Professional model and author, Amanda, talks about the pressure in the modeling industry to keep her body lean. She elaborates on how she went from playing basketball to becoming a model... and how she had to learn to change her workout routine and adjust her eating habits so she could continue to pursue a career as a model. She had to unlearn everything she thought she knew about eating healthy and has since learned to embrace carbs in a different way. Along the way, she learned some important lessons on what it takes to go after what you really want and that it all starts from within yourself.
Watch the video to find out Amanda's straightforward advice for anyone looking to get started on a healthier path or read the transcript below to learn more.
VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT WITH AMANDA
Hey, Amanda. So as I was saying, this is Amanda Gullickson. She is a professional model and is the author of How to Choose Them When to Lose Them. And how it starts with self-love from within. So I tried to explain it a little bit, but I know you could do a much better job. So why don't you tell me a little bit about what it is, because I love the whole concept of it.
Okay. Sorry. You broke up a little bit. You're talking about the book, right? Yes. Okay, great. Sorry about that. So the book is about a lot of it is relationship-based, but it's most importantly about the relationship that you have with yourself and how that is the root of all. And how loving yourself when you get to a place. And everybody has a journey, right? Loving yourself as a journey. And it's something we all have to work on. But when you get to a place where you can really love yourself and prioritize the relationship you have with you, it really will change your entire life. And it's so important.
So what made you come to that realization?
So through modeling, I got to live in a, you know, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and I'm from North Carolina originally. But by living in these other cities, I was alone a lot.
And so I had a few relationships. I spent a lot of time alone. And the industry we're in, you know how it goes. It taught me a lot about myself and how to really work on that relationship with me and what I wanted and what I needed in life. And yeah, through that, it really got me into a space where I wanted to share that with other young women and other people in general.
Yeah. So tell me a little bit, how did you get into modeling?
So it came out of left field for me completely. I was always a basketball player. I was an athlete and total tomboy and I had a knee injury in high school that stopped me from playing that season. And there was a girl that I worked with on one of the jobs that I had in high school. And she was like, oh my gosh, you're so tall. You need a model, you should do it. And I was like, really? Like I, you know, and back then I, I literally knew nothing about it. So I thought that like, you would go model, you'd be like a Nike model. You know what I mean? So I was like, oh, I'm going to be a Nike model. Like, I didn't even know how the whole thing works. So I went into an agency in Charlotte and they became my mother agent. And from there it just kind of happened.
I love that you're a Carolina girl too. I had my stint in LA. That's where you're based now, right?
But I came back because I met my husband here for work. So I'm back.
Right! No, I love that you came, like you went back and you're still able to work from there. So that's great.
Yeah, it is. So tell me, you said you started with basketball. So it sounds like you were pretty athletic when you were younger. So how does that translate into modeling now with staying in shape? Are you, do you still play basketball or what are you doing?
Right. I still will shoot around a little bit. I don't play given the knee injury that I did have and just how high contact basketball is when you're playing with other people and the fact that modeling you need to be put together. And I kind of shy away from really playing anymore, but I still very much am an athlete at heart. And I think that you know, through athletic activities, I learned structure and discipline and it's just like, I love to be active and be challenged. So with modeling, I've learned to incorporate that in ways that better serve me in this space that I am now. So like, I, I got into yoga, I love doing yoga. It's good for my knee. It's good for my mind. I like hot yoga. I love getting a great sweat in. So I did I love boxing because I feel like that's competitive and it's just like a real good release for me. And it's a great workout. I do a lot of cardio-based stuff. I don't lift weights. I use like bodyweight for my workouts. But yeah, I still keep it athletic and competitive where I can, but I also just enjoy having that fit, healthy, mental, and also physical to my life.
Was it a big transition from you shifting from that... the athletic background, playing basketball to finding something that worked for you?
Yes, it was. So, especially now, even since you've been in the industry, I'm sure you've seen it change. So even when I came in, I've seen it change too. But when I first started, I really, I had not only did I not know much about the industry, I also, that came with not knowing much about how to handle my body, you know, in the industry. And so I really had to learn what served my body type in terms of workouts. So for instance, like I don't lift weights because if I, certain weights are good and I'll do dumbbell resistant band, stuff like that, but I don't lift heavy weights and do certain things for preference, but also because my body type I'll get pretty bulky. Like I can get real swole real fast,
Smart. Listen to your body.
Yes. So I listened to my body and yeah, I just kind of had to tweak a few things there and figure out what was going to give me that posture and toning that I wanted without, you know, making it too athletic.
Now, do you feel pressure to maintain that, that body type, that posture and that certain kind of toning and to not get too bulky? Cause you said you're inclined to it. Do you feel the pressure from the industry to maintain your body that way?
Yes, I would say definitely. Yes. I've learned to not take things so personally or, you know, look at it as such a negative. I started like that. When I first got into the modeling industry, it was super heavy on me all the time. I was really conscious about everything, but now I've gotten to a point where I'm like, I choose to have this job and it is a job. And so just like any other job, certain requirements or disciplines come with a job. So I've kind of done it like that. And I really have enjoyed how much I've learned about nutrition through being a model. It's forced me in ways to really learn about eating habits and nutrition on levels that I can't say I would have ever realized if I wouldn't have been in the modeling industry.
So what have you learned about like eating and nutrition from before you started modeling versus after? What was the thing that maybe stood out to you and what did you learn?
So I'll just say that, you know, growing up in the South and as an athlete, I ate fast food. I drank soda. I was a kid, but too, I ate a lot of carbs because that's how I felt I was properly getting my fuel to play basketball. Now I learned, you know, what healthy carbs are and amounts of food to have and what water does for your body and your skin and like how important water is. So I don't really drink anything besides water and LaCroix, sparkling water. Those are my things. Just even little shifts. Like I always liked vegetables and salads, but for instance, I don't really eat dairy anymore. So, you know, I don't smother things in ranch like when I lived in the South, I've learned that something lighter serves me better. So like that.
Was that a hard transition for you? Or did it come naturally when you started learning about things? It came pretty. I mean, I would say it's been so long since I started, I still love my sweets and have my guilty pleasures, but it's when you, I feel that when you realize how much better you feel, and I personally feel so much better, so much more clear, lighter in all areas when I felt that and then would have like a time when I fell back, I would be like, Oh my gosh, this is terrible. I feel so bad. Like it's not worth it. So that makes it a lot easier. Once you get in the flow of it to realize the benefits and how much better you feel.
Yeah, it really does. I had a girl tell me just yesterday that she had all sorts of health problems and she's had them for a long time. Doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong. She decided to just throw everything out the window and try eating raw for three days. And all her health problems went away and I'm like, okay, wow, that's so awesome. That's definitely one of the more extreme stories, but it's so eyeopening when people realize how much food actually impacts their body. And once you learn that it becomes so much easier and easier to start making those shifts. I think.
Completely. And even with my family, like I, for instance, I tried, I played around with being vegan for a month and I'll bounce around, just do different things, you know, and just to see how I feel and try it out. And I've brought in some of the different things that I've tried back to my family and my sister in particular, who she was told by doctors, we don't know what's wrong. We don't think you'll ever be able to have kids. And she started eating clean, eating right. Taking some herbs. And she got pregnant immediately. Like no medicine. Through her eating and her diet and everything. She was able to figure everything out. So it's so, so
I love hearing stories like that. What advice would you give people who are struggling to to really find that balance? Who want to eat healthy, but haven't hit that crossroad yet where it really means... Where it really becomes natural for them. They're still struggling to get to that point and they may be models. They may be doing something else. But what advice would you give them?
I would say that you really have to look at your lifestyle and where you're, you know, getting caught up. So whether that's all, I don't have time, I'm always hard to eat healthy when I'm on the go. Okay. How can you plan ahead? Or what could serve you to still meet this goal? When you know, you're going to be on the go all the time. Or, you know, if it's just, I just get these cravings. I can't, I used to be like that with sweets. I was like, Oh my gosh, I just, I can't. Give yourself a, I'm like a time structure person. So say for five days, let me just get through five days and see how I feel. And then if you get to five days, push it to 10 days. Like I would give yourself goals and rewards. Cause you have to reward yourself, but give yourself goals in order to discipline yourself, to get to a space where you can really see the effects and benefits of what trying to do.
I love that. I used to do that with running. When I first started, like, I'm just going to get to that light pole right there. Okay. Good. Next to that tree.
Exactly because too, I have, I've been able to realize through myself and different people when you set something, I believe people can do anything they want to do, but if you set something that's not so attainable so quick or results might not come as fast, or it's such a big picture goal, you might get discouraged when you're having a hard time getting there. So sometimes when you break it down to smaller pieces that you can grasp, I feel like that time sometimes helps people.
That's super helpful. I love that advice. Well, thank you so much for chatting with me today. In this models who... Interview, it will be reposted on Instagram TV. For those of you who want to read, watch anything, or really take in her advice. And also the transcript will be posted on my blog if you're like I am. And you prefer to read things as opposed to watch them, that will be an option as well. So thank you so much, Amanda. I really appreciate having you chat with me today and hopefully, I'll see you soon.
Yes, thank you so much. I appreciate you having me on. I love what you're doing with this space and for everybody.
Thank you. All right, bye.
Amanda Gullickson is a professional model born and raised in the Carolinas but currently residing in California. She just turned 25 years old and is looking forward to everything in store. She enjoys health and fitness, hanging out with loved ones, traveling, and anything involving good food and desert!
To learn more about Amanda, visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram, via @amandag.