6-Week Summertime Shred

HERE WE GO!!! Every year I create a challenge for myself…and this year is no exception. Join me as I get summertime fine with this 6-week shred!

The original plan for this 6-week shred was to happen a bit closer to summer. However, with an upcoming trip to Florida fast approaching I figure there is no time like the present. Besides, better to get into good habits now rather than wait until its beach time anyway. Everyday I will document my meals, using MyFitnessPal as well as all workouts.

The workout plan that I will be using for this round is taken from Bodybuilding.com and is based upon the 30-Days to a Fitness Model Body plan that Kelsey Byers created. I will be adapting the workouts to last an additional two weeks…and to not further injure this bum shoulder.

The workouts alternate between specific muscle groups each day, varying the weight and reps with each week. It also incorporates a lot of cardio. Now, as I posted on my Instagram account (@FinallyFit23) not so long ago, I will be aiming to run a race before the year ends. In order to keep with that mission as well as this training plan, I will be doing fasted cardio 5 days of the week, barring the two days when I have to be at work for 6 a.m. On those two days, I will incorporate a different type of cardio routine into my daily plan. No matter what, there will be two-a-days happening from here on out.

As far as diet goes, I will be making it a lot more strict but no where near what it was the last time I did this. No fish for breakfast for this girl! I have been practicing flexible dieting a lot and I believe that there is a way to be just as shredded without making yourself gag first thing in the morning. Personally, I like to have certain things at certain times of the day. Call me crazy but chicken or fish first thing in the morning just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it’s because I spent most of my life NOT eating breakfast…but even though our body has no idea what time of day it actually is…I know. And it’s something I can’t bring myself to do. To each is own. I will be having my normal meals, at their normal times, but I will be limiting my dairy considerably as well as my sugar – God help us all.

Jokes aside, I am very excited to be embarking on a new challenge. I invite you all to join me on the quest to become summertime fine! I am offering free meal plans and workouts to anyone who wants to participate. Shoot me an email at the address below for more details. Let’s make the summer of 2016 the sexiest summer yet!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

 

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#TryDry – Dove Dry Spray Product Review

I’ve been a part of Influenster for a while now and they have some pretty great products. Recently, they have sent me things to review on this blog. The latest? This new Dry Spray deodorant from Dove.

I was really excited to receive a Dove product, as I am an avid user of their products. However, this made me hesitant because I’ve never been one to use spray deodorants. Quite frankly, I don’t trust that something that goes on wet will actually keep me dry. Well….this spray proved me wrong.

The spray goes on in a thin layer and is dry within seconds. It also doesn’t leave any marks on your clothing (see picture below.) I decided since I was hitting the gym hard today, I would put this spray to the test…and I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. If I’m being completely honest…it worked even better than my regular stick deodorant.

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I highly recommend this product. Whether you’re putting in hard work at the gym or at the office, this product will work wonders. Go check it out! 🙂

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

thefight2befit@gmail.com

Winter Blues

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The funny thing about being on a journey is that it never really ends. There honestly is no finish line to this…every day you just get stronger and continue to grow from your experiences.

I’ve been put to the test lately, as I’ve been suffering with some PCOS issues as well as a very bad flareup for my IBS. As if that wasn’t enough, I’m also battling with a freezing cold northeast winter. Now, I don’t know about you but I’m very susceptible to getting sick. So, in an attempt to not get myself deathly ill, my workout routine has been completely thrown off. All of this has given me a terrible case of the winter blues and I’ve spent most of this week feeling good and sorry for myself.

I don’t remember the last time that I had a hard workout. Sure, I’ve been keeping up with my strength training…but cardio has become like a foreign word to me. With my non-existent metabolism if I don’t workout, I will get fat. It’s a proven fact that regardless of my diet, without cardio I will gain weight. Being super paranoid about getting sick has led me to scale back my workouts…which means little to no cardio and big issues for my mental state.

Now, I know that cold weather is (sadly) part of life. I can’t spend the rest of winter being so bitter and miserable. I’ve worked way too hard and come to far for that. Besides, why be so miserable about something I can’t even control? That being said, I’ve come up with a preliminary winterized routine to keep myself in-check and keep me from going batty.

Beginning tomorrow, I will be doing hardcore cardio on weekends. This is because I can get to the gym during the day when it is typically (slightly) warmer. Since I work all day during the week, those days will be reserved for strength training. I will utilize DVDs and workout videos on days where it (God forbid) snows. If it happens to be warmer on any given weekday, I will take advantage and do a harder workout.

I’ve also decided to get my diet in check. I said I wanted to begin the IIFYM stuff but I need to get things working right again. My IBS has been horrible lately so I really want to get that under control and the best way I know how is to eat super clean and strict again. Trainer Bob (Harper) from Biggest Loser has been posting about a 30-day diet that he’s currently following. I looked into it and it seems like what I did last spring, just a little more strict. It’s the Whole30 diet and I will be starting that in a couple of weeks (beginning of February.)

With a bad stomach and a ruined routine, I’ve really been tested. This has all really done a number on me mentally. It’s really hard to see the “new you” when you are all swollen and aren’t working out. Hopefully with the new diet and a new workout plan, I can start feeling more like myself again.

It can be really hard to see the light at the end of tunnel when there’s so much darkness in front of you. This journey never ends and things happen in life that can’t be controlled but if there’s anything I’ve learned over the last two years it’s this: the bigger the obstacle, the sweeter the reward once it’s overcome. Always remember: nothing worth having comes easy.

Stay strong and stay in the fight!

-Gina
thefight2befit@gmail.com

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Happy new year…and happy one year anniversary to this little blog of mine! My weight loss journey began two years ago when I weighed 210 pounds, wore a size 12/14, and was completely miserable with mostly every aspect of my life. I worked hard to not only lose over 70 lbs but I completely gained my life back. A year ago today, I began this blog with a mission to share my journey in the hopes of inspiring and motivating others who may have similar struggles. This was my first time having a blog and it was definitely a learning experience. So, with that, comes a bit of a slow start. However, I have some big plans in the works for 2015! 🙂

NYE through the years

New Year’s Eve transformation

I always try to make resolutions and set big goals for the new year. In the past, my only resolution would be to lose weight. The plan would last all of a month and that would be that…and by summertime I would have some serious regrets. Last year, my resolution was not to break my resolution….or the promises to myself. So, I decided to start setting small, attainable goals that would help me throughout the year. The ultimate goals last year were to trim down to a size 2/build muscle and to run my first timed race. I accomplished both and I also accomplished something that I’ve been working towards for years: happiness. For the first time in my life, I feel truly content with everything and everyone in my life. I can’t even explain the freedom you feel when you get to this place…but it’s incredible.

This year I have new goals set for myself. A few months ago I ran a 5k and so this year, I would like to challenge myself to run a 10k. I also plan to continue my muscle building and work towards leaning out more. A personal goal that I have is to stop being so overcritical of myself. I really am my harshest critic….and that tends to make things harder than they need to be. My ultimate goal for this year though will be to get my career on a better path and work towards getting myself certified so that I can coach people professionally! It is my ultimate dream to one day have my own business where I help guide people on the path to healthier lifestyles. I’m pretty far from that so for now I will focus on getting myself into the fitness industry and really educating myself. I have learned so much this past year and I can’t wait to get my hands on more.

As far as this blog goes, there are some things coming down the pipeline. I will be posting any new tips and advice that I have based on my learnings as well as my normal posts (which I promise will be more consistent!) I will also be launching some fitness challenges to get everyone beach body ready within the next few months…so stay tuned!! 🙂

2014 was definitely an amazing year! I got into the best shape of my life and started a relationship with an amazing man…who has become my best friend. I am truly the happiest and healthiest I have ever been….and I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings! Thanks for sticking with me – I promise to make the second year of this blog even better!

Stay strong and stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

Everything You Go Through, Grows You

Good grief, where has the year gone?!? The holidays are finally over….and so is the year. I’ve spent the last month like most…busy with shopping, get-togethers, family, etc. In this time, my routine was completely knocked off track. Sure, I worked out when I could…but my diet was another story. If only clean eating could include cookies….

I must’ve been a good girl this year because Santa treated me really well. My broken magic bullet was replaced….and I got a new laptop! I even got a new arm band to accompany the new phone that I finally got myself. So now that my life has been upgraded and replenished…there are no more excuses for me to make.

Merry Christmas to me :)

Merry Christmas to me!

Anyway, that’s my little update. On to other business.

I got to thinking about all I’ve accomplished over the last two years of this journey…but most especially this year. I got myself down to a size 2…which I’ve decided doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve become super focused on building muscle and the more muscle I build in my legs and booty, the less comfortable jeans become. Who needs jeans when you can rock leggings anyway?They are not only more comfortable but they make your butt look good too 😉

Not only did I make many physical changes, I made a lot of changes to benefit me mentally and by doing so, I’ve become the happiest that I’ve ever been. I’ve spent so many years miserable..and the last decade was particularly hard on me. I’ve gone back and forth with whether or not to share personal stories on this blog–but this is my story and my journey. While it’s fitness driven., a weight loss journey is much more mental than it ever is physical. Until you overcome your inner demons, you won’t truly conquer your physical ones. That being said….here it goes.

The last decade of my life was spent in a pretty bad place. I graduated college with a dream to becoming a NY Yankees broadcaster (we see how well that turned out…) In addition to floundering in the “real world”, I was in an abusive relationship (mostly verbal but there were some physical episodes.) I was also surrounded by a lot of drama and a lot of negative people. I would go to the bar and get myself black-out drunk. I thought I was just having fun but looking back on it, I was probably trying to mask everything going on in my life. For reasons I still don’t understand, I chose to keep myself in that relationship on and off for nine years. We would break up and I would stay contact with him…only to end up back together. We even moved in together….and that’s what ultimately ended things. That was late 2012. A few months later we moved out…and one week after that (in the most unlikely place), I met the man of my dreams. Funny how life works, huh.

True to my own stupidity (and lack of confidence), I remained in contact with him after we broke up. As time went on though, I started realizing there was no need for it. Let’s be honest–we aren’t friends and we sure as hell are never gonna date again. So what was the point? Seeing him or even hearing of him gives me this uneasy, anxious feeling. My whole body tenses up and it’s just a terrible feeling. Besides, I’m with the most amazing guy right now…I have no reason (and no desire) to ever look back. With all of that in mind, the other night I  finally ended everything once and for all. No more random texts, no more contact. That chapter of my life is finally closed for good. I swear to you all….I have NEVER slept as good as I did that night. It was like this humongous weight lifted off of me…and I never felt so free.

I decided to share this story with you all because it was one of the the biggest hurdles that I’ve had to climb in recent years. There was a lot of verbal abuse and manipulation over those years, which really did a number on my brain. I made a decision two years ago, in the midst of that break up, to get my life back. And so my journey began…and I have never looked back. As the saying goes: everything you go through, grows you. I was one of the lucky ones to get out and I took many lessons away from that experience. You don’t truly know who you are until you go through something horrible. I became much stronger and learned a lot about who I really was during that time…and I’ve learned much more since.

As this year comes to a close, I am in the best shape of my life….physically and mentally…and I have the most amazing boyfriend by my side. I have gotten rid of the negative people and influences in my life and I’m a better person as a result. The only thing missing is to make my career dreams a reality. Stay tuned for more on that and on how to stick to your resolutions later this week!

My year of progress

We all have our own personal journey and I thank you all for letting me share mine with you this past year. I hope that by sharing my stories, some of you have been inspired and maybe even a little bit motivated. I want you all to see that no matter what obstacle you face, it IS possible! I’ve had to work EXTREMELY hard for everything that I have…and this coming year may be the hardest yet. I will tell myself what I tell all of you—Nothing worth having comes easy!

I wish you all a very safe and happy new year!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

Back to Basics

Happy Friday! Hope everyone is keeping warm in this ridiculously cold weather that we’ve been having!

I’m finally starting to get back on my feet after being sick for almost two weeks. I had vertigo for most of last week. If you’ve never had it, consider yourself lucky–it’s a very annoying illness. You don’t feel sick in the conventional way–you just get incredibly dizzy for no reason…which also makes you nauseous. Vertigo can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days to even a few weeks. Lucky for me, mine was gone by Sunday. However, to treat the vertigo, I was told to buy motion sickness pills.  I was so sick, I didn’t care what was in the pills or what else they could potentially cause—I just wanted to stop being dizzy. So while the dizziness dissipated, I had new issues come Sunday night. Turns out one of the side effects of these pills is that they mess your stomach up…bad. Having stomach issues already, this was a recipe for disaster…and unfortunately one that I’m still battling as I write this.

Whenever my stomach issues (IBS in particular) flare up, I notice a pattern with myself. The longer the stomach issues drag on, the worse I feel mentally. I worked really hard to lose weight and get myself in good shape but during these lovely times, I can’t really workout. Sure I could lift weights or do leg work—but I can’t do the cardio which will get my mind right. Without that, what’s the point? That go hard or go home mentality really bites me sometimes.

I started this blog in the hopes of helping others who may have similar struggles and show anyone that they can do it too. I know that not every day is going to be perfect on this journey and that things happen. We get sick, we get busy…life just happens. The important thing is how you bounce back. I still have moments where where I slip back into negative thinking. When my stomach is blown up and I feel crappy, I tend to think that I look like a cow. Deep down though, I know that once I am able to work out again that feeling will go away. Thankfully, I have surrounded myself with some great (and patient) people who remind me of this and talk me off a ledge when it’s needed.

IMG_7860My game plan is get back to the gym (or maybe even run outside if the weather warms up a little) this weekend. As far as my diet, I think I’m going back to basics. I’m going to start using MyFitnessPal again to keep me accountable. Since I want to lose some more weight and lean out, I want to do some research on reverse dieting and IIFYM. With the holidays quickly approaching, I need to get back on track with everything. I will share my findings with you all as soon as I can.

Stay tuned for a healthy Thanksgiving recipe, to be posted this weekend 🙂

Until then – stay strong, stay warm, and stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

Race Day Review

I did it! I ran my very first timed race! It was no marathon but it was the start of something pretty great for me.

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After suffering numerous setbacks over the summer, I worked really hard and trained my body back into running shape. Mother Nature had other ideas. It rained most of the day prior to the race…and the day of wasn’t much better. While it wasn’t raining, it was super windy and cold. This only added to my nerves. I pushed forward anyway and made the drive to Six Flags Great Adventure.

Once I got there, the nerves disappeared. The race was a Biggest Loser RunWalk and they are the best races to do. They have a community vibe and are very unintimidating. Past contestants from the show are usually on-hand for each race. Dan and Jackie Evans from season 5 host each RunWalk but other contestants usually make special appearances to run and/or cheer everyone on.

The race went through the theme park and looped around…into part of the Safari! At one point, I looked to my right and saw a bunch of Chimps all in a line watching us all run. It was a pretty awesome backdrop to run my first real race on: roller coasters, the Halloween-inspired red fountain, and then the safari.

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Course map

I ran the WHOLE time…pausing briefly once for the pit-stop of water that they had at the 2-mile mark. As I ran, the cold no longer bothered me and the wind wasn’t in front of me so that wasn’t much of a factor either. The terrain was a bit muddy at times from the rain the night before but I pushed through. As I said the BLRWs are a community—and everyone supports one another and cheers each other on throughout the race.

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My goal was to finish in under 30 minutes. I knew with the weather I wasn’t going to hit a PR but as long as it was under that time I would be happy. As I approached the finish line, Pam Geil (from season 14—aka the season that inspired this journey) called my name and cheered me on. Apparently she remembered meeting me at the off-road challenge we did last year!

DAMN GIRL! Hanging out with one of my season 14 inspirations, Pam :)

DAMN GIRL! Hanging out with one of my Season 14 inspirations, Pam!

I took notice of the clock as I crossed the finish line – it said 30:24. I got instantly upset with myself but let it go, knowing that I had completed the race. What I didn’t realize was there was a delay –I didn’t start the race with the first group (when the clock actually started.) I started about a minute and half after the clock did, meaning my time was actually 28:47….which put me in first place in my age group! I never came in first at anything…ever…

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Crossing the finish line!

It’s been a few days now but I’m still in shock when I think about it.  This race was an amazing experience and through training and finishing, I learned an important lesson. Seems every time I doubt myself or have to dig deeper for motivation, greatness happens…which is proof that when you lose the excuses, you find results.

It’s hard to describe how amazing it feels to accomplish the goals you set. I’ve pushed through a lot of adversity during this journey but I have managed to succeed in ways I never thought possible. To-date I have lost over 70lbs, went from a size 14 to a size 2, gained confidence that I never had, and gotten my body in the best shape that its ever been. A year ago I could barely run a mile without stopping and now I’ve completed a timed 5K, finishing only four minutes behind the girl who was first overall.

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BLRW 2013 vs. BLRW 2014

This whole experience was truly incredible. There’s something to be said about facing your fears head-on and using it as motivation to achieving your goal.  I don’t know that I will ever run a marathon but I will definitely strive to training my body for longer distances. One day I would love to run the Disney Half—I figure if I’m running that far I may as well do it with a tiara or character ears on my head 🙂

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Posing with my first place ribbon!

I want to thank the people at The Biggest Loser RunWalk . I was generously granted complimentary access to run and to the VIP area, which had plenty of food and drinks (and some much needed heaters!)

The pictures that I’ve included were taken by my amazing, supportive boyfriend who braved the cold just to cheer me on. Professional photographers were on-hand and took pictures throughout the course–those should be posted on the website soon and (since they are free) I will most definitely be sharing them once they are available! 🙂

This was something that I will never forget and I can’t wait to sign up for my next (hopefully longer) race! Remember if you believe it, you WILL achieve it. I suffered several setbacks and continue to face various challenges but crossing that finish line was proof that hard work does pay off. No matter how much you may struggle, always remember: nothing worth having comes easy.

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com