Happy Autumn: turn over a new leaf

Hi! How’s your morning going! Loving the White Plum giveaway entries; keep ‘em coming! I’m having an amazing time at Mountain Trek. I’ve been taking a couple of days to get into the swing of things (and process everything) but I should have an adventure post up soon. I already have so many photos to share of the breathtaking scenery. To all of my Canadian friends: you live in a beautiful country!!

Today is an important day: pumpkin spice everything is officially legal.

Pumpkin spice everywhere

(Photo source)

First day of autumn is officially here! I’m a huge fan of autumn in all of it’s pumpkin-gasm, sweater-wearing, basketball-watching, cliche glory. Every fall, I like to take a little bit of time to assess personal changes I’d like to implement for the new season. I consider it a chance to “turn over a new leaf” and an ideal opportunity to ditch habits/things that no longer serve me in addition to figuring out where I am with my goals for year. With a few months left in 2014, it’s an ideal time to things into high gear for the accomplishments I want to achieve, and ditch those that aren’t logical/attainable or on the priority ladder.

Fall leaves  1 of 1 2

Some leaves I’ll be turning over this fall:

-Work on showing empathy and understanding to others. I feel this is one of those things where the bucket is never full; there’s never enough, and it’s a great thing to always strive towards. One thing that my acupuncturist called out about my personality is that I’m “dangerously empathetic.” I let the emotions of others truly affect me, and while it’s something I FEEL, it’s something I think I could work on demonstrating or using to motivate action. You can’t make changes out of feelings. One of my main goals for Liv is to teach her to be kind and compassionate to others, even the ones who are too hurt to treat us with the same respect. Kindness goes a long way; you can never have or show too much.

-Work on self kindness, too. This means letting go of tiny things I may tell myself throughout the day (“Ugh, why did/didn’t you do that?” “I feel gross today” “I suck at life today”) and showing more patience to myself. Sure, realistic self-assessment is critical to self growth, but there’s a huge difference between realistic assessment and the small yet eternal inner pessimist.

-Meditate. I ALWAYS say I’m going to work on this, and it always seems to slip through the cracks. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve made it a priority and notice a dramatic improvement in how relaxed I feel during the day. Something that has helped remarkably: meditation podcasts. I particularly enjoy the ones by meditation oasis, and it’s a great way to spend some time relaxing before bed or to recharge mid-afternoon.

-Practice yoga regularly. I haven’t really practiced since Yoga Journal (unless you can kind of count Liv’s weekly classes, which I attend and participate with her), and miss my own practice terribly. I can feel my body craving it, but it’s something I’ve pushed out since I’ve been teaching almost every day and don’t want to overdo it. Here’s the thing, though: a yoga practice doesn’t need to be an hour or 90 minutes. It can be 15 minutes, which is what I’m going to start doing at least a couple of times a week if I can’t get into a class. 

-Continue to enjoy a capsule-ish style of living. I add the “ish” in there because the “all or nothing” mentality does’t usually work in my favor. I’ve really enjoyed minimizing clothing-related purchases over here, and continuing to save for our family’s goals. Experiences > things.

-Continue being active with the things I love to do. After a couple of years (way back in the day) of too much fitness (some that I didn’t even really enjoy but did out of obligation or habit), it feels nice to be in a sweet spot participating/teaching a glorious mix of the things I love. I feel very thankful that I get to sweat at one point or another most days, and they’re all so amazingly fun. 

-Gaining momentum with my 2014 goals. I’m really excited to give birth to the book baby, and also some huge (!) and exciting projects that are around the corner in 2015. 

Some ideas to get more out of the fall season:

-Make a fall bucket list. Here’s an awesome one I found on Pinterest.

-Throw a Halloween party. Halloween decor makes me (lame pun ahead) scary excited, and I also look forward to our pumpkin carving party each year. We will definitely be continuing the tradition in our new place 🙂

-Enjoy the “sweet spot of workout weather.” In many climates, this is a great time to take your workouts outdoors. 

-Check out this September post for more ideas! 

Fall leaves  1 of 1

What leaves are you turning over this fall? What’s something you want to change? Something you want to continue?? I always love to hear your thoughts and what you have on the horizon.

Sending lots of healthy wishes and love to you. 



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  1. Tina Muir on September 23, 2014 at 7:22 am

    You are right! Today is the perfect day to start working on those things you wish to change. I have already started working on not obsessing over my garmin, and Chicago marathon will be my real test to see if I have learned my lesson. I know I can run anywhere between 2:38 and 2:48, but if I am in the right mindset mentally, that will determine the final result. I am working on that the most. Thanks for the reminder, and happy fall 🙂

  2. Brynn on September 23, 2014 at 7:35 am

    I want to practice mindfulness and patience. Taking walks in the fall helps me to slow down and see the beauty all around. I try and take that approach into my daily life. Staying present can be challenging but is so amazing once you can put it into practice.

  3. Christa @ livingunbalanced.com on September 23, 2014 at 7:42 am

    I love your goal on showing empathy to others – definitely something I want to work on too.

    I’m starting to get back into running – so my goal is to not overdo it (which always ends in a running rut) and keep foam rolling!

  4. Emily on September 23, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I’m due with my second in November, so this fall I’m just kicking back and enjoying the ride into the “new normal” we’re about to experience! For me it’s not the time to try to take up any new projects … having another kid is going to be all the new project I can handle!

    And yes, pumpkin spice everything.

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:32 am

      so excited for you!!

  5. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on September 23, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Haha you made me laugh with ‘pumpkin spice is now legal’. But I agree! It now feels ‘okay’ to officially embrace fall!

  6. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on September 23, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Gina, I feel like you’re reading my mind with all of your new leaves!! Yes yes yes to all of the above – self kindness, compassion for others, meditation and yoga (which I always say I’m going to do more of and haven’t) and doing fitness for fun, not out of obligation. You pretty much summed mine right up! I hope you have an amazing holiday here. I think you’re over on the west coast and if so, it really is one of the most beautiful parts of the country in my opinion. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:32 am

      i totally agree; it’s one of the most beautiful places i’ve ever seen!

  7. Sara from Sweden on September 23, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I really love fall – it is so beautiful! I will work on getting my ski muscles strong because I live in ski heaven. We had the first snowfall yesterday so I’m kind of in winter mode. I look forward to go for long runs, tough hill sprints – and then just chill with friends in front of a fire.

  8. Lucie@FitSwissChick on September 23, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Meditation is something I do daily since over 3 years now and I am convinced it actually saved my life (leaving my Eating Disorder behind after 20 years of battling).
    I also need to do more Yoga and as you say, 15 minutes to start!! I also continue with my mobility and stretch work daily. Being a CrossFitter and Powerlifter, it is SO needed!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:31 am

      <3 <3

  9. Tory @ tory of my life on September 23, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Over the weekend I just re-evaluated my new year’s resolutions to see where I needed to step things up. It may seem small, but I really want to make flossing twice a day a habit and get back into reading before bed. I use an app called Stop, Breathe, and Think to guide me through meditations. It’s free and most of the meditations are <10 minutes, perfect for a quick check in.

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:31 am

      oh i will check it out!!

  10. Ali @ Peaches and Football on September 23, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I’m excited for some Fall relaxation. Summer is always a busy time and since we just got married, it was even more of a whirlwind! I need some recovery time. Plus, it’s weird to have something you’ve been working on for so long suddenly be over. It almost seems like a big void to fill, so I’d like to channel some of that extra time and energy into a new fun something. Just need to figure out what.

    Love the pumpkin spice everywhere!!

  11. Alex @ Get Big, Go To Work on September 23, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I am looking forward to your book release, especially after finishing your amazing e-book. I can’t wait to see what projects you have lined up for 2015.

    I want to work on my sleep habits this fall as well as manage my stress better. I’ve been taking a glass half full approach to life lately no matter what is thrown my way and I have noticed a drastic improvement in my attitude and relationships over the past few months. I’ll definitely be keeping this up!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:30 am

      thank you so much, alex <3
      that sounds like an awesome thing to continue. stress reduction can make a significant impact on how the day goes 🙂

  12. Run wright on September 23, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Today, there are 100 days left in 291, I am playing catchup with my goals and resolutions for the rest of the year and focusing on making small steps everyday so I can finish them by year end. See my blog post today about it.

  13. Chelsa on September 23, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I used to do yoga everyday for years and then I lost touch, until I found Dirty Yoga. Seriously look it up. It’s a super affordable subscription but the instructor is amazing and every week there are fresh yoga classes. At this point if the site ever went down it my life would be over. I’m addicted!!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:29 am

      i will definitely check it out!

  14. Brittany on September 23, 2014 at 8:25 am

    My new leaf is trying to find a fitness pal! I work full time (more than full time, really) and getting a workout in is much more difficult when you only have about 3 hours to get it done (and you’ve already worked all day –or in the case of morning workouts, you know you have a full 11 hour day ahead of you– but I find it easier with fitness pals! So I’m trying to find one 🙂
    PS Gina, I recently started doing Orangetheory a couple of times a week and I have to know– do you prefer to start with the sprinting segment or start with the weight/row component?

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:29 am

      hope you find a great fitness buddy soon!
      oh, sprinting first all the way. i like to get it over with!

  15. Chrissy @ Pink Polish and Running Shoes on September 23, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I want to focus on staying in the moment and being happy where I am now. I’m such a planner that I tend to get too obsessed with the future instead of taking the time to enjoy the here and now.

  16. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on September 23, 2014 at 8:56 am

    My only goal for October/early November is to finish painting & cleaning our new house and actually move in! This combined with a full schedule of coaching will be enough of a challenge!

  17. Betty on September 23, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I too go Fall Crazy! …and I agree, fall is a great time to turn over a new leaf. As I move into fall I want to focus on finding time to be “still” and enjoy the moment.

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:28 am

      love that. stillness can be so blissful 🙂

  18. Amanda @ Slimplify Life on September 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Love this post! My new goal is to try to change up my workouts as much as possible. Being a long distance runner, I fall into the ‘run every morning because I don’t have to think about it’ routine. But being able to run half-marathons doesn’t mean I am in shape. I took my first Barre class this morning and it kicked. my . butt. Shaking like leaf over here. Can’t wait to keep trying new classes!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:28 am

      barre is an awesome workout– happy to hear you liked it 🙂

  19. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on September 23, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Love this post! I have been doing great with some habits, but some others need attention. I miss daily meditation and also my sleep has not been awesome. I need to make it a habit to shut down earlier at night.

    Great goals and excited to hear about your 2015 projects!

  20. haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine.com on September 23, 2014 at 9:35 am

    BRING ON THE PUMPKIN! Happy, happy fall! LOVE that Toy Story pic!

  21. Rhiannon @ Bound to be a Buckeye on September 23, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I love the turning over a new leaf idea! Fall/Halloween is my favorite time of year. We’re planning on having a Halloween get-together as well. Last year when we moved, I was one week too late to celebrate the holiday in our new house. I’m pumped this year. We finally live in an area that offers Yoga just ten minutes away, so I can’t wait to start going to classes. Even though I’m nervous to be a newbie!

  22. char eats greens on September 23, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I keep saying I need to meditate and do yoga more, so I definitely agree with turning over those new leaves!! Well, I agree with everything you said, so I need to customize a list and actually make one! I used to live in West Canada/BC while my hubby took a job there for 10 months, but now we’re back in Ontario, but you’re right, it’s soooo gorgeous out there! Miss the mountains! But now we have new and exciting adventures coming up because we’re moving to Orlando in a few months, so I’ll have to work moving into some of my goals and how that will change them!!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:26 am

      orlando is such a fun place to live! you will love it!!

  23. angela on September 23, 2014 at 9:47 am

    My new leaf is starting a blog! I am excited to have a new creative outlet – being creative makes me happy ?

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:26 am

      love this!

  24. Britt@MyOwnBalance on September 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I really need to get back into meditation. I was doing an excellent job in the late winter/spring and then it all fell off. I use short meditation classes from YogaGlo that actually work great (I have been known to do them in bed only to wake up an hour later with all the lights on and the class over-ha!).

  25. Annie @ Annie Get Your Run on September 23, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I feel the exact same way about yoga. Between working and running and weights, I just push it aside, but I’m making an effort to get to one class a week. Better for the body and mind!

  26. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I want to continue practicing latience with myself. My injury has forced me to be more patient with myself this year but now that in getting better I don’t want to lose sight of that.

  27. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on September 23, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I’m the same way with meditation. I always mean to do it and then it never happens.

    I hope to continue gaining momentum with my 2014 goals too. I have a lot of decisions to make and it’s kind of overwhelming me to be honest.

  28. Sara @ Lake Shore Runner on September 23, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Speaking of pumpkin spice I made my pumpkin oat bars this weekend and they turned out great! http://www.lakeshorerunner.com/2014/09/23/treat-tuesday-pumpkin-oat-bar-recipe/

    Thanks for the inspiration with your pumpkin oat cookies 🙂

    Pumpkin everything has begun!!

  29. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on September 23, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Fall is a great time to revisit your goals. I’ve been trying to go to yoga once a week, and have been fairly successful with it. As a trainer and instructor of other classes, I definitely need the stretching you get in yoga, as well as the mind/body element. I’d like to focus on doing things that I LIKE for the rest of the year, rather than doing things I SHOULD be doing. I’m looking forward to hearing your big announcements. Have a great time in Canada!

  30. Chelsea @ TableForOne on September 23, 2014 at 10:46 am

    I like the idea of turning over a new leaf. This fall, I will be working on my patience with others and showing myself kindness. I will also be keeping up with my 5:30am workouts. I can always use a little extra motivation for those!

  31. Alexandra on September 23, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I really need to work on “Self love” also – Im way too hard on myself and get down on myself when I mess up, eat junk don’t take the best care of my body etc. I also want to practice yoga regularly! My body and soul are craving it! Cant wait to hear about your exciting news coming in 2015! And cant wait to receive your book!!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:24 am

      thank you so much, alexandra!
      a great way to think about staying on track: just because you have a flat tire doesn’t mean you have to slash the rest. you change the tire and move on. i always think of that when i have a blip in the road and it’s helped a ton!

  32. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on September 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I am so with you on meditating and yoga! Those are things I am slowly implementing into my lifestyle and it has already made a difference 🙂

  33. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat on September 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I am in the midst of marathon training and yoga has fallen by the wayside. I just signed up for a class tomorrow morning at one of my favorite studios after reading. It is such a nice mental and physical reprieve from logging all the miles!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:22 am

      ahhh have an amazing yoga class!

  34. kristin @ W [H] A T C H on September 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

    experience > things. love it.

  35. mary on September 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Why are you at a weight loss retreat? Freebie for posting the link or a review? I hope so! Have fun!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:21 am

      thank you! they do provide assistance with weight loss if that’s your goal, but people come for a variety of reasons. i posted more details in tonight’s post, but yes i’m here for a press trip. the hiking has definitely been the highlight so far 🙂

  36. Crystal on September 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Oh boy, it sounds like you’re having a great time in Canada, I’m super jealous 🙂

    Autumn is kind of weird for me because although I love so many things about it (the weather and colors, pumpkin everything, my bday and wedding anniversary), I always deal with seasonal affective disorder this time of year, so my gloominess creeps in here or there and puts a damper on things (that’s putting it mildly). Something I’d like to turn over–finding healthier ways to deal with it. I’m right there with you on needing more meditation and yoga. Also, I started taking vitamin D, which I think helps this time of year.

    Hope you’re having a fun and safe time 😀

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:18 am

      i might join you in the vitamin d; the shorter and colder days have never been great for my spirits. have you looked into the lights for it? might be worth checking out!
      exciting that you have a bday and anni coming up too 🙂

  37. Anita on September 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    There are so many things that struck me in these goals! Particularly what you said about being “dangerously empathetic.” I absolutely absorb people’s emotions, sometimes to the extent that it’s not helpful or comforting. I’m always working on finding that balance.

    I’m going to have to check out that meditation podcast– I’ve been wanting to try it!

    Always, Anita

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:17 am

      totally agree. i had to stop watching and reading the news as often as i was, because it was really upsetting to me. it’s awesome that you recognize that in yourself too; it is challenging to find that balance.
      hope you love the podcast!!

  38. Alysia @ Slim Sanity on September 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Self kindness. YES. So important – and something I’m working on too.

  39. Sandra F. on September 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I decided a couple of weeks ago to put less pressure on myself with workouts. Although I work out 5 days a week, I was putting pressure on myself on how intense they were – getting overwhelmed by fitness magazines, blogs, websites. Just do what you love, what makes you feel good/Strong and keep it going with healthy eating, relaxation, etc.

    Great post, Gina. As a reader, I can feel your compassion and genuine personality.

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:15 am

      thank you so much, sandra (and thank you for reading, too!) <3
      isn't it amazing what less self-imposed pressure does with workouts/fitness? it makes things fun again 🙂 such a beautiful thing!

  40. Alexandria @ Al2getherfit on September 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Love this post and LOOOOVE FALL! We’re in Florida so we don’t get the real nice weather very much but we can still make pumpkin everything!!

  41. Emily on September 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I really needed to read this post and reflect on my goals for the rest of the year – thank you, Gina!

  42. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on September 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    What a lovely list! I could definitely work on more self kindness (aren’t we always our own worst critics?) and finally getting to that thing I always say I’m going to do, but never end up doing: meditating! Fall is my absolutely favorite time of year and I’m going to soak up all of its pumpkin and sweater goodness before the shorter, colder, snowier, messier days of winter are upon us.

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:13 am

      totally agree that we’re our own worst critics! i was listening to a podcast, and the guest speaker was talking about how you perceive yourself (especially in public or speaking) is always going to be worse than how normal people perceive you

  43. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on September 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Love this! You’ve definitely motivated me to take a peak at some of my goals to see how I’m REALLY doing 🙂 Thanks!!

  44. Blake on September 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Turning over a new leaf – love it! I’m going to work on my own list tonight!

  45. Kate on September 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I’ve been meditating too and it does WONDERS for my patience, overall attitude, and outlook on life. We can hold each other accountable so that whenever I don’t think it’s necessary or don’t want to take the time, I’ll think “Gina is probably meditating too so I will.” haha! Even the littlest amount of time helps!

  46. Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola on September 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I love fall! It’s my favorite season. One of my goals this fall is to pack a healthier lunch for work. I usually resort to the cafeteria, which doesn’t end well 🙂

  47. Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal on September 23, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I want to hear more about this capsule-ish way of living. Have you posted about it before? You mentioned not buying any new clothes, but I want to hear all about it!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:09 am

      i could never stop buying clothes entirely, but i’ve cut way back and it feels great. i wrote about it a few weeks ago! looking for the link but my connection is being slow

  48. Amy S on September 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    This is awesome! So true – the first day of a new season is a great time to reflect, set goals, and think about prioritizing what is and isn’t working in your life. This post is excellent motivation for me to make my own introspective list! 🙂

    I feel exactly the same way as you do about yoga. I definitely make more time for running, strength training, and dancing, but I always feel amazing when I add bits of yoga into the mix. Even just 15 minutes really does make a difference, as you said! I may have to steal your yoga goal of practicing twice a week…good idea!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:09 am

      virtual yoga buddies!

  49. Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift on September 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Oooh, those are all good. My “leaves” are:
    – Prioritize. Stop trying to do all the things, and commit to doing the things I truly need to do…and do them well!
    – Do something fun once a week. Right now those fun adventures are always an afterthought, but my soul feels healthier when I’m regularly doing things that light up my heart. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:08 am

      when i stopped trying to multitask, it changed my life!
      love the fun adventures idea. may have to copy that 🙂

  50. Yaara Leve on September 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    I love how you said “you can’t make changes out of feelings.” That is so spot on. I also want to show more patience, empathy, and compassion for people. I can get really reactive at times and it never benefits any situation. I also want to break out of my rigidity. I suffer from pretty severe OCD and anxiety where I isolate myself from others and this year I really want to branch out of myself and make friends with people. I hope you enjoy Canada–it does look stunning.
    Also–where are those gorgeous black suede boots from that you are wearing with the Black Plum leggings in the previous post? I love them!

    • Fitnessista on September 24, 2014 at 12:07 am

      they’re super old, from aldo. my trusty black boots 🙂
      so happy to hear that you’re taking care of yourself by being proactive.

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