Tell me about yourself. (Where you are from, what do you do, family, marital status, what you like to do for fun, etc.)
I'm from Omaha, Nebraska. For those not familiar, we have running water and running vehicles...not horse and carriage. HAHA. I'm a full time pre-med student at the University of Omaha and Bellevue. I graduate this year with a dual degree in Biology and Chemistry, and will be moving to New Jersey for Medical school at Rutgers University. I'm a total nerd, if you couldn't tell – so for fun I typically like to just relax with documentaries on Netflix or go spend some time with my friends doing whatever random shenanigans we find to be amusing at the time.
Every bodybuilder has a cool nickname. What's yours?
My coach, Shelby Starnes, he calls me Limasaurus, I call him Shelbasaurus. Limabean seems to be the one that's stuck around though, I seem to answer to that more often than Amanda anymore.
Let's start with the million dollar question: How did you get into fitness and what inspired you to compete?
Both of my parents were bodybuilders, actually. I've always been active. I was a gymnast and ballerina for 16 years, and ran track and cheered in college. I did drop out of college for two years though, quit sports, and was sort of lost for a while. I met a gentleman by the name of Mick Manley... he showed me pictures of someone he knew who had done figure competitions and said that I could definitely do it, and be successful at it. Four months later I won the overall at my first figure competition. A year later I competed in the NPC, where I won the overall in Physique, and a week later turned pro at the 2012 Jr. Nationals. It all happened pretty quickly and I'm still friends with Mr. Manely to this day. I credit him for believing in me and knowing I'd be successful at something, before I even did.
What is your favorite part of being a bodybuilder? Least favorite?
My favorite part is also my least favorite part, believe it or not. I love, absolutely love, walking into a room or a gym and people say, "Look at that girl, she's jacked, I'd never mess with her." It's nice to know that on some level you gain an immediate respect from peers just based on how you look. However, I'm a lover not a fighter and I don't like that it intimidates a lot of people. I'm a very approachable person, a total goofball, and love to help people in any way I can and sometimes the way I look deters people from realizing that and not giving a chance to know me.
How many shows have you done? How do you approach contest prep?
In the NPC and IFBB, I've done a total of five shows. I approach each contest prep with a mindset that I have to beat the last Amanda that competed. Cliché, yes, but if you don't go into it thinking that and believing that, you will fail. This sport is more mental capacity than physical capacity in my belief. Yes, you have to have the genetics and physical capabilities to be a good competitive athlete, but what's that if you don't have the mental strength to achieve it! I am at the point now where I have to put on some size, and stay leaner in my off season to get that conditioning down. With my coach Shelby, I know I will succeed the next time I compete in 2016.
Do you have any hobbies outside of fitness/bodybuilding? Is there anything about yourself that people are surprised to find out about you?
Hobbies outside of fitness and bodybuilding... well, anyone who takes this lifestyle seriously knows that it consumes a great portion of your life. I am a firm believer in balance though. I want a career outside of fitness as well, in medicine, pediatric oncology to be exact, so really there isn't much free time. Outside of training is school and outside of that, my free time consists of trying to catch up on sleep, or working. I love it though. I've chosen two things in life you have to work your ever-loving butt off for in order to be successful. People typically aren't surprised by much with me, as I said before I'm a total goofball, but most are surprised I was a band nerd in High School and that I play video games. Don't play games or the Flute much anymore, but hey... I deem 1st place on Rainbow Road in Mario Kart, or a positive KDR on Call of Duty a skill set! HAHA
Greatest moment of your career so far? Lowest?
Lowest moment of my career was after I turned pro...my body really took a giant hit metabolically. It was a HARD lesson, but a valuable one! Greatest moment of my career so far, was at this last show, the 2015 St. Louis Pro. I didn't place well, I need more size, definitely... but it was my first time back in almost 3 years and got my feet back under me. It was my first experience with my coach, Shelby, who got me in my best condition ever, and mind you is quite literally a magical man of mystery. He's crazy good ya'll. Yet, regardless of placement, I love the way the Titone's put on their shows and treat their athletes! And meeting my teammates, and competing with my best friend Jess made the whole experience just awesome. It reminded me of why I loved the sport so much.
If you can have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be and why?
First questions is, where are we going for dinner? HA! I'd say 1. My Great Grandma Brigid (my Uhr Omi is what I called her, it's German), she's no longer with us. I only met her a few times since she lived in Germany, but what she experienced in life is unfathomable. Going through the war, losing her husband to it, raising two children on her own. She set the stepping stones for the strong lineage of women in my family, and I thank her for a lot of my strength (and stubbornness). 2. Leonardo DiCaprio,why? Um, isn't it obvious? Look at him. I've loved him since I was 8 when Titanic came out. On a serious note, he has the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation, which works on preservation of wildlife around the world and presses finding solutions on humanitarian issues. To play any part in that would be amazing! 3. My Mom, she's still alive, and a total pain in my rear, but she's my best friend and I love her, and lunch with her is always nice!
You have quite the social media presence. How do you approach social media? (Something to just have some fun on, a branding tool, etc.) How do you believe social media has changed the sport of bodybuilding?
I don't look at it as a branding tool really...maybe I should, but I approach social media very simply, I am myself. I post what I want to post, I express my opinions, my beliefs, my achievements, my failures, and a lot of times something I think will just give someone a good laugh, and I don't filter the content. So many times I question posting something "taboo" or perhaps "overly personal" but each time I get comments like, "Thank you for posting this." or "I really needed this, thank you!" There's something SO rewarding knowing that something as simple as an Instagram or Facebook post can positively alter ONE person's way of thinking, and can find comfort in something you've posted, or brighten just one person's day. That's what it should be used for. It's changed the sport of bodybuilding in that sense. It's allowed us athletes to really change the stigmas brought on from the old school bodybuilding era, especially for us women. I like that.
Do you have any funny stories about training or competition?
Oh man, too many, to tell! I'd have to say my favorite story is the time a fellow IFBB WP competitor and I were in a joint tent to get spray tanned. Which was a first in itself. So here we are, butt naked, total strangers at the time, and then two guys walk in to tan us, which was the icing on the cake. The looks on our faces were priceless during the whole situation. Her and I are good friends now, and still chuckle about it from time to time.
Was there one event or circumstance that you believe changed you as a person?
This sport does change you. It's up to you to decide if you let that be in a positive way or negative way. There really hasn't been ONE pivotal moment where I felt a change. From the moment I started to compete, to this current moment, I think is when I became more aware that I'm constantly evolving as a person. Constantly learning about myself, and the people and world around me. How you embrace those circumstances and changes is what defines you, every day.
How do you approach your physical appearance (cover up, show it off, dress up, dress down)?
Let's be real honest here, when I'm dieted down – I wear significantly less...even in Nebraska winters. Typically though, I'm super casual. Remember, I'm either in class, at the gym, or at work... all which entail either jeans, scrubs or yoga pants, and of course a baseball cap. HAHA. I'll dress up every now and again though, got to doll up and let your hair down once in a while!
How has competing affected your relationships? That can be with friends, family, significant other, etc.
I meet a ton of new people from being involved in competing and I love it! I've become friends with some of the coolest people on the planet, and who are now some of my closest friends. As far as dating, I've only been in two significant relationships since I began competing, and after the last time, I've chosen to fly solo for a while, and focus on my education. Love will happen when the time is right, but right now... ain't nobody got time for that! As far as friendships, it's made me more aware of whom I let in my life, and allow to stay in my life. I'm far more attentive of who is honest and who is a friend to me for the right reasons. I'm a forgiving person, but with the amount of time competing and my studies consume, I don't have the extra time to wonder about if you're a true friend or not. If you're my friend... I love you with my entire being and will do anything for you. You disrespect that or take advantage... bye Felecia! HAHA
Where do you see the industry headed in the next 5 years, especially in regards to the physique division?
Physique is still so new to this industry. I see from the results, show to show, they're still trying to determine the look they really want for the WPD. It's really given the opportunity for women who carry more muscle naturally, but don't want to go the route of female bodybuilding, to compete. It's nice. I might be biased, but the WPD has the coolest ladies in the industry. Just look at DLB and how humble she is, or Tycie Coppett's Angel Project, how cool is that?! The women are beautiful, inside and out. It's empowering, it's fun, and it's exactly what a division in this industry should be.
Now some fun questions:
What is your favorite cheat food?
A Runza with their crinkle fries and homemade Ranch. For those that don't live in the Midwest...I pity you. It's the greatest sandwich to have ever been created on the face of this Earth.
What is your favorite supplement?
Max Pro Banana Protein, mixed with water and frozen. Banana protein ice cream heeeyyyyy!!
What is your favorite sport outside of bodybuilding? It's between baseball and soccer.
World Series was in my backyard growing up, so I love baseball...but I went to the World Cup in Germany in 2006, and soccer sort of stole my heart after that!
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I want to thank my family and friends for supporting and believing in me. My sponsors at Max Muscle for supplying me with the best supplements. My coach, Shelbasaurs Starnes for believing in me and helping me on my journey.