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Spotlightseries

How Anastasia Overcame Body Dysmorphia

How Anastasia Overcame Body Dysmorphia

For a portion of Anastasia's younger years, she struggled drastic weight fluctuations and body dysmorphia. In middle school, she weighed less than 70 lbs at a height of 5'5". Then, she gained 80 lbs in her recovery phase.  "I was one of two things," she remembered. "At first, I was a girl who struggled with anorexia and bulimia for two years. Next, I was a girl who had gained too much weight after going on a pill I was given for recovery. I was unhappy and I hated my body. That's when I found PumpUp and my life truly began to change." Two months into Anastasia's journey, she had a hard time finding motivation to maintain healthy habits. Members from the PumpUp community helped her to get back on track. 

Spotlight Series: Akvile A.

She’s a gymnast, a diver, and a member whose presence in the PumpUp community is difficult to miss. She radiates positivity, and lives by the mantra: “You are the creator of your own destiny.” Can you guess who our Wednesday Spotlight is? (Hint: it’s @akvile!)

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There’s a saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this was partially true in Akvile’s case. Due to stress, inactivity, and forlorn feelings of isolation during a home-stay exchange program in Spain, Akvile gained fifteen pounds in the three months that she was there.  “I was placed with a family where people didn’t care about me and didn’t talk to me, so I was stressed almost all the time,” she explains. “Even though I wasn’t eating a lot and walked long distances, ran, danced, and exercised because there wasn’t much else to do… I gained so much weight and so little muscle.” It was difficult for her to adjust to this physical transformation when she arrived at home. “I was even more stressed out because everyone mentioned that I changed a lot,” she admits. “I said to myself: ‘It is time to work out a little harder.”

Since then, she sings praises about how her resolution to exercise became the best decision of her life. It wasn’t without challenges, as her weight fluctuated a bit after that fateful summer. “I was naturally quite skinny before Spain, but [when I began to exercise after], I lost 24 lbs in 4 months,” she explains. Akvile began by eating very small portions and engaging in intense cardio exercises: hour-long cycling sessions, long-distance running, and more.  “I burned more calories than I ate!” she exclaims. “I was underweight—almost anorexic. [Now], I am so happy to say that I have found the right weight.”

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Akvile attributes the bulk of her success to weight lifting, working out 3-4 times a week, and being mindful of what she eats. She joined the PumpUp family three months ago in pursuit of motivation to work out harder. “I thought, here I could find people who are dreaming about the same things. They will push me to work out harder and won’t let me give up!” affirms Akvile. 

For PumpUp members looking to become more active, Akvile advises that we should never complain about not having enough time. “You are reading this post, after all, which means you have free time,” says Akvile. “As you become active you will feel stronger, healthier, and happier! I know from experience. The beginning is always hard but as long as you stay strong and motivated, you will reach your goal!” She counsels us to start modestly and slowly, for example by gradually increasing the distance and/or pace of our runs. 

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As Akvile continues to inspire others on PumpUp, she aspires to motivate them to reach their goals. “I just really want to help others because I know how important motivation can be!” she professes. “I already have so many followers who make my day with their amazing comments and positivity! Here, I have found so much positivity and happiness.” She admits that she also feels like a role model for a lot of people on PumpUp. “It forces me not to skip my workout, because I can share it with my second family,” she warmly smiles. 

Her biggest motivation is seeing her own results, because it provides purpose to any residual soreness she feels when she exercises. “Strive for progress, not perfection,” she states. “We have different types of bodies and striving to look like somebody with a thigh gap when you have narrow hips could destroy you!” Akvile also looks up to Pamela Rf and confesses, “She is the one that I would change my body into, if it could be possible!” 

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Favourite Food and Drink

My favourite snacks are nuts, peaches and cheese (I love cheese!)

Meals: Chicken with rise and pineapples, whole meal bread with peanut butter and banana! Drink: kefir!! Cold water and green tea with honey

Motivational Mantra

You are the creator of your own destiny! Excuses don’t burn calories.

Akvile’s workout routine (ABC):

Abs:
• 25 crunches holding 5 Kg(3 reps)
• 15x2 side bends holding 15-17 Kg(3 reps)
• 15 leg raises(3 reps)

Butt:
20 simple squats - 3 reps
15 squats with 15 Kg - 3 reps
15 donkey kicks with 2,5 Kg weight - 3 reps for each leg
15 fire hydrant - 3 reps each leg
50-100 bridges

Cardio: Running, walking long distances, jogging, cycling, dancing and etc.

Abs: Monday, Thursday; Butt: Tuesday, Friday; Cardio: Wednesday and Saturday or Sunday.

Akvile’s Cold Soup Recipe

2 cucumbers
50 grams of dill
100 g of onions
2 eggs
500 g kefir
Salt
1/2 cup sour cream
100 g red beets

Preparing:

Mix kefir with salt, put cut into strips red beets, cut onions and all other ingredients and mix it! Put a sour cream on the top and enjoy it with a boiled potatoes!  

It is really tasty and refreshing! Bon appetite!

More about Akvile

I am a gymnast! I used to have gymnastics lessons when I was 7, but I had to quit it because of illness. However, I still can do everything the same way that I could11 years ago and have been able to accomplish even more by teaching myself :) I just love it and try to do my best!
Also, I love photography! Every time I feel sad or just bored, I take pictures of a nature! I walk, breathe fresh air and take amazing pictures!
These year I began diving! So far, I’ve received my “Advanced Open Water Diver” licence, which is just unbelievable for me! I am looking forward to go to Egypt during my autumn holidays to dive there!
I love dancing and singing! Actually, I was always dreaming about becoming a famous singer, but I realized that I wouldn’t live life as I wanted as being a singer.

Interesting facts

I am wearing braces (that is why I don’t smile in pictures :D), I never do what others tell (I find it so annoying! ), I am caramel ice cream maniac ( I eat it everyday, I just can’t handle it! ) I love when people smile at me!

Follow Akvile on PumpUp @akvile and on Instagram @elivkaaa

Spotlight Series: Jackie V.

The beacon of our Sunday Spotlight beams upon PumpUp member jackieshrinks! Jackie’s love for outdoor running and her “Do it for yourself” philosophy became a lifestyle change—she has so far lost 25 lbs! She hopes to inspire others, having struggled with fatigue and health problems along her journey and aspires to create customized nutrition plans in the future.  Read all about Jackie down below and give her a follow @jackieshrinks!image

Jackie transformed her love for the outdoors into something that eased her in to the rhythm of running. “Find something you love to do!” advises Jackie. “I loved to get out of the house so I decided to run.” Her lifestyle is now more balanced, healthy, and active. “I try to run every other day when I have time or go to the gym after school on weekdays,” says Jackie.

Prior to joining PumpUp, Jackie professes, “I was neglecting and denying my diabetes and just eating whatever I wanted. Before gaining 20 pounds during the winter, I struggled with an eating disorder so it fluctuated a lot.” It wasn’t without struggle but Jackie has been a rock star at surpassing obstacles. “I had to overcome a lot of fatigue and health problems during my weight loss journey,” she says. “A few people were telling me I [couldn’t] do it, but I just told myself that I’m doing this for myself and for my health and how good I’ll feel after my run or after eating something healthy.”

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 She has since been making steady but nevertheless incredible progress by going on longer runs and beating personal bests. The running and sprinting has been paying off in a big way.  Jackie tracks her changes every week through measurements and pictures and sees more and more muscle definition in her legs. 

“Don’t trust the scale, and don’t weigh yourself every day,” Jackie emphasizes. “You’re not going to lose 25 pounds in a week. It took me three to four months to get to where I am today.” Her transformation story is attributable to both exercise and food. She has become passionate about cooking and admits earnestly that she enjoys meal prepping and writing out her meals. “I cut out gluten and dairy. I cut my calories to 1200-1500 at first. Now it’s around 1500-1700.” Mindful eating and bursts of activity in the midst of her busy schedule have indeed kept her pumped up as she tracks her progress with PumpUp.

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Jackie hopes to inspire people with what she has accomplished with her weight loss, and she is driven to only get healthier from this point forward. “In the future I really really want to make customized workout and nutrition plans for people!,” gushes Jackie. “I still feel like that same girl I was 25 pounds heavier but I know I’m so much happier and so much better so I’m just hoping to get better from here!” 

Her brother a huge inspiration for her, in addition to people on PumpUp! “[My brother] lost 80 pounds in 2011 and he’s kept it off! He works out almost every day even if he goes to the gym at 2am,” explains Jackie.  As for other members on PumpUp, she gleefully says, “It would take me so long to list all of them, but a few are @melodie_prudhomme , @_jackjacobs_ (an attractive guy always helps motivate haha), @yalua , @bangerz10 and many more.”

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Healthy Eats: “I LOVE homemade sweet potato fries and smoked prosciutto. I have SO many recipes! I’m actually thinking of writing an eBook if anyone would be interested.” (The answer is YES we would be!!) 

Motivational Mantra: “Do it for yourself”

How Jackie Stays Active: “I love to run, sprint, dance, yoga, do weight training and anything to get my heart rate up and will keep my attention!”

More about Jackie: “I’m Russian (I speak Russian as well), I’m a singer, I play guitar, I write my own music, I like making cosplay, and I’m obsessed with anime movies.”

Are you a member of the PumpUp fam? You should be! Follow Jackie on PumpUp @jackieshrinks and on Instagram @jackietohealth!!!  

Spotlight: Rikke S.

Joining us from Norway is today’s PumpUp spotlight Rikke S., who captivates us with her balanced active lifestyle and beautiful landscape photography.  Her passion is to change at least one person’s perception of themselves for the better. Although Rikke deals with certain mental health issues, she resolves not to be defined by them, saying that ”The strongest people have the strongest minds.”  Learn more about Rikke on the blog today!spotlight fitness inspiration rikke pumpupapp

Prior to PumpUp, Rikke struggled to find balance amidst her hectic schedule.  Not only did she devote an average of 2-4 hours a day to handball and boxing practice in addition to eight hours of school, she often spent her weekends travelling to and competing in handball games or regional gatherings. Her drive to be the best at everything took its toll. ”In the long run this became too exhausting, mentally and physically, and I had to quit,” confesses Rikke.

spotlight fitness inspiration rikke pumpupapp

PumpUp helped her to keep track of her fitness goals and remain active after quitting handball practices. She was at last able to find a middle ground. “I definitely will not ever workout as much as I did before, but I still work out a lot. I workout about five times a week but I never go over two hours in my workouts,” states Rikke. “My eating has only become more and more healthy now that I am focusing on being healthy and not the best at everything or the skinniest or the most fit person.” Although her daily routine still consists of school and exercise such as running, hiking, and weight-lifting, the time that she now has to relax with friends contributes positively to her sense of well-being.Rikke struggles with depression and anxiety but resolves to not let the pathology of her mental health afflictions get the best of her. I definitely had ups and downs. I’ve had some major setbacks and struggles. I’ve fought with my life to get stronger than what’s trying to pull me down,” Rikke admits. ””The strongest people have the strongest minds.’”

She emphasizes that we recognize the importance of our own self worth, and has advice for those who grapple with similar mental health issues. ”I know how it is to never feel good enough,” says Rikke. ”Please never give in to any pressure that’s going to leave you headed in the wrong direction. You’re good enough for me.”

The song that keeps Rikke pumped up through difficult times is Meghan Trainor’s ”All about that bass”.

spotlight fitness inspiration rikke pumpupapp

She takes pride in what she has accomplished so far. Her biggest motivation is to keep feeling good about herself and seeing small changes in her physique. “I’ve come quite some way with shaping my body, and I hope to be able to do even more,” explains Rikke, “My body is my masterpiece…That’s what keeps me going.”  

Her advice to the PumpUp community and those looking to lead a more active life is to “Set small goals at first. When you see the results faster you’ll want to keep going. Make sure to eat and drink right and find time for rest.”

spotlight fitness inspiration rikke pumpupapp

More About Rikke

Motivational Mantra: “Det er I motbakke det går oppover”  which means “It is in an incline it goes upward”

Favourite snack/meal/drink: My fav snack is Norwegian Apples, nuts and raisins. I love water and homemade smoothies. Any meal with fish is my favourite.

Favourite PumpUp workout routine: I usually lift weights to stay active, but I do love all the small circuits on the PumpUp app.

Rikke’s Simple Banana Pancakes: For those with sweet teeth, simple mix two eggs per banana together and cook them like you would a pancake!

spotlight fitness inspiration rikke pumpupapp

Follow Rikke on PumpUp @Rikke and on Instagram @rikkestorvann 

Spotlight Series: Ashley D.

PumpUp’s Sunday Spotlight gleams upon Ashley D., an active PumpUp workout warrior! If we had one word to describe her workout regimen of HIIT/LISS cardio 6 days a week and strength training 4 days a week, it would be dedication! She says, “Never let yourself leave this world without becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.” Want to learn more about how she does it? Not sure what HIIT and LISS stand for? Gain keen insight about Ashley on the blog today!

pumpup spotlight ashley

Ashley joined the PumpUp family after learning about the app from a beauty guru on YouTube. “I thought it was perfect for posting my workout progress pictures without all the ‘haters’ you sometimes get on Instagram,” she says. 

The community welcomed her with open arms and a tidal wave of positivity. “After using PumpUp I am motivated to get my butt to the gym and LIFT!,” exclaims Ashley.  Her dedication to maintaining her active lifestyle is unwavering, and it shows: since having her son 13 months ago, Ashley has lost 15 lbs and about 12% body fat.  “PumpUp has made a huge difference watching everyone cheer each other on without any negativity. I workout daily! Even when I put a rest day in the mix, [my day] consists of at least a walk.”

 pumpup app spotlight ashley

While Ashley regularly ate healthy food and exercised with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio at least four days a week prior to joining PumpUp, certain obstacles impeded her ability to be completely fulfilled with her workout progress. “I never could get the motivation to push myself to the gym, having a baby at home,” admitted Ashley. “I’ve also struggled with weight most of my adult life since I am insulin-resistant. I’ve overcome being insulin resistant and being over weight most of my adult life by changing my mind set about food and eating differently.”

pumpup app spotlight ashley

She is courageous and optimistic about her ambitions. “I hope to be the best me that I can be—no matter if that means losing 5 more pounds or staying at the same weight and just gaining lean muscle mass,” affirms Ashley. She explains that her family is her biggest motivation, especially as she strives to be a role model for her son. “I want to teach my son that he can be whoever he wants to be. I want to be around to see him accomplish whatever it is he wants to pursue in life!” 

pumpup app spotlight ashley

Her best advice recognizes the importance of self-validation. “Never let yourself leave this world without becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be. Mind, body, spirit! No regret!,” emphasizes Ashley. She adds, “It’s a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable.”

 pumpup app spotlight ashley

Favourite Snack: “ISO•100 Whey protein isolate shakes! They are sooooo yummy! They taste like a Varsity’s Frosted Orange!” 

Motivational Mantra: “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”— Earl Nightingale 

More about Ashley: “I am a full time stay at home mom and army wife.”

Be sure to follow Ashley on PumpUp @ultimateashmo and on Instagram @AshMoDo2323!

Spotlight Series: Stephen E.

We are super pumped to share with you this PumpUp Member’s awesome journey today on the blog! Today’s blog is all about Stephen. A 21 year-old Canadian guy who is always working, and always improving! Give the blog a read to see how Stephen turned exercising for injury prevention, into a full-blown love for fitness!

Stephen joined the PumpUp Family back in January 2014, so a whole 30 weeks ago – he’s a PumpUp veteran that’s for sure! He started using PumpUp because of how encouraging and motivating it is. He says, All of the PumpUp members create an awesome community that motivates every user, whether it’s your very first exercise or if you’re an seasoned athlete.”

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Even before joining PumpUp Stephen was already into fitness and made sure that it was part of his every day routine. Stephen would aim to go to the gym 5 days a week (Monday-Friday), but unfortunately he wouldn’t always be consistent. “I would sometimes workout 5 days and other times I would only workout 2 days a week.”

Now that Stephen is on PumpUp his consistency is on point! Stephen admits, “I find myself checking PumpUp more than any other social networking app! (YAY!) Everyone’s progress and their encouraging words make me motivated to get to the gym! Since I’ve signed up with PumpUp I find myself going to the gym at least five days a week! I always think to about how hard the users that post on #TransformationTuesday have worked to achieve their goals and I want to work hard too.”

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Stephen has quite a bit of motivation. To quote him he says he has a few thousand people who motivate him! They are his followers on PumpUp.

“Every member who follows me is a motivator! It shows me that they care about my progress and my posts. I like to think that if you are following me, then you want to see my progress and that I’m pushing myself. Each one is unique and inspires and motivates me in different ways. When I see a single Mom on PumpUp posting their workouts even though they have so much on their plate, it motivates me to push through my excuses. When I see someone who is posting his or her first workout, it makes me motivated to get up and get to the gym.” 

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Another big motivator for Stephen happens to be himself. He notes that there is nothing more motivating than seeing your own progress. “Once you see your progress you get hooked and all you think about is your next workout.” Some famous inspirations of Stephens include Steve Cook, and Christian Guzman.

The motivational saying that Stephen lives by is, “Proud but never satisfied,” and his fave workouts on PumpUp are, The ab circuits! They always make me feel it!” A big reason of why Stephen is so invested in PumpUp is because of the other members. Stephen tells us, “My favourite part about PumpUp is the community of uplifting members! No matter what you post, you will always have someone saying something nice or giving you advice.”

Fave Food:

For Stephen the answer to that question is easy, French Toast! He is aware that French Toast it is not all that, “nutrient rich,” but says, There is always ways to add a little protein to make it healthier and more macro friendly!” Guess what? He even has the French Toast recipe for everyone to try out:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup (2 Ounces) Sugar Free Original Coconut Milk (or Regular Milk/other Milk Substitute)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Scoop (30g) Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons (8g) Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup (61g) Unsweetened Apple Sauce
    4-6 Bread Slices

Calories in the WHOLE recipe (in just the mix):

Calories: 336
Fat: 12g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Sodium: 311mg
Carbs: 19g
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 15g
Protein: 38g

Calories in the WHOLE recipe (w/ the bread):

Calories: 723
Fat: 15g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Sodium: 971mg
Carbs: 85g
Fiber: 14g
Sugar: 21g
Protein: 62g

What is Stephen’s advice for everyone else out there? Simple, take more before/progress pictures! Even if you aren’t all that pleased with how you look now, you are going to want them to compare how you are going to look a month from now! Stephen comments, “I regret not taking more pictures before I started getting into fitness. I didn’t take pictures because I was self-conscious about my body and worried about how people would judge me.” He tells us that PumpUp helps change that self-conscious view and mindset that you may have. “Every user on the app is very supportive so no one should be afraid to post pictures! Post every activity that you do so you can see how many calories you have burned, and wait for all the uplifting comments people have for you!”

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Stephen is super proud of the fact that he has leaned out and built some muscle, but he also has some awesome plans and goals moving forward, he says, “I will continue to build muscle and I would like to eventually compete in a Men’s Physique competition.”

A little bonus info about Stephen is the reason why he started his fitness adventure. He shares with us,  “I love to snowboard but I have knee problems. I dislocated my knee many times in each leg. In physiotherapy I was taught some exercises to do at the gym and it all started from there. Now I can snowboard every year and not have to be too concerned about my injuries. My fitness adventure started out as injury prevention and now it’s my world!”

Follow Stephen on PumpUp @stephenspump and on instagram @StephenErnstFitness, his goal is, “aspire to inspire” and he is always happy to answer any questions for have! We love seeing your progress on PumpUp Stephen, don’t stop working hard! 

Spotlight Series: Krystina P.

pumpup app spotlight

Today’s spotlight beams brightly upon PumpUp member Krystina P., who cultivated her love for lifting with the help of PumpUp.  As a newcomer to the world of weights, Krystina was galvanized to join the PumpUp community in order to learn proper form and technique. “I was in need of something to show me how to do certain lifts because I had no previous experience,” explains Krystina. “I have accomplished so much using the PumpUp fitness app. Really! I started off not knowing how to do any kind of weight lifting exercise and now I find myself doing exercises that some would call advanced!” Intrigued by how this PumpUp member did it? Read on to learn about how Krystina ‘lifted’ her way to achieving her fitness goals!

Already a fairly active runner prior to joining PumpUp, Krystina felt that learning how to lift would add an extra dimension of satisfaction to her workouts. “I didn’t know how or where to start,” Krystina expressed. “PumpUp’s pictures and descriptions taught me from the get go and really showed me which lifts work [which specific parts] of your body.”

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Weightlifting fuels the fire in her workouts, as Krystina admits with a grin that, “As far as exercise [goes], I like to lift weights. No—I love to lift weights. I section off my days to work various parts of my body and rotate through them. I also do some cardio but I admit I have been slacking a bit on it!”

She has impressively integrated at least 5 visits to the gym per week into her busy summer work schedule. “These days I’ve been working between 30 and 40 hours a week before school starts up, so it’s been quite the challenge to make it to the gym!” admits Krystina. “[It’s] challenging when I’m working outside in the heat on top of the gym. I manage to get it done though! I didn’t think [that it] could be but I’ve learned it IS possible!”

Krystina was able to transform her weight lifting ambitions into reality with few inhibitions, particularly when she started out as a beginner. “I love that PumpUp shows you how to do the workouts as well as give descriptions as to what you’re working (as far as muscle) and what level it is,” elaborated Krystina. “This helped me out quite a bit when I first started learning how to lift weights. It helped win my gym confidence too! Now I can walk into any gym and know exactly what I need to do or what variations I can do.”

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Her streak of confidence is as unwavering as her resolve to reach peak fitness and form, as she hopes to take her healthy active lifestyle to the next level through competitions . “For now I’m going to keep learning as much as I can but in the long run I would really like to train for a bikini competition!” says Krystina.  “I’ve been interested in them for almost a year now but with my last year of college it could be tricky so we shall see!

Key to Krystina’s success is a mindset that does not overwhelmingly compare her personal progress with that of others. “Not everyone is in the same stage of their journey,” Krystina emphasizes. “Be proud of who YOU are and the changes you see in YOUR body! And remember that for everything there is a first time and whether you’re on day 1 or day 100, you’re doing it and that’s all that matters!”

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Biggest Inspiration

It may be a tad cliche but my biggest inspiration is my boyfriend Ryan :) He has known me from the start of my journey and has been nothing but encouraging and supportive. He’s a baseball player and has been training for years so I know I can always go to him for help with lifting. It’s super contagious and now we’ve even starting lifting together!! For the past three months we have been able to workout together at least once a week. He pushes me and forces me to recognize that I’m stronger than I think.

Motivational Mantra

“If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful”

ET (or Eric Thomas) is the best motivational speaker. He really engages you and strikes a chord in you to get moving and get motivated. I would recommend him to anyone looking to find some motivation or inspiration or for simple entertainment! Go check him out!

Routine routine on PumpUp

My favorite workout is anything involving legs! The lower body pump is especially great because it has a lot of squat variations and dead lift variations. 

Softie for sports

I’m a born and raised Dodgers fan and Royals fan, Sporting KC fan, KC Chiefs fan, and KU Jayhawks fan. I absolutely love them all! I kick butt in my fantasy football leagues and so far I’m first in one of my fantasy baseball leagues! 

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Want to keep tabs on Krystina as she achieves her health and fitness goals? Follow her on PumpUp @krysfit and on Instagram @krystina.fit!

Spotlight Series: Leah D.

Today’s spotlight shines upon PumpUp member Leah, who shares how one simple New Year’s resolution motivated her to achieve her fitness goals with the help of the PumpUp community. She began to use PumpUp to lose weight, to gain confidence, and to inspire others who see her posts. Leah is a PumpUp member to watch out for—she packs an extra punch with her signature pink boxing gloves! Keep on reading to learn about her fitness journey.

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Leah joined the PumpUp family in January 2014 after learning about the app from Kate Sullivan, one of her fitness idols.  Prior to PumpUp, regular rounds of volleyball kept her in shape until she decided to take up golf, a much less physical sport. “I found myself splurging more in my diet and only exercising once a week, if even,” admits Leah.

She incorporated PumpUp as part of a solution to her weight loss resolution, and now finds herself exercising almost three times a week and eating with more mindfulness over the portion size and content of her meals. “I unfortunately love food too much to ever successfully diet, [and] tried a no-carb diet that lasted about a week,” Leah says. “Rather than cutting out all the foots I know I shouldn’t be eating, I cut down my portions, especially of the very sugary stuff.”

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Leah’s biggest inspiration comes from her mother and her good friend Nick. “They work so hard and look so incredible now. What’s more, they’re both always there to whip me back into shape when I start lacking,” gushes Leah. “[Though] I must say, Jen Selter’s butt is [also] quite the motivation!” 

The PumpUp community is an additional source of inspiration for her. “It really is incredible to see so many people come together and support each other,” says Leah. “It’s a place I feel comfortable posting a picture with frizzy hair, no makeup or looking a little bigger than usual because I know that everyone on there wont chastise me for it. I love it and love all the people!”

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Leah’s Favourites

Fave Food:I absolutely LOVE fish. Just about any kind! A grilled grouper fillet with a little bit of butter and lemon is so simple yet so satisfying.”

Fun Fact: “I can mimic the noise a dolphin makes!”

Most Motivating Mantra: ” ‘I don’t sweat for pounds or inches or dress sizes. I sweat to make my outside match my inside.’ I find this quote so relevant to me because I am a pretty good person. I’m good in school, I do my best to be kind to everyone and I know what it feels like to be disregarded just because of how I look on the inside. People often wouldn’t take the time to get to know me just because they saw a bit too much fat on the outside.”

#1 Exercise: “My absolute favourite exercise is boxing! I joined my club, Title Boxing, in April after I realized I could no longer zipper my dream prom dress. With just 2 1/2 weeks before my prom, I lost about 5 pounds and ended up wining Princess at the dance. Ever since then I’ve become increasingly good at the sport and do it just about every day with my pretty pink gloves.”

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More about Leah

Like rungs on a ladder, smaller, achievable goals are the secrets to Leah’s success. “Many people, including myself before, would only be proud [to] finally reach [an] excessive goal that would take a long period of time to complete,” Leah says. “Instead, be proud that you went for that run, that you chose the salad over the burger, or that you lost a pound. It’s the little things that count. And when you begin to appreciate those little things, you will become even more motivated to keep reaching those tiny goals until you do reach where you ultimately wish to be.” 

Leah’s fitness journey is one that is pragmatic and results-driven. She says, “It certainly isn’t easy. You will feel like giving up sometimes, but when you start seeing improvements you begin to feel like it’s all worth it.”

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Follow Leah on PumpUp @doogiebear to be inspired and to watch her achieve her fitness and health goals. 

Spotlight Series: Melodie P.

Todays spotlight on the PumpUp Blog goes to the absolutely stunning and strong, Melodie. This 20 year-old Canadian girl has come along way, as you can see from the pic. She’s lost a whole 40 lbs. and is still going strong and motivating a ton of people with her progress. For more on Melodie’s journey keep reading!  

Melodie joined PumpUp all the way back in December of 2013. Before joining PumpUp she was already killing the game and already lost 30 lbs. Unfortunately Melodie stopped her training for a few months and ate out at a lot of restaurants and chowed down on too much chocolate. She says, “PumpUp has helped me get back on track!”

 

Now that Melodie is totally back in the game, she rarely eats out at restaurants and trains 3-4 times a week. She also makes it her mission to cut out sugar and fats. Her favourite workout on PumpUp is “Bottom Lift.” She says, “Since I started with PumpUp I have really been able to see changes on my glutes.”

Melodie loves PumpUp because of the motivation and inspiration it provides her with. She says, “My favorite part about PumpUp is the encouragement I receive from the people who follow me. Not only is it really motivating, but it also pushes me to improve myself.” With PumpUp’s help Melodie has been able to lose another 10 lbs. and she has seen a ton of progress on her muscles.

Melodie’s advice to all of you? “Write down (or set yourself a reminder) on you schedule to do 1 hour of physical activity. Don’t make any excuses just do it. You will definitely feel better after. And remember, do it for yourself.”

What keeps Melodie working hard and maintaining everything that she has achieved is her boyfriend. Melodie tells us, “My biggest motivation is my boyfriend. I really just want him to be proud of me. He helps me a lot, he trains with me and sometimes he even cooks my meals!” Don’t let that guy go, he’s a keeper! J Her fave motivational saying is from Nike, “Yesterday you said tomorrow, just do it.”

 

Melodie’s fave 2 snacks are chocolate protein bars called, “pure proteins.” And she is also a huge fan of cucumber. She even has a healthy recipe to share with everyone, and it’s her super simple yet tasty banana pancake recipe.

“So easy. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl. Add in 1 mashed banana and mix all together. Then bake just as you would a regular pancake. With Peanut Butter it is delicious!”

Melodie never ceases to work hard, and amaze us on PumpUp with her dedication and stunning photos. Give her a follow on PumpUp @melodie_prudhomme. The last time Melodie ever weighed 120 lbs. was when she was 11 years old! Now she is as healthy and strong as ever. Melodie tells us, “Now I am confident and I’m proud of me. Thank you PumpUp!” 

Spotlight Series: Vale C.

Today on the blog it’s all about Vale. Her starting weight on her fitness and health quest was 72.8 kg, and she is now sitting at 66 kg, and has totally changed her habits and lifestyle! We got the scoop on Vale, and how she went from spending her days eating and watching TV, to exercising at least 4 times a week and eating healthy foods. Vale joined PumpUp with the hopes of shedding some extra weight, not only has she done that, but she’s gained muscle, endurance, and so much more confidence! Keep on reading for Vale’s entire story.

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Vale has been using PumpUp for a whole 7 months, and started simply because she wanted to live a better lifestyle. Vale shares, “I wasn’t feeling good about my body and was having image issues.”  That was because before Vale started using PumpUp, she wasn’t doing much to get healthy or active. Vale says, “Before PumpUp I barely moved. I was signed up at a gym but never went. My day was basically getting up then eating all day while watching T.V.”

That all changed when Vale went to a nutritionist in order to get help with creating a food schedule. Vale tells us, “She has been awesome with me, and I’m never hungry. She made me delete sugars and concentrated fats like butter and cheese.” Now Vale exercises at least 4 times a week, with a 1-hour cardio session, and good ol’ squats every night.

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Vale shares her advice with you guys, “To anyone struggling with how you feel about your body and health, do something. Any changes you make should start with knowing that you’re doing them for you, not for anyone else. If people notice your changes, good for them, but the most important person you need to impress is yourself. Everyday can be better than yesterday, and try to be better tomorrow.”

Vale’s Favourites:

Fave Drink:  “Fruitshakes. They are my total weakness! Once a week I get my blender and throw in half a banana and any fruit I feel like having, plus some ice cream and a bit of milk.”

Fave Saying: “‘No pain, no gain.’ Cause nothing is easy. You need to work for everything you want.”

#1 Exercise: “I love dancing, its what I’m best at. The way your body just flows with music… It just traps me.”

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More About Vale: “I have an awesome listening capacity, and singing for me is very easy, same as playing guitar and learning other languages, so if you ever catch me off guard, you’ll probably hear me singing and inventing lyrics out loud.”

Vale’s biggest motivation comes from a local Chilean athlete, Isidora Jimenez. Vale says, “I really admire for her strength and enthusiasm, besides being very beautiful and encouraging.”

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While Vale was starting to make a change to her lifestyle she experienced setbacks with the passing of her Grandpa. Vale tells us, “When I started using PumpUp, my grandpa was the person who really kept me motivated to go on and keep pushing, to basically do something about me. About 5 months ago, he passed away, and a huge part of me left with him. I was frustrated, and I fell into a small depression. I then realized that he would have LOVED to see me happy, so I started working out again, not as much as before at first, but once I started noticing changes, most of my days were finished at the gym.”

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Vale’s goals for right now are to lose a little more weight. She says, “ I want to lose those extra pounds in order to be 100% happy with my body, without wanting to hide it behind big shirts and baggy pants. At the moment, I have lost over 12 pounds, but also I’ve gained endurance and strength on my core, arms and legs.”

Give Vale a follow on PumpUp @valecarvallo97 to get inspired and to watch her achieve all of her fitness and health goals. 

Spotlight Series: Sofia Y.

Today on the PumpUp blog we got to know Sofia and uncovered the many layers that this amazing 18 year-old from NY truly has. Ever thought about going vegan? Sofia talks all about her vegan lifestyle and why it works for her. Have you struggled with body image or an eating disorder? Yep, Sofia tells us how she battled her anorexia and bulimia. You know you want to learn about Sofia’s story, so keep reading! 

Sofia joined the PumpUp Fam in March of this year, she learned about it from people on Instagram saying how great it was. Sofia says, “I didn’t want to post too much exercising stuff and food stuff on my Instagram because I felt like my friends would think that I was trying to be like a health-freak or something like that. PumpUp is a great community; it made me feel comfortable and I love its positive vibes and how everyone’s so nice and supportive.”

We wanted to know what Sofia’s life was like before she began using PumpUp and a lot was different. “Last year I was still a meat eater, even though I did try vegetarianism and pescetarianism (eat fish) for around 2 weeks each. However, I was still eating junk food.” Food was an especially difficult area for Sofia as she had been battling eating disorders. She lets us know, “I struggled with eating disorders, mainly bulimia, which developed from anorexia. I’ve tried not eating ANYTHING, which led me to water fasting for 14 days straight. My mind was messed up. I cried everyday and I was so hungry. It was terrible.” Sofia’s workouts were also inconsistent, “I would focus a lot on my cardio because I thought lifting weights would make me look “manly”, and I didn’t want to have any muscles. I wanted to be skinny like models. I would always come back home from school in the afternoon and search for unhealthy snack. Donuts, croissants, cookies, chips, cakes, muffins, you name it.” This was Sofia’s life last year, and she has definitely grown and changed as a person. She began to embark on a journey that was healthy for the long-term.

Since January of 2014 Sofia started to really kick it into high gear. She says, “I met this guy who was super fit and healthy, so he really inspired me to be my best as well. I started training 5-6x a week. I fell in love with it and I fell in love with that man who supported me. I started practicing yoga. Of course I still couldn’t do a headstand then. But one night 2 weeks later, I was trying it, and I succeeded.” That one night got Sofia hooked on yoga, and as she says, “I became addicted to yoga and the beauty of it. I started to practice every single day for at least an hour.”

Sofia’s struggles with her appearance didn’t just go away overnight either. She tells us that despite working out she was binging almost every night. Finally she decided to try something new and that was veganism.  She says, “I’ve tried it before last year at one point for 2 weeks, and it worked really well. I loved how this diet made me feel, so I officially transitioned into veganism around February, 2014.” Sofia watched a ton of videos, documentaries, read books, and questioned experts, that all made her realize a vegan lifestyle was one that suited her perfectly. Being vegan helped Sofia stay conscious and aware of animals, nature, our food markets, and most of all what she was putting into her body.

“After joining PumpUp in March, I was already well into my healthy routine, but being apart of the PumpUp community gave me more motivation and reasons to stick with it.” Sofia explains to us how other PumpUp members have coached her along the way. She says, “The members of PumpUp act as if they are my couch cheering me on through my workouts, I’d feel so useless if I couldn’t finish my workout! Seriously though, PumpUp has really helped me stay on track, stay healthy, eat the right foods, do the right thing, and most of all be the best that I can be.”

Want to know how Sofia lives her days now? “I wake up early in the morning to hit the gym and workout. Then I come back home, shower and get ready. I make myself a nice smoothie and drink it while driving to school. That’s my morning… and I FREAKING LOVE IT.” We love your transition into a way healthier lifestyle and a healthier person Sofia, keep it up!

Why Sofia Turned Vegan and Why It Works:

“One saying really stuck with me, “If you can’t stand the way how your food’s made, don’t eat it.” I can’t stand the meat factories, and the horrible environments where they keep the animals before they are butchered. I can’t stand the genetically modified food they feed to the animals so they grow fatter, so they have more meat to serve to consumers. I can’t stand watching innocent animals die because WE want to eat a burger, a NY strip steak, or a chicken Parmesan. So that’s why I decided to become a vegan. I became a vegan to boycott meat or any animal products. I don’t feel the need to have that kind of food, and I can get just enough nutrition from plants. My motto? Don’t ask me about my protein if you don’t want me to ask you about your cholesterol ;)

I receive my protein through leafy greens, beans, and tofu. I receive my vitamins and carbs through fruits and starchy plants like potatoes and rice. I receive my fats from fruits like avocado and spreads like hummus. I stopped limiting my calories.

I used to limit myself to only having no more than 500-1000cal a day to now unlimited (around 2000-3000 calories.) And want to know the best part? I have not gained any fat weight. I’ve gained muscle and lost fat overall. I feel much healthier, stronger, happier, and more awake. I can wake up in the morning without feeling greasy because of the food I ate from last night. I can eat 2 bowls of rice or a whole basket of oven baked no-oil, no-salt potato fries without feeling guilty. And that is awesome.”

Sofia’s Favourites:

Fave Part About PumpUp: “I love being able to communicate with all the lovely members of PumpUp. I love it when people comment on my post, something about that just makes me so happy. I love it when people ask me questions about anything from “How did you start yoga?” or  ”Where you get that mason jar?” I love to inspire and be inspired by people.”

Best Advice: “Do not give up. Even if your progress is slow as hell, just keep doing what you are doing (ok, maybe kick it up a level), but keep doing your thing, don’t care about what people think of you. You WILL be rewarded.”

Go To Drink: “Oh you better believe my favourite drink is my chocolate banana smoothie! It is so delicious and easy to make. Just blend bananas, cocoa powder, and water together.”

Fave Meal/Snack: “One of my favourite meals is curry vegetables/tofu with rice and my 2 favourite snacks are watermelon and avocado on bread.”

Motivational Saying: “Don’t give a shit about what people think and what they say, just keep doing your thing, just keep working through it. Dance with it. Flow with it.”

Sofia’s Frappana Recipe:

“It’s a smoothie-coffee blend my friend and I invented. Basically blend your freshly brewed black coffee, banana, agave syrup/coconut sugar, and any kind of non-diary milk together. Super easy and yummy. Perfect on a Monday morning when you just need that kick of caffeine but you also want that sweet fruity smoothie as well. I have a video of it on my Instagram for everyone that wants to take a look!”

Want to know who motivates Sofia to keep pushing and living her healthy life? That’s easy, “My biggest motivation is my boyfriend, he’s also a member of this app! Also my friend, who I’ve inspired to start this healthy lifestyle. She became obsessed with working out and lifting weights as well. We would show each other our progress and gains.”

In starting her journey Sofia has learned to do a ton more cool ways to do handstands and headstands. She says, “I’m much more flexible than before, and definitely workout at least 6x a week now. Even on rest day I’d have the urge to workout cause I’m just so used training being part of my day and posting it on PumpUp right after.” And we love that you post – because seeing your pics motivate all of us! What is in store for Sofia now and what does she want to accomplish? “I hope to lose more body fat, gain more muscles, and be more flexible.”

With any success comes hard work and at times we have setbacks. Sofia understands this first hand. She says, “Because of my eating disorder history, I have to remind myself that I’ve come so far and I don’t want to go back to that horrible days. I’ve worked so hard to build up the healthy body of mine. I don’t want to screw it up again. I have to fight through my cravings of eating junk food like bakery goods (they are my weakness). I found a vegan bakery and satisfied my sweet tooth there. One time I wanted to eat fries so badly I ran out in the pouring rain and drove to Burger King’s drive-thru just to get a large order of French fries. Did I feel disgusting afterwards? Yes. Did I sort of regret it? Yes. But I get that we are only human, we all have setbacks. The next day I just get right back on track. I hit the gym like I normally would and I sweat all those negativities out.”

To stay active Sofia hits up the gym a lot, and also walks her dog everyday. She goes out with friends to the beach and they do yoga and go paddle boarding. She says, “I just try to be fun while being active. I don’t necessarily need to go the gym and seriously train but I like it.”

More About Sofia:

“I am trying to become a yoga instructor, but it costs a ton of money to take those classes, so I’m still figuring out. I just graduated high school and I’ll be starting university in September for a Pharmacy major. I’m also an artist. Well, I don’t want to speak too highly of myself because there’s always room for improvement and growth, but I do like to believe I draw and paint pretty well.

I play piano as well, stop attending lessons after I’ve reach NYSMA level 7. Unlike a lot of girls, I love to watch sports and not just to watch those good-looking players running around with a ball. A ticket to see the world cup would be a dream come true!”

We at PumpUp LOVE everything about your journey Sofia. We are so proud with how far you have come and how you have turned your life around to be so much healthier. Sharing your story, your pics and your knowledge on PumpUp is so inspiring and we hope you keep all of your hard work up. Follow Sofia @sofiayang1204 because she’s just all around awesome. 

Spotlight Series: Dominika S.

"I hope to put on a bikini one day and confidently say to myself; you look hot." Those are the words of PumpUp Member Dominika. How many of us can relate to the feeling of wanting to wear something and feel totally confident in it? We have all the info about Dominika’s journey and her positive outlook on life!

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Dominika started using PumpUp a few months back when she was talking to a colleague at work about wanting to get healthier and exercise more. Her colleague recommended PumpUp to Dominika and it was love at first workout ;)  “So I joined PumpUp and just like my colleague, I fell in love with the app straight away.”

We wanted to know what Dominika’s life was like before being a part of the PumpUp Fam. She tells us, “before joining PumpUp I did not maintain healthy eating habits, nor did I exercise every day. I love food, thus I was enjoying it maybe a bit too much. My lifestyle was for the most part, active as I am always up for sports and activities no matter what.” So what changed for Dominika? Her healthy habits started to become part of her everyday life and daily routine. She says,  “I don’t need to force myself to do it.  I check the latest updates on PumpUp and see all those motivated people and I am ready and determined to work out.”

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Now on PumpUp, Dominika has quite a different routine! She is doing a 5-meal-a-day routine, and making sure to eat healthier around the clock. Dominika shares with us, “I do exercise 6 times a week, which involves either running, a workout, or yoga, and I am absolutely loving it. The healthy eating habits and exercising makes me feel strong not only on the outside but on the inside as well.”

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Dominika’s Favourites:

Best Advice: “Motivate the mind. Body will follow. “

Fave Snack: “I love all the fruits, so I prepare them in different forms such as smoothies, or yoghurt with muesli.”

Number 1 Meal: “Lebanese grilled chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, gherkin and freshly baked pita bread from the restaurant near by my house.” – Um YUM!

Go to Drink: “Fruity Green Tea”

Favourite Motivational Saying: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

Top Workout: “My favourite workout on PumpUp is the Bottom Toner and Bottom Sharper. I also enjoy the daily 2-4 miles run and a good and relaxing yoga session. “

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If you use PumpUp, Dominika wants to say to you, to mix up your workouts! “Try to differentiate your workouts and diet. You won’t get bored quickly and it is always more fun to try out the new stuff. “

There is no question that Dominika loves PumpUp workouts, but there is something she loves even more than that, and that is the PumpUp Community! She tells us, “it is amazing how many determined, active and kind people that this app has brought together. The atmosphere and motivation from other users is just incredibly supportive, which I think is very important in the process of changing our bodies and lifestyle.”

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Dominika’s goals are simple, she wants to make eating healthy and exercising second nature, and wants them to come naturally to her. That includes putting an end to those chocolate and sweets cravings! Dominika realizes this journey isn’t just a couple week process it is in fact a lifestyle change. She says, “nevertheless, I definitely would not stop using this app after reaching my goals! I am already addicted and it is amazing to see the incredible transformations of other PumpUp users.”

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Keep up the great work Dominika, we love x 12 your positive attitude and your devotion to healthy living. Follow Dominika on PumpUp @mikasadowska for some amazing pics, and to definitely be inspired. 

Spotlight Series: Kate E.

It’s Wednesday, which also means its time for a spotlight feature on the #PumpUpBlog! We’ve got the Creator of the #getfit50 challenge, the girl with an crazy amazing core and legs, and has the best workout clothes around … it’s Kate!

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Kate has been with PumpUp since March of 2014, and decided to kick her fitness journey into high gear when she realized her once super fast metabolism was now failing her. Kate tells us, “I’ve been very fortunate to have a fast metabolism most of my life. I could eat just about anything that I wanted and I still looked thin.  Once I hit my twenties, that luxury changed really fast. I didn’t even realize that my body had been slipping until I looked in the mirror one day and was not happy with what I saw.”

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For Kate it wasn’t just about the physical it was more than that. She wanted to be healthy inside and out. “Wanting a change was beyond the physical aspect.  I not only wanted to look good, but I also wanted to feel good! I realized that even if you have the world’s fastest metabolism, it doesn’t make you healthy. You still need to nourish your body. It’s not just about the looks!”

Kate explains to us, that you can be really active and fit but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy. There is so much more to factor into the equation. Something that has stuck with her was about a marathon runner who actually suffered a heart attack during the race. She says, “I still think about that man to this day.  It made me realize that even though the athlete was athletic and super fit, he lived a very unhealthy lifestyle and did not eat nutritious wholesome foods.” 

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Before Kate’s health turn around and before she started using PumpUp she was about that cookie-dough and ice cream life! Really! She says, “My lifestyle a few years before PumpUp consisted of eating cookie dough and ice-cream as a meal more times than I can count. Something that I am certainly not proud of! Around 1 year before PumpUp I had been doing my best to eat healthy, but I was never consistent with my training.”

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Don’t worry guys, Kate’s cookie-dough meals have been put to rest once she started to use PumpUp, and she is now totally hooked on a healthy and active life. Kate shares with us, “my whole life has changed since I’ve started using PumpUp. I have found a new passion in life – health and fitness. And even greater than that I have a new passion in helping people. As cheesy as it sounds, I find such great joy in helping people along in their fitness journeys.” Kate has definitely helped us all be inspired and motivated but she hopes to take that even further. She now wants to become a certified trainer. She says,  “That way I can share proper knowledge, and help people learn to love their bodies. I also feel MUCH happier from exercising every day, and I want others to feel that same happiness.”

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Want to know what keeps Kate pushing day in and day out? It’s progress. Kate says, “When I look back on old photos and am reminded of how far I have come, it really gives me that push.”

Kate’s Favourites:

Favorite Exercise: “I love doing HIIT exercises! Anything that makes me sweat. I don’t feel like I pushed myself hard enough if I don’t leave the gym drenched in sweat and with shaky legs.”

Favorite motivational saying: "Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle"

Favorite Part about PumpUp: “I absolutely LOVE the motivating community! The PumpUp community has really helped push me. Especially on those days when I have absolutely zero motivation, I see a sweet comment, and it gives me that little push to get back up and go harder.”

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Something Interesting About Kate:

Kate actually grew up in a family with 9 kids! (Yep, that’s right, 9!) They grew up on a farm and she actually used to ride horses. Later on Kate got a BFA degree in Graphic Design & Digital Media. Then she worked at Walt Disney World Resorts doing recreation and entertaining the families at the resort pools. 

Kate isn’t done with her fitness journey just yet! PumpUp has helped Kate get stronger, and slim down. And when she first started PumpUp she tells us, I struggled to do one modified pushup and I couldn’t do a single pull-up/chin-up. Now I can do many regular pushups, along with 5-6 pull-ups and chin-ups!” Now that is some serious progress! Kate still wants to continue to tone her body and gain strength.

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Want to hear Kate’s best advice to all of you out there? We asked her, and she said, “It’s not all about that PERFECT body. It’s about loving yourself and feeling confident in your own skin. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! Focus on YOU and YOUR progress. Don’t strive for perfection; strive for progress & a happy healthy body!”

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Everything you have done has been amazing Kate! We love how you are taking your journey to the next level. The fact that you know what a healthy lifestyle is truly all about, is something to commend. Keep up your dedication and hard work towards fitness and health. We can’t wait to see what you conquer next! You can find Kate on PumpUp: @jatie! 

Spotlight Series: Allaine T.

If you use PumpUp, then it is safe to say that you know who Allaine is. She is one of the most motivating and dedicated PumpUp members who has seriously kicked butt on her fitness journey. We got the scoop on this 24 year old registered nurse who is living in New Zealand, and how she changed her lazy and unhealthy life to one that is now the epitome of health and fitness. 

Allaine joined pumped a while back in September 2013, you could say she is a PumpUp veteran! At that point Allaine was still unmotivated, she used the app for workouts but would always end up skipping a lot of the exercises. She started to kick it into high gear this Janurary, “I decided to stay focused and consistently use PumpUp at the start of this year because over the past few years I had gained so much weight and felt very unhealthy and uncomfortable in my own body. I wanted to change that and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Allaine’s life before PumpUp was quite a bit different. She was naturally thin and pretty much ate what she wanted. She tells us,  “when I was a student doing my degree, I basically ate a lot of unhealthy food, like instant noodles, processed food, and I was always lazy to cook. I had the occasional healthy meal, but I was very addicted to fast food. When I started working fulltime, that even got worse, I was very lazy to cook, I would always end up buying lunch/dinner from a café. At my work, colleagues always bring treats like candies/chocolate/lollies and I would always end up eating them. Also, my boyfriend and I would eat fastfood like KFC/BK, because we were too tired to cook.” How many of us can relate to that? Being too busy is often a common thing, but is really an excuse, because we can always make time to be healthy just like Allaine eventually did. Allaine’s activity wasn’t the greatest either, “I didn’t really do much exercise. Sometimes I’d join a gym but hardly ever went because I didn’t want to go alone. The end of 2012 is when I had noticed a big change, I started to put on a heap of weight. I tried a lot of online workouts from YouTube but I was still lacking motivation and was not consistent. I wasn’t seeing any change in my body, and I realized that was because of my diet.”

Allaine decided to first change her diet. In September she started clean eating and lost a significant amount of weight, but she was still on a mission to be even healthier.

Allaine tells us, “at the start of the year when I was using pumpup that’s when a big change happened. With PumpUp I began to tone my body and maintain a healthy weight, in fact today one of my subgoals is to put on a little weight in muscle!” At first Allaine was using PumpUp 3 times a week and she has increased that now to 6 times a week, sometimes evern more. She says, “if I have time I like to do a workout in the morning and one in the evening.” Take that “No Time” Excuse!  Food wise Allaine has done a 360 as well. “I have muesli or cereal in the morning with fruits (mostly banana) and some greek yoghurt. For a healthy snack I have fruits and nuts, or a snack bar. And for lunch I usually have salad with tuna or meat or an omellete with a protein shake. Then my dinner typically consist of meat/fish, and veggies. I don’t deprive myself of carbs I eat a lot of sweet potato, brown rice and have pasta at least once a week.”

What is great for Allaine, is that she is cooking her own food unlike before when she ate a ton of fast food, she knows what is in her food and can make healthy choices. Allaine also tells us that she drinks less, consumes less sodas and juice, but still allows herself to treats and candies once a week – but makes them herself, a healthy way, like her vegan mousse that she is currently addicted to!

Allaine gets her motivation from seeing other women who are lean and healthy. She says, “it has motivated me to even work harder. In the past I always used to just wish I looked like them but never did anything about it.” Well, now Allaine, you are those women, congrats! Another big motivator for Allaine comes from looking at her old photos when she was unhealthy. She  tells us, “I push even harder because I certainly would never want to go back there. The Pumpup community and the positive vibes the people give had provided me a lot of encouragement as well!”

Allaine is no stranger to society’s judgements and pressures. She shares with us, “throughout my fitness and health journey I have been judged pretty badly. People telling me that I’m too skinny and that I need to eat. To be honest it was very insulting and I did get annoyed by it. I then realized that no matter what people are going to make judgements about you. I try to ignore them now as much as I can. I’ll admit it’s quite hard sometimes because people have no idea that you work so hard and all they do is bring you down. But then pumpup always brings you up, with all the positivity you get, you end up forgetting that there are nasty people out there.” Allaine also deals with the feeling of not making any progress, “Sometiems I feel like im not making progress and it gets me really frustrated. I just tell myself that I can’t just transform overnight, so then I just push harder.” Some awesome life lessons to learn from Allaine right there, we love your strength!

Allaine’s Favourties:

Fave Snack:  “I usually have greek yoghurt with fruits, I also use my protein shake as a snack at times and I try to be as creative as I can, like adding fruits or cocoa for colour and flavour. I have a new addiction as well; protein bars called quest bars and ceres RAW snack bars.

Fave workout: “Lately I have been focusing on my lower body and abs, because I was never lucky enough to be blessed with a nice round butt haha! My workouts are pretty much a unch of everything. I work my core almost everyday, even on my active rest. I do a lot of squats (front, back, wide stance etc), lunges  deadlifts, bridges, donkey kicks, and jump lunges and squats, I try to use weights on most of my workout. I have also started doing a lot of youtube workout focusing on HIIT!”

Favourite Part About PumpUp:I love that PumpUp is a free download! The fact that pumpup generates the workout for you is great for a beginner and if you aren’t keen on one workout you can always customize a new one and you can also focus on muscles groups, which is pretty cool. Since I started using pumpup I have slowly transformed my place into a mini gym and I have started buying my own equipment.”

Favourite Quotes:You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. I told myself this on my journey, reminding myself that its not too late for me to change, and be where I wanna be! It wasn’t easy, and like anyone I had my ups and downs, and sometimes lost motivation. But I really was determined to change my lifestyle and improve my wellbeing so I pushed myself to get there.”

“My other two fave quotes are, the start is always the hardest, and motivation is what gets your started and habit is what keeps you going.  As I started becoming more motivated and having the right mindset I found myself becoming more dedicated, or more like obsessed you might say!

Best Advice: “I know its not easy to start, I went through that, but if you keep in mind what you want to achieve, and focus on what a healthy and active lifestyle could do for you in the long run you will get there. I never thought I could do it but now im literally obsessed, and I know you can do it too. I feel so much more confident in myself, I deal with stress better, and most importantly, I am happy!”  

Get To Know Allaine Better:

“I am 24 years old. I am a Filipino loving in New Zealand. I have been a registered nurse for over 2 years now and absolutely love my job, because it is full of challenges, and I am planning on becoming a nurse practioner in the future! I also have a big desire to travel the world, so I basically just work and save money so I can learn about different cultures and see what the world has to offer. I know a ton of foreign songs off by heart and have no idea what they mean, so learning Spanish is definitely on my bucket list. Also, I LOVE cats, karaoke, and being a typical Asian.”

 

Allaine knows that she has come a long way since using PumpUp and changes have been evident both physically and mentally. Her goals right now are to be, “leaner, fitter, and to stay active.” She also shares with us, “I am hoping to use all the knowledge I have gained to share wih others and be able to motivate and inspire people on the app and people I care about.” We at PumpUp think you are well on your way of motivating and inspiring others! Keep up with your great attitude and zest for life Allaine, you are seriously going places! Follow Allaine on PumpUp @allainetoot, and IG @fit_nursey!

Spotlight Series: Caitlyn H.

Today on the #PumpUpBlog we have one determined and super positive PumpUp member, @cait1ynmarie. She has taken her weight loss tactics to the next level! Caitlyn and her Dad have started a 90-day weight loss challenge to start living a better, healthier life. We’re going to tell you all you need to know about Caitlyn and her journey! 

Caitlyn joined PumpUp at the end of May on recommendation from YouTuber, Melissa Raymond.  She tells us, “Melissa made a video about her weekly favourites & PumpUp was the first thing that she mentioned. She was absolutely raving about it. So before the video could even end, I signed up, made a profile, and here we are!”

Before PumpUp, Caitlyn wasn’t living the healthiest of lives. She proclaims herself as a full on, “Coach Potato.” Caitlyn shares with us, “I am a very bad binge eater, and not so quick to admit it. I was eating 2-3 times more than I should have been every day. But only if I was alone where no one could see me, that is when I would stuff my face.”

Food used to be a major part of Caitlyn’s life that was often holding her back from doing more and being more. She says, “food has been my support system and my escape for the past 17 years.” As for Caitlyn’s exercise it was Non-existent. “There have been times if I got up too fast to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen, I could get winded. My day consisted of food, food, and more food. I would wake up with half of the day gone already, and just start to eat, pretty much until my dad got home. Then when he went to bed, I would start eating again usually until I went to bed. I would tell myself it was okay because it wasn’t grease covered food.”

Caitlyn’s battle with food and exercise took a turn for the better once she became a part of the PumpUp Family.  Caitlyn tells us, “after making a PumpUp account I have started a raw food diet, which I am actually doing very well on and have already lost a bit of weight! My exercise is still not where I would like it to be but better than what it used to be and I love to take my dog for walks around the neighbourhood.” Caitlyn’s mantra is taking it one day at a time, and so far it has been working great!

Need some motivation? While Caitlyn’s got you covered! She says, “my best advice to anyone is to just go for it. If you doubt yourself you might not try because you have the mentality that you can’t do it. But YOU can. Everyone can. I’m not going to say that everything is going to be super easy with no worries and no stress. Every hour of every day is hard. Nothing gets easier, but you get stronger. If you mess up one day, don’t let that stop yourself from moving forward. Everyone has a slip, but the thing you have to remember is to get back up, brush off your shoulders and start again. I would love to say that there is always a tomorrow, but that’s not true. Tomorrow is never promised and it never will be. So if there is something in your life that you don’t like change it. Stop waiting around and get up and do it!” WOW. Wise words, Caitlyn – everyone needs to live this way!

This is a pic of the 90-Day Challenge Caitlyn and her Dad decided to embark on. Although according to Caitlyn the challenge got off to a bit of a rough start it is going much better now that they are totally serious about losing weight and being healthier. She says,  “my dad and I are very much alike in our personalities and sadly, our health. So I figured it couldn’t hurt us to try! Plus, who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?” Wondering what the prize will be for the winner of this weight loss challenge? “We have yet to figure out a prize for the winner, but I think in the end we’d both be getting the Grand Prize. That being the satisfaction of accomplishing something that we have both have put off for so long, & being able to say that, ‘Yes, I did it.’” 

Caitlyn’s Favourites:

Fave Food: “I just love food! My absolute favorite kind of food is Chinese. I am a sucker for anything Chinese, Japanese, Asian, Thai & sushi related, which most of the time can mean not the healthiest thing to eat. I also love anything with beef or chicken – I am definitely a meat and potatoes type of girl, but I do LOVE my salads.”

“If we are talking semi healthy, my favorite snacks would be probably like guacamole & pico de gallo. I also really like fruits & veggies and love cottage cheese!”

Caitlyn has an awesome “Italian Chicken Sandwich” recipe creation with potato bites and green beans. Sounds awesome right? Ask her on PumpUp on how to make it!

Favourite Drink: “Has got to be water. It’s easy, no calories and very refreshing. Iced tea is another one of my faves, and & my mom raised me to be a milk lovin’ girl!”

Favourite Motivational Saying: “Do it for the “Holy shit, you got hot!” Not the most deep or thoughtful saying but it’s one that I honestly love! It is the wallpaper on my phone and I can’t wait to hear it.”

Fave Exercises: “I like to lift weights and love running around with my dog! My work also keeps me on my feet all day!”

Favourite Part of PumpUp: “The Community, by far. The other members have been so inspirational and motivating towards me, which is something that I have never really been used to. Obviously my family has supported me but there is something different about hundreds; even thousands of people rooting for you, giving you that motivation & helping you reach your goals. It is so fulfilling. We are working to be better versions of ourselves. We want to become something that maybe people have said we couldn’t become, or couldn’t do. Maybe we are the ones who have engraved these thoughts into our heads and we want to prove them wrong. We can all do this together.”

Want to Know More About Caitlyn?

“I love being outside at the lake or on the water and I love driving boats. I actually got my boating license before my driving one! I would live on the lake if it were an option! I also love to cook and try out new recipes, which I think got me in a little bit of trouble but I can laugh about it now! :) I honestly love being with family. To me, family is definitely the most important and comes before anything else!”

What motivates Caitlyn is her brother! She shares, “my biggest motivation is definitely my brother, and I don’t think he even knows that. He’s always been the one that I’ve looked up to, no matter what. I think the one thing that I look forward to the most is just hearing him say that he’s proud of me and proud of what I have accomplished. He’s the reason that I want to prove every thought, every comment, and every hurtful person wrong. He’s the reason why I refuse to give up this time, no matter how rough it gets.”

Making a change isn’t easy and Caitlyn tells us that the biggest thing she has had to overcome on her journey is actually herself! “I have given up on myself numerous times, telling myself that I wasn’t good enough or it’ll never happen; that I should just quit because I’m not going to finish anyway so what’s one more cookie or one more piece of pizza? I have always been my toughest critic and a very harsh one at that. Finally I realized that I needed to find the motivation to get up off my butt and fix myself. I realized that I was killing myself with all of the crap that I have been putting into my body.” Caitlyn isn’t even exaggerating about the food killing herself as she let us know, “I’m borderline diabetic at 17. That is a very tough thing to hear. What is even worse was that night when I found out I stuffed my face with food while everyone was asleep. Food was my comfort. I just had to tell myself that enough was enough and I needed to change. Going on the same route I was going on wasn’t an option for me; it isn’t an option for me.”

Caitlyn’s goals with this health journey? She tells us, “I want to get to that point in my life where I am happy. To look in the mirror and like what I see.” PumpUp is here to help you accomplish this Caitlyn, and the rest of the community is 100% behind you. Caitlyn is already on her way; since the challenge started she has lost 12 pounds. She says, “Without PumpUp I probably wouldn’t have because I probably would have broke. But I haven’t and I don’t plan to as long as this app and the supportive people are around me.”

Caitlyn, we want to tell you that you are such a great motivator yourself! Keep up the hard work; we want to see you healthy and happy, and we are rooting for you to kick butt in your 90-day challenge! You got this girl! Follow @cait1ynmarie to be inspired and check out how she is doing with her challenge to get fit!