Erin (@3rin) joined PumpUp with one simple goal: to have visible ab definition. “My fitness goals were reached because of my determination and because of members of the PumpUp community who have either become good friends or family to me,” she insisted. Erin is in the spotlight to bravely share her turbulent and inspiring story coping with PTSD, anxiety, and depression as a single parent, while still achieving her health and fitness objectives. “I’ve come to realize that being healthy isn’t about losing weight or getting abs,” she revealed. “It’s about having a positive attitude, eating right, and being with people who you love and love you.
One simple bike ride in 2012 became Erin’s catalyst to truly strive for a healthy and active lifestyle. “I went for a bike ride with a friend and we raced, but he beat me by 7km,” she said. Fuelled with determination, Erin built up her cycling skills over the next couple of months, improved her confidence, and lost weight. “After the 2 ½ month mark, I finally beat him. I was so excited that I entered a race for breast cancer. There were 500 other women and I would have placed 3rd if my scoliosis hadn’t affected the outcome of my race.”
However, Erin’s scoliosis took a toll on fitness journey other ways. “After recuperating in physio after the race for breast cancer, I was determined to get back into biking,” she elaborated. “At that point, my schedule had changed—I became a single parent because I left my abusive ex-husband, and with no visitation or child support.” Erin managed to get back on track despite of these obstacles, and in a major way. “My daughter was 2 ½ years old at the time, so I asked my friend to watch her in the mornings so that I could go running and clear my mind,” Erin added. From that point onwards, her healthy lifestyle has been something that she is proud of herself for maintaining.
Intrigued by the prospect of a mobile app that could customize workouts for her, Erin joined PumpUp in July 2013 in order to augment her existing workout routine and to track her progress. “I was determined to get visible abs,” she insisted. With hard work, determination, and encouragement from the PumpUp community, Erin managed to achieve her goal and more. “About a month ago in November 2014, I took a random picture of myself lying on the ground… and I saw abs,” she explained breathlessly. “My daughter is in school, telling everybody about them. It’s embarrassing, yet exhilarating.”
PumpUp is honoured to have helped Erin to achieve one of her ultimate objectives for 2014. “I accomplished all I wanted to accomplish with the help of PumpUp. I have abs,” she gushed. “Now I just need the confidence to show off my hard work. I can confidently run in just a sports bra, and in every type of weather. However, I still lack the courage to wear a halter top or a bathing suit in public.”
The PumpUp community admires Erin’s strength in combatting her PTSD. “I have recurring flashbacks, anxiety issues, and severe scoliosis,” she mentioned. “I refused both the recommended therapy and medication for PTSD—but in retrospect, I should have taken the doctors up on the latter. I am stubborn, but I am self-sufficient.” While Erin admitted that she sometimes gets severe depression when she experiences a PTSD episode, she finds it therapeutic to spend time with the people whom she loves and who love her back. “My daughter and my friends are a real source of comfort for me, as are my PumpUp family,” she explained. “Writing poetry also helps because it is a real challenge for me to talk about myself in any regard. Creative outlets have helped me a lot, in addition to exercise.”
Although Erin always considered herself to be a healthy eater, she continues to grapple with portion control and moderation. “My theory is that we shouldn’t deprive ourselves,” she insisted. “Eat what you’re going to eat, but be prepared to see the consequences of exceeding your daily limit and not being able to burn it all off. You’ll have a higher success rate when you eat less junk.” Her fitness journey has allowed her to test the limits of her culinary prowess. She experiments with her food in healthy and creative ways. “I was never a cook before starting my fitness journey, but now I have the willingness to create things from scratch,” she explained. “I seldom use recipes because I like to limit my salt, sugar, and fat intake.”
As a self-professed cardio junkie, Erin prefers kickboxing, cycling, and running in order to stay active. When she first began her fitness journey, Erin explained that she would religiously perform Jillian Michaels routines until she learned how to create her own workouts based on calisthenics. “My routine just involves my own body weight—although sometimes I do one online when I’m lazy,” she admitted. “I workout twice a day—I have to because I have severe back issues. Exercise is my therapy—it’s better than physiotherapy. I use PumpUp to log my workouts and my progress.”
Her best advice for PumpUp members looking to achieve their resolutions in 2014 is to set realistic, achievable, and tangible goals. “Know what you can handle and start off small,” she counselled. “Don’t take on too much at once!” As Erin continues her journey with the PumpUp community, her #MyResolution is to face her problems head on rather than waiting for better circumstances. "My PTSD will not conquer, I will," she told PumpUp.
Erin is motivated to break combat her family’s history of heart disease. Her genetic history is the fuel that powers her progress. “My biggest motivation would have to be my daughter—I want to extend my life to be around her,” she explained. “I want to be around for longer to see that things get better for us.” Though cooking is a very recent hobby for Erin, she finds it fulfilling for one very important reason. “As a single parent, I have no choice but to impart great nutritional habits onto my daughter,” she affirmed.
“I love to eat Greek-style lamb with rice, carrots, potato, and occasionally house salad. My favourite thing to cook is salad rolls with cucumbers, carrots, avocado, and sometimes shrimp in rice paper. (It’s my daughter’s favourite).”
“You are only you. Only you know what you can accomplish. It’s up to you to get others to believe it for when you are too low to believe it yourself”
Fun Fact about Erin
“I’ve had half a dozen near-death experiences and I somehow miraculously always survive.”
Find Erin on the PumpUp app @3rin to keep her pumped! She’ll motivate you with lovely comments!