My name is Amber, or as many of my friends call me, Ber.

To start out I wanted to tell you a little bit about me.  While this introduction may be a bit lengthy, I’ve tried to condense it down to just the important parts from the
past 5 years.

As a young girl in school, I was a very active member of my High School marching band.  At 5’3.5″ (yes every half inch counts!), I weighed 115 pounds and was in awesome shape.  I continued to stay active after school and into college, but was never a gym rat.  My body was  naturally lean and I enjoyed the freedom of eating as I pleased and not having to worry about really “working out”.  As I grew older, however, and my metabolism began to slow, and my weight slowly started to increase.  By the time I turned 25, the lifestyle and diet that I so enjoyed quickly began to catch up with me and I found myself no longer comfortable in the clothes hanging in my closet.  At 160 pounds, I struggled with body image issues and decided to work on slimming down.  I tried fad diet pills (Hydroxycut, Caffeine pills, Orlistat, AcaiTrim, whatever was available) to no avail….they simply made me super jittery and caused lack of sleep while seeing extremely marginal changes on the scale.  I bought “healthy” snacks and switched to diet sodas, chose salads at restaurants with light ranch dressing, and parked in the last spot in parking lots so that I could get in some “exercise”.  While these changes felt like progress, the weight still refused to come off.   As a holiday resolution, a good friend and I joined Curves for Women.  Doing their specialized circuit training, I finally started to see some progress. I got down to 140 pounds and was able to maintain it for a while, but eventually my membership expired and my healthier habits again began to wane.  The year I turned 27 I knew I could no longer handle this yoyo lifestyle- I had received horrible scores on my health insurance assessment, and was told that I was borderline high-risk. 

The time for change was now or never.  For unrelated reasons, I completely stopped drinking alcohol and 10 pounds fell away in less than a few weeks.  I lived on the internet doing research on healthy foods and lifestyles, and quickly decided  to give up all drinks outside of water.  I tried several workout videos, until I found my lifesaver in Jillian Michaels’s Yoga Meltdown.  Things were FINALLY beginning to look up.  I felt stronger and better about myself than I had in years.  For my 28th birthday I enrolled in martial arts classes (something I’d always wanted to try) doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  It was love after the first class.  As I trained, my physical conditioning improved by leaps and bounds, as did my mental conditioning.  I met a wonderful man who also trains BJJ, and I became happier than I had been in quite a long time.  As an athlete and ex-personal trainer, he has been able to give me invaluable insight on health and fitness techniques.   Together, we are learning healthier ways to eat and train everyday. 

Throughout my 5 year journey thus far, I have discovered a barrage of information-so much that it is very overwhelming at times.  So many conflicting ideologies and diets exist that even with help, trying to figure out where to start can cause you to give up before you begin.  Experts telling you to do this, eat that, drink this- but did it really work??  All I wanted was a “real” person-someone who works an 8-5pm day to commiserate with how difficult it can be to juggle work, life, and working out.  I am by no means an expert nor a professional.  But I have tried and failed (peaking at my heaviest weight of 171 pounds), picked myself back up, tried and succeeded.  While my journey still continues, I invite you to travel along with me.  The purpose of my blog is to give a resource for fitness moves and routines that I myself have tried and seen results; recipes that are healthy yet tasty (yes, I said tasty!) that will support not a diet but a lifestyle change.  Because if there is one thing above all else that I have learned, it’s that diets don’t work.  Sure they will work while you are on that diet but once you are off, the weight will quickly come back plus sometimes more.  Whether you empathize with my past tribulations or are just looking for some good honest opinions, I hope that you will join me towards a new and healthier lifestyle that will be sustainable for years to come.