finding motivation after having a baby (or an injury/break from the fitness game)

Hi friends! How’s the day going? I hope it’s off to a great start. We’re already having the best time in Tucson. I felt like we’ve had more visitors in the past 48 hours than we did the entire time we lived in San Diego hahah. Everyone came over Sunday night for dinner, dessert and cocktails, and then yesterday morning Kyle and Meg stopped by for coffee and breakfast, nana came over to play with Livi, my dad and stepmom came to visit, and then we walked over to Uncle E’s (our neighbor now!) for dinner with the fam and cousins.

Family right around the corner?!

P in her trike, Livi in her furry coat(pic came out pretty dark but the girls look so cute all bundled up)

I can already feel myself getting used to this.

As usual, Uncle E cooked a huge feast with so many delicious options.


(Roasted potatoes and corn, with grilled sausages, onions, pork chops, salmon, spaghetti squash, portobello mushrooms, zucchini and asparagus. Madre brought sweet potatoes, wine, and pie for dessert.)

We’re loving our temporary house (I’ll do some Facebook Lives from the new kitchen), and it feels good to already know what to expect and do instead of like we’re discovering everything for the first time. It feels gloriously familiar after a lot of unknown, and upcoming unknowns. Tucson is like my favorite Popsugar hoodie. I have other comfy hoodies, but always end up wearing this one. 😉 

The girls

Today, I’m officially getting back in the swing of things. I took about 5 days off from working out -it was so hectic and then I finally felt like we could relax a little after the insanity- and can’t wait to catch a yoga class this week. I also want to go shake it at DJ Dance Cardio with Todd. I can already tell it will set my soul free; I need some sassy walking in my life. 

So for today, I thought we could talk a little bit about finding motivation, especially after a baby, injury, or returning to the fitness game.

Finding Motivation After Baby

Here are some of the things I’ve found to help when you’re out of the routine and getting started again. It can be a little tricky when you’re home with a small baby, can’t remember the last time you bathed, and are wearing pajamas 24/7. If you’ve recovered from an injury or getting back in the game, it’s a matter of setting new patterns and habits.

Set a goal. Having a set goal or plan in place is so much more meaningful than trudging along without a destination. Determine some goals that you want to achieve (consistency is a great goal!! Strength train, practice yoga/Pilates, or complete cardio “x” times a week or “x” times a month), so you can brainstorm your plan to get there.

Think about how you’ll FEEL. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the vanity aspect of fitness, and I think when you do it in a reasonable way, it can be an effective form of short-term motivation. The real deal is to focus on long-term benefits of health, and also how amazing you’ll feel once you’re back in the game. Usually all I need is to think of the energy boost that’s headed my way, and it’s enough for me to lace up my sneakers, even if I’m just going for a walk around the neighborhood. 

Do it the smart way. Don’t go balls to the wall and start a plan or make changes you know you can’t maintain for the long term. It’s an easy way to set yourself up for burnout, and *failure*, which can hinder future progress. If you feel like you’ve already failed, it’s that much harder to keep going. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do forever. If you can’t see yourself doing it for the long haul, reassess. 

Find out what pushes your motivation buttons. For some people, a group community works wonders, or having someone to hold you accountable. Others feel more driven when they keep it to themselves. Find out if you need a buddy or someone to join you in your endeavors. 

Reward yourself along the way. I’m a huge believer in setting up small rewards along the way. Strength train consecutively, 3x a week for an entire month? New tank top. Meet up with your running group for your training runs for a month? Massage. Hit a new PR with strength training, speed, or consistency?? Treat yourself to a new pair of sneakers or athletic gear. Pick out some ideas that work with your budget that you know would motivate you along the way.

So tell me friends: what motivates you? What’s something you do when you’re feeling blah or getting back into it?

For all of my friends who are expecting or have new babies, the revamped post baby bod and advanced plans will be available for pre-order next week! If you’re looking for extra support and encouragement for the new year, I have a fun surprise headed your way, too. (Plus we have Winter Shape Up to look forward to on the 23.)

Have an amazing day.



Looking for a workout you can do while traveling this week? Here ya go!

Post Navigation:


  1. Beth on December 27, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Happy Holidays! I’m behind on blog reading – I thought you were moving to Valdosta? Enjoy your family time!

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      we are! we’ll be there mid-aril

  2. Nathaly @NathyCure on December 27, 2016 at 7:05 am

    The key to my motivation is not to focus on how much I don’t want to exercise at that moment (if I’m feeling lazy that day).

    For example, If I don’t want to exercise but I know I need to do it, I just don’t think about it too much. Instead, I focus myself on the action of getting dressed and be out the door to workout. Once I’m running or working out, all the laziness goes away.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      love that- so true. if you dwell on it, it just makes it less appealing

  3. Julie on December 27, 2016 at 7:31 am

    So glad you’re enjoying your time in Tucson! Hope it takes a bit of the sting away from having to leave a place you’ve loved so much.

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      so true!!

  4. Cassie on December 27, 2016 at 7:44 am

    For me, the key was finding ways to move with the little one because I didn’t want to leave her and wanted to chill and read when she was sleeping. So we do lots of walks/strolls together.

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      yes, it’s nice to zone out and have some “me” time when they’re sleeping

  5. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on December 27, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I actually just did a Facebook live on this! When people rely on willpower or motivation, they generally do not meet their goals. It’s similar to restricting the diet to lose weight. Just as foods become more attractive, it becomes more attractive to not do the things you’re trying to do do.

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      that is SO true. love that

    • Nathaly @Nathycure on December 28, 2016 at 6:59 am

      I couldn’t agree more with you Megan!

      I’ve discovered that when I’m not motivated to exercise, I will end up exercising anyways If I just accept the fact that I’m feeling lazy. But If I try to fight against it and try to impose myself the willpower or motivation, I’ll most likely skip it. Pretty ironic huh?

  6. Amna on December 27, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Hey Gina! Do you have any suggestions for workout videos you did during pregnancy- not yoga or barre themed like most of them on the market. I’m mostly a HIIT person since I’m pretty short on time and going into pregnancy, i know hiit is a no-no. Ive been looking for DVDs with programs I can just follow that aren’t longer than 20-30 minutes

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      hmmm that’s a great question. i really liked the T25 workouts while i was pregnant and turbofire. i would just follow the modifier for low-impact variations

  7. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on December 27, 2016 at 9:17 am

    I find that making plans with a friend always get me out of the house. Whether it’s meeting up for a yoga class or going for a walk together, I’m much more likely to get out there if I know someone is counting on my to show up.

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      yes, that helps so much! i’m way less likely to flake if someone is waiting for me 😉

  8. Diane on December 27, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    This post came at the perfect time! I used to exercise six days a week, than after some life changes, I’ve gone the past 4 months doing hardly any workouts at all. It’s only been the past few days that I threw on some workout clothes and have been trying to get back into my routine.

    Thanks for the tips!

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      <3 happy to hear you're feeling better and getting back into it!

  9. Kate on December 27, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    What I find most helpful is starting REALLY small–stopping randomly through the day to do 10 pushups, 10 squats, doing a stretch here or there. After a day or two of this, I find my mindset shifts to start incorporating a little more, like a walk with a friend, a bike ride, a yoga class. That little bit at the beginning is so important to reminding me how good it feels to move, and I find I naturally want to exercise more if I give myself some time to get my brain on board before I push too hard at shifting my habits!

    • Fitnessista on December 27, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      i love that idea so much. you’re so right, even just a little bit here and there can remind the body how good it feels to move!

  10. Miriam on December 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I like this post! I had to stop training 3 times in the past 5 years, twice because of injuries and once while I was pregnant (I’ve had to bed rest the last 2 months of my pregnancy). But even after all of that I still had it in me to find time to exercise, even if it was not easy to find the motivation, I pushed myself to go (to the gym). But I ended up losing the motivation after the end of my mat leave, when I got back to work full time and baby was at the daycare during the day, my days were so exhausting I -barely- was training once per 2 weeks for more than a year. Then I started taking group exercise classes and I found myself motivated again, not right away but after a while. I started slowly and at my own rhythm and I integrated more (different) classes along the way and now I’m back at training regularly and see a HUGE improvement in my general physical condition, I am stronger and fitter and I’m really happy about it. It is NOT easy to find motivation again after having to stop so much. To change my focus and to try different things (than before) is what helped me back on track, I was never into group classes because I thought it was always too slow, but I tried different things that really challenges me and now my vision (of group exercise classes) has changed completely!

  11. Megan on December 29, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    I needed to read this today. I’m sitting here, 5 months post partum, while baby is napping trying to find my motivation. Getting back into the swing of things while working time and caring for a baby that will not sleep has not been easy. I made a goal of exercising 3 times a week while on X-mas break and I’m 1 workout away from accomplishing it. My reward- a coffee from my new keurig and cookie that’s been calling my name. Now, time to get off my butt and MOVE.

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      you can do it!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.