This is a post by PumpUp member @nidako. Bouncing back from borderline obesity, Naika turned her life around with the help and support of the PumpUp community.

I started off as a slim, athletic child. I remember climbing up coconut trees without any problems at all. I ran quicker than anybody I knew. At the age of 9, everything changed for the worse: I wasn’t going through anything that may have led to particularly unhealthy habits, I just ate out of boredom. 

Weighing 145 pounds at a mere 5’3, I would spend hours and hours sitting and eating. What’s more, I would wake up at 3 am and have a full meal right then and there. At the age of eleven I was 5’6 and 190lbs: pounds away from being classified as ‘obese’. My body began to give up and I was even diagnosed with gallstones. The pain I was going through was unbearable, and I would almost definitely throw up if I ate too much of anything.

Though I dropped to 170 lbs, I nevertheless underwent an emergency surgery to remove the stones. The doctors told me I had to lose weight to prevent that from ever happening again. Despite their warning, I gained all of the weight back and more one month after recovering from surgery.

One year later, I knew that something had to be done. I woke up and said to myself “No”. I woke up at 5 in the morning EVERYDAY to go to the gym. I started off as a cardio kitty then slowly added weights at 150 lbs.

Since I decided to commit to a healthy lifestyle, I noticed a difference in my mood and confidence. I became happier everyday. The girls who teased me now envy me. Not only did I make changes to my physical health, I took time to nurture my mental health as well by meditating 30 minutes a day. My motivation was, and still is, myself.  

Here I am: a girl that once wore size 16 jeans and extra large shirts who is now confident enough to wear a two piece swim suit without any problem. I don’t plan to stop at any time of my life and I’m grateful for the confidence and happiness that this change has inspired.