entrepreneur fitness identity purpose reclaim your time values working mum Dec 29, 2020



My guest today is Anna Kooiman, the creator of Strong Sexy Mammas: a virtual, home fitness for busy mammas.  She is an American TV personality who left a wildly successful career in New York City to move to Sydney to start a family with her Aussie husband. They now have a 2.5-year-old and 6-month-old. Baby Annabel joined us for today’s podcast record – you’ll hear her chiming in!

Anna has a long list of women’s fitness certifications including Pre and Post Natal Corrective Exercise Specialist, Diastasis and Core Consultant. She teaches classes in some of Sydney most sought-after boutique fitness studios. So, you can catch both her Strong Sexy Mammas Video on Demand home fitness classes and live in-person classes around Bondi.

Anna comes from a family of entrepreneurs. She is also a proud board member of the Bondi Beach Chamber of Commerce and loves being a cheerleader for her new community that has been so good to her husband and kids.

In this episode we chatted about changing course with young kids, finding your new identity and pre- and post-natal fitness:

  • [2.38] Overwhelming when we have our kids, my skills are not necessarily translating. Exciting to go back to my routes in fitness.
  • [3.44] Social media numbers – don’t be fooled, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing!
  • [4.14] Anna wanted to be a dolphin trainer, then a physical therapist, then she wanted to do TV (which she did) and now personal training. She comes from a long line of entrepreneurs so it’s in her blood. She believes things do go back to childhood.
  • [5.37] She attended a “magnet school” in North Carolina, which was a multiple intelligence school where teachers try to meet the children where they are with how like learn best: auditory learners, or in groups, or physical. Anna was always better in groups and physically. Anna is a kinaesthetic learner.
  • [6.07] There are four types of learning; Visual, through seeing; auditory through listening; kinaesthetic through doing and auditory digital, learning through facts and figures.
  • [6.45] Strong Sexy Mamas is more than simply tightening your tum and booty. Women come to Strong Sexy Mamas for the aesthetic. Anna focuses on function and performance and then the aesthetic follows.
  • [7.28] In pre-natural and post-natal women centre of gravity shifts, booty goes back causes issues like back pain and incontinence. With core stability exercises everything gets better, than you can get to running and jumping. If you’re a mum and you’ve just had a baby it’s important to build foundational exercises first. Start slow and progress as you get stronger.
  • [8.36] Anna is about more than before and after photos (so 80s, but still sells!). In the Strong Sexy Mamas challenge every Friday they do the Cardio Sculpture Fitness Tracker: 10 exercises and you do as many repetitions are you can in 40 seconds. In the first week you many only be able to do 6. Anna tracks those numbers and it’s really empowering. You create beautiful shapes with your body, get the endorphins flowing again and feeling good about being in the skin that you are in. Back to focusing on what is most precious in life.
  • [9.50] Her son is 2.75 years old. Just started taking social class. Running around on the field with him for 45 minutes. There are many mums who could not run around for a number of reasons. Fitness really is a truly empowering thing. There is so much more than getting that flat tummy.
  • [10.45] Annabel, Anna’s five-month year old is with us!
  • [11.00] The things about post-natal that are not always talked about: Weeing yourself! This is not often talked about and many women don’t know they will experience it. Sleepless nights, lack energy, across the board. Sleep when the baby sleeps works better with baby number one. So Strong Sexy Mamas work ours are safe, fun and can be squeezed into 20 minutes. 
  • [13.08] Pelvic floor is the taboo subject. If you have a well-functioning pelvic floor, who central canister function well. Transverse abdominis, not just the six pack muscles. If you work them the pelvic pain will go away! As well as the weeing issues.
  • [14.00] Coming from life in the fast lane in New York city. “When people say ‘Bondi is full on’…it feels so different to what I experienced before!” A so much of career person, Strong Sexy Mamas has given Anna purpose. You don’t need to have one purpose in life. But what you are doing needs to be purposeful. Her audience is so much smaller thaw he she did morning tv, but it’s ore purposeful.
  • [15.20] Anna teaches what she knows! Find a career, a job, something you love and are passionate about people will just be drawn to you, that fire is so evident and sparkly.
  • [15.50] Check out episode #6 – my theory around purpose. Many of us get caught up trying to find out purpose and its quite restrictive. We should be trying to build a life aligned with our values.
  • [16.25] One of Anna’s values is physical strength and health. Anna’s business allows her to live that value.
  • [16.44] Mental health can be something that a lot of mum’s struggle with as we try to find out new identity. Hormones and sleep deprivation.
  • [17.00] What feels good to them. Sometimes we make excuses, but sometimes we really are too tired. Then you don’t have to exercise, rest is more important.
  • [17.20] The role of work has changed. They have gone back to more traditional roles. Husband is the bread winner for the time being and Anna is 100 percent ok with that. Career definitely comes second. However, as a business owner you do have commitments, and if you’re not doing it, nobody is, so there are a lot if late nights. Career is important but your family is most important.
  • [18.19] Preparing your body before you have your child, Anna’s tip to do this: Try to get yourself in neutral alignment (that sounds so so boring), that essentially means work on your posture. [Anna is breast feeding as she is describing the position it gives our shoulders] Space of flection which is so bad. Check your posture, where are your shoulders? They settle in a bad way ad create issues all the way down. And your breathing can suffer when you are out of neutral. In rest and digest, not fight or flight, when going through that tough part of labour (did I really sign up for this!!!). If you have a well-functioning diaphragm, then whole core function better and helps the pelvic floor can relax. The whole thing is the core cannister.
  • [20.30] Labour training and toddler tantrum training – moderate intensity training. 20 seconds really hard, 10 seconds relax. Mimicking contracts that come on strong, then you feel a million dollars, another one comes! She trains the four minutes of fire! 
  • [21.57] Anna’s tips, they want to change their careers but also want to start or grow their family. It might not be the right thing to do. It’s hard to be the monkey who is holding onto one branch while swinging to the next thing. It can be too much. Having kids is expensive! The job, mat leave and security to go bac to can be very calming, when motherhood is anything but stable. But Anna does not regret what she has doe one bit!
  • [23.58] Favourite part of building her own business: the actual training, hands on teaching and even the online classes. The hardest part is wearing so many hats, but truthfully, she enjoys every hat it’s just trying to wear all the hats.
  • [25.10] The future: Strong Sexy Mamas becomes the go to place for an active, smooth pregnancy and an empowered and speed post-partum recovery. Done the pregnancy side of things and post-partum and some of the intense exercise. That’s her favourite, but pre- and post-natal is not the time to be going, “go as hard as you can.” Anna is now almost six months post-partum with Annabel, so January and February Anna will start filming some things that are more intense than what she has in Strong Sexy Mamas right now.

You can follow Strong Sexy Mamas’s on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or on her website.

Stay connected 

Join our mailing list with podcast updates, the Purposeful Pause and Human Design transits.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.