How Amanda Got Healthier During University

Before Amanda embarked on her fitness journey, she was neither extremely inactive nor overwhelmingly indulgent when it came to food. She gained weight gradually and subtly. "I didn't sit around all day, but I was not very active," she remembered. "I didn't have a terrible diet, but I ate large portions and made some bad choices. Over time, this built up. Eventually, I hit my breaking point at 215 pounds."

In December 2015, Amanda joined  PumpUp in order to find inspiration and motivation. "I love looking at other peoples' progress and tips," she shared. "On PumpUp learned [so much] and became inspired by many different people. After I started to lose weight and share my progress, I was amazed by the feedback I was receiving. [As far as weight loss goes], I never thought that I could inspire somebody. It's something I've struggled with all my life."

Now that Amanda is a member of the PumpUp community, she ramped up the intensity and frequency of her workouts. On average, she exercises 6 days per week and became inspired to lift weights. "I have fallen in love with weightlifting and have lost weight in places I never thought I would," she revealed. "As for my diet, I try to eat healthy as best as I can. I do not restrict everything bad, but I limit my intake of processed and high-calorie foods. I never thought that eating healthy and exercising would give me as much energy as it does. I am happier and more energetic."

Since November 2015, Amanda lost 40  pounds. "I am hoping to get down to about 140 pounds or so," she admitted. "It is a long journey - especially since I started from 215 pounds. I know I can get there."  Amanda also overcame negative self-esteem issues - and it's something that she continues to triumph over every day. "I hated what I looked like and I was horrible to people who cared about me too," she recalled. "I took my frustrations and insecurities out on the people closest to me. For the past week or so, I've been in a weight-loss rut and I've been negative on myself. During the hard times, I keep telling myself that tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning."

Amanda emphasizes that her weight is, to this day, in a state of flux. "I am not perfect, and I struggle with gaining and losing weight," she professed. "My weight is not always on a decline. The thing that keeps me going is the constant reminder to myself that the person I am striving to become is not far away. If I keep working, I will get there quicker." Transformation photos on PumpUp are what keep her inspired. "My progress photos show me visual results, rather than a number on the scale," she said. "I advise people to take as many 'before' photos as they can. One day, they will wish that they had taken more."

Amanda's Meals

"My breakfast is usually greek yogurt with fruit, coffee (no sugar and instead of cream, I use skim milk) and sometimes whole wheat toast. Lunch varies, but normally I have a salad with some protein to keep me full. For dinner, I have baked or grilled chicken along with a vegetable. Sometimes I have rice with my dinners, but not all the time because of the carb content."

Amanda's Best Advice

"Do not crash diet or take away things you love. I did not have a piece of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream every once in a while, I would not have lost as much weight as I have. Never give up things you love, like coffee. A cup of coffee a day is not bad- as long as it is sweetened naturally or not at all. As for exercising, do not just do cardio on a treadmill every gym session. Cardio gets boring quick, and takes a toll on our bodies. Weightlifting for women may seem intimidating, but I would suggest watching YouTube videos on weightlifting to build more knowledge and confidence."

Amanda's Workout Routine

"I do have a gym membership.  My favorite workout routine would be anything that makes me sweat and feel good inside. Sweating makes me feel like I am doing something good for my body. I hardly ever run. My cardio days consist of the Stairmaster, the elliptical, and the stationary bike.I do run on the treadmill, but it is very hard on my feet. I tend to try other forms of cardio instead."

More about Amanda

"I am currently in my Freshman year of Nursing School. Not only do I have to find time to exercise, but I have to work and focus on school as well."

Keep Amanda pumped! Find her on PumpUp @amandalangford and leave positive words of encouragement for her in the comments of this post.