let’s talk about fitness motivation

Hey friends! How are you? Hope your week is going well. Since I’m finally feeling better, I was able to hit up the gym last night – it felt so good to move again – and am getting things ready for girls’ night tonight at our house. I’m hosting a little cookie exchange and will definitely share some pics in an upcoming post.

For today, I thought we could talk about quite the beefy topic: motivation.

When I put the call out for help with my yearly blog survey (thank you again so much for sharing your feedback and comments with me!), motivation was a resounding theme: curating, discovering and maintaining motivation.


It can be so easy to lose our mojo, especially during such a busy time of year. We’re overwhelmed with additional social events and to-dos, in addition to traveling and end-of-the-year deadlines. I thought we could chat about some of the major areas where we can lose motivation, and share ideas to get over the slump! I’m going to break these into three posts since they ended up so long (!), so for today’s post, let’s focus on fitness. 

Fitness motivation: 

100% real talk: this is something that I’ve struggled with over the past few months. When I was cleared to work out again post-surgery, I was SO PUMPED to get back into action (safely and strategically, of course). Then I remembered where we live. Valdosta is…lacking…in the fitness diversity department.

There are really only two good things I’ve found here fitness-wise: Yoga Central, which I love with all of my heart, and an enthusiastic CrossFit community. Yoga is amazing and is the only class I look forward to when I can take it, but it was a while before I felt comfortable back in yoga. (Still can’t do a full back extension.) CrossFit is hit or miss for me and not something I could jump back into after surgery.

Instead, I started doing Post Baby Bod Advanced, which I credit to getting me back into full fitness shape after a major surgery. I’m so glad I took so much thought into putting these plans together, because they really do work! I feel strong and pretty much back to where I was this time last year. At the same time, I’m someone that thrives in a group fitness environment. While I like to work out in the garage and train myself, I enjoy the community of other fitness-minded peeps working towards their own goals. The base fitness community is incredible, but without childcare and since it’s a far drive, it’s not super realistic this time around.

Things that help me when I lose my fitness mojo:

-Start a new training program or seek out an online community. Post Baby Bod Advanced gave me something to work towards each day, which motivated me while I was following the plan. When I finished up, I started mixing in some BODYPUMP workouts (through the Les Mills’ instructor portal) with my usual strength training split, Peloton cycling and Physique 57 online. I pay for Peloton and P57 each month, and it is 100% worth it to me since we don’t have those classes here. (I teach barre, but there aren’t any other barre classes besides the ones I teach.)

Some more of my favorites:

Beachbody On Demand

Les Mills On Demand

barre3 online

There’s also the Kayla Itsines app (Sweat) and Studio Tone It Up (<— I haven’t tried this one, but would love your thoughts if you have! Maybe I could feature it in a Focus On post?)

If you’re looking for a new training plan, get excited for Winter Shape Up! The fun starts January 15 and you’ll have 7 new workouts for the 4-week challenge (4 video, 3 text/photo).

Winter shape up 2017

-Find a fitness buddy. Having a fitness buddy makes a huge difference for motivation! You’re less likely to hit snooze when you know someone is waiting for you. This could also be your pup. Start a habit of leashing up your dog for a walk first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to shake out your legs and theirs, listen to a podcast, and set a healthy tone for the day. 

-Set a goal! This could be a running-related goal, a yoga challenge, a strength or physique competition or an event at your favorite fitness studio (Orangetheory does these often). Pick your goal and start to create an action plan. There’s something so satisfying about checking something off a list.

-Reassess your routine. Losing motivation can be an indicator of overtraining and burnout. Review your routine and see if you’re doing too much or doing things you don’t like because you feel like you *have to*. The only thing you HAVE to do each day for your health is to move: you get to decide how you want to do it. I was trying to think about what was really making me feel blah about my routine, and I realized that there was a serious lack of dance cardio. I miss taking dance classes (like Zumba even though it has dwindled) and teaching DJ dance cardio at the health resort. I put on Soli Beat the other day, and it was just what the doctor ordered. If you have any dance cardio classes online you love, please send them my way! (Worth mentioning the incredible Fitness Marshall. His videos are SO MUCH FUN!)

Also, I realized how much I enjoy participating in classes and how much I’ve missed it. From now on, I’ll be taking a class in a surrounding area once a month, in addition to catching yoga in Valdosta when it’s possible. We make enough road trips that we can squeeze it into our plans and I think it would be worth it to catch a Dance Trance class in Orlando, an OTF or barre class in Jacksonville, or anything (!) in Atlanta. If you have a favorite fitness spot in Georgia or north Florida, I’d love to hear about it!

Overall, I’ve learned that fitness motivation ebbs and flows depending on what’s going on. This is where consistency comes in. Try to be consistent, even when you don’t necessarily feel like it. If I’m feeling blah about hitting the gym or lifting weights in the garage, I’ll do something else. (Maybe a long walk with the dogs or a barre class in the living room.) If my body is hinting that I need a break, I take the day off and know I’ll come back stronger with some rest. Over the grand scheme of things, I try to be consistent at moving instead of saying, “I don’t feel excited about it at this very second, so I quit.” I know how much I need the endorphins for my sanity/happiness, and how good it feels to move.

So, tell me friends: what’s something that helps you when you lose fitness motivation?

Hands in the air if you’re excited about Winter Shape Up. 🙂

Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you soon!



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  1. Cassie on December 19, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Your comment about focusing on movement! I walk just about every day and love it. Anything else I do is bonus. I try for at least 5 minutes of yoga every day, and in this season of life, it’s often just 5 minutes. But it helps me feel strong without laying me flat. Of course, it’s a lot less exercise than I got pre baby so I have to eat really clean. That’s easier for me right now than finding the time and energy for intense sweat sessions.

  2. Stacy on December 19, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Are there any prenatal fitness plans you’d recommend?

  3. Sarah on December 19, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I like to try something completely new when I start to lose motivation. This time of year when it gets dark so early I start to feel sluggish, so I make it a priority to sign up for something new in December. Right now I am swimming a couple nights a week and it has really boosted my outlook!

    What kind of bike do you use when doing the Peloton classes?

  4. Stephanie Woods on December 19, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Fitness motivation has been seriously lacking for me after having our 2nd baby in March. I think that sleep took over as the only priority! He is finally sleeping through the night as of last week. Now I have no excuse to sleep in instead of hit the gym. I’m excited for winter shape up!

  5. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups on December 19, 2017 at 9:14 am

    I love a good fitness challenge for a motivation boost. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Janice O'Kane on December 19, 2017 at 9:35 am

    My hands are definitely in the air for Winter Shape Up! I find if I can just start any activity then I’ll stick with the entire workout but sometimes getting that start is tough!

  7. Debbie on December 19, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I was really hesitant to get the Studio Tone It Up App even though I love their site & workouts. I ended up getting it when they had the black Friday sale and honestly, I love it! There are a ton of workouts and its so easy to search for whatever you’re feeling that day – arms, hiit, booty, etc. And I love that it is right on my phone so I can bring it anywhere.

  8. Lindsey B on December 19, 2017 at 11:27 am

    When seasons change and my jeans/bathing suit are tight! Yikes!

  9. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on December 19, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Motivation is such a difficult thing for my clients. I find that they really have to schedule it into their day in order to build that consistent habit. I tell them it’s like a dentist appointment. You have to show up or you’ll get cavities. HAHA

  10. Sarah F. on December 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    This is so well timed! I’m definitely feeling the lack of motivation! I had a consult with a personal trainer and she asked me how being more fit would change my life- and the honest answer is that it wouldn’t. Definitely fizzled any motivation once I realized that. Since I don’t have any immediate short-term goals (like trying to lose weight), I try and focus on overall health- and how it’ll increase my activity and wellbeing in 20+ years!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      that is amazing

  11. Juliana on December 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    What helps me is reminding myself that working out was a means to an end. I want to always be able to lift up my suitcase, or go on a random hiking trip to Joshua Tree without feeling like I’m going to die, or be able to try something new like cross country skiing also without feeling like I’m going to die. Basically, being able to do cool stuff without feeling like I’m going to die is a big motivator for me, otherwise I get really bored working out indoors (minus the Pilates reformer, that shiz is fun).

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      love this SO much <3

  12. Christine on December 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I have the Beachbody On Demand subscription. Do you like Les Mills better? I do a lot of those classes at my gym (RPM, body pump and combat usually). I’m thinking of switching from Beach Body to Les Mills – is it worth the switch?

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      ehh i’m not sure. the bummer thing about the les mills one is that they’re old teacher training tracks that have been repurposed for online. it was a smart move on their part, but it loses some of the class feel. i think the beachbody one has more variety.

  13. Laura @FitMamaLove on December 19, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    This post is very timely—I have been struggling with motivation for months now! i agree 100% that the most important thing is to focus on movement and routine. Motivation comes and goes, and as long as I haven’t completely dropped my routine, I’ll be ready when it strikes again! I also think it’s more likely to come back if I continue to get in some kind of workouts.

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      so so true <3

  14. kim on December 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I love the new TIU Studio app!
    I use it at least 2-3 times a week in addition to my other workouts – love it

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      i’ll have to check it out!

  15. Lindsey on December 19, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Is Valdosta really that bad? I can’t help but feel frustrated when I see you complaining so often about the fitness scene there. I understand everyone’s woes are different, but at least you have a husband and two beautiful, healthy children, enough money to put food on the table and even take road trips every other weekend. Lots of people do not have any of that. Just wanted to mention it since it has been tough to read about it around the holidays.

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      there are great things about it, and not-so-great things about it. the fitness scene is one of them, which affects me because it’s something i really enjoy and is a huge part of my job.
      everyone does have different struggles. there’s a lot going on behind the scenes right now, and some of it may have blended into this post, which going back, seems a little more complain-y than usual. i’m sorry about that, and never want to make anyone feel badly when they read my posts. it’s a tough spot because bloggers are often told to keep it real and relatable, but when we share our struggles, we’re opening ourselves up for criticism that we “don’t have it that bad.” this is true, and i’m beyond thankful for so many of the great things we have in our life.
      it’s interesting you’ve mentioned that, because i feel down when people complain about their family members being overbearing and driving them crazy (especially during the holidays!). i would give anything to live near my family.
      just thought it was worth sharing since i’m in a fitness blah spot right now, and it seems like many readers are in similar situations.

      • milania dela cruz on December 20, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        I think it’s important that you share your feelings as a blogger and I always appreciate your rawness. I have been following your blog since 2010 and I think you have always been able to blog about topics very relatable to your readers. 🙂

  16. Leah on December 19, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Very excited for winter shape up! I work out at home and can definitely use something new to motivate me this time of year.

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      so excited you’ll be joining in!

  17. Stephanie S. on December 19, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I can’t wait for Winter Shape Up, especially the videos!! Your Shape Up programs are always really motivating for me. I really love group exercise classes and when I’ve been able to make those a regular part of my routine that always makes me really happy and keeps me motivated.

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      so happy to hear you enjoy them! totally agree. if i can take classes, it makes me so much more motivated

  18. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on December 19, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    I subscribed to Barre 3 online a few years ago and loved how convenient it was to get in workouts at home. While I didn’t feel like the workouts were equivalent to the ones I did at the gym, it still felt good to get moving.

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      totally agree! and something is always better than nothing 😉

  19. angie on December 19, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    you need to check out UJAM fitness… its soo badass. SUCH a good workout and fun. its a hip hop dance class, https://www.ujamfitness.com/

    its sooo fun…its a workout that does not feel like a workout!!!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      so many people have said they love this! do they have classes online?

      • angie on December 19, 2017 at 5:32 pm

        No, apparently its against UJAM policies to post anything online of any video more then 30 seconds.



        • Fitnessista on December 20, 2017 at 2:03 pm

          ohhh got it. it looks fun!

          • angie on December 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm

            It really is…if you ever come back to San Diego let me know I will get you in to a class. The best one is on saturday mornings at 1100 at Mission Valley 24hr. I come out of class drenched. Def doesnt feel like a workout, more like a party. The good thing is UjAM is all about unity and having fun and no judgements. Everyone is like a family.

  20. Amy Ramos on December 19, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Can not wait for WSU!!!! I think lack of motivation also comes with the seasons. When it is cold and dark (by CA standards), I want to stay in bed be warm. When it is summer, I want to be outside all.the.time.
    I think changing up your workout routine helps.
    I also have a lack of motivation in the meal prep department during this time of year. So I look through cookbooks, blogs, and Pintrest and pull out the tried and true meals to get me excited to cook again (hello, baked breakfast cookie).

    • Fitnessista on December 20, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      YES, such a valid point. thank goodness for outside sources to give a little extra inspiration <3

  21. MJ on December 19, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I do the studio tone it up workouts every day and love it! I like the diversity of the workouts, that you can schedule classes to keep you accountable, and know other fitness loving ladies are doing it with you! I also love that they lay out the weekly workouts for you.

    • Fitnessista on December 20, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      that’s awesome- i’ll have to check it out

  22. Ana on December 19, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Gina! I’ve been working crazy hours with a new job, so I can totally relate to the struggle to stay motivated. How do you like Peloton?
    I’ve been debating getting the bike for a while but now I can’t decide between them and Flywheel since flywheel just debuted there at-home spin bike!

    • Fitnessista on December 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      i don’t have the peloton bike! i use my johnny g spinner bike with the peloton app on my iPad or phone. it works perfectly and then i didn’t have to spend the extra $$ for a bike since i have one. please let me know what you decide! i think soulcycle is releasing a bike + app, too?

  23. LeeAnn Benesh on December 19, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I am totally an endurance athlete/junkie all the way. All about that cardio (Running and Cycling). It gets a bit hard living in the snow and training through the winter (luckily I have a trainer for my bike and just bought a treadmill!). I do weights in order to develop strength but for the most part, my training is pretty straight forward: Run or Ride.
    This makes is super easy to burnout. I am super goal oriented, so my biggest strategy is to pick a race. Having something to train for makes those training miles a lot easier to wrap my head around! Planning a spring half marathon in a location that will not have snow is also a bonus….and having it at sea level is extra exciting 😉

  24. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on December 20, 2017 at 10:20 am

    I think having dealt with a chronic back injury has really made me appreciate being able to workout. Because of that I’m thankful for each and every workout I can do, I remind myself that at points that I feel like not working out that day. I’m so overwhelmed with thankfulness when I can workout, that alone motivates me!

  25. Tiffany on December 20, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Thank you for this! I am definitely one of your readers whose motivation is lacking, and I love that you took our survey responses to heart. <3

    I am sooo ready for WSU! In the meantime, I'm going for long walks and working out to dance cardio videos on YouTube — two of my favorite channels are Dance Fitness with Jessica and Live Love Party.

    I'm also interested in group fitness and was wondering whether there's a comprehensive website you know of that helps you find all of the classes offered in your area?

    • Fitnessista on December 20, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      i’ll check those out- thank you!
      i don’t think there is, but that would be such a valuable resource

  26. Amanda on December 20, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I’m glad you are feeling better from your cold, and sending hugs for whatever life angst is going on behind the scenes. <3 I like the energy and accountability of going to a (yoga, barre, Pilates) class, and that's where I make a lot of friends, too. I'm fortunate that it's easy for me to get to a class but I struggle with motivation for staying in the zone and getting a great workout. Your post is a great reminder that we all have our motivation struggles. It's also a great resource for workout websites for when I need solo options.

  27. Lisa F on December 20, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I have lost my motivation and really want to get it back! I’ve always been active and feel SO much better when I am in a regular routine. A big move and a few other things have thrown me off track, but I’m determined to get back to work. I need to set some solid goals and maybe try some new things. Will be following this thread and may make myself sign up for the Winter Shape Up!

  28. milania dela cruz on December 20, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Regarding motivation, this is definitely a struggle. I did find a work out buddy, my boyfriend! And we both signed up for half marathon! It’s a great motivation. 🙂

  29. Kelsey Graf on December 21, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I’ve been having a major struggle with fitness in general since being cleared to workout again post-baby… part motivation, part trying to figure out my schedule. Isla is 13 weeks now so I’ve been cleared for 7, but have only worked out twice and those were both while I was still on maternity leave. Now that I’m back at work, it seems like there are barely enough hours in the day to get things done! (now is when I laugh at myself for feeling like I was busy before a baby). Mornings are waking up at 5:15 just to get myself together, baby fed, pumping, etc. and then she goes down at 7 but it’s a hustle to have dinner, pick up the house, clean pump supplies, pump again, RE-clean supplies… and fall into bed.

    Way too much detail just to say, I’m trying to figure out what fitness looks like for me at this point. It was a hugely important part of my life pre-baby, and I want it to be again, but classes just don’t seem feasible before or after work at this point. Any suggestions? Tips from fellow mamas who have dealt with this? Finding a new routine is no joke!

    • Fitnessista on December 21, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      i think that was part of my problem, too. after i was cleared post-surgery, it was hard for me to figure out how to fit fitness back in my life. i felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day as it was, and trying to add in childcare and figuring out gym time adding another boundary. for me, it helps a ton to work out at home, either during nap when liv’s at school (which means i have to stay up later working since that’s work time, too), or the second tom gets home, i blitz. it’s a juggling act for sure!

  30. Sam Vander Wielen on December 22, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Great post, Gina! I’m interested in the new peloton deal, so that might be something I check out. I’m feeling super motivated to move (actually, to sweat) SO much now post-surgery. I’m actually just scared to. Brain surgery was a little crazier than I expected lol. And I’m so scared to hurt myself or hit my head. I have this weird paranoia about the back of my head (where they cut it like 8”!) and hurting it. I don’t know if you felt anything like this after the surgery — it’s so weird! Hoping it eases with time and that I can figure out a way to work my way back into safe workouts.


    • Fitnessista on December 26, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      oh my gosh, i can’t even imagine. i’ve been really paranoid about hurting my stomach or tearing my muscle repair, so i relate in a super small way. hang in there and hope you keep feeling better and stronger!

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