My name is Amanda Collins and I am a Health and Wellness Coach coming to you from beautiful Northern Nevada. My goal is to create small, simple steps to help you move forward on your path to your healthiest you.
My guess is that you clicked on this page because you are looking for a little behind the scenes about me 😉 Well here it goes!
I am a 30-something year old wife and dog mom who only within the last 5-6 years found my passion for health and fitness. I always knew I wanted to help people, but had no idea what that was going to look like.
Rewind to my first epiphany at the age of 19 when I was told I needed to have open heart surgery. My aortic valve was not closing and regurgitating the blood, making my heart work way harder and causing it to enlarge. Surgery was done to replace the bad valve with a pig valve. Wow, I just survived heart surgery! I needed to make sure I was living my best life and loving those around me more.
Fast forward 7 years, I find out I have an autoimmune disease called Takayasu Arteritis (basically inflammation of the aortic blood vessel). I was put on a lot of medications to start treating the disease, including a very high dose of steroids. I remember picking up the prescription from the pharmacy and the first thing the pharmacist says to me is, “You're about to gain 10-15 pounds this month.” Um… what?!?! This was the first step in my healthy lifestyle journey.
I researched the hell out of steroids and found out that the reason people gain so much weight while taking the drug is that it makes you crazy hungry. Most people just follow that hunger and eat whatever they can find. I found a book…. a book that talked about cutting your sodium/salt intake while on the drug. That book saved my life. I adjusted my diet so there was a minimal amount of processed foods, everything was purchased fresh – fresh herbs and red pepper flakes were my new best friends.
I learned how to adjust every recipe to make it fit my dietary needs. I even cut out cheese for an entire year. Ugh – that was tough. However, it was all worth it. I was on the steroid for about 2 years total. For the first year, my sodium intake was as low as I could make it. Proudly, I can say that I did not gain any weight while on the steroid. I did end up with the round, pancake face, but did not add any pounds.
1 year into that diagnosis, at the age of 27, I find out I need to have another heart surgery. The pig valve had deteriorated quicker that expected, so the valve was replaced again, this time with a titanium valve. This meant that I would have to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life.
Bringing this story to present time, almost 12 years after my second heart surgery, I live a normal life. I have adjusted my diet to be consistent but flexible. Over the last 5 years or so I have become a Certified Health Coach, personal trainer, group TRX, barre, and Pilates instructor. I am able to now help people get through the obstacles they are facing, whether with their nutrition, fitness or just a person to talk to!
I am so excited that you are here to join me on this crazy journey to health and wellness!