It’s two o’clock in the afternoon on a Friday, and I am sitting at one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego – True Food Kitchen. I am here to meet Amanda Church, a thirty-three year old certified sports nutritionist, married to Nate Church of On Track Wellness. While waiting for her to arrive, I sip my ice-cold cucumber water and scan the menu. Kale and Avocado dip, Shiitake and Organic Tofu Lettuce Cups, Inside Out Quinoa Burger. As I’m repeating these dishes to myself, my mind starts to wander. Organic Tofu Lettuce Cups? I know so many people who would gag just by reading that. If only they knew how tasty it is. I guess I was like them at one point though. Eating healthy isn’t easy, especially when you aren’t used to it.
Five minutes later, in walked Amanda Church. By the looks of it, she either just came from a workout and miraculously doesn’t sweat, or she prefers wearing work out clothes to flaunt her new and improved body. Amanda didn’t always look like this, in fact, if you compared a photo of her from four years prior to her chiseled physique now, one would hardly recognize her. She’s come a long way, and she came today to share her story and secret to success with me.
Amanda and her husband, Nate, moved from Ohio to San Diego in 2008. “When we got here, I knew I had gained some weight, but over the following two years I gained even more weight. I honestly didn't even see it at the time. I knew I was changing as I had to buy clothes in larger sizes, but I guess it just didn't register that I was gaining weight and becoming unhealthy. I was never that active as a kid; I never really played or participated in sports; I never felt the need to workout. I didn’t enjoy working out, so I just didn't.” Amanda’s weight had taken a toll on herself and her marriage. Once she realized it had become a problem, she knew she had to do something.
“In 2011 our friends opened up a studio and wanted me to come by and try out a class. I was hesitant because as I mentioned before, I had never really worked out and was afraid of the intimidation factor as well as not being able to "keep up" with everyone else. I eventually decided to give it a try and found out that it was actually fun! The instructor leading the class did a great job of disguising the workout and when I left I felt good about myself and found it enjoyable. After that we signed up for a membership and started going regularly.” As a result of her efforts, the weight started coming off, but it wasn't exactly where she wanted to be.
“After about six months of solid gym effort, Nate came to me and suggested we change our diet. At this point we had already tried the gluten free diet and it proved to be working pretty well for me especially so I was unsure what else we could improve on. I was convinced that if we went full on "healthy" everything was going to taste terrible and bland. So having that kind of mindset really turned me off from wanting to go forward with a new diet.” Despite her reluctance, Nate started finding recipes for them to try out. Eventually, their diet consisted mainly of protein and vegetables and they made sure to eat three solid meals a day. This is when Amanda really started to see weight come off. Amanda says, “I cannot stress enough how important nutrition is, especially for women looking to lose weight. Of course there are many benefits to exercise but it really was the nutrition combined with the workouts that got me where I wanted to be.”
Fast-forward four years, Amanda and Nate started On Track Wellness, and dedicate their lives to helping others reach their fitness and health goals. Amanda studied at the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is now a Certified Sports Nutritionist, and specializes in creating delicious and healthy recipes for her clients proving that eating healthy does not have to mean bland and boring. Nate is a 3rd degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate, a 2nd degree Black belt in Ju Jitsu, and a 1st degree Black belt in I. Tang Soo Do. He teaches Karate and a Karate Body Fitness class at the United States Karate Academy in Point Loma, CA.
Getting healthy and staying on track is hard work. However, living an unhealthy life can affect more than just the size you wear; it affects your attitude, your energy, your relationships and you overall way of life. According to Amanda, exercise paired with nutrition is the answer to reaching your fitness and health goals. “Anyone can do it. You just need to be focused and stay dedicated. There are times when it is difficult, but the end result is so worth it!”
If you are ready to get “on track”, visit Nate and Amanda’s website: ontrackwellness.com.
Join them for an exhilarating thirty-minute workout at Karate Body Fitness held every weekday morning.
There are four class times so you can still make it to work: 6:15AM, 7:00AM, 7:45AM and 9:30AM.
On Track Wellness just opened up a second location at Cali Coast Elite on Hancock Street near Old Town - San Diego which features a forty-five minute full body workout using body weight only.
If you’d like to check out Amanda’s healthy recipes, visit their website and click the “blog” link. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for more information on the services they offer, and get on track today!