Stephanie Is The Strongest, Fittest, and Happiest She’s Ever Been ~ How She Did It!
Hope you had an incredible weekend…we definitely did! We took a whirlwind trip to NYC to film with our girlfriend Emily DiDonato, a yoga instructor, health coach, and bombshell babe. Check out the behind-the-scenes pics on Instagram @KarenaKatrina…and get pumped for some fun new videos.
And in case ya haven’t heard, we have other HUGE NEWS! We announced the winners of the Tone It Up Challenge! Our inspiring and gorgeous grand prize winners are coming to Cali for the ultimate #TIUgirls trip. Meet the winners and read their remarkable stories HERE!
As we prepare for this year’s girls’ trip, we’ve been thinking about all the amazing memories from last year and the incredible women who we met. One of those special babes is Stephanie, and we’re so honored to share her story. Stephanie is a registered nurse who is always there for her patients, family, and friends. Through her Tone It Up journey, she learned to prioritize her own health as well, and now she’s beaming with confidence and unafraid to take risks and go after what she wants.
Stephanie~ we are so proud of you. You beam with confidence and so much beauty. Thank you for encouraging all of us to be authentically ourselves. You do it with such ease and genuine care. Sending so much love!!! xxxo K&K
Hear Stephanie’s story in the video below!
Watch on YouTube HERE!
Tell us about yourself!
I just recently turned 30 and I’m originally from a small town outside of Savannah, Georgia. I’ve been living in Boston, MA for a year and a half with my beautiful wife Devicka and fur baby Marley. We are currently in the process of moving to San Diego, California and are very excited! We tend to move frequently because my wife is in the Army. I am currently working as a Registered Nurse in primary care but hope to begin my practice as Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner in California. I have been a nurse for 5 years and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I enjoy caring for a variety of people from all walks of life, and my education and now my work has allowed me that privilege.
I am very outgoing and can usually be found offering a helping hand, support, or shoulder to a friend or even strangers in need. Also, I am obsessed with Beyoncé and all things Beyoncé. I usually channel my inner Beyoncé anytime I need a little extra push or just for an epic dance match in my living room. “What would B do?” is a thing in my house!
How has life changed for you since last year’s Tone It Up challenge?
Well, I do have a lot more Insta-friends! Haha ;) But seriously, I would not be where I am today without my TIU community. They inspire me daily and I have developed so many close friendships! My friends and family also come to me for fitness or nutrition tips instead of just their medical questions. I just talk about what I have learned up until this point of my journey. It’s always nice to be able to pay it forward and help someone else achieve their fitness goals. And I’ve definitely been taking more chances lately and saying yes and going after what I want.
What initially inspired you to make a change in your life?
I joined TIU 2 years ago initially as a way to get in shape before my wedding. I was very intrigued by the huge community of women who were constantly lifting each other up on blogs and on social media. The very first post I created on my Instagram was one of my wife and me as my “before” photo before tackling the Love Your Body Challenge. It was immediately liked and commented on by K&K, who then said we were beautiful and congratulated my wife and me and called us #tiubrides. I was soo overwhelmed with gratitude and admiration at that moment because I felt that they were really genuine women who did not judge me, but welcomed me with open arms.
What did coming to California on the winners’ trip mean to you?
The California trip was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I felt so overwhelmed with love and appreciation for Karena & Katrina, the TIU community, and the TIU staff! I am so blessed to have met so many genuine people. K& K are exactly how they seem on video, Insta, Snap, etc.: real women who are completely passionate about TIU and the many women who look up to them! They have changed my life and I will forever be grateful. Meeting Chelsea, Kelsy, Lily, Heather, Yassi, and Lora was by far the best part. I have new forever best friends and getting to know them has been such a blessing. 7 strangers picked to live in a house together for 4 days and to leave as BFFs is incredible and what Tone It Up is about!
How have you maintained your progress?
I have maintained my progress by staying open and honest with myself. That means holding myself accountable for everything that I do and put into my body. My nutrition is forever evolving and changing the more I try new things. I don’t necessarily restrict myself from eating what I want in that moment, but I am more mindful about what I’m eating.
Having short- and long-term goals all the time also helps me maintain my progress. I love writing down a new goal and going back and checking it off. It’s sooo satisfying and damn near therapeutic! I always make sure to replace it with a new one because I don’t want to become complacent, which will lead to being stagnant and going backward in my journey. I definitely cannot have that! I’ve come too far to only come this far.
How do you stay motivated?
In my job as a nurse I care for a lot of patients with illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, both of which are highly prevalent in my family. Eating more LCG foods and staying active has helped me reduce my risk tremendously.
The women of this community also keep me motivated. I’m sure every TIU member would say this, but it really is true. Waking up and seeing that one of my #tiusisters is running farther or faster than the day before or being there in person to witness another #TIUsister hold a crow pose longer than previous attempts motivates me. Not because I want to be better than them, but because they are pushing themselves every day past self doubt and fear, and to me that is pretty darn badass. Oh and I’m always motivated by Beyoncé! Nothing like some good “Formation” music to get me through a tough workout!;)
I’m a huge fan of the Cardio Abs workout and the 7 Day Slim Down Workout. It is so effective and doing 2-3 rounds has me feeling amazing for the whole day. I use this on days I’m low on time or on the weekends.
What are your go-to Tone It Up Nutrition Plan meals and snacks?
The Almond Butter Cookie Smoothie recipe is the best smoothie I’ve ever had! So simple, yet sooo delicious! I’m also feeling those Pumpkin Donut Holes as well as the Pumpkin Muffins. I have made them not only for my wife to take to work, but for my coworkers and they devoured them!
What’s your Instagram handle?
Anything else you want to tell this team?!
I am grateful to K&K and staff for everything they’ve done directly and indirectly for me. My heart is so full and I admire everything that you all do. They are seriously changing lives and that is sooo powerful. I love sharing what TIU is and what it means to be on team TIU. There is so much love and support within this community and I am so proud to be a part of it! Thank you again for everything. I truly love and adore all of you!