Over the past year (okay, like 14 months), I have been on a blogging hiatus. Sometimes life just puts you on fast-forward without a moment to breathe. So in a stitch effort to sew together all my adventures in the past year, here is a quick highlight reel: I was promoted at work and took on a new travel territory, which you will hear more about later. I continued my gardening and home improvement trends by reworking a few garden beds and demoing part of my basement. I have "inherited" a new annual travel hot spot in Arizona (sun city baby)! And lastly, I seamlessly transitioned from 30 to 31 years young. Other than that, not much has happened...
Just kidding. There is actually one major life experience I am leaving out. It is so major, I actually call it "The ULTIMATE JOOOUURNEEEYYYY" (dun-dun-dun). Okay, so it is not scary, but it does deserve a large booming announcer voice, like that heard during Wrestle Mania. Anyways, here is the story...
At the beginning of 2013, my man and I decided we needed a MAJOR change. We decided to reach out to a friend for some guidance (I secretly call her Sensei). Having a medical background, Sensei took time to educate us and provide suggestions regarding lifestyle and eating habits. She stressed making healthy living a commitment, a part of our longevity, and not just looking at it through "diet" goggles. It was evident, we needed a change, and Sensei gave us a lot of ammo to make it happen (more deets about Sensei and her ammo later).
Simultaneously, another friend reached out to me. I call her Entrenador. Anyways, Entrenador was always up to something crazily fun, and this time she asked me to join her. Little did I know this would pack that final punch I needed to knock me out of the unhealthy fight with myself. Entrenador and I started an 8 week journey through a company called Tone It Up (TIU). The owners, Karena and Katrina, work every hour of the day to motivate and provide guidance through their blog, website, and nutrition plan. However what sets them apart from any other company is not just their ability to inspire and love, but also the community they created for their members! This community can be found in all corners of Social Media, and is especially thriving on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Through these outlets, Karena and Katrina propose mini seasonal challenges, featuring recipes, workouts, words of encouragement, and of course, check-in hashtags.
Anyways... Circling back, last spring Entrenador asked me to join the biggest TIU challenge of all, BIKINI Series (er, I mean #BIKINISeries). With nothing to lose, I said, "why not." So Entrenador and I went into an 8 week challenge where we checked in at 6am nearly every morning for our "#bootycall" workout (one of the famous TIU hashtags), focused on eating clean healthy meals, did a variety of training from yoga, to spin, to abs, to cardio training, to anything in between. Of course, we took pictures and tweeted EVERYTHING.
Through the support and encouragement of the TIU community, and my TIU buddy Entrenador, I was able to get active and HAVE FUN doing so. AND as the weeks progressed, our commitment stayed strong.
Honestly, we started to ENJOY waking up at 5am to workout. Seeing Entrenador every morning for our #bootycall was the highlight of my day! And thanks to all of the retweets and favorites, our TIU friends (#TIUteam), got in on the action!
Hot yoga and coffee break!
At the end of it all, we submitted a video explaining how much this experience has changed our lives. And oh how it did!
Balance. Tone. Mind and body!
OF COURSE all TIU challenges have a happy ending... great results! But for Entrenador and I, our happy ending included not just great results, but we were also selected as one of 4 teams to win the BIKINISeries grand prize! After such hard work and dedication, I am thrilled to take my adventure with TIU to the next level. Being awarded with a trip to Costa Rica is just amazing. I could never thank TIU and Contiki enough.
If it was not for everyone who supported me through this challenge, I would not be where I am today. A special shoutout to Karena & Katrina, Sensei, and Entrenador (which btw, means 'coach' in Spanish) who were all key mentors in my success. They really helped me find a new light in life.
Share. Love. Inspire. Sweat.
Looks like I had something to loose after all, but what I gained was so much more.
With love & lipstick,