The motivation that got you started will eventually turn into a habit!

Taylor Before & After2

Motivation Monday: Taylor’s Story!

Tone It Up girl Taylor is sharing her amazing story and transformation with us! She has some amazing tips, recipes and insights to share…

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Taylor, and I’m 22 years young. I was born and raised in Peru, IL with my parents, older sister, and my puppy, Bagel. I graduated from college at Northern Illinois University in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, and I moved to Chicago in June 2013 to start my first “real-world” job in advertising! My interests include hanging out with friends, watching & playing sports, and working out. I’m addicted to quotes, music, and photography.

Your transformation story is amazing and has inspired us all. How long was it between your before and after pics?

I officially started my journey to better myself when I moved to Chicago in June 2013.

I gained well over the Freshman 15 while in college, so when looking at photos from my graduation, I wasn’t very thrilled with how I was looking. The move to Chicago definitely helped me because I was alone and bored in the city, so I decided to start bettering myself by working out instead of sitting in my apartment just snacking on unhealthy foods.

What goals did you set for yourself?

My goals started as 10-pound mini goals. I knew the goal weight I wanted to get to, but I knew that if I didn’t have mini goals set, I wouldn’t reach my goal fast enough, which would make me lose hope and give up completely. In the beginning, I used  an iPhone app to help with setting my goals and keeping myself more accountable with my daily food intake and workouts. I put running or ab workouts as a task on my To-Do List because I know if it’s something I have to do, I’m more likely to get it done. After I made myself workout, it wasn’t an internal battle anymore. I actually wanted to do it most days because I was starting to see results, in the mirror and also how I felt each day.

Tone-It-Up-Weight-Loss Taylor

How did you find out about Tone It Up?

I found out about Tone It Up during my sophomore year in college. I was actually on Pinterest where I found a picture of Katrina & Karena, and I had to find out more about these girls with amazing hair and bodies! Long story short, it led me to their site, where I eventually purchased their Nutrition Plan.

How did you keep yourself motivated?

I really didn’t realize how amazing the Tone It Up Community was until I started actually using the Community page on the site. I realized it even more once I decided to make a separate TIU Instagram page. I am so thankful for the love and motivating comments I receive on pictures I post. The fact that someone that you don’t even know can make your day by posting such positive comments to your pictures, especially progress pictures, is so cool to me. I love being able to comment and help motivate other TIU members as well.

How did you deal with setbacks along the way?

I definitely had a few setbacks along the way. I had days where I binged on food, days where I didn’t feel like I had time to fit in a workout, and I even had a few injuries. I think my hardest setback was realizing that I set my original goal weight too low. From the beginning, I wanted to get to that original number, until I realized that it was literally just a number. I overcame my bad days by just moving on. I didn’t want to have another day like that, so I just have to move on, and do better the next day.

How has following the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan contributed to your success?

Following the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan has definitely contributed to my success. I love all of the recipes I can make, but I also love that it gives me ideas to come up with my own meals based on the ones in the plan. I think it’s awesome that there are recipes specifically for if you want to maintain, tone, or lose weight. It’s easy to browse through the plan and figure out what meals you want to make for the week. I fell in love with quinoa thanks to TIU. It’s a great addition to a boring salad!



What are you doing now to keep up with your healthy lifestyle?

Walking to and from work is a huge advantage for me. I get a workout in without even trying! Living alone helps a lot too because I decide what I want and need, and I don’t have bad food in my apartment tempting me. I usually find time to workout every day or at least 5 times a week in addition to my daily walking. I always set time aside for running or toning specific areas of my body using the Tone It Up or Jillian Michaels DVDs. I always try to plan my meals ahead of time, like on Sundays, so that I’m prepared for the week ahead.

What are your favorite healthy snacks?

My favorite healthy foods and snacks are granola bars like Clif, Kind, or Nature Valley. I also love fruit and almonds! I have to keep them in my desk at work, so I don’t eat too many at home! For lunch today, I ate my own version of a healthy Chipotle burrito bowl with Spinach, brown rice, corn, black beans, Sriracha sauce, and a little Ranch dressing to tone down the heat.


How do you treat yourself while staying on track?

I’m definitely a sweet addict, so I like to indulge more than a normal person! I love heating up Clif bars in the microwave for 10 seconds. It really tastes like a dessert! Another favorite treat is mixing a banana with a little honey and cinnamon!

What is your workout routine?

I walk to and from work every day (Monday-Friday), which is 1.6 miles there and back. For the past 16 weeks, my workout has been a little different because I’ve been strictly trying to follow half marathon training schedule. After my half marathon, I plan follow the TIU weekly schedules more strictly again, as well as incorporating my own workouts based on my body and goals. I also want to continue running because I came to love it.

Favorite workout?

My favorite TIU workout is the The Best Ab Workout Routine. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I hate it while I’m doing it, but I love the sense of accomplishment I get after finishing it.

What advice would you give someone who needs motivation and encouragement to get healthier?

The hardest part is getting started. It takes 21 days to make something a habit. Just get up and get moving. Take a lot of progress pictures and measurements. Just because you can’t see a change on the scale or in the mirror doesn’t mean a change isn’t happening. The scale is just a number. Don’t be so hard on yourself. The motivation that got you started will eventually turn into a habit.

What are your current goals?

My main goal right now is finishing my half marathon. I want to be able to say that I’m a half marathon finisher– and to finish it under 2 hours! I also really want to literally, “Tone It Up.” After my half, I want to start focusing more on lifting and using the Tone It Up workouts to target specific areas like abs, arms, legs, etc. For summer, I’m most excited to FINALLY feel confident in my bikini. I’m actually looking forward to going to the beach with friends, and not just laying out. I can’t wait to get up and get moving by running and playing volleyball because I won’t be trying to hide my body.

Where can we find you?

My Instagram is @progressxnotxperfection

Want to learn more about our Program & Membership?

Sending you all lots of summer lovin’… we’re here to help you achieve all of your goals!

Your Dedicated Trainers,

Karena & Katrina

Change your life… Join the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan today and become a Tone It Up Team MEMBER!!



  • Dana

    Wow, you look awesome!! Way to go Taylor!

    • Taylor Staus

      Thank you!<3

  • Madeline Thornton

    Ahhh!! A fellow Chicago girl!! You are gorgeous!!! This is so inspiring since we’re the same age and live in the same city! Lookin’ fab babe!

    • Taylor Staus

      Thanks girl! We should plan a meet up. Are you on the Chitone Facebook group?!

      • Madeline Thornton

        Nope! Going now! (:

        • Taylor Staus

          Awesome! We’ll have to discuss with the group and plan a day!

      • Madeline Thornton

        Just now joined<3

  • Maggs

    What app did you use for goal setting? You look great!

    • Taylor Staus

      I used the Lose It app, but My Fitness Pal works the same! And thank you!!!

  • anastasia_beaverhausen

    Great story! She looks amazing!

    • Taylor Staus

      Thank you so much!:)

  • Heather Serody

    Good for you Taylor! You inspired me so much today! I think a walking routine is key to keeping the weight off. I walk my dogs every day and they & I love it. Keep going girl!

  • C.

    Congratulations! I can relate to your story, last year when I moved to a new city because of work I was alone and bored as well and then I started working out since I had more free time for myself and it was the best thing I’ve done. I also walk everyday to work and it’s great! I hope your story inspires many others! Keep going!

  • Cat

    Congratulations Taylor! You look amazing! Keep up the hard work and enjoy the journey! Reading your story just gave me some extra motivation : )