If you asked me to pinpoint the exact moment when I made the conscious decision – “I am on a fitness journey” – it would stick somewhere in the middle of a sleepy January morning in 2016.
To know me is to know that I am righteous believer in all things girl power and self acceptance. So you can imagine how much it went against my nature to start my day one of two ways: completely avoiding the mirror, or paralyzed by its power. Yet, this is exactly where I found myself a year ago. Let’s get real, I would be foolish to blame my perception of self worth on the glass perched above by vanity or a tinted window on a crowded street. After all, it was me in the reflection. I could list thousands of excuses poorly dressed as legitimate reasons for how I wound up uncomfortable in my own skin – like everything that comes with being a 20-something “adult” – but my day-to-day habits made it clear: I wasn’t prioritizing myself, I wasn’t respecting myself, and I wasn’t loving myself. I had put myself in a position where my condition of physical and mental health restrained me. Me being me, that was not something I was willing to settle for. So I said to myself, “I am on a fitness journey.”
Enter Tone It Up, a global community and member-based fitness & nutrition plan developed by founders Karena Dawn & Katrina Scott. Hey K+K, it’s your girl albabe!! The captivating IRL mermaids are equal parts down to earth bestie, chiseled bombshell #fitspo, and pocket personal trainer. Together, they have built a platform that empowers women to live each day to their healthiest, in turn changing bodies, minds, and lives.
My journey began when I signed up for the ultimate TIU challenge, better known as the Bikini Series, a comprehensive 8-week program complete with a daily workout and meal regimen. I stood in front of a white wall while my boyfriend shot my before photos (cringe with me, but it was worth it). I researched #fitgirl words like meal prep and HIIT and kale. I studied nutrition labels and ingredients. I created an Instagram profile and connected with #tiugirls around the globe. I worked out, I journaled, I ate clean. And slowly, but undoubtedly, I began to transform inside and out. In 56 days, I went from chronic snooze-button pusher to habitual BootyCall-er (morning workout in the TIU dictionary), from craving grease to yearning for greens, from telling myself I was less than to knowing I was enough. (You can read more about my Bikini Series transformation here)
The Bikini Series came to a close, and something happened. I kept going, and I liked it. My healthy lifestyle was not just a summer fling, I fell in love and we were committed – like, put a ring on it, committed. Day after day, workout after workout, meal after meal, I found happiness in the choices that made me feel good.
Looking back, I suppose I’ve always been on this journey to some degree. And looking forward, I am certain I always will be. I can compartmentalize my past – from a wellness perspective – into clear segments. From a blissfully active child, to an anxiety ridden, eat-all-the-mini-donuts-but-don’t-gain-a-pound teen, to a college student compensating the stress induced takeout with every known diet fad, to a 20-something who became complacent, to where we meet in the present… a girl balanced. From here, my future is wide open, the promise of limitless possibility filling every cavity of my being like a steady, deep breath. Welcome to my life, a bright and beautiful (and sometimes awkward and confusing) blend of fit, healthy, and happy. I’ll call it: fitlicity.