Creating habits you can, and want, to keep

Hi friends! Happy humpday! Are we halfway through the week already?! So happy you’re excited about our Squatember challenge. 🙂 I did the barre burner last night after teaching, and the legs are a liiiitle sore today. New post up on the Family page here!

So lately, I’ve been sucked into the “Check out this article!” type posts on my Facebook feed. I’m convinced that Facebook gets into your brain, because it somehow shouts out certain purses or tops I’d been looking at (tricky, tricky), and also knows we’re expecting a little one. I’ve ended up reading quite a few “Worst parenting advice ever” and “Best parenting advice” themed articles, especially lately. I’m definitely curious to learn about what has worked for other parents, fully knowing that it’s different for everyone. I’m still curious. In one of the articles about surviving with a newborn, the author said something like, “If you can’t do it forever, don’t start.” This is so true, because if you turn bedtime into this crazy multi-step ritual, the baby is going to expect it after a certain amount of time, and when certain pieces aren’t there, the world crumbles apart. 

It’s very similar for health and fitness:

“Create habits you can, and want, to keep”

New balance 1 of 1 2

This was something that took me a long time to learn, because back in the beginning of my fitness journey, I was the queen of crash dieting and setting up asinine workout schedules. There was a point where I strength trained almost every day -lifting the same wimpy weights and doing the same exercises- and would spend at least an hour doing cardio, unknowingly allowing my body to catabolize any muscle I’d tried to build. After educating myself, attending trainings/workshops, and becoming involved in the fitness industry, I was able (and excited!) to change my ways. Over time, I created an effective, fun way of living and sweating that would be attainable to maintain for the long term. 

Cardio (Not super relevant to the post but makes me laugh)


This is something I’ll usually ask potential clients about when I check in with them. How’s the eating going? What are you doing for cardio right now? And I’ll try to gauge if they’ve been following something that they can stick with, and try to get ideas of creating habits they can, and will want to, maintain. Your body gets used to same demands over time. Just like the tiny baby, who wants you to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” 40 times and do a dance, then bounce them gently to sleep, then turn off all but one light, etc. your body, will start to expect the same routine, and will produce similar results. If things change through routine (or burnout from doing too much) the results from the extra rituals could start to diminish or change entirely. After I stopped doing so much cardio, I got my body fat percentage checked, and noticed that I was gaining MUSCLE. I was no longer eating away my strength training work. (Reason 3829374 why the scale doesn’t paint the full picture.) Also, if you’re not creating habits that can be followed as a lifestyle, it’s a quick recipe for burnout. 

I guess the point of this post is just a little pep talk! It’s always a good opportunity to take a look at your routine and see if you’re setting yourself up for long-term success. Can you do it forever? If you do, would you be happy? 

Hope you have an awesome morning. <3



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  1. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 2, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Love the message in this! I see a woman at my gym who is a cardio addict and I often wish I could have a heart to heart with her about the cardio she’s doing. Like you, I know from past mistakes that too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.

  2. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine on September 2, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Yes! Once you find that routine of habits that work for you, things just fall in to place and you don’t have to think twice! It isn’t a big deal anymore!

  3. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on September 2, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Awesome post! Really good food for thought. <3

  4. Hillary on September 2, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I love this post and its message! I was wondering if you could post about your transition into a more strength training based routine and tips for what a weekly schedule might look like. (and how to scale up from “wimpy weights! <— which is where I am!).

  5. Aurora@Fitness is Sweet on September 2, 2015 at 9:19 am

    I think this is spot on! I truly believe that people who do not like to exercise have just yet to find that one form of exercise that they love! If you love it, you’ll keep coming back!

  6. Crystal on September 2, 2015 at 9:29 am

    This is so true with fitness and nutrition! Great post Gina 🙂

  7. Jessica on September 2, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I am starting Body Beast at the end of the month and can’t wait. I love strength training but have never followed a program like that before. Hoping to see really good results.

  8. Jessie R on September 2, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Great post! Too often we try to change EVERYTHING at once… that just won’t be sustainable. It’s all about creating a lifestyle that brings you happiness and joy :).

  9. Julia on September 2, 2015 at 11:12 am

    This needs to be a series! I’d love to see people maintaining workouts they could do forever – and I’d be happy to learn what said workouts are because I have not found such a thing yet. I think I could do yoga quite happily for a long, long time. But no time to go to classes and since down dog just means mommy is a tunnel to play through/on I’m sadly quite lazy about it.

  10. Katie @ Live Half Full on September 2, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Such a smart way to look at things, thanks for sharing!

  11. Lindsey on September 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I used to never understand strength training because I didn’t like that I wouldn’t “burn as many calories” as I did when I did my cardio workouts. Once I started forcing myself to do more strength training and less cardio, and seeing changes in my body, now I’m hooked!

  12. Susie R on September 2, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    I used to be that girl on the treadmill and bike for an hour each! I recently went to a bootcamp and learnt all about strength training, and my workout is now completely different. I’ve also cut out sugar and am looking forward to the combined effects of the two approaches 🙂

  13. Katie on September 2, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    This is such a timely message for me… thank you, Gina! I’ve been wondering this a lot as I’ve really been getting frustrated with the “lack of results” lately and I’m hoping it’s just that I need to ride it out. I’ve been at Orange Theory 2-3 days a week and yoga 2-3 of the off days (not so much for fitness but for well being and all that). I’ve felt like I’ve simplified my diet enough but after three months, I’ve only gained weight. Do you have any suggestions for what I should increase or decrease in my diet to see results? Should I just trust that I’m acquiring muscle? I’m all ears if you have any suggestions because I feel truly stuck and I always appreciate your point of view on things.

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2015 at 9:25 am

      this is hard for me to answer since i don’t know your body comp or age, fitness level, amount of calories you’re eating/burning, etc. i would make sure you’re doing OTF on non-consecutive days, and maybe add in a day of steady state cardio in there since OTF is such intense hiit training and see if that helps. also with the yoga, if you sandwich it with otf, you’re doing a LOT of strength work. your muscles might need a break!
      how i’d set it up for myself with your type of schedule:
      sunday: steady state
      monday: OTF
      tuesday: off
      wednesday: OTF
      thursday: yoga
      friday: steady state or off
      saturday: OTF

    • jean on September 3, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Even though the scale says that you gained weight, how do your clothes fit? I hear lots of people say that you should always take measurements and photos because that’s where you will see the real changes – not the scale.

  14. on September 3, 2015 at 3:39 am

    I love this! I used to do the exact same thing… crash diets and cardio. I never strength trained in my early 20s. It didn’t even cross my mind. Now my main focus is on strength and cardio comes second usually!

  15. Cara's Healthy Cravings on September 3, 2015 at 4:50 am

    Strength training is a magical weapon!
    I am so happy that BodyPump introduced me to the benefits…Over the past couple years I have toned down my cardio and upped my strength training and have seen huge changes. It is one habit that I am definitely sticking with.

  16. Sam @ PancakeWarriors on September 4, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I’m so in love with this message. If you can’t do it long term, it’s not going to be a habit. Oh yes yes yes! I love weight training and it is 100% part of who I am. I love your approach with your clients. Instead of continuously forcing them, you do some of the evaluation for them, because they are nt likely to admit they can’t stick to something long term 🙂

  17. melissa on September 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Gina – what is your take on BodyPump and the whole “lift heavy things” mentality? I really like BodyPump but I find with the high reps I just can’t lift heavy… is that ok? Or should I be doing something different? I also do a boot camp that is HIIT/light weights/bodyweight 1x a week, but I consider that more cardio and rely on BP for my strength.

    For reference, I’m 26 F and in BP i’ll do 25 lb squat, 10 lb biceps, 15 lb back and chest, 10-15 lb lunges. Obviously when I have done low rep heavy lifts I can do much more than that.

    • Fitnessista on September 30, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      hi melissa!
      yes, that’s totally fine! bodypump is focusing on endurance instead of max strength. the idea is that you’ll still see muscle changes and definition without lifting super heavy weights. i find that i get the best results when i combine endurance training (like BP) with traditional hypertrophy training and circuits

  18. Abby on September 1, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Wait- you’re expecting?! Am I the only one who saw that? Haha

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Wait what?? No! Hahah
      Meg and Kyle are!

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