Overall 2015 Winner: Amanda Rose

It wasn’t an easy task for our NEM panel to come up with our overall winners, but somehow, Amanda Rose’s story of courage, strength, faith and persistence captured our hearts and spirits.  She hails from Chicago and s a true example of a “no excuse mom” who has inspired women in her community to follow her positive path towards health. She is one of three overall winners this year and will be awarded $3,520!
Amanda’s story…
“”No, thank you. I’m on a diet.”
I remember the first time I ever spoke that sentence: I was at my best friend’s house and was offered chicken for dinner; I turned it down in favor of my dry salad.
I was nine years old.
I didn’t need to go on a diet. I was a skinny little girl going on a diet in order to emulate her mother, who had been “on a diet” her entire life. Jenny Craig meals filled our freezer, Slim-Fast stocked our refrigerator. We had a scale in the garage with a calendar where her weight was carefully tracked every day. We had a treadmill that became a clothes hanger. A weight bench that gathered dust and rust.
She wired her jaw shut and went on a liquid diet. She bought wire clippers and cut the wire herself a week in.
My father once ripped a lollipop out of her mouth and threw it in the street. He was “helping.”
She finally had weight loss surgery and lost everything she’d been carrying quickly — except the emotional baggage that led to her overeating to begin with…she gained all the weight back.
I learned everything I knew about my body from my mother.
I went on my first diet when I was nine and I never stopped. Puberty hit, I grew and filled out, and the vicious cycle began…
Gain 70 pounds.
Lose 50.
Have a finger amputated.
Gain 25 pounds.
Lose 20.
Leave an abusive partner.
Gain 30 pounds.
Atkins, casual bulimia, grapefruit, cabbage soup, MasterCleanse, 1200 calories, survive on Diet Coke and Adderall.
Cardio all day, every day.
My entire world view changed when I laid eyes on my daughter, Charlotte at 8:34am on November 20, 2014. A fierceness immediately took over me. Although I gained 65 pounds during my pregnancy, I vowed that Charlotte would never hear me call myself fat. I vowed to teach her better than my mother had “taught” me. I could not imagine my sweet picture of perfection ever looking at her tiny body in a mirror and inspecting it for flaws. I knew I had to not only teach her; I had to show her.
I found No Excuse Moms in the spring and became a Group Leader at the end of the summer. The 12 week challenge was the extra motivation that I needed to finally hit my goal of hitting 185 pounds. I sprained my knee two weeks in and that normally would have set me back, letting me quit and telling myself that “I tried.” The motivation and support that I was given by NEM helped me stay true to my goals and with the help of my accountability partner, Cami, I stayed on course. I’ve had my days of doubt and frustration but all I had to do was log on to the NEM page and see women overcoming monumental things to stay healthy and that always got my head into the right space. Add to that the sweet face of my daughter which got me up and kept me moving every day. Thanks to NEM and my baby, I have reached my goal of 185 pounds, exactly 12 pounds down from the start of the challenge. Overall, I lost 20 inches, and over a minute from my mile.
I’m grateful for NEM for giving me the lesson of “Health Starts at Home” to teach Charlotte, and as a NEM Leader in Chicago, for giving me a platform to share these lessons with other mamas and help motivate them. As our movement spreads, we will give birth to a generation of children who value strength over skinniness; moderation over starvation; movement over mediocrity. The challenge may be over now, but the adventure is just beginning — for me and for my perfect little girl.”
Read about our No Excuse Mom program HERE
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