AMANDA KISTELA || Our first ever HPS BELIEVER
It is our honor to introduce our first Hot Pilates Secret “Believer,” Amanda Kistela. A “Believer” is someone who inspires us daily, on and off the mat. Amanda, aka Tatted Yogi, is a beautiful, inspiring woman living a healthy lifestyle and proving to us all, anything is possible if you just believe. Amanda has lost more than 100 lbs. over the past 2 years, and we’re so grateful to be a part of her weight loss journey. You’ll always find Amanda in the front row, showing off her beautiful backbends, with a smile on her face. We’ve gotten to know her, now it’s your turn!
Grace: How did you first hear about The Hot Pilates Secret?
Amanda: I first heard about Hot Pilates Secret from a friend of mine who was one of Beth’s dance students when she was 3 years old. She was like. “ My dance instructor from when I was younger opened up this Hot Pilates studio and you should really come.” That was a time in my life where I had just lost my father to cancer and I was in a really bad place, and she told me to just try it out. When I started going there I absolutely loved it. It was such a great healing place.
G: Where was the studio when you first started attending Hot Pilates?
A: It was the little basement of the realtor's office in the Wantagh Shopping Center. It was awesome. I remember the cement walls and everything; it was very cool.
G: How long have you been attending Hot Pilates At The Studio?
A: It’s been 5 years in total, but I stopped for 2 years because I moved to Brooklyn, but when I came back to Long Island I started coming again. So consistently it’s been about a year and a half.
G: On average how many times do you come to take Hot Pilates a week?
A: Anywhere between two and four times a week depending on my schedule.
G: Tell us about your amazing weight loss journey.
A: I started back in February of 2013, I got out of a relationship and I was at my heaviest and I realized I really needed to do something about my life, I needed to take control of it. I wanted to do exercises that I enjoyed doing, one of them was obviously the Hot Pilates Secret classes and I found a couple of cardio DVD’s on Amazon, and I was like, “let me just try it.” I would never have guessed that it would stick this long. In the past I would try to lose weight by cutting out carbs and cheese, and it would never stick. This time I gave myself realistic goals, thinking I would only hopefully lose a pound a week or 2 pounds in a week. In the past I would think I had to lose 5 pounds a week or 10 pounds a week, which is so unrealistic. I started taking pictures of myself and that was how I compared weight loss, looking at pictures I took a few months prior and comparing them to recent pictures. The key was no looking at the scale, before I would go on the scale once a week. Now, I go on the scale once every two or three months. I know the numbers can be very daunting, and if you don't lose what you're expecting to lose you may fall off completely. It’s a lot of hard work, dedication, clean eating, and allowing cheat meals here and there without getting pissed off at myself. I’ve just been constantly coming to Pilates, doing my cardio at home, doing yoga, and out of nowhere I started this huge following on Instagram. To think that I have all of these followers that want to see my journey it just amazing. It keeps me going and realizing that its one step at a time, and one day at a time. One day I will be at where I want to be, which is as a very health, motivational person.
G: How does it feel to be the first Hot Pilates Secret Believer?
A: It feels AMAZING! I was just so shocked, I was not expecting this. It just feels really good because I started coming here when Beth was alive, and she really meant so much to me and I’m so excited and happy that I can continue to come. Kaley is so awesome and it makes me so happy to be a part of this. I am very blessed and happy to be the first HPS Believer.
G: How do you feel the studio and The Hot Pilates Secret has affected your life?
A: It’s affected me in a great way. If it wasn’t for coming to Pilates who knows if I would continue on this weight loss journey. Meeting people here, and coming here all the time with all these amazing instructors it makes me want to keep coming. Since I have such a crazy, stressful job, coming here just to release all of that, and anything that was left at work can stay there. It’s a great healing place that’s changed my life. It helps me promote positivity and helps me lead the life that I want to live.
What do you want to achieve this month as our Believer?
A: I want to spread awareness that anyone at any size can be in that room. When I first started here I used to sit in the corner because I didn’t want anyone to see me, and I didn’t want anyone judging me. But now, not only do I sit in the front for myself, but also I sit in the front for the other women that may have body issues and they’re not really confident with themselves. They can look at me and say “Wow well if she’s in the front than I know I can be in this class. You know what? I’m going to come back next week because I know that Amanda will be in the front of the class.” I want them to think that there should be no reason why I can’t be coming back. It’s really important for everyone to realize that you can live a healthy lifestyle at any weight and any size, you just have to put the effort in and eat right and everything else will fall into place.
Fun Facts about Amanda!
“ I started getting tattoos almost 10 years ago, I have well over 20. I remember getting tattoos in high school and thinking I was so cool because I had a tattoo in high school. Anything that inspires me or is positive, like great moments in my life, I look at it as, I want to get a tattoo and express myself that way.
I work for Macy’s in the parade and entertainment group, I basically work on the Thanksgiving Day parade all year round. I also run the clown and balloon program fro the parade. There are over 1,000 clowns in the parade that I manage. I assign them costumes, we have something called Clown University where they can go and get training from professional clowns. In the balloon program there is over 2,500 balloon handlers for the parade, we give them training all year round and prep them for that one big day.
So if I’m not doing yoga or Pilates I’m working or traveling. I love to travel, I love to be outside. I’m at the beach every single weekend in the summer time, as well as spending time with family and friends and just enjoy life!”