Join Annie Miller, not your average fitspo, as she brings you a no B.S. approach on how to navigate + thrive in the world that is online health and fitness. Between herself and fellow experts, you’ll learn through the lens of the trainee, the strength coach and the entrepreneur. Every week The fitsPRO Podcast brings you all things fitness, training methods, social media influencing, that instagram life, nutrition, blogging, mindset, entrepreneurship and straight up inspiration.
163 | Part 2 Pregnancy Real Talk – Insurance, Maternity leave & Birthing Plan
Pregnancy Real Talk Part 2!
If you missed part one of this kind of life update on pregnancy and our backstory, make sure to check that out. I will say maybe it’s more the emotional and experiential side of the experience thus far. Today we are going to dive into more of the logistics, challenges and plans
* Cost & context* Insurance * Providers/birthing plan* Maternity leave/business plan
I will be talking a lot about personal decisions in today’s episode. And know that they are just that. Our personal decisions, or my personal decisions. And me sharing them in any capacity is a privilege. Because myself or anyone you follow online does not have to share anything with anyone. But like I mentioned in part one, I think that people sharing their experiences can be very powerful and letting other people know that they are not alone if maybe they don’t have a popular feeling or experience - in regards to anything. So let’s get into it!
Insurance was actually another one of my reasons that I was scared of getting pregnant because we have not had insurance since early 2018. We are young and healthy, and had all the health insurance we would need through world nomads travel insurance when we were traveling in 2018 and 2019, and the first part of 2020. After we got back in 2020, we had no insurance. We made that decision after inquiring about it. And the costs that come with being self-employed just weren’t worth it to us. So we opted out.
In the back of my mind was always the fear of pregnancy and having to pay out of pocket. But I also knew people firsthand who had paid cash and were able to get close to half off prices because of paying in cash.
For the first three weeks to a month, it felt like Nate’s full-time job to call and research insurance options. It was a pretty massive headache if I’m being honest. Essentially we are outside of enrollment period, pregnancy is not a pre-qualifying factor, and we make too much to qualify for literally any insurance.
I got pretty mad at the system during that time. Because while we are affluent enough to be able to pay for this pregnancy if everything goes smoothly, someone making $3500 a month in the state of Washington would be in the same boat as us if they didn’t have insurance and that’s f*****g insane.
Also, Nate doesn’t work, so he had the time to make all of these phone calls and be put on wait for three hours. I just made us think of all the people who don’t have time, or resources. I can be a super sucky an unfortunate situation for so many people. But that’s another conversation. Because today is about our experience.
We were able to get a first ultrasound at a women’s clinic here called Options 360. And that was completely free. So we got to see our little been at nine weeks. It was one or 1 1/2 inches long. And everything was right on schedule as far as growth to that point.
We finally ended up having a zoom call with a personal insurance broker who I found through my friend Paiger Major. She was awesome. Her name is Jackie and her company is called Translating Insurance. She was able to find us one single insurance plan that we could enroll in.
By the way this was after already looking into shared insurance plans, like medishare for instance. And a few other ones. All of which required you to get the insurance, or subscribe before knowing you were pregnant. Or before conception. The options for pregnant people are so limited. It literally infuriates me.
162 | Part 1 Pregnancy Real Talk
This podcast episode is the epitome of nuance - of several different emotions and experiences coexisting at the same time. So I want to make clear that if you skip any part of this or take any single part of it as the conclusion of my experience or this episode, you are mistaken and you’re also missing the entire point of this episode.
Bless me and my attempt to keep this episode concise. I’ve already decided to make this a two part series because it’s just needed to get in everything I want to. Bringing a bebe into the world is not a simple thing for me (or anyone I presume).
Pregnancy back story
It’s no secret to my Instagram audience, friends or family that Nate and I were team no babies for a long time. I say that but it’s not entirely true.
If that was the case, we would have gotten him snipped or tied my tubes or taken an actual preventative route. That only makes sense if you’re 100% on not producing offspring.
For us, we’ve been married nine years in August. When we got married, we told people, maybe in three years we’d think about expanding our family. Then three years rolled around, and we said maybe at that five year mark. Then five turned into we aren’t preventing kids (I wasn’t on birth control but tracked my cycle via the Fertility Awareness Method - aka FAM), but if and when it happens, we’ll figure it out.
Therefore we were open to having kids, we just didn’t WANT them in a specific time frame.
I would say I was more against the idea of having kids. And I want to be very careful with my words here. I am simply sharing the most authentic story I can for myself in hopes that it helps other people (both men and women) feel less alone if they had or have similar feelings.
Also, I have always been amazed by and think that motherhood, pregnancy, in the act of giving birth is miraculous. And believe it as a gift. It was just never some thing I saw clearly for myself.
Let’s lay out my situation. I am the breadwinner. And frankly my business has been my baby for the last seven years. Thinking about a child coming into that picture did not seem feasible to me. I couldn’t visualize it working. I’ve never identified with any of the natural motherly tendencies or desires. You could say I have more masculine energy naturally. But the beautiful thing is, Nate is a stay at home husband and is f*****g amazing with kids. They gravitate towards him. He’s a big punching bag or cuddle bug, and a big kid at heart. He’s a better cook than I am and he’s hospitable AF.
It’s why we work. It’s not that I am masculine and he is feminine. I want to make that very clear. We very much so respect rather traditional masculine and feminine roles while also letting each person pursue and express what we believe to be their natural gifts - I am task driven. He is relationally driven.
Sooooo all that is to say - I am now, at 19 weeks stoked to raise a babe with Nathanael and trusting him has also allowed me to see myself in the motherly role that will make sense for me.
That feeling is abundantly different than when I found out I was pregnant and two years leading up to it.
From 2018 through 2021 my feelings around possibly becoming pregnant were 110% fear driven. That fact is clearer than ever now. From the fear of actual motherhood - bonding with the baby, balancing my work life, literally not getting to be as selfish as I was without children, to the literal act of labor, I avoided even thinking about the possibility because I was terrified of it all. Stick with me, because I don’t fear these things now.
161 | Three Ways To Determine How Much You Charge
Coaches are always wondering how much they should charge, what to consider and how to increase prices if needed. That’s what we’re getting into today. This is a straight forward, nitty gritty episode.
The market is the first thing we consider.
And where you want to sit in the market. We will go over what is typical pricing in the market of online health and fitness shortly, but where you sit in any market needs to be considered.
Are you a premium brand? Mid tier? That’s up to you and will also be determined by who your offer and your customers.
If you work with high achieving CEO’s, you will likely have a premium brand charging premium prices, doing a lot to make this client’s life easier.
Not every ideal client falls into a specific demographic from an income standpoint, but it can be a factor which is why I mention it.
Don’t let your own money mindset limiters get in the way of charging what you should be charging. For instance if you think “I wouldn’t pay x for this” - consider that perhaps you are not your ideal client. Maybe you aren’t in need of what you’re offering. Or maybe it’s not in your current budget even though you understand the value. IT IS of value to those clients who are willing to pay for it.
Food for thought. You’ll feel much better charging a price that makes proper sense for your service. And they will be invested, ready to do the work. Not guaranteed but likely correlated.
You need to feel compensated for the work.
Don’t limit yourself to thinking about time as an exchange for money. Energy balance and demand is a thing. Charging for your ability to be thorough and efficient is a thing. For instance it took me longer to write 1:1 programming when I charged $99 per month than when I charged $250 per month. People are paying for the experience. Not for how long it takes to create a program. Just something to consider from a mindset perspective.
I talk about this in the perfect pricing guide inside FitsPRO Foundations - pricing should be a win for you, a win for the value of the offer, and a win for the client. Not that the pricing is no big deal for them, but that they understand the value, and feel like they are making an informed and empowered decision in make the commitment to work with you.
If you find that you are indeed undercharging, then increase your pricing.
Don’t make this harder than it is. But do the following, or rather, choose from the following.
You can grandfather in your current clients and simply increase price on your site and in contracts for new customers.
There is no rule for the amount you increase pricing by. You make massive changes by 2-400 dollars or more. Or make smaller increases. $50-$100.
If you’re increasing pricing due to under charging, there is no need to alter your program and what’s offered within. If you would like to charge more but currently don’t provide that level of value, you can make the needed alterations to your service, offer that to current clientele at the higher price point.
If increasing pricing for current clients, you can absolutely go all in and drop it on them but these people did get you to where you are. So I suggest a drip system.
Over three month periods, increase their pricing. You would notify them with the coming structure, and give them time to adjust finances or whatever else they may need to do. Maybe it goes up by a total of $100/mo but it’s a $33/mo increase every thre...
160 | 5 Areas To Explore Outside of “Fitness” For Overall Health Gains
I did a podcast back in 2021 on the reflection of my definition of health after traveling the world. It went over things like being able to take a break from all of your supplements and perfect schedule. Essentially can you adapt to less ideal situation. Because I believe that that is part of health. Today’s episode is not that, but kind of a piggyback off of, or a cousin to that episode.
I won’t be going into nutrition because it’s not some thing that I am as well versed in as weight training. But you could obviously dive into nutrition as an additional thing to manage or look at outside of fitness. But I want to look even further outside kind of the normal scope of fitness and nutrition.
These aren’t groundbreaking. They are absolutely normal. And I think it’s pretty natural to venture into these different areas the longer that you have been in not even weightlifting, but just the exercise world in general. This may be a quick episode, but I hope to give you some resources and things to think about an implement outside of your time in the gym.
It’s no surprise that this came up considering that I am almost done reading the book Breathe by James Nestor. In my academic brain, there’s quite a bit of pseudoscience in this book if I’m being honest. Or just methods and claims not backed by science. But also just because something hasn’t been scientifically tested, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hold merit. The research world is after all still a money-based practice. Research needs funding. So that’s something to consider in general.
Regardless, it’s no secret that we breathe from the moment we enter this world until the moment we leave this world. And there are more efficient ways to do that given different scenarios. Breath can be very powerful in controlling other areas of our body, especially in regards to our nervous system. Breath is often used in a meditative state to bring the body into a parasympathetic state. In your autonomic nervous system you have parasympathetic and sympathetic. Sympathetic is your turn up fight or flight stimulated side, and parasympathetic is your rest and digest. Meaning it is when we down regulate, and slow everything. We prepare for rest. We recover.
Essentially breath can be used to calm the body, or stimulate the body. So I’m not necessarily telling you to implement any practices. But maybe just pay attention to the way that you breathe throughout the day. Are you breathing through your mouth? Are you breathing through your nose? How do you breathe when you exercise? How are you breathing before you go to bed at night? Just draw attention to those areas, and then if you have the means maybe pick up a book like Breathe, or listen to it on audio. There’s several others that I haven’t read yet that I’m sure will come up on suggestions when you select the book nn Amazon. And at the time of this episode it is on my Amazon page if you want to go to that.
I personally bought the book in the beginning of 2022 but prioritized reading it during my pregnancy just because I know the power of breath during highly painful and intense situations. So I thought I would kind of read that as a base. If you’re looking for an area to focus on with your body outside of training, think about breath.
In my mind this is a part of weight training or strength training, but it’s not for a lot of people. So thinking about mobility in all planes of movement. For me I am very restricted rotationally, and honestly with lateral flexion in my midsection.
If you have not yet ventured into mobility, I will link some Instagram accounts to follow that have some different takes to mobility.
159 | Six Reasons You’re Not “Successful” On Instagram
Over the last month or so, Instagram has created a lot of updates. And creators and consumers alike are feeling the effects of the constant updates by Instagram. That is what brings up today’s episode. Because it got me thinking about myself, and those of us who have been on the app for 5+ years.
Today’s episode is not a feel good one. But I do hope that you can be real with yourself and objectively question whether any of these apply to you. Because in reality, you have the potential, rather the opposite of these have the potential to let you enjoy your time on the app, and to grow on the app.
Which is technically why you are there from a business standpoint. Yes we want an interactive audience, and we need to generate income from the audience we have on Instagram, but growth will always be needed to some extent.
So let’s get into six reasons why you may not be successful on Instagram or feel like you are being successful on Instagram.
I am viewing success in this episode as being able to generate new followers even if people unfollowing. So when you look at your insights, and you go to audience. You’ll see followers and followers and net new followers. I am far less concerned with your net new followers as I am with just the fact that you’re getting 70 to 100 new people in per month or more. That’s a big deal. That’s 100 people you didn’t have last month, who are learning about your brand, who don’t know who you are, and who might be a good client for you. So we need to focus on those people. Success is having an audience who DM‘s you from your stories, asks you questions, comments on your posts, tags you in their stories. This is in my eyes what success on Instagram is from a social standpoint. And then yes of course, generating actual clients from the app.
You don’t like it
In FitsPRO Foundations we talk about what social platforms you should be on, and one of the criteria is that you have to actually enjoy the app itself, and creating content for that app. You'll end up resentful even getting on the app, let alone having to create content for an app that you have distaste for.
It’s just like health and fitness, or anything that you’re attempting to do, and adhere to. If you don’t enjoy it, it gets exponentially harder to stick with the process.
Posting every day on Instagram, being in your stories, answering DM‘s, doing market research to create new content, being in this continual cycle is going to require you to do all of those things when you do not feel like it. So the more that you actually enjoy it, the easier it’s going to be.
Even with the annoyances of the algorithm, and the changes that are made to Instagram so frequently these days, I try to make a point that it is still my favorite social media app. When I take a week off of Instagram, which I recently did, I genuinely miss interacting with my audience, and also taking a contact from a consumer standpoint. I follow people that entertain me, and that I get value from, and that I may not have access to outside of the app. So you don’t have to absolutely love Instagram, but how do you think it will be who’ve you to enjoy it, or curate your own experience as a consumer on the app in order to enjoy it more And learned about it from an organic standpoint.
I do want to be clear, because I’ve said before, that it wouldn’t be on Instagram if I didn’t have a business. And I do think that’s mostly true. But it still stands that of the social media platforms available, it is my favorite app.
You’re not using it organically
158 I Maximize Your Productivity In The Back Half of 2022
Today’s episode is going to be highly beneficial for entrepreneurs, because that is likely the lens that I will see this through, but it applies to literally any area of your life that you want to see more productivity and in the back half of the year. And I want to be clear that productivity is not doing more in general. It is doing more of whatever it is that you want to do. It’s being aligned with that decision and that goal. And making sure that your decisions or getting you more of whatever it is that you are working on. I was just talking to my assistant the other day and she was talking about how one of her goals this year was to actually be "less productive", and to prioritize more fun. So if she was listening to this podcast episode she is looking at how can she be more productive in having more fun. How can she prioritize having more fun, creating more space, using her time more wisely for what it is that she wants to do.
That’s all to say that I'll use the word productive because I think that moving in the direction you want to go is productive. Versus getting a bunch of things done. You can be very very busy and not productive. Your plate can be very very full, and not productive. That is how we are setting up today’s episode.
We’re going to talk about three different approaches and tactics that you can use to get more done of what you want to get done. You can use all of these, you can use one of them. Or implement whatever makes sense on top of whatever it is that you’re already doing.
No, I am not an expert in behavior change. I am simply sharing things that I have learned from other people, I’ve worked for me. I don’t always get it right, I still do things with my time that I would rather not do with my time, and there’s always room to improve. But that’s my point. Do you have room to improve. You have room to do more of what you want to do and I’m hoping that I can help you in someway to do that.
Daily habits and first step plans
First off if you have not read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, I highly suggest that you do so. When I read that book James put a lot of names to things that I was already doing, or that I had tried in the past. He has this really nice applicable structure to the way that he writes about habits and being more productive in the way that I mentioned earlier.
That’s where I learned, or rather give a name to, habit stacking. Or combining your habits. So for instance, in the summer of 2020, during the pandemic, I started doing LISS cardio AND writing captions, blogs, or drafting podcasts during that time every day. It made me feel way more productive in my work, and it got me more movement in my day. I wasn’t concerned about being present for the cardio, or pushing myself. It was simply to combine two tasks that felt annoying, or daunting, or timely to me. Writing sitting down with no stimulation is fine, but it literally just takes time, and so I like to be doing something else if I can be.
I’ve implemented that recently in my second trimester of pregnancy. So I need to draft and create like 30+ podcasts her maternity leave. And that means I need to get ahead now. So I have started doing 20 to 30 minutes audio first thing in the morning, and drafting up podcasts. And that’s just like prepping the show notes topics on my talk about main points things of that sort.
This is not a main point, but as like a subsection of habit stacking, I also suggest doing something that you want to do first thing in the morning if that’s possible. Get in the habit of rolling out of bed and doing the thing. This is the best applied to someone who wants to meditate or have a breathing practice or do some mobility, or shoot, even drink more water.
So much value!
Annie’s podcasts have SO MUCH VALUE! I learn so much in each episode. 10/10 recommend if you’re into any part of the fitness industry (coach, consumer, etc)
Amazing! I just listened to “programs I no longer offer” and I resonated so much with this. Thank you Annie! 😊 Also, I love that you were in a hotel in Tokyo. I lived in Okinawa for 3 years and am very fond of Tokyo ❤️
I love Annie
She’s real and authentic. I get a good vibe from her and her info is top notch! I love how she includes both fitness and business information.