By Alyce Collins
THIS WOMAN used to get out of breath TYING HER SHOES and was told by her doctor that she wouldn’t see the age of THIRTY unless she lost weight, but it was a devastating breakup that finally pushed her to lose EIGHT-STONE and realise that the GYM could make her happier than any man.
Ophthalmic technician and weight loss coach, Amandalyn Wagoner (28) from Idaho, USA, was overweight from the age of 10 and throughout her teens. By the time she was 20, Amandalyn was diagnosed with chronic migraines, high blood pressure, PCOS and diabetes.
Doctors suggested that Amandalyn ingest herself with medication each day, to balance out her body’s hormone levels. Although this was a motivating factor for Amandalyn to lose weight, she never could. Doctors warned her that if she didn’t make drastic changes, she wouldn’t live beyond her thirtieth birthday.
Amandalyn would binge eat processed food and gorge on sweets, without doing any exercise, which led her to weigh 14st 7lb, wearing a UK size 22.
Despite trying many new fad diets, such as Weight Watchers and Atkins, nothing worked for Amandalyn. In 2014, she moved to Kentucky to live with her boyfriend of a year, escaping her pain felt from failed diets. Amandalyn loved that he accepted who she was and how she looked.
Only a few months later, without giving her any reason, Amandalyn’s boyfriend broke up with her, forcing her to drive back to Idaho. Upon returning home, the devastation was immeasurable for Amandalyn, but it made her want to lose the weight for herself and make herself happy.
Amandalyn began eating clean and gradually incorporated workouts into her regime. After researching the best way to work out, and teaching herself how to maintain a balanced diet, she managed to lose 8st 2lb in total, and now wears a UK size 10.
At the end of 2015, Amandalyn returned to her doctor who was amazed by her transformation, telling her that she no longer required daily medication. In October 2016, Amandalyn had her excess skin removed, finally gaining the confidence to wear swimwear.
“My weight progressed through my teens and well into my early twenties,” said Amandalyn.
“At age 19 I was diagnosed with diabetes, chronic migraines, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, PCOS, and I had severe back problems.
“My doctor had me ingest 11 pills a day to try and level out my body. I don’t like taking any form of medication, not even for a headache. My ultimate goal was to be off all medication, so I tried taking vitamins to help my body reach that goal sooner.
“My doctor insisted I lose weight, or I wouldn’t see the age of 30 or have a family of my own. I was extremely depressed after that because I didn’t know how to lose weight. I tried for years and I felt extremely overwhelmed.
“My mother doesn’t have the best health record and all I remember was telling myself to not live the same life as her. I needed to get healthy, so I could have a future.
“But I would just binge eat high-carb or processed foods. My negative relationship with food led me to starve myself sometimes, just trying to lose weight, but then I would gorge on sweets and high-fat foods.
“Back in 2014 I was very much in love and thought I could see a future with him. He accepted me for who I was but then out of nowhere he dumped me. He gave me no reason, just said it was over.
“We were together for a year by the time he dumped me. I think it affected me so much because I left home and never thought I would go back unless to visit.
“I was looking for someone to make me happy. In the end, I was the unhappy person and probably hard to be with due to how low my self-esteem was.
“After taking time to think about the situation, we weren’t a good match. He would bore me with conversations, and we didn’t have much in common. I was just glad someone found me attractive when I was so heavy because I didn’t have enough self-love.
“I packed up my stuff and drove back to Idaho. I was devastated. However, it helped me realise how important my own happiness was and how I didn’t need anyone to make me happy. It made me realise that this was my time to be selfish and start over in a better way.”
At first, Amandalyn started her new healthy regime by eating fresh fruit and vegetables and lean protein. For the first two months, she focused on her diet and managed to lose three and a half stone.
Following this, she slowly began working out weekly after building a programme for herself. Within a year, Amandalyn was cleared of all medication by her doctor and has rid herself of the many health problems she endured.
Amandalyn is now blissfully married, and it was her husband, Trenton, who helped her find her passion for strength sports, which she now uses to help others lose weight.
“I started by eating extremely clean. I ate fresh vegetables, fruit, and lean protein. I didn’t go to the gym for two months until I had lost three stone,” said Amandalyn.
“I would eat five main lean proteins: bison, cod, shrimp, chicken, turkey and eggs. I allowed myself two fruits a day as well. I drank loads of water and I stopped drinking alcohol too.
“I ate like this for four weeks, then did a four-week reintroduction phase where I reintroduced foods back into my diet that I hadn’t eaten in ages. It really helped me look at food differently.
“I then started to incorporate workouts into my weekly routine. I taught myself to eat properly, I researched how to work out, and made myself a programme that helped me lose over eight stone.
“I soon started working out three times a week to do cardio, but now it’s up to six times a week doing weights and cardio. I was a cardio bunny until I felt brave enough to touch free weights.
“It feels so good to be healthy. I don’t feel sluggish or tired for no reason now. I can tie my own shoes without getting out of breath.
“I knew before losing the weight that having that surgery was the way to go. I have had that horrible skin flab since I can remember.
“I had around three-pounds of skin removed in the first surgery, and not too much on the second round. I’m glad it’s over. I’m able to wear clothes or a swimsuit without having my skin apron in the way. I can sit down without having skin resting on my legs.
“It truly was a life changer and I am very grateful for the journey. I found my passion and happiness. I didn’t find it in a relationship or food, I found it by doing the one thing I’ve tried to for years and I finally accomplished it.
“I want others to know that you can take your life into your own hands. You can take the impossible and make it possible. Everyone has something they want to improve for themselves, but action is the only way to do it.”
You can follow Amandalyn’s Instagram by visiting @truself_fit.