New Year, Fresh Start

Happy New Year & Happy Blogiversary to us! I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I began this blog. SO much has changed but I thank you all for sticking with me through every step of this journey we call life. I promise you…and myself…a more positive & productive year ahead.

New Years has always represented a chance at a fresh start. I gave up on resolutions long ago, as they never stick. This year I have one primary goal – and that is to put my life back together, one jagged broken piece at a time. As you know, I relaunched my blog a couple of months ago to reflect my current life. Everything has changed so drastically in my life, it just didn’t seem right to continue blogging as if it were the same. Writing has been a good form of therapy for me and I know it has helped others who have had similar experiences. I’m still a personal trainer/nutritionist but everything has been very different since losing my baby – and my business reflected that. My focus is to stop being so stuck in sadness and use all of the bad as a way to rebuild my life. For every negative, I’m going to try my damndest to spin it in a positive way.

I spent 2018 reeling from losing a baby, getting my heart completely broken, & suffering from health issues which required countless tests and two surgeries. My mental health also took a serious downward spiral. I had more bad days than good, in which I didn’t want to even get out of bed. I spent a lot of time crying in my car and in the shower. Even when good things happened, I couldn’t enjoy them. This year, I am vowing to take control back of my life and of my happiness. I may not have the life that I want or the life that I would’ve had if my baby were in my arms, but I can try to make the most of the life I do have. I can’t spend every day miserable and expect things to get better. So that’s my goal. I know it’s not going to magically get better over night. There will likely still be bad days, and more crying episodes, but over time I’m hopeful it will get better. Before all of this happened, I was in the best shape of my life…physically AND mentally. That led to a happiness I had never felt and can’t begin to even describe. While I may not have that same happiness, who’s to say I can’t find a different happy?

I’ve already begun taking steps to improve life a little. After months of debating, I’ve made the very difficult decision to leave what’s become a toxic environment. I’m also trying to focus more on taking care of myself, which includes a commitment to exercise for 30 minutes per day, everyday. Coincidentally, my old workout gurus of Tone It Up are running their Love Your Body challenge, beginning January 14. It’s quite literally the most perfect timing, as I want to get back on track AND love my body once again.

My body (and mind) has really taken a beating. After I lost the baby, I just lost all motivation – like if my body was in such good shape and that happened…what was the point? It’s taken me a long time but I’m finally ready to get back on track. I just want to get healthy again. As I’ve said in other blogs, I don’t care about how shredded I am anymore but I do want to fit better in my clothes and be healthy, for when (and if) an opportunity to try for another baby presents itself. I have no idea what I weigh – and I don’t really care. I want to build my core strength & shoulder strength back up, so I can stop feeling so much pain, as well as work on my endurance. I’m not trying to run any races but I’d like to be in better shape. I’d also like to do yoga every night, as a way to not only stretch & strengthen muscles but to relax. Those are my small goals for now. I think with the help of my Tone It Up girls for extra motivation, it will go well. At least….that’s my hope! I intend on building on the workouts more once I can overcome my consistency issues. So far, so good – I’ve done some form of exercise (at-home workouts, core rehab, outdoor walk, and yoga) every night this week!

I know this is going to be an uphill battle but it’s time to start climbing instead of staring at the mountain in front of me. I’ve struggled with things before but this has been by far the worst thing I’ve ever had to go through. I’ve said many times over the years that the key is to get your mind right & everything else will follow. When your mind isn’t right, you won’t be consistent and everything sort of falls apart. This year has been proof of just that – and it’s time to start taking my own advice. I’m just going to do my best & take it one day at a time – and hopefully, over time, things will fall into place again.

Thanks again for sticking with me – here’s to another year of staying strong & staying in the fight!

xox

Gina

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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

2018 Summer Shred!

It’s finally spring weather!! That means one thing – it’s Summer Shred time! I’ve done this shred for the past 4 years and every year I learn and improve for the next. Last year, I really got it right so I’m going to mimic what I did and tweak the workouts to be more functional, in accordance to what my body can actually do.

In 2014, I embarked on a 4-week shred and Mission: Hot Body challenge. I mimicked the very strict & regimented diet and workouts of bikini competitors. Super clean eating , 2-a-day workouts…you name it, I did it. It was crazy hard…but I got it done. After 4 weeks of extremely hard work, I had abs and was the leanest & most cut I’ve ever been. The problem was that as soon as the challenge ended, it was my birthday and with it came ice cream cake & plenty of drinks throughout the weekend. To top that off, just one month later I ended up seriously injuring my shoulder…which I have since had surgery to correct. Within two months, all of that hard work seemed to be for nothing. The next two years, I did slimdowns but couldn’t get it quite right. I still worked out and I continued to eat fairly well, but my body would only look how I wanted it to for a short time. Last year, that changed. Now, a certified nutritionist, I have combined my life experience and added a lot more knowledge to the bank. Last year, I did a 6-week shred that was strict…but didn’t totally eliminate things. I limited dairy and sugar. I upped my protein and kept my carbs early in the day. I lost about 10% body fat and about 10-15 lbs in that time span. My workouts were done with a fellow trainer (who is my magical ART guy as well), so while they were intense they were monitored. I killed it and looked great for my birthday…and throughout the summer.

However, the end of summer & end of year didn’t go well for me. Life events and health issues transpired causing a lot less workouts and a lot less motivation.

So here we go again. 4 weeks until my birthday…so a 4-week shred shall begin. I’m going to follow the same plan as last year for my diet (shopping list is below). My workouts will vary based on how I feel health-wise and injury-wise. There will likely be a lot more cardio along with some lower impact resistance training worked into the mix. I’ll post everyday for the first week, as I did last year, to give anyone following along a good gauge on what I’m doing.

In general, I eat pretty well…I’m just not super strict. For the next 4 weeks, I will be cutting out most sugar, alcohol, and limiting my caffeine & dairy intake. The food scale will also come back. Along with MFP, I found the food scale to be extremely helpful in keeping myself on track and accountable.

My ultimate goal with this shred, like every other, is to lose fat while gaining my lean muscle…and motivation…back. I’ve been pretty sick so I’m starting a little later than I planned but we begin TODAY (April 24) and go until May 23 (my birthday). You can continue the rest of that week if you choose, but since that’s my birthday…that’s when mine will end.

This is a list of the foods that I will be sticking to throughout the next 4 weeks, in case you want to reference it for food shopping:

  • Oats
  • Egg whites
  • Tuna
  • Brown Rice
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Chickpeas
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potato
  • Quinoa
  • Chicken
  • Ground Turkey
  • Veggies (kale, asparagus, string beans, zucchini, brussels, cauliflower, peppers, butternut squash)
  • Shrimp
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Cottage cheese
  • PB
  • Rice cakes
  • Frozen blueberries
  • RX Bars/Quest Bars
  • Unsweetened cashew milk/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.**

I’m happy to help you with your own customized macros, meal plan & workout guide! Email me at TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com for more information. If you just want to follow along with me & be accountability buddies, that’s cool too! Shoot me a message so we can help each other out! Let’s get beach body ready & Fight to be Fit together!

-Gina

Wrapping Up

As week 3 comes to a close in my winter detox, I’ve decided to stop. The purpose of this for me was to get back on track and I have. I reset my diet…and my mindset.

I knew this wasn’t going to be like most of my shreds, mostly because I couldn’t workout. I’ve gotten my diet back where I wanted it and in the process, I’ve also gotten my mind right once again.

This journey is full of ups and downs. Lately I’ve had a setback with my health, which has thrown my eating time table off a bit. I haven’t had much of an appetite due to the health issues and as a result, I’m forcing myself to eat foods I don’t want when I’m not hungry to eat. Combine that with my neck & shoulder setback, and it’s just not the right time for this. I plan on doing my usual shred before summertime (and my birthday) so stay tuned for that! Hopefully by then, I’m cleared for more exercises and can workout more regularly.

I feel that I got what I wanted and needed in just about 3 weeks on this detox…and that’s all I could hope for. I wish the same for all of you!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

Gina

Getting Over the Hump – Detox Day 3

Another day in the books! Today was a really hectic day for me at work but that didn’t throw off my diet at all. Here’s how it checked out:

Breakfast – 1/4 cup oats, 1 tsp pb. Iced coffee with 1 tbsp creamer

Lunch – 4 oz ground turkey, 2 oz brown rice, 2 oz string beans, 1 mushroom quartered.

Dinner – 3 egg whites, 2 mushrooms quartered, 2 oz butternut squash, 2 oz sliced turkey, sprinkle of cheese

Snacks – protein brownie, mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachio), almond milk latte from Dunkin’ (no sweetener or flavor), protein drink, rice cake

The high number of carbs doesn’t factor in my fiber intake. Carbs should really be around 85g. That’s still pretty high but I’ll do better with it next week. I’ve ordered protein powder, which I was out of, and I’ll be making egg muffins to have for breakfast instead of oats. I also will be having kale or lettuce everyday in one of my meals.

Exercise is at a major standstill with these injuries of mine. I will be going to PT twice a week, getting ART treatments, & doing as much cardio and yoga as my body will allow throughout the rest of this detox.

3 days down…27 to go. We got this! Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

Day 2 of Detox

Wrapping up day 2 so much better than day 1! As predicted, this day started out smoother & as a result I was a lot less hungry. I have to work on my meal timing so I can get more protein in earlier but otherwise a good day. My carbs look a little high but, if I subtract the fiber from veggies I’m actually good! No exercise; just some yoga stretches and my weekly ART treatment. Here’s what my meals for the day looked like:

Breakfast – 1/4 cup of oats with 1 tsp peanut butter. Coffee with approx. 1 tbsp caramel macchiato creamer.

Lunch – 4 oz. ground turkey, 1 oz brown rice, 2 oz string beans, 1 mushroom quartered

Dinner – 2 whole eggs, 2 mushrooms quartered, sprinkle of shredded cheese, 2 oz sliced turkey, 1 oz Brussels

Snacks – quest bar, protein cookie, protein chips, rice cake. I also had a second coffee made with unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 packet of Splenda.

Water – 64 oz – much less than yesterday and I’m feeling it

Winter Detox

I don’t know about you but I’m in serious need of a detox. I practice flexible dieting – mostly clean eating with some treats thrown in the mix. However, lately I’ve been WAY too flexible. So, I’ve decided enough is enough. Let’s get 2018 started off right! Beginning this Monday, January 15, I will be doing a 30-day winter detox. That word “detox” often scares people. Hell…it scares me too. I don’t believe in juicing or following any type of extreme diet. History has taught me that you will do much more harm than good by following any type of prolonged elimination. This detox is just a way to get our bodies and minds back on track. For 30-days we will be following a strictly clean, protein-heavy diet. No cheat/treat days/meals. Now, I do realize Superbowl Sunday falls in the midst of this. I will likely be participating so I will personally be extending my own detox a few days. Anyone following along can bring their own food to the party or do as I will. I’ve compiled a list to take shopping this weekend. We will be eating 3 meals and two snacks per day (a total of 5 “meals”). I will post everything I eat on here and on MyFitnessPal for you guys to see. If there is something you enjoy and you don’t see it on this list, please feel free to reach out! Also important to note, you do not have to purchase everything you see. This is just a list of compliant foods for the 30-day detox program. You can find these foods at any local supermarket.

  • Oats (quick, old fashioned, or steel cut – none of that pre-made, packaged garbage)
  • Plain, greek yogurt
  • Eggs/egg whites
  • Tuna (solid white, preferred. Always packed in water, not oil!)
  • Brown Rice
  • Low carb wraps (Trader Joe’s)
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers (English or regular)
  • Tomatoes
  • Chickpeas, black beans, or any beans you’d like (make sure they aren’t packed in oil or soaked in some sauce)
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potato
  • Quinoa
  • Chicken or turkey breast
  • Ground Turkey or chicken
  • Steak or ground beef – whichever cut you like…just make sure it’s very lean!
  • Peppers
  • Butternut squash
  • Veggies (kale, asparagus, string beans, zucchini, brussels, broccoli, cauliflower, etc)
  • Tilapia, salmon, or whatever fish you prefer
  • Almonds, cashews
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Seltzer (plain or flavored)
  • Brown rice cakes (Trader Joe’s sells a good one!)
  • Edamame
  • Protein pasta (Banza is a really good one and easy to find)
  • Unsweetened cashew, coconut, or almond milk (for shakes and soups)

**Not listed here are my kitchen staples (balsamic vinegar, cooking spray/oil, hot sauce, mustard, spices, etc.) as well as my protein powder /BCAAs.**

Water – make sure you are drinking 8-10 glasses (or 80-100oz) of water per day!

Protein Bars – You want to look for bars high in protein and low in sugar. You also want to be careful with carbs. Here’s a tip – look at the fiber then subtract from your carbs. That produces net carbs, which you should aim to always be under 10. Quest bars are excellent for this. RX bars have a higher carb count but have minimal and very clean ingredients. Depending on what you are eating throughout the day, this can be another good option. Other good options include No Cow & Paleo bars. If there is a brand that you prefer and you think will fit the criteria, send to me & I will let you know if it can be added

Fruit – this is tricky. A lot of fruits are extremely high in sugar and while it is always better than eating a cookie or candy, you still need to be mindful. They do contain a lot of vitamins and minerals so we will keep them on. For the next 30-days, stick with berries such as blueberries and raspberries. You can also use lemons or limes for your water. I would steer clear of grapes, apples, and melons for now. Bananas are loaded with sugar and carbs but are excellent before or after a workout. For that reason, I will allow bananas on the plan if you eat them sparingly…and only around an intense workout.

Coffee – If you know me, you know I rarely am seen without a cup of coffee in hand. I’ve done diets where it’s forbidden…and I have yet to figure out why. Of course, like most things, too much caffeine is not good. However, in moderation it’s fine. Now…what you put into your coffee may be another story. I always put almond milk in mine. Sometimes I get fancy and buy coffee creamer- which is eyeballed to the serving size. I don’t like super sweet coffee so that’s good enough for me. I recommend the same for all of you. NO SUGAR ADDED for the next 30 days. If you’re usual order is light & sweet you will have to adjust. Use skim milk and stevia (or Splenda if, like me, you hate stevia). Be careful to not use too much of those sweeteners! If you’re going to use creamers, measure it out. We often put way more than we think! You can also buy the creamers pre-portioned in small cups, also making them portable!

I will be posting some recipes and some of the foods I like on here tomorrow. Check out my Instagram for even more info – @thefight2befit

Let’s work!!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

Gina