Image via Tone It Up.
Image via Tone It Up.

It’s that time of year again…The TIU Bikini Series is here! Tone It Up was a major part of my fitness experience last year. I had been following Karena and Katrina on YouTube for YEARS, and I fell in love with their show on Bravo {seriously, can that come back?!} last winter. I caught the tail end of the LYB challenge, but didn’t get involved for whatever reason. Then, last spring, something changed: Everything. Seriously though, my husband got promoted so we relocated for his work #majorlifechange. It was an awesome opportunity, but I left my job, family, friends, city, and LIFE. It was a lot of change…Change that left me feeling frazzled, unmotivated, and uninspired. And that’s the GOOD stuff. With all of the upheaval, taking care of myself–especially in terms of fitness and nutrition–took a backseat.

By the time the end of April rolled around, I knew it was time for a something new. Something for ME. Enter Tone It Up! I officially “joined the team” and became a Tone It Up member RIGHT before the 2014 Bikini Series. I downloaded every edition of the plan to all of my devices, joined the online community, and made a TIU-specific Instagram account. I connected with a pack of amazing, incredible, supportive, motivating, like-minded women who kept me sane and kept me going. I committed to completing the Bikini Series, and loved what the program did for my body and mood in only eight weeks. Eight weeks! I really DID tone up–my abs popped, my arms looked tighter and more sculpted, and I felt lean, strong, happy, and capable. Renewed. It was the perfect way to go into summer…a summer that Tone It Up really did help me to create. If you’re curious about any of this, you can check out this video the girls put up outlining the entire Bikini Series experience, and sign up HERE.  ANYWAY, I decided to share all of that because today, as I mentioned above, is the first day of the 2015 edition of the Bikini Series! Goal and intention-setting is an important part of every Tone It Up challenge, so I set aside some time this weekend to reflect and prep for this Bikini Series launch. You can see my goals from last year HERE. Things are a little different in 2015…

Here are my goals and intentions for the 2015 Tone It Up Bikini Series!

Showing off my newly-downloaded Bikini Series 8-week challenge guide!
Showing off my newly-downloaded Bikini Series 8-week challenge guide!

1. Eat less sugar/processed food. It’s crazy how much better I feel {and how different my body looks} when I lay off the sugar. Omg. With the new season, I want to shift my focus away from treating myself with ice cream and cupcakes and back to things like fruit and healthy, refined-sugar-free goodies. I also want to eat fresher, cleaner foods with fewer ingredients, so I’m ditching pre-prepared snacks and going for things like raw nuts, jerky, tea, and fresh produce. Since goals are best when they’re specific, I’m allowing myself a real, sugary treat {like cheesecake, ice cream, or froyo} once or MAYBE twice a week–not every night.

2. Balance the Bikini Series and Kayla Itsines’ #thek2movement. Last year, I followed the Bikini Series protocol to a T. Seriously–I tracked, monitored, measured, and didn’t skip a day. I lived by the schedule and loved the routine. This year, though, I’m going to be doing the Bikini Series in conjunction with #thek2movement, which means adapting both plans to fit my own personal needs. How? I’m planning, for sure, to do all of Tone It Up’s new Bikini Series videos and the #100bysummer mile goal, along with the nightly lifestyle challenges. I’m also planning to do Kayla’s weekly circuit workouts M/W/F. I’ll eat according to the Bikini Series member meal plan, but I’m not planning to be strict or to follow it perfectly. I’m also probably not going to be as vigilant about “checking in” with my daily meals/miles/workout routines as I was last year. I want to do it all, but I’m focusing on balance!

3. Hit up a TIU meet-up. Some things change, some things stay the same…I REALLY want to be a part of a meet up this Bikini Series, and I’m 99% sure that this goal is totally attainable. Last year, I was in a Facebook group for TIU girls from my state, which made coordinating events and meet-ups a bit tricky. Now, though? There is literally a group of girls who live and/or work close to me, in my CITY, so things should be way easier. I’m seriously hoping to be able to attend/plan/get involved with the TIU team a lot more frequently on a local level in the coming weeks and months!

4. Plan my rest days. Over the past month or so, I’ve actually gotten really lazy with my workouts…I’ve been skipping days at the gym and opting for 20 minute sessions pretty regularly, not because I’m tired or sick, but just because I don’t WANT to. Motivation? Not at an all time high. This series is a great way for me to get back on track and commit to a daily booty call and regular strength training, but also to build in planned rest days so I don’t get burnt out…and it’s right before summer, so there’s huge motivation to commit right there.

5. Stay organized! This is going to be a BIG one for me this year, especially because I’m planning to balance Kayla’s workouts and the Bikini Series. Combine that with writing, working, traveling, and LIVING during the next eight weeks, and staying organized and on-task is absolutely critical for both my success and sanity. I’m incredibly thankful that K&K AND regular girls from the Tone It Up community have created avenues to keep us all on track this year! Though I missed out on the first run of the official TIU Bikini Series journals {damn it,} Tone It Up team members have been posting and sharing pictures of their personal Bikini Series spreadsheets and printables all over, and offering to share them with anyone who wants them. Just check out the #bikiniseries tag for that! Last year, there were entire blogs dedicated to creating organizational Bikini Series calendars for members, so staying on task and keeping track of all of the prompts should be a cinch. Like guys, it’s only day one of the series and I already found this downloadable calendar from TIU member Tankesultan in the comments section of the weekly schedule post! Super helpful. I love having the workouts and challenges all laid out and organized, and nothing feels better than checking a task off of the daily to-do list! Making this one a MUST.

6. Create my {perfect} summer!

Are you planning to participate in the Tone It Up Bikini Series? What are some of your goals?

xx,

Liza

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