How To Make 2017 Your Healthiest Year

How To Make 2017 Your Healthiest Year

Make this your year

Well Folks, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we whip out a sheet of notebook paper, our favorite pen, and write our list of “New Year’s Resolutions”. For 32% of Americans, one of the things on that list will say “Lose weight”. For 37% it will say “get fit and healthy”. Either way, it’s very likely that one of your goals has to do with your health or fitness levels. So here’s how to make 2017 your healthiest year!

Join the TIU Look For Love Challenge

The hardest part is finding what kind of lifestyle plan works for you. Well I’m taking all the guesswork out of it, because Tone It Up’s New Year Challenge will give you all the tools you need. No, this isn’t some sales pitch like Beach Body or Weight Watchers. TIU is an online community of women that all share goals of health and happiness. I’ve been a TIU girl for five years now, and I’ve loved every minute of it! A big part of TIU is their super fun, really amazing annual challenges. Starting Jan 1st, and going through Feb 14th, they’re having their #LookforLove Challenge! Its 6 weeks of new workouts, new recipes, accountability, prizes and more! The best part? It’s all free! All you have to do is go sign up at I promise that there’s nothing like it!

Meal Plan + Prep

Okay, any way you look at it- planning your meals is key! This is the big downfall for so many people, because they decide to commit to a healthier lifestyle, but then don’t do any planning for it. Remember the saying, “Fail to plan, plan to fail”? There’s no way around it- if you’re going to be your healthiest you, you need to plan your meals! For me, I’ll be following the TIU meal plan and prepping my meals for the week every Sunday. That means every weekend I sit down, make a list of my meals for the week, go grocery shopping, and prep in advance so that I’m not scrambling the day of.

Commit to a Workout Schedule

I like to treat my workouts like they’re appointments. My workouts are an important, daily commitment for me, and I know that if I want to see the results, I’m going to have to hold up my end of the bargain! Again, I’ll be following the TIU workout schedule. Every Sunday, TIU puts out their free weekly workout schedule. I love that they’ve taken the guesswork out of it for me, but I also have the flexibility to adjust it, if I see something that doesn’t work for me. Regardless of if you follow TIU or not, it’s key to find a workout schedule that works for you. The most important part? Your workout should not feel like a chore! You need to find the workout that makes you smile, and then go with it! Don’t know what that is yet? That’s okay! Try the stair master, hiking, weight lifting, Zumba class, spin class, kickboxing class, personal training session, running, or youtube workout videos!

Write It Down

I believe in the power of writing it down, because every goal starts with a written plan. As the new year kicks off, take a few minutes to sit down and write out your goals. Write down why you want to make a change, how you’re going to get there, and how you’ll feel when you succeed. Identify common obstacles that have hindered your success in the past, and what you’re going to do differently to stop them from getting in your way. Often times it's helpful to put this paper up somewhere visible, so on the hard days you can remember why you started.

Buy A New Gym Outfit

This last one is by no means necessary, but it certainly is fun. I’m the type of person that gets really motivated from buying a new workout outfit that I love. The key here, is to find what helps to motivate you. That might be getting a gym membership, buying a package for spin class, buying new Nikes for running, new headphones for while you’re working out, or getting some yummy protein powder. Whatever it is- find your motivation. For me, that’s a new outfit, because when I work out I want to feel good about myself and have an outfit that is functional. Looking for a new outfit? My favorite places to shop are Tone It Up, VSX, Lululemon, Gapfit, Target, Nordstrom, and Bandier.

*To follow my workouts, diet, and daily life, you can follow my Instagram @em_tonedup.

Happy New Year lovelies! Make this YOUR year!

Cover Image Credit: Emalee Fox

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.

I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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10 Ways To Keep Your Workout Motivation According To A Personal Trainer

"ALEXA play 'Work Bitch' by Britney Spears."


Keeping your motivation for working out is one of the number one reasons why I think people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

Now I am no "fitness guru" by any means, and I have lost my motivation many times and worked back up.

No one is perfect when it comes to working out, and everyone can have different methods that are successful but from what I have seen, and talking to a few personal trainers, these are some of the best ways to keep your motivation and not lose track of your goals.

If you stick to these 10 ways, you will definitely have a better mindset when it comes to working out, and that will help you push yourself hard because you know that you are capable of much more than you think!

That is the last piece of advice I will leave you with, you are so much more capable of than you think. I recall so many times in the gym, I've thought I was gonna just collapse or crumble cause I was so tired, but time and time again I persevere and finish a set, and see that I can really push myself to the limits, and this is when I've seen the best results.

1. Talk about your goals.

You have to speak your goals into existence. Also speaking about them to others can help hold you accountable and you are working so hard for them, don't give up and let what you accomplished so far go to waste!

2. Get a consistent workout buddy.

This is something that I have found helps me out a lot, my roommate Jordan and I are always checking in on each other to make sure that we've worked out!

3. Want better for yourself, not to impress someone else.

This is also very important, if you have fitness goals solely to impress someone else, you will never be satisfied, or never feel like enough.

4. Want it more than you say.

You really have to want your fitness goals more than you are saying. If you have this goal that is driving you constantly in the back of your mind, your motivation will keep coming from within.

5. Have a scheduled workout plan.

If you have a workout plan that a professional or yourself has constructed, it gives you something to follow and not break. Having a plan for yourself will help keep yourself on track.

6. Take pictures every week!

Seems cheesy, but taking photos of yourself every week can hold you accountable but more importantly, you are able to see results, big or small, if you aren't seeing them in person, you'll be able to tell through the photos.

7. Know what your plan is before you go to the gym.

You should know what your plan is before you go to the gym, try not to just wing it. If you are winging it, who knows if you are really pushing yourself and constantly challenging yourself every gym session.

8. Try your best to maintain a healthy diet during the week.

This can be difficult of course, meal prepping is someting that can always helps! BUT if you don't have time to meal prep, then just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day to keep your motabalism working. Get foods to fuel your body so all your hard workouts don't go to waste!

9. Stick to a plan, it'll be hard at first, but it only gets easier.

Once you get into the swing of things, get into a routine, you'll get used to it. And then you will truly enjoy it, feel great, and have more energy!

10. Surround yourself with others that also have the same goals as you.

As cliche as it is, you do pick up the traits of the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with overachievers, hard workers, who have the same fitness goals as you, you'll all work hard together and encourage each other along the way!

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