back to top

We Did An Eight-Week Bikini Body Workout And Here Are The Results

What even is a "bikini body"?

Posted on

Hi, we're Jenna, Krista, and Macey, and we recently swapped our midday margaritas at work for cauliflower smoothies.

Instagram: @buzzbabeschallenge

But...WHY?! you ask. Well, Jenna had been seeing a lot of #tiuteam floating around Instagram and had no idea what the hell it was.

messyjessy808 / Via Instagram: @messyjessy808

So, after a bit of Instagram searching, we found out the hashtag is for a series of fitness challenges by Tone It Up (TIU).


So, we all decided — for different reasons — to see what the hype was about.

Jenna: So, I work out a lot. Like, six days a week, some days two-a-days — a lot. I recently found out that one of the reasons I wasn't seeing the results I wanted was due guessed it...GLUTEN! (I know, I know, I'm so LA. But it's legit, I swear!) So I have had to adjust to a gluten-free diet. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin again. I like to think I eat pretty healthy, but now that gluten is no longer a part of my life, I am hoping that this bikini series challenge and nutrition plan will help me to learn how to eat better on my newfound food restrictions, tone up my midsection, and more importantly, boost my confidence level. Let's be real, though. I am from Hawaii and I will be rocking my bikini this summer no matter what! Any body is a bikini body.

Krista: I'm a working mom, so my workout is basically whenever I can squeeze it in. And by "workout" I mean running. Running is a stress reliever for me and pretty much the only type of physical activity I do, which ends up being 2 miles about three times a week. The real reason I am challenging myself to do this is to get healthy and not feel so bloated all the time. I have a horrible addiction to diet soda and snacking on sugary sweets in the evenings. SO, I NEED A DETOX. I also would like to feel more toned. I don't necessarily want to lose weight — I just want to tone up my body and feel more energized.

Macey: Sooo, I work out never. I ate cookies for breakfast the other day and eat out/order out a ton. I just turned 27, so I wanted to challenge myself to eat healthy and exercise regularly for once in my life. Plus, being apathetic about life and health really isn't that cool anymore (to me, at least). I've been feeling sluggish and, honestly, pretty low-spirited about a lot of things, so hopefully this will jump-start my system. At the end of all of this, I just want to feel better physically/mentally and be the healthiest version of myself, because why the hell not? ~Toning up~ my body is only an added bonus to this, although I'm not looking forward to being photographed in a bikini in the process. Bikinis are not my thing. The beach isn't really my thing either — I'd rather stay inside and eat Domino's cheesy bread.

1. Follow the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, which consists of three main meals and two snacks per day. Then document what we eat each day in the food journal.

Jenna Williams / BuzzFeed

The nutrition plan is optional, but in short it was clean eating and portion control. There are no "cheat" days — it is all about making healthy choices every day. Nothing was totally off limits, so if we wanted a glass of wine, we could have one!

2. Complete the daily Tone It Up workouts.

A daily workout typically consists of 20–30 minutes of cardio plus toning moves and/or a Tone It Up workout video.


Jenna: I have a pretty crazy workout schedule I stick to each week (7 a.m. circuit training five days a week, and I also play soccer three times a week), so the workouts didn't scare me. What I wasn't prepared for was the all the shopping for meal prep! I never realized I was missing so much food at my house! If you saw me leaving the grocery store, you would have thought I was shopping for a family of seven.

Krista: I always thought I was in decent shape, but boy I was so wrong. The workouts are super intense. I was shouting in pain and drenched in sweat after a short, 13-minute toning video, but had no problem running for 3 miles straight. Now let's talk about the food. The words "meal prep" are my worst nightmare. I knew right away it was going to be a struggle. I already have to pack my kid's lunch, so packing individual lunches for myself every day was unrealistic. Plus, I'm a terrible cook and I get sick of eating the same thing twice. I studied the nutrition plan and planned to make good meal decisions. But on day one, I was put in an uncompromising situation. I ate Arby's. 🙈 In my defense, I took the bread off and only ate the meat (if you consider that meat). But I kept going. EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY, DAMNIT.

Macey: I don't think I've ever been this tired in my life. I threw out two open bags of marshmallows in my cabinet to make room for apple cider vinegar and protein powder. Who am I? I'm assuming this will be the hardest week, since in addition to starting a new diet/exercise regimen, I'm meal prepping for two people (willingly, for myself and my boyfriend), AND I had five full-day photo shoots back-to-back. I'm basically a living dead girl.


Jenna: This week was tough. My mom was in town visiting for my little brother's college graduation. This meant going out for dinners, and wine...lots of wine. I did my best to stick to the plan and cook as many meals at home as possible. My mom even liked most of what I made! I think I have a newfound love of cooking! I also made sure to get my workouts in every day. My grandma even told me I was looking prettier every time she saw me, which if you knew my grandma, is a big compliment (love you Gram)!

Krista: Every single muscle in my body is definitely tight. It's a good feeling, though, knowing I'm finally working out other parts of my body. But I do feel like I am needing a day of rest right about now. I was hoping the Sunday workout would be like, "Great job, now take a break and relax!" Nope. I opened the app to find that I had to do a 5K!!! Food-wise, I have been picking the healthier options, and I've definitely had temptations. If I do have a temptation or someone orders something fried on the menu, like french fries, I allow myself to have like two to five fries because I also have to be realistic. I don't want to be thinking about those french fries for the next five days. I allow myself a TINY bit so I don't feel deprived.

Macey: My body doesn't feel like molasses anymore, but I've started feeling sharp urges for pizza (cheesy bread of course) and chocolate-covered almonds. I'm definitely going through some sort of withdrawal. I've spent more time cooking and prepping than living my life this week, which is something I have mixed emotions about. I've also spent more than I've ever spent on groceries. On top of all of this, I went to a Dodgers game and drank water while everyone was drinking beer and eating hot dogs with copious amounts of unapproved TIU ketchup around me — if that's not willpower, I don't know what is.

Instagram: @buzzbabeschallenge

Jenna: One thing I am noticing about these workout videos is that K & K go very quick. I find that if I try to go as fast as they do, I start to lose my form. Not sure which is better? I have been sticking to my circuit-training classes and HIIT workouts at my gym, and not doing too many of the TIU daily workouts. I find that I am much more motivated going to a class and pushing myself, rather than working out from home by myself. I am also starting to figure out which recipes in the nutrition plan I like best. Spoiler alert: Their Cauliflower Berry Protein Smoothie is AMAZING.

Krista: I've started to look forward to the workouts — maybe because I looked down at my legs when I was walking and I swear they were more firm (my thighs usually look like Jell-O Jigglers). The hardest part for me has been drinking water. I love flavored, fizzy drinks. I've always felt like water was so boring. I find myself really fantasizing about a Big Gulp and pink frosted donut from 7-Eleven. But I still haven't given in and drank a soda yet!

Macey: So, I lost my progression/diet journal trying to get away from a creepy guy who was following me at Whole Foods this week. I'm pretty sure I left it at the register, but I called and even went there to search for it and nobody has seen it. Not sure why anyone would want a journal filled with my aspirations, food choices, and measurements...would be weird if someone found it and kept it 🤔. I also had to buy new leggings because my old ones were starting to get a little loose, which is cool, but honestly kind of freaked me out at first. I guess it's working?


Jenna: OK, girl talk. Its almost my time of the month and I would KILL for some chocolate right now. I have been satisfying my craving with homemade banana and almond butter ice cream, which is delicious. But sitting here at work right now, I am using all my willpower to not devour all the chocolate almonds in the office. (UPDATE: I may have cheated and had a few...I couldn't help it! I blame biology.)

Krista: So, at the beginning of this week I felt great. But toward the end I started feeling bloated. And I promise I am not drinking soda, so it can't be that! I find that I am hungrier at night, and it is really hard to not snack. Some of the snacks are like an apple with lemon and I'm still hungry after that, so it's hard. I've been adding peanut butter to my apples lately, lol. Last night I really, really wanted a dessert, but instead I ate green beans. What is happening to me?!

Macey: After losing my journal last week I've felt a little off-course, to be honest. The journal was holding me together in a way and kept me accountable for following the plan, but once that was gone I went a little haywire. I'm not proud of it, but I ate a margarita donut this week from Trejo's Coffee and Donuts, which I don't totally regret because it was tasty as hell, but it did make me feel like I had to go the eff home. The sugar rush is real? Besides that, I made TIU portobello mushroom burgers this week, which has been my favorite dinner by far. I also went to the beach over the weekend, which I normally don't enjoy doing (which explains my ill-fitting bathing suit top in my photos), and I definitely felt more toned.

Instagram: @buzzbabeschallenge

Jenna: So today I hit a wall. It's the beginning of week five, and I was so excited to weigh in and take my measurements to see the progress I have made! I have had a few friends tell me they can see a difference, so I was excited to see the proof myself. So this morning at the gym, I was 5.4 pounds down with 3 inches off my waist (and more inches elsewhere, but the waist is what got me excited)! I was feeling so proud! I came into work, knowing we were taking progress photos, and I was excited to actually SEE the results I was feeling. Let me tell you...this challenge is very difficult to do with two girls who are already much smaller than you. I am constantly comparing myself to them (which I know I shouldn't!). I took my progress photo and immediately went to the bathroom to cry once I saw it. I thought I was doing so well! When I saw my photo and didn't see the nicely toned body I was feeling like I had, I was devastated. So I took it to our Instagram page for some added motivation, and you know what? TIUTeam, you delivered. I needed that support from you, and you were there in my time of need. Hopefully the next four weeks will deliver results that don't make me run to the bathroom in tears (lol... but really).

Krista: I was having lunch yesterday and someone had a can of ice-cold Diet Coke, dripping with sweat, and I am still thinking about it. This week has been harder for me for some reason. I am still experiencing the bloated feeling from last week and I really have started liking running less, which is concerning. Now I am like, let's do toning moves! But then when I do try to run, I have to stop after like a mile and I used to be able to run 2–3 miles easily without stopping.

Macey: I shot and helped style a shoot this week with food-inspired outfits, which was in direct correlation to my pizza and cheeseburger deficiency. If you can't/shouldn't eat it, why not wear it? I've also noticed that I've been sending a lot of food porn that I find on social media to my boyfriend at an almost annoying/alarming rate. On an unrelated note, I graduated from the 3-pound to the 5-pound weights, which kind of sounds sad, but it means a lot coming from someone who would rather watch Netflix like a vegetable for weeks than work out, ever. I've been skimping on the running, because wow yeah oh boy I hate running like everyone else, but I have been trying to walk or hike more, which I enjoy.


Jenna: So despite my rough week last week, and the fact that this past weekend was Memorial Day, which included way too much alcohol (vodka soda is the best of the worst though, right?!), I had the most incredible thing happen! I was at the gym getting my morning workout in, and a girl pulled me aside and asked if I had lost weight. SOMEONE NOTICED! All my hard work was finally starting to show! I can't even begin to tell you how happy this made me. She made my day and didn't even know it. So if you are reading this, Angela, THANK YOU!

Krista: So, this week I had a pair of white capris that I tried on earlier this year and almost got rid of because they were too tight. I tried them on and they fit and they weren't even super tight! I was really excited because I was starting to feel like I was going backwards the past two weeks. It just makes me realize your brain can play tricks on you. I was pretty much certain that I wasn't getting any results.

Macey: It's weird: I haven't felt like I've been progressing this week, although my measurements have told me otherwise. I've been able to fit into things that I had trouble fitting in before (like Krista), but I don't feel like I'm working out hard enough or something and it's making me anxious — almost panic-attack anxious. Maybe it's because my body is used to the diet and exercise now? I don't know. Also, remember how I said that I hated running? Well, I ran 3 miles for the first time in my life, up and downhill even — with help of course (shout-out to my boyfriend/drill sergeant/personal trainer).


Jenna: This past weekend was my birthday (woo!), so needless to say, festivities were to be had. Before my birthday brunch, I got ready to hit up the local SoulCycle by my house, and for the first time during this challenge, I actually noticed the changes in my body! There's still no six-pack or anything, but I finally feel like my hard work really is paying off! YAAAASSSSSSS!

Krista: I was out of town during part of this week, and let me tell you, it wasn't easy. It's hard, especially when you're out to eat at a new restaurant and you have to tell your brain to pick the healthier option even when it doesn't sound as appetizing. I did eat a fried green tomato, though, because I GOTTA LIVE. I was pretty proud of myself because the morning of the flight I woke up at like 5 a.m. and worked out for two and a half straight hours doing three of the four days' workout routines so I didn't feel guilty skipping.

Macey: My coworker and I bought a cupcake (gluten-free!) for Jenna for her birthday and it was very hard not getting three for myself. I learned my lesson with that donut though for sure — reliving that sick sugar rush feeling is not something I want. Meal prepping and working out every day has been waaay easier the past couple of weeks. At first, it seemed like a chore, but now I look forward to waking up and jumping around my living room alone and making blueberry cauliflower protein smoothies at 8 a.m. If you're reading this and have been personally offended by my smoothie noises, I'm truly sorry, but also get over it.

Instagram: @buzzbabeschallenge

Jenna: Meal prepping has become so easy now. When we first started this challenge, I stuck to the weekly menu like it was my job (I guess in this case it kinda was?)! But now, I have figured out the things I like to eat and I am able to throw together good choices from just things I find in my fridge! I have forgotten that this is an eight-week challenge and feel like it is just normal life now. I would also like to point out that making your food at home is much cheaper than going out to eat all the time. I feel much more in control of not only what I put in my body, but my budget as well.

Krista: Picking the "healthier" options seems to be more natural for me now. But I will be honest. I am so ready to have a day off from working out. This last week I have been in that "home stretch" mode and I caved and drank a Diet Mountain Dew. Everyone said I wouldn't even like it after not having it for so long, but my dear friends, you are wrong. It was delightful and I only had a small amount of guilt afterwards lol. I feel like this week the workouts are harder, but I think it is because I my schedule got messed up from being out of town last week.

Macey: I had the worst morning leg cramp of my life, a charley horse if you will, that radiated from my right calf to my gluteus maximus (aka my butt) that lasted almost 30 minutes to one hour that left me in weird positions on and half off my bed in attempt to stop writhing in pain. I've never experienced this feeling in my 27 years on earth. Could it have been because I had two too many frosés (aka frozen rosés) at a BBQ the day before and then proceeded to go to two shows afterward? Possibly? Could it have been because of the almost 5-mile trek from DTLA to Echo Park I took in the harsh midday sun to combine my daily exercise with actually having to pick up my car after its battery died the night earlier? I mean, probably. At least I tried.


Jenna: The before and after pictures may not look like much to you, but to me...I lost 11 pounds! I am beyond excited! But even more so, I am so happy to have learned how to eat right for my body. I have always been a crazy workout person, but diet, my friends, is KEY. I always ate decently healthy, but now I know how to portion correctly, and what types of foods are best at what times of the day. I feel like I gained so much knowledge and broke bad habits. Meal prep and healthy choices are now so natural. The question my friends asked me on the last day was "What are you going to eat now that its over?!" Well, friends, I went crazy and got...a salad with cheese. You heard me right: My treat to myself was goat cheese on my salad! I didn't even want something crazy unhealthy. Who is this girl I've become?! I don't know, but I like it! Even though the official challenge is over, I will still carry this nutrition plan into my normal life. I feel amazing and much more confident. I would call this a win in my book.

Krista: First of all, I think my ass is bigger because of all the butt exercises. I also noticed that I gained muscle mass in my arms and calves because when I saw the measurements were a little bit bigger, I was like WTF and quickly had to remind myself that I grew some muscle there. Overall, I think the one word I would use to describe the past eight weeks is: accountable. You have to be accountable for the foods you eat, what you drink, and the amount of time you spend working out. I think going forward I will start paying more attention to what I am putting in my body. Is my diet soda habit kicked? No, sorry, I love it too much. But, I will be drinking it way less. I also think I learned that working different parts of your body feels good, not just running all the time. I found myself wanting to do the workouts after it was over because I like how I felt after I did them. I did NOT find myself wanting to eat all the healthy foods, though. I was ready for all the foods!!! One thing that I thought was that I was going to get really toned legs and all my cellulite would be gone. That didn't happen. Now I see that it is just unrealistic. I feel pretty toned and I still have cellulite, so I just need to be more accepting of my body. But I am going to definitely be more mindful of what I do eat — it's all about balance and just doing what is good for your body.

Macey: I almost can't believe that I got through this — or did this, really. I've learned so much over the past eight weeks that it didn't even matter to me what my before and after photos looked like, although they were interesting to see. I wake up every day now and make time for breakfast because I want to, and it makes me feel more prepared for the day. I used to feel a weird pent-up energy in my body, like I needed to run or work out, which for sure affected how I felt mentally, and now I have an easy outlet for it. I'm making better choices with the foods that I eat, and I know what portions are ideal, which was something I had struggled with before. It improved my mood, it created healthy habits, and it made me feel like I had my shit together for once. Thinking about Domino's cheesy bread at this point makes me feel a little sick — but that definitely doesn't mean that I won't eat it ever again, that's for sure.