This week, we’re returning to the “I Did It” Series with Marla Hannig. I love Marla’s story because she shares situations that many people will resonate with, and hopefully be inspired by. We talk about her fabulous experience with maintenance and some amazing life lessons she learned in her fitness journey. Many of you missed my Friday's special Bonus Episodes, so I’m bringing them back! And remember: If someone else can do it, you can as well.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/178
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- How being at maintenance can be fabulous too (13:56, 14:35, 15:09)
- Successfully work out at home (16:17)
- Do hard things (18:45, 19:45)
- Mindset on being worth it (21:10, 22:54, 23:39)
- Set goals and achieve them (24:19)
- Offer yourself grace and compassion (24:19)
You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 178.
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:48
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies Radio. I'm your host Amber Brueseke. And we are bringing back an old series, an old series with new people. So back in 2021, about halfway through 2021, I had this idea. It was this idea to bring on women to be able to share their stories of how they did it. And the impetus of this was this idea that I've seen played out over and over and over again in my clients, where we all have different experiences, we all have different circumstances in life, we all have different ages and health problems and things that can sometimes make it hard to be able to reach our goals. And I saw it over and over again, that when women were able to find other women who they identified with, who they said to themselves that she's like me, she has the same experience that I have and she was able to accomplish something, maybe I can accomplish it as well. And I think this plays out in many areas of my life. I'm always looking for people who have done what I want to do who have accomplished it, because it starts to help me believe okay, they did it, which means it's possible. And if it's possible for them, maybe it's possible for me as well.
Amber B 2:14
And so that was where this idea of the “I Did It” Series came from. Showcasing women who are able to achieve a goal, be able to learn something along the way, people share their story so that you listening to the podcast can find yourself in these different women, right? Not everybody's gonna find themselves in my story. My story may not be anything similar to your life experience. And so my goal was to bring as many women from, as many different walks of life with, as many different lessons,s and as many different experiences together as possible. So that as you're listening, you can find yourself in them and be able to be inspired and motivated and excited and see their success and be able to believe it's possible for you as well. So that's where the “I Did It” Series came around.
Amber B 2:57
We did that last year, we shared a bunch of stories on Fridays. So we release them on Fridays, they're a little bit shorter episodes. And you guys loved it. I got so much great feedback from so many of you about how you love the “I Did It” Series and when we stopped it, because it really was only meant to be for a certain period of time. And when we stopped it, we heard so many of you be like wait, where to go? When is it coming back? Is it gonna come back? And so as I was reevaluating things for 2021, and kind of putting together a vision for what I wanted the podcast to be in 2021, it was very apparent that one of the things that I wanted to bring back was that “I Did It” series. And so that's what we're doing. And so every Friday, you will have an extra bonus episode I'll still be releasing on Tuesday. Those will be normal, typical episodes a little bit longer, either myself or me interviewing an expert or somebody else. And then on Fridays, we'll release a special bonus episode. And these are shorter. These are more like the 15-20 minute mark. And it's just kind of a little bonus episode of somebody who has gone through Macros 101 who has gone through a journey and they're just sharing their story and what they've learned and their experience. And my hope is that you will listen to the stories and you will not feel alone, that you'll feel inspired, that you'll feel excited and that you'll feel like maybe if somebody else can do it, you can do it as well.
Amber B 4:24
And so we're going to kick off the “I Did It” series with Marla, Marla Hannig. And I loved Marla's story because she has a lot of unique situations that I feel like a lot of people will resonate with. So Marla is 49 years old and she has five kids ranging all the way from eight years old all the way up to 25 years old. And we talked in this episode about how Marla is kind of an OG when it comes to macros she found macros way the heck back in 2012. I didn't even know what they were until 2015 And so we kind of shared that story, but what I thought was so fun about Marla. And there's two reasons I wanted to bring her on. One because she really talks about maintenance and how amazing being at maintenance has been for her, how it wasn't where she wanted to be, she'll tell the story about maintenance is not where she wanted to be. And she'll tell the story about how she got there and what to spend like for her. And then the second thing is, she really has some amazing life lessons that she shares in this episode, life lessons that she didn't really think that she wanted to learn or didn't know that she needed to learn, but that she's learned through her experience inside of Macros 101. And so I'm so excited for you to be able to listen to Marla talk about her experience about some of the lessons that she didn't know that she needed to learn, but that she learned about her experience with maintenance.
Amber B 5:52
Now, last thing before we jump into the episode, if you are interested in joining Macros 101, we only open doors two times a year, once in March, and once in September. And so our March enrollment is getting a little bit closer. So if that's something that you're curious about or you're interested in, I highly suggest getting on the waitlist. This makes sure that you don't miss the opening. It's a short window. And so the last thing I want is for someone who's interested to like, miss out because you didn't see any posts on Instagram or you didn't get an email about it. So get on the waitlist at bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist, it doesn't commit you to anything. It just puts you on an email list so that you are the first to know when we open doors so that you can snag a spot right away.
Amber B 6:39
Without further ado, let's jump into that episode with Marla.
Amber B 6:43
All right, I'm so excited to welcome Marla to the podcast. How are you doing Marla?
I am great, thanks. How are you doing, Amber?
Amber B 6:51
I am doing fabulous. And I'm really excited about this because you told me that you're scared to do this. And you know what, I love being scared and doing it anyway. But no, I asked. So a little background, I asked on the Beyond Macros 101 page, which is our continuing coaching option after Macros 101. So I asked on the beyond pages. And hey, I want to feature some of you guys on the podcast who want to do it and you wrote, this would scare me to death. But my heart is telling me it's something I should do. So I want you to tell me more about that statement.
Oh my gosh, our hearts right? Don't they lead us on like these amazing journeys? So I think we get caught up in our heads. And so my head would tell me like my head was telling me like no way. Like, I don't have anything to share on a podcast, that would be a value. That would be too scary. I'll fumble over my words, whatever. And yet, my heart in my life has taken me on an amazing journey. And it has created this fabulous life that I never dreamed roads that I would go down. And so I've learned to just follow those nudges that come from our heart. And it's never led me astray. And so when I got that little nudge in my heart, I'm like, oh, shoot, and I did it. I did it. And here I am.
Amber B 8:10
And here you are. It's so amazing. Yeah. So tell people who are listening a little bit about you like, who are you? Where are you at in your life? What maybe a little bit about where you were at before you joined Macros 101, just give us kind of an overview.
Okay, so I'm 49. So I've lived a bit of life. I've got five kids ages 25 all the way down to eight. I have a 25, 22… Yeah, 15, 8. So I've got quite a bit going on and that has been a journey in and of itself. I have always been a stay at home mom, my husband's a veterinarian, and in and off I've been involved a little bit with his practice. But I actually have a Bachelor's of Music. I was a music teacher at the middle school for a while with a minor in Mathematics. So certainly not anything leading into health nutrition and fitness but this has been my passion forever. So to answer your question, like where I was before Macros 101, I was searching for information. That's where I was at. I have exercised consistently on and off for, you know, 30 years, it's just been a part of my life and back in like 2012, 2010 around then I started lifting weights. And that was kind of a huge jump for me. And then in you know, right after that I found Tom Venuto’s book, Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle, and I read it and that's where I learned how to do macros, and I kind of figured it out myself and I was just self taught. And I figured out how to do a cut and I was really successful and I..
Amber B 9:41
Wait, what year was this?
Amber B 9:45
Like you're so ahead of everything like that was like I feel like I was cutting edge on learning about macros and that was in 2016. So you were like way ahead.
Well let me tell you if I could have gone, if I could have had your My Fitness Pal tutorials back then save me a lot of time.
Amber B 10:05
That's amazing. 2012 Wow, okay, keep going.
Yeah. And so I knew how to cut. And I loved it. And I loved what I was able to experience through learning that. And yet, there was no information about that out there about maintenance. And I just remember even googling several times, like maintenance, how to maintain, you know, looking it up in Tom's book, and in other books that I'd read. And I'm like, everything is just about how to lose weight, like, what do we do next. And I was super frustrated about that. Because with having five kids, there's lots of big life events that come up. So you know, since that time, I've had three kids graduate from high school, you know, I've had two daughters get married, I've had three girls, my third is now serving a mission for our church where they leave for 18 months, and they go away. And those are really big heart events. And so what would happen is, I would come and I could stay there, and then these big life events would come up. And then it was like, I would lose my momentum. I, you know, I didn't have the time. And you know, we're just talking a matter of like, between maybe seven to 10 pounds. But it was enough that I needed more information.
So last winter, I was searching, and I'm like, there's got to be more out there. And I'm not a big, like person on social media, I do it mostly just to stay in touch with my kids and kind of see where what's going on in their worlds. And I started to find some social media accounts to follow that I was like, eating up all the information, and one of them was yours. And I have to tell you, I was kind of bitter when I found out about the reverse diet, because I was like, Why have I not known about this before? You know, like, who was keeping this information from me? Why was I finding it when I was Googling on the internet? So it kind of changed my world, what changed my world. And I was like, No way. So I was super excited to try this out. Because like I said, I had the information I knew how to cut. Yeah, I've been doing a lot of work like self work, like on my beliefs and my identity and shifting those. And so I kind of brought all of that. That's where I was when I saw Macros 101. And I was kind of like, huh, and I'll tell you, I was like, I don't know, like, I don't have a lot of time. So it's got to be efficient the time I used to spend on this. So it was like, do I really, really want to do this. And I will tell you what hooked me is that you did a five day challenge. And I was like, You know what, I'm gonna find out what this lady is about. So I did the five day challenge and you presented the parable of the empty cup. Yeah, you're like, come bring your empty cup. Yeah, I was hooked. I did it. I did. And I was like, this lady has something for me. Because when we come with an empty cup, we're humble. And being humble is being teachable. And no matter where we are, we can pull out some nuggets and I pulled out a lot of nuggets. So that's where I was before I started macros 101, I was searching for those missing links that I needed.
Amber B 13:03
Yeah. So then during Macros 101, did you do a reverse? Was that like the first time you ever reversed?
So Macros 101 did not go as I anticipated, because three or four days after Macros 101, I got shingles.
Amber B 13:16
Oh, my mom just got shingles not too long ago.
It was terrible. It is terrible. And I you know, I was like, I'm only 49, Why am I getting shingles? And yet it was my body's manifestation that things were getting out of control. And it was very stressful and it was a really difficult summer. And my body needed to heal. So my big takeaway from Macros 101, one of them was how to heal. And I didn't go in wanting to search or wanting to know about that, like, nobody wants to take a pill, right?
Amber B 13:48
I was gonna, like try something to like, learn how to heal, like that's like, right? It's like, no, it's slow down and like, de-stress and cut things out.
Right. So I was actually coming into Macros 101 wanting to do a cut, because the summer I had put on some pounds and I'm like I just want to cut. And then I want to try out this whole reverse thing and see how it works. And when I got shingles, I just went straight to maintenance. And so my Macros 101 journey was a little unique because I just sat at maintenance, and learned what that meant, and what it really looked like. And it's still a journey for me. So I am still waiting to figure out the reverse. And I'm super excited to try it out. However, after being at maintenance and really learning about it. I'm not super anxious to jump off the maintenance train. Yeah, I mean, yeah, I mean,
Amber B 14:35
I'm so glad that you're sharing that because I feel like for some people maintenance is this, I don't want to be a maintenance that sounds like no fun. It sounds like you nothing changes, that's like really boring and like they're just itching to cut. And I think you're right that I've seen it over and over when women actually experienced maintenance and like, get comfortable with it. It's almost like that. Oh, this is actually really amazing. And when you really embrace maintenance, it can be a really amazing place to be. So hopefully for people who are listening who maybe are a little scared of maintenance that is a little light at the end of the tunnel for them to say no, this can be really fabulous too.
You know, I think in maintenance, you have to start doing, you have to dig deep, and you really got to look at yourself. And you've got to look at those beliefs of why do I need to cut, you know, and so that's been just, it's been awesome. And I was planning, honestly, I was like, Okay, I think I'm hopefully healed, I think I want to do a cut, you know, the first two months in 2022 and then I can try that reverse. But I'm not so sure. I think I might be sitting at maintenance for a good chunk of 2022. And just be happy here. It's like, come on women come join in to…
Amber B 15:44
Come join into maintenance.
You'll love it, it's amazing.
Amber B 15:49
I love it. Well, awesome. So as you know, as a 49 year old mother of five, there's going to be some unique things that go along with that, some unique challenges, unique situations, things that you've had to deal with. Maybe if there's another 49 year old mother of five sitting out there, what would you say are some of those unique challenges, and maybe the ways that you've been able to navigate through them that might give someone else some hope or some ideas?
So when I think about that question, I actually kind of feel like having five kids is unique. I mean, it's a large family. But I feel like every woman I talked to their life is full, you know, I don't like to use the word busy. I'm so busy. Like I had a friend say that to me. She's like, I hate being busy. And I'm like I know. And so to me, it just feels more genuine to say our lives are so full. They're so incredibly full, that I think, to have this really crazy full life can resonate with the majority of women out there. Like my daughter that's married and she's just getting ready to graduate from nursing school, her and her husband just came down and, and in her world right now, her life is very full, you know, she doesn't have children, and but she is still having a full life. And so I thought, you know, what would I share with women? What have I learned? Or what would I have told myself back in the day to help me through this journey? Or you know, and I think the first thing for me, which may not resonate with a lot of people, but I learned how to successfully work out at home. And I'm kind of a big advocate for that. It started out that way, we were so poor. We had already started our family. My husband was in vet school and I was teaching piano lessons and voice lessons on the side to like, scrape up any money we had. I did not have money to go to the gym. But I was going to work out. And so I bought a step and I bought a Jane Fonda video back, you know, yeah. Jim Miller was step by step with Reebok and I started to build my home gym. And now I've been really blessed. Because it's done probably six years ago, we were just able to build up a little home gym where I have all the equipment I want in my space. But for years I'd have to pull it out. And even down in our rec room in our basement where we watch movies, and the pool table there was my weight sitting off on the side, you know, from 5- 40 pounds, and it was just part of our life. And so I would tell women to don't be afraid of working out at home. I think more people have done that with the pandemic. But it really worked for me. Now, that being said, my third daughter cannot work out at home, like she's got to get out of the house, she's got to go out to work out. And so I know for some people, that doesn't work, but you can't be successful working out at home, you've got to invest some money. You've got to be able to be flexible with it. But every program out there can work for you at home too. Yeah, so that's what I would tell somebody.
The next thing I would tell them is you can do hard, like you can do hard. It was hard figuring out macros on my own. It was hard the first time I tried to figure out how to weight lift. But what I love about this journey in health, fitness and nutrition is that when you find truth, it resonates into all the other parts of your life. And right now in my parenting journey, I'm in a really, really hard place with one of my kiddos. And it's really raw, and I'm having to be very vulnerable. But I'm like, I can do it. If I can wake up early and go to the you know, get into my gym and work out and show up for myself. I can do this. I can wake up and I can shop for my kid at my very best. And so, you know, we can do hard things. Taking care of yourself is hard. But oh, it's so much better than the other end of that stick. Right?
Amber B 19:42
Yeah, for sure.
I just want to do it easy.
Amber B 19:45
Yeah, exactly. What I love about it is this statement “this is hard”. I think it's an incomplete statement. Because when we say the words to ourselves like this is hard, and we stop there is something that comes out after that, and what comes after that really matters. And so what a lot of people say, or thinking when they say this is hard is this is hard, which means I shouldn't do it, or this is hard, which means I should quit. Or this is hard, which means it's unfair, or this is hard, which means like, I'm never gonna be able to make it through it right? That second part really matters. And what you're saying is like, no, that continuation of that sentence can be totally different. It can be, this is hard and I can do hard things. This is hard. And so I know, it's something I need to do. This is hard but I can you know, I'm stronger than it, right?. So what comes after this is hard, really matters. And so one of the times we leave that unsaid, and I want you to challenge yourself to like, what is the continuation of that sentence? And how can you flip it? And so it's like, this is hard. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't do it. Like, that's what you did. Like, this is scary. And that part of me knows that that's like, why I should get on here and do the podcast is because it is scary. So scary isn't actually a bad thing. It's kind of telling me, it's prompting me to do something that's going to be good for me. And so what the question is, is like what comes after that this is hard. And…
So honestly, that leads right into the next thing that I would…
Amber B 21:08
Show me, tell me
Is that this is hard and I am worthy of doing this hard thing, and I am worthy of the results that I can get for myself and I am worthy of spending time on myself. I feel like women, like just the genetic makeup of women, were nurturers. And we tend to cross the board, we tend to spend a lot of time on other people and be able to just give up on ourselves. And I would say that that's actually that's, it's kind of a pitfall actually, the way I feel about it. I feel like if we're going to be the very best mothers, the very best. You know, if we are in a profession, whatever that profession is, if we're going to be our best, best authentic, genuine self, we first have to show up for ourselves. And for me, I did that by working out. And my kids knew like, even as they were little they knew mommy's working out if I wake up, and she's working out, like, I'm gonna have to wait. And I never felt guilty about that. And I thought that that was really powerful. I don't know why I did that as a young mom, I don't know where I came up with that. But I think that's so important. And then having teenagers it's a different life. And I just had to keep reminding myself, like, I'm worthy of spending this time on myself. And then when I now have adult children, and when COVID hit all my adult children I had, you know, my daughter was married. My second daughter was dating and her boyfriend was living with us too. And we had a house. We had people in every inch of our house. Yeah. And
Amber B 22:52
yeah, all day together.
Exactly. Except my husband. He's still got to leave because he was an essential worker. Yes. But they knew in fact, I was with my eldest when my son in law, he would go to PT school. And so he would go into the gym for classes because it was quiet. But he would check with me and he'd be like, you know, when are you going to be in the gym? And I just loved that because he honored the fact that I was honoring myself. Like, I'm going to show up for myself today doing this and I'm worthy of that. And I think that that's just all if I could just scream that from the house on the rooftops, right? Just like women, you are worthy of spending time on yourself. That is not selfish. That is important for you to be your best self. So that's huge.
Amber B 23:39
It's huge. Yeah, and just that mindset of like, I'm worth this, I'm worth the time I'm worth the money. I'm worth the effort. I'm worth the inconvenience to my spouse, I'm worth like, whatever it is, is like I'm worth that. And this is something that I need to do for myself , and taking care of yourself allows you to then take care of other people at a higher level. And that's what we want. That's what we want to do. Yeah, amazing.
So do it without apologizing.
Amber B 24:05
Yes. Oh, good.
Do it without apologizing.
Amber B 24:09
Yes, I love it. Okay, awesome. Were there any other lessons that are coming to you that you would like to feel called to share lessons that you've learned?
So I feel like because my last 25 years have been spent being a mom, a lot of times in motherhood, you don't have a beginning and an end. You don't have to because it just never ends. Never. You know, I mean, if you think you're not getting sleep when you have little kids wait till you have teenagers. And you just you just aren't sleeping again ever. But what I loved about being in my gym, and spending time doing these things is I could set goals and I could achieve them. I could set an eight week cut, and I could achieve a goal. I had a beginning and an end. I could say I'm gonna do, you know, this 12 and a half week weight training program, and it had a beginning and an end, which leads me into the last lesson that I would share. And that is to offer yourself grace and compassion. Because one of the things that would kind of keep me stuck is that I would just be like, Okay, I've got 12 weeks, and then life happens. And hello, it happens for all of us. You know, like, right now I had to kind of shift my mind because I finally was able to get back in the gym. And I'm doing this. It is a 12 and a half week program for weightlifting, I'm three weeks in, and I got a cold. And so I'm out for a week and a half. And now I'm like, Oh, my God, but offering grace and consult compassion, then I can just say, be like, hey, all is well. I'll be back in the gym on Monday. And I'll just start where I left off. And I think that, you know, it's that all or nothing mentality, which you talked about a lot, that offering yourself grace in the gym is really powerful. Like, it's okay, if you're tired, and you have to modify it, you know. It's okay if your kid needed you until two in the morning to have a chat. And now your workout needs to be pushed back a day. Like, life is fluid. It's never static. It's never just going to be the scheduled way. And so not get frustrated, when you have to adjust. And just offering that grace is such a beautiful thing. And again, how awesome it is when you can take that into all the other aspects of your life, when you can offer that to other people. When someone cuts you off on the freeway, it'd be like, Oh, you jerk be like, huh, can just be in a really big hurry. I'm fine to just let him in. You know, and when we goof up in our relationships to be able to be like, Okay, well, that didn't go so great. You know, what, how can I do better next time? Like, that's powerful. And I think people forget to take that philosophy into their workouts, into their nutrition plan, you know, into their image of their body.
Amber B 27:13
Oh, yeah, that's a whole other topic. But yeah, 100%. Right. That's so so good. Well, Marla, this is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your journey, for sharing your experience, for sharing your life lessons. If there's one last thing that you want to, you know, that hasn't been flushed out yet that you want to make sure gets said, what would it be?
About my journey, or
Amber B 27:38
Anything, anything what's coming up?
I would tell you to learn, like, you can learn, I can learn, you know, I used to feel like, I don't know what I'm doing. Like, why am I doing this bla bla bla. And I would just dig for the information. And somebody said to me recently, the students will find their teacher. And that's so true. Anytime I've gone looking for the information. I found it. You know, I found I found macros a long time ago, before people were even like,
Amber B 28:10
You're like the OG
No, no, I'm not. But you know, and so if you have questions, ask them and figure it out. Find the answers. They're there. They're there for you.
Amber B 28:28
I love that. Yes. And I that's something I say a lot, too, is like, when this when you're ready, when the students ready, the teacher is going to be there, the teacher peers, and I think that's, you know, it's kind of like the experience that you had where it's like, it's a little it's here, this lady has to say, and then it was like, it resonated, right, it resonated on it on a level and you're like, Okay, this is I'm ready for this, I'm ready to learn. And you kind of love that you like, feel into that so much in your life. So thank you.
Well, I just have to say one closing thing is that when you're learning, truth is truth. And you just know it, you know, and you had a module on that about how it just feels good when you find the truth. And regardless of the modality of finding it or the subject truth, truth, you know, and it will feel good. And you'll know what's right.
Amber B 29:10
So good. Thank you so much, Marla. It's been such an awesome pleasure to have you on the podcast.
Thank you so much. Appreciate your time.
Amber B 29:17
Thanks for listening to this episode. I hope that it brought you some joy. I hope that it may make you think a little bit and give you a little bit different perspective on maintenance and what that experience can be like for you.
Amber B 29:17
If this is the first episode of biceps after babies radio that you listened to, welcome, if this is the second or more episodes that you've listened to, and you have not yet left a review. If you would please do that, that would be so helpful to me. I mean, if this is the second or more podcast that you listen to. You're coming back for a reason. There's a reason that you're coming back and I'm so grateful for you. And it really helps the podcast if you take five minutes to leave a review on iTunes. It helps the podcast to get discovered by more people. So thank you for doing that ahead of time. Thanks for being here on biceps after babies radio. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend you can do anything.
Hold up, sister friend. Do you love Biceps after Babies radio? If so, the best way to say thank you is to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes. I know, every podcaster wants you to leave a review, but it's because those reviews help the podcast to reach more people. And I do truly want to know what you think. If this particular episode resonated with you, will you also please share it? Either send the link to someone who would find it valuable or take a screenshot and post it to your social media and tell your friends and family why they should listen. Make sure you tag me @biceps.after.babies so I can hear your feedback and give you a little love. And you know, if you aren't already following me on Instagram or Facebook, that's the perfect time to hit that follow button. Thank you for being here and listening to Biceps after Babies radio.