Cutting some slack

One of the questions I get all of the time is about how I get so much done during the day. I blog 2-3 times a day (two regular posts + one family or fashion post), always had at least one other job, sometimes two –I like to work because all of my jobs don’t feel like jobs- and am a wife, puppy mom, and mom-to-be. There’s definitely a lot going on, but the #1 reason why I’m so productive (or *seem* productive, muaha), is because…

I learned how to cut myself some slack.


By doing so, I actually found myself prioritizing, enjoying the little things more instead of feeling like I was in a constant rush, and accomplishing the things I wanted to.

I’ve told you guys that I’m Type A, but never really went into my Type A history. It started when I was in elementary school.

When I was 4 years old, my parents started to separate and decided they’d be getting a divorce. I had a baby brother, was the “big kid” in the house, and while my parents always made me feel like they loved me as much as they did before they separated, I made myself feel like I had to be *perfect* to make their lives easier. Step 1: perfect grades. I HAD to get straight As, so I did. I didn’t get into trouble, had good friends, and did everything I could to be the *best* at the hobbies I participated in… dance, singing and violin. And that’s what I continued to do throughout school until I graduated high school, straight As down the line and excelling at dance and singing [I dropped the violin for academics sake].

Then, I went to college and got my first B. It was in an accounting class –I majored in Finance- and despite constant studying, tutoring and overnighters, I couldn’t make an A. I cried for a few days.

Looking back, I realize how totally silly it was to get that worked up over a B, but am extremely thankful for it. I needed that B to ease up a little bit. That B was a good thing for me.

This guy was also a good thing for me…


I mentioned it a few times on the blog before, but before I met the Pilot, I was in a less-than-stellar (read: horrendous) relationship with a guy who never made me feel like I was good enough.

Not only did meeting the Pilot do wonders for my self esteem (which had taken a pretty legit beating), because he treated me like a princess… but meeting the Pilot also brought my Type A-isms down to a manageable level. For him, I was happy to ditch all-night study sessions for dinner dates, weekend test prep marathons for roadtrip getaways and had an absolute blast. And guess what? I still got fantastic grades. It taught me how to make the study time I was using COUNT, while making time for the fun things.

The same thing can be held true for workouts.

I get quite a few emails from readers sending their weekly fitness plans and the first thing I notice is:

They’re doing too much.

Too much can be as ineffective as doing too little. Overtraining is a beast (you can read more about overtraining *here*), but in an almondshell: your body needs rest as much as it needs work. If you’re going-going-going and not seeing results, feeling burnt out and agitated: take a step back and evaulate. Try something new and change things up as our bodies adapt to the same demands over and over, and let yourself recover and repair in between sessions.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed in the life front or fitness front:

make a list of what you’d like to get accomplished


create a plan for TODAY, which includes a couple of steps to lead you in the right direction of your goals

schedule some fun stuff in there, too- something to look forward to everyday, whether it’s a walk, a pedicure or coffee date with a friend and

cut yourself some slack

I know there are a ton of Type A’s out there, too 😉

Have a great day and I’ll see ya later this afternoon <3



Something to talk about: Did an event ever force you to ease up on yourself?

Something to read: The Pilot wrote a Family post! 😀 He’ll be publishing it this morning.

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  1. Sarah on July 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    funny you should say you have a hard life. I think getting knocked up while working part time at 5 star spa resorts is a pretty cushy existence. Get a real job and some real responsibilities. Then you can talk about ‘cutting yourself some slack’ Your life is a joke and we all know you will stop, ‘teaching classes’ once you deliver.

    • Fitnessista on July 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

      i never said i had a hard life! i have a very busy life, which takes prioritizing. i’m sorry you feel like you need to judge other people’s lives and that mine is a “joke” to you.
      maybe try some yoga?
      i’ll send good vibes your way.. sounds like you need them.

      • Sara on July 8, 2011 at 10:38 am

        *like* 🙂

        • Fitnessista on July 8, 2011 at 11:17 am


          • ash on December 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm

            big like for your answer gina!

      • Katalina on July 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

        LIKE!! MAJOR LIKE for ur answers!! 🙂

    • Crystal on July 7, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Um, jealous much? I agree–you need some yoga, and possibly therapy if you feel angry enough to leave hateful messages like this on people’s blogs. Why hate on people who are doing something with their lives that they actually enjoy. I feel sorry for you…

    • Danielle (shrinking and studying) on July 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      Holy moly… you must have a sad sad life if the only thing that makes you feel better is hating on the blogs of perfectly innocent, wonderful people. I hope you find something that makes you happy and takes away some of this negative energy. 🙂

    • Amy on July 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      No one is forcing you to read this blog. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and learn to smile. Funny you think you’re the next candidate for woman of the year, get a soul and stop spreading your venom. YOUR life is a joke if you need to seek happiness by putting others down. Jealousy never wins.

    • Megan on July 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      Speaking of cutting some slack…what the heck?? How rude can you get? I’m sure you know *so much* about Gina’s life. Pull up your big girl panties and YOU take responsibility…of your thoughts and actions. How about starting with some integrity?

      • Andrea on July 7, 2011 at 9:39 pm

        Ummm…what? If you had really read Gina’s blog you would know she never would say something like that. In fact, she so often talks about how thankful she is to do something she really loves. And she only found what she loves through trying other things first. Why does it matter that she works at a nice resort instead of at a desk? I for one wish I could do that, too. Not for the part time job, but for the true focus on lifestyle and living instead of working 24/7. Go take a long yoga class. Your anger isn’t helping anyone.

      • Kyla on July 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm

        Lady, I think you need to watch yourself a good youtube video, pour a glass of wine and then get over yourself. Would you ever say this to someone in person? Probably not so just because you’re hiding behind your computer and feel the need to type away whatever you think, think again. Haven’t you learned by now that loyal blog readers will come to the defense of their favorite bloggies?

    • breakingsilence @ Freshman -15 on July 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      Wow, you’re incredibly rude and grouchy. Go take a nap or do some yoga…you’ll feel better!

      Gina, your post was a great reminder to me to take some time for myself and relax. I also loved the Pilot’s “Family” post!

    • katie on July 7, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      Whoa, Sarah… you’re a mean b*tch. You should stop trying to make other people feel badly. Inappropriate comment!

    • Nicole P on July 8, 2011 at 12:48 am

      When I read that my mouth seriously dropped open. That was mean enough to split hell wide open. I think the worst part of the whole thing is that I don’t know if many people really understand how much time and effort go into making a blog as great as this one is… Sorry Gina that you had to deal with that- just know that it was the consensus of one very small minded person.

    • mel on July 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      Wow, you sound like a total bitch! Gina is amazing and you have no right to judge her!!

    • erika on July 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      WOW, that is seriously the meanest thing I’ve ever heard anyone ever say to someone who didn’t deserve it. Don’t read this blog then if you don’t like Gina! How can you be so coldhearted? I’ll send you some good vibes as well. It seems like your life is very sad.

  2. Genifer on July 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Having children definitely helped me ease up on my Type A traits. While I was used to being able to get a long list of items accomplished everyday, having a sweet little baby made it nearly impossible. It took me years (I’m pretty stubborn) to realize that what is important to that sweet little baby is spending time with mom. She certainly does not care how clean the house is or how nicely I’ve planned our weekly meals. Finding a balance is just excruciatingly hard, and I think even more so for those of us who want to get it all done.

  3. Dee on July 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Awesome, thoughtful and thought-provoking post!

  4. Jessica on July 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    “in an almondshell” hahaha that made me laugh out loud 🙂

    this post seriously could not have come at a better time for me… yesterday/this morning was so rough that I decided to write 3 things on my mirror: something I’m grateful for, something I love about myself, and 1 goal to accomplish today. I am constantly trying to do too much, and the worry about getting things done keeps me from actually doing them. It’s a vicious cycle but I guess becoming aware of the bad pattern is the first step. Thank you, once again, for being so real and giving such great advice!

  5. Brigid of Vegging out in T-Town on July 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I’m totally Type A and overextended, too. I am better as an adult than I was as a teen, but I’m certainly not totally there yet. I do agree, though: it’s important to do your best, but sometimes that means giving yourself a break. I’m always more productive when I’m happy, so it’s vital to treat yourself, give yourself a night off, etc. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Ali @ urbanfruitbat on July 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Such and awesome and insightful post. I think there are so many of us, especially women, who just push push push until we break. It is not a good trait! We really do need to learn to incorporate balance into our lives. To no feel badly about kicking back and relaxing, but seeing it as a NECESSITY because it is. Such an awesome reminder to all of us. I have for sure had a few moments in my life where I was forced to slow down. I hope that I have learned from those times enough to now just take the time, and not end up NEEDING it.

  7. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on July 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Yes, the key to Type A ism – some down time. It’s definitely my biggest struggle, but I try to remind myself that my body and sanity needs it. And when I don’t, I tend to get sick like I am now. My body gets a cold and then forces me to lay low for a bit. As much as I love getting a million things done in one day, I also really enjoy those times when I just lay on the couch or read a magazine outside in the sun.

  8. Shayla @ The Good Life on July 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    What a great post! I’m definitely Type A and I need to learn to cut myself some slack more…sometimes I over work myself up way too much over silly little things and needing to be perfect all the time (i.e. the house/kitchen not being clean enough, laundry, groceries, workouts, food, etc.), and sometimes I just need to stop the worrying and know that everything will be ok and the world won’t end if there’s a crumb on the floor, haha 🙂 The hubby also definitely helped me so much in learning to just relax and not be so Type A all the time 😉

  9. MeAgan on July 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Isnt it crazy how hard we can be on ourselves because we feel like thats what everyone else expects and wants us to be like!! I had the same trouble until I met my husband. I tell him all the time he was my angel! He still has to tell me to relax and enjoy the moment sometimes hahaha I’ve come to realize its all about balance. Everything is about balance! 🙂

  10. Moni'sMeals on July 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Great post! Yes, you do get a lot done Gina! I am like you, just not so type A, if that makes sense. I have had to learn to stay present in the now to get through my really crazy days. Plus, I too have a great husband, bless them right!
    Let’s just be honest too, woman are just good at juggling it all. Haha!


  11. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on July 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Gina this post is fabulous b/c I do what you do, too…
    Write 2 posts a day, I work full time, I am a wife, caretaker of the home, cook, cleaner, errand runner, and mommy! That’s why I sleep 5 hrs a night b/c otherwise it doesnt all happen 🙂

    I have learned to cut myself slack on EVERYTHING and be okay with saying no to things that are more than I can do, with accepting that yes, I do run 5 or 10 minutes late for things and life goes on and it’s fine, and that my workouts are not epic long events or formal yoga studio classes; they are 20 mins here and there, yoga in my garage on my own, basically whatever I can do to streamline life, I do it.

    And allow slack and not being too hard on myself if I can’t do it all.

    I love this post and yes, your work ethic has always amazed me!

  12. Annie@stronghealthyfit on July 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Love, love, LOVE this post! I think most women are “type-A” in that they strive for perfection but forget to give themselves enough care. Studying Sociology and Women’s Studies in college, I learned about this a bit, how women feel the need to be “perfect” and define that as doing everything for everyone else, never saying No to anything that’s asked of them. Thanks for being such an inspirational woman 😉

  13. Brittany on July 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I am so glad that you stepped up and said something about overtraining!
    I trained for a marathon and beat my body to a CORE! I would run 25-30 miles a week, yet still remained at the same 10-pounds above my healthy weight.
    As SOON as I stopped training and switched over to shorter more intense workouts (some body rock), the weight began to shed off!
    Its crazy how the body reacts to rest when it just isn’t getting enough of it

  14. Meg @ One Love Meg on July 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I have been reading a lot lately about how important it is to right everything down and schedule things out. I keep saying I am going to do it but I think it’s time. My boyfriend is going out of town for a week and I have the place all to myself. I think it’s time to get some projects done, and tackle them one at a time. I don’t need to overwhelm myself too early. Always enjoy reading your blog. I am amazed that you blog 2-3 times a day. I try and blog once a day and at times that is even tough.

  15. kelly on July 7, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I used to be a planner. Everything had a schedule. Then my brother was diagnosed with a terminal illness…my planning personality went, and stayed, out the window! Great post, thanks!

  16. Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats on July 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Awesome post! I am very type A and I used to be to the point where it was beginning to be unhealthy. I’ve been on the verge of losing one of the most important people in my life a few times and it has definitely been a wake up call that I need to lighten up and enjoy life.

  17. Valerie on July 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I love this post. I don’t know when the standards got so high, but even though I have so many amazing, successful friends, not a single one of them thinks of herself that way. It’s like we have become all the unchecked items on our to do list, and that is such a shame. I’m so guilty, too, of course. And you’re right: It’s as easy and as hard as simply cutting yourself some slack.

  18. Stephanie on July 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Great post!! I too am a recovering Type A and sometimes I fall back into my old rut. I used to feel like I needed to control everything and I had a plan for everything. When it didn’t go the way I planned it I would have a hard time handling it. Of course I was so busy with work and school that I let my health slide. I had to learn to let go when I ended up in the hospital after a mini-stroke where I lost most of the vision in my left eye. It definitely taught me to put myself first and just let go and do what I can and be happy with that. As a result I really got back into taking care of myself. As much as I hated having to go through that, it was great wake up and I am happy that it happened before anything worse happened. Now when I get stressed out, I literally shut my right eye and have a reminder in my left one of what happens when you are hard on yourself!

  19. Laura @ Backstage Pass on July 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Great post and priceless advice. I can relate to your former perfectionist tendency all too well, growing up with parents who had conflict issues (read: horrible verbal fighting), I felt the need to be perfect so they didn’t need to argue about me, too. Now, I’m learning to ease up on myself and have more fun!

  20. Sonia (the Mexigarian) on July 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    My leg injury is not only forcing me to ease up, but also may force me out of my 10k race on Sun. Frustrating is the word. More perspective I guess on how my body works. :\ Mentally I’m in it, physically, I guess I’m not. Guess it gives me time to check off a couple things off my weekly list, lol.

  21. Jessica on July 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Wow! You were more like type A+ lol! I agree that we need to learn that we need to alot ourselves time to recover and repair, or else our muscles will surely wither away!

  22. rebecca on July 7, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    great post! i was just kinda feeling guilty for not running today after not missing a day in a long time. but i was tired and wanted to just kinda chill this afternoon. and it felt glorious. i am type A too – and it can be a double edged sword. straight a’s are great… but it also is exhausting to never relax and let yourself just *be*. i am getting WAY better at that too as i get older… and my husband helped me a TON turn the corner with that as well. i’m quite happy now being a type A-/B+ 🙂

  23. Aimoree on July 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I’m definitely a Type A, but I’m getting better at it! I’ve never been naturally athletic, yet I’m competitive, so I’ve always had a difficult time with comparing myself with others. I’m still trying to work on learning to work with what I’ve got rather than making myself become someone else.

  24. Raewyn on July 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you much, Gina – I definitely needed this post…I’ve been dragging my feet lately, feeling like I have a ginormous amount to do for the next year (I’m graduating from high school). The hopelessness and despair have been knocking pretty regularly and I feel majorly overwhelmed. I have so much that I need to do – and then the stuff I *want* to do: blog, cook, write. I’m trying to figure out how to squeeze 235 things to-do in each day, so this post definitely helped! Thanks for the reminder that Life is supposed to be fun too…we only get one so why not make it a bueno one? 😉

  25. Raewyn on July 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    And I am SOOO Type A!! 😀

  26. Claire @ Un Bello Aperitivo on July 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I used to be a huge Type A person, too, but something clicked off and let me better balance being a perfectionist with cutting myself some slack. Great post!

  27. Ann @ Running With Chopstix on July 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    This post really spoke to me! I’m very Type A and my sister loves to call me a “stress bunny.” After graduating college I’ve been trying to figure out what to do career-wise. Not having a path when I’m used to having a plan for everything is really hard but I’ve learned to appreciate the time to spend with family and figuring it out as I go.

  28. Kayla (kiki85) on July 7, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Totally a type A here too! I tried to do way too much – especially in college. Then a jerk who would roll in way late and spent the whole time on facebook but was in a senior position at a thing in college tried to question my commitment and it made me realize that I couldn’t please everyone and needed to focus on myself. So I backed off and learned that free time is totally ok. I’m still Type A, just not quite as bad 🙂

  29. Megan on July 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I was (am?) Type A, crazy so on the homefront. When I had my son I was in for a shock. He had celiac disease, but we didn’t know. Enter 18 months of crazy, crying, no sleep…um…adorable hell? It was a MAJOR change for me, but was so much for my good. As I look around my living room tonight, I’m pretty happy with what I see. A few dishes that can wait for tomorrow, my gardening supplies strewn across our island and a few hotwheels sticking out from behind the couch. I just got in from my first Zumba class (yay, thanks!). A few years ago I would have worked until bedtime to straighten up, but today I will just look around and enjoy our crazy(ier), healthy happy life. Because we are 🙂 It’s very good that you have some tendencies like this before your new little one even comes!

  30. SweatyGirl on July 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    It is so tough for me to make that distinction between cutting myself some slack and giving myself excuses. I say – no excuses!! But it doesn’t allow for much balance. I need to practice that slack thing 🙂
    Oh, and as for your nasty commenter – if she ain’t got nothing good to say, she should… Well, bite me 😉

  31. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on July 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I can so relate to this! I used to be 100% devoted to my schoolwork and I spent every spare second studying. But starting in 2nd year of university I started going out more and having more fun… and funnily enough, my grades just got even better! Being more busy really helped me be more productive during the time that I had to study. And I was also so much happier with a better balance in my life!

  32. Jessica @ Jessica Balances on July 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Love this! I totally believe in cutting yourself some slack! I’m pretty Type A as well, but like you, my significant other has helped SO MUCH. He is so supportive but also gently reminds me to chill out if I’m exhausting myself or clearly pushing myself too far. Also, oddly enough, having more self confidence has helped me feel like it’s okay to be less “perfect” — and knowing that I can never achieve perfection is SO freeing, too! xoxo <3 thanks for all you do

  33. Christina R on July 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    great post as always… don’t take any of the negative comments to heart and keep doing what your doin! you are an inspiration to all!

  34. Susan on July 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I loved this post! I am going to print it out and keep it out where I can see it. When I get overwhelmed,I shut myself down, which is so not good. Between work, grad school and training for a half marathon, I think I’m crazy sometimes, but I’m learning to take it week by week. Just ignore the mean poster, obv she has something stuck sideways somewhere, because your blog rocks!

  35. Ciera @ Rose and Thistle on July 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Whoa, just saw that first comment. Don’t agree in the slightest with the sentiment or the expression but anyways, moving on to the positive!
    Getting a B in Accounting still makes you a rockstar in my book – that stuff is hideous to study if your brain isn’t wired that way! I am doing my Masters, also concerned with grades and only managed to squeak a B+ in that damn course – but considered myself fortunate to be done with it 😉
    Thanks for your take on the situation of women going hard on themselves – I think we always expect to be able to do everything perfectly and take it to heart if something goes even slightly wrong. I know this is something I personally struggle with lots so it warms my heart to see someone addressing it in the way you did…. Thanks!

  36. Haleigh on July 8, 2011 at 1:10 am

    That first comment was truly hateful. Your blog is one of my favorites, and I do not agree with them at all. I have a type A personality, too! I think we can all learn to cut ourselves some slack every once in awhile.

  37. Dana Marie on July 8, 2011 at 7:04 am

    Hey Girl I hear what you are saying and agree to a point – but everyone’s limits are different and it’s a fine line between coasting comfortably and not improving towards your goals. I wanted to ask your opinion as a trainer and nutritionist what is a realistic and sane and lasting period of time to see weight/fat loss goals of 10 pounds when it’s like your awkward ones – in that you are already practicing a relatively good diet and exercise plan. I worry when I really step things up because I can go to extremes and become emotionally imbalanced when I push to my limits – but that being said I REALLY am not pleased with my appearance at my current physique and feel it prohibits me from achieving larger life goals. advice?

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

      vanity pounds are much harder to lose. you may be doing too much and forcing your body to hold onto it. stress can cause that, too.

      • Dana Marie on July 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm

        well girl I live in NYC – vanity and stress are HIGH!! 🙂 haha – I would love to be able to cut down on the stress of the money/ time, ego cycle that is perpetual here, but we’re all trying to make our dreams happen here and it aint easy. Well I will keep at it and try not have relapses on the diet – and press on with the training. sigh- thanks for responding

      • Dana Marie on July 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm

        and I couldnt possibly be doing too much – unless you mean I have to work up to doing more or something, because people/dancers/performers so SO Much more than me

  38. Ruthie on July 8, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I NEEDED to read this.
    Your posts are heaven-sent sometimes. I have been killing myslef in the gym lately and putting WAY to much presure on myself at work and planning for school (I’ll be a senior in Mechanical Engineering in the Fall). Far too often I am my own wost enemy by holding negative attitudes about my accomplishments and it steals my joy.

    I read this post last night and I has a BLISSFUL night and am full of joy today: enjoying the little things!! Everything just feels awesome today.

    I <3 the Fitnessista~

    • Fitnessista on July 8, 2011 at 11:17 am

      that makes my heart so happy. keep taking care of yourself!! 🙂

  39. Mary ( What's Cookin' with Mary) on July 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    You’re SO right. Cutting ‘yourself’ some slack can be just what the doctor ordered! After marrying B (who is not type a like me), it helped me to calm down about things. It’s just not worth the stress ?!

  40. Laura on July 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Gina I loved this post, and your tips on cutting yourself some slack. Good one! I, like everyone else, am in shock over little miss Sarah’s comment. Crazy, right? I love how she says, “get some real responsiblities…” amazing, considering that I’m not sure how much more ‘real’ you can get as a wife (of a man in ACTIVE military duty, no less) and soon-to-be-mother. I think it’s going to take more than a long yoga class for you, Sarah!

  41. Amber @ Stop and Smell the Wildflowers on July 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I love this post! Very well said. I can totally identify with being a perfectionist. It is nice to hear about other people also learning to loosen up and have fun with life instead of always trying to do the right thing. That is a work in progress for me, but at least I’m aware of it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

  42. Jacqueline on July 8, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    That first commenter obviously does not read this blog- you are a great blogger and you have a positive upbeat but still REALISTIC lifestyle blog…I’m glad you do what makes you and your family/baby dog Bella happy and I am glad to see someone not subscribing to what anyone else says they should do. Plus no one (especially not someone who seems as nice as you) deserves hateful comments like that- if as a reader you don’t like a blog then stop reading…there’s thousands out there, I’m sure someone will make you happy- of course if Sarah is really that nasty then maybe not.

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