For several years, PumpUp member Wilma (@project_me) was ensnared in a vicious cycle of strict dieting and extreme bingeing. "When I wasn't starving myself, I'd be stuffing my face with burgers and fries. My dinner plate consisted of mostly carbs and protein, but no veggies," she explained. "I lived on coffee and never brought a drop of water close to my lips. Climbing the stairs at work was the only physical activity in my day." After Wilma's father died from a lethal combination of unhealthy eating, drinking, and smoking, she realized that her own lifestyle wasn't sustainable. Wilma needed a community to keep her accountable. "I was never serious about my health because I lacked a support system. It's been almost a year and I couldn't be happier that I joined the PumpUp community," she enthused. "I still enjoy using the app on a daily basis. My energy levels are up and my confidence cannot be contained!"
One of Wilma's greatest initial setbacks was overcoming low self esteem, which contributed to the destructive eating habits of her past. "I was singled out as the 'pale, chubby girl' and I tried to fade into the background. Few people knew of my existence until I went to college. Walking long distances on campus helped me lose a lot of my weight," she remembered. "When I was 18, I was the skinniest I had ever been. But I hated my body and thought I was fat." An unhealthy relationship with her then-boyfriend caused her to doubt her size and her capacity for self-love. "I thought that if I gained 1 kg, he wouldn't be able to love me because I'd be fat," she recalled. "I was a size 10 in South Africa. After we broke up, I partied and started to binge on food late at night. Before I knew it, I was 22, weighed almost 80 kgs, and could almost fit into size 14 clothes. Depression affected all aspects of my life and I felt a constant sense of worthlessness."
This is no longer the case. Wilma developed a much stronger sense of self worth because of her lifestyle change. "PumpUp helped me realize that there is still some good in the world, it’s inspiring to see how supportive and non-judgemental the PumpUp community is," she confessed. "It helped me grow so much, both emotionally and physically. I can only hope that my journey motivates others like theirs journeys have motivated me." With the support of the PumpUp community, Wilma was able to commit to a lifestyle change. "I started to prep my meals and I make sure that my lunch and dinner consist of the right amounts of carbs, protein, vegetables, and fat," she explained. Wilma always has at least 1L of water on hand and exercises for 40 minutes to 120 minutes on a daily basis, emphasizing weight and resistance training. PumpUp's custom workouts helped her along the way. "PumpUp workouts are the best," she said excitedly. "I always had a million different workouts saved, one for each day. I love to weight train and I especially love leg day. Finally, my friends and I also enjoy going on hikes together."
She strongly advises fellow PumpUp members to bounce back from their setbacks as quickly as they can. "Your setbacks make you human and your true strength is shown when you get up, dust yourself off, and try again," she continued. "Don't base your goals on the image of others. Bodies react to diet and exercise in a different way. You can't compare yourself and your progress to somebody else."
Wilma's biggest motivation
My father’s passing really got me motivated to get my butt into gear. He was a body builder in his early 30’s but had really bad eating; smoking and drinking habits later on in his life until the day he passed at the age of 55.
My brother started training about 4 years ago and went from being a skinny and awkward-looking guy to being my personal body guard. He keeps me in check, he’s brutally honest; ruthless and pushes me to work hard to reach my goals. He has been such an inspiration to me and the greatest support system ever.
My chop, my friend, Clodagh - 7 years of craziness. We’ve seen each other in all shapes and sizes and we keep each other on track and motivated. She’s always checking in on me, making sure I do my workouts and cheering me on whether I skipped a day or killed a workout.
More about Wilma
Among my siblings, I was dubbed the 'steroids baby'. The theory is that my Dad was on steroids when I was conceived, which explains my lack in height. I'm not named after Fred Flintstone's wife, my parents thought it was a good idea to name me after my father - Willem. I (not so secretly anymore) dreamt of being a dancer all my life, even though I have two left feet and I'm extremely shy. Finally, I hate being sweaty and I don’t like my calves.
Keep Wilma pumped and be part of her support system on the PumpUp community @project_me! Have questions for Wilma or words of encouragement? Let her know in the comments below!