BY NINA ELIAS
This is the second in a series of our individual promises and journeys for Living Well in 2017 from all of us at Live Well Lehigh Valley. Stay tuned for updates to this and other journeys from Steph and Siobhan as we continue to commit to Living Well in 2017 (follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for pictures, too!) and be sure to let us know what steps you’re taking to move into the new year with intention and purpose. Perhaps you want to shop locally more, join a CSA or a yoga studio, or even just keep on being your amazing self—we can help you do all of those things (and we’ll cheer you on, too)!
When it comes to my health—especially as it relates to weight loss—I’ll try anything once. Colon hydrotherapy? Sign me up! Eat nothing but soup one day a week? Sure thing! I’ve been everything from Bulletproof to Body Ecology. I’ve counted points, calories, and macros, and I’ve swapped juices for smoothies and back again. I’ve done 30-, 60-, and 90- day fitness challenges, and I’ve sworn off any number of food groups—be it dairy or carbs or sugar—for those same short stints. And as these nutrition or fitness fads swept in and out of my life, so did their fleeting successes.
There were two things standing between me and a healthy weight: sustainability and too narrow a scope. I was trying to compartmentalize my health! Nutrition and fitness, while separate sections on this and many other websites, work better in tandem. And, as I learned last year, I need to embrace both to be healthy.
Thanks to a recent diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease, I now know why losing weight has always been (and always will be) more challenging for me than the healthy population, but that doesn’t mean I should stop trying! If anything, it means I need to be even more vigilant in order to thrive.
Not just live—THRIVE! That’s my goal for 2017. In the spirit of trading fads for the real thing, my first intention for the year is to adopt a complete lifestyle that incorporates fitness, nutrition, health, and emotional support. I had great success with the Tone It Up program last spring, and I’ve committed to becoming a #tiugirl for the whole year—not just during the challenges.
If you’ve never heard of Tone It Up before, it goes like this: Every week, its co-founders and adorable besties Karena and Katrina post a weekly workout schedule for its members to follow. For the next year, I’ll be waking up every morning for my daily “bootycalls,” which usually consist of five daily toning moves and a link to a toning video (most of the time free) or instructions for a cardio sweat session of my choice. The videos are friendly and the workouts are no joke (they’ve teamed up with Jillian Michaels for their latest premium series), but I forgot how nauseous I felt during the first HIIT workout when I compared my weekly progress photos. I can’t believe I’m already seeing results!
When I’m not sweating my butt off before the sun rises, I’m also following their “lean, clean, and green” nutrition plan, which suggests five meals a day made up of only clean, unprocessed foods. Lots of smoothies, fun veggies, delicious salmon, and creative baked goods here. Each challenge comes with a detailed plan that tells you exactly what to eat, if that’s how you roll. The guidelines are so practical, I’m able to deviate from the plan and make it work for my schedule. The gluten-free variation is easy for me to follow, and it’s the first totally-clean nutrition plan that’s aligned with my beliefs while allowing me to live my life.
The final component of TIU is my favorite: the community. Much like how we envision Live Well supporting Eat Well and Move Well, Tone It Up’s social media component provides a community of emotional support I didn’t know I needed to succeed. I check in on Instagram at least once a day (@tiu_ninamarie if you’re a fellow #tiugirl!) with my workouts, meals, and more.
Please believe me when I tell you I am a paying member of Tone It Up—this is not an advertisement for them! I share all this info with you because it’s taken me years and years to find something like this, and my hope is to inspire you to do the same. I’ll continue to update you on my intention to live well in all parts of my life as the year goes on, too.
Your turn! What’s your intention? Leave us a note, and stay tuned for Steph’s 2017 intention! I can’t wait to stretch it out with Siobhan as she crushes her 30-minute movement challenge.