Tone it up & my fitness story

I’ve never been a particularly athletic person. Sure, I did gymnastics & cheerleading when I was younger, but if you asked my friends a word to describe me there is a decent chance it would be “clumsy.” There is an even greater chance if you asked my best friend the most embarrassing moment of my life, she’d tell you a tale from our high school rec-league basketball game that involves me sprinting on a breakaway, tripping on air and falling flat on my face in front of a full crowd.

Yeah. That happened. I WISH I were kidding.

MOVING ON. That incident kind of discouraged me thereafter from trying anything requiring strenuous effort. Enter college and I pretty much said ‘buh-bye’ to physical activity all together. Unless you count a few half-assed spin sessions & wildly entertaining body-pump classes, I pretty much spent all four years eating whatever I wanted, drinking excessively and getting little to no sleep. I had a blast but meal plan and house parties add up!


Hint: those are not oranges!

The summer after graduation, I remember putting on a bikini at the beach and feeling SO uncomfortable in my skin. It’s not uncommon for me to be a little self conscious wearing nothing but a bathing suit in public–but looking at myself in the mirror I realized how I’d let myself go. I didn’t like how I looked but more than that, I didn’t like how I felt about myself. I wasn’t happy, I didn’t *feel* particularly good and I knew that something needed to change.

Coincidentally, around that time I stumbled upon trainers Karena & Katrina of Tone It Up on Instagram and really, the rest is history.

Sup hotties

Sup, hotties?

I think I was so excited to just get moving again, to have an actual hobby, that I went all-in with the Tone It Up program. I started following K&K’s YouTube workouts & weekly workout schedule. I read their blog posts & transformation stories religiously. I bought the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan & learned that eating healthy most definitely did not have to be boring. I purchased PerfectFit Protein & perfected the most delicious, healthy pancake recipe you’ll ever eat.


Don’t knock ’em ’til you try ’em!

I created a separate Instagram account to log my meals, workouts and to hold myself accountable. I grew some girl-balls and met-up IN PERSON with STRANGERS from the local TIU community—some of who are now my very good friends. I participated in ToneItUp fitness challenges and before you know it, in just a few short months I was setting goals and MEETING them. blondiesandburpees_tiumeetupI was doing things that never in my life I thought I could, like running a mile without stopping. I tried new fitness classes & had the crazy idea to train for a half marathon. I later ran that half marathon; then another and am now training for my third.


Parks Half Marathon

I like meal prepping, waking up before the sun & sweating my ass off. I like trying new things, pushing myself & stepping out of my comfort zone. I like setting goals & exceeding them. Seeing results & reveling in your accomplishments is the best feeling in the world.


Nike Women’s Half Marathon, San Francisco

In retrospect, I realize now that the only thing holding me back—or holding anyone back for that matter, is the voice in your head that says you can’t. That sounds ridiculously cheesy and I’m sure you’ve heard it time and time again, but it is so true. A little effort goes a long way. You have to want something and go for it.


Looking at myself a year ago, I’m so PROUD of myself. I’ve come a long way from the girl who felt so uncomfortable. My transformation may seem physical but the biggest change has been on the inside. Learning all that I’m capable of has given me so much confidence in every aspect of my life. It’s taught me that our potential is limitless and we should boldly pursue our dreams. I’m so thankful I stumbled upon ToneItUp when I did & even more thankful for my friends and family who have given their endless support & encouragement along the way.

Take it from the klutz who has fallen flat on her face in a room full of people, change is possible—you just need to have the right mindset.

XO, Julia


6 thoughts on “Tone it up & my fitness story

  1. Jen B. says:

    I am so excited you started a blog–I love your daily Instagram posts so much, so I was super excited to see you took the plunge on starting a blog! Plus, you inspire me to push myself during half marathon training instead of going at it half-assed….you’re the reason I started adding 400m workouts to my training! P.S. I have also fallen flat on my face TWICE (well one time was on my ass) in front of the entire class, so I feel ya on that one.


    • Julia says:

      Thank you so much Jen! I can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear that I’ve inspired someone. You totally made my day! So happy you’re training for a half 🙂 I hope it’s going well and you’re loving every minute!! It’s also good to know I’m not the only klutz!


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