Growing up, Andrea Allen was an athlete. Yet she would never have guessed that fitness would end up saving her from depression and inspiring her to start the Make It Simple podcast.
When she moved from Washington, DC to the west coast for college, she fell into a deep depression. “Everything was different than what I had known my whole life,” she explained. “I remember lying on my bed, watching the fan spin, and feeling totally out of it. My dad called and told me to get up and go for a walk.
“I reluctantly took his advice, and that led to daily walks, then running. It inspired me to change my major from history to public health education. I started teaching fitness, and ever since, I absolutely love to share the physical and mental benefits, as well as my journey.”
A podcast is a natural fit for Andrea, who is passionate about helping others. “I’m an avid podcast listener. The crazy thing is that I built my business from scratch based on the guidance I got from the podcasts I listen to. I’ve never needed a business coach. I got my coaching from podcasts.
“I decided that since I built a massive business through listening to podcasts, I’d use this medium to take topics the average female may find confusing and break them down into bite-sized, digestible pieces with simple tips and steps that won’t overwhelm listeners. The tiny steps add up.”
Andrea’s guests are experts who are good at breaking down information.
While Andrea is open to working with anyone, her niche is mothers who want to get back in shape but don’t know what to do at the gym or can’t get there every day.
Andrea’s approach provides simple ways for these women to reach their goals. “I’m very moderate. I don’t believe in extreme diets, massive calorie-cutting, or just cutting carbs. I teach people how to balance their nutritional intake, and I coach them through the right workouts for them… particularly postpartum workouts.”
Andrea points out that a common issue after having a baby is diastasis recti, also known as “DR.”
“Your ab muscles split apart, because the linea alba stretches to make room for the baby. And for 60% of women, they don’t fully come back together. Society has labeled this ‘mommy pooch,’ but I tell people there is actually a medical term for it. You have to train the core properly for them to come back together.
“Most women think they need surgery, or that they’re just stuck with it. But neither is true. You need to train your deep inner core and pelvic floor. Women can flatten their stomach using a very different method than the ones we’re often taught, like doing more cardio or crunches. In reality, fundamental exercises work the inner core, and they don’t include crunches. Ironically, crunches actually irritate the issue.
“On my Instagram page, @deliciouslyfitnhealthy, there’s a highlight that shows you how to self-check your core and feel whether there’s a gap, without relying on a doctor or anyone else.
I sometimes feel like I’m standing on a mountaintop shouting, ‘It’s not fat; you have diastasis recti!’”
Since Andrea interacts with thousands of women, she can easily identify common issues and address them on the podcast. “Sometimes, I realize that I’m exhibiting a particular behavior, and I talk openly about it on the show. After I research how to fix it, I share the solution I found for the benefit of anyone who is going through something similar.”
Vulnerability is a must for this fitness entrepreneur. “I’m very open about my story around having anxiety and ADHD. I also experienced diastasis recti myself—that’s why I teach it. I was in the fitness industry, yet I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.”
Andrea doesn’t believe in trying to paint a picture of perfection on her podcast or social media.
“Imagine having a friend who is never vulnerable with you. You won’t build a deeper connection with that person. It’s the same with your community.
“There are people I follow for parenting stuff, and it bugs me that one of them never admits that her kids fight. Instead, she makes everything look perfect from the outside. That’s hard for me to swallow.
“I don’t feel like I need to have all my crap together, nor pretend that I do.”
Clearly, Andrea wears many hats—wife, mother, entrepreneur, podcaster. How does she manage the juggling act?
“My husband, who sold his company and does all our accounting, works really fluidly with me as a team. When he has the kids, it allows me to be 100% present with the clients I meet with.
“For those who want a hands-on approach, I have a fantastic team of six coaches who each have a jaw-dropping story about their intense experiences. That’s what makes them versatile and gives them the mental capacity to deal with women’s emotions instead of having the attitude of ‘Suck it up, buttercup.’”
Time blocking has also made a big difference for Andrea. “I use Chalene Johnson’s push journal, which helps me organize each day and build my business using tiny goals. When I multitask, it’s a hot mess. So instead, I give myself a window of time to dedicate my undivided attention to each task. Of course, it’s always a work in progress.”
Andrea has a specific goal for the Make It Simple podcast.
“I want people in my community to feel like there is a seat at the table for them every week… especially those who typically don’t feel like they fit in.”
Andrea ends every episode by saying, “You’re doing better than you think you are.” It’s clear that this podcast is designed to help listeners feel empowered and accepted.
September 2022 Issue