If you follow me on Instagram, the last posts you saw were probably both my cooking success and my cooking failure over the holidays, which feel like ages ago now. Crazy! In my last post I explained why I’ve been a little quiet on social media, but there’s something else that’s been keeping me physically and mentally busy in real life.
I’ve been participating in a fitness challenge that started two weeks ago, called Look for Love, created by Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up (TIU). The challenge is less competition focused and more self-love focused. It’s more of a healthy lifestyle commitment than a challenge focused on reaching an end date and goal weight. You can win prizes along the way, but it’s about so much more than that. Look for Love was created with the following intentions. I really can’t sum it up any better than they do:
“We want you to look for love in everything you do and see. Look for love in all the people around you: your friends, your family, your co-workers, your accountability partners, and your TIU team. And above all, look for love within yourself. Love your body every day. Nourish it, because you love it. Work out, because you love it. Do everything with passion and purpose. Live each day with intention. Speak with love. Exude love. Look for love – and you’ll find happiness, confidence, and success.” – Karena and Katrina
I mentioned Tone It Up once (or five) times in this post, but in case you aren’t familiar, Tone It Up is a fitness community created by certified personal trainers and nutrition coaches Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott. They constantly create new nutrition plans and workouts specific to helping women feel confident, toned, energized, healthy and happy – physically, mentally, and spiritually. They truly support each and every girl on the TIU journey and interact with girls constantly on social media. They’re the most adorable besties and have so much fun together, and they encourage others to enjoy life to the fullest!
Tone It Up offers a Nutrition Plan membership which is the only way to access the nutrition plans and recipe guides, but you don’t have to become a Nutrition Plan member to follow their weekly workout schedules or join the Instagram community. They also have TONS of free content on their website, including recipes. In fact, I didn’t become a member until just recently. Let me tell you a little about that journey.
Tone It Up has been a constant in my life since about January 2016. Before that, I noticed TIU popping up on Facebook and Instagram around November 2015, and back then I almost became a Nutrition Plan member on Black Friday because the deal was just too good to pass up. However, I decided to just buy the bundle of TIU goodies (duffel bag, resistance bands, protein powder…) and start following their workouts. I made a bigger commitment to the workouts once I started one of their challenges in January 2016.
Over the course of the last year, I have followed, talked to, and supported so many TIU girls. I continue to love everything about the community, so this past December I decided to become an official member. Membership is $150 and you get access to all previous nutrition plans they’ve created, and all future editions. $150 can be daunting (it was for me for awhile), but once you pay that’s it. For life. I was SO happy once I finally joined! I have been pouring over the plans ever since and really absorbing all the helpful information and delicious recipes. I’ve been testing quite a few over the past couple weeks, and most* turn out amazing! (*Don’t be like me and try to skip baking ingredients.)
Tone It Up is about so much more than just working out. It’s about connecting with other like-minded women and meeting up over wine and The Bachelor. It’s about meal prepping effectively and efficiently, staying active daily, checking in on Instagram, liking and supporting other girls’ posts, and building each other up. There’s honestly just so much I could say about the community and Karena and Katrina.
There are girls that are so much better at following the plans and workouts than me. There are girls who are so much more motivated and disciplined at waking up early (I’m talking like 4:30am early) to get a morning workout done. There are girls who meal prep like bosses in the kitchen, while I’m over here trying to scrape together breakfast at the last minute. But these girls are the ones that inspire me! I have made huge strides both mentally and physically because of knowing them (or feeling like we all know each other at least :)).
While Tone It Up isn’t new to me anymore, the specific nutrition plan guidelines and actual Look for Love Challenge plan are new, so I’ve tried to recommit to some goals with the start of the challenge and implement healthy changes through baby steps. With that being said, I just want to share a few things that have really helped me most recently.
- Focus on less starches after lunch.
This has been MAJOR for me. I didn’t think much of peanut butter toast and milk dates around 11p.m. I mean, I knew it wasn’t great to eat that late, but overall I was like meh, it could be worse. Now I’ve been learning how important it is to eat starches in the morning so your body can use that energy throughout the day. Dinner is what your body will metabolize overnight, so it’s really important to eat lean protein and green veggies.
- Eat more often to lose more.
I learned this when I did Farrell’s and it’s not like I forgot all about it, I just wasn’t making time to plan for breakfast or snacks during and after work. I would end up starving until lunch, then stuff my face, then feel starving after work until dinner time, and then eat too much again. It’s just not a good food cycle to be on. I feel a million times better having breakfast in the morning and a snack to tide me over until lunch. I’ve also started planning healthier snacks after work like veggies and hummus, or a protein shake, so I’m not eating huge portions at dinner.
- Even just 20 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning is important.
I always wish I could be one of those people that works out in the morning, but it just hasn’t happened yet. I’ve dabbled in it, and I’m not opposed to it, but it just hasn’t turned into a consistent aspect of my life. But lately I’ve been trying (TRYING) to do just 20 minutes of physical activity in the mornings. Lately I’ve been walking to work, so there’s 10 minutes, but then I’ve been adding maybe 10-15 minutes of yoga stretches, TIU workout videos, TIU daily moves… just anything to get my body moving. I can’t say I’ve consistently done this everything morning, but like I said, baby steps people.
There’s really so much more I’ve been learning, but I’m guessing you came here for a blog post and not a novel. Besides, I can’t tell you everything – you’ll have to become a member for the real insider secrets ;). Today I really wanted to share this part of my life with you, so you know what I’m up to when I’m not creating new content or staying active on the Insta.
I would love to answer any questions you have about Tone It Up, fitness, food, etc. I’m by no means an expert, but I have been learning a lot over the past couple years and I try to do my research. Let’s go on this fitness adventure together girlfriend!
Happy looking for love!