A different tree

Today was spent running errands and taking down Christmas.


I’m usually so bummed to take down our decorations because usually I have no idea where or when I’ll see them again, so it’s pretty amazing that we’ll still be here next year. It wasn’t quite as sad 😉

So it went from this:


back to this:

living room

See ya next year, tree.

We took Bella on a little walk around La Encantada

me and bell6

(I love that the mall is pet-friendly!)

and just enjoyed each other’s company since the Pilot goes back to work tomorrow. I kind of got used to having him around during the day, but am glad he actually got to take a nice break this holiday season before heading back to the grind.

Some eats:

Waffles with protein fluff and jelly


and lovely massaged kale salad with homemade miso dressing (I’ll post the recipe after I tweak it), 1/2 avocado, Tamari, garlic, cayenne, lemon juice

salad (2)

+ quite a few of TJs GF gingersnaps while I waited for the avocado to… mash.

One of the things that I missed today that I’m usually doing around this time was working at a gym. I’m going to work to get in some walking later tonight, but I think it’s so invigorating and inspiring to hit the gym when it’s jam-packed the Monday after New Years.

Here’s the thing, though:

there’s no reason to go over the top with workouts right now.

If you have a huge fitness goal that you want to accomplish, there’s certainly no time like the present to get started, but the worst mistake is when you put too much on your plate, burn out and quit.

Here are some of my tips for accomplishing your workout goals this New Year:

-Make a realistic training plan including a balance of strength, cardio, flexibility and rest days. I’ve seen workout plans that don’t include a single rest day. It makes my heart cry.

-Better yet, maintain your current fitness level and postpone starting your new plan until later this month. Winter Shape Up always starts a little later for this very reason. It gives you just enough time to see potentially significant results before spring, but without the ambiguous date of the New Year and extra pressure hanging over you. I find it works really well to use this time to maintain what you’ve been doing, clean up things a little without going overboard, and hit it hard at the middle/end of the month.

-Focus on the things you love. Hate strength training? Maybe a weights-based class is the way to go instead of forcing yourself to pump iron alone. Love dance cardio but loathe the treadmill? Do what makes you happy… movement is burning calories and if you’re having fun, you’re way more likely to stick with it.

-Find a workout buddy, if that’s something you enjoy. Some people prefer to workout alone, while others gain motivation from fitness-minded friends.

-Emphasize clean eating. Healthy eating accounts for visible results even more than a well-rounded fitness routine. I prefer to workout for my health and sanity, and when I’d like to see extra physical results, I emphasize cooking at home and eating food the way nature created it. Of course, there’s always room for treats in there, too 🙂

Just remember that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing- everything adds up! Plus my favorite workout mantra: change creates change. Keep changing things up to keep boredom and plateaus from sinking in.

What’s your big fitness goal for 2012? I’d like to get my cardio endurance back up and start teaching spin classes again. Spin and Zumba are hands down my favorite classes to teach.

Have a great night and I’ll see ya in the morning!



Something to read:

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Best of 2011

Have a healthy heart for life

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  1. Thanks for these tips, Gina! It’s so important to focus on realistic goals. And you’re right–clean eating is just as important as working out.

  2. I agree with the realistic goals. So many people start off expecting to see results in a week, don’t, and then quit. Thanks for this post!

  3. I like the extra boost that comes with the January Joiners crowd. Motivation always waxes and wanes so come January seeing everyone else all motivated encourages me to work towards my goals!

  4. omg you are the cutest pregnant lady EVER!!!!!!! seriously!! i love following you!! i can’t believe how active you have remained!! you are truly amazing and an inspiration!!

  5. Thanks for this post 🙂 Sometimes I forget not to go over the top, and then I find that I’m burnt out and don’t want to continue.

    I tried to avoid that this time by joining a boot camp style workout class (because while I can always convince myself to do some work on the elliptical, anything involving strength training is nearly impossible to accomplish on my own). I started going to classes 2 weeks ago, so I pre-dated the New Year’s Resolution folks who just attended their first class tonight. It was a great way to ease into the workouts so that I don’t slack off now that the class has gotten bigger.

    I had never joined any sort of fitness class before this one, and I’m glad I did! It’s always easy to convince myself to put on my sneakers and get in the car. The hard part is convincing myself to do the exercises that are very challenging (particularly burpees), so I’m glad to have an instructor and peer pressure!

  6. I cannot wait for Winter Shape Up!! It’ll be my first fitnessista shape up and I’m in need of a new set workout schedule. Between that and seriously considering doing a yoga teacher training, this is the first new years that I’m excited (and realistic) about new years fitness goals. Thank you, Gina!! 🙂

  7. Lovely tips! I agree with not going overboard at first….it definitely makes goals INFINITELY harder to stick with!

  8. Big fitness goals for 2012? I don’t have any. Just keep doing what I’m doing and what I know works for me. I’ve dabbled in everything from lifting to pilates to marathons, but a bit of running and yoga at home, that’s what keeps me sane and balanced. It’s free, I can do it on my own timetable, and can do it by myself at home. Perfect for me.

    You look awesome!

    And so does the jelly on the waffle and the kale salad.

  9. Haha, I love SELF magazine. Whenever i see your inspiration boards i always think, “I bet she reads SELF, i recognize those fonts and pictures!” Lol 🙂

    I’ll keep happy thoughts of an early baby girl! We’re excited to meet her too! 🙂 <3

  10. Beautiful post Gina! Excited for WSU 🙂

  11. My big fitness goal is to finish a half-marathon in 2 hours. My current PR is 2:29 so I know I have my work cut out for me, but I think I can do it if I just focus and stay smart.
    Another goal is to have a baby. I had a miscarriage in October, so we are trying again. Of course, if I do get pregnant, that fitness goal will be set aside for another time 🙂

    • So sorry to here about your miscarriage, sending love and prayers your way. Hope this year brings much happiness 🙂

  12. La Encantada was one of my favorite places in Tucson when I was at the U! LOVE it! Especially the pet-friendly part 😉

    My fitness goals are to lose the last few pounds of baby weight and get my CPT 🙂

  13. Awesome advice G! I love coming here and getting all pumped up. I really want to tone up this year. I have strength training in my routine 2-3x/week, and I am going to make a concious effort to actually UP my weights! I will keep all my fun cardio in there too, of course!

  14. I will get my 5 hour marathon. I will be more involved at my CrossFit gym and will get stronger everyday.

    I also want to get my splits back 🙂 Running and muscle has erased my dancer flexibility.

  15. for 2012 i really really wanna run at half…first.ever! and also master headstand and crow pose! speaking of yoga, since i moved to ny, i joined a gym where they offer yoga as well…i used to work in a yoga studio in calif, such a different vibe to practice yoga at a yoga studio vs yoga gym… what to do! i love the spinning, kickboxing, sculpting, bootcamp and zumba classes at the gym! but the yoga…ehh. the room is cold and since it’s cold here now, it’s the most uncomfortable feeling to be yoga-ing in a cold room.

  16. Thank you for helping me to re-frame my perspective about the January rush at the gym. Normally, I feel somewhat put out at the huge crowd and lack of available machines, and negatively think, “Well, at least it will be back to normal in a month.” I love your way of looking at it as inspiring and buzzing with energy! I am defintely going to try to look at it in this more positive way and hope that it stays that busy with people trying to get healthy!

  17. Spin is such a tough one. I prefer biking outside and would love to work out outside more this year

  18. Hey Gina! I am thinking about getting a dog and think Bella is so cute and seems like a great companion. What type of breed is she?

  19. Well, my fitness goal for this year is to stop being sedentary. It’s been a year, and i definitely feel the results from it. Time to move! =)

  20. My fitness goal is to be able to keep up with the class when we head up that mountain again in Feb. Walking/Hiking with people who are 6 feet and above and I am only 5 feet 5 inches is rough. I take three steps to their one. I agree Gina. I make my goals as I go along and not just because it is a New Year. Progress is all I want. Even if it is baby steps. And sometimes it is teeny tiny steps!

  21. Four things:

    1. I was soo sad when I got home and all the decorations were gone 🙁
    2. You are sooo friggin cute with your baby bump!
    3. That salad looks sooo tasty! Massaged kale salads are def the best way to eat kale!
    4. Great advice on the fitness goals!

    My fitness goal is to continue having fun with workouts! I want to start swimming more (I want to do some triathlons this summer), but I am quite happy with my fitness regime already 🙂

  22. My big fitness goal would be to finally feel as though I’m living up to my potential.

  23. My big goal this year is to get to 18% body fat from 21%, I work pretty hard at it but continue to fail myself in the food department. I have GOT to get on it! I’m gonna make myself an inspiration board!

  24. Very good tips!
    By the way, I did your short cardio workout video a few days ago and my legs are still KILLING me! Nice work 🙂

  25. My big fitness goals this year are to find and stick to a solid strength training plan (I actually want to challenge myself for once!) and to PR at my half marathon in the spring. I think both are do-able!

  26. I took down all of my Christmas decor on New Year’s Day. My house looks so bare and sad without all the glitter and lights!
    By the way, you are by far the cutest prego woman ever! Such an inspiration, your blog really makes me look forward to babies (even more then I already do!).

  27. We haven’t taken down our Christmas tree and decorations yet… I want to keep the holiday magic going for a just a bit longer! 😛

    My goal for this year is to run my first real race!

  28. I love your list of advice! One thing I have to keep telling myself to make sure I don’t overdo it is, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Even if the “race” I’m really referring to is just getting to the end of a day’s workout when I’m not feeling particularly motivated. If I go too fast or push myself too hard, I just end up feeling too sore the next day to do anything at all. It’s definitely not a win/win situation.

    As far as my fitness goal for 2012 goes, I actually have a couple. I just started running this past summer, which is a huge feat for me, because I’ve always been plagued with exercise-induced asthma, which I’ve come to realize is almost more of a mental issue than physical — go figure! Fortunately, through trusting and reading my body, as well as using my [somewhat limited] knowledge of pranayama and yoga, I can now run 3 miles without stopping! It took me a while to figure out a reasonable goal for this year, because I’ve just been so overwhelmed and excited about my own progress that I feel like I can do anything! 🙂 I think I’ve settled for a few fairly practical goals, though: I want to be able to run my first half marathon, I want to be able to fit into a size 8 dress for my college graduation (almost there!), and I want to take a Zumba class at least once — I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I’ve always been horrendously afraid of any workout/dance classes my whole life, because I’ve always been the chubby girl that gets picked on, but I’m going to face my fears this year!

    Thanks for being such an awesome inspiration, Gina! I love that reading your blog has become part of my morning routine every day. You are incredible. 🙂

  29. I am so jealous of those awesome outdoor malls you guys have! Everything is sunshiney and pet-friendly!
    Around here (New England) the only thing that is pet-friendly is the vet!

  30. My 2012 fitness goal is to lose 33lbs by my 33rd birthday, which is August 1st. It is doable, but I’ve really gotta commit to it. I hope my motivation stays strong. I’m really looking forward to the shape up to help kick me in gear!

  31. this year instead of focussing completly on weight loss. i just want to be healthy – ive started my own blog to help encourage me like yours and so many others do, hopefully i’ll be able to help others like you aswell with any tips i find or things i find out. i find you so inspirational, thanks for all your help. good luck to everyone in 2012 🙂

  32. I’m glad someone likes the craziness of post-New Years gym madness. It drives me crazy having to wait forever in line to get on a machine. Well, I’m glad people are working on getting more fit, so that’s a plus.

  33. Great post, love your tips! My big NYR is running a half marathon!!!!

  34. These are really great tips. Feeling burned out is the worst ever and in the end makes exercise not enjoyable for me. I used to do this to myself all the time and say “I’m going to get perfect abs by March so I’ll workout 2 hours everyday”. I just ended up eating more and feeling achy/tired all the time. Now I try to keep my workouts down to 20-45 minutes and only 4-6 days a week depending on my schedule.
    I agree that eating clean is the most important thing to do. It makes me feel good so that I have lots of energy for my workouts 🙂

  35. Haha, massaged kale always makes me giggle 😛

    We took down all of our Christmas decorations and tossed our tree yesterday too- only 11 more months and it’ll all be back!

  36. You look gorgeous!

  37. I have a few big fitness goals for 2012. One is to lose 85 lbs and the other is to run/walk a 10k in Jamaica. Kev and I walked the half marathon in 2010 but it was a bit much so we’ll do the 10k this time. Oh and my saying for 2012 is fitness every day so even if I don’t have a workout planned, I have to do something active. This week since I have been sick, I have been doing abs on the exercise ball.

    So excited for you and family. My stepdaughter will be having her 1st baby very soon too. I’ll be heading to Oklahoma in 2 weeks to be there for the birth unless baby Bella decides to come early yikes!

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