This too shall pass…

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Well…I’m back! I know it’s been a little while since I last blogged but I needed some time to regroup. Since Christmas I’ve had a lot of unnecessary stress at my job and it’s really been effecting my health. My stomach is the worst that it’s been in years…I haven’t slept very well…my skin keeps breaking out…I’m just a mess. My body has gotten very rundown and as a result I currently am getting over a bad cold. Between the stress and the horrible northeast winter, my workouts really haven’t been consistent. I completed the #Whole30 diet but due to everything going on, it was a failed experiment. Truthfully my life right now just isn’t conducive to such a strict diet with the stomach issues that I have. Once things settle down, I will have to give it another try.

I’ve spent the last few months doing the best thing that I could possibly think of – I’ve focused on the things that make me happiest. I’ve spent time doing things that I enjoy and seeing people who bring me joy. It’s been great balancing out my life and it’s allowed me to forget about the stress, if even just for a moment.

Unfortunately, my fitness has really taken a backseat. My workouts have been sporadic, at best. Between my stomach acting up and the sheer exhaustion from not sleeping well, I just haven’t had the energy or motivation to workout. Some people say they use stress to push them. Well, right before I got sick with this horrible cold I promised myself I would do just that. Truthfully, I feel like I’ve undone a lot of my hard work…and I want it to stop. Now with my stomach being very blown up, it’s a bit hard to get an accurate weight and size but nonetheless I’m not happy with myself these days. I’m not so sure that working out will necessarily change anything physically until I can get rid of the stress…but it will make me feel better mentally.

I recently discovered this fabulous app from Bodybuilding.com:

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It allows you to select workout programs based on your individual goal. Whether you want to tone up or become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, they have a plan for you. Last year I followed a diet and workout regimen that mimicked that of a figure competitor. Well….this app has several programs geared towards just that! I will be starting one of the plans this week and incorporating it into my 4-weeks to fit challenge, which is coming in about 2 weeks! I also have to get back into doing cardio. Any workouts that I’ve done this winter have centered around lifting. I struggle with running so much due to my breathing troubles that it’s become a chore for me….but with summer rapidly approaching it must be done. While I do prefer lifting (and feeling bad ass), if I want to look good on the beach….cardio has to happen too.

I’ve gone through much worse situations than this in my life and I know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s going to be an uphill battle but I will try my best to keep my head up and use the stress as motivation rather than letting it keep me down. If you are facing a similar situation or if you are struggling in another way, remember this too shall pass. After all, nothing worth having comes easy. Work hard, lift heavy, and NEVER GIVE UP!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

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A Healthy Alternative to a Dinnertime Classic

Tonight I was in a bit of a food rut. I purposely ran my stock low since I was supposed to begin the Whole 30 Diet this week. However, with an upcoming road trip to Philadelphia I decided to postpone the diet by one week. That, combined with the neverending snow (resulting in my inability to get to my favorite supermarket), has my stockpile running crazy low. I got tired of soup and carb-heavy dishes so I walked up to my local supermarket with a mission to find a protein. Since they are a neighborhood store they tend to be overpriced but I figured at the very least I could always just get a rotisserie chicken and use leftovers for lunch and whatnot. Boy was I surprised at what I found. Turkey cutlets…for a good price! Turkey cutlets are RARELY inexpensive so I tend to not buy them as often as I would like but I definitely lucked out tonight. I got a pack, which was about a pound, for only $2.99! I usually grill my cutlets but tonight I wanted them breaded so I came up with a healthier alternative to a fried classic. Instead of drowning the cutlets in oil, I only drizzled enough to barely coat the pan. I did have to drizzle the pan twice, since the cutlets had to be cooked in batches however, it was still a very small amount and significantly less than what you would normally use for cutlets. I also cut down some calories by only using an egg white rather than the whole egg. The result was a lighter, very tasty dinner. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my latest culinary creation….Enjoy! 🙂

Turkey Cutlets

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  • One pack of turkey cutlets
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • ground sage
  • black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • paprika
  • olive oil

-Lightly whisk one egg white in a bowl. On a separate plate, mix together all dry ingredients. Set both aside.

-Drizzle olive oil in a grill pan and set heat to medium high.

-While pan heats, begin dredging the cutlets in egg wash and breadcrumbs. Once coated, place the cutlets in the grill pan. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes on each side.

Serve alongside your favorite veggies or with a salad. I served mine with a side of roasted sweet potatoes and string beans. Super simple, super fast, and best of all…healthy! Bon Appetit everyone 🙂

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Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

#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 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.

I decided to 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. 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

Expressing Gratitude

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! This year has definitely flown by but on this day I want to take the time to express my appreciation for some of the people that have made this one of the best years of my life.

I am thankful to have a core group of some really great friends. I’ve had most of them in my life since high school and they have stuck by me through it all. Many of these friends now have families of their own and I am extremely grateful to be a part of their children’s lives. I am also lucky enough to have a loving family, who has seen me through some very hard times in my life and who supports me through everything, good and bad.

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I’ve been through a lot in my life but I can honestly say that I am thankful for it all. 2014 was one of the best years of my life. I am truly the happiest I have ever been and have found an inner strength within myself that I didn’t know existed. I am grateful everyday for the incredible life that I am living. While I may wish some stuff was different or that things in the past didn’t happen, I realize that I am a stronger person because of it all. I have learned that everything happens for a reason and that everything you go through, grows you.

On this day, be sure to take the time to express your gratitude for all that you have in your life. Cherish the time with your friends and family and enjoy all of the delicious food that today will bring. Try not to waste time agonizing over calories–just eat what you want (within reason.) If you do overeat today, don’t beat yourself up…just make up for it by hitting the gym tomorrow (or the stores like I will for some serious shopping!)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com