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how things change

It’s always interesting to me when I hear women say they want to get back to their “pre-baby” anything. (Ok, except maybe to nap whenever you want. I want that back, haha.)

Before babies, I like to think I was pretty strong and fit.

At the same time, I wasted a lot of time at the gym, and also

I was pretty shitty to myself. 

I never felt like i was “enough” and was always aiming and working towards the next thing. I told myself that I could be better, faster, stronger, fitter and leaner. These negative voices crushed me to the point where I never really felt proud of myself. When we had kids, it obviously changed a lot of things. During my pregnancy, I really found my sweet spot with health and fitness. I began to change my routine according to how I was feeling, instead of what I thought I *should* do, and carried this mentality with me after the birth. I adjusted my workouts to facilitate my postpartum recovery, while still working towards my goals. 

After babies, I’ve got my strength and fitness back. I’m faster than I was pre-pregnancy, and can lift heavier weights.

MY OTHER RECIPES


I don’t waste time at the gym anymore, and all of my workouts COUNT.

I have quite a bit of loose skin after growing two babies. I can literally hold it in both of my hands, as my stomach really had to stretch for our  almost 11-lb turkey.

But, I feel a thousand times better than I ever did pre-baby. I’m much kinder to myself, and while I’m still working hard to achieve fitness and health goals, the best part is that we can share our lives with two amazing daughters. I never want to go back to the way I was pre-baby, and I feel like over time, you become a better version of yourself. Pre-baby is gone, and post-baby can be so.much.better.

I’m inviting all of my interested friends to go after that post baby bod: a fitter, stronger, healthier, and happier version of yourself. You can be even better than you were pre-baby, and I’ve got a lot of tools to share to do this as safely and effectively as possible. My full plan is here! If get your copy now, you’ll get the advanced version ($49 value) FOR FREE when it launches on the 16th. 

A non-iPhone pic, courtesy of the amazing James Patrick. Loose skin is real; smile is real. Tan is not real. (I want another one.)

xoxo

Gina

[I’m not going to bombard the blog with PBB-related stuff, but wanted to share this today, since it’s the last week to get advanced for free.]

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66 Comments

  1. Lori on January 11, 2017 at 6:11 am

    This is such a refreshing post. We are so bombarded with celebrity “after baby doesn’t she look amazing” pics that it can really bring you down if you let it. My “babies” are 22 and 19. I am in the best shape of my life but will always have that loose belly skin because I’m small and my babies were BIG. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me sometimes but as you stated so well I’ve become a fitter, happier version of me as I’ve aged. I’m still into health and fitness and more importantly I’ve set an example for my sons who now also value health and fitness. They also see women for who they are and what they do rather than what they look like. That’s priceless and worth some saggy skin.

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      agree with all of this SO much <3

  2. Karen on January 11, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Thank you for ALWAYS being real with us. You are an example of what we all should strive to be as mothers, athletes, and just WOMEN. My kids are 13 and 15 and although I am in way better shape than I ever was pre-kids, the loose skin is real!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      thank you so much <3
      and yes, gotta love the souvenir 😉
      xoxo

  3. Annie B on January 11, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Love this post, Gina! I’ve been following your journey for 7+ years (holy crap!) and I feel like I’ve learned so much from your experiences over the years. I totally related when you wrote about over-exercising and have learned a lot from your “less is more” approach in HIIT It!

    Thank you so much for keeping it real and setting an amazing example!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      thank you so much, annie, and thank you for reading for so long

  4. Julia@yogawinehappiness.com on January 11, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I’m so excited for the post baby advance plan! I’m already 11 months post partum somehow yikes! Thanks for being so real and honest on here! My body will never be the same but I’m okay with that! I’m happy to feel strong and healthy!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      <3

  5. Leyna on January 11, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Love this! And Gina, girl you look AMAZING! It is so beautiful what our babies can teach us about ourselves before they’re even out of the womb. Can’t wait to start the PBB plan!!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      i hope you love it! thank you so much <3

  6. Nic G on January 11, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Hello – I have twin girls who will turn 3 this April and I wanted to say that after reading this post I literally said “amen” out loud. I can’t believe how much energy I wasted on making sure I went to the gym every day and obsessing over every single pound prior to the girls. I will never be pre-baby again – in my body, my attitude towards myself, my outlook on what health and wellness actually means, my (um) bladder control… It’s refreshing to hear my thoughts reiterated from a fellow mama I respect from the health and wellness community.

    Thanks!!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      <3 <3 thank you so much, nic

  7. Mollie K on January 11, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I do not have kiddos, but I love your self-love, self-kindness, internal health is just as equal as external health message in this post! xo

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      amen! thank you 🙂

  8. Katie on January 11, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Even though I don’t have kids and am not pregnant, everything about this post I love so much! Thank you for your kindness and positivity!! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      thank you so much for reading, katie <3

  9. Kelly on January 11, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Well you look amazing!! Thanks for being so open and honest with us! I feel the same after having two kids! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      <3 <3

  10. Becky @ The Bex Factor on January 11, 2017 at 7:54 am

    I already commented on you IG post, but I want to say thank you again for sharing this. The world needs more people like you.

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      that means so much to me- thank you

  11. Beth on January 11, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Absolutely loving this, Gina! I’m 9 weeks postpartum and I’m really struggling with mentally comparing my body now with what it was before I was pregnant. (Plus not being able to lose too much weight because I’m breastfeeding doesn’t help.) It’s such a huge transition, but you’re absolutely right–it’s all about how you FEEL, not how you LOOK.

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      don’t compare it! your body did an AMAZING thing, so no matter what happens, you’re an even better version of yourself <3
      congratulations to you on the birth <3

  12. Morgan on January 11, 2017 at 7:56 am

    You.Are.Awesome. (and saggy skin be damned you look GREAT).

    Thank you for being real! And for taking the time to put together PBB. I really enjoyed testing it – it kept me within ‘safe’ guidelines so I didn’t overdo it and end up injured.

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      thank you so much, morgan. i’m so happy and thankful you were one of the awesome testers for the plan!! <3

  13. Meagan @ My Life as Mrs on January 11, 2017 at 8:18 am

    “I told myself that I could be better, faster, stronger, fitter and leaner. These negative voices crushed me to the point where I never really felt proud of myself.” <— So, SO important. I need to write this down and remember this. Life is hard enough so I need to be nicer to myself. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      <3 <3

  14. Michelle on January 11, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Gina, thank you so much for posting this. I often wonder what people’s bodies look like post pregnancy and I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see you being open and honest about it. You have an amazing heart, mind, and body. It’s why I’ve followed your blog for so long. That you for being real and honest.

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      that means the world to me. thank you so much for the kind comment and for being here <3

  15. Crystal on January 11, 2017 at 8:46 am

    What an amazing post Gina! You are truly beautiful on the inside and the outside. Thank you for sharing <3

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      <3 thank you so much for reading!

  16. Jamie on January 11, 2017 at 8:51 am

    You areally amazing. Thank you for always being real with us and sharing that beautiful heart of yours with us every day. You’re inspirational.

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      thank you so much for the sweet words, and thank you for being here.

  17. Anne on January 11, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I have a 7 month old, no problem with my skin, but I want to say that this post is great. I also feel better in my body, even if I do now less sport, I feel in shape, weirdly.

  18. Jennifer Sanders on January 11, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Ah! You look amazing! I am always filled with self-doubt and never feel like I am good enough. What an awesome and novel way to think about it– take time to be PROUD of yourself! This choked me up a bit when I read it (although that could be pregnancy hormones!). I am trying very hard to have more self-love. This is a great reminder. Growing two babies is something to be incredibly proud of! Thank you!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      thank you so much for reading, and congrats on your pregnancy!

  19. Julie on January 11, 2017 at 10:44 am

    You are AWESOME! That is all. 🙂 xo

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      <3 <3 <3

  20. Erika on January 11, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I love this Gina! I have followed you for a really long time – I first found you back in 2010 when I was 200+ pounds and stepped into my first Weight Watchers meeting. Since then I’ve had a baby who is 3.5 now, and I lost 50 pounds, gained 50 pounds back during my pregnancy, and lost 40 of it now :-). Thank you for always being honest about where you are in your own journey. We should all be kind to ourselves!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      thank you so much for reading for so long. i loved hearing your story and everything you’ve done! you are amazing. thank you for being here <3

    • Guest on January 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Ditto, Erika, on your personal comments and on your compliments of Gina !

  21. Lori on January 11, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Thank you for sharing YOU. I’m curious, at what moment did you realize the “I’m not enough” limiting belief? How did you notice it? I’m in the middle of changing up my workouts as I’m being too hard on my body. My personal trainer thinks I’m just not giving it my all but something’s telling me I need softer more self love type exercise vs my hardcore trainings. I’m confused on if I am actually being a “baby” about it or if I’m being smart about it.

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      i think it was when i was pregnant and was like, “i can’t do all of the things i’ve been doing. oh wait, i don’t need to.” it was a huge shift for me.
      i say listen to your heart. if you feel like you’re doing too much, scale back. health and fitness is not about how much you work out, or how much you push yourself. you actually get stronger and see results when you’re resting, and doing too much can hinder progress.

  22. Katie @ Live Half Full on January 11, 2017 at 11:39 am

    The ENOUGH thing is so key. I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough before I had kids, now I do what I can and that’s ok. It’s nice having that perspective shift!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      amen <3

  23. Amber Schumann on January 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks so much for your very real perspectives on health and fitness after having babes. I found my most strength (and workout efficiency) after having my daughter too. Your workouts helped me have a different view of getting back into the fitness zone (pre-baby I used to go to the gym for 1-2hrs, which obviously wasn’t going to happen after having baby); I started squeezing your quick workouts into the limited 30min I had during my lunchbreaks at work and felt amazing.

    I am definitely intrigued by your PBB plan, and am considering it. Particularly for a reason that is a little private, and was curious if I could ask you over email? My daughter is 4.5, but I’m still struggling with something that I thiiiink you may have also dealt with, and built the plan to help it… I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts. <3

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      thank you so much, and i’m so happy that you have felt amazing. please email me any questions you have!!

  24. Cher on January 11, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing these photos!!

    You’re amazing and you look amazing and strong <3

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      thank you so much <3

  25. Holly Boswell on January 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    LOVE.THIS.POST!!! Only fur babies this way (for now), but I just wanted you to know that you are SUCH an inspiration!!! Thank you for being so real with your readers <3

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      thank you so much, and thank you for being here <3

  26. Andrea on January 11, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    You. are. beautiful! Inside and out! Loose skin or not. This is so weird, but your baby bump is one of my all time faves I’ve ever seen. It was so gorgeous and out there and was similar to the way I carried … basketball in shirt style. Lol. I had a big baby girl as well (born @ 36 weeks already over 7 lbs) …so if I had carried to 41 weeks she would have been ginormous! Amazing what our bodies can do!

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      thank you so much <3 i loved that bump so much!
      and yes, it's amazing what our bodies are capable of doing

  27. Suwen on January 12, 2017 at 2:41 am

    I am 23 and will probably not be a mother for many more years but what you are saying really touched me. I have been reading for a few years and can honestly see how much you have grown in terms of your approach to fitness, diet and life generally. As someone in that stage where my relationship with food and exercise is still not great, you’ve been an inspiration. Thank you!

  28. Jess K on January 12, 2017 at 5:12 am

    This post is so great, thank you!! I’m currently 5-months post partum and have been struggling to get back into the workout routine. I used to workout every day before getting pregnant, but it’s been hard trying to fit workouts in with all things baby and going back to work full-time. I know I need to find time to workout for myself – it just makes me feel so much better! Is the original PBB most beneficial when started right after being cleared to work out at the 6-week post partum mark, or would it still be just as beneficial now 5 months out (followed up by the Advanced PBB)? Also, are the workouts able to be done at home or is a gym membership needed? Thanks so much!!!

  29. Katie on January 12, 2017 at 6:43 am

    I love this post! It is so interesting because I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning, and my journey to loving my body has been very similar (even though I don’t have babies!). I even stopped reading healthy living blogs for a couple of years because I found myself comparing my own body and habits to those of the author. I think the way you feel shines through in your writing. Thank you for sharing!

  30. Danielle on January 12, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Thank you for sharing this. As a new mom with a history of body issues, this really touched me. I look in the mirror and I am u happy with what I see. However, I recently started a stroller fitness class and am starting to become more confident in my body!

  31. Bethany on January 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I LOVE this! It’s our bodies beautifully and wonderfully made?!?! You are beautiful!

  32. Sandra on January 12, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    I love this post! I love the real photos – thank you for always being genuine and not making fitness after baby seem so out of reach. This is why after so many years I continue to come back to your blog and recommend it to so many friends. My “baby” is almost 2, and sometimes “getting my body back” seems so unattainable (damn you, Facebook Memories and TimeHop!). But you’re RIGHT – this loose skin is a souvenir of growing my littlest love. And fitness is so much more about how I feel than how taut my belly is. Thank you for the reminder! 🙂

  33. Bree on January 13, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I cried reading this post, so much resonated with me. Before babies I was never kind to myself, then after two babies (with not even two months off of breastfeeding before becoming pregnant with my second) I was ok with body. Something happened though about year ago and my negative thinking came back. This post helped me remember that I am enough and my extra belly skin is a beautiful reminder of the two human beings I was able to bring onto this world! I am going to refocus my goals on becoming stronger and eating to fuel and take care of my body. P.S. I am 2 months into a divorce so this post couldn’t have come at a better time! Thank you, Gina! You are such a amazing woman!

    • Fitnessista on January 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      sending so much love to you <3

  34. adrianna on January 13, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    as a single, non-mom, this post actually resonated with me A LOT. i always feel like i should be doing this, need to push harder, should/shouldnt eat that, etc. and while i am very pleased with where i’m at physically and mentally, there is still always this tiny voice that says its not quite enough, thats not as good as it could be, i don’t look as good as i could, whatever. i can usually push it down, but its really good to read this stuff, and really helps ALL of us. so thank you. and damn girl, you look amazing! but most importantly, your attitude is amazing and you have so much love in your life <3

    • Fitnessista on January 15, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      that means so much to me. thank you so much <3

  35. Cindy on January 15, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    I am in my 60’s. We have 3 children ( all c-sections… breech). I so Love your blog-your positive nature, your readiness for honesty and being ” real”. Back “when”, a post-partum mom was kinda on her own with personal care/love/ and all the stuff a mom goes through after birth. (Actually the Jane Fonda book had just made a huge impact with working out Pre/post baby.)…….,. I totally was on board! I got back to my workouts and daily stuff real quick…. as my new norm was a new chapter, and that is what life is all about…. change! Accepting it and acknowledging it. New mamas today are super lucky to have your insight, love, skills and knowledge to forge forward post baby. You have such a big heart for sharing and caring. I so enjoy reading. Take care and Thanks….. I share with my amazing DIL……

  36. Katie @ Katie Wanders on January 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Thanks for such an honest post! I do not have kids so I cannot relate to the post partum side of things, but I can relate to the pre partum always trying to BE BETTER, always be something! Thanks for the reminder to find the peace at where you are and for being such a strong role model for women (pun intended 😉

  37. Adrienne on January 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    You’re incredibly inspiring and a breath of fresh air. Thank you for your awesome blog and putting yourself out there so often.

    • Fitnessista on January 16, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      thank you so much <3

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