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