Listen to this interviewThe Bulk Hackers robot can read Amanda's interview aloud for you (playtime 10 minutes and 40 seconds) 🤖
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Amanda Essen, 24 years old and I am EHFA & FISAF personal trainer, model, blogger and bikini fitness athlete. I live in Finland but I have followers around the world. I blog and Instagram daily and right now I have a little over 32k followers.
You can almost understand my history just by reading my username, @Svagtillstark, which means from weak to strong in Swedish. I have recovered from a weak and anorexic, sick, depressed and burned out girl to a strong both mentally and physically, happy and inspired girl that wants to help and motivate people to get healthy.
A lot of the recovery I did with the great help of strength training that I found year 2012-2013 and the interest to start building myself up instead of breaking me down started directly and I went up 10kg.
I also won the Miss Model of the World 2013 in Finland, but after that I decided to take a step back of the modeling industry because I understood that it is not the healthiest lifestyle, after a couple of model trips to Japan, France, Turkey, the United States and the Nordic countries.
Today, I only choose the modeling jobs that is fun and healthy. I would never change my body for someone else's sake or because of a job. Today I'm happy, proud, and happy about the strong body I built up today.
I have been in Finnish radio, television, sports magazines and even interviews, magazines and media on the web. I also participated in the Swedish book Become a Confidenza (a book to help and strengthen young women's confidence and self esteem) a few pages of my story from my eating disorder to where I am now. It has been a long road but it's been worth it.
Today, I help with the knowledge and experience have and want more than happy to inspire and convey a wholesome and healthy lifestyle.
I also compete in the bikini fitness category, work as a personal trainer worldwide, a fitness model, and a social media influencer.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
It varies very much. In some periods, I workout more or less, depending on the time and possibilities of course. Right now, exercise is a big part of my life, even if I only put like one hour a day, four to six times a week, it's something that gives way more than it takes.
When I don't have the opportunity, for example when I am working more or traveling, then it is clear that I eat and train different, also depending on my rheumatism in the joints, I can not always train on the way I would want to because of the pain.
I only do strength training at the gym, I have not done any cardio for several years. I love to challenge myself, get stronger and also enjoy the workouts. Sometimes I exercise what I crave for, the muscle groups that "wants" to be trained or then I can put up a schedule.
I like to vary with tough strength training sessions where I challenge myself and my limits, raise the weights m and feel stronger for each time mixed with lighter and recovering training sessions, but I enjoy them both and I get lots of endorphins.
I love being free and doing what I have passion for. I'm also, as I mentioned, open to change and vary often. Who know's if I do not have the same passion and love to the gym and healthy lifestyle, next month or after 10 years, maybe I'm doing something else, who knows! Who cares, that is what life is about!
I live every day and minute at a time. Life is full of possibilities and the most important thing is that you're doing well!
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
As I mentioned earlier, I do not need any reason or motivation for working out or living a healthy life. I listen to my body and mind, I give it what it wants, and mostly I crave to continue doing what I do, living the way I do because of the passion I have.
The gym training is the light, and the best part of the day. I feel good from the nutrition, so it is like obvious for me, to follow my heart.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I am actually right now on recovery. I had an surgery in the stomach because of an inflammation. I need to rest from training a couple weeks. This affects me both mental and physically, even if it is only a small moment of my life, it is still hard specially on the winter while my rheumatism is more active and would need all kind of movement and care for the joints.
My next goal is just to keep up being healthy, happy and yes maybe some small goals to keep me pushing harder and further or to try something new, new challenges.
My plans in my daily life is just to live healthy, spend time with my loved ones, have some wonderful time with them and also go on adventures myself, move away from where I live now, get further in my job and personal training online, just to always keep me going forward and pushing myself for new goals, dreams and setbacks of course.
To learn myself, get up back again and meet new people, face new things and moments to share with others or alone. I love to have my own time and I always make sure I get my own meditation on the evening, just shut off everything and relax.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I need to stretch, train movement and mobility training regularly. I use supplements like magnesium and msm that helps me to recover and keep my joints good. I mostly stretch myself at home, but when I got too much pain I go for deep tissue massage.
I sleep enough, without enough sleep (8-9hours) I could not keep up with the training I do mostly, and because I sleep really bad mostly and wake up a several times on the night, I make sure I have time to sleep an hour or more in the morning. My injuries is all about resting, mobility training and maybe more mentally keep myself motivated more than physically.
I am happy that my body recover fast normally because I make sure to take care of it in every way. I eat a lot of food and good food, vitamins and minerals that builds me up instead of breaking me down.
I do travel a lot, but I let my body recover from the time changes and I do not stress about the change too much. The body is smart enough to manage it itself.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
As much and hard as I train now, it has become automatic and nearly a matter of course for me to eat very much, "good food", and often! I strive to eat more than I need to build and go further in the training and it's going great now.
I have no rules or schedules I should follow and that's the most important thing for me. I do not avoid anything and I do not have the need to exercise or eat in a certain way, exercising and healthy food is a choice that I feel incredibly physically and mentally good of.
I eat regularly, food with a lot of nutrition and what I'm craving for that day. I want to enjoy the food and taste but also of course be satisfied and full, eat quality food that builds and gives energy, recovery material for the muscles.
But no rules, I could say that I eat and exercise what I want and whenever I want, but it has become like I described mostly good food and training that helps me build muscles and make progress in the training and most importantly, feel energized, well and happy of.
The supplements I use, is vitamins for example. ZMA, for the recovery, MSM for my joints, d-vitamin on the winter on the dark season in Finland, some periods I also take OMEGA-3 and B-vitamins, but mostly I get all the vitamins I need from the food.
I also use Essential aminoacids during my workouts, and proteinpowders from my sponsor LEADER. It is not necessary for me to use proteinpowder, but it helps a lot on the stressful days and I also like to bake some healthy snacks of it.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
Yes, there are days I can feel tired and unmotivated though. On the rainy days, with a lack of sleep, or something that bothers me in my mind, I can feel it hard to get me motivated to train, or barely do anything that day.
What helps me is great music, good food, maybe do a little different training or with a friend. I mostly tell my self the training is the best thing I could do for myself that day, because the bad days actually I need it the most.
I always feel better after my workout, and of course during my workouts. It is fantastic. My pain goes away from the rheumatism. My mind clears up and I get a lot of ideas, inspiration to my work. I also get energy, endorphins and I just feel mentally happy, strong and great.
I could keep going, but yes, the reason I work out, is because I love it. Not for a competition, race or to change my body, I work out because it saves my life.
But I also give myself the opportunity to rest and recover, or do something else that would help the days I feel a bit low.
I am happy and grateful that I actually can workout and move my body, that I am well and healthy.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Sometimes it is hard enough to just take yourself to the gym, change clothes, start working out in a full stocked gym, then take a shower, drive home and start cooking some food, etc. I recommend always to not have too much pressure or requirements. Sometimes or mostly it can be enough to work out at home, go out for a walk or run!
Everybody in the gym is thinking and focusing on themselves. Do not compare yourself to others. We all have our own goals and we all start somewhere, you can not compare yourself to someone that had a total different body or lifestyle than you.
Push and support yourself like you do for your friends.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Yes, I do personal training online. Email me at [email protected] for more information.
I'll make you reach your goal, along with you. You should be happy with my dietary/workout advice and plans, although it can be difficult sometimes as you may understand.
Because all personal goals or lifestyle changes, weight gain / weight loss (or just keeping one's weight) is not always easy, as you probably realized for yourself. But like I said, we'll make it together!
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
💬 Amanda Essen quotes
Amanda shares some great, motivating insights in this interview. Feel free to share these quotes on your Instagram, Pinterest and so on 😍