2019 Summer Shred

And just like that…it’s that time of year again! Summer Shred 2019 officially kicked off today and will run until May 22, which is right before my birthday…and Memorial Day weekend! This is my 5th year in a row doing this and I swear every year the diet gets easier to follow. Last year my whole world was upside down and, as a result, the shred didn’t pan out. My head wasn’t in the game…at all. I followed the diet but I didn’t workout, and without both the results just won’t happen. I ultimately ended the shred before the 30 days were up and I wasn’t even phased – I even went as far as to purchase a one-piece bathing suit. This year, I’m going to try my damndest to fight through every mental obstacle I have and get it done. I want to be healthier and I want to feel more confident on the beach…and in life. It’s going to be an uphill battle – but I need to do this. My stomach is still relatively flat and my weight has stayed pretty much the same so the physical goals for this shred are simple: to gain back some of the muscle that I lost & lose body fat. But really, this is so much bigger than a beach-body challenge for me this year. After being through hell & back, all I can hope for with this challenge is to not just get my body back…but to get my mind right again once & for all.

L – 2017, my “best” body / R – now

If you’d like to follow along on this 30-day summer shred, I’ve listed a shopping list below of the foods that I will be eating. Keep in mind, this is what works for ME. I will try to post here and on my Instagram so as to provide more guidance if you’re following. However, if you’d like a more customized plan or have any questions as to what foods will work in addition to what I’ve listed, feel free to email me at thefight2befit@gmail.com and I will be more than happy to help!

  • Oats
  • Egg muffins
  • Brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potato
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Banza (chickpea pasta)
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Chicken, ground turkey, lean pork, tuna
  • Turkey jerky
  • Veggies (kale, asparagus, mushrooms, string beans, zucchini, brussels, eggplant, peppers, etc)
  • Almonds, cashews
  • Cottage cheese
  • PB
  • Quest Bars
  • GoMacro Bar
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

**Not listed here are my kitchen staples (balsamic vinegar, spray/oil, hot sauce, mustard, spices, etc.) as well as my protein powder /BCAAs. Also not listed, Apple Cider Vinegar. My day will always begin with an ACV cocktail – 1 tbsp of ACV mixed with 12oz of cold water.*

Time to be better than what I thought was my best!

xo

Gina

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Still in the Fight

Losing a baby & getting your heart broken will cripple you in unimaginable ways. I consider myself a pretty strong person but this past year broke me. Every day since has been a struggle. I wake up in tears more often than I’d like to admit. I look back at pictures of the girl I was before I got pregnant – hot body, healthy, and happy. I was so damn happy – it’s like you can feel it through the pictures. I had everything I always dreamed of – then it was all gone in the blink of an eye. Since then, I’ve become a shadow of that blissfully happy, carefree girl.

A few weeks ago I was inspired by some female wrestlers, specifically the two who recently had babies. That inspiration hasn’t really led to much of a consistent routine though. I’ve done several at-home workouts, a few outdoor walks, and a gym workout. I keep telling myself to get my shit together. I keep trying to force myself to workout, to not just become healthier but to provide myself with a much-needed distraction and stress-release. Except sometimes that stresses me out even more. I just don’t have the motivation anymore. That hot body I once worked so hard for…it failed me. As a result, I lost everything that I cared about. I’ve been trying to just go through the motions, piece together my broken heart one jagged edge at a time – but it’s almost like I’m stabbing myself more every step of the way. That sounds super dramatic but that’s how it feels. I feel stuck. I want to get my life back…but sometimes I don’t even know what that means anymore. My priorities have completely shifted & so have my interests…and my life.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from my gyno with the results of my hormonal blood panel. It seems that my weight loss put my PCOS at-bay. My other hormones all seem to be in check and I was told that by the look of both my sonogram and blood work, my egg count was still relatively high. I’ve had three doctors (this one included) all tell me that based on how I conceived a baby on birth control, with two conditions that cause infertility, I should have no trouble once I actually do try. There is (unfortunately) no way to determine if I will be able to hold the baby or not – as I do not have anything currently indicating otherwise. However, this is all bittersweet. That blood work is a snapshot in time…right now. So right now – my periods are regular, body is in check, PCOS seems to have disappeared…if I were able to try, I’d probably get pregnant. No guarantees, of course, but it seems more likely now than ever before. Except I’m not with the baby’s father anymore…nor am I with anyone else. There is no way to “try” for a baby right now and it concerns me that when the time does come…however long that may take…maybe I won’t be able to anymore.

The doctor asked if I was still exercising as much and I said no – not since I got pregnant. She told me to begin that again and do what I was doing before…if it happened once, it could happen again. She also suggested starting either a multi-vitamin or prenatal along with vitamin d. It was a conversation with a shred of hope (and some defeat) that’s put things into perspective.

Last summer >> Now

I don’t have the same motivation or goals that I used to…and that will likely not change. I don’t really give a damn about having some shredded, hot body. That hot body from last summer was working out and eating healthy almost everyday.  That hot body may have failed me when I lost the baby…but that hot body also got pregnant, which is something I always thought would be impossible for me. While I may not give a shit about having that hot body anymore…I can spin the negative and turn it into something productive. Maybe if I can get my shit together and consistently workout again…when the time comes, it can happen again – and maybe now, with the doctor’s help, it will stay put. My current at-home workouts could be much better than they are…but I’m trying. Sometimes it’s just 10 or 15 minutes, and I can barely hold a 20 second plank anymore (hell, my core is total shit since that surgery) – but it’s much better than doing nothing at all. It’s been an uphill battle – I workout for 2-3 days and usually that’s that…but I’m using every last ounce of fight left in me to push forward.

My goals right now are pretty simple. I just want to be able to fit comfortably in my clothes again. I’d like to build my core strength back up. That’s important for everyday living but it will be especially beneficial when (and if) I get pregnant/have a baby. Ultimately though, I just want to be healthy. My body has enough obstacles – it doesn’t need my being overweight and/or unhealthy as another. It’s been 2 days – and so far so good. I plan on continuing with early morning workouts, so as to give myself no extra excuses (IE: being exhausted after a long day of working two jobs). Here’s hoping it sticks this time.

xo

Gina

My Own Evolution

For as long as I can remember, celebrities have always served as some sort of “fitspiration” in my life. Having struggled with weight my entire life, I looked at certain celebrities as who/what I wanted to look/be like. As I grew in my fitness journey, I realized it was more unhealthy to have this than it was motivation. At the time, my confidence wasn’t great so when I would see these celebrities (ie: Jessica Simpson) I would think I needed to look like them to be considered pretty or hot. I got over that with time and when I lost all of my weight, I also gained confidence that I never really had…in looks & in myself. That’s faded over the last year.

Last year, when I lost my baby, I lost all motivation to workout. I’ve touched on this in a few posts but I’ll sum it up here too. I was in the best shape of my entire life yet my body failed me anyway. I haven’t worked out much at all since and my diet is hit or miss. Yesterday, I woke up feeling different.

On Sunday night, WWE Evolution took place. It was the first ever all-women’s PPV, which was a monumental moment. The show featured women from both the past & present. Opening the show was my idol in high school, Lita. I wanted to be like her so bad. She was gorgeous but not in a typical girl way – she was also this tough, bad ass chick that didn’t take anyone’s shit. I dyed my hair blood red like her, wore chokers & UFO pants like her, I even learned to moonsault (her signature move…which I would never attempt now) to be like her. She was, and still is, one of my all-time favorite wrestlers. I watched her come out and just stared in awe. She is 43 and looks amazing. She still has this no-bullshit attitude about her too.

Lita, then & now

I kept watching the show and saw two women, named Maryse & Maria, who both had babies around the time that I would have had mine earlier this year. Both women look amazing and got themselves back into shape to be in the ring so quickly. Maria was very open in documenting her struggle with postpartum depression and her loss of motivation on her social media. I instantly connected with that and as I saw her get in the ring, it really hit me. As I watched these women and all of the others, I realized how they all have overcome many things and still managed to keep themselves motivated enough to be on that big of a stage. So what’s my problem?

Not all heroes wear capes.

My priorities are much different since getting pregnant and losing my baby. I don’t really care how “shredded” I look. I don’t know that I ever will again, to be honest. But watching that show, I got to thinking – if I continue down this path of not working out or only eating well sporadically, I won’t be healthy. If I’m ever given the chance to try for a baby, I need to be healthy for that. I shouldn’t give my body any other obstacles – there’s enough as it is. Another point in my head – I worked really hard to lose weight and I don’t want to throw it all away or go back to the weight I used to be. When I first started, it was about being happy in my own skin…and being healthy. I think I’m going back to day one with that mindset. No pressure to lift super heavy. No pressure on working out EVERY day. Just doing what I can, when I can…and being consistent.

I work better with some sort of a plan so this is the loose plan that I’ve come up with: some sort of cardio 3-4x per week, banded & bodyweight exercises at-home 2-3x per week, weights 1-2x per week. The idea is to get myself moving at least 4-5 days. Obviously the days may vary and with my hectic work schedule, I may have to make exceptions. However, I will be happy if I can do some sort of workout 4x per week – whether that’s bands/body weight exercises at-home, cardio in or out of the gym, or actual weights. Just as long as I’m consistent, which has been my biggest issue since losing the baby. I think I’m going to use that as motivation, instead of letting it bring me down. If my baby was here, I’d teach her how to be strong – so there’s no reason she can’t look down on me and learn that same lesson. I want to her to see a strong mommy – not the person that I’ve been. Seeing these women in the ring made me realize that. It was called Evolution, as it was just that for women in wrestling, but I’m using that as my own evolution. That is, my evolution back to being healthy…and back to being me.

xo,

Gina

Keep the Faith

Image result for st catherine of sweden
I will start by saying – I don’t consider myself a religious person. I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic school from pre-k through college…but that’s about it. I haven’t been to church much as an adult – don’t feel that I need to be in a specific place if I want to pray. However, after losing my baby last October…let’s just say God hasn’t been on my good side.  That seems to be normal and a theme amongst other angel moms. Well one day, upon scouring Pinterest, I came across a prayer card for Saint Catherine of Sweden. She is the patron saint of those who have suffered a miscarriage. I know of many saints but I never knew of this one. Seemed rather fitting that as I question my own faith, this would appear – almost like a sign. I’ve decided to share this because regardless of which God you pray to or what your convictions & faith may be, this is a beautiful prayer to hold close:

Dear Saint Catherine, patron of those who have suffered a miscarriage, you know the dangers that await unborn infants. Please intercede for me that I may receive healing from the loss I have suffered. My soul has been deprived of peace and I have forgotten what true happiness is. As I mourn the loss of my child, I place myself in the hands of God and ask for strength to accept His will in all things, for consolation in my grief, and for peace in my sorrow. Glorious Saint Catherine, hear my prayers and ask that God, in good time, grant me a healthy baby who will become a true child of God. Amen.

Despite my waning faith, I pray for my little angel & all of the other angel babies in the clouds. I pray that they are all safe, perhaps in the arms of other loved ones who have passed on, as they wait to be reunited with us again one day.  Most of all, I pray for me…and I pray for you. I pray that we all find the peace & happiness we so desperately need one day soon.

xo

Gina