In an effort to make some more white space in my life, I've decided to get back on the fitness train. Sometime last fall, I started putting work before taking care of myself, and I've been on a slow downward spiral ever since.
I had been in a routine of working out 3-5 times per week for at least two years up until that point, but it's not like I quit exercising cold turkey. My 5 times a week slid to 3, then to 1 on a good week. This wasn't solely due to work, but also because I was juggling a decent amount of stress in my personal life thanks to a drawn-out legal issue with our apartment situation. (That's a story for another day!)
Eventually, I decided to put my ClassPass membership on hold because I wasn't utilizing it, then ultimately cancelled when they jacked up their prices. Ever since I quit ClassPass in April I've been basically not working out at all, and it's had a huge effect on pretty much every aspect of my life. I haven't been sleeping as well and I've been more stressed and anxious. I've felt icky and bloated and depressed and in a brain fog. I went back to eating foods that made me feel bad. I was getting no “release” for the stress and energy I had pent up in my body and I finally got to a breaking point. I'd gained back about 10 lbs from my original weight loss of about 40 from my heaviest weight, and I was feeling scared that I would just continue backsliding until I felt absolutely miserable.
I knew I had to make a change — I had to find something that worked for me and my crazy schedule, something that would fit between all the other things I was juggling.
I'd been following Karena + Katrina from Tone It Up for at least a year and I was always intrigued by their program. I'd done a workout here or there from their YouTube channel and was always SUPER sore the day after, so I knew it was legit. So when a friend of mine confessed she'd signed up for their program and was loving it, I thought now was a great time to give it a try. I signed up last week and started Monday's Bikini Series program.
Body goals, amiright?
They've got a comprehensive meal plan and workout schedule that is sure to totally kick my ass over the next eight weeks, but I'm up for the challenge. The weekly meal plans are helpful guides, but I don't plan to follow them too rigorously. There are lots of interesting recipes that I hope to try out along the way, and the Nutrition Plan has also made me realize the importance of eating smaller meals more frequently throughout my day to boost metabolism. I'd really gotten into the habit of only eating breakfast and dinner and I've seen the effect it's had on my belly…
I've never been great about doing at-home workouts or DVDs, but Tone It Up is a community as well as a fitness program. I've since joined a TIU Facebook group for members in NYC and created a TIU specific Instagram account to share my daily check-ins. I'm hoping that accountability, measurement, and consistency will not only help my progress, but also keep me on track.
The community aspect really drew me in, and I love checking out other TIU-ers on Instagram by following the many hashtags used by the ladies who are taking part in the program. It's inspiring to see the progress that other gals have made, and also helps to keep me from beating myself if I have an “off day” or if I'm feeling down for not eating as lean / clean / green as I should. I'm thinking it's going to be a great tool for keeping myself motivated and accountable along the way.
For me, consistency really is key, because I'm looking for more than just a slimmer waistline. At the end of the day, sure — I want to look good in a bathing suit, but my motivation for taking on this challenge is much bigger than that. I've come to realize that working out isn't just about looking good / losing weight, it's a mental thing, too. I need this release to clear my mind, help me sleep better, and reduce my stress levels. If I get my tush back in shape in the process that's a happy byproduct in my opinion.
I'm excited to see how this goes! If you want to follow along with my daily checkins and other TIU inspiration you can follow me @TIUJessNYC. Get ready to see lots of unflattering, sweaty selfies and pictures of my food! 😉 I'll be sure to check in here after the eight weeks is over to share my progress… that's motivation enough to stick with it!!