How Elizabeth overcame depression, binge eating, and learned to love herself - PumpUp 2014 Success Story

At this time last year, Elizabeth’s New Year’s resolution was the same as it always was: to lose weight. With the help of PumpUp, she accomplished so much more. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve had self worth issues,” she revealed. "I began to love the way I am, inside and out. I’ve lost 20 pounds and I’ve learned that the halfway point of becoming who you want to be begins with loving who you already are." Be inspired about how Elizabeth overcame bingeing and depression, transcended a weight loss plateau, and learned to love herself by joining the PumpUp community! Prior to her journey with PumpUp, Elizabeth’s struggles with binge eating made it difficult for her to lead a holistically healthy lifestyle. Any progress that might have been made through exercise stagnated due to her divisive relationship with food. “I worked out almost every day, but it was always the same kind of workout…it would barely make me sweat,” she recounted.  “I was so confused as to how I was gaining weight when I worked out every day.” Before PumpUp, Elizabeth would be overwhelmed by cravings and treated workouts as punishments for poor dietary decisions. “I would wake up, eat an unhealthy breakfast, be anxious for lunch, eat way too much food when I did eat lunch to the point of discomfort, come home to have a sugary snack, workout half-heartedly, then head home, eat dinner, and spend the rest of my night wishing I could be anyone but me,” she lamented. “I was miserable.”

This cycle of guilt and bingeing disintegrated after Elizabeth joined the PumpUp community. She’s been a beloved member for quite some time and understands how to live a healthy lifestyle through a different lens. “I learned that weight loss isn’t just about working out; it’s about everything all together—workouts, diet, and everyday activity,” she insisted. At first, Elizabeth turned to PumpUp purely as a source of inspiration. “I would read others’ success stories and I adopted a whole new outlook on how I should go about my weight loss journey,” Elizabeth confirmed. “PumpUp is the reason I actually be came a vegetarian—I look at PumpUp daily for new recipes and workouts to further my progress.” She only truly began to share about her journey with the community once she started to lose weight. “I felt that I should have had a little bit of progress before I started to motivate and encourage others,” Elizabeth shrugged. “Looking back, I can see that I wasn’t right. You can be at the very beginning of your journey and still inspire others. It’s all about attitude and perception.”


Elizabeth was diagnosed with depression one year ago, and this impacted her journey in ways that she could never have imagined. “When I was first diagnosed, I felt so completely lost,” she recounted. “I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore. PumpUp was kind of how I began to find myself again. I would read blogs and stories all day long and realized that I had stopped crying.” At first, Elizabeth’s coping mechanism was to ignore her depression. “I never wanted to see my psychologist because I hated talking about my weight and how much I had grown to hate myself,” she recalled. “Slowly, I began to look at life with a different perspective. I would counteract every bad thought about myself with two good ones. Whenever I had a setback (such as having too much ice cream), I wouldn’t beat myself up about it—I would accept it and move on.” Elizabeth picks herself up and keeps moving forward, even when bad tides come crashing at the shores of her life. “There’s no point in wasting your life away by feeling sorry for yourself,” she insisted. “I found a lot of strength through my faith in God as well. It’s been quite the climb, but the view’s been worth it!”

After Elizabeth learned the importance of incorporating variety into her workout schedule, she transcended her weight loss plateau. She works out at least 4 days a week, alternating between yoga, tumbling, dance, running, and weight lifting. Although her food options are limited as a vegetarian, she goes about her lifestyle in a healthy way and makes sure that she eats more than just carbs. “I wake up, have an energizing breakfast (a smoothie, for instance), and go throughout the day happy and focused. I eat a light lunch—a salad or veggie sandwich—then relax when I get home,” she explained. “I work out, and after I eat my dinner I go to bed with a smile on my face. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and of who I am now.”  The  contrast between Elizabeth’s lifestyle prior to PumpUp and her current lifestyle is stark; it illustrates the extent of her successes, both mental and physical, since she became a member of the community.


All of this was achieved within the span of a little more than one year. Elizabeth’s advice for those looking to achieve their New Year’s resolutions with the help of PumpUp emphasizes the importance of perseverance. “First, do NOT obsess over your goals and constantly worry about them. Goals are something to be taken one step at a time. No need to stress,” she counseled. “Second, learn that setbacks will and are going to happen, and that’s perfectly okay. Failure is a part of success. Third, try something new. Most of the time, if you’re stuck in a rut, it’s because you’ve been doing the exact same things. Trying something new can be life-altering. Be it a new class at the gym, or focusing on a different part of your diet, the more you change and arrange, the better shot you have at pin-pointing what’s really holding you back along your journey to success.”

As Elizabeth continues along her journey with PumpUp, she hopes to maintain all of her hard work by remaining active and eating healthily. She intends to inspire others by demonstrating how anybody can reach their goals if they try hard enough. “It’s not impossible. I’ve not only decided to become vegetarian, but I’ve followed through with that decision. I’ve finally learned how to appreciate myself the way I am,” she said firmly. “By using PumpUp I’ve come to the realization that I’ll never be a model-esque girl with a thin body frame, and that is 100% okay because who I am now is more than enough.” Even if Elizabeth hadn’t lost the weight during her journey, she asserts that the halfway point of becoming who you want to be begins with loving who you already are. “If I could pick the hardest part of this entire journey, that would be it,” she stressed.


Biggest Motivation

“It is and has always been cheerleaders. As a cheerleader I know how rough it is to appreciate your body type. I’ve met so many cheerleaders who have beat anorexia, binge eating and depression. Professional cheerleaders have so much pressure on them to be perfectly skinny and athletic that it’s unreal. The girls who can take all that pressure and turn it into extreme focus for their dreams are so incredibly amazing to me.”

Favourite meals and drinks

“My absolute favorite drink is the newest low calorie Gatorade. It’s the type of drink that you can take with you to the gym and not worry about feeling weighed down. It gives you energy that will last throughout the day. My favorite meal is a special spaghetti with Morning-Star vegetarian meat. It has the most incredible taste without all the carbs. And my favorite snack is those plain string cheese sticks. It’s a great in-between meal snack to keep you full.”

Motivational saying

My favorite is a poem written by Erin Hanson called “You’re Not”:

"You are not your age,

Nor the size of clothes you wear,

You are not a weight,

Or the colour of your hair,

You are not your name,

Or the dimples in your cheeks,

You are all the books you read,

And all the words you speak,

You are your croaky morning voice,

And the smiles you try to hide,

You’re the sweetness in your laughter,

And every tear you’ve cried,

You’re the songs you sing so loudly,

When you know you’re all alone,

You’re the places that you’ve been to,

And the one that you call home,

You’re the things that you believe in,

And the people that you love,

You’re the photos in your bedroom,

And the future you dream of,

You’re made of so much beauty,

But it seems that you forgot,

When you decided that you’re defined,

By all the things that you’re not.”

Favourite Workout

“Tumbling. Whenever I tumble I love the feeling of adrenaline and I find it’s easier to be proud of myself after I finally hit a new skill. Tumbling is the best kind of workout to me. Half the time it doesn’t even feel like you’re working out. You get so caught up in the fun of it all. That’s what working out should always feel like. It doesn’t have to always be something you don’t want to do. Find something that’s a fun active activity for you and stick with it! The results will be rewarding, I promise!”


More about Elizabeth

“Something interesting about me is that I play guitar and ride horses. I find so much peace in these two things. I love having “me time.” Because you’re stuck with yourself, so you mine as well learn to love you!”

Find Elizabeth on the PumpUp app making her dreams come true @elizabethgillespie5 and follow her on Instagram @lizzie_53.