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Meet Amanda

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Classic Photographers 

Hey friend! It's Amanda here. It's so nice to "meet" you!

 

In a nutshell, I am a loyal Jacksonville, FL native who believes in integrative wellness, holistic nutrition, functional fitness, intuitive living, and full eating disorder recovery. It brings me joy to be able to help others discover their purposeful potential and to live freely!  

Along with these passions, I also have experience in the following:

  • B.S., Exercise Science, Florida State University

  • Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Certified Health Coach

  • Personal Training and Fitness Coaching (ACSM, ACE)

  • TRX Certified Trainer

  • Group Exercise Instructor 

  • Distance Running/Running Specialty Industry

  • High School Athletics Coach

  • Youth Ministry  

  • Eating Disorder Mentor

  • Worksite Wellness/Corporate Wellness Coaching

  • Public Speaking

  • Presentations/Seminars/Workshops

  • Blogger/Contributing Writer

  • Published Author: FitPeaceByPeace (The Book)

  • Future LMHC (JU class of 2021)

My Story

I had a WONDERFUL childhood. Seriously. I had a loving family, funny friends, athletic outlet, and a sharp mind. I was a competitive amateur athlete with a type-A, extremely driven personality. I laughed uncontrollably, applied myself in my studies, and truly loved my life. But deep inside, I was also high anxiety-prone. I liked to control things... I feared change. I always held myself to exceptionally high standards. Perfectionism plagued me each and every day and I never settled for anything less than my best in both my academics and my athletics. When I entered middle school, the social and academic pressures and changes of normal adolescent life transitions swallowed me whole. I began searching for something within my reach that I perceived I could control, and resorted to micromanaging my diet and exercise. Needless to say, I took my competitive nature a little too far. When I was 12 years old, I fell into the deceptive trap of an eating disorder and clinical depression, which I slipped in and out of for over ten years of my my remaining teenage and college years. Life as I knew it was flipped completely upside down. The journey was only beginning...

 

What began as diagnosed anorexia took on different forms over the next decade, as I sought treatment and tried to keep it all a secret. My eyes were opened in college, where I studied Exercise Science to better understand the body and apply this knowledge to my own personal experiences. During this time I was also enlightened with a new spiritual perspective that drastically changed my outlook on life. For the first time, I saw my situation from a completely different angle and decided to chase after healing. Little did I know that the decision to be vulnerable and work to pay it forward would jumpstart a holistic healing adventure...

Upon returning home to Jacksonville, I jumped straight into a career in the fitness industry, thinking it would help with self-accountability as I continued to advocate healthy lifestyles to others around me. In my mind, I was indirectly following a calling to help prevent eating disorders by engaging in the health and wellness space. But with the continued pressures from society and a lingering piece of poor body image, I realized I wasn't truly practicing what I was preaching to clients, friends and family. The fitness community can indeed be empowering, but it must be navigated wisely. Although I may have appeared fit and healthy on the outside, I continued to live that chained lifestyle of restriction, scrutiny, and unrealistic self-inflicted standards on the inside. For years, I neglected my body’s cries for help, thinking I could handle all of the burdens on my own (--EXACTLY what had gotten me in trouble as a teenager). Eventually, I faced an exhausting burnout and recognized that my years of endless striving and scarring wounds from my eating disorder were robbing the joy from my life. My beat-up body finally began waving a white flag…it was time for a change.

 

Using my educational background in the health sciences, I continued deeply researching nutrition and fitness, reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. As my knowledge base grew, my goal soon became to work with my body, rather than against it. This was a paradigm shift from my old endurance athlete mentality. I was determined to become truly fit ---holistically fit--- physically, mentally, and emotionally. I realized that fitness was more than physical performance or physique---it involves looking at the whole person. It was time to apply what I knew, pull myself out of my training rut, and enter a season of self-experimentation. This quest of self-discovery led me to enroll with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, to pursue further education and training on how to help others through holistic health coaching. And so the journey continued...

 

What I have learned from these seasons that have sprouted as I water these seeds with truth, is that we are never done growing. Our stories aren't over yet. Sometimes we must be flexible. Adaptable. Teachable. But we are always capable. I now know what it means to live both intuitively and faithfully. I know that my identity does not lie in the dark depths of the eating disorder. I know that there are stigmas surrounding mental health that must be broken. And I know that healing is possible. 

 

By accepting myself for who I was and where I was along my journey, I began to allow myself to fully heal. I reached out to pull in more wellness professionals on my team. I expanded my accountability group with friends and family. And with God as my strength and my guide, I began to connect my unique puzzle pieces to full eating disorder recovery, and finally reestablished unity with the fully-integrated relationships in my life. It has been a process, but each step in the process served a purpose. 

 

Today, I can honestly say I believe in hope, freedom, peace, purpose, and full eating disorder recovery. I am beyond blessed to be able to use the aftermath of a struggle to help pave a brighter present and future for others in this world. 

 

I have embraced the idea that everyone is different, and we each have our own mold to fill and role to play. You simply cannot compare yourself to someone else when it comes to your own personal health and wellness—this I learned over time. I now understand my body more than ever before, and I support it’s never-ending quest for balance and peace. This is what I wish to be able to help others discover while walking alongside them in their own individual health journeys. I believe in the body’s unique ability to heal when given the proper resources, guidance and support. Our bodies are smart, and aren’t the ones making the mistakes—they are simply reacting the way they were created, for survival, with our best interest in mind. I believe that when we realize our potential and fuel our beings with wholesome nutrition, quality relationships, spirituality, and a positive environment, this inner- strength will blossom from within. We weren’t made to just get by in this world, or simply to live…we were made to thrive.

 

My faith in God has been an integral part of my personal health journey. I strongly believe that by reintegrating a personal relationship with Christ, all of our broken pieces will begin to bind back together. I have found that coaching from a faith-based perspective has proven to be most beneficial. If this is a vision that you share, please mention when submitting a contact form!

Regardless of where you are, I invite you to come as you are. My ambition is to help you rediscover the joys that come with being content in this particular season of your life, and connecting the spokes of tranquility and vitality…”peace by peace.”

To read more about by personal story about combating eating disorders and living a transformed life of renewed perspective and peace, check out my book FitPeaceByPeace available on Amazon!