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. Kilee on July 7, 2011 at 10:32 am

    This is one of my favorite posts 🙂 You are so right about cutting yourself some slack and scheduling fun time. No one is perfect and you can drive yourself crazy trying to be perfect.

    I will probably refer back to this post one day when I am trying to do too much and feeling overwhelmed.

  2. Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) on July 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I have untraditional jobs, too, (blogger, business owner, mom-to-be ;)) and working from home makes me put more stress on myself to do it all than when I had an office job. It’s hard to figure out when to be done for the day, so I never really am. Balance and time for myself is something I am constantly striving for!

  3. Kate on July 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

    This post could not have come at a better time. Thanks and well done.

    • Fitnessista on July 7, 2011 at 10:39 am


  4. Mary on July 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I’m just like you, Definitely type A, buuuut, over the last year or so I’ve learned to cut myself some slack. Although I still want to be the best at everything that I do, I realize now that If i’m not THE best, I still gave it 100%. and that’s okay with me.

  5. Jackie @ Baking Charms on July 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Wow I really needed this post today to put everything in perspective. Thank you Gina 🙂

  6. Kris | on July 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Totally agree with this one! I write a list everyday or I would never get everything done in one day! It makes me feel sane and purpose driven, which I love!

    You and the Pilot are very cute 😉

    I hope you have a great list to follow today!

  7. Lindsey on July 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Great post! I am 100% a type A too, and have problems cutting myself some slack. There are days that I get stressed out just thinking of everything I have to do, and as you know being a type A, those are “have to do’s” verus “try to dos”. I think I need to learn to make that switch there and realize it is okay if not everything got done. I also have this mentatility that until everything is crossed off on that list, there is no time for play. I am working hard on chnaging this too! Thanks again for the post!

  8. Cait @ Urban Fencepost on July 7, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I’m not type A. I do, however, live with one. My boyfriend is soooo type A. I think that’s one reason why our relationship works – we balance each other out. He keeps me on track and I show him he can go with the flow.

  9. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen on July 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

    As a textbook type A’er this is some great advice!

  10. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table on July 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I struggle with the same thing – it’s so good to hear I’m not alone! There are so many things pulling at me on a daily basis and I never want to do anything half-way… but I need to recognize the difference between doing my best and obsessing over perfection.

    Creating a plan has been a big help to me – it sounds obvious, but a list does wonders for keeping me organized and accomplishing my “to dos.”

  11. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on July 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Tearing my peroneal tendon during a race (as a result of overtraining and under stretching) has definitely made me reshape my idea of working out. I will be MUCH more careful to listen to my body and take rest days in the future!

  12. Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen on July 7, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Great post – reading it was a great start to my day! It’s so hard not to beat yourself up when things don’t go according to plan; I think a lot of us struggle with being able to cut ourselves a little slack here and there.

  13. Zoe on July 7, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I needed this post! This might sound odd, but I think that getting achilles tendonitis is the best thing that every happened to me. It taught me to slow down and to enjoy other forms of exercise (like yoga!) that work my body just as hard, but in different ways. I just made today’s To-Do list, but now I’m going to go squeeze in some free reading to my schedule. I need the break!

  14. Alex on July 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    You are so right. I used to be in the same boat, always overworking myself, until I learned to cut myself some slack. Now I’m on the slacking wagon, though.. and am having trouble motivating myself to workout again. I’ve gained 30lbs in the past year! I know that I’m in control of my habits, and I have to get started. Once you start, it gets easy, right?

    You are one busy girl, and it’s amazing how you manage it all. Very inspiring!

    • Fitnessista on July 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

      once the ball starts rolling, there’s no stopping it 🙂 it’s just getting started.

  15. Holly @ The Runny Egg on July 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I can’t wait to read the Pilot’s family post! Cute.

    Great post Gina — sometimes I think I give myself a little too much slack, but at the same time, we all need slack once in a while. We can’t all be perfect even though sometimes I really try to be. I can only do my best and making lists is the best way for me to do that. I can prioritize and delegate as necessary and I try to include some “fun” stuff too.

  16. Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy & Healthy on July 7, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I’m also a typeA and have definitely learned in the last few years to give myself some slack. My husband is really good at calming me down too, which I am so thankful for. Otherwise I suspect I’d run in circles all day long shouting about a million things that need to be done.

  17. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on July 7, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I need to cut myself some slack. Major. Thanks girl!!

  18. Parita @ myinnershakti on July 7, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I love this post for 2 reasons:
    – I am also Type A
    – I have so many life changes coming up in the next year or so, and your wisdom of cutting some slack and enjoying TODAY is exactly what I needed to read. 🙂

  19. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf on July 7, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I think college itself helped me loosen up. During my senior year I was so tightly packed that when I looked at my calendar, I really only noticed one day every three or four months where I wasn’t tied up with something that needed taken care of outside the house. It was incredibly exhausting. I was working, doing my high school work, was involved in yearbook, was taking dual-credit college classes (an overload semester at that!), illustrating a book, studying for/taking quite a few credit-by-exams for college, and many other things that caused my “fun” life to have to give way in order to get everything done.

    While I had many a busy semester in college, NOTHING was like my senior year of high school.

    The biggest thing I learned was to indeed, cut myself some slack. I was an art major/psychology minor, so while there was a lot of time-consuming work required, the people in boths departments are probably the most type-B people I’ve ever met. It helped me adjust and work according to my own rhythm. I also learned in college that some things are more important than locking yourself up in your dorm room all day studying. And sometimes it’s worth it to look at the syllabus, weigh your options, and decide to just not write a few papers at all because they’re only worth 5% of your grade anyway. Haha!

    I met the best friends I’ve ever had in college, including my husband. These people mean the world to me and the time I spent with them at late nights wandering campus and in the university cafeteria helped keep me balanced. I worked and studied when I needed to, but I didn’t lose my head over it. In the end I graduated magna cum laude, debt-free, with a full heart.

  20. Sara on July 7, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Great post! I know I need to remind myself to RELAX ridiculously often. I see some purposeful slacking in my near future, oh yes… 🙂

  21. Beth on July 7, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Reading this on the morning of my 30th birthday…helped me remember what is important and put me in the perfect head space for such a milestone! Instead of focusing on what I haven’t accomplished, I am patting myself on the back this morning and looking forward to the next 30. <3 Thanks, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on July 7, 2011 at 11:10 am

      that is awesome. have a very happy birthday!! 30, flirty and fabulous 🙂

  22. lauren alysse on July 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

    This was a great post Gina! Sometimes we all need a reminder to give ourselves some time to rest and do something fun! 🙂

  23. Lisa on July 7, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for admitting that you’re not really superwoman 🙂
    What a healthy perspective you have!

    I was similar to you, and kept that up till I was 25. At that time, my sister died unexpectedly and my life changed completely…it was a roller coaster, but I ended up with a very healthy perspective on work and life and what’s really important. I think that’s why I read blogs—stories of interesting people sharing ideas and life (virtually) just bumps up quality of life a notch 🙂

  24. Katie on July 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Yes, my dad’s diagnosis of prostate cancer this year. I would drop everything I had going on so I could not only spend time with him in the hospital, but also at home with him and my mom. I still go over there every Saturday morning to help them mow the lawn until he has fully recovered from surgery. I canceled my yoga package because I could never make classes (and instead practice at home now). Before this, I would never miss a class for anything.

  25. Amy on July 7, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Love this post. When I came home for Thanksgiving my sophomore year of college my parents sat me down and told me to “cut myself some slack” and “have more fun!” I cried. My parents laughed (what kid cries when told to have more fun?!) I was paranoid about my grades dipping, but it worked out. Life is all about balance, and this post is the perfect reminder- Thanks!!

  26. Jess@atasteofconfidence on July 7, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Great post. I had a similar experience with grades and boyfriends, too, actually. I’ve learned to make the most out of studying or working out instead of running for 2 hours or studying forEVER. Life is more fun that way!

  27. Heather (heathers dish) on July 7, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I 100% relate to everything here…cutting yourself some slack is a huge part of being successful! If I wasn’t able to do that I would drive myself nuts!

  28. mi-an on July 7, 2011 at 11:24 am

    yess! have fun! that’s what i’m good at. 🙂 when i was in grenada (in the caribbean!!) for med school, everyone was studying so hard, never left campus, never left the library…i’m like “is that even healthy??” so me..i would study hard, then take days off to drive around the island in my little tracker…jumped off waterfalls, drink some beer on the beach…ahhh life was good. and i still passed all my classes! 🙂

  29. Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me on July 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I was working out 4 times a week. 3 tough cardio days and 1 day of yoga. But it was enough for me to stop having my period. Once I stopped I resumed a normal schedule. It scared me a little bit especially because I feel 4 times a week is more than reasonable!

  30. Ryan @ Aloha Appetite on July 7, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I have learned that slack is needed in my life. It feels so much better to let go sometimes!

  31. Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde on July 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I LOVE this post – sometimes i need reminding that i don’t need to work out every day! If i go too hard then i end up stopping for more then a few days and it just makes sense to stagger workouts throughout the week 🙂
    Messy kitchen shot is classic me!

  32. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on July 7, 2011 at 11:44 am

    This is an awesome post Gina, so applicable to me, and a reminder that I need to hear constantly. It sounds like you and I had very, very similar childhoods. I’m type A to the max and yes, like you said, sometimes I need to cut myself some slack. Might re-read this post again just for another reminder!

  33. Mo on July 7, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I can relate to your issues a bit. I lost my Dad to a heart attack when I was 9. Mom had a hard time so I kind of stepped in. Good grades, good kid . . . Mom remarried and the family really took a rough turn (I have two sisters 8 and 9 years older than me). To this day, family gatherings are pretty tense as they never accepted my step-dad. Do us a favor and when you are all settled in your new home – take some pictures of it when it is a complete mess! Make us feel better! You are really a smart gal – you put things into perspective and like I’ve said before, wise beyond your years. Take care my friend!


  34. K on July 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Thank you for this post. I am a huge fan or your blog and have been reading it for a while now! but this is my first comment!
    So I have this problem too – I have the horrible mentality that if I dont work out (not necessarily high impact, but something) everyday, I will gain weight. This is a very unhealthy way of thinking, I know. I also love to eat so I feel that if I want to continue to enjoy food, I need to work out (almost) everyday! I have a very odd body in that I can go out to dinner one night – even eat healthfully – and step on the scale the next morning a few pounds heavier. Water weight, I know. But I feel like I watch what I eat for the most part (sweet tooth be damned!), and work out regularly – so this is frustrating to me!

  35. kristina@beancakes ? on July 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

    gina ~ i really liked this post, it really hit home for me as i tend to be a type-A as well. as the years have gone by although, i’ve learned to ease up a bit and not be so hard on myself, as well as others. thanks for sharing your story.

  36. Lindsey on July 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I completely agree. I’m totally type-A as well and have a lot on my plate (fitness instructor, mom to 2 boys, homeschooler, wife, etc. etc. etc.). A lot of people seem to wonder how I get it all done – my nickname within my group of friends is June Cleaver because I always seem to have something baking – they don’t realize that just as much work goes into the planning of my schedule! My house is clean — but not overly so (don’t look behind my picture frames or drag your finger on the top of my bookshelves!), family is fed well, kids are educated, my gym students are meeting their goals…those are the things that are important to me, so they get my very best. I know, though, that some days are going to not go right and I’m learning (slowly) to cut myself some slack when I don’t finish a lesson, or we end up getting take-out, or a class goes wonky and i forget my choreography.

  37. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups on July 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I definitely need to learn to relax and cut myself some slack! I stress myself out by thinking I’m disappointing others if it’s not perfect, but really, no one cares but me. I loved reading the story of how you and The Pilot met. So cute!

  38. Bree on July 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Great post Gina! Being pregnant has been the best thing for me. It has taught me that 1) it’s OK to slow down and kick my feet up when my body needs it and 2) it has allowed me to finally love my body, I love every inch that I gain around my waist.

  39. cathy on July 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    great post, gina. thanks for the reminders and for sharing about yourself.
    i JUST had coffee with a friend this morning (great for relaxing + getting positive vibes going) and refer to myself as type a on my blog, today. i can totally relate to what you say, today – thanks!

  40. kaila @ healthy helper! on July 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I needed this because I am a total type A and have a really hard time cutting myself slack sometimes. Thanks for the advice and for sharing your own experience!

  41. Alicia on July 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Loved reading this! I am a total ‘goody-good’ when it comes to school as well, even now that I’m completing university. I definitely do not like getting a bad grade, and would never had in a paper late. But I’ve learned its not the end of the world. My brother was the complete opposite, and in highschool my mom would drop us off and my brother would make me late cause he would sleep in!! And I refused to walk into class even 30 seconds late haha. Great advice this morning =) Sometimes you just need to find that person to balance you out and make everything fall perfectly into place 🙂

  42. courtney @ cupcakedynamite on July 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    my boyfriend definitely tries to bring my Type A down a bit closer to his level! hehe. 😉 I love this post, definitely was interesting to hear why you think you started trying to be so perfect!

  43. Hillary on July 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Loved this post, because it’s something I’ve been trying to focus on lately. I’m super type A, and I like to have control over every aspect of my life (body, food, relationships, work, etc). However, I’m starting to learn that all that pressure (that I’m putting on MYSELF!) is just exhausting and not productive. I need to give myself some wiggle room in order to be my best self, and so I’m learning to do that. My boyfriend (and his love and spontaneity) are helping with that, too ; )

  44. Jaclyn on July 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Great post! Thank you so much for posting this. I recently got out of a relationship in which the guy made me feel like I was less than. Lately, (even though it’s only been 4 months after a 2 year relationship) I’ve been feeling like there’s no *right* guy for me. I too have a type-Aish personality and can be very hard on myself. I often wonder who can deal with my busy lifestyle and my tendency to set border-line ridiculously high goals for myself. It’s good to know that with some clear perspective, and a little planning, everything can have balance. And, with the right guy a relationship can work swimmingly with the rest of the mess. : )

    P.S. I absolutely adore your blog. This is my first comment, but I’ve been reading it for months. The encouragement you give to your readers is so kind and so helpful. Thank you!

  45. Heather @ get healthy with Heather on July 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I am all about writing out my plans… Since I always like to do a lot it really helps me stay on track + sane. Great post and tips!

  46. Laura (Cookies vs. Carrots) on July 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Great post! I always feel more productive when I cut myself some slack. That way I can feel good about the things I did get done rather than beating myself up about the one thing I just didn’t have time for.

  47. Avery on July 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I can totally relate to this post. I’m super type-A.. and ever since I started dating my boyfriend almost 6 months ago, I’ve noticed I get a little stressed out/anxious over not getting all the things done that I have planned in lieu of spending time with him (things like laundry, cleaning, errands, etc.) It really gets to me sometimes, but I’m trying to learn that in the big picture, that time with him is so much more valuable than doing silly chores and errands that I can do later. Time management is important, but loved ones and relationships come first! Great post! 🙂

  48. Morgan @ Operation Hot Mama on July 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I completely agree… we drive ourselves crazy to get things done and if something slips, we feel major guilt. I had this when I started back at school last semester… I wanted to get excellent grades and still wanted to get everything done around the house. When things started to slip, it made it worse because then I would start forgetting some of the simplest things. My boyfriend was literally standing in front of me many times saying, “what can I do to help?” but I didn’t want to admit I couldn’t do it all. I had to take a step back and realized that I am not superwoman nor do I want to be! Great post girl!!

  49. Jessica @ brighteyesandbushytales on July 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Coming from a fellow type-A, this was an amazing post for me to read. I put so much pressure on myself to be good at everything, and sometimes that means I’m not doing everything very well. Thanks for the great reminder! 🙂

  50. Kayla on July 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Loved this post! I am having one of those “off” days, so reading this really made me think how I need to re-evaluate how I handle some situations! Thanks girl!

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