Amanda’s Journey Overcoming Diet Obsession

*CONTENT WARNING: DISORDERED EATING

It’s human nature these days to want everything fast. It’s the all-­‐or-­‐nothing mindset. The go big or go home attitude. And boy did things move fast when I first got started in the fitness industry.

At 22 years old, {didn't care how I treated my body. I ate crap, drank a lot, and hardly ever slept}, I jumped head first into the fitness modeling industry thinking this was what I needed to find the stability in my life I craved. I thought if I could control eating too much and become a successful fitness model, I would finally fill that emptiness I was running from. Instead, the opposite happened, and it all happened really fast.

Take it to the next level

After a couple photo shoots, I decided to "take it to the next level" and compete in a local bikini competition. {Aka, go on a stricter, new diet}. I went two complete months without one treat! Not even one hershey kiss, not an extra serving of fruit, not even a glass of wine. *Gasp!* At the time I felt dedicated. I thought, “this is what fitness is.” And if I’m really laying it all out on the table for you, I felt like a badass. 

I was eating too little, running hours a day on the treadmill, popping crazy fat burners, working multiple jobs, and never getting any sleep. But this was the "lifestyle" that others were living around me as well, that I honestly forgot about what life outside the gym even looked like. So I kept going.

How three almonds brought me to tears

I was obsessed with everything I put into my mouth to the point of crying when I had three extra almonds. (Yeah, it was that bad.). And all of this unhealthy fear and obsession was in the name of health and fitness. Or what I thought was health and fitness.

A weird thing happened though. Clearly, I was a mess, but that’s not what I heard from people. On the outside, people were saying, “OMG, Amanda! You are so skinny, and your body looks ah-­‐maaaazing!“ "OMG, Amanda I want to do what you're doing!" but on the inside my body was crashing. 

I felt depressed. My energy was at an all time low. My face was sunken in, and my skin looked so much older than it should for someone in her early twenties. I was also more confused than ever about which foods were considered “healthy.”

Then there was the all-­‐time biggest sign that I was an unhealthy, active woman: I didn’t have a menstrual cycle for over a year and a half. (Which some people around me even praised because that just meant I was super lean, right? No.) Later I found out that was my body’s way of yelling, “Hey! I’m having a hard enough time supporting just you with the limited amount of calories you’re giving me for all this crazy exercise you do! There’s no way I could support a baby. I’m just shutting down that option altogether until we can get healthy again!

My life had become one diet after another. 

I had just turned 24 years old, finished three photo shoots, worked a few major spokes modeling events, and won my second fitness­‐bikini competition. On the outside it looked like I had made it. But on the inside I was more confused than ever before. 

Did I reach my goal to have abs? Yes.  

Did I reach my goal to lose weight? Yep.  

Guess what else I lost? I lost a couple birthday weekends with my friends. I also lost the energy to study for my exams. I lost some of my hair. I also lost the motivation to even go to the gym.

It wasn't just me struggling either. Somedays I witnessed friends throw up their food in front of me because they were so scared to gain weight. Other friends hid candy in their rooms because they felt guilty being seen with it or "weren't allowed to eat that".  

This might sound extreme to you, or maybe it sounds eerily like your story. But the pressure to look a certain way, even behind the veil of health and fitness, had driven me and other women who were close to me, (women I loved and respected), to absolutely wreck themselves emotionally and physically.

Confusing women even more

I remember working at one of the fitness expos and standing there with my "dedicated" bag of cold tilapia and asparagus in my hand and looking around. Suddenly everything stopped, and I saw something I hadn't seen before. So many smart, successful women in the industry were obsessing over food, saying no to Thanksgiving dinners, saying no to hanging out with friends on the weekend, and being scared to even have a glass of wine. Including myself. But we were the women that were supposed to be encouraging and helping other women.  

Right then I knew I was doing the opposite for women and confusing them even more with fitness and nutrition. 

Nothing about my "lifestyle" said BALANCE. Nothing. That’s not a role model. That’s not fun. That’s not healthy. That’s not living life.

There’s life after the crazy train.

My relationship with food and working out is infinitely better now. I partnered up with Registered Dietitian, Ander Wilson, and the past two years I have been learning what my body really needs for results while showing other women around the world there is life after the crazy train. And I can’t tell you how much I want this for everyone I meet who is struggling to find a balance between fitness, nutrition, and life. Today, I don’t feel guilty for having a margarita after work or enjoying an occasional hot dog at the baseball game (Is this the same girl who cried over three almonds?). I also discovered there are actually other healthy meal options besides plain chicken and broccoli *gasp*. 

But we knew just sharing our stories wasn't going to clear up the diet nonsense that women had been fed over the years. You needed something more. That's why this year, we can't wait to grab your hand and show you a world that we didn't even know existed three years ago.  We can't wait to show you how to still enjoy your weekends with friends and family and feel good about yourself. But most importantly. We can't wait to show you that you're not alone and nothing is wrong with you. Let us show you that living a healthy, balanced life (without dieting) really is possible. 

Join us in the Hot & Healthy Habits 12 Week eCourse here and discover how to love your body without dieting, without supplements, without detoxes or cleanses, without hours in the gym.

xo,

Amanda