By Liana Jacob
MEET the previously anaemic British model whose bullies are now apologising to her after she transformed her life in the sanctuary of the gym.
Fitness model, Amanda Finnie (21), from East Sussex, UK, used to snack on unhealthy food that made her feel ‘sluggish’. She ate pot noodles and bacon sandwiches for breakfast and scoffed sweets throughout the day.
Realising that she could not continue, Amanda visited the doctors who told her that she had an iron deficiency due to her poor diet.
Amanda, who is half Brazilian and now has 341K followers on Instagram, joined the gym and used it as a place of peace to escape the cruel bullies who taunted her about her appearance. She used her free periods and lunch breaks to work out. She is now a UK size eight with a more toned physique. When bulking up, Amanda reached 9st 11Ibs before cutting to her current weight of 8st 5Ibs.
“I hated how unfit I had become and was disappointed that I got tired walking up the stairs. My diet was awful at school and college,” Amanda said.
“I felt myself falling asleep in lessons and struggled to get up for college. I went to the doctors and they told me that I had an iron deficiency.
“I’ve always been an active person from a very young age but moving schools meant I left all of my previous sports teams and I didn’t carry on at my new school.
“I started going to the gym just to get my cardiovascular strength up, I was bullied at school and college, so the gym was a kind of sanctity as it would be the one place the bullies wouldn’t go.
“I joined the school at a very late stage, so I found it difficult to fit in. I would get called racist names.
“It made me upset because I just wanted to be friends with people, but I always tried to rise above it and ignore people and get on with my life.
“I’m over it now and it doesn’t define me. Those people who were nasty have all since apologised and asked for help with fitness advice.
“I have no bitterness towards anyone if anything it’s helped me get to where I am now.
“I started to upload progress photos on my Instagram, but the girls who bullied me would mock me by imitating the poses and make fun of me.
“I decided to join a beauty apprenticeship at a different college and worked in a salon during the week.
“At the weekends I would work in a restaurant kitchen and just liked keeping busy. I had always loved beauty and fashion, so I really enjoyed the apprenticeship.
“I was much happier at this point in my life, surrounded by nicer people. I kept on training whilst holding down two jobs, so I didn’t have much of a social life in my teens.
“It was about six weeks into training that I started to notice a change in my body and that’s when I set goals to change my appearance.
“I trained regularly around three to four times a week; I changed my diet and kept consistent. It has given me the opportunity to work with modelling companies; I’ve met so many amazing and inspiring people.
“I feel so happy and proud of myself for ignoring what anyone else has said and working on making myself the best person I can be.
“I recently changed to a plant based diet in the last three months after watching documentaries and having skin and digestion issues.”
While modelling has improved her confidence, Amanda also felt it was the most difficult part of her journey.
“I’m actually quite shy in front of the camera; taking bedroom selfies is very different to posing in a room with people watching you is very different,” she said.
“People tell me I’ve worked very hard and they are proud of me for not giving up and excited to see the launch of my own fashion label ‘SELLISE’, later this month.
“I would say get in touch with a personal trainer if your starting off in the gym to help you when first starting out. Find what works for you and your body.
“It’s okay to make mistakes and normal to want to give up; it’s all part of the process. Most importantly – do not compare yourself to anyone else; you are unique. Set yourself goals and work hard until you achieve them.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/amandafinniee/