Amber Dodzweit Riposta has undergone many changes since first coming onto the fitness scene 11 years ago. Back then, the now fitness coach and Built For Her creator was a highly sought-after fitness model landing numerous magazine covers and endorsements.
But after a few years, she vanished from the scene for a much-needed break from the industry. Flash forward to now, and Amber is back, and stronger and healthier than ever. “It's crazy right? The idea that at any moment we can make decisions to change our lives to look nothing like before,” says our March/April 2019 cover star. “I've never been afraid of change… in my opinion, all women should feel the freedom to make changes in their career, their looks, [and] their day-to-day routines to get back to a place where they feel hopeful for the future.”
Change this time for Amber came in a few forms: a shorter hairdo, a few extra pounds, and a more balanced lifestyle, which includes less focus on the scale and body composition and more focus on doing what feels good for her body, mind, and soul. It doesn’t always come easy (“A mindset is a constant decision. There are days where I feel so confident and others where it's more of a struggle,” she admits), but to Amber, it is always worth it. And that’s why Dodzweit Riposta makes it a point to show all of those real, raw moments on Instagram, whether it be stomach rolls, “bad” angles, or a true makeup-free, unairbrushed selfie.
“Too many times, pictures are painted of women in my position that make others feel like there's something wrong with them for feeling a little self-conscious,” says Amber, adding that, yes, fitness influencers are humans too. “That is normal and we all experience it—it's how you handle it and move forward that matters.”
Another way the fitness professional shows her true self on social media is by being open about her faith to her followers. But finding balance between her Christianity and a career that often involves putting one’s body on display was a challenge for Amber, especially in the earlier parts of her career. “I remember when I first entered the fitness arena, I was told two things. My mom told me that it would be hard to honor God with a career about my body, and somebody else in the industry told me it would be impossible to make it in fitness being as modest as I was,” she recalls. “From both sides, I had my work cut out for me.”
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However, Amber later learned that she didn’t need to post sexualized photos to build the kind of following she wanted. “My followers are this incredible collection of people from all over the world, spiritual and non-spiritual, who are positive and uplifting not only to me but to each other. I mean, that’s something to be proud of,” she says. “It's because of the encouragement I've gotten from the people that support my career that has allowed me to stay in my lane… the ‘I love God, I train hard, I keep my photos safe for your kids, and I have pizza and margaritas as needed’ [lane].”
And speaking of pizza and margaritas, Amber makes it a point to post those, too, which is refreshing, coming from a fitness influencer. Her recent trip to Thailand consisted of “unstructured meals” including noodles, rice, and cocktails… and you can bet the athlete enjoyed every morsel.
“I have a mantra as part of my BuiltForHer.com community that says ‘memories > macros,’ meaning there are certain things worth the memory that you will have to sacrifice your routine for,” she explains. “I can tell you that travelling overseas and maintaining the nutrition you're used to most likely won't happen.”
Still, there are some ways to “keep the wheels on,” while on vacation. Below, see Amber’s four tips for maintaining balance and staying on track while travelling:
Take up intermittent fasting.
If you know your daily macros are going to consist of 50 percent carbs and 50 percent cocktails, Amber suggests skipping breakfast or taking up intermittent fasting. “This is a good trick when you know your later meals will be indulgent ones,” she explains.
Train hard (HIIT-style when you can).
Part of Amber’s vacation routine was to include some HIIT workouts, consisting of things like treadmill sprints, AMRAP kettlebell swings, and 30-second battle ropes followed by pull-ups until failure. No gym where you are? Take your workout outdoors, like Amber did in this clip. “You may not be able to train everyday—that’s okay!” she says. “When you do get a chance to work out, make it count and go for a high-octane interval session with little rest…a BuiltForHer.com speciality!” And when you’re finished, you can enjoy a post-workout cocktail, guilt-free.
You’re on vacation for a reason! Try not to worry too much about staying on top of your fitness routine, and instead, enjoy yourself. “Stress can be a huge factor in holding and gaining weight,” Amber explains. “The opportunity to get some R&R may do your body more good than you think.”
Staying hydrated will help flush out toxins and prevent illness, promote weight loss, and increase energy levels—all very important things while on vacation.