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I love sharing health and wellness with others and our community.

I love sharing health and wellness with others and our community.

Hidden Gems: Meet Amanda Villarreal of AVWELLNESS

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Villarreal.

Amanda, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your sztory begin?

When I was born, it looked like my skin was burnt from my neck down to my foot on my left side, and many varicosities in my left leg. Doctors had a hard time diagnosing my condition. At 6 months old, while being seen at University of Michigan, they were able to diagnose my condition as Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome (KTS).

I believe this diagnosis and all the challenges that have come with it have led me to where I am at today. I have chosen to help people with their health and wellness and to help others understand that no matter your life situation, the hard times will happen. Continue to remind yourself with the right mindset and practice; you will be able to overcome those obstacles and grow in the process.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?

I have beat many odds that have been against me! I was born with a rare vascular disorder called KTS (Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome). Because of my determination, I have not let that stop me.

I had been in corporate wellness for almost 12 years when the company was bought out, and I had to make a decision on next steps. That was when my husband and I made the decision that I would have my own studio, and AVWELLNESS was created.

When I first began teaching group fitness classes, I was terrified of standing in front of people. I always thought people would be staring at my leg (even though I always wore pants), but I had to overcome that fear to help me build my confidence and realize my capabilities.

I was told I most likely would not be able to have children. We have 5 amazing kids (all by c-section because of blood clot risks).

I was told when I was 12 years old I should stop all activity, quit sports, and keep my leg elevated as much as possible. I worked to receive my degree in Corporate Fitness & Wellness. I teach exercise classes do nutrition consulting. I also personal train clients on a daily basis, both virtually and in person.

I was told I might lose my leg to amputation by the time I was 18. I am as active as ever and have proved many experts wrong.

Despite having 15 surgeries (8 of the surgeries at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to help with circulation), I have worked to maximize my recovery and get back to teaching and training as soon as possible…

I was told from friends and family that I would not be successful with a career in health and wellness. Several decades later and I am still going strong.

Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about AVWELLNESS?

AVWELLNESS helps busy people with easy-to-implement fitness, nutrition, supplement, & lifestyle strategies.

I am known in the community as a Health and Wellness Ambassador, Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Fitness Expert, Nutritionist, and Motivator.

I continue to focus on making an impact on the community and improving the health of others through simple and small changes. I have put on free community park workouts for the past 9 years. Last year’s attendance had over 60 people of all ages at the community park workout in Zeeland. I regularly host nutrition and education seminars (online and in person) and teach fitness and wellness classes (online and in person). I also host monthly smoothie workshops and teach wellness classes and public speaking at various locations (libraries, corporations, and in my studio).

My goal is to take what I have learned throughout my life and teach others how to embrace healthy aging through fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle strategies.

Last month West Michigan has taken notice, and on May 17, as part of the 2023 Brilliance Awards, I won the award for Tenacity.

My newest adventure is developing a fitness and nutrition app (AVWELLNESS) to help serve people everywhere! So far, there are currently over 50 5-minute and 20-minute workouts with meal plans, challenges, and more coming soon.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?

Believe in yourself and know that you are more capable than you think!

Diversify what you offer and try new things.

Keep learning. Pay attention to what is safe, effective, and do your research.

Always remind yourself to be grateful and find the positive in every situation.

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