For those of you who have been following #movementmatters, this Girl Boss is one of the badass women behind the challenge and just so happens to be a great friend of mine! Amanda and I met at our alma matter, SUNY Oneonta, in our Sophomore year. We’ve remained close friends since graduating and I’ve enjoyed watching her grow personally and professionally in the field of dietetics and nutrition.
Amanda is the creative genius behind, Eat Fit Live ®, her online nutrition and lifestyle coaching business. Her mission is to help individuals change behaviors over time, resulting in healthy weight loss and long term healthy lifestyles. She’s been featured in well-known publications, like Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and Elle, and I’m excited to recognize her as being a total #GirlBoss for all of you!
Name: Amanda Conway
Business: Eat Fit Live ®
Established Year: 2016
Tell me more about YOU, the dedicated and hardworking Girl Boss behind the business.
Originally from Upstate NY, I come from a big loving family surrounded by incredible examples of hard work, family values
and, thanks to my mom healthy living- which is where my passion for nutrition began. My husband John and I currently live on Long Island, NY where we are usually looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring the North Shore, paddle boarding, hiking, fishing or enjoying a nice cocktail on the water somewhere. Of course my biggest hobby is Eat Fit Live but when I’m not working on that, I like to stay active and spend time with family. I know this won’t come as a surprise but I have a big passion for food and cooking. Coming from a big “love to cook and eat” family, nutrition has always been more than just the nourishment our bodies need. It’s about tradition, love, support, compassion, creativity, enjoyment and so much more. When the weather gets colder on the weekends, you can usually find me spending a whole afternoon testing out a new recipe or warming my heart with a family tradition one.
Tell us more about your business and how you became a Girl Boss.
I completed my undergrad at SUNY Oneonta and received a bachelors in dietetics. I then went on to complete my dietetic internship through the Bronx VA hospital while also getting my masters in clinical nutrition through NYU. After grad school I went to work for a number of health tech start up companies in NYC where I really got my lessons in business (shoutout to those founders who hired me and gave this girl a shot!). However, since I can remember I’ve had an entrepreneurial sprint.
My first introduction to running my own business was when I was 16. I started a Mary Kay business as a beauty consultant and although I didn’t have much success, I was definitely bitten by the Girl Boss bug! Combined with always having been an athlete I think the competitor in me was destined to compete in the business world. It was always a goal of mine to start my own nutrition business to connect with women and help them in their health journey.
I saw the diet industry landscape and I knew I could do it better, providing a healthier, more sustainable way for women to achieve their health goals and live an empowered, confident, healthy lifestyle. I didn’t think I would start the business as early in my career as I did, but to be honest the motivating factor of why I started it when I did was because I needed the money! I was trying to “make it” in NYC and with rent so high and student loans piling up I needed a second (and third!) income to support myself. At first the obvious option was to earn some cash waitressing or bartending. But instead, I thought I might as well put the time and energy into something that will add more value to my career path. So, with that I got a personal trainer job in the early mornings (also shoutout to this trainer/business owner that gave me a shot), continued working my full time job and at night I started to create Eat Fit Live, officially launching in the Spring of 2016! It was definitely a proud moment that led into a rollercoaster of a journey with highs and lows, figuring everything out one mistake at a time.
What does it mean to you to be a #GIRLBOSS?
Passion is the first thing that comes to mind. The biggest thing that drives me is my passion to help other women to stop the dieting cycle and live a confident, healthy lifestyle. I see the struggle women go through, I’ve been there too! Obsessing or stressing about your weight, food and health is not the way we’re supposed to live our lives. And frankly, there aren’t a lot of great options out there that exist today. I know I can help these women and that is my biggest driving factor.
The second thing that comes to mind is the “do whatever it takes” attitude. I know I still have a lot to learn and a lot to experience but I have confidence I can figure out any challenge that comes my way. Resourcefulness can go a long way.
The third thing is humility. Now self-confidence may be an obvious choice too,
but I actually think humility is the more common trait and more important trait I see among successful entrepreneurs. Knowing that you don’t know everything and knowing when to ask for help is important. Knowing when to stop talking and just listen. Being self aware of your own weaknesses and limitations and leaning on others to help you grow or support those areas.
And I’ll throw in a bonus one, kindness. Genuine kindness is so important as a human being but also a business owner. People are what matter most and when you treat people with kindness and respect, good things happen. As women we need to embrace that natural gift of kindness, empathy, femininity, we don’t have to “harden” up just because we’re a boss 🙂
What do you love most about running your own business and being a Girl Boss?
I have one very strong “why”, and that is the women I help. Out of grad school I began a path specializing in weight loss and weight management. That process led me to spending months and months reviewing every piece of research that existed on what is needed for healthy weight loss and weight management.
At the end of that process I summarized my findings in a white paper and to my surprise almost every diet company out there was doing it wrong. The frustrating part about this realization was that we know what it takes to lose weight through a healthy lifestyle and keep it off for good, the evidence and science is well established. That’s when I decided to start specializing in behavior change counseling. I knew I’d eventually create a company and a program that would use the science and evidence to help women change their lifestyles. I’ve since written white papers, collaborated with major media companies, created evidence based programs for companies and have personally helped hundreds of women change their lives through, what is now, the Eat Fit Live way “weight loss through a healthy lifestyle.” There is no better feeling in the world than seeing my clients have success. Every woman I’ve helped, currently helping and will help in the future is my “why.”
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in being a business owner?
Entrepreneurship = figuring out challenges. It’s not will I face a challenge, it’s what challenge will I face today. When I first started I had a couple clients who canceled their 6 month program after one month because the experience wasn’t great, and honestly I didn’t blame them. That was my first “I don’t know what I’m doing” moment. After 4 years, I still have those moments of “do I really know what I’m doing?” The biggest challenge has been figuring out how to ride the ups and downs. There are going to be good months, there are going to be slow months, it’s just part of the journey. I know that now but it was tough learning that the hard way. I’ve made desperate attempts to gain more following and sign up more clients which I think has cost me at times along the way. But now I know to stay true and stay steady continuing to march towards what I believe in.
Is there a moment during your career that stands out to you and validates your decision to become a Girl Boss?
There have been a lot of late nights, early mornings, feelings of failure, constant pushing beyond my comfort zone and a lot of sacrifice over the last 4 years. I’m not sure it ever gets “easy.” But even on the toughest of days, a single client call can turn it into a great day.
They remind me, without doubt, that it’s all worth it and I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do. Although I’m the one technically coaching and motivating them, my clients are the ones that are motivating and inspiring me too! They give me my ah ha moment every single day.
What advice would you give to aspiring Girl Bosses?
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The minute you feel like you’re in your comfort zone, go do or try something new. Doing so will allow you to never stop learning and growing.
Embrace failure. Failure is inevitable but don’t let it be in vain, learn from it, grow from it and keep moving forward. Trust your instincts and be true to yourself. If you try to fake it or be someone you’re not, people will know- people are smart. Be kind – we need more kindness in the world. Chase the passion and make an impact, the money will follow.