One Year Down…

The month of September marks an important time in my fitness journey. Around this time, one year ago, I committed to giving the Tone It Up lifestyle a try with the Frisky Fall fitness Challenge TIU trainers Karena and Katrina were hosting. I had found TIU through Pinterest a few months prior and had tried some of their workouts during my senior year of college, but it wasn’t until this fitness challenge (and investing money-wise) that I said to myself “Okay, I’m going to do this.” I bought the nutrition plan, printed it all out, put it in a binder and started reading.

TIUBeginning

Let’s be real, my main reason for “joining” (when you purchase the nutrition plan, you become a member, which means you obviously get the plan emailed to you, you get subscribed to the Members Only e-newsletters and receive exclusive access into the Tone It Up online community) was my immediate obsession with TIU trainers, Karena and Katrina. Just watch one of their videos and you’ll see how STUNNING they are. Not only that, but they are so down-to-earth, motivating, inspiring, glowing and hilarious. Both women embody everything I strive for in my personal life – from unwavering self-confidence to flawless skin to their overall outlook on living a healthy lifestyle. 

They’re the kind of girls who fill their diets with nutritious, feel-good foods, but are totally okay with treating themselves to a few glasses of champagne or dessert when they crave it. Their workouts are innovative, fun, do-able and NOT boring! They’ve designed their workout and nutrition plan with the average woman in mind – the woman who wants to be healthy and fit but has a million other things going on, too. They really just get it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.49.17 PM

I have to be honest and say that I do not have an extreme physical transformation story to share with you guys, like some of the other amazing women who are a part of TIU. I’ve dropped maybe five pounds, am seeing a little more definition in my arms and a little less flab in my legs, but for me, the main changes have happened in the way that I eat, the way I view fitness and the way I view myself. While I’ve always been a generally healthy eater, I’ve learned so much more about fueling my body properly thanks to K&K. I love to cook now and am always trying out new things in the kitchen, in addition to meal prepping almost every Sunday. I’m finally finding ways of working out that are fun and challenging for me. This last one is still something I’m working on, but these women have created the most amazing community that inspires me to love myself and treat myself well. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

So let’s talk about the nutrition plan.

The educational part of the nutrition plan is what has made the most difference in my healthy lifestyle journey up to this point. K&K teach you about superfoods, best times to eat certain foods, how to balance out your meals, how to eat in a lean, clean and green way and so much more. Not to mention, they’ve probably put a zillion recipes into this thing. Out of all of them that I’ve tried, there’s only been a few that were just okay – the rest have been amazing. Some of my favorites are the Turkey Pumpkin Chili, Blueberry Oat Breakfast Bars, Confetti Kale Salad, Stuffed Bell Peppers, Sweet Potato Cookies, Banana Chia Seed Muffins… my list is endless. Their recipes are so good, and they make you FEEL good.

In this past year of attempting to eat in a more lean, clean and green way (LCG) thanks to Tone It Up, I’ve noticed a huge difference in how what I eat makes me feel. When I eat too many non-nutritious or heavy foods, I absolutely feel how it affects my body. I literally call it a food hangover, because that’s how it feels! I become extremely tired, bloated, uncomfortable, my skin looks dull, I’ve got undereye bags – so hot, right? It’s amazing how even just a day of clean, nutritious eating can make you feel amazing.

KandK

As far as their workouts go, they post FREE (yes, totally free) workout schedules each week, packed with fat-blasting cardio workouts, toning routines, yoga/stretching videos and more.

While I have stopped following these weekly workouts since joining ClassPass (I’m just in a phase where group exercise is what’s working best for me), Tone It Up is the first place I turn to when I want to complete a quick yoga practice before work or just feel like I need some extra toning or a fun HIIT routine. Seeing their smiling faces (and perfect bods) in their workout videos just makes you want to push yourself that much harder.

If you haven’t heard of Tone It Up, or you have but you’re not ready to make a full commitment to the program, I highly recommend checking it out. They’re starting their Fit for Fall Charity Challenge this Monday, where we will all be logging miles to support a charity of choice. I can’t wait to support, simply by getting fit!

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 3.17.03 PM

Check out all the info here. Happy Fit For Fall, y’all!

Me, Myself & I

The topic of ‘me time’ is one that’s been very popular with me lately. As someone whose planner is literally always full, half because of things I have to do and half because I psycho-plan my weekends a week in advance, time alone is definitely an area where I’m feeling a little deprived. I live my life by such a schedule that taking care of myself and my needs falls by the wayside at times. Even if I do have free time, I find myself feeling anxious if I’m not using that time to clean up my apartment or send an email I’ve been needing to send, since it feels like 24 hours is never enough. It’s amazing how quickly spreading yourself too thin can burn you out and leave you thinking,

I need to spend more time by myself. 

The Design Chaser

I’m happiest when I’m with people I love but at the same time, I feel like it’s tough to give all your attention and energy when you’re feeling depleted from the stresses of work, relationships and everyday life. Especially as women, it seems like we’re always giving a little too much of ourselves. Sometimes, your needs are the most important!

I want to start making more time to do a few things… going to a movie alone, sitting at a coffee shop and blogging or reading, going on walks, at-home spa treatments, painting, journaling, waking up a little earlier to get exercise, playing around with new hair ideas on Pinterest, giving yoga another try, online shopping, baking, reading magazines, maybe taking up calligraphy.

These may sound a little cheesy but it’s the little things like these that, believe it or not, sometimes bring you the most joy. I had an old, ugly canvas that I wanted to spruce up and literally had it on my to-do list for a month so that I could hang it up. I spent a Saturday afternoon painting my favorite quote (lovelovelove this quote) on the canvas and it was just a peaceful thing that gave me my little bit of happy for the day.

fave quote

It may sound weird to schedule some time alone, but at least for me, that’s what it takes sometimes! I’m heading to Tampa for my best friend’s bridal shower today (yay!) but am def scheduling some me time for next week. I’m thinking a coffee facial scrub and lots of reading.

What do you want to do this week to give yourself a little extra love? 

A Little Motivation For Your Monday Blues

Happy Monday! Going to be honest for a sec – I get real upset when the weekend ends. Like I’m talking a serious case of the Sunday Sads. I dread Mondays like the plague (workin on it, y’all). You’d think it gets easier after a year in the “real world” but, like, not really. College was pretty much a 4-year-long-weekend-party-fest with the occasional ‘chill’ night in (drinking two bottles of wine in your pajamas and proceeding to the Chick-fil-A drive through at midnight) and then you’re thrown into working, paying bills, going to the gym and attempting to maintain a social life and proper sleep schedule. #Adulting. ANYWAYS, Mondays are tough, but they just make the weekends that much sweeter.

I had a pretty good weekend – lazy Friday night, first Cyc fitness class and pool day Saturday followed by a sushi & drinks double date, then, per usual, attempting to be a real person on Sunday. I did just want to touch on something I’ve been thinking about after I saw an Instagram post from Donna (FORME Studios) (PS – if you haven’t tried one of her classes yet, sign up now – they’re amazing) about how much we, as women compare our bodies to other women’s bodies, because I was totally guilty of this this weekend at the pool.

formeinsta

I was just trying to enjoy a pool day with my boyfriend and before I know it, the thoughts just roll in – “no matter how healthy I eat, I’ll never look like her”. I totally related to this Instagram post because I’ve always had this mentality that once I get to my “ideal body”, that light switch is going to come on and I’m just going to be this confident, content, glowing person because I suddenly have a flat stomach and a thigh gap. THIS IS SO FALSE! Being honest with myself, I know that I would just find something else to obsess over. Let’s face it, there is always going to be that girl who is skinnier than you, has a nicer butt or bigger boobs – so why waste your time comparing yourself to them? I say this for you just as much as for myself, because it’s totally easier said than done.

For those of you who do this bullshit like me, let’s set a goal for ourselves this week to stop comparing ourselves to other women and start focusing on the things we do like about ourselves. I may not be close to where I’d like my body to be, but I’m planning and meal prepping all of my meals almost every Sunday, eating healthy meals 85% of the time & working out at least 4-5 times a week. Is it as far as I can take it? Prob not, but I’m still taking steps to be a healthier, fitter and stronger version of myself, and I think that’s something to be pretty damn proud of.

It’s the start of a new week, and a new chance to get after your goals, so I’m setting a few mini-goals this week to push myself a little further.

1. Work out 6 days this week

2. Wake up and sweat for 30 minutes 3 times this week (doing it in the morning is key even though I’ve totally fallen off this wagon)

3. Potty break squats – 10 squats every time you use the restroom at work, who’s doing these with me?!

What goals are you setting for yourself this week?

monday