Big transitions can take a toll on anybody’s health. PumpUp member Lana (lanalanex3) developed depression and anxiety at a young age after her parents divorced. “[Anxiety and depression] are two disorders that a lot of people don’t believe are real,” she explained. “I used to get told, ‘Just stop being sad, it’s simple’. But every day I felt like I was battling with my inner self. I got rid of my friends, gained weight, and gave into my demons. There’s an infinite list of things I missed out on, and things I did to stay sane.” What’s more, after Lana moved from New York to Florida, she fell off track and gained 30 lbs. “I didn’t feel great about myself,” she recalled. “I had to decide what was important to me by realizing that I was the only person who had control over my life. I had to put in hard work if I wanted results.” In time, Lana learned that the state of her mental health was tied to her physical health. She began to eat healthier and saw positive changes. “Running became my escape,” she revealed. “I lost weight and I felt amazing. Before PumpUp, I lost about 25 pounds. I was doing good…but I wanted to be great.” Though Lana exercised in moderation, PumpUp really helped her to take her health and fitness to another level. “I know how important support is and how encouraging it can be to surround yourself with like-minded people,” she affirmed. “From my first post, I felt the positive energy radiating from everyone and I loved it.”
Eventually, PumpUp became an integral part of Lana’s day. “I was beyond motivated by every single person’s posts,” she shared. “I found new delicious recipes, at-home workouts, and inspirational quotes. Even on my worst mornings, opening PumpUp is the first thing I do. My mood changes immediately.” The PumpUp community became a forum that allowed Lana to openly discuss her challenges and obstacles. “I can talk to strangers and not feel alone in my struggles,” she elaborated. “I can get advice from people who are on a higher [fitness] level than I am, and I can even help others who are just starting their journey.”
Lana is a strong advocate of finding a great support system. “I don’t think depression ever really ‘goes away’,” she said solemnly. “But with the amazing support of wonderful people, God, and positive energy, it no longer takes a hold of me.” She advises other PumpUp members to stay resilient and to never give up. Lana's healthy eating habits are part of lifestyle change rather than a diet. “[Fitness] is not something you do for a little while and stop because you don’t see results,” she counselled. “Find ways to incorporate exercise into your life for the rest of your life. Find something that you love and just do it. Think about what you want the most versus what you want right now and remember why you started; the time will pass anyway.”
In her opinion, Lana’s ‘role model’ is anybody who works hard to achieve their goals. “I am inspired by so many people,” she gleamed. “Picking one [person] just wouldn’t be fair! Having support is so important. I tried [to maintain a healthy lifestyle] by myself. It’s difficult – not impossible—but hard.” This is why PumpUp became so important for Lana. “Having a support system of like-minded people who understand and share how they get through the same struggles really aids the process,” she said. “From [this] support, I’ve learned how to correctly do [exercises], how to kick my bad habits, I learned what superfoods are and how to incorporate them into my life. I learned how to get rid of my unhealthy cravings, all thanks to other people who were willing to share their stories.”
Moving forward, Lana aspires to motivate anybody who needs an extra push. “We all have bad days and PumpUp is such an amazing forum to get pumped up and feel amazing,” she exclaimed. Over the past few months, Lana also made tons of physical progress. She shares full-body comparison photos on PumpUp to keep herself on track. “I went from 145 lbs to a healthy 120 lbs and from a size 9 to a size 4.”
How Lana takes care of her body, both physically and mentally
I believe in balancing my mental, physical, and spiritual states of being. Yoga and meditation are my two favorite [remedies] for the soul. I believe in grounding myself and remembering that I am doing my best. I am trying. It's okay to not be where I want to be yet , I'm enjoying the journey. Physically, I love going on walks. Going hiking has been a huge part of my life since moving to California. I fell in love with the challenge and even more with the views on top. It is totally worth it! I drink a gallon of water a day (well, most days). Water is THE most essential thing that you can do for your health. It's cleansing and purifying and such a simple change to make.
What having a healthy mind means to Lana
Having a healthy mind to me means.... understanding that bad days will happen. It's okay to not be okay. There will be days where you just don't feel great. You missed the gym this week and junk food has been sneaking into your life. But knowing that it’s okay will make you feel better! We are human beings, we are flawed and we mess up from time to time, but that's alright! Pick yourself up and hop back on the treadmill. Look in the mirror and find 10 things you love about yourself … then find 5 more, then 3 more. Not every day will be perfect, but I promise you that there's at least 1 thing that you can find that will make it worth it.
What makes Lana feel body confident
I'm most confident after having a bombtastic week! This happens after I hit the gym 4 times, I drank water and breakfast smoothies or protein shakes, I ate fruits and veggies, and I had no cheat days. I feel healthy, energized , pumped up and I wake up the next morning with a flat stomach. I see my hard work starting to shine through knowing that I DID THIS! I remember where I was and see where I am now. That's when I'm most confident. My specific turning point was the day I accepted myself, flaws and all. I truly found myself beautiful, I stopped wanting to be like the other girls I saw on Tumblr, and I decided that I just wanted to be the best me. This was honestly the point where I was able to get on track and find a style of life that fit ME.
Lana’s potential superpower
My super power would be ... Making carbs and calories not count on my birthday and holidays! (I’m kidding). Honestly, I would love to have the power of healing anyone who has been discouraged or damaged by society’s image of how we should look. I would erase any unrealistic unattainable body image from our minds and give every person the understanding that healthy is beautiful. I would eliminate anorexia, bulimia, and any other unhealthy obstacles that so many people are facing. Ladies YOU are beyond gorgeous! Men, you are summer time fine. Love yourself! Appreciate yourself, you got this! On days where you feel like you just can't ...don’t worry... I GOT YOU ! We can do this!
Were you inspired by Lana's incredible story? Do you have a story about how a support system helped you to achieve your goals? Let us know in the comments below and share positive words of encouragement for Lana! Find her on PumpUp @lanalanex3.