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One of the things that has changed my life for the better is my drive to be the stronger, healthier version of me.  Almost exactly one year ago, my coworkers told me about Tone It Up and the Bikini Series fitness challenge they were doing together.  The description was, "It's very SoCal, but it's challenging and fun!"  Free workout videos? I don't have to leave my house?  I don't have to be embarrassed if I don't do it right?!  Yes, yes, and yes!

I loosely followed the Bikini Series, and didn't do Tone It Up workouts very much. Over the months, I became more slothful and unhappy with my appearance.  I was always tired and exercising seemed like SO MUCH WORK.  I don't know what did it, but something in me just said, "Enough is enough."  After months of being a TIU girl from the shadows, I finally decided to make the plunge to be a member.  It was a big investment - a $160 investment for something that I knew little about.  I had seen all the success stories, I sent inquiries about the Nutrition Plan to the TIU staff, but that was all I had to base it on.  I saw that lots of girls on IG were getting ready to do the 7-Day Slim Down (from the Nutrition Plan), and I wanted to be part of it.

I became a Tone It Up Nutrition Plan member 7 days before Valentine's Day so that I could do the 7-Day Slim Down, too.  I was very disciplined with the workouts and the eating guide, and let me tell you...I already started feeling the results.

Now, I am currently a full-fledged Tone It Up girl.  I have an IG account dedicated to my TIU journey (@tiucortybort) and I have met some amazing girls through the TIU community.  I have a Bikini Series accountability partner whom I've never met in person that sends me encouraging messages and challenges me every day.  I just think that's so incredible.

Here is some information for those who are looking at the plan, but haven't yet made a decision to join or not.

What is Tone It Up?

Tone It Up is an online fitness community created by trainers Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn.  It's a fitness community geared toward women.  The workouts are free on their website or YouTube channel.  To be a member you must purchase the Nutrition Plan for $160, which includes a lifetime membership.  The focus on Tone It Up is on living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Here is my list of pros and cons to Tone It Up:

PROS

  • Lifetime membership.  You get all the future updates to the Nutrition Plan as well as any additions to the plan, such as the 8-Week Bikini Series Program.
  • The TIU Community.  There are literally thousands of girls on the same fitness journey as you.  It's all positivity, positivity, positivity!  And it's real.  Real girls with whom you get to connect and share life.  This is probably my favorite part about being a member.  The IG community is huge, amazing, wonderful.  I can't say enough.
  • Great revisions.  The Nutrition Plan itself needs some tweaking (the teacher in me cringes at all the grammatical errors), but the revisions get better and better - both in design and content.
  • Free online workout videos.  This is a plus for ANYone because the workouts are free regardless of whether you're a member or not.  There are lots of different types of workouts: toning, cardio, full body, HIIT, etc.  It's nice because it mixes things up.  The workouts are also VERY challenging, despite the cute beachy facade.
  • It's not a diet.  The Nutrition Plan is not a strict diet that you adhere to.  Rather it's a guide to changing your eating habits as a lifestyle change.  There is a ton of information in it that explains what foods to avoid, which ones to eat, and even when to eat certain foods in the day to boost metabolism.  There is no calorie counting for the TIU program.  It's all about a healthy lifestyle, not a diet.
  • Different types of Nutrition Plans.  When you buy a plan, you can choose between Regular, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegetarian/Gluten Free, Vegan, and Pescaterian.  You can only choose one though, so choose wisely!
  • Slim down guides.  Tone It Up has two Slim Down guides: The 7-Day Slim Down and the 5-Day Slim Down which help you lose any extra weight for a special occasion.
  • Members-only perks.  You get a members-only newsletter which is fun to read.  There are also sales and discount codes that are released just for members sometimes.
  • Customer service.  Whenever I've had a question about the Plan, shipping, anything, the TIU staff has been very timely in getting back to me.
  • Flexibility.  The TIU Nutrition Plan is actually quite flexible.
  • The recipes.  A lot of the recipes are really delicious, especially the ones in the later revisions.  I only have had one recipe in the 8-Week Bikini Program that I don't like, and there are a lot of recipes in there.  The ingredients can be a little expensive and hard to find, depending on where you live, but the TIU community has lots of suggestions for substitutions, as well as a chockfull of member-submitted recipes.  Yes, eating healthier does cost more, but that's because cheap processed food isn't healthy for you!  My usual places to shop are Trader Joe's, Sprouts, 99 Ranch Market, and my local farmer's market.
  • It works.  If you already know how to eat super healthy and exercise on a regular basis, then this may not be for you, but those who are looking for more guidance and accountability, Tone It Up would be perfect for you.  I immediately started noticing a huge difference within the first week of joining TIU.  If you are serious about a lifestyle change, you will see results.

CONS

  • The recipes.Wait a minute...Didn't she just say the recipes were delicious?!  Yes, but...  One of the things I wasn't happy about in the Nutrition Plan were some of the recipes listed.  I think for $160, you should get better recipes than "Ants on a Log" or "Grapefruit with Stevia".  These are not the majority of the recipes, but I still thought it was an unnecessary space filler.
  • The typos.  I really wish the TIU staff would go through the Nutrition Plan and change all the typos.  The teacher in me wants to edit it all and send it to them.  Is TIU hiring for an editor? ;)
  • The cost.For some, the cost may be a deterrent.  $160 is a lot to put down for something you know very little about.  They don't reveal much to you prior to membership.  HOWEVER, you get a lifetime membership and all future updates for FREE, so that's something to take into consideration.
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Some Other Things to Keep in Mind

Changing the way you eat, exercise, and play is uncomfortable.  I have found that it's more of a mental transformation over a body transformation.  It can be quite a juggling act at times: grocery shopping, meal prep on Sundays (which are KEY to being successful the rest of the week), working full-time, eating healthy, exercising daily, enjoying treats in moderation, etc., etc., etc.!  But it's DOABLE!  It can be overwhelming at first, but you can totally do it, especially with the help of the other TIU girls.  And if you slip up, that's okay!  Just keep moving forward and make the changes you need to be successful.  Have some grace for yourself (I'm totally talking to myself here!).

If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask!  I'm not a fitness guru or nutritionist, but I can tell you what I've experienced from my own TIU journey. :)

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