Coffee Chat ~ How We Fell In Love With Fitness & Created Tone It Up

Grab a cup babe and come join us for a new Coffee Chat ☕️ This one is really close to our hearts because we’re talking all about how we got into fitness and created Tone It Up. We hear this question all the time so we’re diving into it from the very beginning!

We both fell in love with fitness from a very young age and it changed our lives. I mean Karena was producing her own fitness videos in first grade…how brilliant is she? Seriously for a first-grade project, she made a VHS tape of a Jane Fonda workout! And when I was in elementary school, my grandma got me my first nutrition book and my parents filled our home with fitness equipment…I had a Thigh Master!!

We both had different journeys in fitness ~ I have my degree in exercise physiology with a concentration in nutrition and became a master trainer, Karena was a triathlete, personal trainer, and sports and fitness model. And then we met and shared the same dream of creating a community that connects women through fitness. Everything in our lives has led us to this moment, to meeting each other, to creating Tone It Up, and to sharing this beautiful community with you! It was fitness destiny ✨

We feel so lucky that we get to live our dreams every day. Today feels just as exciting and just as invigorating as the day we started in fitness and we’re so happy to share this journey with you!



PS…Does everyone else love how Winni sleeps through all our Coffee Chats? 😂🐶

You can also watch on YouTube & Apple TV HERE!

Girl…the Love Your Body Series is filling us with so much inspiration and joy! If you haven’t joined yet, you can still jump in with us! Sign up below and commit to YOU!


  1. I have missed the coffee chats!!! I am so happy you girls are doing more!! Where are your sweaters from? You two always look so cute! I want to go on a shopping date!

  2. I am seriously so inspired by you two. I am studying nutrition/dietetics and hope to one day have my own business. But from what you girls said…I gotta keep chugging along <3

  3. I just want to thank you girls and the Tone It Up community. I have been struggling with anxiety and feeling very on edge. Throughout the Love Your Body series I have followed the nutrition plan and done the workouts. Last night (after a particularly rough work day) I actually fell asleep so happy after my pm workout, TIU approved dinner, sleepy time tea and a good book. Thank you girls!

  4. Karena, I had no idea you were from Indy! I am new to the Tone It Up community and am so pumped to be a part of something so unique and special! Thanks for all of your inspiration, dedication and support! <3

  5. Great chat ladies! I’ve signed up for a few half marathons this year. Would be so amazing if you guys put together a running program :)

    1. Hi babe! Congrats on signing up for the races! We put together a half-marathon training plan before my half in Big Sur. You can find it HERE! xxo

  6. Oh my gosh, I love this so much and you girls are beautiful! I’ve been a TIU member for years and continue to enjoy everything about the community, nutrition plan and seeing how this has evolved. Thank you and have a fabulous day!!

    1. They mentioned in their last K&K video that they are both from “Jen’s Pirate Booty” 🤗🤗

  7. I am so happy Coffee with K&K is back. This chat really resonates with me, currently chasing my dreams of working as a Yoga teacher. Qualified in 2016, i’ve worked locally for a year and this year I am going to Rome to teach a class. It will be unpaid but I’m doing it for the experience and hoping that it will open more doors and eventually lead onto paid international work. Follow my dreams, make it happen, i’m Possible.

  8. Thanks for sharing these personal stories. In december 2016 I was diagnosed wifh burn out and last year I’ve been struggling with just being happy; I felt empty and was living from day to day. Since I’ve been working out with your videos I noticed that spending time on myself helps me focus; I enjoy preparing my food, my workouts, and I look forward to my next training, your new videos. And I’m starting to feel comfortable in my skin again.
    So thank you, and I hope you keep doing this, and sharing your good vibes, for many more years to come.

  9. This coffee chat literally just made my day! It’s so scary to chase your dreams knowing that it’s not easy and that you may stumble along the way (and be broke at times haha), but at the end of the day we all only get one life and you girls inspire me to live mine to the fullest. Tone It Up is all about choosing happiness, in every form!

  10. I know I speak for the whole TIU community when I say we cannot possibly love you two and what you’ve created any more than we do!

  11. I just LOVE your Coffee Chats! You are both so inspiring first thing in the am. I feel so motivated by your story, thank you! Can’t wait for the next one.

  12. Love! Your Coffee Chats brighten my day–even a dismally overcast, drizzly day like this one. ;-) You both are so uplifting and inspiring. I can relate to your personal stories of feeling like the heaviest girl in class, and to abusing my body through partying too hard and escapism. Hearing you talk about these chapters of your lives so matter-of-factly, so openly, and how you view them as necessary steps toward becoming who you are today helps me toward greater acceptance of who I am and what I have gone through in life. The sense of community and support that you foster is remarkable. I am beyond grateful to have discovered Tone It Up at a time when I needed it most, and to have embarked on this journey for the long haul. Thank you! <3

  13. Love love love this. This is just so incredibly inspiring. I just kept thinking, if you two never met, my life probably wouldn’t have changed in the way it has. Your destiny has shaped mine and so many other women out there. Thank-you so much. Thank-you for making TIU and always putting the community first. You are truly amazing human beings and my life would’t be the same without you. Love you girls. TIU INDY!!!

    Also-Karena, where is your shirt from? Looks so comfy and cute.

  14. Exactly what I needed to hear. You girls are such an inspiration and love you to bits ❤️

  15. Yesss! First, Karena I swear you’re my twin, we are too similar, thank you so much for sharing your struggles, they aligned a lot with my own. Second, thank you girls for this, I needed it so badly today! I quit my job to chase my dream & I’m broke because of it but it will all be worth it! Needed the reassurance! Love you amazing ladies!

  16. Obsessed! But also, Karena, I just want to say thank you for being so open about your past and your struggles and overcoming that. I have found myself struggling with depression over the years, psoriasis, insomnia, anxiety… these are hard things to overcome and sometimes I feel it’s a choice every morning to decide-not today. To wake up and choose to be happy, it’s not always easy, but it is possible. Each of us is strong enough and brave enough to begin to shift that darkness into light. Thank you for speaking on that! So, thank you, girls, for helping to bring the light and love!!

  17. these videos make me so happy I’m so glad that you are so involved in this community. This one was especially uplifting for me. I’ve been feeling for several years that I’m not in the right career. I do what I do just to get by but it doesn’t fuel me, it doesn’t really make me happy. The problem i face is I want to do several things;!Yoga, make art, own a coffee shop that also serves wine and beer in the evening. But i don’t know know how to combine all that and make a career out of it, lol. I usually get laughs when I tell my family that is what I want to do. Maybe I should start with a life coach and go from there ; ) Love you Karena and Katrina, you’re my inspiration!

    1. Stefanie – you should totally do it! I think that would be a cool place to go! You could do yoga classes in the morning and have coffee. There are several places here that have a paint night served with wine. So, you could designate what nights are your craft nights. Like Wine Not Wednesday ;) Oh my gosh…girl, do it. Get books on starting your business. Talk to a loan officer at the bank to see what you need. Reach out to your TIU girls…chances are one of them would have great ideas for design!! And we would all support you!! Make it happen and do let naysayers steal your joy!! <3

      1. Thank you for the positive feedback :) Starting with reading a book on starting your own business might be the way to go. I think the hardest part is not knowing where to start. But it makes me happy think about it, I think once I have a realistic plan in place it will be easier for my family and husband to get on board. I really appreciate your kind words Julie

  18. I love coffee chats with K & K!!! It was really interesting to see how you got started! Very inspirational!

  19. You guys are so awesome! I’ve tried other “programs” to check them out, but I keep coming back to y’all because of what you’ve made this community, how much you care and you just make it fun! Love y’all! mwah

  20. This was so perfect! I’m currently in the “went-broke” boat, and it can make you feel so batty! Watching this reminded me why I decided to go off on my own and go totally independent in my career/industry. Having the tone it up workouts and nutrition plan at my fingertips have become part of my daily sanity ritual. Without it I don’t think I would be chasing after what I really want out of my life. Sidebar: My gym buddy and I get together once a week and are TOTALLY falling over and laughing while mastering the TIU moves. You two make fitness so fun, no wonder it works for so many women :)

  21. Love this! You should release some of your throwback cooking videos and recipes as a special anniversary of your friendship or something!!!

  22. Hearing karenas story about dealing with depression really hit home with me and gave me hope that i too can hopefully overcome it someday. There are so many factors that contribute to what i am going through and feeling inside that i just wish someday it will click and i can get myself to a yoga class and find my peace.. thank you for sharing

  23. It’s so inspiring to hear how two women had the vision to start something that was bigger than what they could have ever dreamed of creating. Thank you for sharing the good and even the bad in your journey because everything in life takes work and it’s amazing what can happen when you have dedication, passion, and determination for something that you love to do! Currently working towards the things that make me happy and hopefully find a career I’m going to feel fulfilled in and not be afraid to just go for it no matter what.

  24. Thank SO MUCH girls for sharing such a personal story with us! And specially, thank you Karena for sharing that part of you life with us. I also had a really hard couple of years were I was lost, made bad mistakes, treated myself whitout respect and hurt others as well. I thought I would never be able to overcome that and my past would always ruin my future. Today I can say I work everyday to be a better person and be proud of myself. It takes a lot of courage to start fresh adn try to change! You are SO BRAVE and STRONG!! My respects to you! You are my rol model!!!

  25. Sooooo glad that the coffee chats and wine not wednesdays are back. They are my favorite! One think im so thankful for is how TIU is about positive energy and growing spiritually; not just physically. Thanks for sharing your stories and to all of you girls in the community. You girls make it that much better. Love that we are all in this together!

  26. Thank you for sharing your stories! I can relate to both stories in one way or the other. You both are so inspiring and I’m so grateful to have found TIU and the TIU community. And Karena- my first half marathon was the Indy 500 Mini Marathon too! Love that you’re an Indiana girl!

  27. I love hearing your stories about when you first started Tone It Up – it’s very inspiring and motivating as I am trying to build 2 business myself at the moment. It can be bloody hard but you help me to keep pushing for my dreams!

  28. I absolutely love hearing these stories! So inspiring! You’re both such beautiful women, inside and out!

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