For years, Amanda had a difficult time thinking about food as fuel. She battled with both anorexia and bulimia at the same time. "I had a surgery, I was just really down about myself, and I took it out on my body," she recalled. "Once I started eating and it all became bingeing, I knew I had to make a change. That was when I really got into working out." It has been two and a half years since Amanda healed from her eating disorders. Moderation was the key to her success. "I know that if I tell myself 'no', at some point - I'll binge on whatever I've been [denying]," she shared. The road to recovery was a rocky one, but she persevered with the help of the PumpUp community. Amanda managed to balance 12-hour work days on top of academics by using PumpUp for at-home workouts. "I was really lazy before PumpUp," she remembered. "I ate whatever I wanted and I hardly did anything at all. Between PumpUp and the gym, I've become much more active and I watch what I eat more. I've been using PumpUp for 2 years - I downloaded [it] as a way to get myself to work out at home, so I never really had an excuse not to. I love interacting with people and getting and giving advice."
In 2015, Amanda was diagnosed with an inner ear disorder called Menière's disease, which affects her hearing and balance. She openly shared about her struggles with the PumpUp community. "I found out on my birthday this year, and I remember going home and crying," she revealed. "Too much salt can cause dizzy spells, and eventually I might completely lose hearing in my right ear, which is the ear that the disease has affected. Luckily for me, [a company] called FlavorGod and [makes seasonings that] are low in sodium!"
Amanda is truly an inspiration to the PumpUp community. Not only has she triumphed over Menières, anorexia, and bulimia - she also built up an incredible amount of strength. Amanda can push up to 388 pounds on the leg press — over three times her body weight! When it comes to working out, Amanda doesn't always stay indoors. "I'm really big on hiking and I enjoy doing fun 5k's throughout the year," she mentioned. "The gym is great and all, but sometimes the mountains call my name and I just want to conquer them. If [stress gets] me down, I make sure to take a night off to recuperate so that I don't have a breakdown. I also make sure I have at least one full day off a week to just be lazy if I want to."
Amanda's Best Advice
NEVER compare yourself to the people you see online! It's so easy to have a distorted body image when you're looking at other people, the way they look, and the lifestyles they lead. Not everyone can spend every waking hour at the gym, or meal prep for an entire week, or spend the money on at home equipment, personal trainers or insane gym memberships. Do what works for you and your lifestyle. It's not easy to get into an active lifestyle, but when you do, it's very rewarding! You can push yourself to do things you never imagined you could do. For me, that's the amount of weight I'm able to do with different exercises.
Amanda's Proudest Accomplishment
My proudest personal accomplishment is absolutely receiving my associate's degree after 5 long years at a community college. I'll be starting SUNY New Paltz in January to further my education and I couldn't be happier!
Amanda's Support System
When I first got into really working out, my neighbor at my old apartment would be my gym buddy. Now my boyfriend is my support system. He's always there to push me at the gym and I appreciate him so much for it. My biggest role model is my online trainer, Dalis Connell. She's wonderful. I recently lost 5 pounds from one of her plans, she was always there to encourage me and answer any questions that I had.
How Amanda Feels Confident
I feel the most confident when I'm all dolled up to go somewhere; it could be a holiday, out to a fancy dinner, a night out on the town or a birthday party. I really like to be girly and do my makeup, wear dresses and heels. That's always when I feel the most confident. I also feel really confident at the gym, when I'm a sweaty gym rat in workout clothes. Those are total opposites but those are the times I'm the most body confident.
Amanda's Potential Superpower
I would want to be able to fly. I'm sure there's no traffic in the sky for me to get angry about like there is on the roads!
Keep Amanda pumped! Find her on PumpUp and Instagram @mandasaurusflex. Leave positive words of encouragement for her in the comments below.