Living Your F*ck YES Life

Why I decided to get a Preventative Double Mastectomy at the age of 27

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I've always known that whatever hardship came my way I could handle.

I'm strong willed and a hell of a fighter.

When I was 8, at overnight camp, I was bullied and literally thrown rocks at by the other girls in my cabin. 

When I was 10, I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and unexpectedly couldn't walk and ended up in the hospital for 4 days with the doctors unable to diagnose what was wrong with me. 

I’ve struggled with body image, toxic friendships, losing friendships, orthorexia, the yo yo dieting binge cycle, anxiety, panic attacks, the works, and with self development and the right tools, I’ve overcome them.

But some things you just don’t feel like you can…

When I found out I was positive for the BRCA 1 gene earlier this year, I tried so hard to not let it derail me and have a total breakdown — to be “strong”. But the day I found out, I couldn’t keep it together. I ran to the shower and had a totally hot ass mess breakdown, movie style.

And it’s crazy to think that in 2 weeks, on December 3rd 2018, I’m going to have the official “previvor” status.

Yup, I’m chopping off my tits.

The decision to get a preventative double mastectomy was easy. I knew going into my genetic testing that if I found out I was #brca1 I would be going through with the surgery. (I didn’t WANT to, but I knew that’s what I would want to do given the circumstances.)

I could have gone the preventative screening route — which is a totally valid option! — but I know myself and I knew that I would constantly be living in fear.

Getting tested on the other hand? I put it off for years out of fear. But if there’s one thing I hope my journey with all of this shared is that knowing your predispositions is what gives you AGENCY over your HEALTH and your LIFE.

I’m grateful I know because now, I get to MAKE a choice. I get to stand up to cancer and tell it to fuck right off.

And that is a powerful thing.

Maybe you have a history of breast or ovarian cancer in your family and you can relate. Or maybe you are navigating your journey with a genetic mutation too. Or maybe, you are waiting to do something you know you need to do out of FEAR.

I’m here to tell you you’re not alone, my love. And that if you need ANYTHING, I’m always just a message away.

If you want to learn more about BRCA and my journey with it,

take a listen to this episode of the podcast.

 

I’ll be blogging more about my recovery journey and everything in between so if we’re not email penpals, be sure to subscribe to my email list to not miss a beat.

Your love & support means the world.

Let’s kick this BRCA gene in the goddamn tits.

Xo Amanda  

Living with Anxiety? Yeah, me too.

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Anxiety.

The word alone gives me anxiety — and honestly, I’ve been wanting to write a post about this for a long ass time but something has kept holding me back…until today.


Why now?

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love to pop into my Insta stories on the regular and talk to you guys — pep talks, rants, goofy moments, adorable pup time with Toby and silly dance parties are what you normally can expect, but last week, I was having one of those days (maybe you know the kind) and I brought it up on my stories, asking for help on how to navigate it all.

And I’ve never had SO MUCH response to something I posted in my life. 92% of my followers said they struggled with anxiety too. I knew I wasn’t alone but the amount of “me too” responses I got absolutely blew me away and I knew I couldn’t stay silent about it anymore.


My Story

I've lived with anxiety for the past 5 years. The summer of 2013, an event in my life triggered what I now know to be called a panic attack. At the time, I thought I was literally dying. I was hyperventilating and crying so much that I almost passed out and for the life of me, I couldn’t make it stop.

This was my first experience with anxiety, or at least what I can remember.

And honestly, my first experience with mental health struggles.

My anxiety took a really intense hold over my life for the years following — panic attacks would happen when I least expected, conversations about the simplest things could spur it and I would find myself waking up with a heavy chest that just couldn’t go away, no matter what I did.

I’ve spent the past 5 years navigating my anxiety and building up tools in my tool box that have helped immensely — and what used to be a super common feeling has turned into something that rears its head every one and a while.

Anxiety looks different on everyone. I know women who navigate it from all ends of the spectrum — from women who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) who are on medication for their anxiety to women who occasionally get anxious about specific circumstances in their lives.

One thing I do know? Most women don’t talk about it.

Which makes us all feel a hell of a lot more alone in all of it, don’t ya think?

It’s my mission to help contribute to the mission to normalize anxiety — ‘cause you are not less than because you experience it, in any capacity. Ya hear me?


What you can do?

I was blown away by the incredible thoughtful response some of my amazing followers on Instagram shared with me, and I wanted to share their thoughts alongside mine. Here they are…

“Breathing mantras and writing!”

“Puppy snuggles” — you laugh but there is scientific proof that petting pups actually lowers your cortisol (aka stress) levels!

“Journaling out my feelings”

“Evening out my breath. So making my inhales 5ish secs and my exhales 5ish secs.”

“Yoga, meditation and journaling is what works for me.”

“Getting enough sleep”

“Painting/being creative in any way.”

“Reading.”

“Big hugs”

“Writing down things I can see, feel. and hear helps ground me.”

“Reminding myself of things that are true.”

“Running and coloring”


How thoughtful are these responses? So many incredible things to sift through and find what works for you.


Here are some of my personal go-tos that have been a total godsend to quiet or rid myself of anxiety:


EXERCISE PAIRED WITH SUPPORT

The minute I feel anxiety creeping up, I know that the best thing I can do is to sweat it out. It works absolute WONDERS, and having a community of women encouraging me and supporting me along the way has been KEY in my journey. We all need spaces that allow us to come exactly as we are and that’s what these groups have been for me.


THROW MYSELF A DANCE PARTY

There is nothing like putting on some of my favorite tunes (lately I’ve been taking it back to some TLC and it’s been pretty fucking incredible) and throwing myself a major dance party.

I know it can feel counter-intuitive in the moment but thrusting your body into something active and physical and unexpected can help jolt you out of your state of anxiety.


GO FOR A WALK

Sometimes something as simple as a shift in environment and getting outside can make all the difference. I actually try to pre-emptively plan for these with my daily mid day walk with my pup — it forces me to get out of the house! If you work a traditional full time gig, take your lunch outside or take the second half of it by going for a walk. Better yet, start your day with a quick walk around the block to wake you up!

REMEMBER — if you are struggling and need someone to talk to, I’m always just a message away my love. I’m no expert on anxiety but I’m always, always here.

Xo Amanda

p.s. I’m hosting an End Overeating & Anxiety for good webinar with my good friend and therapist Rachel Wright later this month and would love to see you there — be sure to hop on my email list and in our Live Your F*ck Yes Life Facebook community to get the deets first!

Facing Fear Head On: A 20 somethings journey of being BRCA positive

FEAR.

For so much of my life, I let fear steer the wheel. 

 

I quit ballet after my first class because 3 girls made fun of me and I was scared nobody would be my friend.

I didn't ask the boy out because I was terrified he'd reject me and not think I was pretty enough.

I dieted and dieted in fear that I wouldn't be cast in shows because I wouldn't be "skinny enough".

Can you relate? 

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The past 2 years of my life, I've been on an intense journey of self discovery and a huge part of that was facing fear head on.

 

I faced it head on when I broke the diet cycle once and for all, and healed my relationship with food and fitness.

I faced it head on when I decided to pay everything I've learned forward and become a health coach and join a tribe of incredible women changing the freaking world

I faced it head on when I took a good hard look at my debt, made a plan and in less than a year, paid off all my credit card debt. 

I faced it head on when I went shirtless on stage for the first time in my life and faced all the body love demons that had been a part of my life for so damn long. 

 

And heading into this year, I knew that it was time to face a fear I've been living with for a very long time. 

 

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MY STORY 

When my dad was 18, his mum died of breast cancer at the age of 44. 

And growing up, I've seen how that loss took such a toll on him. I mean, losing a parent at all let alone at 18 years old is awful -- and something that I'm so grateful to say I've not had to go through myself. Because goddamn, my parents are my best friends and that's something even just thinking about breaks my fucking heart.

And all my life, I've had this little fear living at the back of my mind that I would have the same fate as my grandma. Call it intuition, call it gut, call it fear, it was super present in my world since I was old enough to understand it.

And that fear came to an all time high during my Sophomore year of college when my Dad got tested for the BRCA gene mutations (more info on all of this and real time reactions on episode 6 of the Live Your F*ck Yes Life Podcast) and found out that he was a carrier of the gene (and the only one of his siblings who is).

At the time, I didn't fully understand what that meant,  beyond the fact that I had a 50/50 chance of getting it, and honestly fear took over every ounce of me that I didn't want to know. I was 20 and the way I felt at the time was that knowing would just make it harder.

So I decided not to find out...until this year.

And you know what? Looking back, I'm grateful I waited.

Grateful because at the time, I was going through SO much internally that I think the information I knew deep down was true -- the fact that I also am BRCA 1 positive -- would have broken me in half.

Now, I'm 27, and while I'm still so young, I've lived a lot of life.

Hell, in the last 4 years alone, I've dealt with a binge eating disorder, orthorexia, planned a wedding, dealt with sudden onset anxiety, bought our first house, started my business, moved out of said home and lived in hotels for 6 months because of water damage, navigated job shifts and health issues with my hubby, started a podcast and beyond. 

And that's not counting all the odd jobs, shows, teaching gigs, travels, mentoring and everything else in my life. 

And while so much of it has been incredibly fulfilling and invigorating, a lot of my life has been filled with obstacle after obstacle -- as I'm sure yours has been too, because hey, that's what being a freaking human being is all about, right?

And while, at the time, those obstacles have felt INSURMOUNTABLE, here I am (and here you are) on the other side of it all, STRONGER for it and more self aware than ever. 

And I sit here, grateful for it all, because it gave me the courage to stop waiting.

To show up as a warrior in my life and put the worries to rest.

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So yes, I am a woman living with the BRCA 1 gene.

I don't have cancer, yet. But the chance of me getting breast or ovarian cancer is high AF.

And while that in and of itself scares the SHIT out of me, I've never felt more empowered. Because I get to do something about it.

I don't know what that is yet, but you know I'll be sharing it all along the way, mess and all, 'cause that's how I freaking roll. 

And I'm so goddamn grateful to have you along for the ride.

Xo Amanda 

 

p.s. if you aren't in our Live Your F*ck Yes Life Community, come on over and join the convo. We're all in this together babe.

2017: My Year In Review

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My favorite thing to do the first week of any year is reflect back on the year & vision for the upcoming one. 

I'm a giant DORKO -- I love this kind of shit. 

And honestly, it feels SO good to actually take a look back and be grateful for all that we accomplish instead of just enter the year without any perspective, am I right?

It's amazing how quickly we can just forget about the good and focus on all the shit, am I right? It was nice to look back and remember some forgotten wins -- and I encourage you to do the same! You might be surprised what you forgot you rocked out :) 

 

MY YEAR IN REVIEW

 

TRAVEL

  • My first getaway was an impromptu cabin adventure with the hubs. The beginning of 2017 was tough for us -- Kev unexpectedly quit his job in February and was unemployed until June so all of the financial burden fell on me. I'm so grateful for coaching and everything it allowed for us financially, and while in the moment I experienced quite a bit of anxiety around it all, it also lit a fire for me to dig deep and level the EFF UP in my coaching business
  • My favorite travel moment was hands down our trip to Ireland to celebrate my dad's 60th. It was the first time all five of us had traveled together, and the first time Kev and I had traveled together overseas! Northern Ireland has a piece of my heart forever.
  • Next up was visiting New Orleans for our annual Coach Summit aka a giant wellness adventure and slumber party with my best friends. Favorite moments include hearing Cara Alwill Leyba (aka blogger at The Champagne Diet) talk at our Women Power event and our keynote speaker Brandon Bouchard, dancing on a New Orleans jazz stage with my best gals & learning SO much from all the workshops (I had 50 + pages of notes!)
  • In August, I spent the long weekend with my best friends at our family cottage in northern Ontario. I have it as a goal to live there a month out of every year and knowing that I'm getting closer to that being a reality made the trip feel even more incredible. 
  • In the fall, we had our leadership retreat for our coaching team in Northern Michigan and holy hell was it freaking PERFECT. Fall leaves, crisp air, photoshoots, blanket snuggles -- it was the best weekend with my best friends. 
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BUSINESS

  • I invested in the Wellpreneur Business Academy and got incredibly clear on my branding, the kind of women I wanna work with & how to access my full potential as a coach. 
  • I hosted my first live workshop with my biz partner in crime & it affirmed how POWERFUL events like these are. I loved it so much & I can't wait to do a shitload more in 2018 (stay tuned)!
  • I had my first professional fitness/business photoshoot 
  • I paid off all my credit card debt!
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LIFE

This was actually the first year in our life with no crazy major traditional milestone (you know, get married, buy a house, get a dog -- check, check, check). BUT it still was filled with some wonderful moments to remember.

  • We got a car! I guess this is a big milestone too? Maybe it just doesn't feel like it since I'm not a big car person.

  • We watched the total eclipse and it was the most magical thing I've ever witnessed. 

  • I got into the best shape of my life and found my SOULMATE program. 

  • I got to be a part of 4 incredible acting productions that have my heart. 

  • My mom got honored as one of Canada's 100 most powerful women and I got to share the day with her and it was pure MAGIC.

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BLOG

I had SO much fun sharing my heart this year with you guys via the blog.

Here's a roundup of some of my favorite shares:

Love Letters to My Former Selves

Why You Should Give A Fuck

Why I Refuse To Do The Whole 30

How To Overcome Emotional Eating

5 Steps to Loving Yourself From The Inside Out

 

And there you have it!

What a year 2017 was.

 

2018 is already looking pretty incredible -- some serious travel plans, opportunities, launches and so much more!

 

CHEERS TO LIVING OUR FUCK YES LIVES EVERY DANG DAY.

TO SAYING YES TO THE THINGS THAT LIGHT US UP.

AND REMEMBERING THAT EVERYTHING WE EXPERIENCE IN LIFE TEACHES US SOMETHING 


What were some of your highlight moments from 2017?

Xo Amanda 

The One Thing You Need To Start Your Year Right

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Are you a big fan on new years resolutions?

I used to make them every single year, and every year I would inevitably break them and my type A perfectionist nature would feel like an utter failure.

"Go to the gym 5x a week." FAILURE.

"Go vegan." Ha, that one lasted a month.

"Practice yoga 3x a week." Nope.

Sound familiar?

And it got me thinking -- why do we start our years out making a resolution that is clearly well intentioned but will inevitably not be able to fully commit to (and often forget about 2 weeks later)?

There has to be a better way to be INTENTIONAL with our upcoming year -- and that's why I started a NEW TRADITION heading into this last year that really stuck with me and helped build POSITIVE momentum.

 

What's this you say, Amanda? 

Hush, hush, I'll tell you.

 

CHOOSE YOUR WORD OF THE YEAR.

 

I went into 2017 with the word GROWTH.

I started my business at the very end of 2015 and the first year of ANY new adventure is a freaking rollercoaster and filled with ALL the kinks. 

I was failing forward like crazy and had definitely started to build a foundation for my business but I had (and have) some seriously HUGE goals and I knew that the only way I would be able to achieve them was with MASSIVE GROWTH.

What I didn't realize was just how much of that growth needed to be INTERNAL instead of EXTERNAL.

I don't know about you but when I hear the word growth, I think numbers and a higher income. And while that certainly did happen this year, the external growth ONLY happened AFTER I had done a shit ton of work on my INNER GROWTH.

What areas did this include?

  • Inner work on my positive self talk
  • Serious work on my money mindset (*cough* scarcity mindset)
  • Belief in myself as a leader
  • Working "as if" I was was already where I wanted to be. 
  • Developing a routine and a work ethic that was IN LINE with my goals. It turns out that big dreams without action are just DREAMS. 
  • Allowing myself to DREAM BIG and crash into the fear instead of allowing it to paralyze me. 

...and so much more. 

2017 was certainly a year of massive growth for me and my team.

And because of all of the self development I did as a PERSON, and all the work I did on building up my MINDSET and BELIEF SYSTEMS, I was able to grow my team into a group of 100+ women who also want to turn their passion for health & fitness into a business or side hustle, help over 200 women BUST THROUGH THEIR EMOTIONAL EATING & ditch the yo yo dieting once and for all within my Live Your F*ck YES Life Challenges and financially, I was able to pay off ALL of our credit card debt, and start to really contribute to our family.


So as we head into 2018, I've been thinking a lot about what I want my word of the year to be. And through the prompts I will share with you shortly, I decided on

UNAPOLOGETIC

So often, we (myself included) apologize for the way we are and the things that light us up.

And I realized this year that I've been doing that way more frequently than I realized -- and enough is enough.

I'm CLAIMING MY TRUTH and officially going BALLS TO THE WALL with who I am, what I believe in and what is important to me and I'm refusing to hold myself back.

If that means I lose a few followers on social media because I'm too much of a crazy goofball baby grandma who swears and talks about poop, so be it.

No more dimming my light because I'm afraid people won't like me.

This gal is officially going to show up every day UNAPOLOGETICALLY HERSELF. So gear up.

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Now, how does one even start figuring out what their word of the year might be?

I'm glad you asked!

 

Here's a combination of exercises to help you discover yours:

1. Grab a journal and allow yourself to free write -- close your eyes and think about your DREAM day. What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you feel? Got it in your head? Write down everything you're experiencing on a piece of paper.

2. Think about your upcoming year. What do you know for sure will be happening in 2018? What do you want to manifest for your year? What are some things that could happen that would LIGHT YOU UP INSIDE? 

3. Look over the words you wrote in the last 2 steps. Did any feelings resonate throughout? Any particular words get written more than once? Bonus? Check out this list of words (inspired by the lovely Susannah Conway) and see which ones pop out to you most! Circle the 5 ones that really resonate with you.

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4. From the words you circled, I want you to spend some time journaling out what each of them represents to you and WHY feeling that way would make you feel your BEST in 2018. What does it represent to you? Why is that important?

 

You'll likely find yourself gravitating towards one or two words that really hit home for you. 

And from there -- the way to officially choose your word is to answer one simple question: WHICH ONE LIGHTS ME UP THE MOST?

 

That's your word of the year.

 

I would LOVE to hear which word you came up with!

Share in the comments below (or in our Facebook community!) so I can support you heading into the new year!

Xo Amanda 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Set Yourself Up For Your Best Year Ever

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Do you find yourself making BIG ASS GOALS that sound really freaking good...
but end up at the end of the year with nothing having changed and the same “hopes” and “dreams” heading into the next year?

One of my most eye-opening takeaways from my leadership retreat this fall was the realization that the first half of the year, I was living in maintenance mode.

MAINTENANCE MODE? DA FUCK?

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As a coach, I spend so much of my time preaching and teaching how to bust through your comfort zones but here I've been, holding myself back along the way. 

And, as a result, a few months ago, I found myself in a self-induced plateau with my own fitness, business, and personal growth.

The past few months, I’ve been journaling, surrounding myself with high vibe women that have helped me work through some major roadblocks and gave me some serious aha realizations...
 

The truth?
I've been hiding.
 

I have let self doubt and fear run my life.
I've been waiting for all my big goals and dreams to just go *POOF* and happen.

But you know what? I'm the only one who can make them happen.

The only one who can start believing in myself.
The only one who can step up and make a change.

The only one who can bust through this comfy warm and fuzzy zone I’m in and SHOW THE FUCK UP for my business and my life the way I KNOW I am capable of.


 

So, for the rest of 2017 I'm committing to ME.
I'm committing to my dreams.

I'm committing to working as hard as I can so Kevan and I can build the life we want and set a foundation for our future family and lives.

I'm committing to sharing my message because I know that someone, somewhere needs to hear it, just the way I needed it when I was starting MY journey.

I'm committing to early mornings with my community so I can pour into my own cup so that I have enough left over to pour into others.

I'm committing to getting fierce AF with my goals and following through no matter what.

I’m committing to being the best leader I can be for the amazing women on my team, because my success inspires their success.

 

 

Are you ready to commit to YOU, too? 

Time to stop sitting on the sidelines of your own freaking life, girlfriend.


 

HERE ARE SOME JOURNALING PROMPTS TO GET YOU STARTED... 

What would that look like?

What would you have to give up or release?

What changes would you have to make in your daily routine?

What mindset shifts would you need to make?

 

Today is the beginning of the rest of your life and YOU get to write the script -- what do you want it to say?

If you need some support, you know I'm always here for ya :)

Xo Amanda

Love letters to my former selves

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If you could go back in time and speak to your former self, would you?

I would. And I would have SO much to tell her.

 

I had an amazing childhood. I've had a pretty awesome life, all things considered.

From the outside, life can often look pretty picture perfect.

Hell, as a recovering perfectionist, I MADE it appear that way for YEARS. 

As so many of us do.

But what you so often don't see are the struggles and hardships others face -- because let's be honest, EVERYONE goes through something hard. Period.

If you don't, you're a robot and this post isn't for you.

Growing up, I WAS happy. I had an amazing family, wonderful friends and I was constantly doing things that lit me up: choir practice, rehearsing for shows, soccer, volleyball, planning volunteer events to raise money for charities, working my butt off to do well in school -- I was the epitome of the perfect daughter/student/friend/you name it.

But what most people didn't see was the stuff I hid behind closed doors.

The bullying. The body shaming. The emotional eating. The dieting. 

Dear 8 year old Amanda:

It doesn’t matter what those girls in your ballet class say or think. “You don’t belong here”, she said. Those words. They impact you in ways you never imagined. And while you may have stopped dancing for 10 years because of it, guess what? You freaking DANCE now. It may have taken time, and a whole lot of coaxing on behalf of your friends, but you belong anywhere you decide to belong. Period. The only person that decides your path is YOU.

 

Dear 10 year old Amanda:

Yelling at Mom about how nothing fits in the dressing room at the Hudson’s Bay Company isn’t going to make you feel better. She’s trying to help, because she LOVES you. And hates to watch you tear your body apart with your words. You may not be skinny like that popular girl in your class, but that doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful just the way you are.

 

Dear 13 year old Amanda:

I know you’re hurting. I know you don’t understand how anyone could be so awful as to literally throw rocks at you and call you ugly. I know you feel alone and scared but this? This will make you stronger. This will allow you to resonate with other women who have also been bullied and will open your heart up to a beautiful vulnerability that helps OTHER women heal. And THAT is a beautiful and powerful thing.

 

Dear 19 year old Amanda:

Hearing the words “you’re as big as a mac truck” from someone who supposedly loved you isn’t easy. And I know you can’t recognize it now, but this will be the thing that triggers your negative relationship with food and binge eating habits. YOUR WORTH is not dictated by another person's opinion of you. Your sadness will not be solved by an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And those words? They don’t define you -- all they do is shed a little insight into the BS world that person is projecting onto you.

 

Dear 21 year old Amanda:

This is the year it hits you. The year you realize that you actually look the way you never thought you would. You've somehow gained 30 lbs in 2 years without realizing -- what apparently happens when you're in college and have a disordered relationship with food -- and when you see that picture from your trip to Greece, you break down and cry. I know you're feeling helpless right now but this is the beginning of you finding your LIGHT, and while it may not be an easy road the next few years, it's going to make you stronger and have the experience to help so many women find a consistent, balanced and JOY-filled relationship with exercise and food. 
 

Dear 23 year old Amanda:

Working out 2 times a day and eating only brussel sprouts for dinner is not sustainable. You’re going to finally lose the weight you’ve been telling yourself you needed to lose to be happy. Actually, you’re going to get so skinny that your friends start telling you they’re concerned, but you just don’t see it. But you know what? Over-exercising and existing on bird food and cleanses?  It’s not going to make you feel GOOD. It’s only going to exacerbate your emotional eating, negative self talk and mental health. Only when you are FUELING yourself from the inside out and using fitness as a way to feel STRONG will you find your groove and feel ALIVE and CONFIDENT in your own skin.

Dear 24 year old Amanda:

I know this year has been CRAZY for you. You’ve been prepping for a wedding, bought your first home, and spend your days working 7 day jobs. You are going to burn out. And feel overwhelmed and exhausted. And you know what? That will lead you to the BEST decision of your life. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to see the light.

 

My darling Amanda.

You are the STRONGEST, most COURAGEOUS woman I know.

 

You may not know it now, but these struggles? They don't define you.

And while in the moment, they felt HARD and IMPOSSIBLE to get through.

You did. You made it through.

And almost 3 years later, it's led you to such a beautiful life.

 

A life with a marriage that is far from perfect but gives you SO much joy every single life.

A life by design that YOU have crafted that genuinely lifts you up.

A positive relationship with food, exercise and your body.

And through it all, you've developed the COURAGE to share your story & maybe, just maybe, the work you do will make a dent in the world.

Give women a safe space to grow into their best selves.

And THAT is something to celebrate.

Xo, your future self.

Why You Should Give A F*ck

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WOWZA ma peeps.

It's been a long whirlwind of a summer and honest? While I freaking LOVE sharing my heart with you guys, I just haven't had the time to properly pour into a blog post that would SERVE you. My energy has been reserved for my challengers in our Ditch the Diet Challenge, my coaching tribe, my acting gigs, theatre classes and time with my hubs!

BUT I'M BACK and have something major on my heart to share with you babes, so here goes.

At the beginning of September, I spent an amazing weekend at a leadership retreat in Michigan with the leaders in my coaching family.

We had photoshoots, did some MAJOR ASS goal setting, snuggled under the stars, had bonfires, ate delicious food and celebrated social media strangers turned best friends, business partners and family. 

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I’ve spent the past few weeks journaling and processing the entire experience and holy wow am I just filled with so much damn gratitude.

It’s been almost 2 years since I had my quarter life crisis and quit all of my soul sucking part time jobs to dive in and be a full time coach and actor. While it’s been quite the rollercoaster, it’s pretty freaking incredible to wake up and realize that I’m actually living my freaking dream.

Yep, even normal ass girls can make their dreams come true. I’m not special. I just decided to freaking go for it. (And if you’re ever curious to learn more about my story or what it’s like to be a coach on Team Inspire Joy, you can learn more here. I'd love to chat!)

In all the journaling I’ve been rocking out the past month, I got to thinking about some deep shit and you KNOW I can’t keep that to myself.

 

The main question?

you should give a fuck.jpg

 

What do you give a fuck about? Like, really really care about.

If SELF CARE TIME isn't #1 on that list, then giiirl, it’s time to do some re-evaluating on your life.

Trust me -- I spent YEARS putting everyone and their mother above myself and was always in hustle mode and it did not end well. You know that quarter life crisis moment I mentioned earlier? Yup. Don’t make the mistakes I made.

And if you have and are at your breaking point,

THERE IS A WAY OUT AND UP.

 

So what does self care reeeeallly mean?

I’ve been on my own personal journey to self care and I’ve found that there are 3 main factors that have been HUGE in my development:

 

EAT LIKE YOU LOVE YOURSELF

Plain and simple: fuel your bod with whole foods. GET THE EFF OFF the yo yo diet train of death and eliminate processed foods and JUNK for once and for all.

You want to feel energized, strong, confident and empowered?!

So much of that starts with what you put in your body.

Not sure where to start? Grab your free copy of the Busy Babes Guide to Healthy Living and hop into our Live Your F*ck YES Life community -- join the convo and start showing your bod some LOVE.

 

MOVE YOUR BODY

Now I’m not going to tell you to do one kind of workout for the rest of your life or that you can’t feel strong & happy unless you’re rocking out cycling classes or getting ripped in a crossfit gym.

(Y’all know I’ve pretty much ditched the group fitness classes unless it’s my monthly yoga goodness anyways ‘cause let’s be honest, I save wayyyy more time and money by rocking my badass at home workouts)

But what I AM going to tell you is that you haaaave to move your body every single day.

Yup. every single freaking day.

My mantra? I will move my body to the pleasure of my soul.

Some months, that might mean rocking out a strength training program. Other months, it’s diving deep into my yoga practice. And sometimes, it’s just going for a long walk with my hubby and our pup, Toby.

Find your mantra or feel free to use mine if it resonates ;)

 

SLOW THE EFF DOWN

This one’s ESPECIALLY hard for all you type A perfectionists (raise yo hand, I see you girl). And one that I’ve had to PRACTICE.

I am reeeally good at the hustle mode. And while I appreciate it at moments in my life, there HAS to be a balance or else you just burn the eff out and before you know it, you’re crying on your bathroom floor, wondering how you got here. Yeppp, definitely been there.

 

Quick tips to find stillness in your day?

  • Take a 5 minute break from whatever you’re doing and step outside and just breathe in the fresh air

  • Stop everything you’re doing, grab a piece of paper and write down 5 things you’re grateful for.

  • Put the phone AWAY, grab a book and dive in.


Ok, now it’s YOUR TURN.

This week, I want you to focus on ONE of these 3 things.

Dig in, show up for yourself and start making those habits, lady love!

 

Want the accountability? Join our Live Your F*ck YES Life community!!

 

Sending you love & light,

Xo Amanda

The One Decision That Changed My Life (New Orleans Recap!)

A couple of weeks ago, I spent the weekend in New Orleans for our annual coach summit with my amazeballs tribe, Inspire Joy. This was my second time coming to this event and this time around, I really felt like I was HOME. I laughed, I cried, I learned, I was inspired but most of all, I was re-ignited.

So first up -- WHAT THE HELL IS SUMMIT ANYWAYS?

For almost 2 years, I’ve been a health and fitness coach with Team Beachbody, the company that makes the amazing at home programs like 21 Day Fix, PiYo, and Insanity. I run virtual accountability groups for women who want to ditch the diet and find joy in fitness, and I also mentor a team of almost 100 women who have decided to pay their passion of health & fitness forward and earn extra income by becoming coaches themselves.

The reason why I LOVE Beachbody is that it’s mission is focused on transformation from the inside out in every aspect of your life -- your mental/emotional/physical health, your finances, self confidence, mindset and so much more! The more I coach, the more I fall in love with it and am endlessly proud to be a part of such a beautiful, values driven and integrity based company!

I am also obsessed with my team, Inspire Joy. We’re a group of goofy, creative go getters who freaking LOVE quality time together, and we spend sooo much of the year working together virtually that trips like this are seriously AMAZEBALLS.

 

NOLA ADVENTURES

My flight was delayed THREE HOURS flying out of Chicago because of a silly rain storm (CAMAAAN) but luckily some of my team was also delayed so we got to hang together :) Once we finally got to the city, we drove to our Airbnb and got ready for TEAM TACO NIGHT! 

On Thursday, I got up with my gals Jess & Laura and we got our sweat on to our latest program we’re rocking out together and had a relaxing morning hanging out before heading to our first personal development event -- the Power of I Am! This event was amaaazing -- learned so much from incredible leaders & got to hear from Cara Alwill Leyba, the author of The Champagne Diet and Girl Code.

Afterwards, we got beignets at Cafe du Monde ('cause DUH) and later that night, we had our huge opening ceremony at the Superdome! 

Imagine being in a stadium surrounded by 20,000 of the most ambitous, positive, driven, self aware people you know. I get giddy just thinking about it again! IT WAS SERIOUSLY SO EMPOWERING.

Friday, I got up SUPER early for a live workout with the infamous Shaun T (yes he is just attractive in real life and MOTIVATIONAL AF) and holy balls, it was tough. I had had a really emotional night the night before -- continue reading to learn why -- so I neeeeded this sweat sesh so bad. #therapy for real. And it was so empowering to sweat alongside of so many people I admire and look up to. 

Then it was a full day of workshops followed by a super wonderful dinner in the French quarter and a night on the town on Bourbon street ;) We kept it classy but we DEF had fun haha. 

Saturday was our last full day -- filled with more sessions and we closed out the trip  with our huge Celebration at the Superdome. It’s like a giant broadway show meets the Oscars meets Cirque du Soleil. And you get to be there up close and personal. Freaking EPIC.

WHAT I LEARNED:

 

+ IT’S TIME I FREAKING BELIEVE IN MYSELF

Last year, when I came to summit, I had a DREAM. A VISION. A life filled with freedom, travel, purpose, goofy-ness and LIGHT. But it was just that : A dream. Something that felt so freaking far away. 

I mean, I had just started coaching 8 months prior, and was still working 7 different part time jobs, and while I had started to become a more positive and healthy version of myself, I still had a shiz ton of work to do on my self esteem and belief. 

And last year, I came on this trip dreaming of FREEDOM. Of having a tribe of MY gals by my side.

And this year? That dream turned into my reality and it's all because of these incredible women.

Because these gals believed in my dream too. 

They saw what I was doing and said to themselves "I wanna do that too" and they ACTED on it. 

They stepped up to their life to pursue THEIR dreams. To change THEIR lives. And in turn, they've completely transformed mine.

And seeing them there, it hit me like a ton of bricks -- I did what I set out to do. I made my dreams freaking happen. 

It’s so easy in the day to day to get soo wrapped up in what’s not going right or what’s hard that you forget to take in and be grateful for what IS working and this trip put everything in perspective for me :) After all, this journey is FAR from a race -- it's a marathon, and one that I'm IN for the long haul.

 

+ MY TRIBE IS MY FAMILY

Truth? I didn’t have a lot of girlfriends growing up. 

I never did the whole sorority thing, or really got along in big groups of gals because I just couldn’t handle the gossip and I always felt like I just didn’t fit in. 

I became a coach because I wanted to turn my passion for health and fitness into a side hustle that would give me the FREEDOM to follow my dreams and build a life by design.

What I didn’t realize is that I would be getting a FAMILY. These women inspire me every single day to be a better coach, leader, friend and above all, a better version of me. And it’s been the biggest surprise and the greatest gift along this journey.

When we were in NOLA, I found out that my dog Toby had been rushed to the ER. It was our first night, we had just gotten to our opening night celebration and I was feeling SO full of light, gratitude and giddy-ness and in a single text, all of that felt so far away. I had the first anxiety attack and sob fest I’ve had in a long time sitting on the cement floor of the back of the stadium with one of my coaches and in that moment, I realized how LUCKY I was. To have women in my life (some of which I was just meeting in person for the first time) who I didn’t have to say anything to -- they knew EXACTLY what to do and were supportive in the most incredible ways. Every single one of them was THERE for me. 

I believe that community is everything. 

It was the missing link in my life that I never knew I needed. And now that I have it, I can’t ever imagine going a day in my life without it. 

Every day, I am surrounded by other women JUST LIKE ME. 

Women who are dreamers and want to do MORE with their life. To extend BEYOND the status quo. And through it all, I've been able to RISE UP into my full potential and LIVE A LIFE ON PURPOSE. All because of them. 

 

+ HOW MUCH MY LIFE HAS CHANGED IN SUCH A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME

As I sat in our sessions and speakers and team dinners and live workouts, I couldn’t help but think about how different things were for me just one year prior. In just 20 short months, my entire life has shifted.

Through coaching I have been able to:

  • break free of my binge eating disorder .
  • finally stay consistent with my own health and happiness a priority because it's MY JOB to be happy and healthy and fit
  • believe in my enoughness
  • pay off all my credit card debt and contribute to our finances aka PAY DEM BILLLSSSS! .
  •  inspire and empower other women to, bust through their emotional eating habits and rise up to the become the women they KNOW they were put on this earth to be
  • travel to new and amazing places
  • mentor other women just like me to be able to build a side hustle of their own too, and live life to the fullest.

Here is what I believe:

Community is everything. 

Your HEALTH is everything. 

 And if you aren’t waking up every day and saying FUCK YES my life feels AMAZEBALLS, then it’s time to shift course, girlfriend.

It's never too late to say YASSS to your dreams.

 

If there was one thing you could do right now to get a step closer to your dreams,

what would it be?

FOR ME?

IT'S RISE THE F*CK UP.

TIME TO STOP PLAYING SMALL AND START STEPPING INTO THE LEADER I KNOW I WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH TO BE.

Ready or not, world. Here I come.

Xo Amanda

p.s. If you want to learn more about joining our team, please reach out and send me a message. I'd love nothing more than to get to know you and tell you more about what we do! 

Top 5 Personal Development Books for Beginners

Let's face it.

We aren't born to be 100% confident, energetic, and instant masters at what we do.

 

We know we have to take care of our physical bodies by eating right, working out, getting sleep, etc etc but we don't really talk about how we need to take care of our mental and emotional selves.

The more you learn about yourself, the more you'll be able to understand your quirks, strengths, and capacity for dealing with life, and it's so important to work on our mindset every single day.

 

Have you ever felt like you're stuck, spinning your wheels, in a life rut?  

It's probably because you haven't been challenging yourself on the inside. If you don't put work into your emotional and spiritual growth, you're going to stay stuck.

 

Whenever you're going through change in life, whether that's losing weight, starting a new job or relationship, or moving to a new city, it's important to grow and evolve on the INSIDE. If we don't match our inner growth with our external growth, we're never going to feel satisfied with our accomplishments or like we're "good enough."

You can only go as far as you grow. Your success in life will always be limited by your confidence, skills, and level of self-awareness.

Personal development is heavily encouraged in the Beachbody world, but I think it's important for everyone, regardless of what you want out of life! 

Putting myself on a mental/emotional "diet" of personal development books and podcasts over the past year has helped me deal with my perfectionism, anxiety, and low self esteem. I'm still a work in progress but I've learned so much, and helping other women get to know themselves is now my purpose in life.

 

Today I'm sharing the five books I started out with that had the greatest impact on my life!

 Sidenote: Just because these are my personal recommendations doesn’t mean they’re the right books for you. I’m a 25 year old female who’s building her own business, working on her acting career, chasing her dreams, and working to overcome self doubt, anxiety and perfectionism. If you’re similar to me and, chances are you’ll benefit from these books too!

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Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Yup, the author of Eat Pray Love is at it again. And I think this is her piece de resistance, especially if you’re an artist or creative entrepreneur. In this book, she dives right into how to release your fear so that you can show up for yourself in your creative life.

What I learned from Big Magic:

That fear is a NORMAL part of the creative process. And that you can either let the fear stagnate you for moving forward OR you can choose to move forward in spite of the fear. To use it to propel you towards the artistic and creative path you crave.

Quotable quotes:

“ Do whatever bring you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself.” 

“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”

“What would you do if you knew that you could not fail?”

“Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding. Because that moment? That’s the moment when interesting begins.”

  

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

The title of this book says it all. If you’re looking for a book that will empower you with confidence and ultimate badassery, this book is for you.   

What I learned from You Are A Badass:

To not take yourself so goddamn seriously and that you CAN do whatever you put your mind to. Her tough love, no BS approach really hit home with me and made me realize that so often, I trick myself out of doing these really huge and exciting things because I let that inner mean girl (or as I like to call her, my inner shit talker) tell me I’m not good enough. Eff that. You are. End of story.

Quotable quotes:

“It’s just as easy to believe we’re awesome as it is to believe we’re giant sucking things”

“There will never be anyone exactly like you. You were given special gifts and talents to share with the world, and even though everybody has special gifts and talents, nobody will use theirs quite the same way you do. You have a way of being in the world and a perspective that’s unique to you. You are kind of a big deal.” 

“What if you had the audacity to leave your excuses and your shame about wanting to be huge and fabulous behind and really went for it full-on anyway? What if you decided to do the most outrageous, most exciting thing you ever dared fantasize about, regardless of what anyone, including your terrified self, thought? THAT would be living.”

  

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Can you tell I favor female personal development authors? Sometimes you have to throw some masculine energy into the mix, and The Slight Edge is a MUST-READ for anyone.

This book is about how we can turn simple daily actions and behaviors into long-term success. It's all about starting where you are, with what you already know, and slowly but surely making baby steps towards your big shiny goals. In a world that tells us to expect instant results, it can be really discouraging and frustrating to work towards a big dream or goal that will take patience and time, and it’s easy to get derailed from our vision. I love this book because it reassures us that it’s not about big massive leaps...it’s about the little things we can do to keep us moving forward.

 What I learned from The Slight Edge

The Slight Edge taught me how to shift my own definition of “success” and gave me a lot of confidence.

 Quotable Quotes:

 “You already know how to do everything it would take to make you an outrageous success. All you have to do is keep doing the things that have gotten you this far.” 

“Successful people fail their way to the top.”

“Success is a process, not a destination. It’s something you experience gradually, over time.”

“Happiness isn’t some big thing you pursue, not something you chase after. It’s something you do.” 

“Don’t try to figure it all out. If you want twice the success, double your rate of failure. You start with a plan, then go through the process of continuous learning through both study and doing, adjusting all the time like a rocket ship on the way to the moon, of track 97 percent of the time.”

 

The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte

The Desire Map is about leaning back and letting your values and core desired feelings take the lead. It’s about a creative, soulful approach to success and goal setting.

Whenever you start freaking yourself out or feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by your own plans and goals,the Desire Map is like a sigh of relief that will remind you you’re already good enough, and exactly where you need to be.

This book is half inspiration, and half workbook that will guide you to discover your own Core Desired Feelings, and then help you create a plan to manifest those feelings in all areas of life.

What I learned from The Desire Map:

That getting clear on how we want to FEEL in our life is essential for making decisions in our lives.

Quotable quotes:

“Wanting more for your future is not a betrayal of your present or past.”

 “Awareness is realizing that our life could always be better. Growth is doing what it takes to make it better.”

 “When you respect the darkness within yourself without any guilt trips, you’re becoming truly free.”

“Goals can perpetuate overplanning, and overplanning kills magic and possibilities.”

“You can ease up on yourself without shrinking your dreams.”

 

Mastering your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini

Mastering your Mean Girl is a no BS kick in the pants read that will help you make a plan for creating your own version of a kick-ass life — one that’s “wildly wealthy, fabulously healthy, and bursting with love” and where your mean girl won’t dictate your life anymore. This is a must read if you’re ready to let go of your Mean Girl, take action and start living the life of your dreams.

 What I learned from Mastering Your Mean Girl:

How simple shifts in perspective can be so transformative on your mental health.

Quotable quotes:

“In order for you to be the best, happiest, shiniest version of yourself, you need to fill yourself up first so that you are overflowing and bursting with love.”

 “There are no mistakes, just opportunities for evolution. Choose to see every ‘mistake’ or ‘failure’ as an opportunity for growth.”

“I move because I love the way it makes me feel. Not because I hate my body and want to fix and change it.”

 

A few tips on using personal development

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be tempted to binge on personal development, but it’s important not to let your “all or nothing” mindset take over. 

A good goal that will keep you moving forward at a steady pace is to read one PD book a month

 

That will give you motivation to actually finish reading it, and you’ll also have enough time to absorb and process what you’re reading (We actually do this every single month in our free Live On Purpose Community so if you haven’t joined this badass high vibing tribe, what’re you waiting for? Hop on in and soak up the looove!)

 

Sometimes I check PD books out of the library, but I prefer to buy them because I treat them like a workbook. You want to be able to highlight, underline, scribble notes and breakthroughs in the margins, and constantly be asking yourself "how can I apply this?".

I also love going back and re-reading my favorite books, because you’ll get something new out of them as your life evolves and changes. It’s fun to go back and see my previous notes and take-aways, and how I’ve been able to implement them into my life (or not!)

 

I encourage you -- nay, I DARE you to try one.

One of these books is probably standing out to you right now so just listen to your heart and pick it up

 

xo Amanda

 

Friday Favorites: May Edition

Can you believe it’s already June?

Is it just me or does 2017 feel like it’s literally flying by?

 

May was a surprisingly adventure filled month.

Fun and exciting thangs? I’ve been rocking out a super fun project over on Instagram called the Mindful Minute with me project -- posting mini one minute video truth bombs. Check it out under the #mindfulminutewithme hashtag!

I also hosted our first ever local edition of our Self Development Book Club which was sooo fun! Every month in our Live On Purpose community, we rock out a book dedicated to our theme of the month and this month we’re all about ADVENTURE. I’m really excited to dive into our next one -- all about really taking ACTION in our lives and making incredible shit happen. Wanna join us? Request to join our group and get in on the fun :) 

And without further adoooo... here are ma highlights of the month!

 

MAY FAVES

 

BOOK

I can not say enough good things about this book and I’ve literally been recommending it to everyone and their mother.

May was “master your mean girl/inner shit talker” in our Live on Purpose community and holy wow, the discoveries we made about how we speak to ourselves was profound.

What I loved about this book was just how freaking relatable Melissa is. And as so many women in our community discovered, there are aspects of the book that every single person can take something incredibly profound away from. There are also actionable tools for every single lesson throughout the book which are hugely impactful.

Basically, read it. And when you do, let me know your thoughts :) I would LOVE to hear them.

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ADVENTURE

One of my best friends came to Chicago to surprise me over the Memorial Day long weekend and I just about DIED. My love language is 100% quality time, and I’m a sucker for surprises, so safe to say my love tank was FULL. 

We spent the weekend frolicking around the city, snuggling, going out to eat at some super fun and exciting places and catching up. It was amazing.

WORKOUT MOVE

 This past month I did something a little different for our monthly health & fitness accountability group and created a customized workout schedule tailored for brides to be, bridesmaids or anyone attending weddings, really! It was SO much fun and I think my favorite part about it all was the variety every single day.

 Curious about the schedule? Give me a holler and I’ll send it your way!!!  

Anyhoo, this was one of my favorite moves from the experience ;)

Our June health & fitness accountability group is full so if you wanna hop on into our July edition, be sure to put your name on our wait list here!!! BIG THINGS happening in July so get excited!!

LOCAL COFFEE SHOP

At least once a week, I spend my day working out of a coffee shop with my biz bestie. Becoming a Beachbody coach has allowed me to get rid of all my soul sucking day jobs and make my own schedule (#girlbossin). And while entrepreneurship comes with sooo many beautiful gifts, it also can feel lonely at times when you're always working from home, so I've started spending at least one day a week working at a coffee shop and trying to explore as many new ones as possible to make it an adventure!

My fave for this month is Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea. It's super bright and fun, lots of open space to get work done and they have such a nice variety of drinks and healthy eats (which you KNOW I’m all about!)

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TOBY MOMENT OF THE MONTH

 Our little man officially turned 1!

We celebrated with a big ol' bone, some new toys and a trip to the dog beach because he freaking LOVES the water. 

 

And there you have it, my friends.

Some of my favorite moments from the month! 

What were some of your favorite moments? Make any fun discoveries? Would LOVE to hear!

Xo Amanda

 

p.s. not getting my weekly love bombs to your inbox? Sign up here to get personal updates like this and ALLL the goodies ever :) 

Friday Favorites: Fun Facts Edition

I was nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by my gal and Team Inspire Joy boss babe, Caroline Thompson at Overcome Ordinary -- and I thought this would be a fun little way to mix up Friday favorites and include some fun get to know ya-s!

Seriously Caroline, thank you for the nomination! Seriously the freaking SWEETEST and I am so grateful the interwebs brought us together!!!

So, first up -- WHAT IS THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers who are inspiring, creative and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and other fellow bloggers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog
Answer questions the nominating blogger has created for you
List other bloggers that you nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award
Create 11 questions for the bloggers that you have nominated
Let your nominees know that they have been nominated


MY FUN FACT QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

What inspired the name of your blog?

Well, my name of course! (Teehee, I'm so funny) But if you mean my slogan, "Live Your F*ck YES Life", I was inspired by my own story and so many stories of the women in my life. I lived on automatic pilot for too many years. Unhappy, burnt out, filled with anxiety and emotionally eating my way through life. And I just couldn't do it anymore. 

The past few years, I've committed to putting my health & happiness first. To finding freedom and FUN with fitness & food. And practicing self care for the first time in my life.

And I've made it my mission to pay that shit forward -- because if you can't tell me that you're really Living Your F*ck YES Life, then girl, something needs to change STAT. And my hope is that my story and my posts will inspire you to live yours to the fullest.
 

Are you allergic to anything?

Ok so this is actually a really funny story -- I broke out into CRAAAZY hives a couple of years ago after eating eggs and then a couple of months later, when I had custard. I was SURE I was allergic to eggs so I stopped eating them for years.

Turns out, if I was, I'm not anymore! And man oh man am I GLAD because is there anything better than a sunnyside up egg on avocado toast? Freaking delish.

But for real, I'm allergic to a bunch of animals -- cats, horses, rabbits. Anything but most dogs thank GOODNESS.


What are three things you are grateful for?

My hubby's ridiculous morning dance moves, loose leaf tea and my ridiculously snuggly pup, Toby.


If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

To London, England to visit my best friend Rina! We used to spend every single day together for YEARS and her living on the other side of the country has been so tough -- teleportation really needs to be invented STAT.


What is one quote that you swear by?

"Why be moody when you can shake your booty."


What is your biggest strength and how are you using it in daily life?

How intentional I am about making time for myself.

Ironically, this is actually something that used to be my greatest weakness. I was a perma people pleaser -- always saying YES to things that I didn't want to do, and endlessly putting myself and my health & happiness last. I thought it was selfish to put myself first -- and now I know better.

This past year has been a game changer, and becoming a coach has been the kick in the pants I needed to actually start taking care of myself. I prioritized my self care for the first time in my life and holy shit has it been a game changer. 

I've finally connected to my purpose. I've learned to truly love myself. I've dedicated time every single day to move my body, eat foods that fuel me, journal, read something inspiring -- anything that brings me a spark of joy. And now, it's become a daily ritual.


What is your biggest weakness and how are you working to overcome it?

You know, I often find that our perceived weaknesses can be our greatest strengths.

My first gut reaction to this question? My sensitivity.

It used to make me feel weak. Overwhelmed. Exhausted. But now I've realized just how grateful I am to be a sensitive soul.

It gives me compassion for others. It helps me connect with other people in a beautiful, unique way. And yeah, I cry at movies. And get emotional. So instead of fighting it and putting up walls, I'm overcoming it by embracing it. And loving myself for who I am. Even when my inner mean girl tells me I can't. 


What is your dream job?

Being a full time health & wellness coach (almost there!), speaking at events to empower women and acting on stage in pieces of theatre that touch the soul and tell stories that matter.


Who is your role model and why?

I really struggled answering this questions. Probably because there are many people that I respect and admire for different reasons -- so I'm going to share a short list of some of the amazing people that I look up to and why...

My Mom - she is the most generous person I've ever met, and she teaches me every single day how to show unconditional love and support.

My Dad - he taught me that it's ok to cry at movies and 

Anna Maria Locke -- This gal. She is the person I watched turn her passion into her business and do it in the most authentic and genuine way. And is the person who believed in ME to do the same. I am endlessly inspired by her vulnerability, her drive and her LIGHT.

Jenna Kutcher -- This freaking boss babe is endlessly inspiring me. I've been following her journey for years and seeing her emerge into this RAD business owner who is unapologetically herself. 


If you didn’t have to worry about money, how would you spend your day? Month? Year?

I would be doing a lot of what I do now except with a whole lot less stress (oh money woes, aren't they the BEST?! #kidding) I would be spending my days empowering other women to break free of their limiting beliefs in their health journeys and lives, performing and speaking on stage, traveling and adventuring and masterminding with other empowering boss babes who also want to lead a MOVEMENT and put a freaking dent in the universe.


What do you look for in a significant other?

Spontaneity (I'm such a planner -- I need someone to encourage me to shake things up!), Brutal honesty, Goofy-ness, Shows love in little ways. 

Grateful I've found such a keeper ;) 


My Questions:

  1. What inspired you to start your blog? 
  2. What are you reading right now?
  3. If you could go back in time, where would you go to and why?
  4. What's the most recent recipe you tried?
  5. If you could live in one item of clothing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  6. What are three words your best friends would describe you as?
  7. When you leave this world, what is the legacy you want to leave behind?
  8. Current guilty pleasure tv show?
  9. What's your dream vacation spot?
  10. Favorite quote?
  11. If you could go back and tell your younger self something, what would it be?

I nominate Anna Maria Locke, Rebecca Mathews at Balance with Boo , Connie at Constantly: A Blog for the Girl on the Run , Christina at Busy Girl Healthy World , Carling at Carling Kerrigan and Lauren at Lake Shore Lady -- some RAD ASS gals who inspire me on the freaking DAILY. Go give them some LOVE and check 'em out if you haven't already!

Xo Amanda

Motivation is Garbage

Are you spending your life on automatic pilot?

 

You have all these aspirations in your life about what you WANT and who you want to be, but you’ve let months go by without taking any action...

 

I was watching this amazing video with Mel Robbins this past weekend all about why it’s so hard to be motivated to do the little things to improve our lives and it got my wheels turning.

Here’s the thing: our brains are designed to protect us -- going out of our comfort zone and deciding to make a change literally makes our brains send stress signals to our body telling us to retreat and get back to our comfy cozy zone.

So  literally, our bodies are programmed to keep us from going out of our comfort zones and leaping. And it’s up to US to take the leap of faith and dive in. Trust our gut and tell our brains to eff off.

 

Here's the real-freaking-deal.

 

You need to stop waiting until you “feel like it”.

 

You are ONE decision away from a 100% different life.

A different job. A different relationship. A different life. A different outlook.

It may not feel that easy, but it IS. You literally have that power because YOU are in control of your life -- and as Mel so poignantly says: “If you change your decisions, you change everything.”

The timing of shit in your life can be SUUUPER MESSY.

And game changing opportunities don't just knock on your door once the "timing is right" or "you're ready".

Because, let's be honest: there is always something making it the "wrong time".

And if there's anything I've learned it's that those life changing magical opportunities tend to knock on your door at the most inopportune times.


I launched my business right after my wedding, having just quit my job and having the roof of our new house leak, causing major water damage.

Not ideal to say the least. But I jumped ANYWAYS.

I decided to crash into the fear, trust my gut and say YES to the life I had been dreaming of for years but never took any action on.

 

And that's what I want you to do. To jump in with everything you've got.

 

Right fucking now.

 

Not:

"when you have the time"

“When the motivation strikes”

"when the timing feels right"

"once you have the perfect body"

"once your busy schedule opens up"

"once you pay off all your debt"

"in a few months"

"when you feel ready"

"when everything lines up so perfectly that magical unicorns and rainbows fall from the sky"

 

Truth bomb? If you’re waiting for those things, then you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life. Because life just doesn’t happen that way.

 

You are WORTH putting your dreams into action right now.

So quit delaying your happiness.

And take f*cking action.


I want you to take the next 5 minutes and just write the answer to this question --

Where have YOU been holding yourself back? If you could have the courage to make a change in your life right freaking now, without any “repercussions”, and what would you do?

And once you've spent some time thinking on that, I want you to think of ONE way that you can take action on that RIGHT NOW. 

It's time to jump in. With both feet.

And decide to live that f*ck yes life you and I both know is there waiting for you.

I'm with you. I'm going. Who's coming with me?

Xo Amanda

p.s. my weekly love bombs have even more amaazeballs tips, tricks and truth bombs coming atcha every single week --- click the button below to get the weekly goods!!

My First Year as a Beachbody Coach

This past weekend marked my official one year as a Beachbody coach! I spent the day reflecting, journaling, celebrating with my hubby and crying tears of joy when I think of how far I've come. My amazing bestie / coach Anna sent me an amazing scarf and card, I sobbed a whole lot, shared a super raw and vulnerable live video on my Facebook page (how cool is Facebook live you guys? I love it!) and spent the day feeling incredibly grateful for everything this past year has taught me.

And today? Well, I'm feeling so called to share my heart and everything that I've been feeling and thinking...and you know how I can't help myself but just be REAL with you guys, so I'm going to try to put into words everything I'm feeling right now.

I’m so excited to have this first year behind me and getting out of the "beginner" stage of this. I LOVE learning, but the beginner mindset has always been a bit overwhelming for me because learning something (well anything) new can be HARD. When I signed up to become a coach a year ago, my coach Anna said to "be here in one year". I didn't really understand why that was so important but I do now.  It really does take a full year of consistent hard work to build a foundation for your business. To learn the ropes and figure it the fuck out. Once the sparkly excitement of starting something new wears off, you have to face all your deepest insecurities, blocks, and fears, and work your way through them to become stronger and find your voice and your purpose. It's easy to get discouraged and lots of coaches quit before they give themselves a chance, which breaks my heart. But I refused to give up. Because I saw the bigger picture. And because I believe with every fiber of my being that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Like any small business, it takes 2-3 years to start to really launch off the ground, so I’m really fucking excited to see where this journey will take me now that I have given myself the grace to figure it out and FLY.

Today, I wanted to share a more personal post to reflect on the journey so far because oh my gosh you guys, EVERYTHING has changed for me since last November. Plus I know that so many of my friends and family have no idea what I’m doing with my life (haha!). So here is a sneak peek into my story :) 

The Backstory

Last November, I hit a major wall in my life. Some might call it a quarter life crisis, but whatever it was, it wasn't pretty. From a career perspective, I was feeling suuuuper unfulfilled. I was happy whenever I was at rehearsal (acting is my jam and it lights me up like crazy), but working the 5 other jobs just to pay the bills and keep myself afloat? It was slowly sucking my soul. And I was feeling “gross” about my body because of all of the comfort food I was consuming to numb myself from everything. I was turning into this negative nancy, pessimistic and burnt out version of myself that I could barely recognize and it was really scary. 

And when you start to admit to yourself? That life isn’t what you want it to be, and that you aren’t the person you know you CAN be, it's pretty dang scary.

So, after I had spent arguably far too much time feeling sorry for myself, I decided something had to change.

Since 2012, health & fitness had been a big part of my life. I'd been growing an active community on my health and fitness Instagram account and loved being part of the Tone It Up community there. I was projecting a positive outlook on life and I knew I had influence on other women who followed me, but I needed something more. I needed something for ME!

My friend Anna was a Beachbody coach and when I saw that her life was filled with all of the things I craved more of (freedom, creativity, joy, passion), I knew I needed to know more. And the idea of being able to inspire other women to take the first step towards becoming their best & healthiest self literally set my soul on fire. So after weeks of internal debate and obsessively Googling to make sure Beachbody wasn’t some sort of scam or pyramid scheme, I knew deep down that this was it. My gut was saying YES, so I took the leap of faith and signed up to coach as soon as I ordered the 21 Day Fix. From the minute I hit the “enroll” button, I immediately felt a massive shift inside of me. The giant weight that had been pressing down on my chest for months all but evaporated. It was crazy, and I guess just goes to show that when you listen to your intuition, shit gets GOOD real fast. Have you ever listened to or felt your intuition? It's pretty fucking cool. 

 Btw, the 21 day fix works!! I was on my way but it was just the beginning ;) 

Btw, the 21 day fix works!! I was on my way but it was just the beginning ;) 

Where I am now

One year of daily personal development, goal setting, hard work, learning, failing forward, diving beyond my comfort zone and digging deep to truly connect with other women and their stories by opening up and sharing mine, I've helped almost 100 women gain confidence and strength through my Live Your F*ck YES Life Challenge, and I've built a thriving team of 56 inspiring and determined coaches who share my vision. I've made friendships with gals who feel like family, found out what my body is capable of, healed my negative relationship to food (officially a recovered binge eater which is something I never thought I would be able to  say), overcome my lack of self worth, and take a chance on my dreams.

I'm learning how to live my life based on my values and priorities, instead of checking things off a stereotypical bucket list because that's what I think I should be doing. Instead of working out to change or punish my body for eating too much or not the "right thing", I do it because I RESPECT my body and I know that I will FEEL my best when I get my workouts in and use food to FUEL my body. I’m learning that saying YES to something that feels right is never the wrong decision, and that it's okay if not everyone understands why you're doing what you're doing. Because once you start opening up and declaring your dreams and intentions to the world, the fear melts away and opportunities just start to appear. It's pretty amazing and honestly, it takes my breath away.

For the first time in the past 10 years, I can truly say that I am binge free. My anxiety is at bay. I'm no longer the shadow of the girl I wanted to be -- I am energized, filled with freaking joy and living life on my OWN terms. (You mean you can spend your days in yoga pants, sharing your story on social media, connecting with other inspiring women, cooking, snuggling with your pup and traveling around the world AND make a living doing it? And in the process, learn how to love yourself and treat your body and your mind with RESPECT, LOVE and KINDNESS. Yup. Dreams do freaking come true.)

My "Why"

I help over-achieving go-getters with emotional eating tendencies aka women just like me learn how to have a positive relationship with foodfind JOY in the everyday & love themselves from the inside out. It all starts with self care and courage to say YES to the woman you were always meant to be, and the easiest way to redefine your relationship with yourself is to start treating your body RIGHT with healthy food and consistent workouts. Once you put your health FIRST, you start to feel strong, powerful, badass and in control of your destiny. You become your own freaking superhero.

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The best part? This isn't just a pipe dream. I am literally watching women have these breakthroughs. I'm facilitating these life changing internal and external transformations every single day before my eyes. Knowing that I have the ability to actually MAKE A DIFFERENCE in someone else's life -- to inspire them and give them the tools to be their BEST SELF -- is so fucking mind blowing and it humbles me every single day. 

I believe that everyone deserves to be able to make a living by sharing their unique gifts and talents with the world. We all have the capacity to change lives and make a bigger difference if we stop holding ourselves back and settling for what feels safe and comfortable.

I used to be afraid of shooting for the stars. I thought it was naive of me. But now I’m literally seeing it happen before my eyes. It's possible. Really and truly. You just have to decide you're worth it and say YES. I never thought I could have the life I have now. But you know what? I said YES to something new and different because I knew I needed a change and now look where I am!  I’m changing lives, I’m supporting myself, and instead of spending countless hours searching the internet for jobs that don't make me happy and spending my days literally wiping poop off of baby's bottoms that aren't mine, I have given myself the permission to create a custom-tailored job description that perfectly reflects my unique knowledge, skills, and abilities and is designed BY ME to give me the greatest joy everrr.

Don’t ignore your dreams.

Don’t ever convince yourself that you can't do something because if I can do it, anyone can.

It’s hard, it’s messy, it takes courage and definitely hard work (albeit amazing, life altering, warm and fuzzy work) and it’s definitely not for everyone, but if there’s a tiny little voice deep down inside, you better start listening to it. Because when you do? Amazing things start happening and all of a sudden, you find yourself surrounded my others who are kicking ass along side of you and raising you up and you wonder how you weren't here sooner.

I don’t know where this journey will lead me. And you know what? This recovering control freak is a-ok with that. I'm trusting the process and confident that my heart and my inner sense of purpose will lead me in the right direction. It hasn't led me astray yet.

For the first time in my life, I'm not afraid of what the future holds. I don't feel the need to make endless bucket lists to create a purpose for myself because I've found it. And I know that everything will work out exact as its supposed to as long as I never settle, never give up, do the work and choose to show up every single day. 

Beachbody coaching has given me the framework to make all this happen, and I could not be more grateful that I said YES to this opportunity this time last year. I can't imagine where I'd be if I hadn't.

It's been a beautiful whirlwind, and I wouldn't have made it this far without my family, friends, random strangers on the internet turned FRIENDS, and my Inspire Joy family. Thank you SO MUCH for supporting me and believing in me every step of the way. 

xo Amanda

p.s. Make sure to join my mailing list for weekly tips, motivation and love coming to your inbox!

What I wish I'd known...

This week marked the anniversary of my wedding day.


The entire day was a dream. Having my family and friends all in one space was seriously the fucking coolest. And sharing mine and Kev's love with everyone was so wonderful. We danced the night away, drank beer (we got married at a brewery in Chicago!) and had truly the best night of my life.

BUT, I wasn't happy.

YES I was ecstatic when it came to my love life. Kevan and I were in a wonderful place and so happy to be finally sharing a little piece of our lives with the people closest to us. I was on cloud nine to be around all of the people that I love most in this world.

But a year ago, I felt more lost than I ever had in my life. 

 



Let's rewind a little...

I graduated from college with a Bachelors degree in musical theatre. And while I LOVE acting and know it's something I'm supposed to do for the rest of my life, we were never really taught in school how to actually manage life in a practical sense (i.e. pay the bills, find work outside of acting, etc.)

So I did what all of my actor friends did. I found a job (well, multiple jobs really) just to get by. I worked at a call centre, I was a segway tour guide, I nanny-ed my butt off and I taught. All of that ON TOP of rehearsals in the evening for the various shows I was doing. At one point a year and a half ago, I was working six different jobs.

To say that I was burnt out is putting it lightly.

I had my wedding to look forward to and our mini moon to St Lucia but as soon as we got back to "reality", I came crashing down HARD.

 

You know that whole quarter life crisis thing? Well, let's just say I know allllll about it. I was a mess. I kept asking myself  "What am I doing with my life?" ... "Is this how it's going to be forever?"  ... and about a week after getting back to Chicago, I broke. 

I quit almost all of my jobs and spent a month soul searching. 

(I don't recommend this, by the way, but you know I will always tell it how it went down and well, that's what happened)

I was scared shitless. But I knew that I needed to take a strong hard look at what the hell I was doing with my life because I knew I was meant for so much more than the anxiety ridden, overwhelmed and exhausted version of myself that I had become. 

And I'm so glad I did. Because a year later, I'm in SUCH a different place. I've found I'm finally actually happy. I’ve found a career path outside of acting that actually LIGHTS ME UP. I’m calm. I’m happy. I wake up every morning and I’m so grateful for the world I’ve created for myself.

I feel FREE. And I get to spend my days working in little coffee shops like this, going for long walks with my dog and connecting with some of the most incredible women I've ever known.

How did I get here?

I asked myself three super simple (but crazy important) questions. And if my story has resonated with you at all, take a moment in your week and sit down and answer these questions too...Just write. Don't edit yourself. And you'll be surprised what you learn about yourself and what you really want.

Question 1: What makes you feel most ALIVE?

Question 2: Describe your perfect day, from the moment you get up in the morning to the minute you go to sleep.

Question 3: What do you VALUE most in life?


I know these may seem simple, but trust me when I say that if you take the time to sit down and get really clear with yourself on these answers, you will all of a sudden have a whole new world ahead of you. A potential world that is actually in line with what you need/want/crave. 

And though it may not be 100% feasible to just up and quit your life like I did, it IS possible to slowly start moving towards the quality of life you want.

You just have to decide you're worth it and take the leap.

So I guess all of this is to say that it's never too late to take a second chance on yourself. To live the life you crave. It's not going to be easy, and it's definitely going to be scary as all hell but from the gal who'se on the other side, I can promise you it's worth it.

(And if you wanna chat more about this with me, I'm always here for you. This is something I'm super passionate about. I'm an open book and happy to share, always.)

Xo Amanda
 

Transformation Tuesday: Meet Missy!

I am so thrilled to be sharing with you another Transformation story from my Live Your F*ck YES Life Challenge! Missy and I both live in Chicago and we officially met about six months ago. I immediately LOVED her energy and knew we would get along famously -- I mean, when a girl has you laughing so hard you snort after 5 minutes of meeting her, you know it was meant to be ;) 

Missy is an actor, voice teacher and truly one of the most determined women I've ever known. She doesn't settle, she is committed to becoming the woman she wants to be and watching her shift before my eyes has been so gorgeous to watch.

Missy was and is continuing to be a ROCKSTAR challenger and had such awesome results from doing the 21 Day Fix, both physically AND mentally, and I can't wait for you guys to get to know her a little better & share in her INCREDIBLE success!


Meet Missy!

1) How did you feel before you decided to commit to the Live Your F*ck YES Life Challenge?

I felt "just okay" before I started the challenge. Not too shabby, but not exhilarated either. Diet Coke addict, never felt like I got enough sleep, headaches often. I had made enough changes up to this point in my life to where I wasn't an all out food monster & was active occasionally, when I had a spurt of energy. But I always know when I'm really not feeling good about myself when I notice I'm untagging every picture being posted of me on social media because I don't recognize that person. I wanted to be done yo-yo dieting & figure out a way to consistently take care of myself.

2) How do you feel now?

Now I feel like I've made some super positive changes that were hard work!! I feel like every day I'm working on the best me. I look in the mirror and I see progress. I'm free of a Diet Coke addiction. I rarely get headaches. I go to auditions not shying away from my body, but feeling grounded and self assured because I'm offering the best version of me I have to give right now. 

3) What struggles or challenges have you overcome?

Every day has its struggles. I don't know that I will ever just love working out, but I do love the results. I may have to always talk myself into my daily workout and I am more than okay with that. The great thing about 21 Day Fix is its only 30 minutes and you're DONE. The other struggle is my crazy schedule: I'm an actor & voice teacher/coach with multiple side gigs, so my schedule is never the same. Meal planning and prep changed my world. I'm spending less money on food and eating way better.

4) How do you keep yourself motivated on your own health and fitness journey?

For me it's about thinking of tomorrow or next week or the end of the month. Do I want to look back with regret or with pride in what I chose to do for myself? Do I want to watch my weight go up again, back into nothing but stretchy clothes? Or do I want to hop out of bed excited to get ready face the day? Making it truly about ME and what I WANT instead of what I thought others wanted me to look like changed my approach. 

5) Favorite workout?

Right now I LOVE Upper & Lower Fix from the 21 Day Fix because of the results I'm seeing from the weight training. I'm also a fan of Pilates! 

6) Favorite healthy food?

There are seriously so many. First off: literally any food can be healthy, you just have to put thought into it. As a sucker for Mexican food, I've been making these delicious black bean bowls that have been rocking my world. 

7) What advice would you give someone who’s just starting out on her health and fitness journey?

I would say SLOW DOWN. The hardest thing of all is taking this journey one day at a time, but that is the only way to do it. I know many times we get done with a week of being on track, don't see huge results, and ask "why am I not skinny yet? is it worth it?"...I'm telling you it IS worth it. As I tell my voice students, Process Oriented is greater than Goal Oriented. If you're down for the process, you will see results beyond your wildest dreams AND in the meantime you'll be kinder to your body. Also don't forget to have some chocolate and wine once or twice a week for your sanity :)

Looking to get a jumpstart on your health & fitness journey? Crave results that STICK? Missy is living proof of what is POSSIBLE and you could feel as amazing as she does too! All you gotta do is decide you're worth it and give the Live Your F*ck YES Life Challenge a try ;)

Ready to rock it alongside Missy and the other amazing women in the community? CLICK HERE to apply ! Still curious but wanna make sure we're a good fit? Book your complimentary 30 minute virtual coffee date with me!  

We'll hop on the phone to chat about your goals, make sure I'm the right fit for you and your needs and get you all set up with the most badass health & fitness package that gets you raring to go!

 

Tone It Up Girl turned Beachbody Coach

I've been wanting to share this for a while now. It's been on my heart but for some reason I have been holding off doing so -- but here's the thing. I always say that I'm going to be 100% HONEST with you guys and so not sharing this with you would be me not being true to myself so I say FUCK THE FEAR and here goes.

Hi, my name is Amanda Loy. I'm a Wifey, a dog mom, an actor, a Tone It Up Girl & a Beachbody Coach with #TeamInspireJoy , and THIS is my story. 

When I started my health & fitness journey in 2012, I had no idea it would lead me to where I am today. That it would be such a vital part of my day to day.

All I knew was that I was desperate for a change. Tired of feeling like who I was inside wasn't being reflected on the outside. Tired of looking in the mirror and not liking what I saw. Tired of going into store after store and just settling for clothes because "well at least they sort of fit" or  with the "well this covers up my tummy, so I'll wear it" mentality. Most of all, I was just tired of being tired. Tired of being the unhappy and uncomfortable version of me.

So, I started looking around for something -- anything -- that could help me.

And that's when I found Tone It Up on Youtube.

I was immediately attracted to Karena and Katrina's energy. They were silly and the rays of light that I needed and they reminded me so much of the version of me I hadn't seen in years. I wanted to be just like them. They had just started Tone It Up (yup, I was an Original TIU gal), and all I could think was -- if I could look just like them, I will be able to get my groove back.

I mean, have you seen them? They're freaking bombshells.

IMG_3741.JPG

So that's how I got started. I started picking one of their workouts and doing it every single day. A month later, I purchased the nutrition plan, officially became a part of the community, and decided to go in full force.

And man oh man did I do that. I stuck to their workout programs and their meal plan to a tea. As in, I never ONCE "fell off the wagon".

For those of you unfamiliar with Tone It Up, their nutrition program focuses on eating mostly lean proteins and vegetables, with some fruit and healthy fats sprinkled in there. Carbohydrates were occasionally incorporated, but the serving size was usually pretty small and often it was optional. So for 6 months, I ate, as my husband likes to say, bunny food. And their daily workouts usually incorporate a cardio start to your day and then a toning workout in the afternoon -- so I started running every morning (for those of you who know me now know how much I hate running hahaha, but I thought I needed to be a runner to be fit!) and I would do their badass super fun toning workouts in the afternoon. 

And 6 months later, I had gone from 172 lbs to 145 lbs (this coming from a 5'10" girl).

WOOOHOOOO, right?! Well, my EGO said HELL YES. I was growing out my hair, abs that I never thought could possibly appear were starting to show up and I was finally going to get to be skinny, just like K&K! That was the goal, right? To lose the weight and be happy!! 

But here's the thing... I wasn't happy. 

Sure, I was skinny. (And now that I look back on it, I can honestly say that I was too skinny, although at the time I wouldn't admit it) And I was sooo excited to be a part of an amazing community of women (some of whom are some of my best friends now) and to have the bright energy of Karena and Katrina in my life. But I was so focused (read: obsessed) on BECOMING THEM that along the way, I lost myself. And I went so extreme in one path that I went from being slightly overweight and unhappy to underweight and unhealthy.

And the summer of 2013, everything that I thought I knew came crashing down around me and within two months, I had put back on all the weight that I'd lost and then some. I spent my days binge eating pints of ben & jerrys half baked, double stuffed oreos, jars of nutella -- you name it. I couldn't control myself. 

And once it was time to pick up the pieces, I knew that I had to figure out what would work for ME.

I tried joining a yoga studio, which really helped combat my anxiety.

I connected with TIU girls in the Chicago area and on Instagram who are truly some of the most gorgeous souls I have ever met on the planet -- and who just GET me. 

I stopped running and stuck to doing workouts that made me HAPPY, like the TIU toning routines, dance based workouts and strength training.

I started trying to reframe my mind that healthy didn't have to be an all or nothing mindset and that carbs were good for me :) 

 **Picture from my first TIU Chicago meetup**

**Picture from my first TIU Chicago meetup**

I LOVE Tone It Up, for so many reasons. It introduced me to some of the best women I know. It empowered me to take a step towards my own health & fitness journey. And holy balls am I obsessed with some of their recipes. Nomz. And I continue to do their workouts because I loooove them and their energy! And I have finally figured out what works for me and am in a GOOD place :)

But for so long, I would tell people that I owed all my success to Tone It Up. That if it weren't for Karena and Katrina, I wouldn't be where I'm at.

So often in life, we attribute our own success to other people.

Do you ever catch yourself doing that? I know I do.

All the time, the amazing women in my Live Your F*ck YES Life Challenge tell me things like "You're the reason I feel so amazing." or "Because of you, I'm at my goal weight for the first time in 5 years." and I always step back and say -- no, it's because of YOU. YOU are the one who got your butt up every morning and got your workout in. YOU are the one that made healthy nutrition choices. YOU are the one who did the work. 

And when I hit my quarter life crisis a year ago (yuppp that shit is REAL haha), I kept thinking to myself -- how can you pay everything you've learned on your OWN journey forward? How can you help other women show up for themselves in the way that works for THEM? How can I do what K&K are doing for other women but on my own terms?!

And that's when I thought of my TIU gal pal Anna.

I officially met Anna at a TIU Chicago meet up in February 2015. We had been friends on Instagram for a while, and I had been loving on her blog posts. She was so REAL and not scared to just SHARE her heart and I found that so fucking inspiring.

I didn't even realize for the first 6 months of our friendship that she was as Beachbody Coach and I will never forget my first thought: "How can this amazing, super real chick be a Beachbody coach? They're scammy and superficial and just not genuine people."

And I realized that I must be missing something, so I asked her to coffee (because I'm the kinda girl that just needs to hear it from someone's mouth directly) to basically sit her down and be like how can you be doing this thing when you're so .... normal? And nice? AND A TONE IT UP GIRL!?!?

(To say that I was confused and suuuper skeptical is putting it nicely.)

And that's the day when my entire life shifted. 

Ask Anna, and she will tell you that I put her to the test. I asked her every fucking question under the sun. She's probably laughing reading this right now because I was a SHIT HEAD, you guys. To say that I was skeptical is putting it suuuuper lightly. 

And the more we talked, the more I thought to myself, wow, this is really cool. You mean becoming a Beachbody Coach would help me share my passion for health & fitness with others and actually be a BUSINESS? Like a my OWN version of K&K? I could slowly start to fade out my 5 super draining day jobs and actually spend time doing things that light me up? I could have a job that allowed me to work from home, work when I chose, post inspiring things on social media and empower others to be the best version of themselves?!

I was stunned. Why had I been so RUDELY opposed to Beachbody for so long? Because associating with another company would make me a traitor to Tone It Up? Because I had built up this notion that Beachbody coaches were terrible people?

Well, let me tell ya, was I ever fucking wrong.

My gut kept telling me that this was the right step for me and so I took a leap of faith and I said YES.  And it's hands down the best decision I've ever made in my entire life (except marrying Kevan, that was a pretty stellar choice.)

Am I still a TIU girl? Heck yes.

But I can also add Team Inspire Joy Leader, Girl boss and Beachbody Coach to my resume and I am SO DAMN PROUD of it. 

I've spent almost a year of my life doing this. I've worked with some of the most incredible women who inspire me on the freaking daily, I've built a team of women (aka my TRIBE) who have become like family to me, I've seen the company up close and personal and am more sure than EVER that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be, I've traveled to beautiful retreats and I've become my very own Entrepreneur, building a path to financial freedom for my family.

Everything is piecing itself together. I am quickly and gracefully and fiercely building a business, supporting women to rise into their role as leaders and supporting people to improve their physical and emotional health with state of the art workout programs, Shakeology , accountability groups and some major self care and daily 1:1 coaching with me.

 

So from this super grateful gal, here's what I have to say:

Don't judge a book by it's cover.

And just SAY YES to the the things that light you up AND THEN FIGURE IT OUT.

Please. For the sake of your soul. Even if it scares the shit out of you. Ok?



And one more thing:


I am so deeply passionate about what these programs and Shakeology.

Over the past almost year, I have watched myself become the healthiest and happiest version of me that I've ever been and my anxieties have completely disappeared. 

If you're curious about what I do and would like to learn more about how to become the healthiest and happiest version of YOU, just click here to schedule a chat with me. I would love to support you. 

Here's to Living Your F*ck YES Life. 

Xo Amanda

How the eff to figure out what path to take?

Doesn't it feel like this is just the question of the century?

We're in a "what's my purpose" trend of life right now. In the past year, sooo many of my friends are having quarter life crises (me included you guys), and the question we are all battling always seems to come down to what the hell we're going to do with the rest of our lives.

And I get it.

I mean, if you're anything like me, you spent your younger years going to an intensely academic school where everyone and their mother were lawyers, doctors, biz peeps, you name it.

Entrepreneurs? Girl bosses? Creatives?

Not so much.

So, I just figured that was my path too. Gonna go and get my major in English lit and be a lawyer just like my Mom. Because that's just what you do!

Well, I am SO grateful I had parents who encouraged me to look to my passions and my heart before making a decision like that because chances are, this Health Coach entrepreneur creative artist would not be writing you gorgeous babes this blog post. 

And here's the thing, I have a bunch of friends who are doctors and lawyers and who truly LOVE it. It's what lights them up and that's AWESOME. I am by no way saying that it's not a valid path. But it wasn't right for me.

And what I've been hearing from sooo many of my friends is that they're miserable in their jobs. They spend their days exhausted, burnt out and doing something that is unfulfilling. And I TOTALLY get where they're coming from. After I graduated from acting school, I had to find a "day job" -- aka, in the world of an artist, a job that will pay your bills so you can continue to live out your dreams of being an actor because, newsflash, acting jobs don't pay so well. Wompidy wompidy.

So I did that. I worked so many jobs that I didn't love. And I became that girl that I always told myself I would never be -- the girl who isn't living and breathing her PASSIONS.

Cue: quarter life crisis

And you know what I did? I quit all my stupid jobs and I gave myself a few months to figure it the eff out. And that's what brought me here. To Beachbody Coaching. Because I was able to sit down myself and ask myself some really tough questions that helped me decide what path I wanted to take.

Now I'm not telling you to go and quit your job. Hell naw. I mean, by all means, if that's what you wanna do, I'm not going to stand in your way.

BUT, I am going to share with you some of the tools that I used to get there.


I want you to sit down with a pen and paper -- JUST trust me on this, ok? And for the next 15 minutes (or when you have a break in your day, COME BACK TO THIS), just write and don't edit yourself.

And answer the following questions...

What lights you up? 

Ex: For me? The list includes... snuggles with my hubby, long walks with my dog, morning me time, pancakes for breakfast, dancing in my kitchen, singing at the top of my lungs, being surrounded by incredible empowering women, climbing trees, spending time at my cottage

If you could create your perfect day, what would it look like? 

Ex: For me, I would be at my cottage, with my family and my hubby Kevan and our dog Toby. I'd spend the morning on my dock, alone, doing yoga and reading some personal development book & journaling. Then breakfast (my dad's pancakes, duh!), followed by lake time adventures and lots of canoeing. After lunch, we'd play board games and drink tea and have good conversation and for dinner, we'd bbq and sit outside and watch the stars. Followed, OF COURSE, by snuggles.

What do you NOT want in your work life?

Ex: I do not want a 9-5 schedule. I don't want to have a boss. I don't want to have to commute in my car to work. I don't want to be restricted to vacation time to go on holidays. I don't want to work with lazy, needy people. 

What DO you want more of in your life?

Ex: Freedom, Joy, Energy, Laughter, Time with my family & friends, Travel

**Share your answers to these questions in the comments!**

What did answering these questions reveal to you? Are you living a life that's in line with what you really want? What you value most? Or are you just doing something because it's what your degree happens to be in?

It's time to start aligning your LIFE with your VALUES.

I know it's scary to realize that you're not leading the life you want. Truuuuust me. But isn't it better to take ACTION towards leading your dreams than to sit there, year after year, watching them fade away?

I dare you to start getting REAL with yourself and stop settling for a lesser life. You deserve it.

 

Oh, and p.s. for some extra goodies...if you haven't watched our first episode, it's alllll about this topic ;)

Find your Tribe, Love them hard

I am bursting with Joy from every single ounce of me.  

I've been seriously trying to write this post all day, but you know when your heart is SO FULL and you have SO MUCH TO SAY that it feels impossible to say anything at all? That's where I'm at. But I'm gonna give it a go anyhooo because I just can't hold any of this in anymore. (Ha! Dorkazoraus. Deal with it!)

This past week, I got to spend time with some of the amazing gals on my Coaching team, Team Inspire Joy, at Beachbody's annual convention in Nashville. Most of these gals are ladies I'd never actually met in person (although we have weekly conference calls -- aka live video chats with wine -- yup, being a Girlboss is kinda the bomb.com) but from the minute I bear hugged them and we had our first night in our house, it felt like I'd known them forever.  

For a little less than a year now, I've been pursuing a dream that I never imagined I would ever see come to fruition -- a vision that I always KNEW was possible but for so long never had the COURAGE to say "Yes I can" and fucking go for it. I always thought that being a health & fitness coach would be an amazing career path. I'm an actor, and while I am sooo blessed to be working as an actor in the city of Chicago, it's the unglamorous but sad truth that I need a day job (or many) in order to pay my bills. When I graduated school, I found whatever job I could get. I worked at call centres, found nanny gigs, dog walked, taught theatre classes, gave Segway tour guides -- you name it, I did it. And most of the time, I had 5 day jobs going at once, and it was EXHAUSTING.

And the worst part? I wasn't happy.

Enter the amazing Anna Locke -- the gal I stalked from afar for too long (she blogged OK?!? It's okay to stalk a blogger....haha) and the gal who had all the things I wanted (aka the freedom to be her own boss and live a LIFE BY DESIGN). After months of knowing her from afar and meeting her a couple of times in group settings, I finally had the courage to talk to her.

I NEEDED A CHANGE. I wanted to Be more. Do more. But I was scared shitless. Sound familiar?

I've been super transparent about my issues with feeling enough -- ahhhh that word -- you feel that way too?

Never good enough? Pretty enough? Smart enough? Capable enough? 

It's something soo many of the ladies that I work with deal with (and girl, it's still something I still deal with), but here's the thing I've learned -- if we let this FEAR hold us back, we will never be able to access our BEST SELVES.

Is it scary to jump? Hell yes. It's curl up into a ball-ahhh-what-if-i-fail-my-heart-is-going-to-explode feeling. But isn't it SO much better to FEEL THE FEAR and do it anyways than to just float on by with the status quo and never realize your TRUE POTENTIAL? I say FUCK YES.

In fact, I am living a FUCK YES LIFE every single goddamn day because I faced my motha-fucking-fear and said YES to putting myself first. To a life of FREEDOM, LIGHT and COMMUNITY.

I'm not gonna lie, it was not an easy decision for me to make. I had seeerious reservations about Beachbody and wanted to be pursuing something that felt 100% authentic to me. Because, here's the thing, with me? What you see is what you get? I will tell it to you straight. I'm honest to a fault and I value INTEGRITY. So I did my research and I took the leap of faith, still honestly terrified.

And you know what happened? All those fears went away.

And going to Nashville confirmed EVERYTHING for me. THIS is where I'm supposed to be. Surrounded by a community of likeminded gals who just GET ME. Getting to be my own freaking CEO and live life on my terms. And above all, getting to help other women find their FUCK YES lives too. Because we all deserve to do more than just dream -- we deserve to be LIVING OUR DREAMS. And to be happy and healthy from the inside out. 

And now? Now I'm not crying at night because I'm tired. Exhausted. Burnt out. And I'm just trying to get through the day.

Now? I'm crying happy tears because I am just so dang grateful.

**and there I go, being a blubbering mess AGAIN **

Ok, ok, get it together Amanda. Your people need you!!!!!

All of this is to say: You know that saying "Find Your Tribe, Love them Hard"? Well, there's a reason it's in the universe because it is SO key. Because the second you surround yourself with gals who are just like you -- who you don't have to explain yourself to because they get it -- who will dance with you in the aisles of a conference centre because that's just how you do -- who you can spend HOURS laughing with -- gals who RAISE YOU UP and constantly inspire you to be the BEST & BRIGHTEST version of you? There is nothing better in this world.

So find your tribe.

And don't be afraid to LEAP. You deserve to feel this amazing.

And if you've been watching me from afar and keep thinking to yourself, "Damn, these are my kind of girls" or "I just want MORE with my life" -- then this is your sign. I double dog dare you to face your fears and message me, The worst thing that happens? You say YES to opening a door to your best life and your best self. 

You are so loved. And you are so shiny & bright.

Xo Love love love, Amanda

My Latest Obsession

If you follow my Facebook page, you know that I've been doing something a little different with my workouts for the month of July. Normally, I need a super specific schedule for my workouts -- working through a complete program (like the 21 day Fix!) has been the only way I have been able to fully COMMIT to something so the idea of switching things up for me was suuuuper scary and intimidating. 

That being said, I am always up for pushing my boundaries and after completing 22 minute Hard Corps, I decided I would do the Beachbody on Demand Challenge du Jour. 

What's Beachbody on Demand? Only the greatest thing since Netflix.

But for realsies. It's basically like Netflix for Beachbody on Demand...what?! Crazy sauce. And every day, there is a Challenge of the Day posted that you can join in on the fun with! So, I figured I'd check it out and you GUYS, it's been such a fucking blast. 

I figured I'd share a sneak peek of what my first 5 days looked like!!! I will say that not every workout was my favorite, but I really liked getting to check out different programs and while I thought the element of surprise would stress me out, I actually liked getting up every morning and going OK, what do you got for me today, BOD? 

Awesome. Sauce.

_____________________________________________________

Day 1: Cize Live

Workout style: Hip Hop Cardio dance FOR THE WIN. This shit was SOOOO MUCH FUN. I was laughing, I was making weird faces & I didn't care that I probably looked ridiculous because I was getting such an amazing workout and having FUN while doing it. That's what it should be all about, am I right?!

Info: 30 minutes, no equipment needed

Verdict: LOVED it, so so much. Got SUPAH sweaty & burned a solid 300 calories. What whaaaat.

Day 2: Hammer Power

Workout Style: This was a really solid strength workout and holy shiiiit could I feel it the next day. This particular workout was all about a small amount of reps with heavier weights. If you're looking to really sculpt your bod, Hammer & Chisel is definitely where it's at. Can't wait to try this program in full :) 

Info: 40 minutes, a set of lighter weights (I used 8-10 lbs) and a set of medium weights (I used 12.5-15 lbs) and a resistance band or towel for the warmup!

Verdict: Other than Sagi's annoying voice (HA!), I really loved pushing myself. I used to be sooo terrified that working with heavier weights would make me bulk up, but after starting to up my weights, it's only helped me tone up, get leaner and above all, get stronger! Really think I'm going to have to give this program a whirl.

Day 3: Rev Abs

Workout: Usually ab work is not the toughest for me, but man oh man did I LOVE this one. My abs were being fired in places they don't usually feel it and I also really loved that there was some cardio mixed in to keep it interesting. A solid ab workout FOR SURE.

Info: 40 minutes, one medium weight needed (I used 10 lbs)

Verdict: If you're looking for something that's focused on core work, this one's pretty good. I will say that I liked the Core workouts from 22 minute hard corps much more and those were significantly shorter workouts so overall, not my favorite, but it was fun to checkout!

Day 4: 22 Minute Hard Corps

Workout: Short, intense and holy balls was I SWEATING by the end of it. Never thought 22 minutes could give such a solid workout. This one was Cardio 1 from the program (which I have done before!) and I still love it as much as I did when I started it. Bootcamp feel, military inspired, FAST.

Info: 22 minutes in length, this particular one you didn't need any equipment but for the resistance workouts, you need a set of weights (I used 8/10 lbs) and a resistance band.

Verdict: Still love this program as much as I did when I started it. Definitely going to keep it in my repertoire :)

Day 5: PiYo Lower Body

Workout: High intensity musically driven workout, using the fundamentals of Pilates and Yoga but with dynamic movements to get your heart racing! (Aka definitely NOT yoga -- you do burpees and shit in Piyo! Haha)

Info: 30 minutes in length, all you need is a yoga mat and yourself!

Verdict: I am a PiYo Junkie, so I knew I'd love this one. I actually got certified a few months ago to teach this as a fitness class because I love the program so much. It's amazing because it's a perfect balance of stretch, strength and agility, and you don't need any equipment to do it so I can literally take my workout to the park with me if I want (which I do!!)

 

Wanna join in on the fun with the

Challenge du Jour?

 

CONTACT ME and say "Hey girl! Let's be Challenge Du Jour accoutability buddies!" and I'll hook you up with a link to get started for free!