My name is Gabby.  

I lost half my body weight through exercise and eating right.

 I'm here to motivate you, inspire you, and make you laugh on your journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Turning Setbacks Into Comebacks: OPERATION G.O.M.A.

Turning Setbacks Into Comebacks: OPERATION G.O.M.A.

Warning: Adult language

Please do not read any further if you are offended by adult language.


It's time to get yo shit together, bitches! I'm coming for you!

It's time to get yo shit together, bitches! I'm coming for you!

I can’t tell you how happy this bitch is to be back to blogging! Life has thrown some major curveballs our way since I was here last. Man, life has a way of showin’ you who’s boss as soon as you start breathing a little easy.

I’m very grateful that despite the adversities, I’ve stayed aboard the health and fitness train…but there were some minor setbacks along the tracks. Ah, setbacks. We have all come to know these evil little (or big) sons-of-bitches. I think a post on them would be a fitting way to start back up.

Setbacks will bury your ass if you let them.

They’ll try like hell to knock your ass down and all too often they do just that. Even after six years of being solid and steady on my health and fitness path, I still get KO’d every once in a while. But the difference now is that I go down swingin’ and stand back up quickly. I’m at a point in my life now where I know, believe, and accept that setbacks are inevitable. It’s how you deal with them that matters.

But oh God, have I come a looooong way. I’ve had setbacks that lasted for years! Before I hit my goal weight, I had 10 years of failures and self-wallowing. I used to let even the smallest of setbacks turn into a permanent lifestyle.

I found a magic trick on how to not let that happen anymore. You wanna know what it is? Oh, you know you wanna know. Well, here it is folks. My magic trick is…

I don’t take it personal anymore.

Yup. Dead ass serious. That’s my magic trick. Let me explain. 

I used to take setbacks so personal. I’d call myself a failure, look at myself as a failure, and believe I was a failure. I’d feel guilty for being weak, for letting myself down, for letting my family down. I’d beat myself up for not having any will-power and for not being stronger. I did this to myself. I treated myself this way. For all those years I would treat myself like a piece of shit... and then go eat a pan of brownies.

I would NEVER treat anyone else that way nor would I look at them in that way. I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt no matter what the situation or how big their mistake. I give them encouragement and remind them of their strengths. Why the hell couldn’t I do that for myself?! I don’t know exactly. Lots of reasons I’m sure. Probably amongst the biggest is the fact that I’m a control freak and expect perfection out of myself. I set expectations so impossibly high for myself that I swear God himself would look me dead in the eye and say ’Bitch, please, you can’t do all that.‘ Kinda hard to come out on top when you set unattainable goals for yourself, no?

How did I change this? Where does the magic come in? Well, I’ll tell you.


I would use my setbacks as crutches and as reasons I couldn’t achieve success. It was the setback’s fault, not mine. And all the self-bashing I was doing was a way to punish myself. I devalued, depreciated, and underrated myself so that no one else would. Year after year I was the only one attending my pity-party with a dunce cap on and eating all the damn cake.

I used to say all the time ‘why me?, why does this only happen to me?’ It doesn’t. It happens to everyone. Just everyone doesn’t bitch and moan. They pick the pieces up and man the hell up. I don’t bitch and moan anymore. I take action. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to something and stop whining like a baby.

And guess what? EVERYBODY SCREWS UP.

I don’t look at myself as a failure anymore when a setback knocks me down. Here’s how I look at it. I do my best. Day-in and day-out, I give it my all and I do my best. That’s gotta be enough.

 It is enough. Period.

And you know what else? I still set the bar ridiculously high for myself but I look at it differently now. I figure if I set crazy expectations up for myself I may not get there (and that's okay!) but I’m gonna get pretty damn far trying. Because when you try to reach the impossible, you end up surprising the hell out of yourself in the end. And sometimes, every once in a blue moon, you really do reach the impossible.

It was this mentality that allowed me to lose 120 pounds. In the beginning, I thought it was impossible but I went after it anyway. I chased that shit down like a dirty dog. And guess what? BAM! It happened!

When you know in your heart that you have been doing your best, it’s a lot easier to not take it so personal when you eff up.

But setbacks are a tricky little business. They loom all around us at all times like snipers in the trees waiting to take our asses out.

There’s not just one kind of setback that we can all recognize and safeguard against, there are a couple different kinds of setbacks. Let's talk about them.

Life Setbacks:

Life setbacks are out of your control.

They’re usually the ones that hit you like a mack truck. They are those unexpected life events that happen in a blink of an eye in the middle of an unassuming, ordinary day. We are all struck by these setbacks throughout our lives whether it be in the form of a sudden illness, a death, or maybe losing a job. They can even be happy events but they still knock us off track because of their surprise factor. Maybe you just found out you were pregnant or you got a job promotion that requires a move.

Emotional Setbacks:

Emotional setbacks are an inside job. 

They are the most common setbacks. They are the ones that creep up on us like a snake in the grass. Usually by the time you realize a setback has got you in a headlock, it’s had it’s claws in you long enough to form a pattern. These types of setbacks usually materialize because we’ve ignored some warning signs or we loosened up our regimen (holidays and vacations are classic examples of this).

But everyday life and all of it’s little pop-ups and obligations can get in the way too. Remember two weeks ago when you went to Olive Garden and had 43 breadsticks, a giant plate of pasta, and tiramisu to celebrate Uncle Bob’s birthday? And then the very next day you skipped your workout because the bank called and they needed you to come in because they messed up your accounts? Oh and then two days after that you had to skip the gym because you forgot you had to make cupcakes for your daughter’s school birthday treats? And it goes on and on and on.

It’s funny how for month’s on end you’ll be this badass fitness warrior with a death grip on will-power and dedication. Then a couple changes in your schedule occur like a day off or a family event and you find yourself chugging cupcake batter like you’re getting paid in diamonds. It takes so long to nail down a good, tight schedule and hardly nothing to slip right back into old ways.

No matter who you are and what you’re capable of, setbacks will happen. Some will be completely out of your hands and others will be 100% your fault. 

Nobody can sail a smooth sea every day, every month, all the time. Can’t happen. Won’t happen.

Not only are we tempted little bastards that sometimes can’t help but to cut across three lanes of traffic into the Dairy Queen, but more simply… we are human. Forgive yourself and move the hell on. If you expect setbacks, you can more easily recognize them before any real damage is done. More importantly, you’ll stop beating yourself up over them. Setbacks will make you their bitch if you let them.

You’re allowed to make mistakes. You’re allowed to falter and get knocked down. You’re allowed to eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. But I’ll tell you what you’re NOT allowed to do. You’re not allowed to wallow in your mistakes, feel guilty about them, and then eat your feelings. You’re not allowed to stay down when you’re knocked down. You’re not allowed to still be eating pumpkin pie by the time St. Patty’s Day rolls around.

We learn from setbacks. Once we get up off our asses and get back to business, they make us stronger. Each one proves to us that we ARE warriors. We may lose a battle here and there but we can win the war. The key to battling setbacks is to take action as soon as you realize things have gone awry.

I mean, when you find yourself standing at your kitchen counter at 1:00am eating Nutella out of the jar with a serving spoon half-asleep and half-naked… I think it’s safe to say that pretend time is over. Shit has gotten real.

What you need is a plan. You need a Setback Plan. Everyone has to find their own plan. You need to find which tactics and methods work best for you. 

My Setback Plan has a name. I call it: 

Operation: G.O.M.A. (Get Off My Ass)

Anytime I find that I have been hit with a setback, I actually write down "Operation: G.O.M.A." on the calendar in our command center in our kitchen. It gets everyone on board (including me) and prepares everybody (including me) that mommy is about to lay the hammer down. 

I want to share my plan with you to give you an idea of where to start. But again, everyone needs to find their own perfect Plan of Action, so you can tweak this plan to customize for your needs if you see fit.



I have to physically remove all of the junk from my house. No matter how strong I think I'll be, I'll end up too tempted. I can do some serious damage in a fleeting five minute period. To the point that afterwards I wanna throw myself off a cliff. It all has to go. I put it all in a trash bag and then put it in the trashcan outside. Gone. Out of my face.


I immediately go to the store and buy fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, and healthy snacks. I come home and right away wash and chop everything up. 

YOU EAT WHAT YOU SEE. Plain and simple.


If anyone has been home to witness either #1 or #2, they already know what’s coming. Mommy lost her shit and now everyone has to say goodbye to all the crappy deliciousness she’s been bringing into the house lately. YUP. During the meeting I let everyone know that mommy may seem a little more pre-occupied or maybe even a little more irritated for a few days until I can kick my own ass and get used to some changes. 

Honestly, the meeting is more for myself. My husband and little girls have been though the drill so many times (yes, they’ve been through Operation:G.O.M.A. many times) that life doesn’t change much for them aside from less goodies to eat. It helps me tremendously just to say out loud that I’ve gotten off track and need to get back on. 

For me, to actually hear the words come out of my mouth makes it real. Moreover, when I admit this to the people I love most in the world, it reminds me how important it is that I stay healthy for them as well as for me. I need all the energy I can get to run this household and be the best mommy I can be for my munchkins. They don’t just need a mommy. They need a happy and healthy mommy.


Music is big for me. I cannot workout without music. I just can’t. Hell, I can't even do the dishes without music. I have one of those annoying brains that never stop racing and probing and questioning. Music shuts that off. I thank God for that everyday. Not sure I could make all that sweat-fest badassery happen if I didn’t have the music to turn off my crazy. In fact, I know I couldn’t. 

So new music gets me excited. And getting excited is exactly what I need when I’m getting back to business.


I set clear and concise small goals and I write them down. I am a visual person. I need to see with my eyes. There’s too many thoughts swimming in my head at any given time and if I try to keep all of my goals floating inside my big noggin, I lose track.


I pull inspiration from wherever I can. I’ll search up weight loss stories, read fitness blogs, scroll through Pinterest for fitness pins, search for some new healthy recipes, watch the Biggest Loser. Anything and everything that gets me in that frame of mind. It’s comforting to know that I’m not in this alone.

{You can follow Half of gabby on Pinterest HERE.}


I like to promise myself something if I hit my goals. A new book, new flavor of coffee, or maybe something from Sephora. For bigger goals, I might pick out some new running shoes or a new sports bra. 

Keep your rewards health and fitness-related (headphones, healthy foods recipe book, kettle bell, etc) or just pick out little things that you love but don’t normally buy yourself (romance novel, manicure or massage, strappy heels, etc). 

NEVER reward yourself with food.


Having a Setback Plan is helpful because it gives you a way to regain control. It is a clear checklist to help you mentally prepare for what needs to be done and it provides a visual platform to make sure you are in fact doing it.

The key to recognizing setbacks is to be honest with yourself. Really honest. 

Admit to yourself that you screwed up and be okay with it. If you sit around and punish yourself over it, you’ll stay in that place. You’ll take a setback that has lasted a day, a week, or a month and make it last a month, 6 months, or a year. 

Some setbacks last a lifetime.

No matter how ironclad your dedication and motivation is now, life will find a weak link in your armor every once in a while.

I don’t care if you have spent the last four months eating like a world champion sumo wrestler and if your own damn couch is ready to kick your ass off of it, forgive yourself and get on with your damn life!




“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.”
— Henry Ford


*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.



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