"My body—and my relationship with it—totally changed."
Now in my mid-twenties, I think about the extra 10 to 15 pounds I've put on since then and wonder if there's ever any chance at moving the needle on the scale.
So I decided to try Tone It Up's latest eight-week challenge to try and lose a little weight. Tone It Up was founded in 2008 by Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott (also known as K&K) who first gained fame for their incredible fitness videos and workout plans. I trusted them and was excited to embark on this new journey with their help.
But after eight weeks of daily workouts and a nutrition overhaul, I didn't lose a single pound. Luckily, my body—and my relationship with it—totally changed. Here's what I learned.
Prior to starting the Tone It Up plan, I was petite but didn't have any visible muscle tone. Tone It Up totally changed that. Though I didn't lose weight, I lost inches (an inch around the arms, two inches around the waist, an inch around the hips, and—weirdly—an inch around the neck).
On top of that, I can see changes in my body. As a girl who previously had no upper-body strength, I am obsessed with checking out my shoulders and triceps now.
The jeans that use to fit a little too snug now lay nicely on top of a strong core. And the booty strength that Tone It Up founders Karena and Katrina fixate on? I've got it now and it's a damn good booty, baby.
There are a lot of things I loved about the plan. First up, the daily workouts are so easy to fit into a hectic schedule. Let me say this again: They are SO FLEXIBLE. As a freelance writer, my days almost never look the same, and the lack of a routine is the number-one thing that gets in the way of my workouts. The fact that I can do a TIU workout whenever I have a pocket of free time is a complete game changer.
Because Karena and Katrina also keep a full library of workouts on the site in addition to the daily workouts, there's so much room to customize. If a long run had my legs feeling like jelly and that day's workout was lower body, I simply switched it up for abs or arms. There are also workouts as short as 10 minutes, so I really felt like I had no excuse not to do at least one daily. The workouts are fun and so easy to stick with.
Keeping up with the nutrition plan was harder. Like most diet plans, the TIU meal plans lean heavily on the assumption that you can prepare the majority of your own meals. I travel a ton for my job, so that's often impossible for me—especially when lunch comes from an airport.
That said, the recipes provided in the meal plan are tasty and definitely not boring. And I particularly loved that they included such a big focus on why you should make certain food choices over others (plant-based protein, for the win!). Surprisingly, I found myself gravitating toward a lot of vegetarian options with this plan—shocking for a notorious carnivore. The veggie-friendly suggestions were so solid that I've actually started working a couple of vegetarian days into each week.
Overall, the TIU nutrition plan was more helpful when I viewed it as a set of educated guidelines rather than a full-on meal plan.
At the end of the eight-week plan, I feel noticeably better about my body, even though I didn't lose any weight. I feel more equipped to finally ditch that obsession with weight and worry more about measures of health and confidence.
The bottom line: Weight is just a number. How my body and I look and feel (kickass!) is another matter entirely.