Anna Maria Locke

Learning to trust the process - my first 3 years as a Beachbody coach (and what's next for Inspire Joy!)

2017Anna Locke

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in a decade.”

-Bill Gates

Hello friends! It's been a while since I shared my heart on the blog, but I've missed this space so I'm excited to announce that I'M BACK!!

I've been going through some big and exciting shifts and changes in my life and business behind the scenes over the past few months, and I needed to take some time to process and integrate everything. AKA figure out wtf I'm doing with my life! As usual.

This past month marked a pretty big milestone for me: my 3rd anniversary with Beachbody.

I've actually never held a full time job for this long in my entire life, and I'm pretty proud to be standing here three years later, still chugging along with my business and team Inspire Joy.

Beachbody has taken me on the journey of a lifetime: I've literally traveled all over the world and also deep into myself and my soul's purpose.

It's been so much more than a heath and fitness platform.

It's been a door and a path for me to find myself, heal my anxiety, overcome self doubt, pivot into a career path and a lifestyle that is completely aligned with my passions and strengths, support myself financially/physically/emotionally/creatively, and serve other women in a bigger way.

In late February 2014, I made the decision to try out Beachbody coaching.

"I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, "because of you, I didn't give up."

This quote has been my guiding mantra since literally Day One.

I want my life to mean something. I want to share my experiences and connect with other women so we feel seen, heard, and understood. I want to empower myself and other women to dig deep, fight for our happiness, and never settle for less than we're worth whether that's in our job, relationships, or the way we treat ourselves.

Why did I sign up with Beachbody?

Well to be honest, I can't really explain. It was one of those intuitive/God moments where I felt called, like there was a plan in place and I had to hop on the train without worrying about the details or how it was all going to go down.

Back in 2014 I was in a pretty deep quarter life crisis rut, feeling lost, insecure, dealing with chronic food and body image issues, lacking a sense of purpose or hope in my life, and feeling backed into a career corner.

I was craving more positivity in my life and a community of people who were MY people.

The opportunity to earn an income by sharing my passion for health and fitness and sharing my story and inspiring other women along the way was irresistible.

Not to mention the glimmer of hope that I could maybe even be my own boss!

So I did the damn thing.

I quit my job 6 months in with a few months of living expenses in savings, fueled on optimism, dreams, and the blind confidence that comes when I'm starting something new and exciting.


Since then I've learned more about myself than I ever thought possible, and to be honest it's taken me these three full years to find my groove and confidence as an entrepreneur.

I want to share some of the biggest lessons I've learned on my journey so far because I always love looking back at how far I've come, and I know that in three more years (or 10, or 20) I want to be able to look back at this post and smile.

I also want to hopefully inspire YOU to take a leap (or baby step) of faith on your own intuition too. It takes work, but there's a wide world of happiness and joy out there waiting for you!

Lessons learned in 3 years of Beachbody coaching

1. It's so important to get clear on your own definition of success.

If you let other people define what success means, you'll either constantly be caught in comparison-itis and never feel like you're quite "there" yet, or else you'll blindly move through life on autopilot only to wake up one morning and not even recognize who you are anymore.

Define success based on your priorities, YOUR goals and dreams, and on how you want to show up in your life each and every day.

First get clear on how you want to feel, and then figure out what you can do NOW to experience those feelings in the present moment. If you don't know how to be happy today, you won't know how to be happy even when you reach your goal, and you'll constantly feel empty or postpone your happiness until some distant imaginary point in the future when you reach XYZ goal.

2. No one will care about your goals and dreams as much as you -- and YOU are the only one who can make them happen.

So stop waiting and wishing for the stars to align and get out there! Be fierce with your goals and dreams. Braindump a huge list of everything you'll need to do/learn/become/release to make them happen, break them down into micro tasks you can complete in less than a day, and then put them on your calendar and make it happen!

3. Use jealousy for your own good.

This is an interesting lesson I'm still practicing, because I used to be super insecure and would get SO jealous when I saw a woman out there in the world crushing life and doing all the things I wanted to do deep down. I'd build a wall between her and me, and put myself down for not being "there" yet.

But it's not because I'm not good enough or that I can't be where she's at.

It's safe to celebrate the success or beauty of other women without questioning our own! It's so important to lift each other up instead of tearing ourselves and each other down.

I'm learning that when we feel that prick of envy, it's because we see something in that person that we see in ourselves too- something that we aren't yet acknowledging or owning. Get curious with your jealousy and ask yourself "what does she have that I want? How can I nurture or acknowledge those qualities in myself?"

And for the love of woman power, don't ever put other people on a pedestal. Raise your OWN pedestal to meet them, because deep down we're all the same. Send her a message to thank her for having the guts and courage to go for it, and tell her how much you admire her work!

4. HAVE PATIENCE and learn how to enjoy the process as you're working towards your goals!

Entrepreneurship is like building a house: everything is going to take 4x as long as your expected timeline.

Trust the process, focus on the journey not the results!

Allow yourself to grow and evolve.

"Just because we can't yet see something happening, doesn't mean it's not happening. So long as we keep dreaming and taking baby steps, in spite of not knowing where they may land or how they may be used later." (Mike Dooley, Leveraging the Universe)

5. You always have enough time to do what really matters.

Lack of time is not a valid excuse for why you're not working on your passions and doing the things you want to do.

How do I know this? Because I now have 100% complete control over my own time, and I still struggle to do all the things!

Yes, you need time. But you also need energy, focus, discipline, and belief in yourself.

If something is truly important to you, you'll make the time.

6. Focus on happiness, and success will follow.

I've always been an overachiever, and for most of my life I was a slave to success. I worked and worked and sacrificed my mental and emotional wellbeing at the altar of productivity.

Something I'm finally learning is that happiness doesn't come when we're successful.

If we're only focusing on achieving the external goals, we'll still feel empty once we reach them. When we put our happiness FIRST, success will follow.

Same thing with weight loss: When you put taking care of your body first and focus on eating things that make you feel healthy and energized, the pounds will drop off!

7. We all need support.

I'm a control freak, a perfectionist, and an oldest child with a wild rebellious streak deep down.

It is SO hard for me to ask for help, but we can't do life or achieve success and happiness alone. Find people who will share your vision and pull you to keep working on what's important. 

Start with baby steps, like receiving a compliment instead of brushing it off!

8. Your purpose isn't something you have to "discover" or figure out.

It's inside you already. You just have to get quiet to listen to your heart and learn how to TRUST your own voice.

9. Courage comes from taking action before we feel ready.

If we wait until we're ready or we have time, or everything in life is perfect and the stars are all aligned before we take the first step, guess what? We'll never get there.

I love using the car analogy: when we're driving in the dark, we can only see as far as our headlights, but do we freak out that we can't see what lies ahead on the highway between our starting place and our final destination? No! We trust that the road is there and we'll be able to make the entire journey even though we can only see the tiny bit of road illuminated right in front of us. There might be deer, road construction, detours, pitstops, flat tires, and unexpected adventures along the way, but that's ok!

The same is true with life. We'll only ever be able to see the next couple steps ahead of us, but if we trust the path will appear and keep moving, we'll get to where we need to be.

Take action before you're ready and figure it out as you go.

You don't have to be fearless, you just need 10 seconds of bravery to send the email/make the call/publish the blog post/tell your friend about your crazy idea.

The only way to figure everything out when you're feeling lost or overwhelmed is to get moving. Clarity comes from getting in the trenches. You don't have to take big giant leaps. Start where you're at and figure out the very first teeny tiny baby step. Then do it! Find someone to hold you accountable and celebrate every single micro-victory along the way!

10. Invest in yourself.

Dreams don't come for free, baby.

Treat your personal development, growth, and business like you're going back to college for a PhD in YOU.

Get your finances under control and make sure you're spending your money where your priorities lie!

Invest in the best quality food, supplements, self care, coaches, designers, and therapists that you can, depending on what you need. Can you bootstrap and DIY stuff on your own? Maybe. But is that really the best use of your time and energy, and will you get the results you desire?

Don't cut corners on yourself. It's like planning a wedding. Use the pros! 

And remember that nothing is a waste of money if it will make you happier, healthier, or wealthier in the long haul. Investments have returns. The more you pour into yourself, the more you'll be able to pour into the world, and the more richly you'll be rewarded in love, success, and abundance.

BONUS LESSON: Dreams don't work unless you do.

I am not lucky. I have worked my booty off to create my own definition of success and happiness. But it IS POSSIBLE!

I've grown so much in the past three years on the inside and out. I feel so blessed to be part of a company that truly values giving back and helping people change their own lives, and I'm super excited for this next chapter in the story.

Because of the financial and personal freedom I've been able to create thanks to Beachbody coaching, I decided to follow my passion of helping women transform on the inside even farther and become a certified life coach! I'm now super excited to be able to support women on a more intensive 1:1 level in addition to my health and fitness accountability groups and coach business mentorships.

What's next for Inspire Joy?

Because I'm branching out, I'm officially launching a new blog Inspire Joy for my Beachbody business, where I'll be sharing my health and wellness tips, self care and self love pep talks, the strategies I'm learning about how to create an authentic and profitable business, how to find balance, and all things wellness and woman power! You can also download my free meal planning and recipe guide and subscribe to my weekly wellness newsletter over there.

My vision for my Beachbody business and team Inspire Joy is to create a community and sisterhood of empowered women who are passionate about making their own self care, health, and happiness a priority, desire more freedom and control over their lifestyle choices and career path, and want to pay it forward to help other people take ownership of their health and happiness too. The world needs more strong and confident women who are unapologetic about owning their voice and standing in their own power, and Inspire Joy is a leadership incubator to provide a safe space for us to grow and evolve into the women we're meant to be. It all starts with self care and self love!

What's next for this blog?

THIS blog will revert back to what it was in the very beginning when I started writing in 2009: my online journal, creative outlet, and a space for me to share my heart and the life lessons I'm learning from the trenches.

Expect to see lots more stories, rambles, DIY tutorials, and behind the scenes updates!

And make sure to sign up for my monthly AML News to get the latest posts, updates, and surprises straight to your inbox.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and following along. Let me know if this post resonated with you, I love hearing from you!!

xo Anna

Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach's income depends on his or her own efforts, diligence, and skill. See our Statement of Independent Coach Earnings located in the Coach Online Office for the most recent information on our Coaches' actual incomes.

Simple healthy habits that make a big difference (SuperLife Book Review)

2017, January 2017Anna Locke

Hello friends! I hope you're having a bright and happy week, even if the sun has gone MIA like it has here in Chicago. Oh, January.

I haven't done a book review in way too long, so I'm excited to share my thoughts and reaction to the book SuperLife by Darin Olien!

When I was contacted by TLC Book Tours to participate in a virtual book tour for this paperback release, I jumped at the chance because I've actually been drinking Darin's delicious superfood supplement Shakeology for almost three years now, and have heard him speak live at our annual Beachbody coach summit.

Here I am being a total SuperLife cliche - drinking my superfoods and writing this review!

Here I am being a total SuperLife cliche - drinking my superfoods and writing this review!

  • As an ex-science nerd (I have a BA in Biology!) it was fun for me to learn more about why superfoods are important and get a deeper perspective on what it really means to be healthy, including the complex chemical reactions and the science behind how our bodies function and why certain nutrients are so vital.

Our bodies are seriously amazing! It's very empowering to know that we can take control of our health and avoid, prevent, or heal from chronic illnesses or issues by making simple daily decisions.

"Health is created one choice at a time. It really is that simple! Once you know what healthy choices to make, you repeat them over and over again. That's how health becomes a lifestyle."

Darin takes a holistic view of health (as opposed to western medicine, which has a specialist for every system and body part). In this book he lays out an overview of five "life forces," or the main factors and processes that drive our health and wellbeing on a cellular level, and then explains how we can optimize that cellular health by our food and lifestyle choices so we feel awesome. He also shares lists of beneficial foods and a ten day sample eating plan, which actually looks delicious! No starvation detoxes here.

He explains that the key to optimal health is to fulfill these life forces, which is a relatively simple fix because it all revolves around what we put into our bodies.

The 5 life forces

  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Oxygenation
  • Alkalization
  • Detoxification

In the book, Darin gives a thorough explanation of each force and how our bodies operate, and then a checklist of simple things we can do to take care of ourselves.

I like how he combines the detailed scientific background with realistic actionable steps, and the tone of the book is in his relaxed California surfer vibe. Lots of nutrition based books can come off as preachy or make you feel like a bad human being for not being as enlightened as the author, but I appreciated that SuperLife takes a pretty simple and casual approach to the hard science.

Instead of recapping all the complicated details for each life force, I'm going to focus on my personal takeaways and what I learned from this book, including some simple healthy shifts that we can all implement into our routines to immediately feel more energized and vibrant!

What I learned

  • What's in Shakeology! All the superfoods are sustainably sourced by Darin from small farmers throughout the globe, the true definition of "fair trade."
  • Frozen produce is good when you live in the tundra of Illinois and don't have access to fresh local organic veggies year round. Yay!
  • We eat too much protein! Protein in plants is more bioavailable. Meat is hard on our systems. Beware of the Paleo diet… in reality, our ancestors ate mostly plants because meat was very scarce and we had to hunt for it.
  • Vitamins and nutrients from whole foods are easier for our bodies to assimilate. Taking supplements in the form of pills is not the best, including calcium! This is why shakeology is so great - it gives us all the nutrients in a whole foods source :)
  • Eat more fat!
  • Some foods are acidifying to our bodies, and we need to make an effort to eat more food that is alkalinizing (aka fresh veggies and fruit).
  • Why hydration is so important - and there's a difference between feeling thirsty and cellular dehydration. 
  • Exercise - "Don't try to beat your body into shape, and don't stress about it. You're supposed to feel great. That's the only thing that counts. It's not about the perfect body or the perfect workout routine. You just need to show up for your own life."

At the end of the book he provides a list of foods and their main nutrient properties, and also shares a sample 10 day eating plan that actually looks pretty delicious. II'm definitely going to be trying some of the recipes!

Overall thoughts

If you're a perfectionist and tend to take everything you read literally and get obsessive about your food, take this book with a grain of Himalayan rock salt. Remember that Darin is writing from his personal perspective, and he's made it his life mission to be obsessed about his food. He also lives in southern California.

I love how he talked not just about food, but about other habits that have an effect on our systems, including stress! Stress is acidifying to your body and bad for you not just mentally and emotionally but also on a physical level.

Regarding food stress - it's better to enjoy dinner with your family or friends and eat the bread and pasta … than to make a big deal about your self-imposed food restrictions and feel guilty for eating something "unhealthy" every once in a while (obviously if you have an actual intolerance that's another story). It's ok to position yourself as the health freak at the office and in your family, but don't be annoying about it. As soon as your family and friends realizes that this is your lifestyle and not just a passing phase, you'll start to influence them by your own choices. Lead by example, not by preaching… just like Darin!

Make the best choices you can with the options available to you, and don't make a big deal out of it. Healthy eating is simple, and I think one of the biggest reasons it's so hard for us is because we constantly try to overcomplicate things.

Eat more plants, trust the process, be patient and don't expect your body to drop 20 pounds in one month. Change takes time, so focus on how you're feeling and make more decisions that make you feel good.

How to achieve balance? Just be aware and mindful of what you're putting in your mouth and make sure you're eating MORE good stuff and fresh whole foods than processed foods.

"Every bite we take is a decision: healthy or unhealthy? Will this food nourish me, will it deliver something needed to my cells, will int enhance my well-being? Maybe the answer won't always be yes. But what happens if we make more good decisions than bad ones?"

Food is not an emotional or moral decision…it's science.

We already know exactly what we should be eating, so it's not about finding a fancy new special meal plan. Just make smart decisions that you know are good for you! It's that easy.

"Instead of relying on willpower to resist junk food, just eat better and the cravings will vanish, I promise."

I've learned in my own experience that when you focus on eating MORE healthy food (instead of trying to use your willpower to cut out the treats and junk), your preferences and taste buds actually change and your body becomes more sensitive. After a while you won't have to rely on will power at all because your body will actually start to crave the healthy stuff, and junk food doesn't even sound good…if you do eat it you'll feel like crap, which will make it easier to say no next time.

Focus on small shifts, instead of trying to overhaul your entire life, because changing habits takes TIME in order to avoid feeling deprived.

Darin ends the book with a list of his "Daily Simple Fixes," although some of them are more simple than others.

When you ready this book, I recommend making a "to do" list of all the lifestyle changes, and ranking them on a timeline or spectrum of what will be easiest vs. hardest FOR YOU, based on where you're at currently. It's unrealistic to completely change your entire lifestyle in one week and we're all on different levels when it comes to our health and wellness.

Maybe you're already vegan, live in California, and buy all organic food. Maybe you live in the Midwest like me, your current diet consists of Lean Cuisines and bagels, and you have no idea what tempeh even is.  Neither scenario makes you a better or worse person, but you'll have to approach the book differently and give yourself the appropriate time to shift your mindset and habits based on where you're starting from.

Here's my personal action plan after reading SuperLife, ranked from what things that will be easiest to the stuff that's going to take me a while to evolve into!

LOVE IT - easy to implement

+ I've already stopped drinking diet soda, caffeine, am using Shakeology daily, exercising regularly, eating healthy fats (my HDL good cholesterol is 93!) and have cut back on processed grains/bread and sugar. Go me!

(If I can do it, you can too. Seriously, I love food and I was never active growing up. The 21 Day Fix nutrition plan structure was super helpful in helping me adopt a more whole foods based diet, mindful eating, cutting out sugar and junk without even missing it, and teaching me how to meal plan, and I highly recommend trying the program if you want to get started without feeling overwhelmed or deprived!)

+ Drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning.

+ Less coffee, more green tea. I've already given up caffeine but I still love my daily decaf coffee habit. Since coffee is acidifying to our bodies, I'm going to start slowly experimenting with replacing it with green tea. I don't think I'll ever completely cut coffee out of my life but at least I know that it's important to balance it out by eating lots of alkalinizing foods!

+ Keep drinking Shakeo and eating as many raw fruits and veggies as I can

+ Being more active in my daily life. Making an effort to get outside for more walks throughout the day (which is tough with Midwest climate)

+ Experimenting with eating less meat and trying more vegan recipes. I love beans, grains, produce, and plant food, but it's easy to default to the traditional dinner of meat and a side of veggies. I have several awesome vegetarian and vegan cookbooks so I'm going to play around with them and spend more time on weekend meal prep chopping veggies and cooking grains and beans in bulk so I can easily throw together a power bowl for lunch or dinner.


+ Continuing to work on my attitude! Practicing gratitude, mindfulness, yoga, and doing more things that make me feel happy and centered. (I know you're probably thinking, "I suck at yoga and meditation." Well, duh. That's why it's called a practice.)

+ Slowly adding more and more organic produce and sustainably raised organic meat into my diet. I'm a thrifty Midwestern girl and my default mindset is "what's the cheapest or best deal?" so it's going to take me some time to get used to CHOOSING to spend more money on our food…although I know it's an investment that will pay off in the future with reduced medical costs.

+ Soaking my nuts and grains

+ Eliminate sugar

+ Slowly transitioning to natural plant-based cleaning products, make up, and toiletries.

+ Try the Ultimate Reset!


Here are the "fixes" that were a little out there for me...

+ Drink only distilled water, and "vortate, love it, and structure it" to infuse it with positive energy. 

+ Not wearing sunscreen (I will get my Vitamin D with a supplement to avoid skin cancer!)

If you're open to learning more about how you can feel amazing and invest in your long term health through making simple lifestyle shifts, or if you're interested in nutrition and learning more about the science of how food choices affect your body, I highly recommend this book!

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Links: WebsiteFacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Happy 2017! If we were having coffee...

January 2017, 2017Anna LockeComment

Happy 2017!

Can you believe it's January already? I always consider this my "dreaming and scheming" month.

I've had so much going on behind the scenes that I haven't had the mental and emotional energy to blog lately, but I miss coming here and dumping my heart.

My friend Katie has been doing these "If we were having coffee" posts on her blog and I always love hearing what's going on in her life, so I decided what the heck. I'm breaking the blogging seal and writing an update too!

If we were having coffee this week (probably a decaf Americano for me), here's what I'd tell you.

1. I'm so excited for 2017 and I've never felt this optimistic and happy during winter before!

Last year was pretty heavy for lots of reasons, and I spent pretty much the entire the year working on myself. If I had to give 2016 a word, it would be SHIFT because I feel like I finally shifted into alignment with who I'm supposed to be. It took a lot of soul searching and comfort zone blasting.

Now: I feel confident and unbreakable. I feel for the first time in my life that I'm ENOUGH. My anxiety is finally gone and I'm excited for the year ahead instead of overwhelmed!

2.  I've decided to choose a "word of the year" instead of setting official NY Resolutions.

I still think resolutions can be good, but I wasn't really feeling them this year because I'm overall really happy with where I'm at and the direction I'm headed. Ben told me, "you don't need resolutions because set goals all the time." Yup, he called me out. I'm a goal junkie. So instead of year-long resolutions, I've decided to choose a word that I can touch back on no matter what happens or where life leads me.

My word of 2017 is OPEN-HEARTED.

Is that 2 words? I don't care.

I chose it because I want to approach each day with courage, optimism, and an open heart.

It sounds simple, but I've realized that for most of my life I've struggled with perfectionism and anxiety, and so my automatic reaction to the world was to close myself off. I was afraid to let myself relax, afraid of failure, and I was constantly comparing myself to other women and stuck in this mindset of "never enough." I'm finally learning how to get out of my head and face life with open arms instead of fear.

I'm realizing that happiness doesn't just come to us - it's an active CHOICE that we have to work towards every single day, especially when shit happens to bring us down (also every single day).

Instead of constantly striving to do more and be more so that I can finally feel "successful" and then be happy, I'm going to work on doing things that make me happy FIRST and trusting that success will follow.

To me, open-hearted means trusting that I'm enough.

  • Choosing to be optimistic and assume the best of other people, even if they have different beliefs than me or aren't acting in accordance with my own personal code of integrity. Yeah you know I'm talking politics here.
  • Releasing my emotional attachment to the things I have no control over, and being brave enough to face the things I CAN change.
  • Pursuing constant growth and asking myself "what can I learn from this" when I feel like I've failed or let myself down.
  • Working on dissolving my upper limits so I can grow in my faith and expand into the infinite space of potential I know surrounds me.
  • Making a conscious effort to cultivate gratitude every day and show people how much they mean to me.
  • Choosing love over fear as much as I can.

3. I'm not setting official resolutions but you better believe I'm setting some big goals!

Maybe goals and resolutions are the same thing, but to me goals are target outcomes that you work towards all year long, whereas resolutions are intentions or shifts you want to make in your life so you can find your groove (think: Emperor's New Groove!).

I made sooooooo many shifts last year in lots of areas of my life.

It was an amazing year! I became a life coach, traveled all over, soaked in all the success I'd created so far since quitting my job to work full time on my coaching business. I focused on healing my anxiety and building my self confidence, and basically dove headfirst into a year of intense self discovrery. I have no regrets and feel amazing!

But I also know that I can do more and be more. I still feel like I've barely even scratched the surface of my own potential and have super huge visions and dreams for what I want to do and create.

My mom used to tell me "to whom much is given, much is expected" and I take that concept to heart…maybe too seriously at times, but I think it's good to be obsessed with growth and positive change.

Empowered by my new-found confidence and belief in myself, I'm ready to get back to setting big scary goals and crushing them on my own terms so I can keep growing!

I've learned a lot about how to set effective goals and break them down into action steps, and I'm planning to share all of that in a future post. Stay tuned...

So that's a quick run-down of what's new with me right now! 

What's new with you?
What are you most excited about this year?
Do you have any big exciting stretch goals?

Let me know in the comments!

xo Anna