It's been almost a year since Clodagh joined the PumpUp community after her close friend Wilma introduced her to it. "I have not regretted joining this amazing, positive, and energetic app for one day," she affirmed. "I started working out just before I began my journey with PumpUp, but since I became engaged with the community, this app kept me going and assisted me in my personal growth as much as my physical change." Clodagh made palpable progress especially over the past few months. She documents her victories and setbacks on the app almost every day. "Having such a massive support group helps when you have an 'off day' and feel like you aren't getting anywhere," she remarked. "Just one positive comment from a fellow member can make the world of a difference to another person's day." Not only did Clodagh change her eating habits after she joined PumpUp, she also made a commitment to tackle one of her biggest addictions. "My general intake of food consisted of processed fast foods, but one of my most shameful struggles has to be smoking," she elaborated. "I know it is an absolutely disgusting habit, but with each day that passes by, it gets a lot better. I actually made a promise to quit smoking with one of my good friends. It felt like a contradiction to advocate for a healthy lifestyle while harming myself in different way." Clodagh proudly maintains this goal and turns to the PumpUp community to keep her accountable. She is confident that quitting smoking will boost her running performance and improve her overall health. "I am most thankful to PumpUp, the PumpUp community, and most importantly, myself," she added. "Realizing your faults makes you a stronger person from within."
There isn't a 'secret' to Clodagh's lifestyle change. It's a culmination of subtle changes that she made over the course of her journey with PumpUp. Clodagh does weight training and a burst of cardio at the gym for at least 4-5 times a week, and does home workouts if she's short on time. "I believe that there are no excuses – you are your only excuse," she insisted. "Changing your lifestyle does not happen overnight, it is a daily process. With time, it gets better." Clodagh takes pride in preparing her daily meals the night before. "It doesn't have to be glamorous, but it does need to sustain you throughout the day," she advised. "I also remind myself that there is nothing wrong with treating oneself. Life is also about enjoying every step of the way!"
Clodagh has a refreshingly realistic perspective towards goal setting. She recognizes the importance of focus, determination, and being able to identify one's own limitations. "What counts is that you know what you are working towards and you are happy with your own progress, as well as supporting those around you," she counselled. "At the end of the day, the only person you have to answer to in order to lead a happier life is yourself, so you have to make it count. Self-belief opens many doors of opportunities that have always been there. I used to be too scared to grab them and take them on!" As Clodagh continues her journey with PumpUp, she strives to improve herself physically, mentally, and emotionally. "PumpUp has helped me to view exercise with a positive mind-set," she said happily. "I am a lot more confident and less likely to doubt myself. Knowing that I am accomplishing something on my own for a change is a huge accomplishment already, as I always had a tendency to rely on others."
Self-confidence was the cornerstone of Clodagh's transformation. She's no longer a wallflower, blending into the backdrop of other people's lives. "My dream has always been to help people, but self-doubt became my undoing: large crowds drained me," she recounted. "Not being happy with myself mentally and emotionally led to “letting myself go” and I ended up gaining so much weight that it pushed me further into that dark corner." With the help of PumpUp, her family, and her friends, Clodagh had the courage to step up and take her life in control. "I'm still quite shy by nature, but I learned to speak up. Otherwise, I would remain an unhappy person. That wasn't something I wanted to live with every day," she admitted. "You have to believe in yourself."
Clodagh's best advice for other PumpUp members
When you feel like giving up, push harder! Start each day as if it is a new beginning. Set daily realistic goals for yourself. It will lead to less disappointment. Concentrate on the now, that is what will take you one step closer to reaching your long term goals. It also has to be something you want to change within yourself, you have to take into account it is a lifestyle change and not a diet. Once you stop a diet it relapses, and 9 times out of 10 you end up where you were before. Take the slightly longer journey, make healthier choices, and try to live a more active lifestyle in general. We are so lucky to be able to step outside and enjoy the outdoors. Take advantage of those opportunities as well. The possibilities are endless if you open yourself up to it. On a side note, do not allow “changing yourself” to consume you as you do not want it to become an unhealthy addiction. You are not in competition with anyone else other than yourself. We are our worst critics for sure, learning to love yourself and be a better version of yourself in my opinion is a lot more rewarding. Remember everything within moderation. Those are small things I have to remind myself about on a daily basis.
Clodagh's biggest motivation
My biggest motivation is first and most forth myself, but not in a conceited way. I know that if you put your mind to something, anything is possible! My other motivation would have to be my gym partner @grantjolliffe17, without him I think I would not have had the confidence in the very beginning to go to gym. I always felt intimidated, but his wise words, "we all have to start somewhere" gave me the kick up the backside to forget about everyone else as we are all there to reach our own set of goals.
Another big motivation would have to be my best friend, Wilma. As much as I check up on her daily to ensure she is keeping on track, she has done the same for me. I am always ever so thankful for her 7 years of friendship.
How Clodagh stays active
I do weight training. I'm still very much a newbie and have so much to learn. It has helped a lot with keeping active and it motivated to continue with this lifestyle. I miss running a lot, having done many half marathons, this is something I will start again. I am very lucky to have active friends, so we do try arrange hikes, fun days where we incorporate all kinds of fun activities.
More about Clodagh
I am a bookkeeper, and I will be starting my BCompt Degree next year! I have a very demanding job, working in Immigration is very fast paced. I love reading (I'm the biggest book nerd ever). It's important for me to be outdoors as much as possible, I am obsessed with the beauty of nature that surrounds us each day. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to live along the beachfront, so this may explain my tiny obsession with sunsets, I could literally open a photo gallery.
Keep Clodagh pumped on the app @clodaghsiobhan! Have questions for Clodagh? Let her know in the comments below!