Body Beyond Birth Member Spotlight: Meet Anna

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Body Beyond Birth Member Spotlight: Meet Anna

We like to think at Body beyond Birth we have the best workout routine around. But it’s really the women in our community that makes things so special. Meet one of our favourite members, Anna.

Part of the Body Beyond Birth journey is meeting some amazing women. As our customers, allies in the mothering movement and community friends, we love hearing their stories.

That’s why we’ve begun putting a spotlight on the members of Body Beyond Birth. Jackie and I believe strongly in sharing and learning from the wisdom of other women.

So without further ado meet Body Beyond Birth member, Anna. 

Body Beyond Birth Member Spotlight: Meet AnnaHi, I’m Anna. I’m 38 and have two children, a boy aged six and a girl aged two. This year I’ve been busy learning the ropes of having a school-aged child and caring for my toddler. I also work in research in child language development and children’s literacy. And I am part of an amateur musical theatre group.

I am what you could safely call a bookish person, and rather non-sporty… but I dig BBB!

My Body Beyond Birth story

A year after my daughter was born I wanted to get into more regular exercise. But I found the prospect of trying to get to a physical class every week daunting. Body Beyond Birth sounded like it could work for me.

I was doubtful whether I would actually do the workouts on my own at home. So I decided to sign up for the one week trial to see how I went. I found that with the workouts being just 20 minutes long, I could do it!

Twenty minutes for me is manageable time-wise, energy-wise, and motivation-wise. 

I found that even if I got to 8pm after finally getting the kids to bed, I could still summon the mental strength to get out my mat and “just do 20 more minutes”. When I all I really wanted to do was collapse on the couch, 20 minutes felt do-able.

I signed up for Level 1 and got going. Setting goals at the beginning of the program was a good step. For me, the goal was not so much weight loss. I wanted to feel stronger and have more energy so I could cope better with all my mummy duties. I knew my pelvic floor was not in good shape either!

The exercises were sometimes a lot tougher than I could handle, but I just did what I could and kept at it. It’s amazing how much improvement you can see even over one week of doing a workout video regularly.

Half-way through the program I got quite sick. That knocked me out for two weeks. After that, it was hard to get back into the swing of things.

To be honest, I never really finished the program properly. I hung in there and did a few videos each week but only got through to Week 8 or so. But even that much had made me realise what a lot of good this was doing me.

Later on, I decided to give it another go. This time, I cranked up the dedication a notch.

I signed up for Level 1 again. This time, I made myself a calendar on one A4 page, with my whole 12 weeks graphed out. I ticked off each day I did a video and each day I did a walk.

Now I had a good behaviour chart just like my kids! Once I could see I’d built up so many ticks in the first few weeks, it gave me extra motivation to keep going. I pushed through with the help of my chart. Even when it all started to feel like it was too much again.

Ok, I’ll admit that I have never actually managed to do a video 6 times a week (sorry Becky!). But I decided that if I could do it 4 times a week, I would be happy with myself. 5 times a week would be extra credit. That was manageable for me and meant I kept with the program.

I found that the 3 walks scheduled in a week make a huge difference (I’ll also admit I wasn’t always doing that bit the first time round!). The combination of the walks and videos energised me. I was so into it that my husband gave me weights for Christmas so I could finally stop using cans of tomatoes.

So, I made it! I did all 12 weeks and I felt a lot stronger.

It had definitely worked. I knew I could do exercises I hadn’t been able to do at the beginning of the program. I could also do the yoga videos that I had found near to impossible at the beginning!

Now I am working on Level 2. Level 2 has worked out a bit like Level 1 for me. The first time round I fell off the bandwagon about halfway through.

But Jackie has a big tip on the website saying “Don’t beat yourself up about that.just get back on the wagon”.  

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving Level 2 another go, starting now. I hear there are new workouts in the pipeline. So I’m hoping Body Beyond Birth will be a way for me to keep regular doable exercise in my routine for a long time to come.

Anna’s experience of Body Beyond Birth recipes

My favourite recipe tip was to try almond milk in my morning porridge. So simple, but I would never have thought of it on my own! Yum. I think I might try coconut milk too.

If I had one request for the future, I would like to see more simple family-friendly type meals in the meals section. One-pot wonders would be great. Or meals without too many exotic flavours for children who are essentially good eaters, but like everything plain as plain can be!

My favourite Body Beyond Birth move, exercise, piece of advice or best workout routine is…

My favourite Body Beyond Birth exercise is the Hindu squat. I love the control over your body when you manage them. You feel so powerful and strong.

I also have a love-hate relationship with the swimmer. This was my “measure of the program” exercise. I could barely do this exercise at the beginning. Wow, it is tough! Every time a video came round with this little baby in it, I would inwardly groan. But I also knew it was getting easier.

After a few weeks, I found could swim for the full time allotted. And could tell with each week that I was starting to reach breaking point later into the count of 10 rounds. Even if I’ll never get to the point of talking casually through the exercise the way Becky does, I am growing in strength.

I also found the back strength that the exercise built up meant I suffered less from back and shoulder pain at the end of a long day.

I like that my kids see me doing the program. I’m setting a good example for them. They like to come over on the mat or next to me and do their Pilates moves, too.

Favourite Body Beyond Birth healthy tip

Keep exercise manageable and constant.  Don’t make the mistake I did of thinking I would just combine all my cardio for the week into one mammoth bike ride with the family! I was so worn out I couldn’t do anything much for the rest of the week.

I found it is much more effective to listen to the expert BBB advice and do smaller, but regular little walks or other cardio. It doesn’t have to be exhausting. The combination of regular walks and videos is dynamite for your energy levels.

The final word

So there you have it. The best workout routine or the things you need to do to make your Body Beyond Birth journey a successful one don’t have to be tricky or involved. Like Anna, you can carve the sort of exercise experience you want to suit your timeline and lifestyle, fitness level and more.
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