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Healthy living goes hand in hand with live TV for Amanda Byram- find out how she went from skinny to strong, and how her lifestyle has given her career a boost too…
Amanda Byram knows how to work the camera, whether that be on a modelling job or as a TV host. There’s a lot behind her charisma, wit and beauty, namely seemingly boundless energy, dedication and discipline. Not everyone can manage early call times while maintaining a workout schedule, cooking up a storm and blogging on the side, but Amanda succeeds with aplomb, possibly owing both to her healthy attitude and fine form. She’s passionate about spreading the word regarding wellbeing, and is an enthusiastic ambassador for healthy fat and nutrition brand Udo’s Choice. Her mother used the Ultimate Oil Blend, and Amanda has been taking it since a child- if that’s not an advert for great skin we don’t know what is. We quizzed her on the day job, how she’s changed over the years and her extensive tupperware collection...
You dreamed of becoming an actress, started out as a model and now you’re a successful TV presenter- have you achieved what you aimed to in your career so far?
No! I don’t think that I’m the kind of person who will ever be fully satisfied with what I’ve done. I’m always aiming higher, to my detriment really, I need to learn to enjoy the NOW and stop obsessing about the future! If I had the chance I would definitely want to act. I used to act out scenes from movies in my bedroom as a teenager. When I lived in LA, I took acting classes, but because I’m very impatient, I just assumed I was rubbish, so I quit. I really wish I had stuck with it, some of my fellow classmates who were equally rubbish, are now really good actors! Apart from acting, I also aim to expand ByramBod, my healthy living brand. Watch this space!
What do you love the most about life in front on the camera?
I love making telly, it really challenges and fulfils me. There is no greater buzz than ‘live' television. You are exposed for all the world to see, warts and all, and there is no turning back. I get to do what I love, which is truly an honour in life. But life in front of the camera is really the same as normal life off-camera life! Once you wrap, things go on as normal. I took the tube to a premiere the other day in my fancy gown! The word ‘fame’ is so alien to me. It’s just about normal people doing jobs that not everyone can do. But I couldn’t perform surgery, or lecture in history - so we are all different in our own little way!
What are your biggest workplace challenges?
The food! I find it difficult to eat craft services, I will always endeavour to take my own food with me in Tupperware boxes.
You’re also passionate about nutrition and fitness- is wellbeing something you’ve always been interested in or was there a particular trigger that kickstarted your commitment for health?
When I was approaching 40, I thought it was time to really turn things around. I was always mindful of my body, but in the wrong way. After years of pushing myself to the limit whilst I was modelling, the thing I cared most about was being ‘skinny’. I took this mindset into my 20’s and 30’s and I confused skinny with healthy. I tried every fad diet that ever existed. Needless to say all the while I was jeopardising my health and I was also jeopardising my happiness. I remember thinking ‘if only I could be skinny, life would be perfect’. I really lament those lost years. I wasted so much precious time worrying about my weight. I think confusing being thin with being “ healthy” is a huge problem amongst women today. So I decided to turn it around and listen to and love my body into its 40’s. At 40 I posed nude for Women’s Health magazine having trained my ass off for two months and eaten more food than ever! ‘Strong not skinny’ is where it’s at.
How do workouts and healthy eating fit into your working day?
Maintaining good health requires dedication. You have to make time. Whether it’s half an hour less on Facebook or Twitter, or saying no to someone who wants you to go to the pub with them, so you can go to the gym, run or walk instead. You get used to a new routine easily, the ‘will' to do it just has to be there. Sometimes it's as small a change as, say, hot water and lemon juice first thing in the morning, or swapping a coffee with green tea, or replacing a sandwich with grilled chicken and veg. People are hesitant to change, and they tend to blame everyone else for their bad habits, but trust me, we are our own nutritionists! You have to listen to your body and know what is right for it. I have devised several at-home workouts between 5 minutes and 15 minutes on my YouTube channel. Training doesn’t have to take hours at the gym, in fact, the opposite is true!
What would be your ultimate healthy living tips for busy, career minded women?
Give yourselves a break! We try to do it all. Mothers, career women, wives, girlfriends...we try to be everything to everyone. Having and doing it all is possible, but at a cost. We need to be mindful of our mental health and to stop being so hard on ourselves and our bodies. I don’t believe you can be healthy in body without being healthy in mind. My key tips would be:
Cut back on alcohol. It’s pure sugar, and that in itself is just toxic. Also, it leaves us with a foggy brain that lasts a few days, so if you drink every few days, you will find yourself in a constant haze without even knowing it, in my experience.
Less is sometimes more. Rather than stress about getting that big workout in, try an intense 15 minute workout. If you get your heart rate up and down several times, that is better for fat burn than an hour on the treadmill.
Prepare! Just as you would spend days before a holiday prepping your bikini line, getting your hair done, laying out your clothes on the bed…you must always prepare for a healthy day. On a Sunday I boil a dozen eggs, and put them back in the fridge. I boil a pot of brown rice, and one of quinoa and some lentils. I grill chicken, and salmon and prawns. They all go into tupperware boxes and every day I have prepared a box or two for that day. Lately I have taken to recreating the Pret a Manger pots at home. They are just eggs and salmon and spinach etc. Buy a couple to start with, and just re-use the pots. Easy!
SLEEP. We underestimate the power of sleep for a healthy body. The more sleep we get, the healthier our nervous system, energy levels and general wellbeing. Magnesium powder and/or 5HTP tablets are great options to take before bed, and try to switch off social media an hour before bed. In fact, spending less time on social media in general is essential. We have our heads in our phones too much. Look up!
Have you found that a healthy lifestyle improves your professional performance? If so, how?
Yes, without a doubt, simply because I feel rubbish when I eat rubbish and I feel tired and sluggish if I don’t work out! It’s essential to my overall wellbeing and mood.
How do you stay organised?
Planning is key. Sometimes my friends laugh at me because I pre-plan trips (I always take my own food on the plane with me, and pack healthy snacks on holiday!). A little bit of preparation really solves everything. Also, my ICalendar is my bible and I’m a list gal. Without those, NOTHING gets done!
What tips would you give to women interested in pursuing your career path?
First and foremost, believe in yourself. You have to manifest your dreams into a reality. I did, and continue to do so! Don't take yourself too seriously, but know what you want. Get some footage of you being fun and yourself on camera, and send it off (to everyone!).
Where would you most like to place your energy in the next stage of your career?
TV is my first love. I am back and forth to LA and Sydney too, so things are happening everywhere! My new baby though, is ByramBod. I want to create a brand for women that they can really relate to, in terms of health, beauty and fitness.
Has changing your lifestyle affected your career? Comment below or tweet us @GetTheGloss.