Staring Down Her Demon: Amanda’s Weight Loss & Fitness Origin Story

We all have our own story. Call it our fitness origin story. I have mine, filled with ups and downs, starts and re-starts. My reasons for making fitness a priority in my life are plenty and I intend on sharing them with you in the near future, but they are my own. You, you have your own reasons, your own story – I hope to hear your story soon.

Today I want to share with you Amanda’s fitness origin story. For those of you who train with Amanda, you know her as the most enthusiastic, strong, fit women in the room. But, what you don’t know is only a few short years ago Amanda weighed 268 pounds and was not happy.

I reached out to Amanda to share her story and hopefully spark a fire in those who feel as if they are stuck. I hope her story will inspire you or someone you know. Please share Amanda’s story with anyone you feel needs a little inspiration right now.

Thank you for sharing Amanda!

Amanda’s Journey

If I’m being totally honest with you, I was in denial about how big I was; I wasted time making excuses why I couldn’t work out and eat better. I wasn’t living.  I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t healthy and I had no one to blame but myself.

I remember the day clearly; it was the end of August 2013, I stepped on the scale and the number that flashed on that small screen shocked me-268 pounds. In that moment I remember feeling anger and sadness, but also relief.   The number scared me but I stared down my demon and knew I had to change because this was no way to live.

I was smart enough to know that my weight had crept over the years and that I wouldn’t loose it all overnight.  I started first by food journaling, I wrote down everything I ate, including how I felt when I was eating. I realized that I was an emotional eater; I ate when I was happy. I ate when I was sad. I ate when I was angry. I realized that instead of processing my feelings I was eating them.

Along with the food journaling I started making small changes to my diet,  eliminating pop and fast food and I added more salads and vegetables.

At the beginning of my weight loss journey I was not comfortable in my skin so the idea of going to a gym scared me. A friend suggested that I try a gym for plus size women, I started with classes, zumba, yoga and resistance training. I lost around 50 pounds that first year with those small dietary changes and moderate exercise.

And guess what happened?

I hit a plateau, no matter what I ate and no matter how often I worked out  that scale wouldn’t budge. I became obsessed with the scale. I’d go on it multiple times a day and I’d let the number colour my day. I knew that it was a time for a change. I found an outdoor boot camp, where  we’d run trails, carry logs and use the environment for the workouts. I started to run daily, with all the cardio I continued to drop the weight. At the two year mark, I had lost about 110 pounds, but I didn’t like the way I looked. I had a lot of loose skin and zero muscle mass.

Enter Brash Fitness and Head Coach Andrew, I recall walking into the gym the first day and being totally intimated by the equipment. At the beginning I couldn’t flip the 200lb tire by myself, I’d make it half way pushing the plate and then need to break, I didn’t know how to do a proper burpee.  Classes were hard (they still are) but I was seeing results and I was addicted. I could do more burpees, push more weight on the sled and flip the 300 pound tire solo. I discovered the joys of barbell work and lifting. I no longer let the scale define me; in fact I don’t even own one.  I love my calloused hands, my thick thighs, my (developing) squat bootay, the way my upper body looks when I flex. The physical changes are great, but what’s even better is that when I have kids I’ll be able to play and chase them for hours without getting winded, and I’ll be a fit granny dead lifting my grocery bags.

I’m going to be honest with you (again), I felt like giving up multiple times, but I pushed through because if being strong and fit were easy everyone would do be in shape. My suggestion, find an activity you love and surround yourself with a squad who builds you up and pushes you to be the best version of yourself. I recently started working on Olympic lifts; nothing makes me feel more like a bad*ss, then when I hit a new PR.  Today I am happy and healthy.

A word of advice; life’s short, make it count, and take care of your spaceship because it’s the only one you get!

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