You exercise as often as you can, you try to eat healthy meals, but you can’t seem to get into the shape you want, and you start to feel like you’re drowning. This is how we felt, until we joined Tone It Up (TIU) and started following their nutrition plan and guidelines. Tone It Up is a community of fitness- and health-oriented women led by cofounders Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott, centered around a base nutrition plan and complemented with periodic nutrition and exercise “challenges.” These two women have created an empire, and they’re only getting started.
We can attest that TIU is a huge part of our lives and our friendship because of how much we’ve learned and grown since joining the community. To top it off, we got to experience the TIU Tour in Chicago in October 2017 where we met K&K (and fangirled embarrassingly hard). The two of us grew closer than ever before: as friends, fitness accountability partners, and each other’s biggest supporter. TIU united us in our common goal to better ourselves and welcomed us into an unbelievably supportive and inspiring network of women. This post features our experience with TIU and our thoughts about it in a Q+A format. We realize this post might sound like an advertisement for TIU, but it’s not. We’re just crazy passionate about it, and we think you will love it just as much as we do.
What’s your fitness story?
Bohdana: I struggled with my fitness journey my entire life, never looking or feeling my best. I was never the “skinny” girl, despite eating better than all my friends and living an active lifestyle. I’ve tried diets, probably too early on as a young girl, played volleyball as a teenager, and danced my entire life. No matter what diets I followed or fitness classes I tried, nothing ever changed. I started working out more and hitting the gym during my college years, but I always struggled with consistency – which is the key to transformation. It was something I always lacked until TIU changed that.
Iryna: After graduating college, I felt like I was falling behind on trying to stay in shape. Despite my best efforts to exercise often and eat [what I thought were] healthy meals, I felt like I wasn’t making any progress with my fitness goals. I’ve been pretty active throughout my entire life playing tennis, dancing, bike riding, and hitting the gym. I’ve tried loads of different workouts: Kayla Itsines’s BBG guide, different YouTube and Instagram workout videos, and a plethora of fitness classes. I’ve always felt uncomfortable in my own skin, and I reached a point where I was fed up with always worrying about my appearance.
How did you come across Tone It Up, when did you join, and why?
B: I came across TIU on Instagram, seeing a few celebs I follow talk about them. I started following them and was soon spending hours on their website, reading, learning, and discovering. It just so happened this was around the end of 2016 and TIU was ready to release the 2017 “Look for Love Challenge” for the New Year. It was the perfect time to join and I took the plunge and did it. I signed up for the Nutrition Plan, paid the money, and never looked back. Why did I join? I can’t say I was actively looking for a nutrition/fitness program that would change my life because quite frankly I stopped believing that anything like that exists. But after discovering TIU, I quickly became intrigued and inspired. There is an intense, positive, and inspiring aura around Karena and Katrina and it captivated me.
I: I was working out pretty consistently in the fall of 2016, but it wasn’t until I became a member of the TIU nutrition plan did I begin to see quicker results in my physique and energy levels. I’ve followed TIU’s YouTube workout videos for a few years, but I never committed to joining the program because at first glance it just seemed like another gimmicky fitness thing (but trust me, it’s not). I finally joined TIU in March of 2017 and purchased the nutrition plan after Bohdana encouraged me to. She was always talking up the delicious recipes, her heightened energy, and the encouraging vibe of Karena and Katrina and the entire TIU community. At that point I had done a substantial amount of research on nutrition, and I realized that without good nutrition, my workouts weren’t going to be as effective as I’d like them to be. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen,” TIU proves it true. Two months into being a member, I had lost at least 10 pounds. I’ve never been keen on weighing myself and I don’t really care much for the scale. What mattered to me was how energized and strong I was feeling, the newfound comfort I felt every day in my own skin, and how much better my clothes were fitting me.
How is Tone It Up different from any other diet or fitness trend you’ve tried?
B: TIU is unique because of its incredible community of women who support and inspire each other every day. TIU is not about crazy diets or hardcore workouts, it’s a lifestyle choice meant for every woman looking to better herself, both physically and mentally. The TIU Nutrition Plan is a real game changer. It changes the way you look at food and lays the foundation for consistency in your workouts. It teaches you to eat foods that make you feel good and cut out foods that make you feel bloated and awful. It’s that simple, and the best part is – you eat so much food on the plan and you’re always trying new recipes. Trust me when I say – IT WORKS. Sometimes I think it’s actual magic and the community is a cult (JK). The other component of the TIU lifestyle is the workouts. I never liked working out, I thought it was brutal and boring and a waste of time because I never saw results. But TIU’s workouts are FUN, simple, and effective. Their approach really is different than anything I have ever seen, heard, or tried. They are badass women who made me do things I never have before, like actually enjoying a workout, meal prepping, and doing burpees. (JK, I despise burpees and avoid them at all costs.)
I: For me, every fitness and diet fad I’ve tried in my life has never lasted longer than a few weeks. The fact that I’m still following TIU almost a year after joining is a testament to its effectiveness in itself. TIU is a community of supportive, uplifting women who share a common goal of getting fit and developing a positive relationship with body image, self respect, and self care. The nutrition plan and guidelines are also extremely easy to follow. The main nutrition plan lays out all of the basic principles and guidelines that TIU recommends you follow so that you feel your best, such as meal prepping, staying hydrated, and eating five times a day, and includes recipes for each meal time throughout your day. The challenge guidelines are also extremely easy to follow. The challenges give you that boost of fitness motivation we all need every once in a while, and they lay out your entire meal plan day by day, with a grocery list each week. They do all the meal planning for you; all you need to do is grocery shop and cook. To top it off, TIU makes eating clean and exercising a fun, lighthearted, and manageable feat, instead of having it feel like a chore.
What’s your favorite part of Tone It Up?
B: My favorite part about TIU is how simple and convenient it is to follow. From the nutrition plan, the workouts, and the daily inspiration, it is so easy to create the habits that help you become the best version of yourself. TIU fits into my life in every way and it has transformed me mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is a lifestyle that I chose for myself and will continue to choose for the rest of my life, with every meal, every workout, and every decision to “sweat, love, share, and inspire.” The Nutrition Plan is the most powerful tool you can have to transform your body and actually see the results for yourself. Paired with the fun workouts and the constant motivation from the community, it is the ultimate road map on your pursuit of a healthier and happier you. I love everything about TIU and I am eternally grateful for how it has changed my life.
I: The recipes. I was so surprised when I started trying out all the different recipes in the TIU nutrition plan. I feel that healthy food has a stigma for being less tasty or boring, but TIU recipes demolish that. All of their recipes are delicious, and they’re really easy to cook. They have healthy versions of anything you can think of: cheese, cookies, brownies (!), tacos, etc. Along with the delicious food, TIU is a breath of fresh air for me. I’ve had body image issues my entire life, as most girls do. I’ve heard girls criticize each other and themselves on their physique WAY too often, and that kind of criticism doesn’t exist in the TIU community. Instead, girls talk about their fitness and nutrition progress and aspirations. TIU girls go out of their way to compliment and uplift other girls in the community. When Bohdana and I went to the TIU Tour stop in Chicago last fall, each girl we met was a sweetheart. I’ve never been to a big event where everyone was so cordial and kind, especially when many of the girls had never even met each other. It’s a breath of fresh air to be a part of such a positive community, especially when there’s so much negativity in the world these days.
If you’re interested in joining TIU, check out their website for more information. If you’re unsure about committing to the membership (it’s a one-time fee), TIU still offers workouts on their website and on YouTube for free, and they feature a lot of good recipes on their website, too. Our latest favorite is this vegan cheese dip… it’s unbelievably good. TIU has also released their new “Love Your Body” 2018 Challenge this past Monday, January 8th. This challenge program is 6 weeks long and it’s full of delicious recipes, fun workouts, and constant motivation and inspiration. It’s not too late to join the community and experience what it’s all about. Do it for YOU – it’s an investment you won’t regret.
-Bohdana + Iryna
A working professional and a lifelong dreamer, Bohdana strives to merge her passions with her everyday reality. She is a proud Ukrainian and a loyal Chicagoan (despite the winters). She loves traveling, reading, pursuing self-improvement, and sharing her stories. Allow this blog to bring you motivation and inspiration on your own journey to rise beyond.