‘I have my first meal of the day around 10.30am to 11am and my dinner between 6.30pm to 7pm,’ Amanda tells New Idea.
‘In that time, I usually have three or four meals including oats, fruit, corn thins with avocado, smoothies, bean burritos, chills, lentil dhal, baked potatoes, pancakes, loaded fries - just to name a few!
‘Potatoes are my saviour - a staple,’ she says.
‘Most people stay to avoid carbs, I say carbs are life!
‘I loved baked potato, home made oven chips, boiled potato and dishes like loaded fries.
‘Potatoes literally sustained a lot of western civilisation through periods of famine. If I can eat potato I am a happy girl. It is filling, it is mentally satisfying and if you cook It right, they are extremely healthy!’
Amanda says before her transformation, she used to be a ‘bored eater’.
‘I would sit on the couch and watch TV and snack,’ she says. ‘I could easily eat over 2000 calories while snacking.’
But after making the decision to change her life, she stopped keeping her favourite snacks in the house.
‘If I felt the urge to snack, I would get some water, do some housework or organise to go out,’ she says.
In addition to her diet change, Amanda does gentle cardio each day and weight sessions four or five times a week.
‘If you are constantly missing workouts, look at your schedule - the best time to workout is the time that is right for you,’ Amanda tells New Idea.
‘You don’t have to do the morning if you work odd hours. Pick a time that works for you, and in with your other commitments and follow through with that.
‘Don’t try and change everything all at once,’ she adds.
‘We tend to go into diets thinking we can become a totally different person and undo years of bad habits in one decision.
‘You need to put your training wheels on. There will be mistakes, you might have brain fog, you might get rundown, you might accidentally eat a whole pizza, a block of chocolate and a tub of ice cream all in one day! Don’t feel guilty, just get back on track.’
Amanda herself admits that if she really wants chocolate, she will have it.
‘I don’t make any food off limits,’ she says. ‘I have the mindset of eating for my goals, and rather than make foods ‘good’ or ‘bad’ - because deep down we know what foods will help and hinder us.
‘I make choices based on what my current lifestyle goals are.’
One thing Amanda does limit is alcohol.
‘I drink very rarely. This year I have probably drunk more than the last five years combined as I got married, a close friend got married and I went on my honeymoon through Mexico and the USA,’ she says.
‘I prefer not to drink unless I have a special occasion, plus my hangovers are horrible so it’s just not worth it.
‘When I do I will have Champagne, red wine or espresso martini cause I want to make it something special.’
And when it comes to the number one piece of advice Amanda would give others, it’s this.
‘It’s probably going to be tougher than you expect, and you will have slip ups or set backs,’ she says.
‘That doesn’t mean you have failed, it makes you human. Get straight back on track or adjust your plan slightly and keep going.
‘Having a support network is important too. I run a free group on Facebook for ladies so they have somewhere to get help and support on their journey.’
As for the future – Amanda hopes to inspire others.
‘Personally, I want to keep competing in body building and being a healthy voice in the industry, as so many people have terrible diets in bodybuilding,’ she says.
‘Then, I also want to inspire others. A lot of people that having a body you love and feel confident in is only for ‘other people’.
‘I am no one special. I just worked hard, changed my habits and stayed consistent.
‘If I can do it, as a girl who hated exercise, loved pizza - and can eat a whole one and a garlic bread in one sitting - has rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis and compressed disks in my neck that caused migraines, then anyone can.
‘My transformation opened up a whole new world of believing in myself. I used to sit for eight or nine hours per day, sleep on the train everyday, be in pain every single day from my joints, live off takeaway, coffee and red bull and thought this was my lot in life.
‘I was okay with life, but I felt like I was just existing.
‘Transforming my diet and my exercise has given me joy, it has lead me down a path I never thought possible for myself.’
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