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5 Expert Tips for a Successful Fitness Journey | An Interview with Certified Personal Trainer, Patricia Opong-Brown

Hey ladies, as you know in last month’s posts,  I’ve shared about my fitness journey! Many of you have popped into my DMs to ask for more details on how to get started and keep going.  So I thought, what better way to get you ladies what you’ve asked for than to partner with the expert! In today’s post, I’m sharing the expert fitness tea, as told by Patricia Opong-Brown, Certified Personal Trainer! Check out her 5 expert tips for a successful fitness journey! Enjoy and be encouraged!

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1. What is the best way to start a fitness journey?

Depending on your medical history, the first step is to get clearance from your doctor to rule out any restrictions. Second, define your why (weight loss for improved health, run a 5k, do 10 push-ups etc). Fitness is a habit for life, not a temporary fad. Once you determine your why, you can seek the help of a personal trainer, a registered dietitian or a nutritionist, join a gym, or take classes online such as on YouTube.

2. What is the best way to stay focused?

Set a goal that is realistic and manageable for your life. For instance, if you want to lose 40 pounds within a certain period of time, set small goals. Often times, people set goals that they want to complete in a short time period, and end up disillusioned when the pace of weight loss starts to slow down. Loosing one to two pounds a week is realistic, and will keep you motivated. Regarding time at the gym, it’s better to exercise a certain number of days per week than to generally tell yourself that you’ll workout. For instance, exercise three times a week and stick to that goal.

3. Any expert advice on food/balance?

I highly recommend you seek the help of a registered dietitian or nutritionist to help with healthy eating. In my experience, using an app such as MyFitnesPal is a fantastic way to track the food that you are eating and exercise to help you loose weight and stay motivated.  Remember that most of weight loss starts in the kitchen; keep yourself on track.

4. What is the best workout schedule to adopt?

I’m a strong proponent of adopting a routine that fits your schedule. When you do what works for you, you have a high probability of sticking to it. For instance, if you’re not an early riser and I tell you to workout first thing in the morning, you may not stick with it. If you’re exhausted or have a busy schedule in the evenings, but I tell you to exercise, you won’t stick to it. Do what works for you so that you’ll be consistent and set yourself up to succeed.

5. Any other tips/pointers you’d like to add?

There are no shortcuts to fitness or weight loss. Don’t compare yourself to anyone in a self defeating way. Instead, find motivating folks in your life or online. Due to genetics, you’ll loose weight and build muscle at a pace that works for your body. Remember this is a lifetime habit. When you fall off the wagon, dust yourself off and continue.

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Patricia Opong-Brown has a Masters Degree in Communications from Washington State University. She has been working in the fitness industry since 1997 and is a certified Group Exercise and Personal Trainer through Athletics and Fitness Association of America. Patricia currently works at L. A. Fitness and coaches at Orange Theory Fitness in Woodbridge.

You can connect with Patricia on IG @Afuah_Opong on Facebook Fitness with Patricia

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How to Build a Lit 🔥Accountability Squad | Fitness edition | #snatchedforHisglory

In last week’s post I spoke briefly about my fitness journey, and how I lost over 40lbs and kept if off for the past 10 years.  Yes ladies, over 40 whole lbs!   If you missed the tea, Check it out here!

Perseverance and determination are absolutely necessary to stay the course, but I wouldn’t be as on top of my game if it weren’t for my accountability squad, #Teamsnatched. Yes, that’s our name!  When I tell you our group is poppin’, just know we get it done! Yaaaasss! So I’m here to share 3 key tips on how to build a lit accountability squad, to keep you on course during your fitness journey!

1. connect with like minded individuals. 

Connect with people who have the same passion for the journey! Not just the talkers, but the doers. People who are putting in the work. My fitness accountability started with just one of my closest girlfriends.  We both wanted to commit to a weekly workout routine, and just overall healthy living. So we decided to do it together. We started each week by stating what we’d commit to for the next 7-days, and from there we’d check-in once the workout for the day was complete.  It was wonderful, especially on those days when I didn’t feel like it. I had that extra push in knowing a pair of emoji side-eyes would come my way, if I missed a check-in!

Now, our group has grown to about 5 solid! We post videos clips of our workouts, check-in while at the gym, and ultimately CELEBRATE our progress and daily triumphs!  It’s amazing! #teamsnatched is where it’s at for us!  

If you’re seeking to start a group, be sure to connect with those who share that same level of commitment to the journey. 

2. Give just as much as you’d like to receive.

I feel that often times in these groups, we only look to receive. However, you have to give as well.  Don’t just wait around for others to check-in on you, but be sure to return the favor. Be aware of what your group members have been up to.  If a day or two has passed and they’ve gone “ghost”… check-in to see what’s going on. You made the commitment to keep your girl accountable. Remind her of why she started, and let her know you believe in her

Our groups isn’t just about check-ins, we’ve built a community, and it has truly impacted my consistency. We are involved and truly vested in each others’ success. 

Your group will only be as good as you make it, so be sure to contribute, and give 110%. Be present, engage, and encourage!

3. Remove the weak links. #nojudgment 

This isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary. About a year ago at a birthday brunch, the original #teamsnatched duo, (myself and my good girlfriend), happened to mention our fitness group to the table of 9 ladies. Actually, I think she spilled the beans, (you know who you are, lol). It was nearly the start of the new years so of course everyone wanted to join!  I was skeptical, but I wanted to believe it could work. So we added about 5-6 other ladies to our group. We were about 8 strong.

The first week wasn’t bad at all. However, as the weeks progressed, the check-ins were much less frequent.  Overtime, it became evident that the lack of engagement from some, started to affect the overall tone of the group. So a decision had to be made. We checked-in numerous times, and ultimately had to give notice to those who weren’t able to commit. Now there is no judgment, and when they are ready, we will welcome them back with open arms.  However,  to keep our momentum going,  we had to address those who weren’t living up to the standard. 

Accountability is about responsibility from all parties involved. Connect with the right people, be present, and SLAY!

#snatchedforHisglory

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🎥 How I Lost 40 lbs, and Kept it Off | #snatchedforHisglory

My fitness journey has been filled with ups and down, but I’m here with a quick video to share 3 simple, yet fundamental, tips to help you stay the course, and make fitness a lifestyle! Enjoy and be encouraged!

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I WANT to LIVE and LOOK like HIS “royal priesthood”! It’s just that serious to me! You CAN serve the Master and look absolutely fabulous while doing it! 

#snatchedforHisglory

I want to hear from  you! Connect with me on Social Media, Facebook, IG, Twitter and let me know what #SnatchedforHisGlory means and looks like for you! Be sure to use the hashtag for a chance to be featured! xoxo

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Love what you’re seeing? Don’t want to miss any other posts or videos? Well, be sure to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE! Join in for more empowerment tips on how to live your best life; mind, body, & relationships.  And be sure to connect with me on Instagram @Reese__Dennis♥️♥️

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The Way He Looks at Me | The Struggle was Real

There is nothing like having someone say I could tell she was your honey by the way you looked at her all night”!

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That’s what someone said to my hubby this past weekend, while at a wedding celebration. It was like music to my ears! I felt so warm and yummy inside… but can you believe I didn’t always like/appreciate the way he looked at me? Crazy, right? I know, but it’s oh so true! 

A short while ago, whenever I’d catch my hubby looking at me, I’d often respond by asking “what’s wrong? Is it my hair/makeup? What are you looking at?” This list goes on and on, with all the negative things I’d come up with. To my surprise… my hubby wouldn’t take the bait. He’d look at me and say, “I like what I see.

You see, when you struggle with self-esteem,  you often take another’s gaze as an implication of imperfection, rather than admiration.   For me, I kept thinking “can someone really just ‘like’ what they see when they look at me”? The struggle was too real

But there’s this thing called LOVE! And when you begin to discover how to truly love yourself,  you don’t mind when others join in on the celebration! #it’saword

It’s been a long journey to get to this place (so many stories), but I am so thankful to be here. I love the woman I am becoming… and… I, too, like what I see when I look at me! I love myself, and I know just how wonderfully The Master made me! I am beautifully snatched for His glory! ( #snatchedforHisglory … Just wait on it!)

So now, when my hubby looks at me, I can appreciate every moment of his admiration and affection! No negative thoughts; although, he will let me know if I have chip crumbs on my chin! I can now appreciate his gaze, and smile in return! My hubby loves me, and to know that he only has eyes for me is beyond wonderful.

Yes, I’m flawed. But more importantly,

I’m loved and I am his honey ❤

Reese

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Baecation in the Dominican| “We Stopped Waiting for the ‘Perfect’ Moment”

I’m back!

I’ve been away with my Boo Bear in the Dominican, to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary!  How was it? Well, if you’ve ever been to an all-inclusive resort, on a beautiful island, with the love of your life… then you already know the trip was #LIT! And I’m back to share a few flicks, and 3 important lessons learned while overseas!

1. Stop waiting for the right moment and create it! Stop waiting and start living!

Keem and I have been babysitting our passports for the past few months. We were literally waiting for everything to align; our jobs, schedules… etc. We’d sit around and dream/talk about how we can’t wait to take a vacation one day soon. It wasn’t until we heard a talk from Les Brown, that we decided to stop waiting for the “perfect” moment! Tomorrow isn’t promised, all we have is today.  So we booked our first trip out of the country together, and didn’t look back! And the funny thing is that once we made that move… EVERYTHING else came into alignment, and we had the time of our lives! 

If you’re babysitting an idea or a “move”… stop! Take that first step.  Make the phone call, book that flight… leave that job (did I say it, I did)!  Stop waiting for the perfect moment to do what you need/want… CREATE IT!

2. Enjoy the experience

There was so much to take in.  If you’ve ever traveled out of the country then you know it can be overwhelming, especially is there is a language barrier. But Keem and I decided that we were both going to step out of our comfort zones, and enjoy the experience of it all! We didn’t want that “overwhelmed” feeling to keep us trapped in our resort room… We had VIP access, and we just couldn’t let it go to waste.  So we went out, embraced the unknown… and guess what? It was BOMB! From me using my 6 years of Spanish, to “flying” with Superman… all the way to Keem dancing Bachata with me at the pool party…  (yes my honey came to the dance floor just for me ❤)… it was everything and so much more! 

 Now, whenever something arises that challenges us to step out of the box , we have a simple word to remind ourselves to live in the moment; “Experiencion“! (Totally made up, but it’s our thing and I love it!)

So if you find yourself in a situation where you are being challenged to step out of your comfort zone, or faced with feeling overwhelmed… push beyond those feelings and enjoy the experience. Live in the moment, and don’t let the unknown trap you and keep you from living your best life. #livingmybestlife2018

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3. Bonding is the key

The other night as we reflected on our trip, we realized just how much we needed it. Although we see each other everyday, we needed this time to bond and reconnect. We were totally disconnected from our “normal” day to day. No WiFi, no work calls, no social media… just my honey and I! Yes, we are young and in love, but the busyness of life is a real distraction #realtalk. 

So if you’re married, be sure to set aside DEDICATED TIME just for reconnecting.

No, of course you don’t have to leave the country to bond with your spouse, but I’d say be very deliberate with keeping the distraction at bay. Leave the house, find a babysitter if you can, and put the phone down.   I’ve personally gotten into the habit of turning my phone on airplane mode when we go out. Some say extreme, I say I want to give my man my undivided attention when we set aside the time to date!

Yes, it’s just that important!

 

Be encouraged (and live) ❤

Reese