4 Top Lessons Learned At The Tone It Up Retreat 2016

I got back from the whirlwind Tone It Up Retreat weekend yesterday and needed a day to unwind and really think about everything that happened during the past 4 days. Of COURSE there were many fun memories I will always remember but there were also a lot of life lessons throughout the weekend that I reflected on that I want to share with you all.

1. Find your girl gang and love them hard! – I’ve said this in previous posts but community is everything. There’s not much else that is better than being surrounded by hundreds of other girls who all share the common goal of wanting to be healthy, confident, and happy. This weekend looking out at a sea of yoga mats and girls in leggings was so energizing, inspiring, and motivating!

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I got the opportunity to go to the retreat with two friends Rachael (@sweatandrepeatLA) and Joanna (@exercisewithextrafries) and I have to say – our bonds have grown! We got to experience an amazing weekend away together, all while doing what we love most – working out! We shared the same struggles (‘Where are the fries!?’) and also pushed each other to be better (‘Ok we are ALL waking up before sunrise to do the 5K! No flaking!’).

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You need relationships with like-minded girls to give you motivation and balance in life. Like Karena said during the welcome dinner:

If you want 100% out of life, you can’t do it alone. – Karena Dawn

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2. Small expressions of kindness have a big impact on others – Letting someone know “Hey, I see you” can make the other person feel so special!

During the Saturday morning 5K, maybe I’m uncoordinated, maybe I was sleepy, maybe I’m out of shape, maybe it’s all of the above 😀 but I completely tripped and fell. Ripped my leggings but I was really just bummed my gel nail came off. I had just gotten my nails done a day before the retreat so I was pretty upset about it (I didn’t really care too much about the scrapes and cuts I got from the fall though lol).

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When I talked to someone on the TIU staff to see if they had a first aid kit, they were SO quick to respond. They found the medic right away and got me cleaned up. I was just super happy with the promptness but I ended up telling them I was sad about my nail haha – I’m such a girl. They must have told Kat and Karena so later that evening, the girls got me up on stage and acknowledged me and gave me a super cute TIU ice bucket plus a bottle of rosé!
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It’s not like they had to do this but they did because, obviously, they’re the sweetest. Sentiments of appreciation go a long way. The next time you see a girl at the gym, give them a high five. If you see a girl wearing something cute, let them know! She will remember it, appreciate it, and it will help brighten up her day. Remember: It doesn’t take much to be kind. Live it. Breathe it. And it will become a natural part of your state of mind and life.

3. Define your intentions – Just going through the ins and outs of your day can make for a somewhat routine life. I think neglecting to define meaning and intention in your day or week means you won’t truly consciously experience it. It was awesome to have this Core intention board on the trip because we all got to define what we wanted to accomplish throughout our stay – it could have been anything from standing up on a surfboard for a second or it could have been to make new friends. Whatever it was, deciding what your intention is from the get-go will help you design your life around that.

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4. Find your passion to upgrade your life  – It was so inspirational to see how close Karena and Katrina truly are. We all see it in the Tone It Up videos and interviews they do together but to see it in person, you know that it is so, so genuine. They became close through their love of fitness and the shared value of wanting to uplift other women and help others with their self-confidence. Now through their passions they were both able to achieve dreams and build a solid community of women who have the same values as them!

I felt this most on Friday night when we were taken to the beach dinner at Crystal Cove. It was such a beautiful setting (we made it just as the sun set!), and we really got to take in the magical-ness of the whole trip! I’m so grateful that I’ve discovered fitness and a healthy lifestyle as a passion of mine. Otherwise, I would not have had the opportunity to experience such an amazing evening!

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If you were able to make it to the retreat or have gone to others or even if it’s just your goal to make it to a future retreat, I would love to hear from you! Until next year #TIURetreat!

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  • Taking the steps to heal is exhausting. Honestly, it’s not been an enjoyable path to go on. While not enjoyable, it’s certainly been necessary for my mental, emotional, and physical well being.

It takes a lot of energy and effort to try and pick your life up after you have experienced a trauma or loss of any kind. And we all do experience it. It can happen in different forms - loss of a loved one, a romantic relationship, a friendship, a job, health, or a myriad of other hardships.

I wanted to share what I’ve been doing over the past few weeks in hopes that it could maybe be applied to your unique path to healing and growth. #linkinbio Remember that these are my personal ways I’ve made steps toward more healing in my life. It may not work for you and that’s ok. Your path could look entirely different. Do what feels right for you, in your own time. ❤️ #emotionalwellness #healingjourney #mentalhealth
  • This weekend I gave my baby Tiger Lily a memorial service. I wanted to make it special for her so I surrounded her with her favorite toys and treats. I tried to remember her by sharing funny little things she did; all her quirkiness. She will always be the very best girl. Night night Tiger, I will see you in the morning. 🌈 I love you forever and ever and ever. ❤️
  • This weekend @blogher I spoke about the importance of owning your health and being your best health self-advocate.

It takes time to find the right medical professional for you but it’s time well spent because the doctor-patient relationship is one of the most intimate you can have.

Assess what your priorities are when finding a doctor, conduct interviews, don’t be afraid to seek a second/third opinion, do your own research, and have open communication. You know your body and your needs better than anyone.

The more you use your voice at the doctor’s office (or in any situation), the more powerful your voice becomes. ✨ #blogher20 #womenshealth
  • Still in pain. Still grieving. Still feel empty. I’m not sure when these feelings will lessen but this week I told myself that every day I would try to work on myself a little bit. So I’ve meditated two days. I remembered to take my medication. I scheduled a time to see a bereavement counselor. I tried to refocus energy on work.

The rest of the time I cry. I sleep. I put on the TV to shut out the thoughts inside my head. I found myself Googling “How to heal from loss” and the first point I read was “Do what feels right for you” so I’ve been trying. Constantly checking in with myself to see what my needs are. Hoping these little daily steps will help me regain more purpose in my life.

If you’re trying to cope with grief or loss, sending you a hug. Take your time and “do what feels right for you” ❤️
  • My parents had a pre-planned trip to Atlanta this week and since I’ve been staying with them, they insisted I shouldn’t be alone right now. Maybe they’re right. So, I’m off to Atlanta for a couple days. I know you can’t necessarily escape your problems but maybe being in a new environment will help me breathe a little more, if even for a few minutes throughout the day. 
I went to @sprouts before heading to the airport so that my family and I will have snacks for the flight and for our time there. Grabbed a bunch of fruit because it’s so easy and @hippeas_snacks since they are organic, vegan, and gluten-free. They’re on sale now @sprouts #ImAHippea #HippeasPartner
  • Tiger came into my life one month before I was diagnosed with cancer. I had to rest so much in the early days when I had her. I would get tired and have to sleep or lay down for most of the day leading up to my surgery.

On surgery day, I was terrified. I thought I wouldn’t wake up. So on the surgery room table, before I could feel the anesthesia, I told the surgery team my “final” words, ‘Tell my mom and Tiger Lily I love them’. She was always my priority. Always my family.

When I eventually woke up the first thing I asked my mom is ‘Where is Tiger Lily? How is she?’ I was even trying to get my mom to sneak her into my hospital room but security stopped her. I couldn’t wait to have her in my lap.

I eventually got discharged from the hospital and I had to spend weeks on the sofa downstairs because I couldn’t make it to the bed on the second floor. So on a narrow sofa, Tiger and I slept together, all day. I felt so bad for her since she seemed so bored and she was only sleeping next to me because her mama was recovering.

I made little promises to her though, I would make it to the patio and sit down there for a few minutes so I could throw her toy with her (she would only play fetch with me). Then eventually I was able to take slow walks with her and sit down on a park bench while she played.

She helped me focus my energy on getting better for her. No one else could take care of her, like I could. I got stronger for her. Tiger Lily gave me purpose each day. Baby Tiger helped me heal.

Maybe this is part of why the pain is unbearable. We’ve been through so much, even in our short time together. The pain today feels just as excruciating and suffocating like it did a week ago. Praying tomorrow will be better. 💔
  • The story of how my baby Tiger Lily came into my life

March 2018 my family and I lost our family Pomchi, Puffy. She had been with us for 13 years. She was my parents baby and I was the fun sister that got to come hang with her.

When we lost her I felt an emptiness and wanted some doggy energy around. I thought fostering seemed interesting. It’s temporary. I’ll foster a dog for a couple days and then that’s it.

One day I scrolled and found Dogs Without Borders. I came across a little Tiger Lily. What a funny name, I thought. There was something about her that I was drawn to. I think it was the ears.

I was still nervous about it and didn’t know if I could handle it but one day I went out to dinner with friends and we were talking about it. There just happened to be Tiger hot sauce on the table and it said TRY ME. We laughed, I had never seen that type of sauce before! It was definitely a sign.

So I fostered her and I remember I kept her blocked off in an area of my house. There’s no way I was just letting her run free where ever she wanted to go.

Then I started seeing how scared she was. She would regularly shake; so confused as to where she was. ‘I’m a good girl why is my life like this’ she probably thought.  So I became more lenient so she could feel more at ease. I guess fine she could be on the sofa once in a while when I was around but only on her pillow. I guess fine she could be on my bed but only if she stayed on her side. Boundaries only really lasted a couple days. I’m weak.

Then after just less than a week, her former foster family wanted to adopt her. I had been thinking of adopting her but then thought it was better for her to go with them. They were a couple with other animals in the house so it felt like a fun, full home for Tiger to be in.

After just two days, the couple told me they changed their mind. If I didn’t want her then they’d end up returning her back to DWB. I was livid. Once you commit to adopting a baby, there is a no refund policy. Baby adoptions are not merchandise to exchange for another fit. I missed her and didn’t want Tiger to go through another transfer so I decided to adopt her myself. (contd in comments)
  • Rest in peace my love. My little baby Tiger Lily. I don’t know what happened. It was so sudden. You were fine on Friday! Maybe a little stomach upset on Saturday and then Sunday you could barely wag your tail when you saw me. I wish I noticed more signs so I could know how sick you were. Were you telling me something sooner and I didn’t know? You left me and my heart is not broken in half. My heart is completely shattered. I am so sorry for letting you down. I was trying to save you like you saved me. I tried to be the very best mama to you. I barely left you alone. I never wanted you to feel abandoned and lonely because that’s what you grew up knowing. (Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone I would sneak you into places you weren’t supposed to be in.) I always played with you (Stay. Stay. Find it!) I always bought you the best food - nothing but organic, all natural, and premium quality for my baby! I remember I would be so tired sometimes but I’d go out to Whole Foods to buy you steak just as a treat for being you. I wanted you to know how loved and OBSESSED I was all the time. I know you were obsessed with me too. Your grandparents would always call you “piece of gum on mom’s shoe” because you were just stuck to me like glue! You always had to be touching me, no matter what. If you didn’t see me in eyesight you would panic!

When I first got you I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would you like me? Would you be a lot of work? I could not have asked for a more perfect baby. You always listened to your mama, except for when it was bed time and you insisted on taking my side of the bed. I always pretended to be annoyed but what did I tell you every night? I said ‘Little baby Tiger Lily I love you, you’re the very best girl. I’m going to see you tomorrow and I hope you dream about all the yummy treats we’re going to eat’. Sweet baby, you were so strong. You struggled all day yesterday and when the doctor said there’s not much hope I took you home so you could be comfortable. You were so brave to be strong enough to be in the car in my arms and to make it all the way home. I didn’t let you go and you took your last breath in my arms. Snuggled with all your blankies. (contd)
  • 💔EMERGENCY: Is anyone a vet or a homeopathic animal doctor? Tigers condition has worsened over night. Doctors don’t know what the cause is, they’ve thrown out words like sepsis, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, anaphylaxis, they just don’t know.

Facts: Swollen gallbladder, low body temp, stomach is fluid filled, slight water in lungs, now in an oxygen cage... - doctor says her stomach and gastrointestinal system is not working. I don’t know what to do. Maybe another opinion or doctor would know. I have a copy of blood results to help.

Please forward to anyone who might have another opinion. My heart hurts I can’t breathe and I need to save her like she saved me. 💔🙏
  • Currently at the emergency animal hospital where I had to admit Tiger Lily for overnight observation and testing. She had been feeling ill since yesterday. Little stomach upsets usually go away quickly but today she started also having slow reactions, not blinking and experiencing heavy breathing. The vet said she is “pretty sick” with low blood pressure. She may have pancreatitis or some type of gastric complication.

Pancreatitis is what my 13 year old family dog, Puffy, passed away from back in 2018. So to hear that Tiger Lily may have this... 💔 Pray for Tiger please. Anyone that knows me even a little knows exactly how much she means to me and I just can’t have her be sick because I need her. ❤️
  • With all the supplements out there sometimes it can be hard to know what actually works. I have been taking probiotics for years and I like to switch them up every once in a while. #Ad I just started @seed’s Daily Synbiotic which I’ve found isn’t just any probiotic. What I appreciate about @seed is that they’re pioneering a “next-generation” probiotic, based on science.

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That sounds like a lot of information but the main takeaway is that this is a new line of probiotics that doesn’t just target gut health but overall health. 🙌 Use code DIMPLE15 for 15% off the first month of your Daily Synbiotic subscription at seed.com
  • What is your approach to food? I try to eat mostly plant-based but I allow myself the freedom to eat what my body craves that day. All foods fit over here!

Today on the blog I’m breaking down an easy approach to changing mindset around food choices. 🥑 #intuitiveeating #eatingwell #allfoodsfit #healthyliving

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