Hello! I'm Amanda. A little over two years ago I had 50 extra pounds on my 5-foot-1 body. I loved "junk" food and I loved being lazy. I was so content living my life that way but I did not love the way it left me feeling. At one point, something clicked and I found an amazing surge of motivation to do something about my unhappiness. I decided to change my life around and commit myself to a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise and proper nutrition. Two years later, with voracious determination and a lot of soul searching, I am in the best shape of my life and extremely happy with the growth I have done physically and mentally.

This blog is my outlet to assess my new lifestyle, see my progress, grapple with the struggles I still incur and continue my journey to find peace within myself. As a product of a positive lifestyle overhaul, I hope my story and struggles could inspire and motivate others to work towards their goals to be happier... because it CAN BE DONE!!

-Read more about my journey-

-My personal photo blog-

I’ve never swore so much during a NTC workout. But Sonja Moses’ workout KILLED me and I cursed the bitch, yelled “F’CK you!”and shouted “are you KIDDING me it’s not done yet?????” and then thanked her at the same time. I’m sorry in advance, I’m crazy. Shows how much I’ve been lagging in the fitness department.

But life has taken an interesting plot twist and I find myself continuously hitting the books. I will do a run or workout sparingly throughout my studies, but more often than not, I’m being pretty studious. My last journey exploring the nutrition field has lead me to think about the bigger picture of healthcare and inquire about the whole scale rather than simply preventative care. My heart belongs to preventative care as it is what changed my life, but as I dove into the field and spoke to those that needed preventative care the most, oftentimes they needed SO MUCH more care. Their blood pressure chronically high or even that preventative care was out of scope and they were genetically predisposed to mental/physical illnesses or cancers. I’ve gained so much more compassion and insight to reality after seeing this and experiencing this that it has altered my career plans and is propelling me to strive for my master in Entry Level Nursing. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not betraying my preventative care friends, but it would kill me if I wasn’t able to help others more. I will always and foremost be an advocate for prevention.

As I finished my year long nutrition program, I made the decision to go back to school full time and get the right pre-requisites to apply for nursing schools. The CHANGE IS IMMINENT AND SCARY, but so good for me and exactly what I want to do. I want to be able to help people ESPECIALLY those I love and my future family. Also, I’ve been so emotional lately like a blubbering whale and….. I really don’t know what’s happening to me in that regard haha.

PAYCE, one love.

From today’s farmers market haul comes this godly meal of eggs, chard, beans I sprouted/cooked and @farmhousekraut Smoked Jalapeño kraut. #foodnerd #tfti #incomprehensible #mylowerGIwillloveme

Fermented oats. I just let a batch of these sit out overnight in hopes for the good bugs to come out because I’ve been fascinated with gut health. The gut is full of “good” bacteria that promotes normal gastrointestinal function, provides protection from infection, regulates metabolism, and comprises our immune system. But crappy diets full of refined carbohydrates and sugar, stress, antibiotics, and more can make the bad bacteria take over and upset the balance, according to Nicole Ferring Holovach, MS, RD, LDN over at Whole Health RD. I love her blog but she hasn’t updated in awhile!

This imbalance can affect the lining of the stomach and intestines, making them more permeable and allow large protein molecules to escape into the bloodstream. These proteins don’t belong outside of the gut, and so the body mounts an immune response and attacks them, resulting is pesky symptoms and sometimes disease and disorders like IBS.

Fermenting generally increases the digestibility, probiotics, and absorption of vitamins and minerals in foods. Whole grains contain a substance called phytic acid, which can inhibit absorption of calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Just cooking grains will reduce the phytic acid to some extent, but soaking, fermentation, and sprouting are more effective, Nicole says.

AMAZING.

So I made her recipe:

Equal parts steel-cut oats and plain yogurt (I do 2 cups) in a large bowl and let it sit on the counter overnight. Nicole says, the warmth of room temperature allows all the good yogurt bacteria to break down the oats. To warm it up, mix a half cup of the mixture with a half cup of water and nuke it for three minutes. Put favorite toppings.

And while eating well to treat your gut helps, it’s also how you manage stress. After reading more in depth about how your gut is like your second brain, it definitely makes sense to treat it well considering extremely common disorders like IBS occur due to problems with brain-gut signals & mental health, causing GI motors to malfunction.

Go, gut go!

Here is a talk that my boss posted by Stephanie Snyder of Urban Flow Yoga. On a whim, I gave it a listen and 10 minutes later, I truly felt inspired, enlightened and reflective of my journey through life. It struck a chord with me and threw me back to the reality of a previous life that I constantly hid from, that kept me from being honest with myself and bound me to “shackles of shame.”

I, by no means had a difficult life – I had a roof over my head, I was fed and clothed and educated and I had a family that was very loving. There was nothing to complain about and yet there was still that darkness, in my own head… Cloudy thoughts of depression, of self-loathing, of embarassment. And it kept me hostage and even my potential hostage too.

Even way back when, I said it HERE first:

Underneath all the excess weight was a happy, energetic, adventurous woman – she was just being brought down by lethargy.

The weight was the initial issue, but furthermore, it was the continuing downward spiral my mind was taking me… and it looked like there would be no way out. It was my sick mind that turned itself against me and made me HATE myself.

OH boo freaking hoo, you were a fat girl, you say.

Ha, EXACTLY.

After all those years of self-loathing and pity… FINALLY… there was a moment I realized my own potential and gave a BIG eff you to feeling sorry for myself. “What the fuck are you going to do about it?” I said to myself.

So I took action and shed those extra 60 pounds and those crippling thoughts. I could say this story over and over again because goddammit, it was such a BIG part of my life… the majority of my life. And I’m still reeling over it. But clearly, there is something different within me.

What you hide from the world owns everything you do. Your most successful existence will come from making friends with your broken places and being of service.

-Stephanie Snyder

I am still an emotional piece of work, but I am trying to work with it instead of against it. To really know myself. But I know now that I am genuinely happier to be in my own skin.

I’m lovin the upgrade to the Nike Training Club app where there are now programs you can follow for a month or so. It’s so nice to get those checks in and it’s motivating to follow the plan (whoopsie I didn’t do the dynamic yoga that day but I did make up for it on another day ;) I noticed they did change it a little so that there are 5-10 sec breaks between the workouts and I don’t know if I like the too much. It’s probably safer that way but I don’t feel I get the same workout. I like it hard if ya know what I mean!!!

But it’s awesome in order to get back into the swing of things after feasting this holiday season.

I recently acquired an UP24 by Jawbone activity tracker from my ever-so-thoughtful boyfriend for Christmas and I’ve instantly noticed how much more motivated I am to keep moving and reaching the goals laid out for me. I don’t have any others to compare it to, but the fact that it compels me to move more, drink more water and get enough sleep makes me obsessed with it.

Last night for instance, I needed to reach my goal. But at the end of the night, I was short 2,000+ steps. I then shadow boxed until I reached that goal. Felt Awesome.

I’ve had it for a week now, but it won’t let you get too comfortable. If you consistently reach your goal, it will give you challenges to further test your limit. All of which I gladly accept. What I am really loving that it’s making me do right now is track my water intake.

The sleep feature is also really nice and tracks your sleep in-depth. You can find out your “Light Sleep” and “Deep Sleep” hours, as well as how fast you actually fell asleep and how many times you woke up during the night.

Every day the app provides you with new tips and tricks to become healthier and more fit.

It’s something I fully endorse if you are ever inclined to get a fitness tracker!!

Love this beautiful, short film on running and life. The sound of footsteps, breathing and the rhythm of addiction.

SICK of FREEEEZING, so worked on being hot!!!!

Did a run and t25.

But… Now I’m cold again.