motivation + inspiration

Hi guys! How’s your day going so far? It’s been a good one over here, cranking away at some edits and stopping for a walk along Newport.

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They have the most awesome unique stores, especially this one called “Sunshine Daydream” with all things tie dye, incense and Budhha. Needless to say, it’s a happy place for me 🙂

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I had about 20 minutes before I needed to pick Liv up from school, and it was so nice to get a change of scenery and shake my legs out.

We came back home for naptime, and there was a fun surprise on the doorstep: new Zumba kicks from my Reebok friends!

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These are my all-time favorite Zumba shoes. I salsa-ed my last pair until they were falling apart, so I can’t wait to break these in. 

Now, I’m here, drinking some of the ol’ homebrew.


(I’ve been recycling store-bought kombucha bottles and using them to bottle my homemade version. The current batch is a little tangier than I prefer, so I’m going to let stop the fermentation earlier on the next one to see what happens. It’s one of my favorite things about making kombucha at home. Not only is it way less expensive than buying it at the store, but you can customize it according to your preferences.)

So today, I thought we could talk a little bit about inspiration and motivation.

I feel pretty stoked to get back to weight training after this very short hiatus, and I was thinking about the things that help provide inspiration and motivation in fitness and daily life. These are the little things that add zest into your routine, can make you more productive and hit it even harder because you feel inspired.

Here are some of the things that help me:

-A change of scenery. This morning, I could feel my brain starting to turn to mush, so instead of pushing through, I relocated myself to the garage/man cave/exercise room and cranked some Bastille station on Pandora. A change of scenery made all the difference! I’ve found that with fitness, working out at a new gym, taking the sweat sesh outside, or trying a different class can work wonders.

-A break. Sometimes if you start to feel burnout kicking it, a break it the best way to stop it in its tracks. I wasn’t feeling burned out with weight training -it’s one of my favorite ways to work out- but a break has inspired me to try something new and hit it hard when I’m able to again. Even when I need to spend a block of time on a particular task, having a little breather or break along the way helps to refresh me and I’m more productive when I start again. 

-Read, watch or listen. Whenever I’m looking for motivation or inspiration, I love to read a book, watch a movie or documentary, or listen to a podcast. I have a few books on Audible and in the Kindle queue right now and love podcasts for drives and cleaning around the house during naptime. This American Life, Stuff You Should Know, Jillian Michaels and Amy Porterfield are some of my favorites. If you have any awesome podcast recommendations, please let me know!

-A brainstorm session. This is something I do every month, which helps to inspire me for the days to follow. I’ll take about an hour and just write down ideas, plans, thoughts and things I’d like to accomplish during the month. Not only do I have things to look forward to, but I can quickly glance at the list when I’m looking for a fun blog idea or a task that I need to do.

What do you do to kick up your inspiration? What are you reading right now?? I’ve been reading more dry books lately, and am in the market for a beachy, fluffy read. (I’ve read all of the Emily Giffin books and just saw that she has a new one out?! How is it??)



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  1. Sarah on August 7, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I love fun shops like that but I have to be careful or I get sucked in for hours! You are inspiring me to get back on the home brew wagon, we have been spending lots of dollars on Health-ade kombucha! Ps have you tried that brand it’s my favorite ever! I feel pretty similar to you on inspiration, switching it up or watching or getting together with inspiring people always seems to do the trick for me:)

  2. Amber Schumann on August 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I find little time to read (battle of the eyelids at night after all the chaos of the day settles), so I’ve looked into audible books for my commute to/from work. But they are so pricey compared to the original, that I can’t get myself to buy one (I’m a Kindle Prime sucker).

    I have yet to dabble into the podcast world… maybe I should check those out for my drives.

    Although, I’ll be honest…. sometimes my music-lovin, dance-party-in-the-car self needs to take advantage of the rare opportunity of silence that I can find while I’m driving.

    • Brittany on August 8, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Try looking up books in your local library! Most library systems have books available in all kinds of media (kindle editions, audiobooks, etc.) and they’re FREE! I refuse to “buy” kindle books anymore and rely solely on my library!

  3. Tory @ tory of my life on August 7, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I love Emily Griffith, but sadly her latest book was not one of my favorite reads for the summer. It had a heavy emphasis on football, which I’m not into, so that could have been a part of it. Also not to spoil anything, but it kind of gave me the heebie jeebies. Such a bummer because her other books are usually so good!

    • Fitnessista on August 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      ahhh such a bummer!

    • Erin on August 7, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      I completely agree I loved all of her other books but I shkeeved during this book! I had to repeatedly put it down for breaks. And not to spoil anything but the nickname girl is completely ruined for me.

      • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 12:41 am

        AHHHHH! i have to check it out now just to know

        • Erin on August 8, 2014 at 12:45 am

          I mean it’s chick lit at its finest, but it’s definitely not what I was expecting.

  4. lian on August 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    I just read a book called Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes, it was a really quick read (finished it in two sittings!) and despite its corny title, it was actually quite lovely 🙂

  5. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on August 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I love your tshirt! I’ve been reading JoJo Moyes books as well. Me before you and The girl you left behind. Both are so good (but very different) that I have just sped through them.

    Last night I was thinking as I went to bed that I wanted to start writing a thankful journal because I have been having a hard time sleeping at night and it’s often because I’m stressed/frustrated and all of those things are running through my head rather than happy, thankful moments of my day or life. Time to get recentered!

  6. Yaara Leve on August 7, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    That stop looks like so much fun! I love exploring cute little shops! Those are the best. It must be so nice living there! I’d love to visit San Diego. It looks so beautiful! I was in Santa Barbara many years ago for a wedding–and it was amazing! I literally never tasted such amazing fresh produce in my life. The farmer’s markets were insane! And all along the coast it was always always beach yoga–lol!

    For inspiration I like to read. I used to write a lot. I actually studied creative writing in college and wrote a lot of poetry and fiction. I haven’t written in a while–but always feel the itch to. I find that when I read really good fiction–with a lot of beautiful imagery I’m inspired. I also love hearing people’s lives’ stories–that’s great inspiration material right there.

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 1:33 am

      i totally agree. i love stories about the past too 🙂

  7. Jackie B. on August 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I’m so not an ultra runner, but I do enjoy listening to– The Scott Jurek Eat & Run episode is pretty interesting. Also love Jillian, NPR and The Dinner Party Download.

    So this is going to sound totally random, but your name/blog came up in a job interview I had today with a PR Firm in SD. We were talking about our fav health and wellness bloggers, and they mentioned how awesome you are to work with & just as nice in person as you are on the blog. It prompted me to finally come out and comment after reading on and off for the past few years 🙂 I’m new to the SD area and have definitely found your restaurant/fitness class recommendations helpful!

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 1:32 am

      wow, what a small world! that is so cool 🙂 hope the rest of your interview process goes well! let me know if you ever want to meet up for an orangetheory class

      • Jackie B. on August 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm

        definitely! I need to start venturing out of downtown haha and thank you!

  8. kristin @ W [H] A T C H on August 7, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    a change of scenery really does work wonders. on vacation my long run flew by because i was so distracted by the new scenery.

  9. Emily on August 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Have you heard of a book called ‘Eleanor and Park’ by Rainbow Rowell? It’s a YA novel for sure but it was recommended to me and I read it in one day because I just couldn’t put it down! It’s a little dark, but makes you laugh over and over (kind of like The Fault in Our Stars) and the writing is excellent! I don’t usually comment but I juuuust finished this book and am telling everybody about it haha.

    • Andrea on August 7, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      All the Rainbow Rowell books are fantastic, easy reads. I highly recommend them!

      • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 12:40 am

        i’m excited to check them out!

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 12:43 am

      i haven’t, but i can’t wait to look into it now! thank you 🙂

  10. Laura @ The Healthy Sooner on August 7, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I disagree about the new Emily Giffin book!! Even though it was a little different, I still couldn’t put it down. At first I thought the heavy football theme was a little weird, but I ended up loving it in the end. She is a great storyteller and my favorite chick-lit author by a mile! If you love her other books, I say read the new one!

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 12:43 am

      she’s one of my faves, too 🙂 i will check it out for sure

    • alexe on August 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      I really liked it as well! I don’t know a thing about football but it made me like the game so much that I went on and watched the 5 seasons of Friday Night Light after reading Emily Giffin’s book lol! Now I want to watch all things football… 😛

  11. Brandy on August 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I love Emily Giffin and loved the football theme (very Friday Night Lights) of the book. But I have to agree with the above comment about the heebie jeebies!

  12. Janelle on August 7, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Body Do Over is an incredible podcast! Especially the ones that feature Kelly Levesque. I highly highly recommend it!

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 12:42 am

      i will check it out! thanks!

  13. Jacquelyn Schober on August 7, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    jane green is awesome!!! I’ve read so many of her books and have never been dissapointed! Great quick reads that Definitly keep you entertained and feeling good!!! Xoxoxoxox

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 12:42 am

      awesome- thank you!

  14. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on August 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    For me, I find inspiration in the kitchen. Creating new combinations of foods and baking delicious and healthy muffins is just my thing. I also change my music frequently. It really helps keep me motivated. I agree with you that changing it up is important. I go in cycles where for awhile I’m more focused on strength and then cardio and back and forth.

  15. Shannon Fox on August 7, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    I absolutely LOVE the monthly brainstorm idea. With three kids, I feel as if I constantly have a to do list, schedules, and ideas floating around in my head. It’s overwhelming! A monthly written brainstorm is a fabulous way to keep myself on task and relieve my poor aching brain. I keep a leather bound journal to record bills into every month. I think I’ll do the same for the brainstorm. That way, I’ll always know where the list is, and also be able to keep it for posterity. Thank you!

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 12:41 am

      of course! i hope you find that it helps you, too! i have one kid and feel like i’m always trying to juggle ideas and to-dos, so i can’t imagine how crazy (but fun) it is with three 🙂

  16. Aneeta on August 7, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    You motivate and inspire me every day Gina! Big fan of your lovely blog 🙂 I just bought SoliBeat today and I cannot wait to try it and shake it!

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 12:40 am

      wow, thank you so much, aneta! i hope you love solibeat. xoxo

  17. Bethann on August 8, 2014 at 12:02 am

    I love that you are brewing your own kombucha! What a great way to have some fun making things and probably save a little money! Great tips on motivation too – especially love reading. I’m reading “Clean’ right now and it is totally changing the way I think about cleansing. xoxox!!! BA

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 12:40 am

      oh, i’ll have to check it out! xoxo

  18. Samantha on August 8, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Hi Gina,
    I didn’t see your email address so I figured i’d just leave a comment… I live in San Diego and am loving your blog even more now that you’re local! My brother, along with a few others, opened a gym in downtown la jolla called FITWALL. I’m sure you’ve seen it as it’s right next to the cottage. I’d love for you to try the workout! Let me know if you’d like to meet up for a class one day. I also have a 19 month old daughter who would love to play with Livi!

  19. John @ GymSanta on August 8, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I have done two of the things on your list. First I took a 3 month break from the gym. Then I started working out again last week, but in a new gym. Feels awesome!

  20. Lucie@FitSwissChick on August 8, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I normally get my motivation from the Crossfit Crew – it’s always new. But still, a change of scenery is great! Whenever possible I travel to Spain where friends have beach house I can rent. Doing workouts at the beach or at the gym nearby – with a new playlist – works wonders. Or I go to the Crossfit box there, so interesting to see other communities!

  21. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on August 8, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Cant believe you made a home-brew! So jealous!

  22. Niki on August 8, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I absolutely Love Kate Morton’s books – she’s published four so far: The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours and The Secret Keeper. Her books are all split between two or three different periods in time over the last century and the amazing stories and characters from each period end up weaving together in a way that makes the book really hard to put down! Every time she’s published a new book I’ve snapped it up and devoured it!

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 10:45 am

      amazing. i can’t wait to check her out!

  23. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on August 8, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I love those Zumba shoes. They’re my favorite for class too!

  24. Becky on August 8, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Anything by JoJo Moyes – I cannot stop reading her books. Me Before You is awesome. The Girl You Left Behind….awesome. Honeymoon in Paris is then a book that goes along with The Girl You Left Behind. Her most recent book, One Plus One is also incredible. All very different, but not able to put a single one of them down.

    • Tracy on August 8, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Here are some good books:

      The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion…such a sweet tender story. Loved the characters and was so sad when it ended but I heard a sequel is coming out in the fall and there is a movie in the works 🙂

      One Plus One by Jojo Moyes… I’ve loved all her books and this is no exception. Loved it.

      Currently reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and loving it so far!!

      I love your “hello” tank!! Where did you get it?

      • Tracy on August 8, 2014 at 1:34 pm

        Sorry…I didn’t mean to reply to Becky’s comment with my book suggestion comment!

      • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 7:22 pm

        awesome, thank you! excited to get some new reads 🙂
        it’s from hello apparel!

    • Tracy on August 8, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Agreed about Jojo Moyes! I hope she keeps writing!!

  25. Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift on August 8, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Change of scenery definitely helps- I love trying new fitness facilities (or new coffee shops when I’ve got writer’s block)! Another thing that works for me is letting go of the schedule and just following my intuition for a couple days/a week. i.e. Maybe I’ve had running on the menu, but I’m craving some strength training or yoga, so I’ll just go with what sounds fun instead of what’s on plan. Usually I’l get my mojo back pretty quick. 🙂

    Love that brainstorm idea. Might have to do that today!

    And speaking of new classes/new scenery, I’ll be in the San Diego area at the start of next week (to welcome my brother home – he’s finally coming back from Afghanistan!!) and would love to take one of your classes if the times work out! Do you have a schedule listed somewhere?

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

      i totally agree about intuition; if you listen to what your body wants, it’s much easier to find motivation and be inspired
      i’m so happy your brother is coming home!!
      do you mean next week like in 3 days, or the following week (of the 18th)? i teach spin on monday, barre on tuesday, zumba wed. let me know what you’d like to do and i can hook you up with a guest pass!

      • Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift on August 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

        We’ll be there this coming Saturday through Wednesday, so I think barre would work best. Thanks!

  26. Elizabeth on August 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I would recycle my store bought kombucha bottles when brewing my own too. The probably i always had was that the CO2 would build up too much and it would be very hard to unscrew the top! Do you have that problem? I think next time i start brewing again, I will use the sling-back seal bottles..maybe those will be easier to open?

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      it’s been ok to open them. i love the sling back bottles even more

  27. Lizzie on August 8, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    LOVE your Reeboks!!

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      thank you!

  28. Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal on August 8, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I just read Yoga Bitch and it was pretty entertaining. I think you might dig it. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      from the title alone, i know i would haha. looking it up now!

  29. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on August 8, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    As for books, I just read Beautiful Ruins for my book club and it was great! I’m also in the middle of #Girlboss by the Nasty Gal CEO, and it’s got some great nuggets for motivation!

  30. Ashley on August 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Big Little Lies….little crazy but a no thoughts page turner, couldn’t put it down! Same author has The Husbands Secret

  31. mi-an dela cruz on August 9, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    thanks for this gina! i’ve been stuck on a fitness rut! and i’ve gained some weight (not much like 7 lbs but still!!) i’ve lost muscle mass and i’m just stuck. i used to crossfit, ran half marathons and do yoga before residency! so much stuff went down during my 1st year of residency … and i’m just blehhhhh… so thanks for this. xoxo

  32. Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change on August 11, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Love these tips! So simple, but something we forget about so quickly! Love the idea of changing scenery! We just moved into a new duplex, so we have space…but no furniture! Have to get on top of that. Brainstorming has been a savior for me right now and just jotting out my thoughts on paper. My read right now? The Body Book by Cameron Diaz. I love it!

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