You might recognize her voice from tuning into the afternoon drive on B-105, where she co-hosts the Amanda and Jesse Show. And, if you’ve tuned in frequently enough, you probably know that she is more than passionate about fitness and feeding your body right. She jokes about avoiding the Graeter’s cooler in the break room, and the daily food drops by pizza and fried chicken joints hoping to get mentioned on air. Nothing tests your will like an email from the front desk telling you what kind of sinful yumminess is lurking in the break room, I can attest.
Amanda wasn’t always so regimented. Actually, she was quite the opposite. Having grown up as what she calls the “fat funny friend” (which now, I consider her my fit, funny friend), her weight gain continued into her twenties and was further fueled by stress and emotional eating induced by a job she hated. Cue the late night binging, stopping at multiple fast food restaurants on her way home from work, and hiding her eating from her husband. She finally had enough. Weighing in 117 lbs heavier than she is today, in 2012, Amanda decided to take on a 3 month new years resolution challenge with her coworkers to lose 15 lbs.
Having tried trendy diets before that resulted in her losing some weight, then gaining most of it all back, this time, she took a different approach. She decided to start by simply making better choices, going on walks, and not berating herself for slipping up. 3 months later, she was down 20 lbs.
This story continues to her turning that walking into running, and her smart eating habits becoming a lifestyle, resulting in her losing majority of her weight in under 3 years.
So here we are in 2018, 6.5 years after that New Year’s resolution (who says New Year’s resolutions are for the birds?!) She now hosts a health and wellness podcast called “Pound This” where she interviews passionate people in the industry, fields listener questions, and gets real with people about the daily struggles of keeping the weight off, staying motivated, and maintaining her healthy lifestyle. She invited us in a few months ago to chat about the health and wellness scene in Cincinnati. Tune into the episode here.
Last week, I joined Amanda at the gym for a workout and to ask her a few questions for this article. I had some Qs lined up, but most of them went out the window when she put me through an intense shoulder workout and I couldn't talk and do work at the same time. It’s true, the girl can “pound this”.
My biggest question that I was able to succinctly articulate was how she stays on track. Not that I have ever had major weight loss, but I definitely know the feeling of shedding a few pounds, then feeling good about myself only to add carbs and sweets back in, skip a day (or ten) at the gym and gain it all back. She had a few pieces of advice:
Set small, attainable goals, without a time frame. This can be as simple as to hold plank for 30 seconds, turn down the donuts in the break room, or do something active for at least 15 minutes a day (go for a walk, do squats and lunges in your living room, just move.) Why the no time frame? It takes the pressure off. When that date rolls around and you haven’t accomplished what you set out to do, oftentimes you end up feeling bad about yourself, admitting defeat and throwing in the towel. The end goal is to feel better and gain a new level of health, and lifting the time constraint will allow you to focus without the stress. She also recommends tracking your weight lifting progress in a small notebook (found here) so you can celebrate the small wins.
Change it up. Your workout AND your nutrition. By changing it up, you are keeping your body guessing. For instance, if you go to the same fitness class every day and never switch it up, your body will get used to the activity and you will most likely plateau (a phenomenon called adaptation). But, if you switch up your routine, your muscles are never getting used to one movement. And the same goes with nutrition. By switching from low carb, to high carb days, high fat and low fat days, she finds that her body is constantly confused, never getting comfortable with one diet or one workout, causing her to avoid plateaus and stay on her weight loss goals.
Have cheat days, and don’t feel bad about it. This goes along with switching up your nutrition, but having a cheat day one in a while is a way to not deprive yourself, and to make sure your body remembers what it’s like to have ice cream, or pasta, or Busken cookies.
Try to cook at home as much as possible, and pack your meals and snacks. That way, you are less likely to order something unhealthy off the menu.
I asked Amanda to share one of her fan-favorite recipes, which is her breakfast protein pancakes. I just added all of these items to my Sunday grocery list…
What I love most about Amanda is her self humility and realness. She makes me belly laugh (like this time) and brings so much life and laughter into a topic like weight loss that can be intimidating and daunting. Not to mention, she is an inspiration to everyone out there that has struggled with their relationship with food, and has aspirations for turning their health around.
Tune in to Amanda’s podcast You Can Pound This here.
Follow her on Instagram @youcanpoundthis
And catch her from 3-7pm on B-105!