Before I get into my joining in on the ToneItUp Bikini Series again this year, I thought I should take a moment to get real. It’s been quite some time since I updated my weight on this blog (or even on MFP, for that matter). I’ve mentioned in a previous post that throughout the fall and winter, my workouts and eating had been a bit sporadic. I did workouts some days, but nothing extremely consistent, as I had been. I ate pretty well, but did let more carbs and “snacks” creep into my diet, especially as the holidays approached. And I gained about 13 pounds from my lowest weight of 170, meaning that on Sunday, April 12th I weighed in at 183.0. I wasn’t overly surprised by this gain; my clothes had started to fit a bit snugger and my face didn’t look as thin as it had in late summer. At the same time, I know that in my pre-WLS days not eating great and not working out for 6 months would have netted a gain of much more than 13 pounds. Which is why I’m so grateful for this VSG tool. It helps to keep me in line with my portion sizes and helps me make sure that things don’t ever get totally out of control. 13 pounds I can deal with.
TIU Bikini Series
ToneItUp is at it again – helping people get “bikini ready” in the 8 weeks before summer. Since this is their 5th year of the Bikini Series, they decided to kick things off a bit earlier, so this year’s Bikini Series will end on June 6th. Just like last year, I decided to join in on the fun, and immediately signed up for the Bikini Series. Unlike last year, I’ve become a full-fledged member of the TIUTeam this year. I bought the TIU Nutrition Program, which includes 1000s of recipes and meal ideas. Once you buy the Nutrition Program, you’re a member for life; you’re never charged more and you get seasonal additions to the plan. This year for the 5th Bikini Series, they came out with an 8-week meal plan, making it that much easier to follow the TIU suggested meals. They even included a grocery list and meal prep guide. With all this built in organization and healthy eating, I just couldn’t wait to start on April 12th.
To prepare, I hit Sprouts and Trader Joe’s on Saturday, and spent some time meal prepping so that I’d be ready to start my day on Sunday with all the foods I needed for the early part of the day.
Then I spent a few hours on Sunday prepping food for the rest of the week. I’m really enjoying the recipes they suggested, and have been liking trying some new ingredients like shredded coconut and almond flour, trying new meals like chia pudding, and eating a bit more calories than I’m used to. Since their meals are all based around clean, whole foods, upping the calories hasn’t been departmental to my weight loss. I have had to cut the portion sizes to fit my post-WLS tummy, but that’s been pretty simple. At this point, almost 2 years post-op, I know how much I can eat in one sitting. (So, instead of eating 6oz of mahi mahi, I eat 4oz). I love how colorful and full of flavor the meals are, and I’m eating a ton of fruits and veggies. The recipes themselves are all pretty easy to make, which is a plus.
Here’s an example of a typical day of food on the Bikini Series 8-Week Meal Plan:
Breakfast: Blueberry Zest muffins, strawberries, and 1/2 protein shake (I added this in lieu of almond milk because it has more protein)
Snack: apple and hard-boiled egg
Lunch: Spinach, tuna w/ wasabi mayo (this is another one of my own meals, not strictly on the plan, but within most of their guidelines)
Snack: Berry Bright Chia Pudding
Dinner: Chili in a Bowl w/1/4 avocado
Bikini Series Goals
Another thing I really like about the Tone It Up approach is that it’s not just about food and working out (although those are super-important!), it’s also about the mindset you have. They suggested setting goals to accomplish throughout the Bikini Series:
I’m really proud of the fact that this week, I woke up and did my “bootycalls” (morning workouts) all 5 days before work! It wasn’t always easy, but I made it happen, and I really do think my day went better because I got the workout in early and felt so energized. I also love creating the photo collages I put up on IG every morning, like this one I did today:
As you can see, I’m already well on my goal of hitting 100 miles by summer! I’m doing so well on this goal that I may increase it to 150 miles by summer – I want to wait another week and see how many I log after two weeks before I make the switch.
Another huge part of the Tone It Up philosophy is women supporting and encouraging each other. Last year I started following tons of other TIU girls on IG, liking and commenting on their photos. This year I decided to amp it up a bit by joining two new groups on FB dedicated to TIU. One is a general TIU Bikini Series group that has people from all over the world in it. It’s been a fun place to share ideas, ask questions, and get encouragement. I also joined a more local TIU group on FB for other TIU girls who live in the South SF Bay Area. This is the group I’m most excited about because it’s full of other women who live in my area. We’ve already scheduled a few meetups, one of which is happening next Thursday at a spinning studio that I’ve never been to. I can’t wait to meet some new friends who share my interest in maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.
Progress Photos – “Before”
Lots of the TIU ladies were nervous about posting their “before” photos online, but I wasn’t. These aren’t my before photos – you guys know that I started this weight loss journey at my all-time heaviest weight of 315. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished since then, so these photos are a badge of honor to me. And I just can’t wait to see how much slimmer I look in my “after” photos at the end of the 8 weeks.
Oh, and another point of inspiration – this morning when I weighed myself I was already down 1.4 lbs since Sunday, weighing in at 181.6. Not bad for 5 days. Especially considering that I increased my calories from an average of 900/day to about 1200/day.
Wrapping It Up
I’m thrilled with the choice I made to join the Bikini Series again this year, and I’m really looking forward to all of the positive things that will come of it.