Helping her older sister Autumn lose 100 pounds jump-started Amber’s career as a trainer and coach.

My sister always had it together. In my eyes, Autumn had all the answers and — at 11 years my senior — she was the one I always ran to when I broke up with a boyfriend, started my period or didn’t know what to do about a situation in school. 

Autumn taught me to always put lotion on after the shower and how to wear mascara, and she was there to walk me through memorizing my first Bible verse at 12. I still recite it daily: “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” If that’s not the perfect quote for what we constantly face in life and in training, I don’t know what is!

Autumn (left) and Amber.

As Autumn and I got older, I grew out of that little girl who used to eat cookies on her couch crying about boys and became a woman focused on relentless training to be the best in sports. I was athletic, muscular and driven. She was curvy, easygoing and focused on becoming a mom to a big family. In passing, she used to say things like, “Whatever, you got all the good genes, all I got is boobs and a sense of humor.” It was hard knowing that my big sister might resent me for our body-type differences. I’m sure it was hard for her to see her kid sister grow up, too.

Frustration From Afar

When I moved away to Los Angeles to escape the small town we were raised in, I started noticing that the weight she had gained from creating a beautiful family of five kids wasn’t going away. In pictures, she started carrying a look of defeat, and it weighed on me knowing the implications of obesity on her health — but even more, this was the happiest woman on earth looking sad. I remember running on the treadmill each morning thinking of her, praying actually: “God, please let Autumn find help. I know it probably won’t be me who helps her, but if you could just bring change somehow, I want to see her healthy.” I kept up this routine for about a year.

An Answer to Her Prayers

One sunny Los Angeles day, while on my treadmill, a text came in from my sister: “Help me, I’m fat.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was my chance to finally repay all the help she had given me and to make a real difference in her life. But her request came with a few stipulations:

  1. I can’t afford to go to a gym.
  2. I have five savages (what we have lovingly named her kids), so workouts need to be short.
  3. I only have a couple of pairs of dumbbells.
  4. You have to tell me exactly what to do because I’m clueless.
Autumn and her family.

Lending a Helping Hand

So I created a program specifically for Autumn. It was an at-home training program that I later named the “4-Week Foundation.” She didn’t have equipment, so I had her climb the stairs in her home, lift her youngest son and complete bodyweight exercises to build strength. The goal was to burn fat and get her life back under control.

She needed to lose 100 pounds — and I needed this plan to work. Autumn called me shortly after starting the routine and told me about her training session that day. She had done sprint intervals outside, in upstate New York, with several feet of snow on the ground. “I just collapsed and bawled because it was so hard and I’m so big. How did I let this happen?” she wondered.

That was her breaking point and the last time she would ever feel that way again. A year later, not only did she lose the weight, but she also came to LA and we ran my favorite canyon together. It’s a run I’ll never forget, because where there was once resentment for being the “skinny sister,” there had been such an immense healing, her confidence soared and all that was left between us was an unbreakable bond as sisters.

Autumn’s transformation.

A Career Was Born

I knew I was onto something, so I took that training program and turned it into a business. The thought of other women being out there like Autumn with no gym, no hope and no guidance was just too much for me not to do something. I knew nothing about being an entrepreneur, but I knew a lot about how to love, support and encourage people to become better.

Today, I own and run a business called Built for Her, an online women’s athletic training club that connects women from all over the world through at-home athletic training downloads. I provide a range of programs for women of all fitness levels focused on bringing them closer to a life they love through gaining control over their health. I feel so full of purpose knowing that other women are finding freedom through my creations and that even without sending me a “help” text message, I’m their sister, too — picking them up out of the snow when they’ve fallen and letting them know they have what it takes.

The chance now to be a coach is such a huge gift. No magazine cover or personal accomplishment could ever compare to the feeling of helping someone else achieve their “impossible.” So thanks to my entire team for their trust and to my sister for being the start of it all.

Love,

Coach Amber

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

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When it comes to reaching her goals, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet knows that habits are formed through repetition.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Consistent action creates consistent results?” In my experience, truer words have never been spoken. When you do something consistently, you begin to create new neural pathways in your brain — and over time, your brain begins to change its structure and these habits become second nature. You are literally rewiring your brain every time you repeat an activity, until your brain begins to recognize this pattern and accept it. 

Think about the first time you ever tried to speak another language. My native language is French, so this is something I relate to. It can be very challenging to learn new words, memorize the grammar rules and understand the accent someone else is using. But over time, with many hours of studying and practice, your vocabulary grows and your ability to have a conversation improves. You are able to progress because you’ve committed time and consistency to your practice — and you’ve built new neural pathways in your brain, and eventually it has committed them to memory. By remaining dedicated to your goal, the task that was once so hard to accomplish becomes your new normal. You simply wouldn’t find this same success if you only spoke the new language a few times a year and never practiced in between.

Now let’s apply this concept to fitness and eating right: When you’re training your body in the gym or striving to make healthy food choices, you’re also training your brain to accept these new behaviors. The more regularly you work out and eat right, the greater your brain’s ability to latch on to these new behaviors and turn them into a lifelong habit. Soon, meal prepping becomes a Sunday night ritual and going to the gym at 5:30 a.m. becomes something you look forward to.

I believe that most people fail not because of lack of talent or access to the right tools but because they lack the discipline to show up every day. So you get people who get very excited about a project, work really hard for two weeks, and then they put the project aside and don’t make any progress. But for those who keep going and stay the course, they’re bound to succeed because they are putting in consistent work to make it happen.

Perfection: The Enemy of Consistency

So how does consistency relate to perfection? Nobody is perfect. Consistency in the long run is much more important than being 100 percent perfect for one month and then falling off the wagon. Also, perfection is unrealistic. If you set yourself up to expect perfection, you’ll be disappointed when you make a mistake, and this could cause you to give up entirely.

There’s a misconception that in order to be healthy, you have to be perfect. People assume that because I’m a professional athlete, I never eat cupcakes or pizza, and that’s simply not true. I’d go crazy. There’s no way I’d be able to be as focused as I am if I can’t let go once in a while and treat myself. The key word is “treat” — if you cheat every day, then it’s not a treat but a habit. And that’s what we want to avoid. After you have your treat, you can enjoy the satisfaction, understand that it’s not the end of the world, and then get right back on track with your next meal.

One of the easiest ways to build consistency is to prepare in advance. I like making a list before going to bed of all the things I’ll do the next morning to stay focused on my commitment because it helps me stick to my routine and schedule.

So give up the notion that perfection is the only way to succeed, and instead focus on showing up each day, giving it maximum effort and consistently working toward your goal.

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

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This berry-filled recipe — perfect morning, noon or night — is packed with antioxidants, protein and micronutrients

I try to keep my macros at 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 40 percent carbs because it helps keep my blood sugar level — and that’s why I developed this vanilla raspberry smoothie. The raspberries are high in vitamin C, the acai berry powder is a superfood that is high in antioxidants and fiber, the spinach is jampacked with iron and calcium, and the almonds are rich in healthy fats, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. I whip up this smoothie anytime I need a satisfying and delicious snack.

Vanilla Raspberry Smoothie

1 scoop low-carb vanilla protein powder

1 cup frozen raspberries (The trick is to unfreeze them 80 percent of the way.)

1 tbsp acai berry powder

handful of spinach

10 almonds

water (to reach desired consistency)

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

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This tropical recipe will brighten your day and give you a nutritional boost.

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites, thanks to its refreshing ingredients and vacation-like vibe. The pineapple is rich in vitamin C to boost your immune system, the avocado gives you a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, the coconut milk provides calcium and vitamin D to support your bones, and the protein feeds your muscles. Blend the ingredients up and you’ll immediately be transported to the beach. Enjoy!

Piña Colada Smoothie

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

6 oz coconut milk (fat-free postworkout; full fat at night)

½ cup frozen pineapple chunks

¼ avocado (optional)

ice

Nutrition Facts: calories 241, protein 27 g, carbs 15 g, fats 9 g

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

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Camille Leblanc-Bazinet is drawn to “girly” music with positive vibes! Check out her selection of booty-shakin’ workout tunes.

When I’m working out, I’m all about the beat — I like music with a good rhythm but nothing too aggressive. I like to stay positive when I train and focus on having fun. This is my current favorite playlist, and I think you’ll love it, too. There’s no better feeling than shutting your brain off and getting the work done!

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

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