Flash back to 2014. I'll paint the picture for you; I'm 24, 5'1", in love, happy, and overweight. While some people would like to say I wasn't, being 5'1" and weighing 166 pounds looks exactly how you think it sounds. I was uncomfortable in my own skin, constantly had gastrointestinal issues, and hated doing the one thing I loved, shopping. I remember going to the mall one day to get a few new pieces of clothing. Everything I tried on either didn't fit me, or just looked awkward on my body. I had never had this much of an issue with clothes. Outfits stopped looking good on me, and all I wanted to wear was leggings and over-sized shirts. I was the diet queen, always trying and failing at every one. You name it and I probably have tried it.
I knew I needed to make a change, but with all of the unsuccessful attempts at dieting, I became discouraged and unmotivated. I knew this time around would have to be different. It needed to be. At that time, my cousin and her husband were deep into the Paleo lifestyle and I was intrigued. I asked questions and even did my own research and thought to myself, I could do this! I wouldn't be as strict to the Paleo life but follow its guidelines. I was ready to take that next step in becoming a better me. I talked to my fiance (then boyfriend) about how I wanted to make the change, and he was behind me 100%. So ladies, it was then that I began my journey. I told myself this time would be different. I wouldn't look at this as a diet, but more like a lifestyle change, because that was exactly what I needed. I started to be more conscious of what I put in my body, and cut a lot of things out. By doing this, I lost 45 pounds. ALL WITHOUT EXERCISE! It took about a year and a half to lose the weight, but I felt so much better. I knew there was still more I could do with my journey, and that's where fitness comes in.
I first found Tone it Up by watching their show on Bravo, Toned Up. I loved everything about K&K, their energy, outlook on life and friendship. After the show stopped, I kind of forgot about it. I had followed them on Instagram, but that was about all I got from the show. When I decided I wanted to become more fit, I opened my Instagram and their post happened to be on the top of my feed. I can't remember which one it was but I clicked on their page and website and the rest is history. Joining TIU was the absolute best decision I could've ever made for myself. I was the girl who went to the gym and looked at machines with complete confusion on her face. I was the girl who would go on the elliptical for 25 minutes and leave. I was the girl who HATED working out. Now, I'm the girl who wakes up at 6am every morning for a workout. I'm the girl who ran her first 5K in October 2017. I'm the girl who LOVES fitness.
It's not just the fact that TIU has helped me fall in love with fitness or become more toned, but TIU has taught me how to love myself and my body again. I don't look at myself in the mirror with disgust or hatred anymore. I look at my curves and my flaws and I'm proud. I'm proud that I took that first step to make a positive change to my life. I'm proud that I can now look in the mirror and 100% love the girl looking back at me. I'm proud that I'm constantly pushing myself to my biggest potential. I'm proud to have stopped picking out my imperfections and learned to embrace every single one. I'm proud to be on this journey and I can't wait to see what is to come. This journey is worth it, and above all, I am worth it and so are you.