Member Spotlight: Brooke Owenby-Kennedy


Newport News Weight Gym Joe

Here at Coastal Strength & Fitness in Newport News, VA we believe our members are the heartbeat of our great community gym and provide amazing inspiration to others overcoming their own challenges.

MEET BROOKE:

1. When and Why did you first start coming to Coastal Strength & Fitness?

I started Coastal in January 2018. A family friend, who is a member of Coastal, private messaged me one day inviting me to try Coastal. She paid for a FULL YEAR membership for me and, little did I know, how much her generosity would change so many facets in my life. I had lost my husband to cancer in October 2017 and I needed to start taking care of myself after taking care of him (& our 2 sons) while he was sick. When I joined Coastal, I had gained 40 pounds since my husband's cancer diagnosis and I knew it was time to start doing something for my health. I had no idea where or how to start, so the offer to join Coastal back in 2018 was an answer to prayer.

2. What fitness activities/sports were you doing before you joined Coastal?

For several years I did Beachbody videos at home for my workouts since I had two young boys and it was convenient at the time. However, I would only stick to a workout plan for about 6-8 weeks and stop until a new workout plan was released by the company. I tried a kickboxing gym while my husband was sick, but it was pretty hard on my body. After doing gymnastics and springboard diving, I knew kickboxing wasn't going to be a great long-term solution. The first day at Coastal I told Will that he wouldn't see me after 2 months. I was very upfront with them that workouts don't stick and I always stop after 2 months- here I am 4 years later still showing up.

3. What results have you seen since you joined Coastal Strength & Fitness?

The biggest positive change has been my mental health. I have always been extremely hard on myself, but in 2018 I was disgusted with how I had let myself go. I put a lot of limits on myself and the first 2 years at Coastal...I really struggled with getting out of my own way.


I kept trying to be perfect in food/workouts and it wouldn't be sustainable. I would lose 8-12 lbs. in 8 weeks and gain it right back. Once I had one "off" meal, I would beat myself up mentally and stayed off track with food. In January 2020 was up to 212 lbs (heaviest while at Coastal) and my doctor gave me my wake-up call. I had to be placed on blood pressure medicine, I was pre-diabetic and diagnosed with liver disease. I changed my mental approach to food and started preparing 3 meals at 500 calories or less per day. Then Covid hit. Very quickly working out and planning meals were the only things in my life I could control and everything just "clicked".


I found an amazing gym family that was there for me both inside and outside the gym. Today, I have kept off 30 lbs consistently for 2 years. This past summer I went in for a routine check of my bloodwork and all of my numbers have jumped to normal range. I am no longer pre-diabetic and I have a very healthy liver. I was also weaned off anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications and I no longer have high blood pressure.

4. What do you like most about Coastal Strength & Fitness?

The people. Over the years, I have met so many amazing people. I have been able to reach out to other clients for support, get some meal ideas, encouragement, etc. which make Coastal a unique community. I have gained a lot of amazing friendships that will last a lifetime. The coaches are in a class by themselves. The coaches are so approachable and are truly amazing at what they do They have never given up on me and had to have a lot (A LOT) of patience to deal with me.

5. What is your favorite Coastal training day of the week and why?

I guess it would be Monday because it's the beginning of the week and Sunday is a rest day.

Lightning Round Questions:

1. What is your Spirit animal?

Lion.

2. If you were a Superhero, what would your super power be?

To be able to fly. I love heights.

3. What is your favorite treat meal?

A really good platter of nachos with guacamole.

Are you ready to begin your journey to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle?

Come visit us, meet our team, get to know us, learn more about our program, and experience our amazing culture, click here.