Interview #8 of 52: “Live Into Your Passion.”

Interview 8 is really exciting because you get two for one!  These incredible twin sisters pack a serious motivational punch and I’m excited to share their stories and lessons with you!  

Let’s dive in so you can get a double dose of Amber and Ashley Liberi!

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Amber is a Nurse Clinician in a neuro feedback clinic and spends her days working with people who struggle with ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc.  On her off hours she is dedicating her time to her passion of fitness.  Amber loves to be with family and spend time cooking, watching movies and planning her upcoming wedding!  

Ashley now works at Vibrant Health where she can now utilize her nutrition degree.  After working or names like J.J. Virgin, Cynthia Pasquella, Christine Bullock and Tyler English, she has found her niche working with customers to get the best out their nutrition!  

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It all started for Amber and Ashely 8 years ago.  Both parents had heart attacks: their mom had a triple bypass and their father ended up with 2 stints.  When they came out of surgery the girls were told both of their parents had Diabetes. They began doing a lot of research on food and started making meals for their parents.  Ashley found that she really loves cooking and ever since she’s all about consuming the best and most high quality food as possible!  

What happened to their parents drastically influenced their career choices and set them on a path to figure out their OWN nutrition.  It was a wake up call for the whole family to take a look at their choices.  Ashely now focused on nutrition and Amber focuses on nursing with fitness on the side.  Now you look at these ladies and are so impressed by the amount they can do physically! They are machines which is a total reflection of their nutrition.  And to think, they didn’t have ONE SINGLE VEGETABLE until they were 18 years old!?  On top of that they never worked out in High School and it wasn’t until their parents health scare that they got busy.

Starting from scratch as freshmen in college was not easy for these sisters.  “When I first started really paying attention I was counting a lot of my calories. I went from 120 - 105 pounds” says Ashely.  It was too fast and not healthy.  She experienced a lot of hormonal issues as a result.  The struggle was finding out how to do it right.  When she started eating again after hitting 105 she didn’t know how to just get to “maintenance” and as a result she fluctuated in a big way.  At one point she gained a lot back and struggled with negative thoughts that were completely debilitating.  It was her family that got her through.  They continued to encourage and build her up!  With their support as well as her sister’s commitment, she was able to overcome the struggle.  

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Once she really started learning more about nutrition and macronutrients she started to understand how to fuel her body for function rather than to be “skinny.”  “Understanding that your body needs a certain amount of macros to thrive and lose weight properly” is the formula that has worked for Ashely.  She was able to lose her weight by focusing on mindful eating.  She found a structure where she ate when she was hungry, stopped when she was full and worked out an hour a day.  This routine worked for Ashley and continues to work today!  She’s put some of the weight back on but in a much healthier way and this time it’s muscle!  Now she is 125 pounds but rocking 14-15% body fat.  “I’m 5’2” and have a lot of muscle but I’m now comfortable in my skin.”

For Amber, she thought too much about it.  “I was so extreme.  I did cardio 2 times a day every day…I thought that was the only way to lose weight.”  In High School she tried to do as much to help her mom to lose weight and that started with the Atkins diet.  Amber lost 10 pounds but her mood was awful.  “I was in the worst mood every day all day.  I tried to go all day without eating and then have one meal at night.”  It was difficult for her because she had an image of what she wanted to reach and kept beating herself up because she thought it would be impossible.   She was putting an immense amount of pressure on herself.  Like Ashley, Amber found strength in her family.  They reminded her to be happy with what she’s done and embrace herself.  “Now I look at myself and I think, ‘I have a butt, I should embrace it!’”  She’s fully learned how to embrace her body and know that the marks left behind are not ugly but reminders of all the work she’s done!  She is dedicated to her fitness and not for vanity but because she loves her body now!

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I asked this dynamic duo if they still struggle with anything?  “I have this goal of achieving so much more than I have right now” Amber says referring to where she sees her life heading and it not coming fast enough.  I relate to Amber so much!  I too continue to make bigger and bigger goals for myself and want to achieve them right away!  It’s easy to get caught up in being overwhelmed and cut yourself short or throw in the towel.  But when you work so hard for something you have to keep going.  You can’t give up on your dreams!  And you can’t let other people’s words cut you down.  When we put ourselves out there in the fitness space people can be cruel.  These girls ran into that and felt like they should stop … but “we realized it wasn’t on us, it was on them.”  

I too have felt the hurt from someone’s words about my body.  But I have learned that when people cut you down it is without a doubt a reflection of their own insecurities.  You’re simply providing a mirror for their own short comings. They aren’t doing what they want so they have to bring you back down in order to feel better.  In my opinion don’t ever stop!  At least you’re taking action!  Keep going and don’t let the haters stop you from living your dreams.

Amber and Ashley are 2 of the kindest people I’ve come across.  I love watching them grow as fitness and nutrition leaders because I know without a doubt they will make a difference.  They have a story to tell and they have been where you are!  They are true examples of courage, fight, and an endless drive to be better than they were yesterday!  

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I loved their excitement about life, good food, and finding the overall joy in life.  I asked them what their top 3 tips would be for you reading this now:

Ashley:

  1. Don’t be so serious all the time.
  2. Find balance.
  3. Be happy being you!

Amber:

  1. Be happy for what you have and for what God gave you.
  2. Don’t take life for granted. You only have one life so live it to your fullest.  Don’t live every moment like it’s a science project or you’re being looked at under a microscope.  Be your own individual.
  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself.  
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And for the person who is just getting started but doesn’t know where to start Amber shared, “Take one step at a time.  That’s all you can do.  Don’t go in full force.  Start with your diet and try to eliminate one thing at a time not everything.  Maybe start walking, then maybe join a gym!”  With a laugh Ashley chimes in “One day at a time, haha same as Amber!  And find something you enjoy doing for fun that still is active.”  

Amber and Ashley are beautiful both inside and out.  They’ve been in the trenches, felt all the ups and downs and have come out on the other side a powerful one, two punch.  One of my favorite quotes is “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”  These ladies not only reacted to what happened to them with incredible positivity and resilience, but with grace and determination to figure it out no matter what.  I am thrilled to have met these incredible souls and cannot wait to see the epic heights they take their passion for health and fitness.  Watch out world, here they come!

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Thank you for taking the time to engage in my 8th interview of 52 inspiring women!  Please feel free to share your comments, feelings and send this to a friend you think would benefit from reading this!  If you want me to interview someone you find incredibly inspiring, I would be truly honored to meet them! This is a journey that has no parameters or rules!  Let’s have fun with it and continue to spread the message of empowerment, love and kindness - to ourselves and others!

You can follow Amber on Instagram @AmberFitTwin2 And you can follow Ashley on Instagram @AelFitTwin18