1. Hi Amanda! Please tell us about yourself.
I have an office job.
I love being outside.
Exercise is how I socialize with my friends…running, hiking, skiing, making dates to go to yoga, biking, swimming.
I believe in volunteering and give 6-20 hours a month to help get kids outside for the Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center or for the Chugach State Park Advisory Board.
2. You’ve been working with FF for a few years now. What initially motivated you to seek us out?
I saw the changes that Holly Spoth-Torres created for herself working with FF. I wanted those same changes and I have been working and trying and struggling to make those changes to my own body for years.
I was scared at the possibility that I could create similar changes in my own body. I saw the tag line on the website “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do things you’ve never done.” I saw, and still see, that working with FF is the way I can get there.
I have been very active and “fat” my whole life. Since my 20’s I have been working at becoming fitter, stronger and healthier. Working as a Hotshot I started learning about fitness.
My paradigm, or the story I always told myself, is that there is no way I will ever be “skinny” or small. I saw that FF offered something different, that I could change the story I tell myself. That was my motivation.
3. You’re a super active person, and being healthy and strong is obviously important to you. What kinds of physical things do you like to do outside of the gym?
Hiking and backpacking is what makes me happiest. Skiing, running, biking, pack rafting also make me happy. I struggle to balance my desire to be outside and do these things I love so much with my desire to fundamentally change my body by working out at Bootcamp or lifting weights. It sounds strange, right? You would think that hiking, skiing, running would make me healthier and automatically “thinner?”
I have learned that if fat loss is my primary goal (for the short term), I actually have to limit the amount of time I am running, skiing or doing these endurance sports. I have learned that my body holds onto fat when I stress it out with endurance activities. Learning to prioritize my goals, so they do not compete with each other is something I will always work on.
4. You’re pretty big on goal setting. What are some of your big bucket list goals you’re looking forward to crossing off the list in the next year?
Woohoo! I am going to hike 12 of the 5,000′ peaks in the front range of the Chugach mountains in 1-2 days! Why? Because it’s a huge goal to strive for…because I love hiking and want to know my backyard better…because the skill set needed and endurance needed to accomplish a goal like this will keep me improving myself in a way I want…because I will be doing one of the things I love the most in preparing for and achieving this goal.
I will be doing the Gold Nugget Triathlon with my mother this year. While it’s not my own goal, I am really proud of my family who also keeps a focus on fitness. This is my mother’s first triathlon and she has been swimming, biking and is now running to get ready for it. She has also lost 25 pounds in pursuit of her own goals. Doing the GNT together feels like a joint goal that we are both excited about.
I remember when I could not run a mile when I was 19 years old. I would go to the track at my college and walk a lap, then run a lap. I could not do one push-up. Then I set the goal that I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 30. I remember when I ran my first 5 miles, at 22, I felt like a champion!
I had a failed attempt (knee injury) after so much training when I was 28. Then, three months before my 30th birthday, I ran a full marathon. Since, I have done a hundred mile ski race and about a dozen marathons. I have learned to set ambitious goals with realistic timelines. It took me 11 years to run my first marathon and now I can train for one in 10 weeks. I am proud of that.
5. You’ve been focusing a lot on nutrition over the last few months. What are some of the changes you’ve made to your diet since starting with FF?
Wow, I have made 100 small changes that have added up to new behaviors that are still helping me achieve my fat loss goals.
I eat veggies at almost every breakfast and definitely at every meal. I pack my own food when I travel for work. I bring my own lunch to work, always. I drink only 1-3 servings of alcohol a week. I drink sparkling water. I limit my intake of carbs. I avoid the sweets, cakes, candy at work that seems like it’s for a “special occasion” but turns out is ALWAYS available.
My nutrition is not perfect, it never will be. I have learned to not be hard on myself when I do eat the cake or drink a second beer when I had not intended to. I have learned that striving for perfection is good and that being forgiving and allowing myself flexibility is even smarter.
6. Last summer you broke your leg, but you didn’t seem to let it hold you back much. What advice can you give someone whose working through an injury?
Be patient and trust the healing process. I have learned that it’s far better to fully recover than to jump back in before my body is truly ready, even though I am antsy and eager. Being out is HARD! I felt like I would lose all the progress I had gained in the past couple of years. I learned that I did not lose that progress. Yes, I gained fat because my body is used to a certain amount of exercise that is impossible with a broken leg and I have lost all of that fat since.
My biggest advice is to find Zen. Be patient and have faith in the healing process, don’t be discouraged, then get after it!
7. Since you travel a lot for work, how does that effect your diet and exercise routine? What would you say to someone who struggles to stay consistent while traveling?
Routine effects diet when we are out of routine, we are often off our normal diet. So, I have learned to bring “normal” with me. When I travel for work, I bring my food with me. I prep it before hand and account for meals I cannot bring. I book hotel rooms that have kitchenettes. I find swimming pools and gyms at the places I go.
For me, it’s worth veering from routine on vacation, but not for work travel. On vacation, I want to try new foods, occasionally overeat, and not be restrictive. For work travel, veering from my goals is not worth it, so I do what it takes to achieve my goals.
8. You currently attend both Small Group Personal Training and Fitness Boot Camps with us. What are a few of your favorite things about both of those programs?
Going to Boot Camp on a Saturday morning is like going to church. We are all there to be better people. We high five. We encourage each other. I love that. I love that the workouts are hard and that what we get out of them is what we put into them. I love that we focus on flexibility, balance, and form, not just a big cardio workout. I love just showing up and having everything else taken care of for me. I love that I am committed once I sign up and I cant back out.
In small group, I love the jokes we make. I love that I now can walk into a weight room and “own” the place. I have 4 dozen weight exercises written down in my workout journal and that I can create the workout I want and know the proper form when I am on my own.
It took me a full year of small group to appreciate the changes I see in my body and the benefits I feel when Im hiking or running. I learned that lifting heavy weights has been integral in fat loss for me. Lifting weights has also improved old injuries I used to guard and protect. My back has never been healthier than since I have been with FF.
9. What are a few of your favorite exercises? How about favorite muscle groups to work?
I joke that I hate working legs because I dislike the soreness afterward. In truth, I appreciate working my legs because I feel the difference in the activities I do outside of FF. Quads, gluts, caves are all favorites to work. I also like doing exercises that help me in doing the rope climb, pull ups and other exercises that were impossible when I was younger.
10. We all have days when we struggle to stick to our diet or go workout. What are some sources of motivation for you on a regular basis?
I look for motivation everywhere! I watch TED talks on living our own dreams. I talk with friends who have done amazing backcountry trips. I google fat loss pictures. I look at my own vision board. I scour the Precision Nutrition page. I look at my own goals that I have written down.
I even wrote the headline for my own obituary, because I want to be sure I am living the kind of life that will make me proud. I am grateful to FF for helping me get over many of the obstacles I have created for myself. I am on the path of achieving so many of my lifelong goals!