• happily whole

Find Your Tribe


We’ve talked about this so many times, but a huge part of making yourself happy and whole is SELF-CARE. One very important aspect of self care is maintaining a positive social network - surrounding yourself with people you can turn to when you need uplifting, guidance or someone to talk to. Your social network creates a sense of belonging and acceptance. Which in turn gives you all the feel good vibes and motivation you need to keep up your active/ healthy lifestyle — making you that much closer to feeling happy, confident and whole. Prior to embarking on this fitness journey and joining the Tone It Up community, I had very few girlfriends. It’s something I always struggled with growing up as an only child and something I so desperately wanted. Most female friendships I had throughout my youth and early adulthood were short lived and ingenuine. Most of them were formed out of convenience and proximity - who was in my class, involved in the same extra curricular activities, lived down the street and as I got older, college/apartment roommates or people I worked with. Most of them only lasted as long as the proximity did, and then dissipated.

I never got the sense from any of these relationships that the people involved were truly were invested in me, or not nearly as much as I was in them. That sounds a little selfish, I know but hear me out. You want your friends to be invested in you. A true sustainable friendships should take some investment. You want them to care about your well being, your life - you want them to give a damn because when they do, that is when they have the most positive impact over your life. That is when you find a sense of community, family, love and happiness. That is when you put yourself into an environment where you can thrive.

Don’t get me wrong, I had girlfriends but they were very surface level and because of that I always found myself gravitating towards male relationships/friendships. Until recently, I definitely considered myself a total guys’ girl. For me, it was just easier - no drama, little to no fuss and straight shooting. I never had to worry about what my guy friends were going to say about me behind my back because 9 times out of 10 they already told me whatever it was they were thinking. And as great those relationships are, they are different.

It is physiologically impossible to bond with a male the same you would a female friend. You can’t go to your guy friend and chat over a bottle of rosé about how bloated you’re feeling, vent over boyfriend/dating woes, how your mother is driving you crazy, or cry about that terrible hair cut you just got. Not having that female connection , outside of my family network, often left me felt isolated and alone - like there was no one I could talk to other than my Mom about things going on (good or bad) in my life. I always felt something was missing in my social life and I didn’t feel whole. Flash forward to now: almost 2 years into my fitness journey and I have more genuine, true and long last friendships than I could have ever imagined. Sarah and I rave about Tone It Up more often than we can count but that’s because it’s completely changed both of our lives in so many ways. Fitness, weight loss and healthy lifestyle aside, it has brought us a sense of community — a #TIUteam filled with incredible, inspiring, and like minded women who love, support and believe in each other day in and day out.

I have met girls in my area, traveled up and down the east coast, across the country, and chatted with girls in Studio Tone It Up from around the world. Women that I would have never met otherwise and most of these relationships are so much more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined I would get when joining a fitness community. So many of these girls, like Sarah, are women I look up to, turn to and lean on when I need them. And they are ALWAYS there to give me guidance (without judgement) and that little extra love I may need.

This community has become my best and most prized accessory because without it I would not have found myself or gained the confidence I needed to live my best,

happy and whole life. I can honestly say I have found my tribe, my squad — my home. And I have never felt more whole because of it. So babe, find yourself a social network that makes you feel whole! Join a yoga studio, book club or find an group that has similar interests as you. Put yourself out there and find your tribe! Your Mindy, body and souls will thank you for it.

Happily yours,

Ashley

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