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Photo of a few of the Royal Squad Fitness members after a class at Fitco Gym. The classes are led by Shanae Roberts on the far right.

Royal Squad Fitness Classes Build Self-Esteem, Encourage Healthy Lifestyle

She’s a young, vibrant wife and mother of two. She is fun-loving, adventurous, and aggressive.

So, who is she?

Introducing: Shanae Roberts.

“I am also a proactive individual that lives by the motto, ‘Life is what you make it; why not make it beautiful?’”

 Taking a trip down memory lane, Shanae recalled what she thought was an ordinary day after heading home from work.

Unexpectedly, something extraordinary happened.

“Throughout the day, I shared aspirations of a dance class that would encourage a healthy life style and fun times. My co-workers, Shavone Ambrister and Jessica Cartwright, both encouraged me that I was doing a great thing, and we were all excited.

“So I mentioned to them that we would need a name for the class – something that would capture the goals of the class, and define who I am and what I stand for. Shavone said ‘Seeing that your kids have profound and meaningful names, you should name the dance class after something of that nature.’”

In that moment, Shavone blurted out, “Royal Squad Fitness.”

Shanae said as they continued to talk, an imaginary light bulb flickered on above her head. She agreed with the name because it spoke volumes to everyone being great in their own way, so she went home and told her husband, Micah Roberts, about the idea they had come up with.

However, her husband was concerned about her eating habits at the time, so he decided to offer his wholehearted support by changing the way they prepared meals.

“At first I was a little timid regarding his proposition, but when I was presented with the first meal, it was ‘love at first bite.’”

Three weeks later, Royal Squad Fitness began with the first session held on February 11, 2019.

“This class was extremely important to me because after having my daughter, I began gaining weight as a result of bad eating habits and water retention. When I looked in the mirror and was unable to recognize myself, having a hard time tying my own laces, and struggling to climb stairs, I knew I had to make a change, if not for anyone else it would be for myself,” Shanae divulged.

She said that another reason the fitness classes were important to her as a health and wellness coach is because she noticed that many women experience a decrease in self-esteem and self-motivation after having a baby as well as those who gain weight in general.

“I took into consideration after a baby is born that the focus is mainly on the beautiful baby and nurturing the child; but who is going to nurture the mother?” she queried. “Physical, mental and emotional health became my main concern. Therefore, as a holistic notion, I aimed for betterment of self as many other women were presented with the opportunity to do the same.”

The ultimate focus of Royal Squad Fitness is to promote a change in the way we eat and to enhance weight loss in a healthy manner. These efforts are a lifestyle change and not a quick fix, Shane emphasized.

“Where Sexy Does Not Have a Size,” is the Royal Squad Fitness motto, and the classes encourage motivation, great laughs, dancing, meal planning, and female empowerment among its members. Participants vary in age from 15 years old and up, and there are presently 15 active members involved.

“Royal Squad is the push that one may need to get started in the right direction,” Shanae reasoned. “This class has a holistic approach to fitness, therefore we do mentoring, stretching, cardio, Zumba, obstacle courses, dancehall and many other genres of dance.”

In the time they’ve had classes, Shanae has seen all of the members “blossom” as they shed pounds and inches.

“I have seen self-esteem growth, and most importantly, I have seen networking amongst my squad whereas they exchange numbers, discuss thoughts, ideas, share experiences, join social media sites, and they encourage each other daily.

“At present, we do not perform at events; however, in the near future we aspire to do so.”

Royal Squad classes are held Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Fitco Gym in the Memorial Plaza.

“The staff of Fitco Gym (specifically Charles and Dawn) has been extremely generous; most nights we are there until closing time, which is 8 p.m.,” she said.

A weight-loss challenge commenced on Feb. 28, and all of the members were weighed and measured by a fitness coach at the gym. After 30 days, the women were all measured and weighed in again including Shanae.

“The scores were tallied on a body mass and measurement chart performed by a gym fitness coach, who is knowledgeable as to how the differences are calculated. Once tallied, I split the winners into two categories: the most inches lost and most pounds lost.”

She announced the winners as Crystal Spicer, who lost a grand total of eight pounds and 15.5 inches and Shavone Ambrister, who lost a total of seven pounds and 24 inches. The reason she selected two winners was because she realized that some body types differ, and it would have been unfair to only measure weight loss and not the amount of inches lost.

“I, myself, would be considered an inches kind of person. During the challenge, I lost seven pounds and 14 inches. Weight loss altogether is not easy, no one gains weight overnight, and weight loss is another story for another day.”

Shanae is convinced that weight loss goes hand in hand with mental and emotion wellness, noting that once the three are in alignment, you will see and feel the results of a better, healthier you.

On a personal level, Royal Squad Fitness has brought the sense of “me” that Shanae felt she had lost.

“This class has restored my health patterns, my daily motivation and certainly my inner strength. It brings me great joy to see that not only myself can see and feel results, but my squad members are living their lives like it’s golden,” she expressed.

At this time, all classes are held indoors. Collectively, the members agreed to start small and when the class grows in membership, more days may potentially be added or they may switch up the venue from time to time.

In the meantime, participants can bring a bottle of room-temperature water and a face towel to class.  The cost is $15 for the first class, and $10 thereafter; $5 is allotted for a one-time only registration fee with the first payment.

For anyone interested in joining the Royal Squad Fitness classes, Shanae Roberts can be contacted at 1(242) 824-4748 or via her Facebook page: RoyalSquadFitness.

About Canishka Alexander

Canishka Alexander was born in New Providence, but spent most of her childhood years on Abaco. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Abilene Christian University.

Although she has accomplished many things in life, her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her four children. She loves God, her country and people of all cultures.

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