When we are overworking, under exercising and generally not putting ourselves as a priority things can be very stressful.

When Amanda (the Panda) Christenson began looking for a fitness solutions she says she was “running infrequently and inconsistently”.  She says, “I was feeling sluggish, tired and constantly irritated. I worked 60-70 hours per week and had no time for myself. I was struggling in my own skin-I didn’t feel confident. I wasn’t sure how to fix that and I felt completely alone and lost”.

She was desperate to fit into her clothes again. “I hate shopping and it was either lose weight and fit back into the clothes I have OR spend a lot of money to buy a completely new wardrobe.  I chose my health and fitness!” You should also know that in addition to hating to shop she also hates to spend money so this prospect was really bad for her.

Amanda came in on a 4 session trial and she says part way through her first workout she said to herself, “YEP. This is for me. I love this place” and then she signed up.  

“Honestly, it wasn’t very difficult to add fitness back into my routine regularly. I was committing to 3-4 sessions per week and noticing that my attitude was so much more positive. My new routine inspired my then fiance to develop his own routine as well and eventually join MPower. Having 30 minutes to dedicate to myself is relatively easy to fit into my schedule. It still allows me time to devote to my family and friends as well.”

But Amanda’s journey wasn’t totally free from obstacles.  She says the “ biggest challenge I had to initially overcome was my nutrition. Growing up, I was never a person that ate fast food. As I entered into my first ‘big kid’ job after college, I quickly learned that I didn’t have much time to prepare meals nor did I have energy to even think about it. I turned to fast food for convenience quite often, and man did that cause even more issues with my body. I was gaining more weight, I was eating HUGE meals, and I was having digestion issues. After starting my first challenge at MPower, I realized that some of the meal choices I had considered marginally healthy, really weren’t healthy at all. I found new appreciation for fueling my body appropriately and learning exactly how to do so. It was tough, but I learned a lot and it made a huge difference in my results!

Amanda says that since joining MPower, “my life has completely changed, for the better! I am stronger, healthier, and I have found the BEST community to support me. I have gained so many friendships and muscles too! 🙂 I love exercising and I find that when I miss a few days for “life” reasons, my attitude definitely reflects that. My husband and I eat very healthy throughout the week, but still allow ourselves to indulge here and there-but we CAN because we are committed to our fitness and our health overall. Since commiting to eating better I am known for bringing the healthiest and most enviable packed lunches in the MPower offices.  🙂 I have also helped my mom become more aware of her health and fitness and she has lost over 50lbs since doing so! I have found a career that fits me, that pushes me, and that I have so much passion for!”

The best thing that has happened to be since joining MPower is finding a place where I truly fit in and feel comfortable being me-as a client and as a staff member! I can’t say enough about the focus on body positivity, the encouragement, and the relationships here.<3”

As a side note, Amanda was in a completely different role that she didn’t love, in an office environment where she didn’t feel welcome, happy or encouraged. She was working her part-time and I knew she wasn’t happy in her then full-time role. So when we needed to expand our team I was delighted to be able to offer her a similar salary with paid vacation and to bring her on full-time!  

We have been DELIGHTED to have her as a full-time member of our team. 🙂 And we wish her and her new baby daughter the best!

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