Getting my toes wet

Last night, I did something I haven’t done in 5 weeks:


went to the gym! It felt so good to be back.

I was cleared to workout again on Monday, but didn’t quite feel energized enough for a gym workout until last night. The Pilot was home, Liv had a full belly, so I went to the gym at work for a short cardio and strength session. I ended up staying on the elliptical for 40 minutes reading a magazine and skipping the strength, because it felt so good to shake my legs out.

Steady state cardio always gives me a chance to clear my mind a little, and just solidified something that I already knew: I’m not going to walk/run the half marathon in March. As much as I would like to, the timeline is too short and even though I feel much better, I’m still not quite ready to jump into a half training plan, even one that includes walking. I haven’t ran long distances in quite a while (I’m more of a sprint/HIIT kinda girl) and lets be real, a half marathon is long enough when you run the entire thing.. walking, and having it take longer to finish, sounds kind of terrible.

The major reason why I set that goal for myself was that it gave me something to look forward to when I was recovered. When you’re healing and missing out on the things you enjoy, having things to look forward to can speed up the healing process, or if anything, give you something to be excited about. The funny thing is, why did I pick running? Why not a Zumbathon or 30 days of yoga or something that I actually do on a regular basis? Oh yeah, because sleep deprivation be a tricky little beast 😉 I would like to get back into fun running as time goes on, and maybe set a more realistic half marathon goal, like one in the fall.

When I set that goal for myself, I knew it was a little far-fetched, but that’s the fun thing about goals: they’re supposed to stretch your boundaries a little. If goals were always attainable, they wouldn’t be goals- it would be a to-do list.

One of the mistakes I’ve recently made has been comparing myself and my recovery to friends and even blog friends who seemed to get back into things so quickly. Just goes to show that everyone’s body is different, whether you had a baby, are coming back from an injury or just getting started with fitness.

Lesson of the story: set your goals high, but let your body be your guide and don’t be afraid to shift or change things as necessary. Looking back at some of the goals I’ve set for myself, many seem absolutely ridiculous now, but others managed to change into accomplishments and opportunities.


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  1. vicky on February 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    great post 🙂 you go girl!

  2. Mary on February 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Sounds like you are on the right track! (haha, pun intended) 🙂

  3. Brittany on February 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    What clothes were you wearing in the pic? I really need new workout clothes. Any recommendations?

  4. Jenn on February 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I think it’s great you set that goal for yourself but I think it’s even more great that you realized and admit it’s too soon. You JUST had a baby so I wouldn’t even be batting an eye at other bloggers who are back into it more quickly. You look gorg btw!

  5. Kristen on February 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I think setting goals is important too, even if they change at the last minute. That’s okay. Life can change at the last minute. That’s what makes it all interesting and not boring.

    As far as comparing yourself to others, it’s pretty much impossible not to do that. Sometimes, when I’m having a little pity party for myself, instead of thinking I wish I could be like so and so, I think of all the people in the world who would love to be in my shoes. I don’t mean that in a self absorbed way. For example: I’m 37 weeks pregnant and feeling a little… Large. I think of all the women who can’t get pregnant and would give anything to feel the way I’m feeling. It makes me rethink things and be thankful for these moments in my life.

    • britt on February 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      I like this! Such a great perspective.

  6. Krystle {Fierce|Fabulous|Fit} on February 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    It sounds like you have such an incredible healthy outlook on fitness and the post partum recovery process! Way to go! I’m so glad you got a workout in that you feel good about! Welcome back 🙂

  7. RachelG on February 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    So inspirational! 🙂

  8. Sarah @ w30 on February 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Great post! Actually, it got me to thinking and I have a post request for you (if you take them – no problem if you don’t want to): I LOVED running but barely got into it before I had to give it up because of a back injury. I found the goal of signing up for a race extremely motivating and would like to find that motivation again but I’ve had trouble thinking of clear goals or challenges to set (I’m relatively new to consistent exercise). I give myself small challenges (up the weights, longer on the elliptical) but don’t find they really motivate me like a clear end goal. You mentioned a Zumbathon and 30 day yoga challenge – could you recommend more? Thanks! 🙂

  9. Morgan on February 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Your gym looks great! I wish mine was open like that! Great job!!

  10. Silvia @ skinny jeans food on February 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I agree — it is better to go easy on your body. My exercise ‘gauge meter’ is the idea of having fun. if you are a couch potato not having exercised for a long time, simply walking around the block is high on the fun meter, achievable, feeling good and feeling refreshed, without any strain. After a while once the person gets more stamina, walking starts to get boring, fun meter goes down and running around the block likely is a lot more fun —- so, I think always tuning in to “what’s fun for me right now” is a good way to go (and also to stay motivated). No need to kill yourself to build up fitness!

    When even people who ran marathons and were out of commission due to having a baby, resort back to the couch-2-5k program to get their stamina back, I believe this mantra is really works for all situations.

  11. Amber L on February 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Awesome post! I have already set a small fitness goal for myself too after baby. I miss running and doing 5ks. I would love to do my first half in the fall, but feel like that’s just going to be too much of a goal, so my goal is too be ready for a 5k in the fall. Part of the goal is to beat my personal record or at least be around the same time. I think I’m going to aim for the half next spring!

  12. Amber L on February 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    *to be ready.

  13. Eliza on February 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Good call, I think you’ll enjoy just being able to get in some exercise and get reacquainted with your body. I had total amnesia and forgot what it was like to NOT be pregnant. Enjoy getting back into the swing of things and just do what you can. I ran my first post-baby 5K about 3 months after our son was born but honestly, it became hard to establish a regular fitness routine for a while because I was so tired after going back to work and not being able to nap during the day.

  14. Coco on February 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I always set my goals for myself ridiculously high- but I’m not so good at the listening to my body part of that. I’m really great at seeing the cues that my body is trying to send, which is great, but listening to them is a job for me. I guess it stems from the competitive swimming days when I was forced to push past those cues and just do it. Good for you for knowing when to chill 🙂 You’ll get there soon enough!

  15. Laura @ She Eats Well on February 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Congrats on your workout! It’s hard to not be too hard on ourselves especially when you’re so used to being so active. Listen to your body, is always the best advice. I bet it felt great to get those endorphins. You seriously look amazing!

  16. britt on February 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    i think you are doing amazing 🙂

  17. Sana on February 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Running will always be that sneaky ex you call at 2am. Let’s be real here 🙂

    • Renee on February 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Ha, I love this comment. It’s so true, I’m not even a die hard runner and it’s always my go to. Gina, I am glad you are listening to your body. It’s so hard to watch people be incredibly harsh and critical with goals and beating themselves up when they realize it was unrealistic in the first place. It’s all about loving yourself! I wish there was a love button on this blog because your blog is definitely my favorite. Side-note: My best friend lives in Tucson and I am going to visit her for 9 days. I hope you don’t mind, but I was wanting to send an e-mail and ask for specific things to do in Tucson since our tastes buds seem to be the same. I’m also looking for great places to hike and do yoga.

  18. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on February 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Congrats on getting back into the gym AND for realizing you can only do things at your pace and on your timetable and that’s going to be different for every new mom (and every person on all things in life). Here’s to you having some great workouts coming up!

  19. Hillary on February 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I love this. Just goes to show you that you’re not a quitter if you’re being realistic with yourself. Good for you for realizing that and putting yourself first, Gina!

  20. Pam on February 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I am quoting you, I love this!! “If goals were always attainable, they wouldn’t be goals- it would be a to-do list.”
    That’s great you are really listening to your body, it’s hard not to look at how other people are progressing, but in the end you have to honor your body.
    Glad you made it back to the gym when it felt like the right time.

  21. Annalisa on February 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    When I had my baby 9 months ago, I remember being winded talking a long walk postpartum — and I stayed in shape my whole pregnancy! I remember sweating on the elliptical which hasn’t happened to me in years! I found what I LOVED to do for a workout has changed since having a baby — maybe it’s time commitments or being a SAHM but I am not the same exerciser and I finally realized that it’s OK. I also made peace with working out 2 or 3 days a week vs. a strict 5 or 6.

  22. Melissa on February 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I’m actually really glad to hear that you are not going to be completing the half in March. Don’t get me wrong, I was really impressed by this goal, but at the same time it just sounded like too much too soon to me. I think your approach has always been about finding balance, so I’m glad your not trying to get into a half training plan this soon. You already look amazing post-pregnancy, but I do realize that we’re always our own harshest critics so you want your pre-baby abs back 🙂 It will come in time, at the right time and pace for you.

  23. Jen V on February 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Oh my goodness! You are such an inspiration! I’m 18 weeks pregnant, a HUGE fitness person, and a HUGE foodie. I love reading all your posts and am so happy that you are finding a little time to squeeze into the gym. I was at the gym the other day (on the same machine you are standing on) and I looked at my mini bump (I’m at that stage when it looks like you ate to big of a meal) and said how will I ever be able to find the time to come here with you around. So I’m so glad, that I see you finding it!! Thanks for being so awesome!

  24. Destini on February 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Having goals is very very important. But also listening to yourself is extremely important! Life has changed for you in a large way. And doing what you feel right is the most important.

    I love how honest you are with yourself and with us. Great post

  25. Amanda on February 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I love the message in this post – you have such a great attitude about health/fitness. Good for you for honoring your body and current situation!

  26. Michelle (Better with Berries) on February 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Love when you said, “If goals were always attainable, they wouldn’t be goals- it would be a to-do list.” When I first started changing my health for the better (around my freshman year of high school, so ~10 years ago), I used to get down on myself when I created all of these goals for myself to get healthier and didn’t always completely live up to them. Then, when I realized that in striving to achieve those goals I was improving my health so much, I didn’t feel bad that i didn’t always do exactly what I had planned.

  27. Lisa on February 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Congrats on getting back in the gym! I started attempting the winter shape up workouts this week and wow, did my body ever rebel. I’m taking things very slowly now because these are all exercises I rarely (if ever) do, so my muscles are having a hard to keeping up. I have the same problem with comparing myself to others, because it seems like so many girls out there can do these things with ease. But I know it’s important to go at my own pace and that’s what I’m doing! My blog entries from this past week are all about this journey 🙂

  28. Kristie on February 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I’m glad you posted this. I have been struggling with a similar issue over the last couple of months… I had to put a lot of my physical activities on hold to allow my body to relax and recover. I am so goal-oriented that sometimes I have a hard time remembering that my goals are just that… MY goals! They’re supposed to serve me, not rule my life! Anyway, I <3 your blog. I look forward to using your family tab as a resource down the line whenever I start having kids 🙂 so please don't ever take it down!

  29. MMiller on February 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    YAY! Glad you got out for some “ME” time and did what you enjoy!! And I am very glad that you aren’t going to push yourself into doing the half marathon!!

  30. chelsea on February 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I love each and every thing you said in this post about goal setting <3 thanks so much for the eye opener.

  31. Ali on February 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Amazing advice. You go woman.

  32. Ashley on February 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Way to go! Must have felt just fantastic! I think it’s best to pass on the half marathon if you aren’t feelin’ it.

  33. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on February 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I think a lot of people (especially bloggers, since they announce them for the world to read!) feel so much pressure to stick to their goals even when they’re unrealistic or even potentially harmful. It’s so awesome that you have the courage to back down from a goal that you realized wasn’t right for you at this time. Go Gina! 😀

  34. Jenna on February 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Thanks for this post, Gina! I sometimes get frustrated/want to hurry along my recovery from a recent surgery. Your thoughts are a great reminder to listen to my body and to take steps at my own pace. Thank you as always for the inspiration! Keep enjoying your beautiful family 🙂

  35. kate on February 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

    You look awesome, Girl!

  36. Kerry @ Totes My Oats on February 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Such a motivational/inspirational post! I’m so happy you know how you’re going to go about getting back into the swing of things. You look awesome!

  37. Casey @ OatsAndNanners on February 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    It’s great that you’re working out again! But even cooler? I love that you’re easing into it and you’re not letting yourself get crazy with post-baby workout syndrome (yeah, I don’t know if that exists…). You’re always inspiring — way to get back in action!

  38. Lu on February 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Take your time. There will be plenty of half marathons. I walked a half marathon back in November after having broken my toe and it was hard. Mile 9 and I do not get along. Mile 9 and I are NOT friends anymore. You’re doing an amazing job. You look wonderful! You inspire me to get out there and do something greater!

  39. Courtney on February 13, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I love that your gym has the concept 2 rowers!

  40. Katy @ HaveYouHurd on February 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Smart girl. Everyone is different! After reading your blog and seeing how active you were before and during pregnancy I was convinced that if/when I get pregnant I MUST BE ACTIVE! Then I read another bloggers experience where she was extremely active before pregnancy and now even walks make her exhausted. Just goes to show that EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT and first and foremost you have to take care of yourself. If you don’t feel it, don’t push it. I think you’re doing awesome!!!

  41. Robin on February 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted here before but I just wanted to say that one major benefit of not training for a half right now is not having to worry about the long miles killing your milk supply. I started running 6 weeks post partum (and by that, I mean that I ran my first mile and felt like my stomach was missing every single muscle), and it took me a little while to get back up to my usual…I absolutely cannot imagine having trained for a half during the time that I nursed my baby, and I was in good shape. As you said, I know it’s different for everybody, but you can easily push that goal back another 6 months (or longer) and still kick bootie in other areas! Congrats on your beautiful family.

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