I’m Amanda. I’m a 21 year old student and self-proclaimed fitness addict. I started my fitness journey as a sophomore at college, when I gained a significant amount of weight and finally felt fed up with how I looked. I wanted to make a change. A few friends introduced me to the world of weightlifting, and ever since, fitness has become an integral part of my day-to-day life.

#TransformationTuesday I pretty much never do stuff like this (for obvious reasons), and idk if anyone is gonna read my entire paragraph, and you might think it's dumb, but whatever. It took a lot for me to post this. I used to be "skinny fat". I wasn't fat per se. I didn't have any muscle, but I knew I looked fine in clothes. But in a bikini I was embarrassed by my body. And after gaining some weight in college, I was insecure. In the picture on the left, I weighed ~115-117 lbs (I'm 5'0" for reference). That was about a month or two after I first started working out. In both recent pictures on the right, I am at a much healthier weight, at ~98lbs and a bf% of ~15.. It's only been a little over a year since the picture on the left. It's amazing what hard work and dedication can do. Not only has working out/weightlifting dramatically changed my physique, but I've become a happier, more confident person in all aspects of my life. Something about making a goal for yourself, working for it, and physically seeing it get accomplished instills a kind of serious work ethic that is hard to come by, and it's the kind of thing that starts in the gym but overflows into your personal life and other goals. So my advice to anyone who is a little afraid to step foot in the gym, or feels like they want to get in shape but don't know where to start, or is unhappy with their body: just do it. Seriously. Do a little research and start exercising. Do something good for yourself and your body. It's soooo worth it. When you reap the benefits, it will be more than you expected.

A post shared by Amanda Elizabeth (@aeliz21) on

I’ve been lifting weights and educating myself on fitness and health forĀ over 2 years now. I also began practicing brasilian jiu-jitsu in August of 2016, and yoga later that year. I’ve managed to lose more than just the 20 lbs I gained. I now maintain a healthy weight of 95 lbs (I stand at around 5′ 0″ tall), with a low but healthy body fat percentage. I’ve managed to reclaim my body and my health in a way that I could not be more proud of. I have transformed myself inside and out– fitness has been instrumental in shaping who I am as a young adult, as it’s influenced my overall demeanor and attitude completely. My journey has really only just begun, and I’ve never felt better.