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I’m Halfway Through The Tone It Up Challenge—This Is How I’m Feeling

tone it up challenge

After declaring I was starting a new fitness challenge, I am patting myself on the back because last week marked the halfway point in the 6-week #LookforLove Tone It Up Challenge. I can’t say every day has been easy, but I am proud to have followed every single day of the workout routines. I am starting to see small results physically, but am loving the mental improvements I’m making.

Here’s how the challenge is going:

I’m getting used to—and maybe slightly enjoying—my morning Bootycall workouts.

When I first realized I’d have to be working out in the morning, I wasn’t thrilled. While I have always wanted to be a morning workout girl (I envy the person who jumps out of bed at dawn smiling and kills her workout before the rest of the world wakes up), I am human and have a husband, dog and a life that often keeps me up late at night.

Fast forward three weeks and this girl is starting to enjoy the early-morning burn. Certain things have made it much easier to commit to waking up 30-45 minutes earlier, such as having more focus and energy at work. I also don’t have to stress about when I’ll fit my workout in.

I got to work out with Jillian Michaels.

Well, sort of. Jillian Michaels leads one of the workout routines and it’s awesome. The moves are intense, effective and exactly the amount of burn one expects Jillian Michaels to force you to endure. (Every girl dreams of working out with Jillian Michaels, right?) I have to admit, it’s kind of nice to have K&K working out alongside of you too. They don’t sugarcoat how intense the workouts are, which makes me feel like less of wimp!

I also really appreciate the amount of times Jillian Michaels brings up wine during workouts, because “Wine Not Wednesday” is basically always on my mind.

30 Minutes on the Stairmaster—WHAT?

Like I said before, I am still in shock my body could do this. Using this TIU-approved routine, I conquered 30 excruciating minutes on the stairmaster—and you know what? It looked like I knew what I was doing and it felt So. Damn. Good.

BIRTHDAY CAKE fail.

Last week, I celebrated my 29th birthday. I was so stoked to make this TIU-approved birthday cake for myself and post all about it on every social channel. I imagined it would look exactly like this:

TIU Birthday Cake

I was wrong. I burnt the cake, completely messed up the frosting, and my birthday cake Insta-post dreams went down the drain, along with the recipe. Not to worry: My husband came to the rescue and surprised me with some paleo cookies and a bottle of Prosecco.

I’m upping my weight and pushup game.

I admit: I lost so much of my arm strength these past couple of months when I was not following a regimented workout schedule. The first two weeks of workouts I was strictly using the five-pound dumbells (five pounds less than I was used to) and was only able to do pushups on my knees. I refused to get down on myself; I am happy to report that, after three weeks, I am now able to do push-ups sans knees and am back to my beautiful 10-pound dumbbells. I guess that means I am getting stronger?

I’m loving online cardio workouts.

Running has always been my go-to cardio fix, but lately my crazy schedule has given me little time to hit the pavement during light hours. So, I’ve swapped running a couple of days a week for some PopSugar online classes, including these kickboxing and cardio routines. Another one I have my eye on is Kayla Itsines—she shared a great 28-minute workout with Women’s Running!

Next up: Week 4! My goal this week is to go alcohol-free during the week and try one workout class (in public) that I’ve never done before. Wish me luck!

Nicole Christenson

Nicole Christenson