transforms, and improves every single area of your life: your mental/emotional/physical health, finances, energy, self confidence, and it also provides a platform to share your story and connect with other like-minded women. The company itself is so values driven and full of integrity. I fall more and more in love with it the longer I coach!

I am also obsessed with my team, Inspire Joy. We’re a group of fun, creative, ambitious, outgoing introverts and we spend all year working virtually so being able to hang out in person at these events and explore new cities together is seriously the best.

Our New Orleans Adventures

I landed on Wednesday morning, met up with a couple of the other girls, and we immediately beelined to Cafe Du Monde for beignets! Priorities, right? WORTH IT.

We spent the afternoon wandering around the French Quarter and then met up with the rest of our team that night for dinner at one of our AirBNB's!

On Thursday I woke up early to go for a run with my coach Jaclyn as per our annual Summit tradition :) She does marathons but I am faster, so we make pretty good running buddies! Then we cleaned up and headed downtown for an extra personal development and leadership event called Power of I Am, where we heard from over a dozen top coaches and Cara Alwill Leyba, the author of The Champagne Diet and Girl Code. This bonus event was so inspiring and one of the highlights of the weekend for me! 

Every overnight success story is 10 years in the making. Don’t wait for the world to define you. Decide the woman you want to be and then go be her.
— Cara Alwinn Leyba

On Thursday night we had our opening session in the Superdome, which is HUGE! We learned about all the new products and resources launching this year and kicked off the weekend with so much positive energy.

Imagine being in a stadium with over 20,000 of the most driven, positive, healthy, and successful people you know. GOOD VIBE OVERLOAD! It's like any invisible barrier holding you back from the woman you want to become goes *poof* and you can not only see but feel your full potential.

Friday was a marathon of workshops, sessions, and then we went out to dinner in the French Quarter and hit up Bourbon Street!

Let's just say it was a lot of fun :)

Friday night was extra special because I was able to spend some time with my own coach/friend Deidre and her new baby Pix! While at Summit, Deidre officially announced that she was leaving her corporate career to be a full time coach and mom, which means so much more than I can express. 

Saturday was a long day!! I woke up at 5am to head downtown for the Super Workout, and out of our whole team only Jaclyn and Kelsey were down to roll with me #SURVIVORS! To be completely honest, this was the first year I didn't bail on the Super Workout!! The best way to cure a hangover is to sweat it out, right?

So what is the Super Workout? Think THOUSANDS of people crowded onto the street like the start of the world's biggest marathon ... but there is no starting gun and no one ever actually moves forward. We just workout in place as every single Beachbody trainer comes on stage to do a 10 minute workout (Chalene Johnson, Autumn Calabrese, Shaun T, Tony Horton, Sagi Kalev, and more!!). Yeah it's intense!! Glad I did it once so I can sleep in again next year ;)

Then we had more sessions all day and closed out the event with our huge Celebration at the Superdome. Imagine combining the Academy Awards, Cirque du Soleil, The Biggest Loser, and stand up comedy... or just check out the Livestream to see the spectacle!

My biggest takeaways
 

1. Appreciation for the team I'm building

I freaking love my team Inspire Joy. We work alone, online, and so getting together in person is a reminder of what is REAL. These women are my family. My soul sisters. They pull me to be better, to never settle, and remind me I’m not in this alone.

It’s really powerful to have people in your life who see you not for who you are right now, but for who you can become.

No matter where in the world we go, with these women I always feel at home because they not only empower me to be myself, but they challenge me to be MORE true and authentic than I've ever been.

I haven't allowed myself to have a lot of close friendships in my life. I used to think it was because I was an introvert, but I'm starting to think it's because I was afraid that people would reject me if I really let them in. I've been afraid they'll find that I'm not good enough so it's easier and safer for me to do the listening than to let someone listen.

I became a coach because I wanted to share my passion for health and fitness and to make some income on the side.

I honestly had no idea I would find the most incredible community in the process, and would open my heart to relationships that are more intensely rewarding than anything I've ever experienced.

We don't just teach women how to have a healthy relationship with food and their bodies.

We teach ourselves and each other that it's safe to look inside and see ourselves for who we are underneath the walls and masks we put up to deal with life.

I believe that women need other women to hold space for our dreams and pull each other to be better, like iron sharpening iron.

It's so hard to find true friendships as an adult, and I will never take these women for granted.

2. I have been living in "maintenance mode" 

This one is tricky because I spend my time preaching and teaching how to get out of your comfort zone, but I've been hanging out on a safety ledge of my comfort zone and have been in a self-induced plateau with my own fitness, business, and personal growth over the last year.

Just because I became a life coach doesn't mean the inner work stops for me!

I've been hiding.

I have let self doubt and insecurities run my life.

I've been waiting for all my big goals and dreams to just go *POOF* and happen.

But guess what?

I'm the only one who can make them happen.

The only one who can start believing in myself.

The only one who can break the comfy plateau my body and business has been chilling in for the last 18 months.

I've grown a lot on the inside over the past year, and it's time to start sharing that.

For the rest of 2017 I'm committing to ME.

I'm committing to my dreams.

I'm committing to working as hard as I can so Ben and I can build the life we want and set a foundation for our future family.

I'm committing to sharing my message even when it feels like no one is listening.

I'm committing to early mornings so I can pour into my own cup and have enough left over to pour into everyone else.

I'm committing to getting fierce with my goals and following through instead of letting them slide when it gets hard.

I want to be the best leader I can be for the amazing women on my team, because my success enables their success.

Time to stop sitting on the sidelines!

Today is the beginning of the rest of your life and YOU get to write the script -- what do you want it to say?

I want to raise my vibe to match my dreams.

Stop doubting that I can build a team and a life coaching business. Stop making excuses or telling myself it’s ok to grow slow.

It takes a lot of emotional energy, but I can do it all.

I truly believe in myself and know I’m worth it.

Time to pay it forward and see what happens!

xo Anna

If you want to learn more about joining our team, please reach out and send me a message. I'd love nothing more than to get to know you and tell you more about what we do! 

everything you need to know about Shift Shop

The summer I was 5 years old, I watched the Barcelona Olympics and decided I wanted to be a gymnast.

My mom never ended up enrolling me in gymnastics lessons, so that dream kind of sailed because let's face it -- gymnastics is not one of those things you can master in 10,000 hours -- but the dream never really left me.

It wasn’t that I want to actually be a gymnast, compete on the world stage (hello performance anxiety nightmare!!), or receive fame and glory.

I fell in love with the energy and power and grace of the young women who flipped and vaulted and danced across the floor.

Despite my young ambitions, all through grade school I was never athletic. I was good at reading, learning, and expressing myself through creativity and music, and absolutely hated PE and any type of sport where there's a ball flying towards my face.

It wasn’t until college that I really discovered myself through movement and started to work out. I was initially motivated by wanting to lose the weight I gained freshman year.

I started walking, then jogging, then running, and eventually went as far as to join the cross country and track teams. Ha! We were a Division 3 school, so I wasn’t really ever competitive but I could at least show up for practice everyday and try.

Actually, one of my biggest motivations to go out for XC and track was that the cute boy I had a crush on was a pole vaulter...so yeah my motivation was always a little questionable.

Running track and cross country was very discouraging and frustrating because since I had zero history of running or competitive sports, my body didn’t really know how to handle daily practices. I always finished last at meets and events, and ended up injuring myself and sitting out most of my last season, which honestly was a bit of a relief.

I wished I could be stronger and more athletic than I was and never really felt like I fit in with the team.

Just like being an awkward bookworm in jr. high, track was another way for me to feel like I was an outsider who didn't belong with the cool or even "normal" kids.

Over the years, after the weight came off, after I ended up marrying that boy and finding my confidence and self worth, I started to realize that fitness was becoming a pretty huge part of my life, and discovered that I wasn’t motivated by external stuff like my weight anymore.

I fell in love with fitness for the same reason I loved watching gymnasts on TV as a 5 year old: I love how it makes me feel powerful and strong.

In an ironic twist of fate considering my non-athletic past, I ended up discovering Beachbody coaching and now am a full time health and fitness coach. It’s literally my job to workout and be in the best shape of my life, but it still isn’t that easy, especially since I'm still in the process of reinventing myself.

Life happens! Excuses happen. Ice cream and date nights happen.

I get distracted and yes, even I fall “off track” occasionally.

Because even though I’ve made fitness a part of my lifestyle for the better part of a decade now, I still identify more with the awkward, non-athletic bookworm inside of me than the strong, athletic, badass I know is inside of me too.

But deep down I want to give more attention to that inner athlete, let her come out to play, and see what happens.

That’s why I’m so excited about the new program launching this month, a 21 day athletic based bootcamp called Shift Shop..

I love the fact that this entire program was designed as a comeback journey.

"It doesn't matter where you came from...or where you've been. You can always reinvent yourself."

That's one of the actual taglines. Yes!

I'm excited to do this program because it's not just another quick fix; it's a complete lifestyle shift: mental, physical, and emotional.

A lot of fitness programs focus only on the external side of things, like how to lose weight or tone up as quickly as possible, and neglect to consider that losing weight or getting healthy is actually an emotional or spiritual journey of leaving the "old you" behind and stepping into a new version of yourself. And change is freaking hard! That's why we tend to sabotage ourselves or fall on and off the wagon.

In order to completely redefine or reinvent yourself, you have to confront all the deep rooted insecurities, doubts, and stories that are buried deep inside you from childhood. That's why I love being a coach! I get to offer the mental and emotional support to women who are in the process of transformation.

When you push your body and mind, you discover how strong and resilient you really are from the inside out. Once you start taking care of yourself physically, it’s easier to make positive changes in every other area of life too: relationships, work, hobbies. You start to live more on purpose, fueled by positive energy.

I'm friends with a few of the coaches in the Shift Shop test group and although their physical results are freaking insane, what inspired me the most was hearing about their mental and emotional transformations.

Undertaking a program like this is not easy, and having extra support and accountability is essential. I'm excited to be hosting a Shift Shop Challenge with my entire coaching team later this month for anyone who wants to try the program with me!

Who is Shift Shop for?

•  Shift Shop is for anyone that wants to ramp up their fitness fast. In three short weeks you progress from basic 25 minute workouts to advanced 45 minute routines - all while honing your nutrition for optimal results.   

• It's great for all fitness levels. If you have a lot of weight to lose, Shift Shop will be your on-ramp to fitness. There’s a great low impact modifier, and you can work on building your strength and endurance foundation. If you've spent some time away from your regular routine, Chris will lead through a fitness tune-up. It's perfect for anyone who wants an easy commitment to jump-start their regimen. If you’re already in great shape, you’ll break through plateaus.

The Workouts

WEEK ONE
Speed: 25 (25 min) Jumpstart your cardio with 1-minute intervals designed to work your entire body and make you break a sweat.

Strength: 25 (25 min) Build a strong foundation with easy-to-learn 1-minute intervals of resistance movements designed to set you up for success.

WEEK TWO
Speed: 35 (35 min) Intensity increases as does the formations. This workout was designed to improve your agility, build your stamina and burn more calories.

Strength: 35 (35 min) By combining the foundational moves, the intensity ramps up creating new challenges as you continue to get stronger.

WEEK THREE
Speed: 45 (45 mins) Up the ante with new dynamic drills that continue to ramp-up your conditioning and get your ready for any challenge.  

Strength: 45 (45 mins) The ultimate resistance workout created to challenge every muscle group to increase definition and get the very best out of you.  

BONUS
Shift Core (12 mins) Strengthen your core as you breathe through 9, 1-minute ab-shredding exercises.

Shift Mobility: 20 minutes of focused stretching to alleviate tightness and get you ready to continue the Shift.

Super Speed: 50 (50 mins) Adding in the Beachbody PT Sandbag, this workout brings you 3 rounds of calorie-scorching drills guaranteed to shift your endurance into high gear.

Super Strength: 50 (50 mins) Three rounds of resistance intervals designed to challenge your strength with the Beachbody PT Sandbag. This workout will challenge your body and your mind.

Super Shift Core: Take the Beachbody PT Sandbag to the mat for 9 intense 1-minute core-focused exercises.

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT  

Agility Markers and Weights For Base Kit Workouts. Sandbag and/or weights for Deluxe Workouts.

Nutrition Plan

This is not a diet -- it's a healthy eating lifestyle plan that will help you learn how to use food as fuel. I’m looking forward to the nutrition plan even more than the workouts, because when I did the Ultimate Reset (and didn't workout for THREE WEEKS) I experienced first hand that what you eat makes such a big difference when it comes to results.

The Shift Shop nutrition plan uses the portion containers from the 21 Day Fix and Portion Fix, which I love because they give me just the right balance between intuitive eating and structure. Every single meal is planned out so there’s no guesswork - you just pick the foods that you want to eat that fall into the containers.

Basically, whole foods FTW!!

Other than the portion system, the Shift Shop nutrition plan is totally different than anything else I’ve ever tried.

Just like the workouts, each week your portions change. You gradually decrease your carbs and increase your protein and healthy fat, so your body starts to burn fat as fuel.

I know this is going to be a challenge because I know I’m going to have to break my emotional eating patterns, but at the same time I know I’ll free up so much mental and emotional energy when I’m NOT thinking about food.


Check out some of the results from the coach test group!

“Down 9 pounds. Lost 11 inches. Gained strength, speed, flexibility and my smile! This never ending journey of health and fitness blows my mind every day! It’s amazing how following a program to a tee for just 3 weeks can change my body so drastically!”


"13.2 pounds are GONE. 10 inches are GONE.

Six months ago, I gave birth to my second son, Mason. I had so much anxiety about getting my body back and I couldn’t ever imagine my body looking the way it did before I got pregnant. These three weeks proved me wrong .

My physical transformation is by far the best I have ever had in three weeks. But I would argue that my mental shift was far greater than my physical shift. I gave these workouts ALL OF ME. I pushed when my mind told me to quit. I kept going when I was faced with temptation. I learned so much about myself in the last three weeks – it was like the ULTIMATE personal development for my mind, body and soul.

I am six months postpartum and I feel better now than I ever have in my ENTIRE life. I am not making the shift for three weeks, I am making the shift FOR LIFE. One round down and I have committed to doing three more.”


"This program is for REAL. The biggest change is all over my face…I have so much more confidence…this mental shift is huge for me. I NEEDED to know that I could do something like this again…that I had the willpower.

I showed up EVERY SINGLE DAY. I fought through strep throat, I even cried at times in my workouts, but I made it happen. I reminded myself “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” He worked in me and through me.

Hear this- if I can do this, YOU can do this. I am a foodie (one of the reasons I love coaching- because I can relate), It isn’t easy for me to lose weight, I am a nursing mama who’s body wants to hang on to fat (I gained 50 lbs nursing my son alone and then lost it using these programs and drinking shakeology. This time I didn’t have to search for the answer…I knew it.).

The odds are stacked, but the “shift” happened in my heart, head and therefore then my body. I am so so PROUD. I am so happy. Bring on Round 2.”

But let's be honest.

Really the only thing you need to know about Shift Shop is that you get to spend three weeks working out with this guy, Chris Downing ;)


Ready to make the Shift?

If you’re interested in entering the Shift Shop with me, I’m hosting an accountability group with my coaching team and we’re all going to do the program together!

We’ll have a daily check-in to make sure we stay on track, and it will be a safe, positive space to share our journeys.

These accountability groups are MAGIC and make the biggest difference when it comes to actually following through on your goals and making lasting change happen.

Registration closes July 17th.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I can't wait to unleash my inner athlete with you :)

xo Anna

loving yourself even when you've gained weight

The weather has been spiking to the 90’s here in Chicago, so I had to break out the summer clothes this month and discovered that all my shorts and pants from last year are a little tight!

Oh, goodness. I think we’ve all had this moment, yeah?

At first I thought it was just a bit of PMS bloating, but nope. The extra squish is here to stay!

“But Anna, you eat super healthy and workout every single day -- how did you gain weight?”

How I gained weight

Here's the truth.

Last summer I was a pretty darn skinny size 4.

I had just pushed myself to finish the 21 Day Fix Extreme, and went the entire month of July without sugar or alcohol. I wanted to push myself to my limits, and I did!

It was the FIRST TIME I had ever done a fitness program because I want to take care of my body from the inside out, instead of trying to be skinny or get "results." And I ended up loving the process and yeah of course a rockin bod is going to be the natural side effect if you're intentionally committing to a full Beachbody program.

But it's not easy to maintain that level of intense focus all year long!

Life happens.

Over the past year I’ve gone off the birth control pill and healed my hormones (hellooooo healthy fats!), turned 30, completed my life coaching certification, blasted stratospheric levels out of my comfort zone, learned how to slow down, and yeah I’ve put on a few pounds!

I don’t own a scale anymore (...and live in leggings 80% of the year…) so I didn’t realize this was happening and I’m not sure I’ve even gained an entire size, but the fact is that I’m not as small as I was last summer.

My first thought: I need to dial in my nutrition, push my workouts harder, and focus on losing a few pounds so I can get my “summer body” back!

My second thought: ...why?

My third thought: I kind of love my body right now. I have a few extra curves and some extra cellulite. But I am strong, confident, I have a pretty amazing relationship with food, I’m loving the “healthy balance” I’ve found, and I’m not willing to give up my ice cream and wine! I want to live life this summer, not stress out about eating perfectly clean and feeling skinny.

My fourth thought: At the same time, I know that I feel the most like myself when I'm eating clean, avoiding sugar and booze, and crushing my workouts and in tune with my body. I don't have to buy into diet culture in order to treat myself a little better and I know I'll be even happier if I lose a few pounds. They aren't just "vanity pounds," this is an "I can handle my emotions without diving into wine or ice cream" issue.


It's not about the weight

I’ve been a health and fitness coach for over 3 years now, and if you’re not careful, the constant pressure can really start to get to your head. Pressure to maintain your peak condition, be a constant walking breathing “after” picture, never slip up or eat a burger and fries or be a human.

That’s not the way I want to live, and I don’t want to perpetuate the story that women need to be thin and perfect in order to be accepted and worthy.

I want to teach women that it's possible to love yourself in your own skin, no matter what size or shape you're at.

HEALTHY doesn't mean being as skinny-fit as possible; it goes so much deeper than that.

A healthy woman doesn’t abuse her body with over-exercising or binging.

A healthy woman doesn’t deprive her body of the nutrients (including fat and carbs) it needs to maintain its normal functions.

A healthy woman doesn't turn to food or alcohol to numb out when she feels overwhelmed or stressed.

When we struggle with food or weight, it’s not really about the food or weight problem to begin with, and trying to solve our issues with dieting is like putting a bandaid on a broken arm.

Once we can learn to accept and love ourselves for where we're at right now, we can make change from a place of wholeness.

Losing weight from a place of self love

However!

Just because you love your body doesn’t mean you have to settle or let yourself go.

Just because you’ve gained weight doesn’t mean you’re stuck there.

It’s possible to love your body AND want to change it in order to be the best version of yourself. Honestly, that’s the best kind of motivation!

So even though I’m totally ok with where I”m at right now, I’m not willing to buy new larger sized clothes and I still know I can push myself harder.

I want to make myself proud and feel the way I felt last July: powerful, confident, and unstoppable!

My summer fitness plan

In two weeks I’ll be flying to NOLA for the first time with 12 of the women on my team for our annual Coach Summit, and I want to feel my best, so I’m going to be a little more focused until then. I also know that a brand new 21 day bootcamp program called Shift Shop is launching and I’m going to be hosting an accountability group at the end of July, so I have a plan and I’m so excited to see what happens when I focus a little more on taking care of my body and pushing my limits.

What to do when you've gained weight

When you feel compelled to lose weight, ask yourself WHY.

Do you actually need to lose weight to be healthy and happy? If so, great! Why is that important to you?

But if you are just being triggered by your inner mean girl, don’t feel like you’re good enough, are looking for control because there’s something deeper going on in your life, then dig a little deeper.

Get support and accountability!

Let’s face it -- the journey to self acceptance, self love, and body confidence is hard. We shouldn't have to walk this path alone.

I want to bring women together in sisterhood to support, uplift, encourage, and inspire each other to keep pushing through the rough patches and also celebrate our big and small victories along the way. That's why I've created my FREE Fit For Life Facebook community!

We have weekly check-ins, daily motivation, recipe e-books, and lots of support when you need to talk about deep stuff like emotional eating, or have a squad who gets how exciting it is to run 2 miles straight for the first time or fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans again.

And contact me if you’d like to learn more about my next accountability group!

xo Anna