thoughts on 30

Turning 30 always seemed like a looming deadline – a to-do list of all of these things that I had to accomplish.

And now that it’s here… it just feels like a sigh of relief.

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This past weekend, my mom told me that she loved her 30s. She said, “The 20s are just about finding your place and getting your feet on the ground. In your 30s, things start to feel more stable. And then in your 40s, you’re just like ‘pshh whatever.’” That’s exactly how it feels for now. I’m not sure how much I wrote about this, but 25 was a tough year for me. We were in Valdosta, and I felt very much alone, unsure of myself and the future. This blog actually helped me get through a lot of that, and to you all, I am so very grateful. 30 feels a lot better than 25 did. 😉 While I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up -I have so many ideas and plans, it’s just a matter of prioritizing- I feel content and blessed by the people around me, and for all of the experiences I’ve enjoyed.

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Beach  1 of 1 4

W livi

A while ago, I put together before 30 bucket list. Some of these goals were serious and some were silly. I thought it would be fun to crank through the list and see what goals I crossed off. 

1. Travel to Italy. Yes! And it just further convinced me that we’re destined to live there. I can’t wait to go back.
2. Amp up my training certifications. I finished my NASM PT and Weight Loss certs, got BODYPUMP certified and also finished the training at our barre studio before teaching this new format. I’d still love to get a Women’s fitness specialty certification and possibly attempt PiYo at one point of another. The more certifications, the merrier. 
3. Run 2 more half marathons. Nope; just one, but was excited to PR.
4. Have baby #2. Obvious no. We’re still waiting a little while on that one and enjoying lots of sleep for now.
5. Take mom and nana on a trip. We’ve taken them on a couple of little trips, but I’m trying to convince them for an Italy family vacay.
6. Take yoga teacher training. I was planning on starting this fall, but since I’ve been working on a couple of extra projects, I’ll probably have to wait until spring. It’s still on the top of my teaching goals list, even if I don’t actually teach, I think I would enjoy it.
7. Write a book. It comes out this January… and I still can’t believe it really happened.
8. Watch the classic movies I’ve never seen, like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Ehhhh. I still haven’t seen these haha.
9. Parasail. No, and I decided it sounds like a red nightmare.
10. Teach a cooking class. No, but I think it would be fun to teach some classes as part of the book tour.
11. Learn conversational Italian. Kind of? If the conversation involves ordering a glass of wine, asking where the restroom is located, asking the price of something, and commenting on the delicious food, I’m all set haha.
12. Become a morning person (yeah, riiiiiiiight). This can’t be a real goal.
13. Design a fitness program for youth. I have some ideas in my brain, but not quite there yet.
14. Finish my MBA. No, and will probably wait until future Baby #2 is in preschool. I was scoping out the nighttime program at Eller, and would love to do something like that.
15. Start going to acupuncture again regularly. Yes, and I remembered how much I’ve missed it.
16. Make a fitness DVD. Soli Beat! Would love to make another one eventually, too.
17. Dust off the piano and play. Haha we were just talking about this…
18. Flamenco dance. No, but still think it would be fun.
19. Build a covered patio for the backyard. Nope, because we moved.
20. Karaoke (I used to sing, but karaoke still horrifies me for some reason) Finally did it! The bar sang “Santeria” with me and it was a blast. The pre-song margarita helped, too.

While it’s been fun to cross off some of the big, small, and silly goals off this list, over time I’ve discovered a kindness towards myself that I didn’t have in my 20s. We can be our harshest critics, and even though I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake my perfectionist tendencies, I’ve changed my attitude towards myself in the process. Every day really is a blessing, and I’m excited to see what the next year holds.

Any fun birthday traditions? One big, small or silly goal you’d like to accomplish in the next year? Fave karaoke song? 😉

Hope you all have a wonderful day <3



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  1. Nicole @ Fitful Focus on November 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!! My family has a birthday tradition where we always leave a gift for the birthday girl/guy on the foot of their bed in the middle of the night so that when they wake up, the first thing they see is a birthday gift! It’s usually just something small and silly, but it’s fun :). This year, my goals is to pass the NASM cPT exam. I’m studying away and hope to take it by January/February – before I turn 27 in March :).

  2. Dawn on November 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Happy birthday Gina. My 30’s have been wonderful so far and I’m sure yours will be too. In my 20’s I used to make lots of goal lists but these days I prefer to live in the moment a bit more, enjoy my family and take it all in. I have some vague aspirations but as long as we’re all healthy I’m happy

  3. Lucie@FitSwissChick on November 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Happy Birthday Gina! It only gets better from here 🙂
    I am 36 and I had so many goals like having a family and being a business woman at that age. I am now a blogger and have several mini jobs which I LOVE, I am a CrossFitter and I have no man nor kids. Life happens and I think it’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. There are only few things we can control and I still think all that planning and chasing goals is covering up the real thing – living in the moment, and letting life happen.
    My dream is to compete at the European CrossFit Games. If that will ever happen, I don’t know. I give my best and the rest will be figured out by life.

  4. Renae H. on November 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Happy 30th Gina! It’s been a joy to get to know you through your blog 🙂 It’s also good to know what’s coming, being 26 I feel probably very similar to how you felt at 25 and am hoping to continue to grow and love myself for who I am without trying to change myself. Turning 27 in a few months scares me, but I know it’s one step closer to loving myself! Thanks!

  5. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on November 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Is today your birthday!? If so, HAPPIEST of birthdays!! xxoo

  6. Lizzie @ The Magic Tree on November 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    It’s so hard to believe you are turning 30. I am a long time reader (you were in Valdosta!) Time seriously flies. Just by reading your blog for 5 years, I feel like I have seen your growth as a woman, a writer, a photographer, a mom, a fitness instructor…as weird as that might sounds, it’s been fun to watch all your adventures!

    I love your list. I am finishing up my masters in four weeks (what?!), so that was my major goal for 26. For 27, finding a job that I love is #1, followed by regular yoga practice and starting to learn Spanish again.

    • Fitnessista on November 13, 2014 at 8:19 am

      thank you for reading for so long, lizzie <3 it means so much to me!
      so excited for you to be finishing up your masters! and same with the spanish. mine is SO rusty. if you don't use it, you lose it 🙂

  7. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on November 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Happy birthday!!!! These are such beautiful pictures! If you move to Italy, I’m going with you–Ha! I LOVE Italy, have been a few times, would love to go more and would LOVE to live there for a period of time I don’t see it ever happening until we’re retired, unfortunately.

  8. Lindsey @ Simply Lindsey on November 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Happy happy birthday!! My favorite birthday tradition is the dessert, which is usually ice cream. 🙂 My goal would be to regularly work out in the mornings over the next year. I’ve switched to the afternoon and I don’t work out as hard then compared to first thing in the AM!

  9. Rhiannon @ Bound to be a Buckeye on November 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Our birthday tradition usually involves a weekend trip so we can get a delicious meal. It’s all about food, right? 🙂 I felt like turning 29 was harder for me than 30. I think it was the anticipation. I will say 30 has been a pretty good year, so I’ll just try to focus on being thankful for every year and not so much the number. HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS TO YOU!!

  10. Linda @ the Fitty on November 12, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I can’t believe you’re 30, you look so young. 🙂 I guess it’s because you’re healthy and happy.

  11. Amanda @ Fit and the Fork on November 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Happy birthday, Gina!! This was a very welcome read for me right now. I’m 25 and feeling stuck in a bit of a rut with work and activities in general as I try to figure out what I really want to do when I grow up. I’m glad to hear the pressure eases up a little and life just keeps getting better! 🙂

  12. Amy S on November 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Happy Birthday, Gina!!! Hope you’ve had a wonderful day. I’m turning 30 in 2015, as are many of my close friends. Some of my friends are nervous about the big 3-0, and others are pretty chill about it. I personally feel good about it – it’ll be the end of an era, but an exciting start of new things to come. I enjoyed reading your 30 bucket list – you’ve accomplished so much! I feel inspired now to make one of my own, and to think about all of the things I want to do in my 30’s, too! 🙂

  13. Jackie on November 12, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Happy Birthday Gina 🙂

    I have to say I turned 31 this year and my Mom says the same things about your 30s and 40s. When I turned 30 I wasn’t in the best place because I still hadn’t dealt with some emotional things that happened to me in my 20s…which lead to a great deal of weight gain. Changing my diet, lifestyle, coupled with your amazing blog and videos…I’ve been able to lose and keep off over 30 pounds.

    Even now I’m not where I want to be….I’m struggling with finding that job that I just love and affords me to move out of the parent’s house. It’s hard to stick with what you know you really want deserve in life when so many people question you…but I’m trying to stick to my guns 🙂

    Long story, short…thank you so much for brought you’ve brought to my life. Not only the workout videos and the pointers on maintaining a healthy lifestyle…but the community I feel when I come to your site. We aren’t ever alone…even when we feel like it. Just a big thank you and Happy Birthday <3

    • Fitnessista on November 13, 2014 at 8:18 am

      sending lots of love to you. you will do it <3
      thank you so much for the lovely comment and for reading! you're right: we're never alone, even when we feel like it.

  14. Kara on November 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GINA! I turned 36 last Wednesday. I thought turning 30 was gonna be tough, but it ended up being the start of some positive changes in my life. In my fam, we get a birthday eve which adds to all the bday fun:) Blessings.

  15. Kay on November 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Oh man. Happy Birthday!

    I’m not sure I have any current birthday traditions. The boyfriend and I tend to just pick a restaurant that’s way out of our normal price range, and call it a celebration. But when I was a kid, on your birthday, you had control of the tv remote.

    By my next year, I’d love to do the splits. I’m pretty inflexible, so… it’s a stretch. (oh god, worst pun, I’ll see myself out.

  16. Jessie on November 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Happy Birthday, Gina!! I turned 31 a week ago. I guess being in your 30s allows you to become more comfortable in your own skin. At least I feel that’s the biggest difference I feel than I did in my 20s. Well, I admire you and all that you do on here. Have a nice birthday!!

  17. Crystal on November 12, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Happy Birthday to you!! I just turned 30 too, and while I didn’t have any specific goals that I wanted to achieve by then, I have to say that when I reflect back on the last decade, I feel older and MUCH wiser now. Hope you’re having an amazing birthday 😀

  18. Yaara Leve on November 12, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Happiest of Birthdays Gina!!! I hope this year is an amazing one for you!!! 🙂

  19. Alycia on November 12, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Happy happy birthday! Hope the day was filled with fun, love and cake!!!

  20. Alexandra on November 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Happy birthday Gina! Thank you for everything you do for the healthy living community- you are truly an inspiration!

  21. Elle @ The Clean Project on November 12, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Happy Birthday! My next year goal is to finally start a small business/etsy shop!

  22. Jessie on November 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Happy Birthday Gina! I Hope your birthday and year are filled with great joy and many wonderful experiences! I know I enjoy reading all of your adventures on here! I’ll be 27 next year and my goal is to have my LAST student loan paid off and money saved for a trip to Peru or Istanbul, haven’t decided :)!!

  23. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on November 12, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    happy happy birthday my lovely friend <3

  24. Nour @ GreenShushi on November 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Happy birthday, girl! I am SO glad I’m not the only who hasn’t watched Star Wars. Listen, I tried. I fall asleep through it! My husband dies every time I tell ppl that…

  25. Liz on November 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Your mom said exactly what I needed to hear!!! *Shout out to your mom* . You sang Santeria?! I totally feel like I’d get along with you lol =)

  26. melissa on November 12, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Happy happy birthday!

  27. Gina on November 12, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Happy Birthday you awesome chick!!!! Gina (from Mass)

  28. Valerie | Bubbles and Gold on November 13, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Happy Birthday! Turning 30 was a lot different than you imagine, right? I think 30’s are where it’s at. It’s such a different place in your life for grown up stuff, and it’s so fun! You’re mom was so right on.

  29. Jennifer on November 13, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Happy Belated Birthday Gina! Hope you had a nice day! My 30th is coming up and I am looking forward to it as well! Great idea on the “30th bucket list”!!

  30. Shayne on November 13, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Okay, so I’ll be 30 next summer, and I really enjoyed reading this. I feel like in the past six months I’ve really started to feel the buildup to 30 and it bums me out at times. I can feel it in my body and mentally it just feels like 30 means I don’t get to be young and cool anymore. But the other day I had the thought that by the time I actually turn 30 I don’t think it will be such a big deal anymore, and you’ve confirmed. Also, I know it’s probably been a process for you to decide to hold off on having another child and obviously I don’t know what that process involved, but it makes me feel so much better that you have. I have a 2.5 year old, and after ttc over the summer we stopped and decided we weren’t ready. Seems like everyone our age is poppin’ ’em out left and right these days, so knowing that you’re waiting helps a bit. Thanks for sharing and happy belated!

  31. Jess on November 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Happy birthday! I’m kind of dreading turning 29 at the end of the month and wishing for that relief so many people say comes with turning 30. I found a list I must have made in, like, middle school, of things to do before 30, and it was freaking hilarious!

  32. Jenn@Mark My Miles! on November 14, 2014 at 6:31 am

    If your birthday is 11/12, we share the same one : )
    Happy Belated Birthday. As a military spouse myself, it can be difficult to not feel alone at times and as though we are needing to put some of our personal goals on hold at times and make sacrifices for the military lifestyle. But you have shown me that we can keep pursuing our “own things” as well as supporting our military lifestyle. Have a great weekend!

    • Fitnessista on November 14, 2014 at 8:39 am

      happy belated birthday to you, birthday twin!
      thank you so much <3 it's definitely challenging, but the challenge makes it more exciting 😉 i was talking to someone and she was like "how nice of you to put your life on hold so your husband can have a career!" it inspired me to keep trucking along.
      hope you have a wonderful weekend, and thank you to you and your husband for serving our country <3

  33. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on November 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I hope you had a great birthday. 25 was the pits for me, and a quarter of 26 was bad news bears too. The rest of 26 was wonderful though, and I’ve had some great years since (just turned 28 a few months ago)… And I ALSO don’t really know what I want to do when I grow up, beyond write. 🙂 A book deal would be a great present for my next birthday haha. 😉

  34. Roos on November 15, 2014 at 4:06 am

    Happy Bday Gina!! I’m 29 y/o and happy to turn 30 next year. I feel like the 20ies are for getting to know yourself. I’ve learned so much about myself, who I Am and what’s important to me in life!
    I’ve lost 25 pounds and am on a “sixpack before 30 mission” (hashtag #sixpackbefore30), it’s a silly dream but it helps me to stay fit and eat healthy 🙂
    Have a great birthday!!

  35. Cassie Vaughn on November 19, 2014 at 5:54 am

    I love your attitude! I turned 30 several months ago, and I have really been struggling with the fact that my husband and I still aren’t quite ready to have children… financially. It’s lovely to see you taking things so in stride. I wish I could do so well at it.

    • Fitnessista on November 19, 2014 at 8:23 am

      thinking about you <3

  36. Racheal on November 21, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I love love your purse! What kind is it?

    • Fitnessista on November 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      thank you! marc by marc jacobs 🙂

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