Amanda has been on an incredible journey of weight loss in the past year, and as she says, she’s “not done yet.” But while she has lost weight, she’s gained confidence and determination.
“I’ve never felt this good, ever, and I’m just getting started,” she told me over the phone. Just from the sound of her voice, I could tell she said it with a huge smile.
Amanda is one of those people that makes you smile and feel good just be being around her. She’s goofy, and she’s accepting of everyone she’s with, making each person she comes in contact with feel special. But just like every person, Amanda has her own internal struggles. And prior to this journey, she probably wouldn’t tell you about them.
Early in her pregnancy for her daughter, there were complications and she was on bed rest starting at 12 weeks. She moved back home with her husband to a small town in Northern Michigan—population of about 200. But the benefit was that she was right there with her family.
She was already overweight, and the bed rest made that worse. At the time, she weighed about 255 pounds, and her muscle couldn’t support her back. She had a C-section, but even after giving birth, she didn’t lose much of the weight.
She recalled a moment holding her daughter that her leg buckled. This really scared her into motion because she didn’t want to put her daughter at risk.
After her doctor gave her the go-ahead to start moving again, she began walking as it was all she could manage. But one foot in front of the other, she had to start somewhere.
She told me that she’s struggled with her weight all her life. She’s tried diets and exercise regimens in the past, but nothing ever stuck. When I asked her what was different this time, it was an interesting answer:
“Like many women out there, I really struggled with post-partum depression. This amplified my emotions times ten. But while it made hard days bad, it also made my good emotions wildly good, too.”
Once she was able to gain some momentum, she received the courage to keep on working at it. She worked toward mini goals until it because structured and a part of her everyday life—logging her food and water intake in a diary and making sure to get some exercise every day.
She told me she originally set a goal of 170 pounds, but now that she’s at 175, she’s aiming for 155. In the past year, she’s lost more than 75 pounds!
“It’s not about having a diet,” Amanda said. “I mean like today I had 6 donuts,” she laughed. “It’s about knowing the balance. It has to fit with your lifestyle.”
Her journey so far has been incredible. Amanda struggled with her body image and her weight. Other women struggle with money issues. Other women struggle with feeling like they need a relationship to complete them. Everyone’s struggle is different. What amazes me so much about Amanda’s journey is that she picked a goal, and she stuck to it. She didn’t let little bumps in the road or “bad days” stop her from reaching toward where she wanted to be.
Amanda is full of positive wisdom, that I could fill the whole page with inspiring things she’s said.
“Everyone struggles with something,” she tells me. “We’ve been taught to compare ourselves. We have to stop it. We just have to be our best selves. It takes time, but you can achieve it. The struggle is real, but you’ll be okay.”
Amanda knows first-hand that talking about your body image can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. But it’s okay to ask for help. She admits that without the people that she relies on, she couldn’t have done it. At least not with such great momentum.
She has been sharing her story and motivation for others on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube because she wants to encourage others to chase after their goals. “If I can do it, I know anyone else can too!”
How Amanda’s Story Inspired Jewelry
When I thought about how I wanted to design the collection based around Amanda’s story, something in me was drawn to animals. I don’t have a clue why. My late-night Google research brought me to spirit animals, and I instantly knew that I had to incorporate a dolphin into this design.
The dolphin spirit animal embodies balance and harmony while approaching life with fun and humor. I thought this was perfect for Amanda!
Here are some sketches of the jewelry collection:
10% Donate to Charity
Ten percent of the sales from The Amanda Collection will be donated to the YWCA Great Lakes Bay Regions' empowerment camps. They strive to help young girls learn early on to love themselves and learn how strong they can be.