Fighting to be Fit…3 Years later!!

 

I’m about a week late but…Happy 3-year Blogiversary to all of us!! Thank you all for your continued support as we Fight to be Fit!

I had big plans for this little blog last year but life had different ideas. 2016 was a rough year for most of us…and I was no exception. I suffered a major setback with my health, in the form of severe chronic fatigue and the reappearance of my PCOS symptoms. On top of that, my shoulder finally gave out on me & I had no choice but to undergo surgery. It’s been a really long road…but I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

For starters, I’m officially 3-months post op! Although I still have pain, I’m 1000% better than I was before. My range of motion isn’t perfect but it’s definitely improved. I’m finally able to raise my arms above my head without pain, which is something I haven’t been able to do in over two years! Despite my progress, I get in my head a lot. I think about how hard I worked and where I was before this injury happened. My workouts have resumed but they are nothing like they once were. It’s a huge adjustment mentally but I’m trying my very best to focus on the positives. I may not be able to lift heavy or do the exercises I once loved, but I will be able to soon. Deep down I know that if I push myself too far too soon, I will only make matters worse…and set myself back even further.

As far as my health goes, I have good and bad days. My chronic fatigue has gotten much better, which I believe is due in large part to a supplement called Adrenal Restore. That shit is magic. I wrote a whole review about it last year…and everything still holds true today. My PCOS symptoms have been horrible. I’ve developed pretty debilitating migraines, which sent me to the ER earlier in the year. All things considered though, that’s been mostly under control and since that episode have rarely happened.

The surgery mixed with my health issues definitely set me back with my weight loss. I gained back a good 20lbs over the last year….and it definitely wasn’t muscle. I went from weighing over 200lbs to getting myself ripped to something in the middle.

I won’t pretend that I’m happy about the setbacks or that I’m proud of where I’m at. However, despite my physical setbacks I learned that mentally I’m stronger than ever. Sure I have bad days like everyone else…but rather than get discouraged by the bad I’m using it as motivation. I know if I keep working hard and stick to a (mostly) clean diet, I will see great results. Hell, I’m already seeing some drastic improvements!

November 2016 >> December 2016


Being on a weight loss journey really teaches you the art of patience…and about yourself. We are all much stronger than we know and it’s not until we are truly put to the test that we realize our full potential. That being said, I won’t make any elusive promises or grand gestures as we go into our 4th year. My goal is simple: continue to inspire all of you reading and give you all hope that no matter how hard life gets or what obstacles you face, it IS possible. After all, nothing worth having comes easy 🙂

Let’s all continue this Fight to be Fit together throughout 2017…& beyond!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

Gina

 

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Turning a Setback into a Comeback

img_0451Happy holidays everyone!! I am a little over 2 months post-op and I’m feeling great!! Slowly but surely I’m getting back to normalcy. My pain is almost non-existent and I have been using real weights in physical therapy!! I’m amazed by how quickly I’ve been able to bounce back…and how little pain I experience daily.

Now that I have a semi-normal routine again, here’s how it goes: Mondays and Thursdays is physical therapy. Each session lasts about 45 minutes, during which time I start with the arm bike then proceed on to more fun activities 🙂  I usually start with the seated row followed by lat pulldowns. As of this week, I’m up to 50lbs on the row – which is more than ever before! For the pulldowns, I’m typically at 40lbs but on a good day we go a little heavier. After 3 sets of 10 on both machines, I move along to use the TRX bands which I use for two exercises – The T and The Y.


I always hated TRX and with my current situation, it’s that much worse. Still, I do what I’m told so as to get back to doing what I love on my own. After the TRX (and a healthy dose of complaining), I head over to the tables where get stretched and do a few sets of dumbbell exercises. These include side raises, shoulder extension, and external rotation. Then I stand up to do jumping jacks…without jumping but with weights. My weights for all of these exercises range from 7lbs down to 3, depending on my pain tolerance (which my therapist gauges from the faces I make, since I rarely complain about the weight itself). I also do a swimming exercise, which I must say, is probably one of the most miserable things I’ve done yet. However, like everything else I’m sure a month from now I will sing a different tune. I drop to the floor for a few rounds of shoulder push-ups (or cat-cow) followed by plank to push-up. Lastly, is the VERY best part – ICE!


Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been cleared for any cardio that I desire…so I’ve been taking advantage of that by doing it on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Last week, I also got cleared to begin doing bicep curls and tricep pushdowns on my own! Since all of this is happening, I have begun the process of meal prepping so as to keep my diet in check. I haven’t weighed myself but the transformation I’ve seen in just a couple weeks is crazy!

It’s not perfect but it’s some serious progress! I am SO much further along in my recovery than I ever dreamed. So while I’m not where I wanna be….this is a DAMN good start! The biggest struggle for me thus far has been overcoming the mental aspect. I’ve been out of commission, workout wise, for several months. Seeing how my metabolism works, I know that if I don’t workout I will gain weight. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. I worked really hard to get where I am and have been working tirelessly to build a career based on helping others do the same. Seeing myself slide backwards wasn’t pretty but I made it through. As with everything else, whatever struggle or hardship we face often makes us stronger in the end. So rather than dwell on the negatives, I’m taking my setback and using it to form my biggest comeback yet! If you are facing any obstacle, I challenge you to do the same. After all, pain is temporary…but quitting lasts forever.

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

Gina

 

Finding Strength through Struggle

“Never let any disappointment in life define who you are.”

I recently saw this quote on social media and it really stuck with me. Lately, I’ve been going through a really tough time and despite my best efforts, I’ve let the stress from my personal and professional life really get the best of me. It’s really gotten me to a point where I never feel well and my workouts suffer. This time last year, I finished a very strict challenge that I gave myself. The result had me in the best shape of my whole life. This year…is an entirely different ball game.

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Birthday girl last year vs. this year

I love to work out. I love how it makes me feel. However, I’ve been in such a rut lately that my workouts haven’t been consistent and my diet, while mostly healthy, has also been hit or miss. As a result, even my blogging has suffered.

This year, my plan was to exercise just as hard and eat clean but not be AS strict as I was last year. I wanted to see if I could look how I did by living normally. I also wanted to make sure to not lose all of the muscle that I built during the winter. BUT I never gave myself that chance. Quite frankly, even when I did the Whole30 diet, things didn’t go well. I blamed the diet but I really do think that my stomach has been such a mess from the stress, no diet will be able to fix it right now. Sometimes you have to fix your situation before anything else can fall into place. I’m learning more and more that some of my stomach issues are, in fact, stress-related.

My birthday is this weekend and with it also comes 10 years since I graduated college. My life is nothing like I expected it to be 10 years ago…and maybe that’s another part of my rut. I’ve worked so hard to transform my life and make changes to better myself but many things are still lacking. I had a very clear plan for myself….for much of my life…and it just hasn’t happened. I know they say you have to take control of your own destiny…but I’ve found that every time I make a plan, it somehow fails me. I guess the saying that we plan and God laughs must be true…and if so, I’m sure I’ve had him cracking up for years.

Despite years of disappointment, I am going to attempt to reboot myself….again. With a new found (and somewhat unexpected) freedom in my professional life, I would like to explore the possibility of turning my passion for fitness into a full-fledged career. My original career plan of sports broadcasting may not have worked out…but maybe that wasn’t what I was meant to do. I have always loved helping/teaching others and I would love nothing more than to take all of the knowledge that I’ve built up over the last few years and use it to help others in their own journeys. In the coming weeks, I will be exploring every avenue possible to pursue just that. My first course of action will likely be to get my personal trainer certification…but we shall see. With everything happening in my personal life, I’m thinking that having the flexible schedule that comes with being a fitness coach/trainer would be amazing.

Some things happen in life that we can’t control. However, I’ve learned that its better to keep moving and live life rather than dwell on the negatives and let life pass you by. I may not look how I want to look on my birthday…or be where I expected to be when I graduated 10 years ago…but that’s life. I fully intend on enjoying this weekend and, above all, getting the relaxation that I so desperately need. It’s time to make the best of what I have and find strength from my struggles. I know that it will all be worth it in the end. After all, nothing worth having comes easy.

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina
TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

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

5K Training: Day 2

Hey everyone! Sorry I didn’t get the chance to post this yesterday. I had quite a hectic day but thanks to Planet Fitness being open 24-hours, I was still able to get a late-night workout in…and continue my 5K training.

I got to the gym around 10:15p. I was able to run–but got tired quickly. I tried speeding the treadmill up in the hopes of finishing faster…which was dumb. Of course that only slowed me down because I couldn’t keep up. Still I managed to finish the mile and went on to my arm-day workout. I didn’t get the opportunity to hit my favorite location, where I use the assisted pull up machine, so I opted to use the shoulder press machine instead. I also decided not to use the fly machine as the muscle that it targets is where my injury was…and with limited training time, I don’t want to re-injure myself.

Between the crappy weather outside, lack of sleep, and being super sore…today is most definitely an extra coffee kind of day. I’ll hit the gym after work to power through my leg-day workout (yay!) along with another 1-mile run. Later tonight, I get a bonus workout as it’s Biggest Loser night…which means commercial challenges!  I’ll post the details of my full workout after the show. Enjoy your day everyone! 🙂

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina
TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

Last night’s workout:
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Arms:

Lat pull-down  (40lbs) 25 x 4 (front & back)
Seated row (30lbs) 10 x 5
Tricep push-down (50lbs) 25 x 2
Shoulder press 1 x 10 (30lbs) / 4 x 10 (25lbs)
Seated tricep extension 10 x 5 (50lbs)
Bicep curls (2 -10lb dumbbells) 10 x 5 (each arm)