Still in the Fight

Losing a baby & getting your heart broken will cripple you in unimaginable ways. I consider myself a pretty strong person but this past year broke me. Every day since has been a struggle. I wake up in tears more often than I’d like to admit. I look back at pictures of the girl I was before I got pregnant – hot body, healthy, and happy. I was so damn happy – it’s like you can feel it through the pictures. I had everything I always dreamed of – then it was all gone in the blink of an eye. Since then, I’ve become a shadow of that blissfully happy, carefree girl.

A few weeks ago I was inspired by some female wrestlers, specifically the two who recently had babies. That inspiration hasn’t really led to much of a consistent routine though. I’ve done several at-home workouts, a few outdoor walks, and a gym workout. I keep telling myself to get my shit together. I keep trying to force myself to workout, to not just become healthier but to provide myself with a much-needed distraction and stress-release. Except sometimes that stresses me out even more. I just don’t have the motivation anymore. That hot body I once worked so hard for…it failed me. As a result, I lost everything that I cared about. I’ve been trying to just go through the motions, piece together my broken heart one jagged edge at a time – but it’s almost like I’m stabbing myself more every step of the way. That sounds super dramatic but that’s how it feels. I feel stuck. I want to get my life back…but sometimes I don’t even know what that means anymore. My priorities have completely shifted & so have my interests…and my life.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from my gyno with the results of my hormonal blood panel. It seems that my weight loss put my PCOS at-bay. My other hormones all seem to be in check and I was told that by the look of both my sonogram and blood work, my egg count was still relatively high. I’ve had three doctors (this one included) all tell me that based on how I conceived a baby on birth control, with two conditions that cause infertility, I should have no trouble once I actually do try. There is (unfortunately) no way to determine if I will be able to hold the baby or not – as I do not have anything currently indicating otherwise. However, this is all bittersweet. That blood work is a snapshot in time…right now. So right now – my periods are regular, body is in check, PCOS seems to have disappeared…if I were able to try, I’d probably get pregnant. No guarantees, of course, but it seems more likely now than ever before. Except I’m not with the baby’s father anymore…nor am I with anyone else. There is no way to “try” for a baby right now and it concerns me that when the time does come…however long that may take…maybe I won’t be able to anymore.

The doctor asked if I was still exercising as much and I said no – not since I got pregnant. She told me to begin that again and do what I was doing before…if it happened once, it could happen again. She also suggested starting either a multi-vitamin or prenatal along with vitamin d. It was a conversation with a shred of hope (and some defeat) that’s put things into perspective.

Last summer >> Now

I don’t have the same motivation or goals that I used to…and that will likely not change. I don’t really give a damn about having some shredded, hot body. That hot body from last summer was working out and eating healthy almost everyday.  That hot body may have failed me when I lost the baby…but that hot body also got pregnant, which is something I always thought would be impossible for me. While I may not give a shit about having that hot body anymore…I can spin the negative and turn it into something productive. Maybe if I can get my shit together and consistently workout again…when the time comes, it can happen again – and maybe now, with the doctor’s help, it will stay put. My current at-home workouts could be much better than they are…but I’m trying. Sometimes it’s just 10 or 15 minutes, and I can barely hold a 20 second plank anymore (hell, my core is total shit since that surgery) – but it’s much better than doing nothing at all. It’s been an uphill battle – I workout for 2-3 days and usually that’s that…but I’m using every last ounce of fight left in me to push forward.

My goals right now are pretty simple. I just want to be able to fit comfortably in my clothes again. I’d like to build my core strength back up. That’s important for everyday living but it will be especially beneficial when (and if) I get pregnant/have a baby. Ultimately though, I just want to be healthy. My body has enough obstacles – it doesn’t need my being overweight and/or unhealthy as another. It’s been 2 days – and so far so good. I plan on continuing with early morning workouts, so as to give myself no extra excuses (IE: being exhausted after a long day of working two jobs). Here’s hoping it sticks this time.

xo

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

Day One…Again

This past year has broken me in ways that are indescribable. I consider myself to be pretty strong but this was more than I knew how to handle. I’ve tried repeatedly to go back into the gym and on some sort of routine but I failed every time. Shoulder pains…endo pains…my fucked up head…it all stopped me. But here we are – a year + week post-baby loss. It’s time to kick my own ass back into gear.

Started from the bottom…now we’re here: May 2017 >> September 2017 >> Now

Last summer, I was in the best shape of my life & shooting workout videos for YouTube while being the happiest I’ve ever been. Then I got pregnant…something I didn’t think was possible. I stopped working out, in an attempt to try to prevent what ultimately happened anyway. Once I lost the baby I lost my motivation. I’ll be honest…I still haven’t found it. I don’t want to be 200+ lbs ever again but I also hate the workouts that my body is physically able to do. My bum shoulder still limits me in frustrating ways. Nonetheless, it’s time. No more excuses, no more bullshit. I may not be able to do my bootcamp/heavy lifting that I like…but I’ll have to experiment until I find new things that I enjoy.

The hardest part will be keeping myself motivated. I barely sleep and my diet could be much better. Today is a good day to start – not because it’s Monday but because it’s a hard day. I got little to no sleep last night – woke up a million times crying and definitely didn’t want to get out of bed….forced myself to get dressed and come to work. It’s that kinda day. Maybe you have these days too – maybe you’re having one today. Well this is my motivation for you…and for me.

I promised myself and I promised my baby that I was gonna get my life back and turn my pain into something positive. So here we go. Today is day one – again. 🙏🏻

-Gina

New Beginnings

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Thank you all for taking this journey with me. I started this blog about 4 1/2 years ago with the goal of offering support and providing hope that regardless of your struggles – it IS possible. To date, I’ve lost and kept off approximately 80 lbs; from squeezing into a size 14/16 to fitting comfortably in a size 4. I suffer from PCOS, IBS, and Endometriosis. I also struggle a lot with body dysmorphia. However, through it all, I was able to get it done and I decided to become a certified nutritionist & personal trainer a few years ago so I could help others in their own journey.

The purpose of this blog was always to share my experience – from the triumphs to the struggles and everything in between. With that, I’ve decided to change the direction of this blog, so as to be true to me. I’ve been MIA on here and pretty distant on social media over the last few months as I’ve contemplated what I wanted to do. You see, last October I suffered a miscarriage. It’s been the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to go through and it’s completely changed me & shifted my priorities. Despite the lack of support and all of the negativity around me, I’ve decided to be more open and share my experiences, so as to help others who may also be having a rough time. Other blogs & support groups on FB have really helped me this year, so I would love to pay it forward in any way that I possibly can to spread the word on an otherwise taboo subject & help other angel moms to see they aren’t alone.

The new blog will launch on my angelversary, October 1. We will still Fight to be Fit, because fitness is just as much (if not more so) mental than it is physical.  Sometimes things happen that completely rock your world – and change life as you knew it. That’s where I’m at now; I hope you will all continue to follow along through my experience with grief & how it’s changed me, as I embark on my journey back to life. I will also share some letters and quotes, as a way to honor my angel baby.  Regardless of how hard it is for me, I promise to keep it real – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Everyone has their own story & journey…but we are all in this together ❤

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

*In loving memory of my angel, Baby R – 10/1/2017*

Going Through the Motions

Here we are, nearly at my birthday and nearly at the end of another shred. Unlike the last three years, I’m definitely not in the same shape that I usually am at this point. This shred has not gone according to plan at all. I’ve followed my diet plan but I’ve barely worked out. I’ve used the excuse of time and being tired and being injured…which ARE all true…but the truth is I’m just not motivated.

As detailed in my last blog, these past 7 months have been the hardest of my entire life. It’s honestly felt like a bad dream that I can’t wake up from. As time has gone on, I’ve felt stronger overall but I still hit rough patches. Some days are just harder than others. Mother’s Day just passed and I didn’t expect to have as hard of a day as I did. It was crippling. Some days I wake up in a good mood, ready to face the day and move forward in a positive way; others are the exact opposite.  I stumbled upon another woman’s blog, in which she described precisely how I feel in regards to exercise. I’ve been in pretty good shape since losing weight, albeit slightly injured. I have worked out as much as I could and have followed a pretty good diet. This past summer, that all changed. I stopped working out once I realized what was going on with my body, in an attempt to try to prevent what ultimately happened anyway. I never started again. I filmed 1 or 2 more workout videos but that was it. I haven’t been consistent at all since everything happened – and the truth is, I don’t even care. My body failed me, despite being in good shape. So part of me feels like there’s no point.  I never thought about it in that way before…but it all makes so much sense.

Now, if I’m being logical I know my being in good shape didn’t have any impact on what transpired…but that’s genuinely how I feel. I feel that my body just totally failed me. The pain that I have endured physically hasn’t helped. I was referred to a specialist who believes that I have endometriosis, and has put me on a treatment plan to try & prolong surgery. Considering how much pain I’m in everyday, that surgery will likely happen sooner than later. It can be downright debilitating at times. Could I be doing more when I DO feel well? Absolutely…but I’m not. That’s where the mental breakdown comes in. I checked out. I’m making no excuse about it – I just totally tapped out. I have stuck to my diet plan and since beginning a new (second) job, have been walking every single day, that weather permits…but that’s where it ends. I’ve done a couple of at-home workouts here & there but nothing consistently. As a result, I don’t look the way I wanted to look. Quite frankly, I look nothing like I’ve looked at the start of the last few summers…and I can’t say I care all that much.

I’d like to guarantee some miraculous comeback story….but that just isn’t realistic. Instead, I will guarantee that I will continue to try my very best to get through every day – one day at a time. Some days will be better than others…and I’m gonna just run with that. On my less painful days, maybe I’ll force myself to do bigger workouts. On the days that I feel crappy mentally or physically, maybe I’ll stick with some cardio and try to walk the sadness out. Those are my new goals and I think they’re much more attainable as we head into summertime. My biggest goal is that I can stop going through the motions of life and that one day my rehearsed smile, will be real and that I will actually love life again.

 

 

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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

END the Silence

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March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. It is during this month where we raise awareness to an illness which affects millions of women worldwide.

1 in 10 women in the US are living with endometriosis and sadly, they are often suffering in silence. It is a disorder that is commonly misdiagnosed as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or simply ‘period pains.’ It can take an average of 10 years between symptom onset & proper diagnosis.

Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, grows outside instead. Endometriosis growths bleed in the same way the lining inside of your uterus does every month. This can cause swelling and pain because the tissue grows and bleeds in an area where it cannot easily get out of your body. The growths may also continue to expand and cause problems, such as: cysts, inflammation, problems in the intestines and bladder, or formation of scar tissue & adhesions which may not only cause pain, it may also make it difficult to become pregnant.

The pain that women with endometriosis suffer, which can often be severe and feel sharp or stabbing, occurs in the pelvis or belly and usually won’t go away with medication. Some women with mild cases have intense pain, while others with advanced cases may have little pain or even no pain at all. Other symptoms include excessive bleeding during and/or between periods, backache, leg pain, painful sex, painful bowel movements, and infertility.

While there is no known cause, there are several factors which place you at greater risk for developing this illness. These include:

  • Never giving birth
  • Starting your period at an early age or beginning menopause early
  • Short menstrual cycles
  • Having high levels of estrogen
  • Family history of endometriosis
  • Any medical condition that prevents the normal passage of menstrual flow out of the body
  • Uterine abnormalities

Unfortunately, there is no cure but there are several treatment options. The doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and take the one of the following steps to determine if, in fact, you do have endometriosis:

  • Pelvic exam
  • Imaging test, such as ultrasound or MRI
  • Hormonal birth control
  • Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbs like cinnamon twig or licorice root, or supplements, including thiamine (vitamin B1), magnesium, or omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Lowering your estrogen level by exercising regularly, taking birth control, or avoiding large amounts of alcohol and caffeine
  • Laparoscopy

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of endometriosis, contact your doctor immediately. The sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner you can be on the path to feeling better.

References:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354656
https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/endometriosis
https://www.endostrong.com/#end