The Best Version of YOU, by Amanda Soltero, Miss Nebraska USA 2014

I worked with Amanda tirelessly for months before she competed at Miss Nebraska USA!  She was the perfect "student" and took every single piece of advice that was offered and ran with it.  She truly left no stone unturned and gave her preparations 110%.  I believe that the girl who wins her pageant is typically the one who WANTS IT THE MOST and Amanda is living proof of this!    

This is her story....   

Pizza rolls, macaroni n’ cheese, ramen noodles… all things you could find in my pantry just one year ago. Then, I set my heart on one of my childhood dreams, being Miss Nebraska USA and competing on the Miss USA stage.

For years, my mom and I would watch 51 of the most beautiful women in the United States strut their fit, toned bodies in swimsuits and amazing evening gowns. I was always inspired by how healthy they looked.

            When I decided to compete for the title of Miss Nebraska USA, I was heading into my senior year of college and knew my food habits needed to change drastically if I wanted to get in great shape and win the title. I totally believe there is such a thing as “skinny fat.” Meaning, you can be thin but oh so out of shape.

All of her hard work paid off and Amanda was crowned Miss Nebraska 2014.

All of her hard work paid off and Amanda was crowned Miss Nebraska 2014.

I met with a nutritionist, and hired a trainer to kick my butt in the gym. My nutritionist explained to me the things my body needed, why it needed those things, and exactly what to eat to get them. I was amazed at the results I got and how quickly I got them! I ended up winning the title of Miss Nebraska USA, winning best in swimsuit, and being in the best shape of my life!

So how does one go from the best shape of her life to even better, for arguably one of the biggest pageant stages in existence? Discipline. Motivation. Drive. 

Sure, I was already in great shape, so why not cheat a little? I’m already there, why not coast in? Because that’s not what a Miss USA does! For me, it was more of setting my mind to a goal and being determined to make myself the best version of me that I could be. Not torture myself in the gym, not starve myself in the kitchen, not try and be someone I’m not, but challenge myself to be the best version of me. This is something that is different for everyone. You can’t look to the girl next to you and be her. You can only be you, and if you want, the best you. That’s what I wanted.

Amanda looked incredible on stage at Miss USA!

Amanda looked incredible on stage at Miss USA!

I continued to eat clean and train dirty. Challenging myself every day. When I left for Miss USA, I felt so ready. I knew that I worked hard leading up and in return, could enjoy myself, within reason, while in Baton Rouge. I was so proud of my body, and how I got that body, the right way. I made the coveted Top 20 during the live telecast and got to strut my stuff the same way I watched dozens of other girls over the years. I got to show off the one thing I worked so very hard for. I had no regrets and felt more proud than I’ve ever felt!

Right after the swimsuit competition, the Internet blew up about Miss Indiana USA’s “normal” body. Mekayla Diehl is a wonderful woman who also worked hard to be the best version of herself, and to celebrate who she is. Again, something that is different for everyone. To me, the world calling Mekayla “normal” and the rest of the Top 20 “not healthy,” really bothered me. I knew how hard I worked to achieve my body and that I did it the right way. Never starving myself or overworking myself in the gym. I am proud of the way I represented myself on that stage, just as Mekayla was, just as we all were. At the end of the day, you are who you are, and nobody can bring you down for that. Be the best version of you, and don’t let anyone’s opinions stand in your way!

Amanda Soltero

Miss Nebraska USA 2014