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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.


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?


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.


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