When I learned to love my body, I became so much healthier

"I cannot say that my lifestyle was unhealthy, it just wasn't what it was supposed to be," insisted Laura, a PumpUp member who battled with insecurity and disordered eating for many years. "I ate based on a diet that a nutritionist gave me several years ago," she explained. "I guess that wasn't the idea. My body changes and so does its needs, specifically through my teenage years. I hated my body. I thought about anorexia but wasn't 'strong enough' to stop eating completely, so I just skipped a few meals." After school ended, Laura would refrain from eating unless her mother told her to, or she would watch television and distractedly binge on food. Though she didn't hate physical activity, she didn't love most forms of exercise either. She felt so uncomfortable with her body that she only exercised out of necessity. "I would tell myself I had to do it, but with no conviction at all," Laura said. "I was stuck in a roller coaster that varied from 'I can do this' to 'Nevermind,  I will never get there anyway." An opportunity opened for Laura when she joined the PumpUp community. "I used to be so insecure about my body and I thought, 'This is my chance'," she shared. Over the last few months, Laura adopted a lifestyle that fulfills her nutritive needs. "[My diet] is one that I actually like to follow," she elaborated. "I have achieved my dream weight! I've never been overweight, but I was pretty much kissing that BMI limit line. I know that weight is just a number [...] but I'm now at a healthy weight. It's the perfect head start towards shaping my body the way I want it to be." Laura also noted how much her stamina improved after she joined PumpUp. She commits to working out at least 5 days a week, even if it's for a short 15 minutes.  "I love the fact that you can build a workout routine [for yourself], even if you have just a few minutes, or no equipment at home," she confirmed. "I work out because it makes me happy to [become] healthier with every passing day. I've [also] boosted my metabolism by running [and] drinking lots of water and green tea."

With the help of other PumpUp members, Laura changed her lifestyle and learned to love her body. She stressed how important it is to embark upon one's fitness journey out of love rather than hatred. "Suddenly, I felt like my body was already perfect and beautiful," she said enthusiastically. "My self-esteem and body-confidence is higher than ever before! Thanks to my PumpUp family, I learnt that [...] you should change your lifestyle because you love your body. Change your lifestyle because you want to be the best version of yourself day by day."  Laura is most inspired by other PumpUp members, particularly @sky97, @ella_emilie, and @akvile_abrama.  "They are committed to fitness and have amazing bodies," she emphasized. "Though my 'body goals' are [best represented] by Ashley Costello and Hayley Williams, [these PumpUp members] are actually the greatest inspiration for my fitness journey."  

Laura's Exercise RoutineMy favourite PumpUp routine currently is the Full Body Shaper. It activates the whole body, [but also] focuses on legs and glutes, which are my target areas. My favourite workout, outside of PumpUp is the workout plan designed by Akvilė for abs, legs and glutes, it is so complete! My favourite way to stay active when I have no time at all are the Total Breakdown and Short Body Crusher [on PumpUp]: 22 minutes of strength training and core shaping.  A normal day in my life consists of attending school, coming home and eating something. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I do a 45-60min workout before doing my homework and/or watching a [television] series or reading. On Tuesday and Thursday, I spend time with my boyfriend all the evening. If it's early enough when he leaves, I do a 15-20 min workout, [leaving a] half hour before going to sleep. On weekends, it's pretty much up to the time I have depending on my schedule on a specific day."

More about Laura I'm currently in my senior year of high school and can't wait to start Graphic Design at college. I'm the lead singer in a pop-rock band and I'm living a dream because of it!

Keep Laura pumped! Find her on the PumpUp community @lautheraven and share words of encouragement with her in the comments below!