Bye, Sugar Monster

Hi friends! How’s the day going? I hope that my newsletter friends enjoyed the new workout calendar. I’ll keep ‘em coming until Summer Shape Up is here!

So March is an exciting month. The PBB site launches next week with a full 12-week workout plan + all of the things I learned about postpartum fitness. I set this plan up very strategically, and included info from a ton of notes when I made during my first postpartum fitness experience after Liv was born. I have been following the plan -modifying as needed to suit my medical situation and to make room for the classes I teach- and it helped to prepare me for my second postpartum fitness journey. While the best benefits have been that I feel more energized and structured when I follow the workouts, it’s also nice that the “baby weight” dropped fairly quickly. I’m really happy with the exercise and program design, and hope you love it! 

walking with stroller

The post baby bod plan has been a great routine to get back into shape, but I’m always looking for inspiration and new ideas, so I’ve started working with a trainer of my own. The program she recommended for me kicked off yesterday! She’s mainly helping me clean up my eats. I’ve turned into a bit of a sugar monster, and I also wanted to be held accountable for drinking enough water and getting enough protein and veggies throughout the day. As a trainer, it can be really hard to listen to your own advice, and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of your own training styles and exercises. I’m so thrilled to be working with her, and I’m excited for this next step.

Meal prep

Steps to Lower My Sugar Intake

-Eating a lot more carbs than I’m used to, and also more frequently. I’m back to 5 meals a day (which I love) but had gotten out of the habit with everything going on

Lots and lots of protein and carbs with more limited fats. I love that she included a healthy amount of fats, whether I’m having avocado, almonds, walnuts, nut butter, salmon, coconut oil, egg yolks, or olive oil. 

Whole, clean, foods. This is what I prefer because my skin glows and I have a ton of energy when I eat well. It’s given me extra encouragement to plan and prep for the week. I’m enjoying lots of fresh produce, protein (chicken, fish, turkey, eggs), healthy fats, and grains. 

No sugar, except for one “refeed” meal during the week. Later on, I’ll get more refeeds, but this initial portion is like a reset. The first day I wanted sugar ALL DAY. After the first day, I felt great. I actually woke up happily when Liv was awake instead of groggily shuffling to the coffee maker.

5 days of strength training! I haven’t done this in years, and usually prefer to do circuit-style workouts because they’re quick and dirty. I’m also focusing much less on cardio. She didn’t schedule any cardio into my plan since I’ve been teaching Zumba, and the superset workouts elevate my heart rate. Teaching barre corresponds with one of my leg days. I did my first leg workout yesterday, and it destroyed me in the best way possible. Walking lunges in a superset with single leg TRX pistol squats? Dude.

Kicking my sugar cravings to the curb!

I’m going to hit the gym hard this month because my repair surgery is scheduled for March 30. (My doc is a busy lady and that’s the earliest they could get me in. She’s booked through the end of spring, but thankfully, they squeezed me into her schedule. I’m also praying she has a cancellation sooner, but if not, it’s awesome to finally have a date.)

I got a question about why I’ve been vague about the surgery, and responded to it in the comments section that day, but wanted to talk a bit about it. I have just been calling it a repair surgery without going in to too much details, other than saying it wasn’t prolapse-related (thankfully the prolapse is NBD now). In the future, I’ll simply be referring to it as “my surgery” or the “repair surgery”, but for those of you who are curious, here’s the one-time more detailed discussion. Sooooo, please skip the rest of this post if it’s not your cup of tea.

I have to have repair surgery from the birth. I’ve received second and third opinions, and the general consensus is that my tear from a giant baby was worse than it was made out to be, and was not repaired properly. A couple of other physical issues resulted which have to be fixed, but I’m putting my trust into my doctor to do an awesome job. I should be back to normal after the procedure.  

This is why certain things hurt a lot (like spin), but other things haven’t been as bad (like teaching barre, practicing yoga, and strength training). I’ve taught some Zumba classes, which don’t feel amazing, but they don’t feel terrible. While I’m not in pain all day, I’m in a lot of general discomfort. As you can imagine, there are some psychological effects, too. There’s nothing like working hard to bring a baby into the world (whom you love like crazy), and then feeling “broken” afterwards. I really hope that this is the end of all of this. My doctor (an OB/Gyn specialist) does these types of repairs all the time, and she made it seem like it would be easy peasy. While I will have a recovery period, it won’t be like giving birth again. 

On a happier note, I’m focusing on all of the things to look forward to this upcoming spring. We’re planning a Tucson trip, we have one day left on our 3-day Disneyland park hopper, and beach weather is HERE. I like to head down to OB to write, and it’s become the usual spring tourist scene. It’s awesome. Spring is a great turning point, and time of change, so I’m hoping it’s the official change of some of the downer stuff we’ve been going through the past few months.

Thanks for sticking with me and hopefully this is the last time I have to write about my lady parts on the internet haha.

Who’s going to hit it hard at the gym with me this month?!



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  1. Maureen on February 29, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    How does dairy fit into your “new” diet?

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      It’s a swap for fat

  2. Mollie K on February 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    So exciting to be on a new training/fitness plan! Is your trainer in person or online? Will you be doing sessions in person?

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      it’s all online/text. she just sends me my workouts and eats and i go for it!

  3. Lori on February 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I have been feeling the same with sugar lately! I hate that it is everywhere. I am also trying to kick it to the curb and after the first day or so it does get a lot easier.
    I’m glad you got a date for your surgery, I’m you are pretty relieved, and I hope all goes well with it!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      thank you, lori!
      i’m right there with ya on the sugar! i already don’t miss the sugar crash though 🙂

  4. Marissa on February 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Oh girl! I feel so bad for you. I had a baby girl about a month before you & had a second degree tear. I was in pain for quite some time so I cannot imagine what you are going through. I’m sure your surgery will go great & you’ll be all set. Will be praying for you!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      thank you. i appreciate it so much!

  5. Maggie {{ Maggie Gets Real }} on February 29, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Whoohoo! Excited to hear how things go with all the strength training – that is my JAM. Well, that and carbs, but what else is new haha. And yeah, I’ll be with you in spirit going hard in the gym…especially this week! The bf is coming into town this weekend (he’s stationed in NV) and I’m in that last minute “I need to get rid of about 3 months worth of Christmas cookies stored in my ass and hips” semi-panic 😉

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      yessss! *fist bump* let’s do it 🙂

  6. Julia on February 29, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I had a friend who had a repair after the birth – it was a severe tear that she had. I can’t imagine the discomfort and wish you the best. Thanks for sharing a little about it, I’m a long time reader and thus maybe… a bit nosy about your life. I’m glad you’re positive going forward. And I’m looking forward to PBB!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      thank you so much, friend. how did she so after the repair??? i’m excited to get it over with, but nervous about it

      • Elisabeth on March 1, 2016 at 5:35 am

        I had 3rd degree internal tearing then was infected by staphylococcus infection (in the 50+ stitches) after an average sized baby (baby girl no 1) I had six months of telling my GP that something was wrong before being referred to a gynae (I’m from Australia – the procedure in Australia is referral only to a specialist) he told me I’d need a procedure called Fenton’s Vaginaplasty where they removed the scar tissue. There was going to be no baby no 2 if it wasn’t repaired! Day surgery – was out in a couple of hours & I was as right as rain within 3 weeks. I wasn’t able to have any more vaginal births as the scar tissue made it too weak but I went on to have 3 more girls – another one within 18 months & then we moved to Singapore & had twin girls a few years later all by c-section.

      • Julia on March 1, 2016 at 6:02 am

        Gina, I emailed you in response. It’s not bad news, just too long for comment sections!

  7. Mary on February 29, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I’m hoping to get my workouts in order this month too. I’ve got a yoga conference in April and I don’t want to be dying ha ha!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      what conference are you doing?!

      • Mary on March 1, 2016 at 3:43 am

        Minneapolis! I’m so excited!

  8. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on February 29, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Thinking happy surgery thoughts for you!!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      thank you, friend!

  9. Brittany on February 29, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Hey, I was just wondering how you picked/got in touch with a good trainer in the SD area? I’ve been interested in dieting/nutrition help for some time but I have not found anyone that can provide just that service (I do OTF 4-6 times per week with other workouts thrown in). Any insight would be appreciated! I know how I SHOULD eat, but putting that into practice without accountability is tough!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      she’s actually based in tampa, but a good friend of mine has worked with her for years
      i will put my feelers out and see if an RD around here may be able to help you! also anne from does online clients too

  10. Tara on February 29, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I’m excited for the PBB site to launch! I haven’t even had a baby but it is always inspiring to hear others’ health journeys.

    What are your goals for working with a trainer? I’m also curious about the higher protein/carb, lower fats. I am trying to figure out what works best for my body and have been struggling for quite some time to lose 10 pounds I gained during a stressful period in my life. Weight loss is no joke!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      wahoo!! so happy you’re excited too 🙂
      i really want to take my strength to the next level and build some muscle! you’re so right about it being tricky, because you have to find what works best for your body. i learned for me that a high fat diet doesn’t work until i’m eating low carb at the same time. since i’m active, higher carb and protein with lower fats works better for me. i would play around with it a little see what makes you feel energized and satisfied while still getting the results you’re looking for

  11. Christine Daffan on February 29, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    What about wine? Is that once a week for now? I can give up most things…but wine is the most difficult for me (I only like a glass or two but still…)

    What proteins would your trainer recommend for a vegetarian?

    Good luck!!!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      i actually texted her about that today! i usually have a glass every day 😉 she said to take it easy on the wine and if i can, save it for the weekend. i think i’ll probably chill on it a bit unless i really want some
      do you do eggs? she recommended egg white protein, eggs, greek yogurt, quinoa, nuts and seeds

      • Christine Daffan on March 1, 2016 at 6:39 pm

        Yes! I eat all of those things!! It’s hard trying to eat super clean as a vegetarian, the proteins are limited and I feel like I get bored and turn to carbs. You can only eat so many eggs!!! 😉 about to have baby number two any day now and planning on cleaning up my diet immediately!!

  12. Katie F on February 29, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I am pregnant now and am looking forward to PBB!! 🙂

    But hey – don’t the park hopper tickets expire 13 days after first use?

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      nope, not the 3 day passes we got!

      • Katie F on February 29, 2016 at 4:07 pm

        Oh good! I REALLY didn’t want you to get there and find out 😉

        • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 4:08 pm

          hahah thank you! i could totally see that happening 🙂

  13. Katie on February 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I can’t wait to order your PBB plan! I’m 3 months post partum today and need to start something asap! I finally feel like I could manage excercising again but want to go about it the right way. Curious if on your new site or in the plan you talk about breastfeeding and meeting caloric needs while still trying to shed the baby weight? I’ve been trying to clean up my eats recently but I feel you on the sweets! I crave chocolate!!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      yayyy so happy you’re excited about it!
      on the site, an RD friend has already written a handful of posts on breastfeeding and exercising. after you read them if you still have questions, let us know!

  14. Brittany on February 29, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I’m sorry that you felt like you had to write about your lady business. You open a lot of your business to the world and you could have very well kept this private and it would be understandable. But the fact that you explained it in detail makes you even cooler! Love you Gina! You are awesome! hope the surgery goes well!

  15. B on February 29, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Good for you for getting surgery and doing what you need to feel better. My sister had a similar issue but never fixed it, I wish she would. Also yay for your trainer! I hope soon you’re feeling better all around and more back to yourself.

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      thank you! i really hope it helps <3
      thank you so much for the sweet comment.

  16. Alexandra on February 29, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    So happy that you finally have a date set for your surgery and can put it all behind you! Thanks for being so open and sharing all of your experiences with postpartum recovery – I know that I can personally relate to a lot of it and it always helps knowing that you’re not alone! Sending you prayers and best wishes! On another note, I also started a little “sugar detox” today and have been craving sugar alllll day! Good luck!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      thank you so much. i’m just excited to get it over with and have it be done <3
      hang in there with the sugar detox! the first couple of days are rough

  17. Mallory on February 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Is your new diet carb cycling? Ketogenic? I’m 6 mo post baby and am looking for just the right thing to help me get back on track!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      for now, it’s just super clean eats. i’m not sure exactly what we’re going to do as i move on, but my GUESS (aka what i would do) is higher carb with high protein and moderate fats to build muscle. then, decrease the amount of carbs and increase the fats slightly to “shred”
      i think that’s what’s happening anyway 😉

      • Mallory on March 1, 2016 at 5:13 am

        Awesome, thanks. Good luck with the repair!

  18. Amy Ramos on February 29, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Lots of dust/good vibes for a successful surgery.
    I do not have any kids so I can not imagine what you are going through but I know it will be fine.
    Your PBB sounds awesome. Wish I could be a part of it but since I am not working on a post partum bod, it would seem fit to be included.

    I am going to kick ASS in March with my workouts. I am going to give my best with my eats by going by the 75/25 rule.

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      thank you- i appreciate it so much <3
      and YES for kicking ass in march workouts! let's do it!

  19. Andrea on February 29, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I really hope your surgery resolves your issues! I empathize with you as sometimes I feel broken too. I had a third degree tear with my VBAC and only now feel pain free with a little discomfort at times (10 wks post partum). I’m impressed you can work out at all. Light walking is about all I can handle right now or things “down there” get aggravated.

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      thank you, friend. i hope so <3 hope you're feeling better soon, too!

  20. mary on February 29, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Is your trainer also a dietician or nutritionist? I thought there were state laws against personal trainers (only) giving out dietary advice?

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      she’s a nutritionist and personal trainer, and has been in the industry for 20 years. i totally trust her haha. as a personal trainer only, it’s outside the scope of practice to give specific meal recommendations. instead, it’s acceptable to give ideas of healthy foods to eat (but not specific amounts)

  21. Cara on February 29, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    So excited for PBB… Even tho I’m currently still cooking my babe, I’m sooooo looking forward to feeling inspired to get into a routine post baby. I’ve been so thankful to keep up my workouts so far (29 weeks) but I’m looking forward to wearing normal pants someday again Thanks so much for the March workouts… Can’t wait to crush them!! Ps… I’ll be thinking happy thoughts for ur surgery!

    • Fitnessista on February 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      wahoo! so glad you’re excited about it too 🙂
      thank you for the happy thoughts <3

  22. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on March 1, 2016 at 5:06 am

    It’s so hard to slay the sugar dragon! I’m on day 21 of a whole30 and I’m still dreaming of chocolate even though the only sugar I’ve had in 3 weeks has come from fruit. I’m definitely feeling the difference in my energy levels though!

    Glad you’re taking the necessary steps to take of yourself <3

  23. Katie @ Adulting Daily on March 1, 2016 at 6:16 am

    I love the beginnings of months because they help me mentally reset as well–I need to clean up my diet and March 1 is a great time to start! Are you planning on cutting out fruit too? Also, good luck on the surgery!

  24. Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That! on March 1, 2016 at 6:46 am

    I’m hittin’ it hard starting today! I haven’t run in forevs, but since I signed up for a race in 8 weeks, I better start prepping!

  25. on March 1, 2016 at 6:57 am

    I definitely need to clean up my diet! I’m 5 weeks postpartum and had a 3rd degree tear, mastitis, and thrush so my nutrition fell by the wayside. I’m finally feeling semi normal and am ready to get back on the healthy train!

  26. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on March 1, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Oh Gina, it’s so amazing that you open up about very personal things here. That’s what makes you so relatable and lovable! P.S. I trashed sugar in January and have lost 5 pounds already.

  27. Rachel G. on March 1, 2016 at 7:15 am

    So glad you got your surgery scheduled! I’m sure you’ll feel so relieved once it’s over with! Would love to see a WIAW type post with your new meal plan!

  28. Leah on March 1, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Gina, I really like your website and am a regular reader. So sorry to hear about your discomfort and required surgery, that is such a bummer. I hope everything goes well! On a different note, this whole meal plan you are starting seems so restrictive. You dropped the weight quickly, why do this to yourself? It’s upsetting to see from you, as you always seemed to have a great balance in the food department.

    • Fitnessista on March 1, 2016 at 8:48 am

      thank you so much for reading, leah and for sharing your thoughts. the meal plan doesn’t feel restrictive at all. i just miss the constant sugar avalanche, but feel so much better without it already. liv wakes us up multiple times a night, and for the first week, i don’t feel like i want to die in the mornings haha. as far as the meals go, i’m loving them and feel satisfied and happy. i’m eating more carbs and protein than i’m used to, because i’d really like to gain some muscle. my weight is what it was pre-baby, but i know my muscle density is not there because i’ve been eating so much sugar. just excited to get back on track and build some muscle, and you need extra fuel to do it.

      • Leah on March 1, 2016 at 9:18 am

        I guess it was the picture of so many chicken/broccoli/sweet potatoes that did it. Eating the same exact thing every day…just seemed like you were doing it because it feels safe? Thanks for you response though. And I’m sorry liv is waking up so much. It’s probably just an adjustment period while she gets accustomed to her new normal. I’m a total softy when it comes to things like discipline and I am sure I would be at a loss for what to do if my kiddo was waking up at all hours of the night. Maybe try a sticker chart or star chart before she goes to sleep to reward her sleeping through the night and when she gets x number of stars or stickers she can watch her favorite show/movie or pick out a new dress or toy or something cheapo? I work with kids her age and know how hard it can be to reason with them. Good luck!

        • Fitnessista on March 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm

          yeah, that’s understandable! it’s for simplicity reasons more than anything. lunches are so hard for me to make, so it’s nice to know i’m at least getting in some protein and green 🙂
          it’s weird because this has been going on, on and off, for a year now. i’m hoping it’s just a phase. we got her a cot to have in our room, which she did really well with for a long time, but now, she’s still screaming in my face at 4am because she lost a toy. we did a star chart for a while. i need to bring it back!

          • Leah on March 1, 2016 at 3:57 pm

            A year is a long time! Does she seem afraid or is it just that she wants something? When I was young (but older than Liv, like 10 or 11), my aunt died and I became very afraid of death. I actually slept on the floor of my parents bedroom for a number of years. My poor parents! I had a comfy sleeping bag and everything.

          • Fitnessista on March 2, 2016 at 10:34 am

            she is very into whatever her certain toy is for the night, and she ALWAYS loses it while she’s sleeping. last night it was a stuffed raccoon, so she came in at 3am crying because she lost it. (it was right next to her pillow) i tried getting her to put the toy in a safe place before bed, but she’s adamant about sleeping with it.
            she has a cot in our room with a sleeping bag, and she knows she’s welcome to come in and sleep there at any time. i’m just trying to get her to come in quietly without crying about anything, but it’s been rough :/ she had a few nights last week when she did it, but after tom got home from being out of town, it started again. i think it has a lot to do with p being born, and also the instability because tom travels for work fairly often

  29. Julie on March 1, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Hi Gina,
    It’s very sweet of you to open up & tell us what’s going on w/ your surgery. As a long-time reader, it’s easy to get invested in you & your family’s happiness & well-being (& to be curious & concerned when you make a vague comment about that “other surgery”). So it’s kind of you to open up about private issues so we can more fully share in what you’re going through (& also pray for you!). Obviously from all the previous comments it also helps open up communication w/ others who have had similar experiences, & everyone can help put each others’ minds at ease. Thanks again for sharing. Sending good thoughts. <3

    • Fitnessista on March 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      thank you so much, julie <3

  30. Tracy on March 1, 2016 at 9:49 am

    So happy to hear you have your surgery scheduled. I’m sure you’re anxious to get it over with and moving forward with recovery! March 30 will be here before you know it. Sending prayers and positive thoughts to you!

    • Fitnessista on March 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      thank you, friend <3

  31. Sarah on March 1, 2016 at 9:50 am

    So excited for your PBB to launch! Congratulations & I can’t wait to check it out! That surgery will be much easier for you than that big baby you birthed. Prayers to a quick recovery — I felt much better right after my surgery & so will you!

    • Fitnessista on March 1, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      thank you friend! super anxious about it, but ready to turn the page on this weird part of life

  32. Grace on March 1, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Hitting the gym hard is definitely my mantra for the month. I’ve come to the conclusion that at home work outs are not my jam. I can manage 15-20 of strength training with weights at home but I trudge through it and dread it. I just need the motivation and energy of an instructor and classmates.

    I’ve decided to up my monthly kickboxing membership to 3 days/week and also add a strength class there. I’m not getting the results I want working out at home so time to stop fighting it and do what works.

  33. Jill @ Champagne for Everyday on March 1, 2016 at 10:46 am

    You look absolutely fantastic! This sounds like a great plan. I totally agree about the sugar. You miss it at first but start to notice the positive effects of avoiding it very quickly. I wish you all the best with your surgery when the time comes. Have a great day!

    Latest Post: Pilates ProWorks Review – Is Pilates A Good Workout?

  34. Jen on March 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

    This post made my lady parts cringe! I hope your surgery goes well!!

    • Fitnessista on March 1, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      hahah as it should. i hope this never happens to anyone reading <3 thank you for the good wishes

  35. Larua on March 1, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I love and appreciate your transparency, Gina! While I can DEFINITELY understand wanting to keep some things private, it’s always a little weird as a reader when you read something that feels vague or dishonest (not saying you do this), so it’s refreshing that you take the time to share what you’re comfortable with, or at least explain why you might not want to share some details.

    Hope you are feeling better and more like your old self soon!

    • Fitnessista on March 1, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      yeah i feel the same way when i read blogs. i’m like “wait, why are you not telling me?” haha
      thank you so much <3

  36. Cara on March 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    I know it’s not the most fun thing to talk about, but I wanted to thank you for writing about the vaginal surgery so up-front. I think it helps to normalize these kind of health things, to talk about them openly, and I really appreciate it. <3 Wishing you the best!

    • Fitnessista on March 1, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      thank you- i appreciate it so much <3

  37. Annie B on March 1, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Gina, sending good prayers and thoughts your way with the surgery! I hope it all goes smoothly and it’s hard to read that you’re going through this! *fingers crossed you get an earlier date*

    I’ve been thinking about finding a coach for the first time – I’d love to speed up my metabolism after restricting too much in college. Do you have any recommendations for finding a good coach? Your plan sounds awesome and well-balanced, and I’d love to work with someone like that. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 2, 2016 at 10:32 am

      thank you <3 i'm definitely ready to turn the page on all of this!
      i would go through word of mouth. that's how i find everyone for everything! do you have any friends currently working with a trainer near you?

      • Annie B on March 2, 2016 at 1:56 pm

        I don’t know anyone working with a trainer personally, but maybe that means I need to get out of my workout bubble a bit more and talk to some people at my gym. 🙂 I’ve seen a lot of trainers posting about their programs on Insta, but I’m overwhelmed and don’t know how to find someone reputable who will fit my budget and goals.

        • Fitnessista on March 2, 2016 at 2:40 pm

          definitely ask which certification they have and what they use to create your training program. (for example, if they’ll just give you one without asking about health concerns, weight, height, fitness ability, meds you may be taking, past injuries, goals, etc. i would stay away.)

  38. masala girl on March 1, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    hi gina!
    as a trainer yourself, i’m curious as to what you looked for in someone else to be your trainer! credentials, etc?
    best of luck to you!

    • Fitnessista on March 2, 2016 at 10:31 am

      credentials matter, and so does experience. for example, i trained with my friend ron in valdosta, and while he didn’t have the best cert ever, he had been in the industry for years and i knew he knew his stuff. my new trainer has worked with a friend of mine and has 20 years experience, so i knew she would be good 🙂

  39. Erin on March 2, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Gina- good luck with your new training plan and surgery! Hope it comes fast and goes as easy as possible. Thanks as always for being so transparent about everything. I also recently am trying to kick sugar and it is a hard one. Stay strong girl!!

    • Fitnessista on March 2, 2016 at 10:29 am

      thank you so much, friend

  40. Kelsey Halena on March 2, 2016 at 6:55 am

    I was SO happy when I found a ‘perfect balance’ that worked for my body and ultimately lead to me losing around 20 lbs. It was definitely increasing the strength training, reducing carbs (from what was probably an obscene amount to a more reasonable amount) and increasing fat. It truly didn’t even feel like work to lose weight. Finding the diet that works for you feels so good.

    I decreased my memberships from OrangeTheory and ClassPass to an LA Fitness membership (and a 10 pack to OTF that I got for Christmas) a couple months ago, so I’ve recently been trying to recreate workouts from my favorite studios for the gym so I don’t feel like I’ve sacrificed quite as much. The outcome has been mediocre, but I recently started the free 30 day trial of Beachbody On Demand trial to see if adding some of those in will help ‘fill the gap’ that’s missing from my workouts. Fingers crossed.

  41. Caitlin on March 2, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Hey Gina! One of my favorite things about you is that you include desserts and treats in moderation in your diet. Are you swearing them off as long as possible or will you let yourself indulge every now and then still? Just curious! I’ve always loved how you don’t restrict yourself 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 2, 2016 at 9:49 am

      hey girl! oh believe me, i’m not swearing them off forever. i would die. i’m just trying to stop raiding the girl scout cookies and calling it lunch 😉 i’m planning a big night out each week, and will have certain things throughout the week if i really want them. i was just turning things into habits and wasn’t even really enjoying it.

      • Cady Seiter on March 2, 2016 at 8:29 pm

        Love this comment, Gina! Especially the last sentence. I swear I’ve been a “sugar monster” practically since Christmas…I’ve had a particularly difficult semester of school and stress/lack of sleep ALWAYS drives me to sugar, but its not even super enjoyable…just like a survival mechanism or a way to make me feel like I did something “fun” that day. I’m REALLY trying to focus on hunger-directed eating and eating what my body needs rather than what my emotions think I want. So that can definitely include a scoop of ice cream after dinner, but maybe not a sugar cookie as a 2 pm snack 😉 Thanks for being such a good example and good luck with your surgery!

  42. Kripa on March 2, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Hugs, hope all goes well with the recovery! I had something similar happen with my first and had a baby via c due to it. Positivity and good vibes going your way!
    Also curious about PBB – I’m nearly 8 months out from baby – do you think it’d still work well for someone that late after baby? (I’m majorly avoiding core work bc I’m still not sure and terrified of DR!)

    • Fitnessista on March 2, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      thank you so much! i appreciate it <3
      i think PBB would be too easy for you- especially the first two modules. how is your core feeling now that far out from your c-section? if you still feel uncomfortable, i would wait until you do. your body will let you know! in the meantime, there are some safe core exercises you can do if you're feeling up to it (and talk to your doc of course):
      Transverse abdominal lifts (lie on your back and take an inhale to fill your belly, as you exhale, think about lifting your pelvic floor up and in and your belly in towards your spine. try not to let your ribs move)
      Spinal balance
      Heel slides
      Marches (on your back with knees bent, exhale to march each knee up and lower, one at a time)

      Have you checked for DR yet? There are a lot of YouTube videos on how to check for it. Basically you'll curl into a crunch and push your stomach in the midline to access the width of the separation, if any
      If your core feels good, your gap is gone if not very minimal, and your doc says you're GTG, I would start working back into it! Try not to overtrain the obliques (this will pull the abs apart), and I would definitely skip double leg raises, crunches, full planks, and full sit-ups.
      Hope this helps a little!

      • Kripa on March 3, 2016 at 3:42 am

        Thanks Gina! I’ve been pretty good about avoiding the exercises you mentioned and did follow the YT vids for helping the muscles back together until baby was about 4 months but after that went back to just regular workouts (just didn’t do the core work). I think my body is definitely telling me to build up the core now as baby gets bigger, I don’t want to over compensate with my back due to weak ab muscles. I guess in this area slow and steady are good for progress, the WSU was a great kick off for that! I’ll keep up with the workouts here plus the march calendar and will try not to over train that area.
        (Also your dance DVD has been very helpful for me to get a good sweat on days when 2 kids make it hard to workout – I love it!)

  43. Kristen on March 3, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    I had repair surgery after a bad tear too and recovered fully in about 4 weeks (and it wasn’t too bad, nothing like post birth). I feel 100% normal now and have never been so thankful to have surgery. It was such a blessing. Wishing you a successful surgery too.

    • Fitnessista on March 4, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      this was so reassuring to hear. i’ve been really nervous/anxious about it. i think i’m afraid things will be worse. :/ thank you for the comment- i’ve been needing to hear success stories like this!

  44. Cassie on March 5, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I’m taking it easy over here – and finally losing some of the baby weight. I must have been pushing too hard before. Anyway, I can’t believe how hard the first 6 months of baby life have been for both me and baby. Hope you recover quickly!

  45. Lindsay on March 5, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    You are so inspiring – so sorry you are dealing with all the repercussions of birth…
    Thank you for all you do to inspire us. 🙂

  46. Liz on March 9, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Sounds like an overall good plan! As someone in a graduate nutrition program, I just want to say that the only “clean” foods are the ones you wash. Some foods may be more health promoting than others, but I think using the term “clean” can ascribe a moral judgment that isn’t helpful. Just my opinion!

    • Fitnessista on March 9, 2016 at 8:12 am

      That’s a great point! What do you prefer instead to describe whole, unprocessed foods?

      • Liz on March 9, 2016 at 8:35 am

        I think what you said! Whole, unprocessed foods is a great neutral description!

  47. Elysha on March 10, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Hey Gina! Can you please tell me who the trainer is that you started with? I would love to look her up especially since you said she has 20 years of experience. Thank you! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      send me an email and i’ll send her details over 🙂

  48. Anonymous on March 17, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Hi Gina! I’ll be thinking of you with your surgery. Your positive attitude is great! I have recently been interested in finding a nutrition/fitness coach as I “spring clean” my fitness routine. How did you find yours? Would you recommend her?

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