See ya, 2013 + some fun news

2013, you were pretty good to us <3

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It was the year I became more confident with my identity and abilities as a mama, continued to figure out our groove, and had an amazing time getting to know Livi as her personality continued to evolve and become more apparent. She has changed the most this year.  I’m always excited to see what she’ll do and what she’ll learn while enjoying the moments spent playing, snuggling and exploring together. Over the past year, she transformed from a baby to little kid. I still can’t believe that she’ll be two next week. Time really does fly when you’re having fun… it seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing this post. 

We took some wonderful trips in 2013, including some blog traveling adventures:


San Diego 

LA for the IDEA conference



San Francisco

and we took our bucket list trip to Italy (Rome and Positano), which was dreamier and more magical than I’d ever imagined. (I still would love to live there!)

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Gelato  1 of 1

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In our family, 

Kyle and Meg got married,

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my cousin Ashley got married (and Livi was a flower girl for the first time),

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my cousin Kate became pregnant with baby #2,

and we lost my great-grandmother, who lived a long, beautiful life… but my heart is still hurting. 

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It was another challenging year for the Pilot and myself, as we tried to figure out a “plan” for our unstable military future, in addition to juggling parenthood, careers, and our relationship. We knew that our time here in Tucson was limited, and had to make the difficult decision of whether he should get out of active duty and join the reserves, or take our chances and see what card we’d be dealt as far as PCS assignments go. We were extremely lucky with our assignment to San Diego! It could have been anything, and we’re fortunate that we’ll be driving distance from family. 

Sleeping seals

(And I will finally get to hug a seal.) 

In 2013, I also had some fun professional accomplishments:

Co-created and produced Soli Beat with Sasha

-Signed my first book contract

Say what?!

The entire story is a long one (and one that I’d love to write a post about, so please let me know if you have any questions!), but here’s the nutshell version:

I started sending out a new book proposal -I think it was my sixth?- last winter, and as usual, we had no bites. Then, out of the blue, I got an email from an editor in NYC asking if I’d like to write a book. I wrote back and told her I’d just sent out a proposal and put her in contact with my agent. My agent sent the editor my proposal, and she came back and said she wasn’t crazy about it. Instead of quitting on me then and there, she gave me valuable guidance to rewrite the proposal with concepts I was passionate about, and encouraged me to use my true voice. She said something like, “I read your blog, and this proposal isn’t you. I need to hear the voice I hear when I’m reading your blog. Add in some more spunk.”

In the entire proposal process, I’d lost quite a bit of my voice by trying to formalize my writing style; in the past I’d been told that I “use to much slang” and need to “tighten things up.” This time, I finally felt like there was freedom to write whatever and however I wanted, so I rewrote the entire proposal (which was about 60 pages), sent it back, and crossed my fingers (not really expecting anything to happen). She wrote back and said she loved it (!), presented it to her publishing house, the concept passed, and she sent the contract over a month later.

It still feels like a dream and like I’m going to jinx myself by writing about it, which is a huge reason why I waited to blog about this. (I had another concept that a publisher was interested in two summers ago and, at the last minute, the deal fell through and I was pretty devastated. I stopped working on proposals for quite a few months after that.)

Also, I’m my hugest critic, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to produce quality content for you guys. I was planning on blogging about the book when I turned in my manuscript -it’s due in March- since I already feel a lot of pressure to finish it, and do it well… and realized that I needed to tell you now so I can implement the things you’d like to see.

Some details:

-The release date is January 2015

-It consists of quick workouts (less than 30 minutes) and meals that can be prepped in advance to enjoy throughout the week. The theme of the book is HIIT training, and it utilizes the same efficient concepts in fitness and diet. I share all of the details regarding how I practice the HIIT lifestyle in my own life -tracking my food, tools, and strategies I use- and includes complete nutrition plans (which will be approved by Anne) and complete fitness plans for fat loss and strength gains. All of the fitness routines are research-based for the best results, and all of the meals are quick, clean and delicious. I’ve been busy testing recipes and workouts! We have a focus group that will starting the plan next week… I can’t wait to see their accomplishments!

I’ve worked extremely hard on the manuscript -115 pages in! Woop woop- and really want it to be amazing. Please let me know if there’s anything you’ve been missing or wanting from a fitness book.

This is something I’ve wanted to create and share for a few years, and I’m still absolutely stunned that it’s coming to fruition. It wouldn’t be possible without all of your wonderful support and for encouraging me to improve and work hard over the past five years. I’m so very thankful to all of you <3

Lots to look forward to in the new year:

Moving and getting settled into our new home

New teaching position (I’ve applied at a couple of places in San Diego and would love to focus on barre)

Lots of trips around California and to visit the fam

It’s going to be a bit of a transition year for us, but I’m excited to see what 2014 brings πŸ™‚

What are you looking forward to in the new year? What was your favorite part of 2013??

Don’t forget to start pinning your goals for 2014! #inspirationboard @fitnessista






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  1. Runner Girl Eats on December 31, 2013 at 6:21 am

    CONGRATS!!!! This is all so very exciting! I can’t wait to see what you come up with πŸ™‚ I think it’s safe to say 2014 will be a great year for you and your family.

  2. Kristen on December 31, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Congrats!! I’m sure like me all your readers will be supporting your book. Good for you! Maybe including stregnth training routines would be awesome too :)!

  3. AmyJoGo on December 31, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Couldn’t have happened to a better person. You are a daily inspiration to me and I can’t wait for the book!

  4. Emily on December 31, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Woo hoo! Congrats! That is awesome. I am so happy for you

  5. Jen on December 31, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Amazing!!! So happy for you! You really inspire me! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

  6. Karen on December 31, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Congrats!! I will be sure to check out the book once it’s available. I think my biggest memory of 2013 is going part-time with work and now working at home so that I can spend more time with Miss Keely. It’s been a great year and we are moving to the city this coming year so I know 2014 will be even better. Happy New Year to you and the family!

  7. Nikki on December 31, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I like when blogs or books convince me to try an exercise I otherwise would have shunned. Take yoga for example. Some people love it with a passion while others think it’s a waste. I am more the pessimist with that. If you include a 30 minute workout in that book with maybe a few yoga moves or incorporating something different, then maybe you will get my attention.

  8. Cassie on December 31, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Congrats! That is so exciting! My hubs and I will be getting ready to start a family around that time. I’d love either a blog or short bit about how to exercise when you’re pregnant! Thanks!

  9. Amanda B. on December 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Happy new year! The book sounds like a great idea, I love the HIIT theme for both workouts and diet.

    Suggestion for the diet portion – I really like the idea of a fast-paced Sunday cook session to prep the foundation for meals throughout the week and I’d love to see a rundown of your planning/prep/daily food strategies. Melissa Joulwan (spl?) did something similar in her book Well Fed, and I liked that she had a lot of details on weekly grocery list, exactly what to prep ahead, what to leave to the last minute, and how much time to allot. Something similar for a diet that isn’t necessarily Paleo would be awesome.

    I’d also like content on how to make healthy, whole-food-based meals for a family on a budget. Some books focus on either the budget or the health food aspect, but I rarely see both. Not sure if that fits with your plan, but it would be so helpful!

  10. Diana on December 31, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Congrats on the BOOK!!! I’m so excited, I can’t wait to see it.

  11. Amy on December 31, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Congrats on the book deal…that’s great news! I love the way you write and make everything (workouts, eating plans, etc) understandable and *relatively* easy to accomplish!

  12. Olena @ candies&crunches on December 31, 2013 at 10:55 am

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Can’t wait to get a hold of it!

  13. Brittany on December 31, 2013 at 11:23 am

    What a year!

    So proud and excited for you about the book deal, Gina! I know you’ve been wanting this for a long time and I’m so glad it’s finally happening. Can’t wait for the book to come out! xoxo

  14. Erin @ The Almond Eater on December 31, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Ahhh that’s so exciting!!! Congrats πŸ™‚ This is a perfect example of how persistence is key. Happy New Year and here’s to 2014!

  15. Elizabeth on December 31, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I’m so excited for your book!! Cannot wait for it to come out!

  16. Caitlin @PieceOfCait on December 31, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I cant wait to read it! I love your blog and everything you put out there, congrats!xo

  17. Amy on December 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Congrats on the book contract!! I can not wait to see it come out!
    BTW-if you need some leads in teaching classes, another gal I follow, Lauren Brooks is a kettlebell guru who lives in the San Diego area. She may be able to help out.

  18. Kayla on December 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS! How freaken exciting, can’t wait to hear more about the book

    Some things I look for in books
    — I like hearing peoples personal stories and how they actually incorporate the advice they are giving. It’s relatable and makes me realize that this is something I can do too.

    — tips on meal planning and being efficient. I get overwhelmed by meal planning and end up getting lazy during the week since ain’t no body got time to cook for an hour when they are hungry and have a million other things to do. I’m always looking for tips on how to be more efficient in my meal planning and how to store food so I am ready to go for the week.

  19. Melissa Caulfield on December 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Consider one book already sold! So happy for you and thanks for always taking time to share candid, practical and fun tips for all of us when it comes to recipes and exercise. Thank you for trusting us readers enough with your heart and those delicate tender moments that no words can ever put a Band-Aid on. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog this past year and so grateful to have stumbled upon such inspiration on my journey to live a more healthy, happy, positive, productive life with my hubby and 3 sons! God bless you and yours as 2014 approaches!

  20. Karissa on December 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    CONGRATS on the book news Gina!! OOOOO I’m excited, and so glad that you found somebody who wants you to keep your true voice through it – it’s why we all love your blog!

  21. Mia on December 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Congratulations, Gina! I can’t wait to read your book!

  22. Shari on December 31, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    So exciting!! I love your blog and can’t wait to read your book!!

  23. Maria on December 31, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    CONGRATS!!! That’s so exciting and I can’t wait to read it!!! 2014 will be a busy year for you!

  24. Laura @ Prairie Sewn Studios on December 31, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Woohoo! So excited for you. Congrats!!

    • Fitnessista on January 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      thank you, laura! πŸ™‚

  25. Lulu on December 31, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Congratulations in your book deal!! I am really looking forward to it, because I’ve been really wanting to spice up my workouts and am still kind of lost even after a year. I would love it if you include super easy explanations of certain moves, like step by step instructions for all the dummies like me that has to reread certain workout descriptions for hours before understanding them. And maybe make small workout calendars? Anything that’s simple and easy to read and understand would be appreciated!

    In addition, I want to give you my blessings in everything that has happened already and all that awaits you in 2014 and future!

    • Fitnessista on January 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      thank you so much! i will have photos and how-tos for all of the moves in the book πŸ™‚
      love the idea for small calendars. thank you!

  26. Betsy on December 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Congratulations!!!! That is so amazing!

    • Fitnessista on January 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      :)! thank you!

  27. Kath on January 1, 2014 at 7:51 am

    So excited for you!

    • Fitnessista on January 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      thank you, friend!

  28. Sue on January 1, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    That’s BIG NEWS Gina! A book!! I can’t wait to read it, I know you’ll hit it right out of the ball park. I can’t wait to see it on the Amazon best sellers list!


    • Fitnessista on January 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      thank you so much, sue! i’m so happy i was introduced to you this year πŸ™‚

  29. Lauren on January 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Congrats! I recently had a baby and have been attending a local barre class, which I attribute entirely to me getting even more in shape than I was before the baby, so I’d love to see some more posts and info in your book on this fitness class. I love it! Congrats again!

  30. Livi on January 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    this is so awesome!!! already so excited for your book!

  31. Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) on January 2, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    So happy for you and your accomplishment! You should be so proud! Congrats πŸ™‚

  32. Becky on January 2, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Congratulations!!!! It has been amazing to watch you grow!

  33. Mollie on January 7, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Congrats Gina that’s great news! Actually, what I’d really like to see in a fitness book is really good organization. Maybe a really detailed index that says where to find workouts of certain types, e.g., no equipment needed, hard-core, recovery, strength focus, cardio focus, etc.

    The other part that would be awesome would be some sort of progressive plan. I trained for a marathon last year and really liked having a weekly plan of what workouts to do–it took all the thinking out of it and made it easier to be consistent. For your book I could imagine a 4 week up to to 4 month plan that has say 2-3 HITT workouts per week and recommended other workouts and recovery exercises for each week. It would be awesome too if it was progressive. So each day might be a little different, but would say incorporate several of the exercises from the past days so you would only have to learn one new exercise each day/workout. If I have to learn lots of new moves that slows it all down. Maybe there could be a fitness test or repeat workout each month to assess progress.

    (the same might be nice for recipes if you organize them this way, e.g., just one new one per week. I also love recipe formulas that are really flexible, like you did once for a giant salad)

    One little thing re: workouts. You often do supersets or circuits which are great, but sometimes difficult in a crowded gym. One thing that makes this much easier is if exercises with similar equipment are grouped together, e.g., all the barbell stuff, all the matt stuff.

    Anyway, that’s a lot of detailed requests so take whatever’s useful! I’m sure it will be fabulous πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

      love these tips- i appreciate it so much!
      great point about the circuits, too. i’ll be sure that it’s extremely organized and progressive πŸ™‚

  34. april on January 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    a very belated congrats on your upcoming book! i have been reading your blog for a while now (almost 3 years, i think?) and am so proud of you & all your MANY accomplishments! i cannot wait to see what else is in store for you and your family in 2014! πŸ™‚ best wishes <3

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      thank you so much, april!!! thank you for reading and for your comments, too. i always look forward to them πŸ™‚

  35. Kelli on June 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I am so happy for you! One thing I’ve always admired about you, is that your food seems uncomplicated & that you’ve streamlined it in your week to make it easy. For someone like me who needs easy, healthy, & streamlined, I’m looking forward to your tips in the book. And I always love new HIIT workouts that are effective. Since you’re wanting to focus on barre, it would be fun to have some barre HIIT workouts.

    I tend to not read your blog for a while, & then read a whole bunch of posts at one time, so I’m just reading this now. Congratulations!

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