By Amber Elizabeth Dodzweit


I love that quote that says “Those insane enough to think that they can change the World are the ones that actually do” (or something like that).
If you told me 5 years ago during the pinnacle of my bikini fitness cover days, that one day I would land a cover wearing a cut-off T-shirt, shorts and nikes, I would have probably laughed at you. At that time, I had been swallowed in a world where abs were king and athleticism took a back seat to body fat percentages.  I heard so many stories of fitness models showing up to set and being unable to complete basic and easy workout routines because they were so depleted. In fact, an editor told me once about a girl that actually passed out while shooting covers because she was so dehydrated and malnourished.  Although I never went to those extremes, I felt the pressure to constantly be more and more lean for every shoot.
Now, here’s my beef with that- covers are the standard in which we all try to hold ourselves to. They’re the first thing we see while cruising through the grocery store, and the last thing we see while checking out. A lot of fitness publications feature models that are months into contest prep or that have prepared weeks ahead of time for the shoot. As to be expected!!! However, what interests me is 3 weeks or 3 months post shoot. Do they maintain that year round? Some do, but too many don’t. Why?  Because it’s not sustainable!
Last week, I spoke to a colleague of mine that’s a licensed therapist with an extensive background in the fitness industry. She now counsels young girls that have just come out of being hospitalized for eating disorders.  Weekly, they hold a group session to talk about battles their facing and ways to promote healthy body image in hopes of overcoming the battle they face with food. Do you know what sort of marketing they bring in most often that act as “triggers” for them? Fitness advertisements, supplement ads and pictures of fitness models. When I heard this, I just about exploded.
Ironically, a few days after our conversation, I got news of the release of my TRAIN for her magazine cover.  For those of you that haven’t seen it, you have to get a copy because it’s a game changer. My body outside of my arms and legs is completely covered, I look healthy, I look strong, I look exactly the way that I feel as an athlete AND I’m in motion, showing the power in which my body MOVES.  Immediately, I thought of every girl in that small group that is bringing supplement ads to their sessions and feeling inadequate on account of how the models look. I began praying that every single one of them would see this image and it would somehow change the trajectory of their thought patterns.
What you don’t realize, is that during the process of the TRAIN for her magazine cover being released, I felt a ton of pressure to provide a photo like every other cover I’ve done and had it been up to me, I would have probably chosen a different image. Deciding on the cover image was sort of a ”hail-mary” experience that I have to credit AC with pushing through and of course, the TRAIN magazine team for approving.  It’s by far one of the proudest moments in my career yet I almost got in the way of allowing it to happen.
We don’t always know in the moment the potential ripple effect that our decisions may have. As we all move about life, we are always presented with opportunities to change the World…maybe even accidentally! I want to challenge every single one of you to unleash the crazy as you read this. The sort of crazy that says “I’m going to be unashamedly myself with the belief that I’m somehow going to change the World”. Because you know, the ones that are cray cray enough to believe it are the ones that actually do.
Love you guys!!

1 comment

  • This meant a lot to me, Thank you. You and AC are making a difference. Inspiring is tough, even more difficult when you’re up against changing our society’s mentality- but you guys are doing it, and it’s happening. Please keep at it, for all of our futures.

    Much Love-

    Katie on

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