The week leading up to the New Year is always difficult for me. The rush and joy of the holidays are over, the weather is gross and I miss my Dad and sister a little more than usual. So I take inventory on the past year, decide what I want to change and plan to attack my New Year’s Resolutions… until February when, like everyone else, life gets in the way and I fall off track.
I was almost 5 months postpartum and things were not snapping back into place after Baby #3. Granted I started off pregnancy #3 a little squishier than usual too, exercise has never been something I stick with. I knew I wanted to get healthier and to be totally honest, I really just wanted to look better. I knew I would be limited with an infant’s demands and schedule, so it would have to be something I could do quickly and on my own time. Childcare at the gym didn’t start until the baby was 6 months old and classes at other studios were out do to lack of childcare. I had a drawer full of exercise videos, but I knew myself well enough to know I wouldn’t stick with them.
Then I remembered watching a show on Bravo while I was pregnant. Toned Up, featured two super fit, quirky and inspiring BFFs, Karena and Katrina, who created workout videos on the beach in Southern California. I was instantly addicted to the show… I mean it was on Bravo, and I am a Bravoholic to the core. But I was pregnant and not looking to workout, so I had forgot about it until I was staring at my lumpy postpartum body. I checked out Tone It Up, and found they were starting their Love Your Body Challenge on New Year’s Day. I decided to give it a try.
I started January 1st, just like everyone else. But a few weeks in I realized, I had finally found what I was looking for… and so much more! First, I could stream the free YouTube videos to my living room television. The videos were easy enough for a beginner, but still challenging as my fitness level improved. The weekly workout schedule takes the guesswork out of what to do when and keeps me from getting bored. The videos are quick and efficient, perfect for first thing in the morning (#tiubootycall) or fitting in during nap time, your lunch break or after work. At first I struggled through the workouts, but Karena and Katrina are so inspiring… it’s like they are there with you and know you are about to give up and they will say “stay with me” or “remember why you started” and just like that I could push through and finish. It sounds a little silly, but here we are in October and I haven’t given up… I’m actually in the middle of the Fit For Fall challenge!!
The best part of Tone It Up, and the part I had no idea I was looking for, is the community. I started an Instagram account for fitness accountability, you can follow me @kateandsmalls.tiu. There I found the most amazing group of real, inspiring, and always motivating women. If I’m feeling lazy, I scroll through my IG feed and see women from around world that have killed their workouts and it really motivates me to get up and do something. If I’m having a hard day or had a bad workout, there are women who sympathize, support and encourage me. When I feel like I’m not seeing any changes, there are women that share their journey, progress pictures and reminders that these changes take time. Everyone’s journey is different, we each have our own struggles and goals, but we, as the TIU community, are there for one another through it all! And I know I’m not the only one who’s day is made by a little trainer love, @karenakatrina are always encouraging the TIU team on IG.
Not only are these women gorgeous, but they are smart too! Growing an empire of their own. They now have 3 Beach Babe DVDs full of amazing workout videos in fabulous locations. Their book, Tone It Up: 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous, is a great way to help create new habits and focus on your health. They have created Perfect Fit protein powder, quinoa crisps (which are amazing!!) and tea. They have Tone It Up apparel which includes new affordable workout clothes and helped design some amazing Maaji bikinis… totally a goal of mine to wear one some day! And the Holy Grail, the TIU Nutrition Plan filled with tons of recipes and guides you to make better choices. It has taught me not only what I should be eating but when I should be eating certain things. They also include updates for life!
It took me 4 moths of sticking with the workouts to reward myself with the Nutrition Plan… and what a reward! The biggest changes I saw were when I started following the Nutrition Plan during the Bikini Series this past April. It was the missing piece. I still struggle with following the plan 100%, but I’m aiming for an 80/20 lifestyle. However, it is nice to know what to do to see results. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m getting there. I’m finding some balance, changing my body for the better, getting stronger, faster and more confident all while setting a good example for my smalls (who love to join in from time to time)! I have Tone It Up to thank for all of it! You don’t have to wait for the New Year to start, start now – go into the holiday season equipped with a plan! Do it for you, who knows you just may like it!!
p.s. This is not a sponsored post, these are 100% my personal opinions. TIU has changed the way I view my body and think of exercise! If you are looking for a community of great women find them on Instagram by following #TIUteam for daily fitness inspiration and motivation.