We always say that a number on a scale doesn't define your body, and Taylor is living proof. She began her weight-loss journey with an ultra focus on numbers "down to the decimal" and became discouraged when she gained weight. What she didn't realize at first was that her body was looking leaner and stronger than ever and that those numbers don't accurately reflect how toned you look. Muscle is heavy, but it looks damn good!
Taylor found the Tone It Up program and dove into a new world of workouts and eating healthy and completely transformed her body in the process. This weight-loss story is not about number of pounds shed, but about the unbelievable changes she's made to her body and mind by treating herself with care.
POPSUGAR: What made you decide to start your weight-loss journey?
Taylor Quigg: I had followed Tone It Up on Instagram for a while. I decided I wanted to become active, and it sounded like a fun way to jump into things. I initially started by incorporating the nutrition plan into my life in the Fall of 2015. I took on my first challenge and officially committed to their exercise plan Spring 2016 for the Bikini Series.
PS: What drew you to TIU specifically?
TQ: K&K [Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott, Tone It Up founders] obviously! They are beautiful, fun, and inspiring. I initially began my fitness Instagram to compete for the weekly prizes, quickly learning that the Instagram following is full of motivation and friends. I have made so many friends via my TIU Instagram account.
PS: What's your favorite way to work out?
TQ: I love working out at home; I think this is another reason I was drawn to TIU. I dislike going to the gym and spending hours doing something that I can complete in 25 to 50 minutes normally. However, a friend of mine treated me to an unlimited month of Spin classes and I may have become addicted to those blood-pumping 50-minute sessions. However, the cardio aspect is a requirement of the TIU exercise plan, so my Spinning goes hand in hand with my TIU.
PS: What's your weekly exercise schedule?
TQ: I honestly work out daily. TIU calls for an active rest day — usually on Saturdays — and even that means get out for an hour and go for a mild walk with friends and possibly stretch. If I have an impossibly busy day on my schedule, I will either try to make that 6:15 a.m. Spin class or I will make that a rest day. I am a registered nurse who works shift work; Karena and Katrina love the concept of a morning workout (that they call a "bootycall"), but sometimes this can be impossible with my schedule (for instance, if I am working a night shift). I reschedule my workouts to meet the needs in my life. I LOVE WORKING OUT.
"It is so easy to focus on a number and become obsessed in a sickly way. Yes I do wonder, yes I do worry, but at the end of the day I have been gaining muscle and I am making myself healthier."
PS: How do you keep workouts exciting?
TQ: I have incorporated Spinning, running, booty barre, and HIIT to keep workouts exciting. I have two editions of Beach Babe (Tone It Up workouts) and that seems to be enough along with the YouTube videos to follow the TIU schedule and keep it interesting. TIU has a daily workout schedule and they do a fabulous job of not making us repeat routines often. They have taken all the thinking work out of it for us!
PS: How much weight have you lost?
TQ: To be honest, at one point I could truly tell you down to the decimal how much weight I have lost. My starting weight was 162.6 pounds before I even started Tone It Up. When I started the Bikini Series this year I was around 132 pounds and I never ever worked out (I was frail). By week five I was up to 139 pounds and HIGHLY discouraged. It wasn't far enough along to see results and I nearly gave up. Tone It Up featured my photo that week on their Instagram, and I knew I had to keep going. Since then, I have not weighed myself. It is so easy to focus on a number and become obsessed in a sickly way. Yes I do wonder, yes I do worry, but at the end of the day I have been gaining muscle and I am making myself healthier.
PS: What was the first big difference, other than the number on the scale, that really made you feel proud and excited?
TQ: The moment Karena and Katrina featured me on their Instagram. I may not have been able to see my progress (and I was so impacted by the number on the scale) but they could see my progress.
PS: How do you track your weight loss?
TQ: Do my jeans fit? Good.
"Do not focus on any sort of numbers: scale, measurements, or calories. Focus ON HEALTH. You deserve a healthy and happy self."
PS: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?
TQ: M1: Omelet with mushrooms, spinach, dairy-free mozzarella, and sometimes a side of Ezekiel toast with almond butter. COFFEE IS A MUST. I also like smoothies on weekends or a protein pancake. M2: smoothie (something Tone It Up has taught me to love!) or apple and almond butter. M3: leftovers from the night before (I am lazy) or I will whip up a salad with protein (another thing TIU has taught me to love). M4: Larabar or veggies and hummus . . . often another coffee (with almond milk and coconut sugar). M5: Lean proteins, LOTS of veggies, and quinoa as a carb substitute (and additional protein) if needed.
PS: Do you count calories?
TQ: I follow the TIU nutrition guide and in a lot of ways that was created to keep calories in check (to my belief). Each meal has guidelines and I follow that, but I NEVER count calories (though I am calorie aware). I have been loving vegan options and just really raw and natural foods. I am aware of more calorie-dense options like the healthy fats in almond butter, coconut oil, and avocado, and I am mindful to keep those in moderation. Tone It Up has caused me to eat nearly carbless suppers and find other options.
PS: What are the healthy staples that are always in your fridge?
TQ: Almond milk, spinach, kale, mushrooms, peppers, spaghetti squash, sweet potato, almond butter, dairy-free Greek yogurt, Ezekiel bread, chicken, ground turkey, salmon, egg whites (bigger omelets and more protein, DUHHHH), Larabars, bananas (for smoothies), vegan protein powder, frozen berries.
PS: What advice do you have for anyone starting out on a weight-loss journey?
TQ: Get moving! Look up healthy recipes. Learn about what fuels your metabolism and health. Find a plan that works for you. If you are interested in Tone It Up, follow the hashtags #TIUteam, #TIUcommunity, #TIUgirls (or even myself @tayanne_tiu), and you will become addicted to the energy that we all share! Do not focus on any sort of numbers: scale, measurements or calories. Focus ON HEALTH. Dedicate 30 minutes a day to becoming active. Dedicate 10 minutes to planning healthy food options for the next day. Dedicate 15 minutes to prepping for the next day. Success will follow determination. You deserve a healthy and happy self .