Fitness sensation Tanjie Brewer shares what working out and staying active has taught her
By Tanjie Brewer Magazine Contributor When the word fitness comes to the mind of many, it’s often wrapped around a persona, an ideal body type, or maybe a thought that it will take a lot to maintain. Some also see it as a destination that’s too challenging to reach. For a moment and while reading, I want you to erase your current definition of fitness and explore it fresh. It is a journey that we all are gifted to take, and it is not a destination that anyone will ever make. Fitness. A word that is timeless and fitting for everyone. Beginning with fit and adding “ness” upgrades that simple word to define a part of one’s health. When you add “ness” to the end of a word, it means that it is the quality of state or condition. Therefore, fitness is the condition of being fit and it is the quality of one’s life. I think that we all can agree that quality is important. Take that cheap pair of shoes for an example. Many of us can attest to buying for style rather than quality once or twice in our life. That material doesn’t give, and it confines those precious toes. You discover this when you pull them from your closet for a long night out on the town. Shortly into your exciting evening, you feel your feet throbbing and you don’t want to take another step and you ask yourself, “why didn’t I purchased a quality pair?” A wonderful evening interrupted by a decision that didn’t serve you well. Now ask yourself this question. Am I stepping into the quality of being fit and walking in true fitness? Or am I hesitant to take another step because of the exhaustion and aches of life? If you answer the latter question, it’s time for you to upgrade what being fit means to you and add your ness! Here are some tips. Get serious about fitness. Make an investment! When you make an investment, you are making an exchange for what you believe will yield higher returns. Did you know that after we turn 25 years old, we begin to lose muscle and from then on, our body mass index (BMI) continues to change? Losing muscle can lead to osteoporosis, while negative changes in BMI can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease to name a few. However, there is hope and that hope is fitness. The return that fitness will yield from intentional investments is often greater than what can be bargained for. If you look around your home, is there anything to support your fitness goals? Have you purchased a treadmill, peloton bike, elliptical, weight set, a variety of resistance bands, or even that exclusive platinum gym membership card on your key chain? Or, have you put more money into TV’s, expensive furniture, handbags, or that beautiful shiny car in your garage? We often invest in what we believe holds value and will give us a favorable return. Let’s look at the return that investing in a simple quality treadmill will yield you. It’s an exceptional piece of equipment that allows you to run, speed walk, and work on all your heart rate zones. It keeps you accountable to speed and time and takes away the excuse that it is snowing or raining. Studies show that doing just thirty minutes of cardio everyday can improve your cardiovascular health, prevent chronic illnesses, improve your sleep, prevent premature death, and allow you to function optimally overall. Therefore, when you have quality fitness equipment at your fingertips, it’s clear that you value your health and desire to live long and strong. It’s ok to have that nice big screen TV. Just know that doing your cardio while watching it could increase the amount of days you can enjoy it. Get into a flow and be flexible. Fitness must have an everyday flow in your life. Just like eating, going to work, or kissing the person you love, fitness should be a continual and a conscious thought. To achieve this, I recommend setting your workout in your daily schedule as a high priority that cannot be cancelled. This simply means that if the workout doesn’t happen during the time allotted, you will shift it to another part of your day. Too often, fitness is penciled in and erased by life’s many interruptions. Left as a second thought to get to tomorrow or later in the week. It’s vital to know that with fitness comes flexibility. Understand and be flexible with the idea that the route may change. Meaning, the way that you thought you were going to work out that day may not happen. For example, if you were going to the gym and all of a sudden, your sitter cancels, you have to now do your workout at home. Flexibility then is not just about the ability to shift your time but also your method. If your favorite restaurant closed early, you would find a way to eat. Fitness must also be just as important. Don’t let the day stop your fitness flow. Fitness will help you stand confidently in your purpose. It’s important to understand that there is a direct correlation between fitness and the way that it causes one to stand tall in the beauty of their purpose. If energy is lacking from day to day, it’s not easy to diligently go after goals and flawlessly execute. Feeling vivacious helps to maximize every opportunity. Not only that, but it attracts opportunities to us. When you make fitness a priority, the physical results will be revealed, and others can see the mental results as well. You will begin to reflect qualities like fortitude, tenacity, resilience, loyalty, and your passion for life. I recommend writing out your vision and next to it, your fitness goals that will help you achieve it. Know that every time you work out, you are pouring into the very purpose of your life. Your body houses your vision so having a strong one will help you carry it out beyond your dreams. Push beyond your limits. To achieve maximum results, you cannot continue to do what you’ve done in the past. For example, if your routine is to walk everyday around your neighborhood and return home to do a few sit-ups and squats without feeling challenged, it’s time to take it up a few notches. Your workouts must be designed to push you past your comfort zone. This should be happening regularly. There must also be a progression of strength and agility that is measurable. For example, an increase in the weights that you are using or the number of push-ups that you do. It could even be a reduction in the time it took you to run or speed walk around your neighborhood. We all have the ability to go higher and uncover strength we might not have known was there. When walking in true fitness, there is growth and evidence. Get serious, be flexible, stand strong in your purpose, and push beyond your limits! About Tanjie Founder and CEO of Stylish and Fit, LLC, Tanjie’s mission is to promote optimal health, wellness, and esteem/personal development that will last a lifetime. She is a certified personal trainer, certified nutrition coach, licensed fitness instructor, speaker, author, and wardrobe stylist. Her unrelenting passion to see others increase their vitality has transformed the lives of men and women globally. From that passion, was birthed award-winning programs that are near and dear to her heart – Lifestyle of Vitality Challenge and the Circle of Vitality Virtual challenge. Over the years, participants’ testimonials include a reduced dress sized 22 to size 6; 59 pounds weight lost in four months, reduction or elimination of prescription medicines, and countless other testimonials about how lives are being transformed. Her expertise in nutrition, fitness, and fashion contributes to participants overall lifestyle change. She has conducted workshops, events, fashion shows, and guest speaking functions for universities, schools, churches, and other organizations, locally and nationally. She is on a mission to transform lives around the globe. In 2012, the Oklahoma State Legislature presented her a citation of appreciation from Senator Jabar Shumate acknowledging how she has “throughout her career found ways to improve the Greater Tulsa community and empower those around her to grow in knowledge about health and fitness for a better quality of life.” Now residing in the Chicago area, she is excited to expand her reach and continue changing lives. Photography Credit: Vern West.