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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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To Remain Snatched | #goals

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🗣💕My forever goal: to remain snatched all of my days! 🗣💕

A short while ago, a lady complimented me on my physique. She said, “You must workout… oh, and you’re married?! I know your husband is happy… so many people lose themselves after they say ‘I do’”.

I’ve heard that scenario one too many times! The woman (and sometimes the man) looks fabulous leading up to the big day, and months later, “happy weight” settles in.

Well that’s not my story.

Why? Because my fitness is… for me! I’m not perfect, and sometimes I REALLY have to push myself, but it’s always worth it! And although my hubby loves it, I don’t workout for him! I do it because I want to and I need to… for me!

Yes… FOR ME! That is crucial!

Many times, we as women do things to please everyone, but ourselves! It’s not always intentional, but it can be so destructive if we are constantly striving to live up to the expectations of others (which can change in an instance). We must get (back) to that place of doing things for OURSELVES and to OUR Satisfaction!

I want to live long, and enjoy every moment of this thing called life! And I am extremely grateful to be able to enjoy it with my hubby… he reaps the benefits for sure!

I want to look and feel amazing in my body every single day! I want my clothes to fit to my liking and, quite frankly, I want to walk up to the mirror and love what I SEE… ME!

I want God to be able to use me! 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

Make the commitment to yourself… for yourself… and watch things TRANSFORM in you life💕💕

You Belong 

No matter where you go, nor the paths you cross… Remember, your gifts made/(are making) room for you, and you belong here! You don’t need anyone’s permission to be great!  Let go of your insecurities and show the world who you are and what you’re made of! The world is waiting for you to walk boldly in your gift! 

Be Great,

Reese

#fierceandRefined