The real-life superpower is not x-ray vision, or the ability to lift a crashing building. The real-life hero’s power is to change their life day by day, no matter how tough it can be. Here's the story of Amanda - our inspiring ambassador and a certified paramedic from New York, who has chosen to live a healthier life, encouraging people to follow their dreams and never give up.
A little over two years ago is where my journey started: I was 25 and married but not happy. After being over the moon from the wedding a year prior, who I thought was my price charming turned out to be a beast in disguise. First it was the occasional fat jokes I tried to let roll off my back that only became more frequent ones and then the names he would call me such as “heffenwice” or “chunklebutt”. With every comment and name he gave me, my self esteem decreased to a low that I had never known before. My identity was lost; I didn’t know who this person was; I thought divorce was one the worst things that could happen to someone who made a promise to stick by their partner to love and cherish, through sickness and in health, and in good times and bad. However, I learned as the months dragged by that divorcing yourself is the single worst thing that could happen to someone while promising to stick by their partner.
Hard times pass
The last 3-4 months were the toughest months of them all. I didn’t know what to make of the first time he hit me, I wanted to believe his apology and that he would never do it again but that was a mistake. He hit me multiple times after that and as much as it caused me pain slowly but surely I became numb on the inside. As this was going on at home, I was going to work, sometimes days at a time to so the bills would be paid and on the same token to get away from him. Work became my safe haven, no matter how unsafe the endeavors at were. I was a paramedic in NYC, I loved my work and loved helping others but why was that I couldn’t help myself? One morning, as emotional and emotionally as numb as I could be, I got on my hour long train ride to my station. I sat down and that’s when it happened: I decided in that very moment that I was done. I went to work that day leaving all of my personal belongings, never to return; at least not without a police officer and I became free.
Fighting the disease
Although leaving my husband was a huge step forward into becoming the healthy person I am today, it was only a contributing factor. When I met my now ex-husband back in 2012, I had been in remission of my autoimmune disease and upon my departure, I had been through being physically sick time and time again including battling shingles twice at 24 and 25 years old and my autoimmune disease was back in full swing. I weighed in at over 200 pounds after trying to always soothe myself with food and being swollen from having to take prednisone. What’s more is that a month after moving back in with my parents I tore my shoulder at work that needed surgery to be repaired; I was miserable, in pain and nervous. I was also given the task of getting my autoimmune disease under control otherwise the chance of me healing from a shoulder tear were grim. I was once again faced with another problem.
I have Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura or ITP for short; my body attacks my platelets that are the very cells responsible for clotting and if I didn’t have enough of them the surgery was too risky and not going to happen. So in an effort to get the green light for surgery and come out alive, I made the conscious decision to do whatever I could to force myself into remission for a second time. It started with research on what I should and shouldn’t eat, treatments I should try, and what actions to take to reduce as much stress from my life as possible.
The key to start living healthy
I had already gotten rid of my abusive husband, and I stopped drinking alcohol, then I put myself on an intense diet cutting out junk food. I did some more research and upon surfing the web I had read that apple cider vinegar is a great addition to any lifestyle and helps with weight control. I went to the store and bought a huge bottle of it but when I tried to take it, the acidity was too much and mixing it with water made me able to swallow it but it still bothered my stomach.
That’s when I found Apple Cider Vinegar capsules from Potent Organics: as soon as I took it after receiving my first bottle I started reaping the benefits. The capsules made it easy to take, and that only made it easier to eat better quality foods and also reduce the amount of food I was eating. I was drinking more water, and then eventually I started becoming more and more active and before I knew it I had already lost 20 pounds. I even started running, something I struggled to do and hated it because I struggled. I was changing for the better right before everyone’s eyes and the compliments just kept rolling in.
If you are looking for a way of positive change, here’s my recipe that is easy for anyone to follow:
- Remember 80/20. Any great plan out there will make 80% of your focus nutrition and 20% on exercise. They don’t say that six pack is made in the kitchen and not in the gym for nothing!
- Sleep, sleep, sleep. Getting 7-9 hours of rest per night is optimal for the regulation of hormones. Not getting enough rest will make you more inclined to reach for that piece of bread and raises cortisol levels (stress hormone) resulting in fat storage.
- Water please! I drink at least half of my body weight in water and I love adding lemon or lime to give it flavor. Staying hydrated is super important as our bodies are comprised mostly of water.
- Give Me 10. Exercise is the heat that you turn up on the furnace to speed up your metabolism. I aim to workout for 60 minutes every other day and sometimes two days in a row.
- Motivation is Key. No lifestyle change can come to flourish without reminding yourself why you’re making these changes especially when it gets tough. I set pictures to all my devices and they kept me going and on track.
Want to find out more about Amanda's story? Follow her on Instagram