If you don't already know, I was in the running for Ms. Health & Fitness 2018 for Muscle & Fitness Hers magazine.  I made it through three brutal rounds placing 1st in my region! As a semi-finalist, I won 2nd place! 

It's a very interesting story how this all started and how I entered.  Before I started my fitness journey, I would have never had the courage or the confidence to enter into a contest as big as this one! One evening, I was lying on my couch after a long day of brainstorming social media marketing ideas to create brand awareness for my business. 
I picked up my phone to start researching ideas and I noticed a text message from a random phone number.  It said, "You've been hand selected for Ms Health & Fitness." I had no idea what that was or exactly what that meant. I then shortly received the same message in an email.  I clicked on the link and learned that it was a health & fitness contest.  I saw who my competitors would be and became very hesitant. 
I honestly didn't think I had what it takes to compete in something like this--against popular fitness models with huge followings.  I thought it over for a few hours and my husband began to encourage me.  We went through a few photos and I submitted a photo by accident.  I wasn't ready to submit photos yet because I still wasn't 100% willing to enter. 
The next morning upon waking up, I noticed an email from Ms. Health & Fitness. It said, "You have been pre-selected to move into the next round."  I clicked on the link and there I was, already in 13th place out of 47 other deserving competitors. My jaw dropped!  I thought to myself, "Okay I suppose if I'm doing this, I'm just going to do this!" I couldn't just back out at this point as I was already in 13th place.
I posted my contest on Facebook and next thing I know, I'm in 1st place! Surprisingly, I remained in 1st place for three rounds of voting.  I couldn't believe it!  Votes were rolling in, as well as "warrior votes." It was all happening so fast!  My husband told me I should be in this contest because I've been living this lifestyle consistently for the past five years. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.
I had been working out hard to prepare myself for various photoshoots to showcase my designer swimwear collection, "Shore Thing" coming this summer and I had started promoting my nutrition guide.  I launched my business in February 2017 to promote an active, healthy and happy lifestyle.  I started as a personal trainer at Gold's Gym Midlothian. I was rejected seven times before I started my own business! 
I had lost a job I loved due to personal circumstances.  I had to find a job as soon as possible in order to make ends meet.  I fell behind on my bills and had to ask family members for money.  How embarrassing is that?  I applied to several jobs and went on countless interviews.  In some cases I was able to push through 2-3 uninspiring interviews with companies, but just couldn't land a job!  At this point, I reminded myself that everything would be okay and that I do have something that made me feel powerful and kept me afloat, my faith in God as well as my health and fitness lifestyle! 
I was so angry with myself and where I was in life, feeling like I've failed.  My dream was to open up my own women's retail boutique or continue to work in retail, but I didn't make enough money in retail and I was scared to open something of my own. All I really wanted was a career that I was successful in and that fulfilled me!  I just wanted to feel successful, confident and happy in my career. I desperately wanted to find my sole purpose in life and accomplish something to be proud of. 
After working out and consistently living a healthy lifestyle for about five years, I decided I would pursue a personal training career.  I knew I had to pass the test to receive my PT certification and I was terrible at test taking.  After passing the test, I applied for a PT position.  I interviewed for two different PT positions and was rejected AGAIN...both times. 
I started to second guess myself and thought something was seriously wrong with me!  I began to take out my anger in the gym with my workouts.  I trained harder and heavier each time.  Next thing I knew, I received an email from the manager I interviewed with at that same gym I worked out at.  He said a PT position had opened back up and he would love for me to join the team!  I was so thrilled, honored, and ready to start training clients. 
No matter where you are in life or what job you may have, hard work never goes unnoticed and it will always prepare you and pay off in the future and believe it or not, your struggles will make you stronger! After personal training, learning and gaining more confidence, I decided to start my own business personal training. One thing lead to another and here I am today with an amazing brand I built that I absolutely FELL IN LOVE WITH! 
There are many who deal with depression, anxiety or struggle with major health issues.  You never know who is struggling. Your daily habits, along with what you put into your body will effect your mental state of mind. This lifestyle didn't just strengthen me physically, but has improved my way of life in my career and my mental health! Before my journey, I lacked energy and dealt with major depression.
Now, I have more energy than I could have ever imagined and I am finally confident and comfortable in my own skin. I believe everyone deserves the chance to experience this! Check out my nutrition lifestyle guide if you would like to experience the benefits I have! 
Since I started my business, I have had men and women reach out to me for advice on many different subjects regarding how to start a business, how to create healthier habits, how to overcome depression, what to eat, and how to work out.  I haven't just built a brand for myself, I have built awareness! 
When launching my business, my goal was to help and encourage others to create healthy lifestyle habits the way my husband encouraged me.  The reason I decided to move forward with this contest is to have the opportunity to share my journey and set a good example for others all around the world! 
I work closely with a non-profit organization, Runway2life, supporting mental illness and suicide awareness.  We put on a fashion show every year to support the cause and gain awareness. This cause is very near and dear to my heart as I have lost close friends and family members due to major health complications and I have also been a victim of depression and know others who are currently.
The opportunity to possibly feature my story and my brand while encouraging others in an international magazine, Muscle & Fitness Hers, would be a dream come true! With your support I can help promote the benefits and importance of living a healthy lifestyle! Every life matters!
I came close, but didn't end up in the final round of this final round. However, this journey has been nothing short of amazing! It has lead people to me, from all over with health complications! I have had the opportunity to shed some light and advise those who haven't been successful finding effective answers or remedies to their health complications! 
God is working through me! If you put your faith in him and let him guide you, he WILL lead the way! I have finally found my purpose! 
Again, I am SO grateful for all of your undivided love and support!! THANK YOU!! 
July 22, 2018 — Amanda Winkler
Tags: Ryan Vlasic
How to successfully find happiness and live a long fulfilling life!

How to successfully find happiness and live a long fulfilling life!

How is it humanly possible to enjoy the life you live every single day?! Happiness starts with acceptance and accomplishment; accepting yourself, accomplishing your daily goals and taking pride in all that you do. Accept yourself first and grow from there. 

Happiness is a choice! The beautiful thing about happiness is that you can choose to be happy. You are responsible for your own happiness, you can't rely on others. On a daily basis, you might find yourself getting caught up in comparing your life to others while scrolling through Facebook and Instagram.

Maybe you are single while your peers are married with a third child on the way. Maybe you have been working hard day in and day out in the gym and your waistline hasn't moved, but you notice someone who doesn't workout and remains a 4 pack. Maybe you've been in the same job for years working your tush off while watching others bypass you in the same field with less experience. Happiness begins with yourself and when you stop comparing yourself to others. 

Tip#1: Accept yourself, love yourself and respect yourself. 

Know who you are and let your light shine bright! Low self esteem is denying who you really are. If you don't accept yourself you may push yourself into becoming someone you aren't just to please others. Self acceptance is understanding who you truly are and knowing where your strengths, weaknesses and values lie. The next step is to love yourself and respect yourself, which will allow others to love and respect you. 

Tip#2: Stop comparing yourself to others. 

We were all created uniquely with a different destiny. We all have different priorities, passions and purpose. We all have diverse skillsets with a different mindset. We all have different metabolisms and were born with unrelated genes. All of our bodies respond differently, as do our minds! Comparing our lives to others is one of the most common causes upon depression. 

Tip#3: Self improvement 

Maybe you know who you are and what you want out of life, but you still aren't happy with who you are today and you aren't taking the necessary steps to get to where you want to be. Think about your priorities and write them down. Also, think about what you currently have and what you are thankful for! Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Write down what you need to improve on. Set a goal and write out a plan. Write down steps you will take to achieve those goals. 

Tip#4: Practice self discipline 

Focus on self discipline and commitment, rather than motivation. We cannot rely solely on motivation to accomplish our goals. With discipline, you can accomplish anything! Whether in terms of your diet, fitness, work ethic or relationships, self discipline is the number one trait needed to accomplish your goals, lead a healthy lifestyle and successfully find happiness. 

Tip#5: While focusing on your goals, remove all temptations

Out of sight, out of mind! Removing all temptations and distractions from your environment is a crucial first step when working on self improvements, discipline and self control. If you are trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle, then remove all junk food from your household. If you want to improve your focus while working, turn off your cell phone and remove clutter from your work space. If you want to save for a vacation, stay away from the mall and give yourself a weekly allowance.

If your relationships at home need improvement, put your laptop and cell phone away. If you are trying to become more organized, declutter your household and schedule days for cleaning. If you have a friend holding you back, let them go. Maybe you have a friend who is a bad influence or doesn't support you. They may be in a different place in their life and that's okay. If their company is not benefiting you or encouraging you, then distance yourself. 

Tip#6: Eat healthy and more frequent 

Low blood sugar can impair your brain functionality. When you are hungry, you are less likely to think with a clear and sharp mindset. You are also more likely to lose self control in all areas of your life. In order to stay on track, make sure you are properly fueled throughout the day. Meals and snacks with nutritional value have a greater impact on our brain functionality, energy and mood. 

Tip#7: Exercise daily

Be active! Even if you aren't a frequent gym goer, remain active. Take your pups on long walks instead of just letting them out the back door. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Find someone to hit the gym with or partake in classes after work. Create a healthy routine for yourself. 

Tip#8: Change up your normal routine 

Making self improvements and practicing discipline means changing up your routine, which can be uncomfortable and feel awkward at first. It's important to create healthier habits. When habits are created, we stop using our decision making skills and instead function on auto-pilot. Embrace your wrong habits and acknowledge that it may take a while for your new regime to feel right or natural. Stay on track while creating new habits, they will soon become natural.

Tip#9: Build relationships and schedule time for fun!

While working hard at creating new habits, you also need to make time for your friends and family. We often start to feel depressed or unhappy when we start feeling distance between our friends and family. It's important to keep your friends and family close. Building relationships, having a support system and doing things that make you happy are vital. Pencil in a dinner date or something fun with a friend or family member at least once a week.. Stay close to those who love you and share common interests. 

Tip#10: Get away! 

Instead of making excuses, make traveling a priority even if its just a small get away for the day. Go hiking with a friend, visit a museum, hit the zoo or head to a beach near by! Step outside of you comfort zone and experience life outside of your normal routine. Fill your life with adventures, not things. It's important to create memories with your friends and family. Opening yourself to new experiences will build your character and it's a great way to bond with your loved ones. Live your life spontaneously! Fulfilling your life with adventure will fulfill your life with joy. 

Tip#11: Forgive yourself, let go of things you cant control and move forward

You will experience ups, downs, success and flat out failures that are out of your control. The key is to keep moving forward. When you are challenged with a setback, acknowledge what caused it and find a way to overcome it. It's easy to get wrapped up in guilt, stress, anger or frustration, but these emotions will not help resolve the issue.

Use the hiccups in your plan as a learning experience. We all go through trial and error, which make for a better future. Forgive yourself, let go of things you can't control and move forward. Keep a positive mindset instead of doubting yourself. How we think plays a significant role in how we feel. Positive thinking brings positive responses which will boost your mood and diminish stress. Rid any negativity from your life! 


February 28, 2018 — Amanda Winkler
Tags: Ryan Vlasic
Q&A: Pre-workout/Post-workout/How to shred fat FAST?!

Q&A: Pre-workout/Post-workout/How to shred fat FAST?!

Find out how to shred fat quick!
January 15, 2018 — Amanda Winkler
Tags: Ryan Vlasic