Adventures in YouTube Land

Well, folks…the day has finally come. I’ve teamed up with the gym that I manage to create workout videos! It’s something that people have been asking about for a while so when my boss suggested it…I ran with the idea. As great of an opportunity as it is, the venture itself into videoland hasn’t been all roses & sunshine.

I love taking pictures and posing for them. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve had a camera in my hand basically everyday since I was 5 or 6 years old…and I was a ham for the camera long before then. BUT there’s a very big difference between a still photo and a video. That may seem like an obvious statement but let me elaborate.

Despite being heavy on and off my entire life, I still loved taking pictures. I learned how to pose to avoid double chins and look as small as possible. Let’s just say Tyra (and ANTM) taught me very well. I also love taking pictures and capturing memories of pretty much everything and everyone I’m around. It’s always been a big hobby of mine. This new venture…on the internet no less…is an entirely different animal.

I try to be honest about my struggles and this video business has definitely been one. Mentally, that is. Every week we film and as I sit down to edit…I cringe. I love being in front of a camera but when I watch the action shots back, I die a little. I work very hard to be where I am. So when I see rolls on my stomach or a double chin or some sort of flashbacks to fatness staring back at me…it’s like none of that hard work matters. Now, the rolls and whatnot are likely due to my bad posture and discomfort shooting in front of certain people…but it’s still really hard to watch. When you are in a video, you can’t pose. You’re doing some sort of motion, in this case exercising. It’s great when it’s just you talking – you can stand a certain way, get a good angle….but when you are moving around it’s about the action not so much how you look. When I shoot my talking pieces, I have someone behind the camera who I’m very comfortable with and who seemingly calms my nerves, while helping me sort out what to say. It adds more work and more time to the project but it definitely turns out much better this way.

I’m no fitness model. I work really hard to maintain my size 2/4 and keep my weight in the 130s. I found balance with food, where I can enjoy beer & various treat meals without a ton of guilt afterwards. However, I still struggle with body image issues. I have loose skin and suffer from mystery stomach problems…which together can sometimes mean my body doesn’t look like it should. Still, I manage to push all of these internal conflicts aside and I post my videos weekly anyway. I’m not perfect but I know my story is one that many people can relate to…and hopefully my workouts can help someone get started on their journey…just like certain videos helped me. The people watching likely aren’t nitpicking like I am. They are watching the workout and seeing a girl who has struggled her entire life DO IT. So while I may nitpick over some stomach rolls or weird faces., I find comfort in knowing that there may be a girl out there just like me who will watch my video and get motivated to jumpstart their own journey.

I may still struggle mentally…especially with this nagging shoulder rehab…but deep down I know that I’m not the same 210lb girl I used to be. Mentally or physically. While I can’t do many of the things that I want to do or that I used to do, I’m learning to adapt. The old Gina would’ve given up the minute she got hurt…and probably gained all of the weight back. This Gina has finally figured it out. It’s not easy. Every single day is a struggle but I try my best to put one foot in front of the other to keep going. I’m not the girl I used to be – and I’m so much better for it.

If you want to check out my Fight to be Fit video playlist, you can find it here. I welcome any & all feedback!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!



Snack Smart

With January being the start of so many diets and fitness journeys, I thought it best to touch on a topic close to my heart – SNACKING 😍

I am a total sugar addict and definitely LOVE my snacks. However, I’ve learned how to enjoy my favorites…without destroying all of my hard work. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t allow myself sweets from time to time. However, I practice moderation. After a lifetime of yo-yo diets and other struggles, I have learned the hard way that deprivation is a recipe for failure. While I love sour candy more than anything…it’s not healthy and too much of it will negate all of my hard work in the gym. So, I have found alternatives that are easy on the waistline and satisfy my cravings. Here’s a list of some of my favorite salty & sweet healthy snacks:

  • Monkey Salad – I discovered this masterpiece while on the Whole30 diet last year. Its’s a mixture of coconut chips, cashews, and half of a banana. It’s the perfect mix of salty & sweet.
  • Frozen blueberries with Crystal Light lemonade – I found this gem on Instagram a while back and it’s
    changed my life. The original recipe calls for grapes but I tried it with blueberries and it most definitely takes care of my sour candy cravings 🙂
  • Frozen grapes – if you have a craving for something icy and sweet, this will definitely help you out. I’ve been doing it for years and I’ve never been disappointed.
  • Hummus – this is a go-to snack for me. I usually get some baby carrots or some no- salt pretzels and dip away! My favorite pre-packaged flavor is roasted red pepper however I also make my own (which is not flavored) and I love it just as much. Be sure to portion this out or else you will be consuming a crazy amount of fat and calories.
  • Apples – these tend to be high in sugar content and carbs but they are better than eating candy. I slice the apple and either sprinkle cinnamon or dip the slices in peanut butter. If I’m craving something sour, I grab a granny smith and chomp away!
  • Kale chips – these are perfect for a salty craving and they work great as a side dish or snack. Easy to make and super delicious.

Check out this amazing chart, which provides some other solutions to keeping your cravings satisfied…the healthy way. You can also find tons of healthy snacks and tips on their site.

imageI can go on forever about the various snacks that I enjoy but at the end of the day it’s important to just eat smart. Track your macros, watch what you eat, and you will be able allow yourself a treat from time to time. Don’t be afraid to eat or to snack – food is fuel! Your body needs that fuel to run properly…and let’s face it, sometimes we need a snack to keep us sane 😎

Stay strong & stay in the fight!