This interview is part of the Real Talk Real Women interview series, where we bring you the life-changing, heart-warming and inspirational stories behind the most successful women in health and fitness. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest interviews! For this installment, we are joined by Amanda Louise Warlo.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
I'm a Danish physiotherapist and a personal trainer living and working in Dubai. For me, health and fitness was a way out of anxiety and depression, and since then I've been passionate about helping others get fitter, healthier and happier whilst also achieving their aesthetic goals.
Besides being a trainer, I also compete in the bikini fitness category in the IFBB, which is not necessarily healthy but I love working towards a goal and seeing the changes on my body along the way.
Where does your motivation come from?
As mentioned above, health and fitness was my way out of anxiety and depression. My motivation comes from thinking about how far I've come. If I could get this far, I can do anything, only my own ambitions are stopping me.
As you decided to make a career out of your passion - what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
To be honest, there haven't been many stumbling blocks career-wise. Sometimes I can't even believe how fast I end up being a full-time PT and fitness blogger, making a living doing what I love. The hardest thing for me is the competitions and the constant focus on getting in shape. It's a mental challenge as much as a physical one, and even though I've improved from show to show, I still have a lot to learn in this area.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
Self-care is everything. You have to treat yourself well and make time for what matters to you and what makes you happy. Without self-care, we are nothing and can't truly take care of others or make a positive impact on the world.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
I think women lifting weights has become much more acceptable in the recent years. Still there are some misconceptions about the risk of ending up "looking like a man" if you lift heavy weights, but I think people are getting much more educated about how healthy it is for women to lift heavy weights and how you won't end up losing your feminine shape unless you supplement your heavy training with hormone abuse.
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
I think society has already come a long way in educating the youth and telling the stories about what not eating does to the body. I think young people will always be somehow lost and try stupid things to gain control at a turbulent time in their lives, but the more we as a society can give them strong, smart and ambitious role models to look up to, the better.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
Everybody struggles. Before I started my journey, I felt like I was the only one who was failing at life. I couldn't lose weight, I was miserable, stressed and unhappy. I hoped that if I got myself together, someone would come and save me. But that never happened and along the way I realized no one but yourself, will make your life better. Everything that matters is on the inside, what we have outside of ourselves is just an extra plus.
How important have the people around you been when it comes to your success?
I have some truly amazing people around me who’ve always supported my decisions, but to be honest, I would have done everything I've done to be successful regardless.
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
When I'm not dieting for a show, I try to do everything in moderation. I might take a few days off from the gym to be with friends, family or something like that. Balance is a weird thing for me though, since I'm probably better at focusing on something and just floating around in search for "balance". A focused me makes me feel better and happier. Maybe that's not balanced, but to me, happiness is what matters.
How do you stay productive?
I set a goal and focus on how I can achieve it. If I feel like things are overwhelming I choose to have a positive mindset and find the best in a stressful or bad situation. I try to never let a negative feeling take control as this, in my experience, is a productivity killer.
Name 3 things people don’t know about you.
I've been blogging for more than 4 years, so I'm pretty sure people know almost everything about me!
But I'll try;
- I'm a big Star Wars fan
- I don't think you can ever put too much butter on bread
- I hate cilantro
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Keep working on yourself and demand to be treated with respect. Anyone who tries to make you feel like you're not good enough, is fighting their own battle. It has zero and nothing to do with you.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
Currently I'm following the ketogenic diet as it gives me the best quality of life in regards to my workouts, sleep and a super-stable blood sugar throughout the day.
Morning: Multivitamin, CLA, Omega 3, probiotics, vitamin C
Evening: ZMA, vitamin D
Pre workout: PWO shake (sometimes)
Intra workout: BCAA & glutamine (sometimes)
I focus on building muscles on my glutes and shoulders and try to bring down my fat % a little bit.
Usually my split looks something like this;
Day 1: Glutes, quads, abs, 30 min. cardio
Day 2: Shoulders (side+rear), back, 30 min. cardio
Day 3: Glutes, hamstrings, 30 min. cardio
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Chest, shoulders (front+side+rear), triceps, 30 min. cardio
Day 6: Glutes, hamstrings, abs, 30 min. cardio
Day 7: Rest
What are your biggest goals for this year?
My goal is to improve my body composition and reach a look that is leaner than currently but also sustainable. Other than that, I want to continue becoming be a better trainer, coach and friend.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?
Stay tuned for the next interview of Real Talk Real Women!