Getting out of my head with health and fitness

Hi! How’s the day going? Hope you’re having a lovely afternoon. Happy you liked the list for this month! Thank you for all of the new recipes to try, too. To celebrate October, we made a trip to Costco for the famous $5.99 pie. It’s everything I remembered. 

We’re still having a blast with the nanas, and went to check out Rancho’s last night. Rancho’s is a quaint Mexican spot with tons of vegan options. Bonus: they serve breakfast all day. They also have a full salad bar + kombucha on the menu! Pretty sure I’d never see that at a Mexican restaurant. The service was amazingly fast, and I especially loved the decor, aka the way I’d decorate my house if my husband approved 😉 

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Enchilada, rice, beans, ‘rita. All things that are good.

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Workout-wise, I’ve been starting the day with a little bit of movement, to continue on the Mountain Trek habits. It’s been nice to ride the spin bike leisurely while watching Scandal (oh, Mellie! And JAKE. Wow. Haha), or get it a good stretch before starting in the email and work blitz before Liv wakes up. It changes based on what I’m teaching: if I have an intense class to teach later, I’ll do some stretches and meditation or take the pups for a walk; if I’m off, I’ll do more cardio or HIIT-related stuff. While short in duration, these morning activities have been a great way to start the day.

I’ve been thinking about how I’ve changed my ways with health and fitness over the past couple of years, and realized the major determining factor: I got out of my own head.

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(photo credit: Whitney Benjamin)

For so long, I didn’t want to work out, unless it was a “real” workout. Back then, it was all about duration instead of quality. if I didn’t have an hour, it didn’t *count.* Now, if I have 30 minutes, I MAKE it count, and I do the things I love. 

Fear of failing and feeling like I needed to be “perfect” to succeed. I think a drive towards perfection can be a tightrope walk. On one side, it can gently nudge you towards working harder, or giving a little more than you thought you could accomplish. On the other side, it’s an unattainable ideal that often will lead to frustration. For years, I fell on the latter side, and instead of being proud of what I did, I looked at how I failed. I’ve learned that by dropping unattainable expectations, you can surprise yourself with what you can achieve. 

Food fears and avoiding indulging in things that weren’t *healthy.* I’ve mentioned it a few times here on the blog –most recently in this post– but when I think of some of the things I used to do, I give myself the side eye. I let myself become brainwashed by the various media outlets -magazine articles claiming “Five foods you should NEVER eat again!” and the various nutrition and fitness books I studied, which all somehow contradicted each other- and added certain things to my fitness routine and removing others from my diet. It took a while to tap into an intuitive style of eating, but it’s freeing to eat everything and still attain your fitness/health goals. 

Comparing each workout/run/race to the previous. This is what initially sucked a lot of the fun out of running, and I stopped for a while before slowly easing back into it. My next run or race always had to be better than the previous one, and we all know that isn’t possible.

When I stopped comparing myself…to myself… it helped me achieve the PR goal I’d wanted to achieve for so long. When I did my long runs, I focused on mileage instead of time. My long runs were slow, but I completed the distance, and I used my Orangetheory classes to help with the speed and hill training. 

Some things that have helped:

-Honor your body. It sounds like such a simple thing, but can actually be challenging to do. There were times when I logged miles on the elliptical because I thought I had to get in “x” amount of cardio, or when I avoided certain desserts/treats. I remember when I posted about eating ice cream again like it was a big deal, which just goes to show this weird bubble that I was stuck in. (Now if I want ice cream… I eat ice cream…) Transitioning from weight loss mode to maintenance mode can be tricky, but it’s a lot easier when you honor what you’re feeling and what your body is telling you to do.

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-Drop your expectations and give yourself some patience. I was listening to a podcast about YouTube filming, and the expert was saying that your worst thought about yourself is 100% worse than anyone, even the harshest critic, will think about you. (And this is coming form the YouTube world, where if you’ve read the comments section, you’ll see some of the worst/nastiest things ever.) This struck a chord with me and made me realize that so often we really are our worst critics. Over the past couple of years, I dropped a lot of my expectations in favor of attainable/positive goals and given more patience to myself.

What’s something you had to do to get out of your head? Anything related to health/fitness that you dropped or changed over time because it wasn’t working for you?

As always, I’m excited to hear your thoughts and read your comments.

Have a wonderful night <3



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  1. jillian on October 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    really good post….. too much to write or react to, but just THANK YOU! <3

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      <3 thank you so much for reading!

  2. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on October 2, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    This is a great (and important!) post that I’m sure many of us can relate to! I’ve also changed over time to get out of my head more (gosh I live there so much that I have to kick myself out!). I started being kinder to my body. I would almost use my emotions to fuel my body. If I was mad or sad or whatever, I would take it out on a workout, but not in a good way. I would push and push and push until finally my body cried uncle and I got injured.
    I’ve since been more kind to my body, and like you, gotten out of the idea that I have to work out a certain way. I’ve also stopped competing with myself. I’m competitive by nature, so it was a hard habit to get out of, but I enjoy working out that much more and my body thanks me for not pushing myself on some days and pushing it on others.
    Thank you for sharing your journey!

  3. karleen on October 2, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I used to TOTALLY be in my own head!! It definitely didn’t help that I managed a gym and felt so much pressure to get in x amount of workouts for however long a certain number of times per week. In the end, I realized it was so exhausting and decided to take it easy in some aspects. Granted, I gained a couple pounds from letting go a bit, but it allowed me to relax and not worry about the small stuff. I am soooooooo much happier because of it and I still look pretty much the same so I wonder why I used to stress if I didn’t workout like 6 days per week. It’s the quality of the workouts AND stretching AND eating well (for the most part) all into one rather than worrying how long my workout was going to be and depriving myself of foods and my overall happiness. LOVE this post, and I’m going to try to carve out some ‘me’ time in the mornings as well whether it be yoga, stretching, or a simple run just to start out my day:)

  4. Danielle on October 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Love this post Gina! I can totally relate to this and have definitely done this with workouts in the past! I think it’s so important to simply love what you do and it may be less intense sometimes. Great post 🙂

  5. Addie on October 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    What a GREAT post! I recently stopped counting calories and I think it has really helped me let go of categorizing foods as “good” and “bad.” I still find myself calculating sometimes, but I just have to remind myself that the quality of the food is more important than the number. I also recently started a regular yoga practice, which I think has helped me become more mindful of my health choices and my life in general. Thanks for the inspiration, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      so wonderful to hear that <3 when i stopped counting calories, it set me freeeeee

  6. Jacquelyn Schober on October 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I love this post. Over the last 6 years it has been a struggle to “love” my body. Over the last few years I’ve tried to really look at myself and be proud of what Ive accomplished and I think over this past year I have FINALLY gotten to the point where I do not freak out if I miss a workout, or freak out if I have desert. I’m so much more comfortable in my skin and proud of who I am. Reading posts like this and having such amazing woman to help empower me is so encouraging and motivating for me!

    • Fitnessista on October 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      <3 <3

  7. Kait on October 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    This could not have come at a better time! After a mini meltdown yesterday and a good cry to my mom, I realized I was pushing myself too hard. We all try to be super humans and it gets to a point where we cannot physically, mentally, or emotionally “do it all”. Thank you for this post; must’ve been a sign or something 😉 Have a great night!

  8. Cassie Vaughn on October 3, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I love your insight here. I have also done a lot of harsh things in order to have the “perfect” body that would make me happy. After a lot of yoga that helped me be easier with myself, I have learned to just be gentle with myself. Yes, I need to move. Yes, I need to eat well most of the time. But splurges are also apart of treating myself well.

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2014 at 11:25 am

      splurges are good for the soul <3

  9. Alexa on October 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I’m trying to transition from weight loss mode to maintenance mode right now, and it is hard. i stopped counting calories a while ago on myfitnesspal, but i still find myself roughly adding it up on pieces of paper to see what portion of X i can have at dinner and if i have room for an after-dinner snack(dessert). i want to be mentally free, but i dont want to gain 5+ lbs back! im trying to eat intuitively..

  10. april on October 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    i loved everything about this post! can’t think of anything else to say, except thank you for sharing <3

  11. Natalie on October 6, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Thank you for this post!

    I recently gained some weight to help get my period back – so far it has worked quite well and I’ve had periods the past four months!

    I’ve realized I have never been at a great place with my body – even when I was 20 pounds lighter. Although I’m getting better with this and my experience with caloric deficits leading to a hormone shutdown has gotten me out of the gym and into the yoga studio, I still struggle inside the brain.

    I was wondering if you had read any good books that have helped you with that inner voice jazz.


  12. Whitney on October 6, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Oh my gawd. This is so what I needed this week. Great pointers and talk there friend! xoxo

  13. Megan @ Piece of Kake on October 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    What a great post and we all need to remind ourselves of this sometimes!

  14. Fancy on October 6, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Don’t give away any Scandal spoilers! I’m catching up and am a season behind!

    • Fitnessista on October 6, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      i won’t! 🙂

  15. Maggie on October 13, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    What a beautiful, touching post. As a type-A personality who struggles with these things, it’s always good to get a reminder to let go a bit on stringency in health and fitness routines. Thanks for these grounding words.

  16. Cassie on October 20, 2014 at 11:28 am

    This one got pinned straight to the inspiration board! I really relate to this right now as it’s something I’ve been working on.

    Would love to see a post about the differences between weight loss and maintenance modes!

  17. Lynn on October 28, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Great article. And in regards to workout duration it is so very true. I always tell myself 10 minutes is better than zero minutes. Plus to your point doing things that you enjoy!

    Cassie does bring up a good point regarding that weight loss and maintenance modes. It is a difficult to find that balance between the two.

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