My name is Amanda Thomas, and I have been a member at Fitness Functions for almost 3 years now. I am going ahead and warning anyone reading this it will be long, because I have to speak my truth to let you know how much of an impact these people have had on my life. My friend, and former member, Mallory Morrison, was the one who suggested coming here when she was going through her weight loss journey. I was apprehensive, and was intimidated because I had never had a trainer, and didn’t like not being in control. Well, almost three years later I am still here and haven’t been able to leave!

Ever since I was five, and was made aware that I needed to “watch what I ate,” or “that looks good on you if you lost a little.” I have always been up and down with my weight and struggled with not only that, but my self-image. There was always doubt even when I had my friends and family constantly supporting and encouraging me. When I was at my best, it didn’t matter because I didn’t want to settle, and have never been one to do so in any aspect of my life. Things I did had to either be perfect or near perfect, otherwise, it wasn’t good enough for me.

I have also been a dancer all of my life which meant by society’s standards I had to have the perfect body at all times, best make-up, hair, and had to be the best all-around with my dancing and appearance. Well, growing up I was always the bigger one when it came to my dance classes, and age. I was always a little bit taller, or heavier, plus being half Lebanese and having all the dark hair and features made me stick out amongst my friends and classmates. It didn’t bug me much, until I started to become aware of my differences, but most importantly, my weight. Once I hit middle school and into high school, I began to notice my weight and was aware of it at all times. I was on dance team and constantly in the direct eye of my coaches, classmates, teammates, friends, and family. The uniforms, as you can imagine, left little to the imagination, and I was always trying to make sure I was up to par with the rest of my teammates who were again, smaller than me, and in my eyes, had the body that I wish I had. Before tryouts every single year, I would try and lose weight right before tryouts the WRONG way. I would barely eat, over exercise, and over work myself to get to what I considered perfect. I would weigh myself every single day, almost multiple times, and if I gained even an ounce, it was the end of the world. Oh, did I mention I was a perfectionist? Type A like my Father? And a control freak? Yes, all of this in combination with my struggle with weight and self was not ideal. I have tried all the diets, the right ones, the wrong ones, know all the tricks, and everything in between. I began to diet this way, though, not just during or before try outs, but whenever I wanted to lose weight or felt heavy which was way too often. If the diet’s been seen on tv, I have probably done it. I was willing to do anything to get weight off and look the way I wanted and thought I had to look like.

I went to college, and of course, as most always do, I definitely gained the freshman 30 which was the result of a lot of partying and late night Taco Bell. I didn’t know a number for my weight, and I didn’t want to. I was the one who would face away from the scale when I went to the doctor’s office and tell them not to tell me what I weighed because I was afraid of the number. I became a dance major my sophomore year, and then that summer had a breast reduction. I was dancing and exercising 5-6 days a week, and dropped A LOT of weight. I was getting to where I felt a little more comfortable in skin, my clothes were fitting better, and I was fitting into the mold I had been wanting for so long. This is all while I started dating someone new, and that I thought I would marry, and everything was good in my life, or so I thought. Then November of 2014 hit which began the most difficult time of my life. My parents relationship began to crumble, which I never thought would happen, and I took on the burden of making sure my brothers were ok without making sure I was ok. My own relationship was failing and becoming toxic, all while juggling a full time dance career and trying to keep my personal life out of my job. My parents ended their marriage, I lost my job, and my relationship became verbally and mentally abusive, and eventually ended. Over the course of 2 and a half years, as you can imagine, I gained all the weight back and my health, overall, took a toll. I kept looking in the mirror and thinking. “I’m ok. This isn’t bad. You can cover this area with this, or just wear black. It’ll make you look thinner.” I just kept gaining and gaining, until finally I looked in the mirror and thought, “Who is this?”.

All while this is happening, I have been working out 3 times a week at Fitness Functions, telling them about what’s going on, even getting weighed every week to keep my accountable. I would take small losses as a win, but never really hunkered down to get to my goal. They still pushed me, but like anyone else I had to learn the hard lessons on my own, and fix them myself. I had to make the change, otherwise I was choosing to be unhappy. I was making a choice to not better myself. It wasn’t until I finally said enough, and let go of my life baggage, and finally made my new goal just to be happy. That was the key phrase, “being happy.” I hadn’t been happy in years, my family saw it, my friends saw it, and I ultimately let my happiness and health take a toll. I started changing little things here and there. I changed my diet, went to bed at a decent hour, then I began exercising more, going out with my friends, doing things I had deprived myself of years because I was unhappy. I went for my weight goal I had set for myself when I started at Fitness Functions, and I was determined to finally feel confident and beautiful in my own skin. This was something that I was terrified to be because I’ve always wanted to be perfect. This should have never been the goal. The goal should have always been to be healthy.

A year and two months later, here I am proudly and confidently saying that I love ME. Am I perfect? Absolutely not, but I am perfect in my imperfections. I have surpassed my initial weight goal that I set almost 3 years ago with my trainers here at Fitness Functions. I have lost over 50 lbs going from 194 to 143.8. I am no longer afraid of the numbers. I did all of this by just eating healthy, exercising, letting go of things I couldn’t change, and finally just being happy. The staff at Fitness Functions were not only trainers to me, but encouragers, mentors, and now very dear friends. Jenneth, being my main trainer, has done nothing but encourage me even when I was down on myself, and didn’t think I could do it. I have learned so much from her, and I literally couldn’t say thank you enough from the bottom of my heart for being on this insane journey with me. I am the most healthy I have ever been mentally and physically thanks to not only Fitness Functions, but also the constant encouragement from my parents, friends and family and my absolute faith in God’s plan to get me where I want to be.

-Amanda T.