[Alright kids, this is going to be a wordy post, but it is going to be worth it…
…trust me. Okay? Okay.]
To keep my story as short as possible, I will just start by saying that two summers ago I finally got fed up with never feeling 100% well. I had acid reflux/indigestion, bloating, stomach pains, and the like. Foods that I loved would make me feel like crap. Healthy foods would make me feel like crap. Things that I had eaten a thousand times (and been fine) would make me feel like straight crap. It made no sense…and it was miserable. I ended up going to the gastroenterologist who then had me get an endoscopy and blood work done. The endoscopy came back normal. The blood work came back negative for lactose intolerance and Celiac’s Disease. So, I was sent home with a pat on the back and a “you’re young and healthy…maybe you’ll grow out of it.” Have I ever mentioned that I hate going to the doctor? And it is for that exact reason. I wait until I have exhausted all of my options and then typically don’t get a straight answer anyway. I hate being told that every symptom under the sun is caused by stress (please.) or that I need more sleep (double please.). And I hate antibiotics…the last time I was prescribed one (which was the first time in years), I had an allergic reaction to it–a rash on my face. Really? Really. Ugh. I digress. I let the two years pass with little to no relief. I started to just tolerate my symptoms and/or at least manage them with antacids and paying A TON of attention to the things that I was eating. Sounds fun, right?
Well, I finally got to the point where I had to go back to the doctor. She didn’t order more tests…not even a colonoscopy. I heard all of the mumbo-jumbo again about, “You are young and active…you eat relatively well…maybe you will grow out of it…have you ever had food poisoning?” and so on. It was a slap of discouragement right in the face. Yes, I am active. Yes, I eat generally well. Yes, I am young. No, I don’t think I have had food poisoning…at least not any that was debilitating enough to shock my system. So the doctor’s only other suggestion was go to gluten free for at least 6 weeks. I had eaten gluten free things before and liked them. I had also dabbled in some gluten free baking. Most of my cooking at home has either been paleo or gluten free for the better part of the last year–so I wasn’t scared or worried about making the switch, I just needed a real reason to pull the trigger 100% of the time. While all of this was going on, I had been researching clean-eating diet plans. This was more to up my protein intake and lean out my muscles, rather than work on my digestive system…but if I was going to see additional benefits from clean eating, I wasn’t going to complain 😉 That was how I stumbled on Tone It Up. Couldn’t tell you where, how, or who I got the lead from, but I go there and that is all that matters.
I mean, seriously. Are you looking at these chicks? They are GORGEOUS. They have the body that every woman wants, the perfect beachy hair, and just generally look like they are having endless amounts of fun. Now I will be the first to admit that I am a Judgey McJudgerson and would typically look at these gems in a magazine and make some word vomit remark about, “Ugh, I hate them…if I could afford a trainer and nutritionist every day of my life, I would look like that too.” Ok, now that is just bitchy…and highly inaccurate. But as I did more research I learned that Karena and Katrina are the type of women that I want to be best friends with. They represent the type of friend, coach, wife, and woman that I want to be. They are strong, confident, successful, communicative, independent women, but also a cohesive team. Can you tell that they actually GLOW?
I could talk about Tone It Up for days at this point, but the gist of it is this… They are a community geared for women, towards women, by women looking to live a healthier, happier lifestyle. A ton of the stuff is completely free–including recipes and workouts. They have an app to help you stay on track, watch the workout videos, find recipes, and post to the community. And they even set up weekly schedules for you! Don’t be alarmed though, the workouts are tough. I was like, “Oh they are holding tiny weights, I got this,” and then I would want to cry at the amount of core strength my body was trying to pull from my less-than-ideal core. But it feels oh so good!!!
But it all comes back to my stomach though…always. The main reason I praise Tone It Up so much is because of their nutrition plans. Through all of my doctor’s visits and paying attention to what I was eating, I was never seeing any results. I wasn’t feeling any better, I was always bloated, and I definitely wasn’t losing any weight. So when that doctor said, “you really should be trying a gluten free diet for at least 6 weeks,” I already knew that Tone It Up had a plan set for me. They also have regular, vegetarian, gluten free vegetarian, vegan, and pescaterian! The plans seem like a ton of money upfront ($150), but there is a perk…it is only a one time fee. Forever. HELL. YES. The $150 fee is already way cheaper than things like BeachBody/Shakeology and Advocare that I have researched. And again, there is not monthly or yearly fees, just that one time purchase price. And with that cost, you get all of the updates forevermore. For example, I purchased my plan in early June and have already been sent a “Summer Sizzler” edition. So when you buy one of the TIU nutrition plans, it is like unlocking an infinite amount of elite groups, recipes, and workouts within the community that is free to be a part of to start with. It pays for itself pretty fast, basically.
My gluten free nutrition program has 189 pages, not including any additional updates. The whole thing comes in an email seconds after purchasing, you can then download everything in PDF form (I have PDFs in the double digits at this point). I keep them in iBooks on my phone, so I don’t ever have to go searching when I am at the gym, in the kitchen, going grocery shopping, etc. I also keep them on my home and work computers to help plan out my days and weeks. And there are examples of absolutely EVERYTHING…holiday eating, summer grilling, desserts, party food, drinks (alcoholic, detox, coffee, smoothie, juice, etc.), wraps, appetizers, main meals…the list goes on and on. If you have thought about it, they have a recipe or post about it.
But what helped me most of all? The science behind all of it. Focusing more on what I was eating and not so much on the calories and fat in everything. For example, rather than eating one cup of strawberries at any point during the day, it is better to eat as many as you want in the AM. Or not eating starches after 3pm. And knowing that leafy green vegetables and lean white proteins help you burn fat while you are sleeping. Simple, right? Stop focusing on 3 meals and eating 5 smaller meals instead. My very first week on the plan I was eating around 500-600 calories less than usual, but I wasn’t starving. Instead, I was eating the right, nutritionally balanced foods to help keep me full, and I was getting to eat every 2-4 hours. Now that’s what I am talking about! Always eating, always happy 😉
But the very bottom line is this…love your body, love yourself.
Oh, and that your abs are made in the kitchen 😉
My plan is to REALLY…yes, I mean really really…do Tone It Up’s 7 Day Slim Down (#7DSD) raw clean eating and the 5 Day Slim Down (#5DSD) in the near future. I have dabbled in both, but haven’t stuck to either strictly enough to post my results yet. I will keep you updated. And wish me luck! Cheers!
Shoot me your questions and I will try and post an update with any FAQs too.
OH! Here is some fun stuff for yinz…enjoy!
— Tone It Up (@ToneItUp) July 11, 2014
— Tone It Up (@ToneItUp) July 14, 2014