TNB Fitness Member Spotlight: Tonya Keen

How long have you been a member of TNBFITNESS?

Since June 2016


What attracted you to TNBFITNESS/What motivated you to join TNB?

“The Amazing 12.”  I met someone who was going through “The Amazing 12” program, one of the more advanced programs at TNB, and I thought to myself, “12 weeks – that’s what I need.”  Looking back, I believe the reason why I was attracted to that program was for the wrong reasons … I thought I could commit to 12 weeks.  I didn’t realize that I was walking into TNB very broken and I would need much more than 12 weeks to put all those pieces back together.  When I started at TNB, I had a list of “challenges” that I relayed to Tash (because for a long time I believed these things had kept me from being successful at losing weight and staying consistently healthy).  The most recent things in my life that had “held me back” were a total thyroidectomy, hysterectomy, knee surgery, and most recently, a lupus diagnosis.  Tash’s suggestion:  “Let’s hold off on the 12-week program, write you a three-month program designed just for you, commit three days a week to it, and then we’ll move forward from there.”  What?  “We’ll move forward from there?”  I immediately thought I was already a failure before I ever started, but do you know what I eventually found out?  Even though that day I felt like I was “giving in” and already taking a step “backward,” I have since learned from Tash that failure won’t make me successful at the gym.  She already knew that.  I had yet to learn it.  She knew if she set my goals too high in the beginning, either my body or my mind would have quit.  So, she set a reachable goal for me, since I didn’t know how to set them myself, and five months later, my entire life has changed in so many more ways than I thought it would when I first looked at the pictures of the people who went through “The Amazing 12” on TNB’s website, and I feel just as proud of myself of the things I have accomplished as I imagine those people must feel.


How do you feel now compared to when you started training at TNB?

HEALTH:  When I walked into TNB, I had a myriad of prior/current health problems that I thought would influence my time at the gym and my results from the gym.  I had a total thyroidectomy and hysterectomy, which challenges weight loss, and I had just gotten a lupus diagnosis, which makes my joints hurt like rheumatoid arthritis and produces a fatigue like I have never known.  Since TNB, my thyroid labs have improved so much that I have had to decrease the dosage of medication I take (and that hasn’t happened for the six years that I have been on that medication), and my lupus went into remission.

PHYSICAL:  First of all, I know I am just weeks away from being able to do a push-up!!  I can’t wait!!  Also, when I was straightening my hair the other day, I swear I saw a muscle in my biceps.  I even took a picture of it because I was so excited!  I can’t say I’ve ever seen one of those in my arms.  I still play competitive volleyball, and I have had more than a handful of different people remark on the significant rise in my play.  I am more mobile, move faster, and am hitting harder than I was 10 years ago.  I am renovating a house right now also, and since TNB, it is easy for me to sustain the rigor of tearing out walls, ceilings, floors, and much more for six or eight hours every single day.  These are just a few things off the top of my head that have changed.  There have been many, many changes like them in these last five months.

MENTAL:  I’M PUMPED!  I feared making this commitment to a gym because I had always failed at consistency.  I would say five months is a predictor of success here!  I did have to get over the guilt I associated with leaving work and family to focus on myself.  I have realized that focusing on me is one of the least selfish things I can do, because it makes me more empathetic and supportive of others who are trying to focus on themselves to be better and do better.  It has fostered more of an “Im’ma do me; you do you” kind of mindset where I encourage the people around me to grow at their own pace and on their own terms.  That’s important to me.


How has TNB helped you reach your goals?

To be truthful, I believe the first day I met with Tash for the consult, she asked me what my goals were, and I said that I wanted to see what my potential was.  Whew – that left it wide open, huh?  I think the answer was vague because I had no idea what my goals were.  I started TNB really on a whim, and it turned out to be exactly what I didn’t realize I desperately needed.  What do people like me need?  We don’t particularly know because people like me lead crazy busy lives, and the one thing we never make time for is ourselves, so naturally we don’t usually take a lot of time to figure out what WE NEED.  My physical health and mental wellbeing are an afterthought most days.  I bet there are a lot of people out there that identify with that.  So, what are my goals after five months at TNB?  I make them up as I go, and I keep them pretty short-term.  Maybe I have been reluctant in the past to make goals at the gym because I would always somehow stop working out when life got too busy or stressful.  Then, how has TNB helped me reach my goals?  Tash and the team knew what I needed before I did, and it is being revealed to me all along my TNB journey.  After five months of faithfully following TNB’s workout program, I have already reached a goal that I haven’t ever even attempted to set at a gym after high school and college athletics – “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.”  If I had known the sense of pride I would feel just by showing up at that gym three days a week and surrendering to the process, it would have been the first goal on my list.  Go ahead and check that one off.


What advice would you give to a person looking to join TNB?

MEASURE and MANAGE.  Make measurable goals and manage your expectations.  When I first came to TNB, I wanted to join the “Amazing 12” program so I could get ripped in three months!  (Apparently, you can’t go from zero to 10 that quickly, so “x” that goal off the list).  I also wanted a tight butt because I have to wear a bathing suit to play volleyball all summer and everyone else that I admire rocks these cute little two-piece bathing suits.  (Oh, I’m 43 and haven’t worn a two-piece in about 10 years, so “x” that one off the list too).  I thought since I was starting at the gym that I should begin to eat flawlessly so I could lose weight fast.  (Well, I love a good cupcake every now and then and am addicted to the way Coke makes my throat feel like “acid on a battery,” so just go ahead and “x” that one off the list while we’re at it).  Here is where MEASURABLE GOALS and MANAGING EXPECTATIONS comes in.  Start with a few goals that you can measure.  My first goal was literally to commit to being at the gym for three days a week for three months.  My second goal was to introduce 8 glasses of water back into my daily routine.  My third goal was to do a push-up.  Yes, I said “a” push-up … just one.  Those are the only three goals I decided I could successfully attain at that time, and I figured I would introduce more goals as I went, and I have.  The second piece of advice is to be realistic about your expectations.  I have had to cancel a workout due to a work appointment before, and I had to cancel a few in a row due to injury, but I didn’t allow that to make me feel like I failed.  I didn’t quit.  I came back to the gym that next day or the next week ready to work.  I have also quit weighing myself, and I never thought I would do that.  In the past when I was trying to lose weight, I would sometimes get so caught up in the hype that I would weigh when I got up, then I would weigh after I ate something, and sometimes I even weighed after I went to the bathroom, always thinking, “I wonder if I lost any weight??”  The scale is still in my bathroom, but I haven’t stepped on it in two months.  I even found myself talking to a new member at TNB the other day, repeating to them the words I heard from Tash – “It is not about how much you weigh; it’s about how you feel.”  I still know that I want to lose some weight, and I still cannot do one push-up (although I am VERY close), but I am learning how to make measurable goals and then manage my expectations around them.


Complete this sentence -  TNB is a CHOICE I made to take a CHANCE because I want to CHANGE.  I often think of a question I heard Dr. Phil ask once, “How’s that working for you,” of a client who had just spent 10 minutes justifying bad behavior.  What a simple, but very insightful question.  As far as my life goes, after what seemed like a windfall of health problems over the last seven years, I knew I desperately needed to change my health trajectory.  I remember having to go to Walgreens to get a bigger pill case than the one I currently had, because at that point in time I was taking 23 pills a day, and as I was walking into the store, my inner voice says, “How is this working for you?”  I knew damn well it wasn’t working, but my health problems seemed too overwhelming at that time to tackle, and I thought I was physically too tired to even start.  The day I walked into Tash’s office, I remember thinking to myself – “I hope I can even stay awake for the hour it takes to get to her gym, the hour it will take to work out, and the ride back home.”  That appointment I made with TNB turned out to be the most important step in my whole health journey up to this point because I made the commitment to BEGIN.


Client Last words:

If you are just a regular, ordinary person, who wants to “be” better and “do” better, TNB is the place for you to be successful.  “Success is nothing more than a series of small, systematic steps towards becoming better every single day.”  Every successful person was once an ordinary person like you and me.  In fact, they are still ordinary.  The only difference between ordinary people and successful people is that successful people have learned to develop the habits necessary to make small, but consistent improvements day after day, month after month, year after year.  It’s about creating systems and turning those systems into habits.  I have decided that TNB is one of those “systems,” and I am busy three days a week to turning that system into a good habit.  We are creatures of habit, but most people (like me) have developed bad habits, and it is easier to keep doing the same thing rather than make a change.

So, decide to make a small change today.  Small changes are easier to achieve and maintain, and are more likely to become habits and lead to success.