Junior Gabi Amster uses her personal health transformation journey to better connect and empathize with her patients. “I want to share my story and be the inspiration for someone to find their confidence to accomplish a goal,” says Amster. She grew up in a household where nutritious foods and exercise were not part of daily life. As a result of this lifestyle, Amster weighed 210lbs at 15 years old. Her weight and mental health were extremely unhealthy and she lacked confidence in her daily life.
After extreme bullying, she began homeschooling and started to establish a healthier lifestyle to improve her physical and mental health. She began eating clean foods and went to the gym, where she walked and eventually ran five miles three to five times a week. Inspired by her hard work, her family began incorporating healthier foods into their diets and started accompanying her to the gym. When she returned back to traditional high school, she had lost 70 pounds and gained a new passion for life.
“My mental state improved drastically when I became healthier. I started loving who I was and became a new, confident person,” says Amster.
Over the past 6 years, Amster has continued to make healthy eating and exercise a priority in her life. While maintaining a balanced lifestyle as college student can be challenging, she is often reminded in the hospital of the negative effects of unhealthy behaviors.
“Seeing patients struggle with diseases and conditions as a result of being overweight reminds me of the importance of staying on track,” Amster says.
She is open about her transformation with patients, classmates, and friends and uses her story to inspire others. This summer while working as an ultrasound tech, Amster courageously shared her story with an emotional patient. “My patient came in with peripheral vascular disease and was over 300 pounds. As I was scanning, he noticed I was having challenges due to his weight and he began to cry. I showed him pictures of myself in high school and talked to him about my journey. I shared that he could make positive changes too.” Amster hopes that she will be able to inspire many more patients in the future with her story. Amster says connecting with a patient and helping them improve their health is an unmatched feeling.