Henna had trouble developing a healthy relationship with food because she waged a battle with an eating disorder called orthorexia. First, she eliminated processed food and sweets from her diet. When she did eat meals, they were always miniscule. "I didn't realize how small the portions were," she recalled. In addition to consuming a sparse amount of food, Henna put herself through gruelling cardio workouts at least 3 times a week. "Long before PumpUp [and my eating disorder], I didn't exactly have the best lifestyle either," she added. "I ate whatever I wanted and I exercised rarely. I felt really bad about it, but I didn't have the motivation to change." At the lowest point of Henna's struggle with orthorexia, she dealt with depression and felt frustrated about everything related to food. "I started to use PumpUp because I wanted to find motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle," she admitted. "This seemed almost impossible back then." Things changed when Henna joined PumpUp in March 2015. "After getting to know the PumpUp community more, I realized what healthy food is really like," she explained. "You don't need to eat small portions or cut back on everything that you like. Eating a lot of vegetables and unprocessed food is the base of healthy living. PumpUp's atmosphere is something unique. Everyone is so nice to each other and each member spreads cheerful compliments and [messages of] positivity."
Now, Henna eats 5 proper and balanced meals. She makes sure that she exercises regularly and she even took up a new hobby: boxing. "It's a great way to exercise," she said excitedly. "It helps me to relieve stress if I have any." As Henna put on weight and gradually recovered from orthorexia, her mind started to heal. "I knew that I had to get rid of the bad thoughts inside my head," she shared. "I decided to focus on doing things that made me feel good, both mentally and physically. It's easier said than done, but I think that if you really commit to something, you can survive anything throughout your journey."
There hasn't been a specific turning point for Henna as far as self-acceptance goes. Throughout her journey with PumpUp, her confidence and self esteem gradually built itself up. "My biggest accomplishment is that I've gotten as far as I am right now," she revealed. "[With PumpUp], I've gained confidence in my body and my mind. I've only recently realized how different I feel now [in comparison to] how I felt before. The only direction is forwards."
Henna's Best Advice
Focus on your goal and let no one discourage you. Remember that we all make mistakes, and it's more than okay to fail sometimes. If you feel like taking a nap instead of working out, then take the nap. Make your next workout even more energetic. Life is about balance, so be too stressed by it. Also remember to eat clean, not less.
How a support system helped Henna
Support is what everyone should have whenever they need it. It is easier to keep going when you have someone who brings you back on your feet. I must say that my biggest role models are my parents. They are very strong, and I appreciate the things they've done.
How Henna takes care of her body
I cook something that's good for me. Knowing that my food is healthy, homemade, and nourishing is important to me. It also helps me, mentally. Just standing in the kitchen with my favourite ingredients really feels relaxing. It cheers me up a lot. It may sound a bit weird, but doing a very heavy workout is a great way to relax yourself, and it guarantees that you'll have a good sleep! I'm most confident in the gym! It's a place where I can do my own thing and see all the progress I've made.
What a healthy mind means for Henna
To me, it means having a certain state of mind. It consists of moderation, self-respect and the feeling that your mind are body are one. You trust in yourself and accept your strengths and weaknesses.
Henna's potential superpower
It would have something to do with magic! I'd definitely need that with all my school work haha.
Keep Henna pumped! Follow her on her journey @henana!