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Go for Bold helps mom stay disciplined in weight-loss journey

February 23, 2024 - Meritus Story

Amanda Royer described her old life as being a “no mom,” or a “tomorrow girl.”

When her children would ask her to play outside with them, she would say “no.” When there was a task to be done, she would say she’d do it “tomorrow.”

At that time more than two years ago, she weighed 260 pounds. It took mental health counselling and discipline instilled by the Go For Bold initiative to get her on track to losing weight and believing in herself.

Royer, a licensed practical nurse with the Washington County Commission on Aging, is embarking on a career as a personal trainer and community health educator.

And all of this is despite a near amputation of her left hand that left her with permanent nerve damage and nearly sidelined her efforts.

“I wanted to be a yes mom,” she said. “I wanted to be a good example to my kids.

“Getting to that place is the hardest part. It takes the readiness to change.”

Royer’s primary care provider at Meritus Primary Care on Crayton Boulevard started her on her journey. Nurse practitioner Kate Smith helped connect Royer with therapists at Brook Lane.

“They helped me to realize I needed to start putting myself first,” Royer said.

From there, she connected with a gym in Hagerstown, starting with short classes during her lunch breaks. She began to increase the intensity of her workouts, eventually moving into high-impact classes.

Royer said she was fortunate in that she had some things keeping her accountable. One was her niece, Sierra.

The other was Go For Bold, an initiative sponsored in part by Meritus Health to lose 1 million pounds as a community by 2030.

The Go for Bold initiative was started by Healthy Washington County, a coalition of public and private organizations with a mission to strengthen the health and wellness of our community and residents.

The initiative was sparked after a Community Health Needs Assessment found Washington County residents had high rates of chronic illness, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, among others.

To achieve the million-pound weight-loss goal, the initiative:

  • Focuses on increasing physical activity personally and through fun and engaging community-wide events
  • Incorporates mindfulness and stress reduction techniques into daily activities
  • Offers nutrition tips and healthy recipes that focus on fresh fruits and vegetables

Royer not only uses the nutrition lessons offered by Go For Bold for herself, she also teaches them as part of multiple health classes offered through Washington County Commission on Aging.

Proper nutrition is a key part of her journey she said.

“It’s like premium fuel,” she said, noting a vehicle will run better with high-octane gasoline. “Your body needs it. Your brain needs it.”

Admittedly, it can be tough to stay motivated. She noted that when she injured her hand, her gains began to flag. After surgery and learning how to live with the nerve damage, she got back to her routine.

“It takes being careful so you don’t fall back,” she said. “I remind myself that I’m still here, how I got here and why I got here, and how I lost the weight.

“And I’m not going back.”

Ready to join Amanda and Go For Bold? Visit to learn more and sign up.

Amanda Royer   Hug Final

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