At the start of Ruben's fitness journey, he had trouble maintaining healthy habits because he didn't have a strong support system. "I struggled for about a year because no one wanted to work out with me," he professed. As a freelance graphic designer who works from home, Ruben spent up to ten consecutive hours sitting in front of a computer each day. "I lived off snacks, soda, and quick fast-food meals," he remembered. "The only exercise I would get was walking to the refrigerator."
Nutrition is hard to get 'right'. It takes time to find a regimen that works for you. It took years before Tarahlynn figured out how to fuel her body the right way. "I started using PumpUp right around the beginning of my fitness journey," she mentioned. "I ran cross country for a few years, so running was really all I knew. I paid no attention to what I ate or how much I was eating. I didn't eat breakfast or lunch, just little meals and a big dinner. At some point in the day, I would go for 1-3 mile runs and I had no idea how to properly provide my body with necessary nutrients."
"The majority of my posts on PumpUp are aimed at being body positive because it is important for me to see myself as beautiful. It is so important to me that other men and women can look at themselves and stop nit-picking long enough to realize how truly blessed they are. PumpUp has been a great support for me in my journey to having a positive body image."
"I've always been 'The Fat One'," recalled Marita. "I was bullied when I was younger and I started dieting when I was 12 years old. I've never been quite happy with myself, except from 2011-2012. I was what I considered to be a healthy weight, and I was happy with my body." After an ankle surgery made exercising nearly impossible for Marita, she fell into a deep depression because of all the weight she gained
Food used to be the solution to all of Anna's problems. It was her coping mechanism. "I was always heavier as a child and throughout my high school years," she revealed. "I ate anything and everything whenever I wanted it. I ate when I was bored or stressed [...and] I was a sweet tea addict." Anna hardly ever found the motivation to exercise, either. She spent most of her time sitting down, either at home or at school. Here's how she changed her life.
Nobody's transformation story is ever completely straightforward. As a child, Rachel was constantly in and out of of the hospital because she had kidney disease. By the time she was nearly four years old, she already had 8 surgeries - one of which removed her left kidney. "My right kidney had to do the job of two kidneys, which caused [its] protective layer to be stretched thin," she recounted. "Because of this, the doctor told my parents that I should never play any sports or do anything that could cause me to fall on my right side."
When Brenda started to adopt healthier habits, she lacked motivation and support. Her workouts and meals lacked variety. "My life before PumpUp was really tedious to be honest," she revealed. "I would eat the same things every day [...and] I didn't know which workouts to do other than run. People around me weren't into fitness and health, so it was very difficult for me to get motivated."
In December 2014, Desiree dealt with severe depression and stress. She was afflicted by hypothyroidism, a hormonal condition that can slow down a person's metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight. "On most days, I just laid in bed, hating myself," she confessed. "I hated looking at who I was in the mirror. I was tired because of all of the extra weight I had to move on a daily basis to do ordinary tasks."
As a former ballerina, Melanie used to obsess over her weight and body image. Training for a figure competition changed that for her. "I used to weigh around 90-95 pounds (BMI around 17-17.5), which is unhealthy," she admitted. "I'm a perfectionist, so I wanted to control everything. I had a hard time dealing with weight gain. When I met my current boyfriend, he helped me get through that fear and accept weight gain." Now, Melanie weighs a healthy 115 lbs and feels more comfortable in her own skin than ever before.
For years, Amanda had a difficult time thinking about food as fuel. She battled with both anorexia and bulimia at the same time. "I had a surgery, I was just really down about myself, and I took it out on my body," she recalled. "Once I started eating and it all became bingeing, I knew I had to make a change. That was when I really got into working out." It has been two and a half years since Amanda healed from her eating disorders. Moderation was the key to her success.
Jessica was diagnosed with high cholesterol and hypertension at a very young age. She decided to get her health on the right track in order to avoid medication. When Jessica downloaded PumpUp 8 months ago, she sought motivation that was exclusively related to fitness. "I wanted to be held accountable every single day over the course of my new journey," she insisted. "With PumpUp, I am held accountable every day. Every time I log in, I see motivation. The people and comments keep me going."
Never seem to have time to exercise? Neither did Doriane. "Before PumpUp, I did not work out at all," she emphasized. "I [was busy] between college and my student job, so lacking time was the perfect excuse for me." What's more, Doriane had difficulty controlling herself around junk food. "I didn't care about what I ate," she mentioned. "Right before I started my journey, I looked at the mirror and found myself absolutely disgusting. I said, 'How could you let that happen to you?' It was a shock."
As a stay-at-home mother, excuses came pretty easily for Charlotte. She used to gorge on unhealthy snacks and avoided exercising at all cost. "My life is pretty busy with family and house duties, [being] a stay-at-home mom who home-schools my 4 children under [the age of] 6," Charlotte admitted. "I don’t even know my highest weight because I was too ashamed to weigh myself when I first started out."
Making a lifestyle change can be overwhelming. For the sake of convenience, Danielle often ate out at fast food joints such as McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken. "I never did any exercise - I was really lazy," she recalled. "I would come home from work, sit in bed on my laptop until I went to sleep, and I would snack a lot." Eight months ago, Danielle joined the PumpUp community because she wanted to live a life full of intention, positivity, and accountability.
Healthy eating and regular exercise were hardly priorities for Makayla. "I ate what I wanted and when I wanted it," she remembered. "Fast food, chips, pizza, candy, etc. I would nap or watch TV on the couch all day." Makayla barely drank water and munched on processed snacks all day, rather than eating real meals. "I was never actually full," she admitted. Seven months ago, Makayla joined the PumpUp community because she wanted to start living a healthier lifestyle. "I was at the highest weight I've ever been: 209 lbs," she recalled. "I wasn't happy with that number and I definitely wanted to make a change. I found PumpUp through Instagram. I was looking for more ways to get motivated and it has changed my life since!"
It was Simon's ambition to run five kilometres without stopping. Though Simon already enlisted the help of a Couch to 5K program, he also needed some encouragement along the way. "I looked for a fitness app to give me tips and found PumpUp," he shared. "The likes and comments give you a great feeling of achievement, which gives you the encouragement to carry on."
When Meagan's physician told her that she needed to have her gallbladder removed, she knew that her health was deteriorating. "[I had] a fatty liver [and] I was extremely overweight for my body type," she recalled. "It was beginning to take a toll on my body. Diabetes runs in both sides of my family and I was on my way to having it myself if I didn’t make a change. I worked hard to lose the weight so that my liver wouldn’t have a buildup of fat on in and I never looked back."
After Justine became a mother of three, she realized that her metabolism wasn't as fast as it used to be. "I really started using PumpUp around March 2015 because I gained a lot of weight after I had my children, I didn't lead a very healthy lifestyle, and I didn't feel good about myself any more," she revealed. "I needed to change my lifestyle not only for myself, but for my children."
Anxiety negatively impacted Julie's life, to the point where her physical health was in danger. "I've always had bad anxiety ever since I was little," she admitted."I think it started when my grandfather passed away when I was 5 years old." Julie hardly ever slept and ate large portions of comfort food to cope with the emotional turmoil that stirred inside of her. "[The eating], combined with not caring for myself got me to my highest weight of 361 lbs," she stated.
Where do you turn to when your motivation is low? At the start of her fitness journey, Angela was too intimidated to push herself to the next level. She couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without struggling for breath and was hesitant about joining a gym. "I've always been a jack of all trades, but a master of none in all aspects of my life," she revealed. "Why? Because I was scared. Scared of failing, hard work, and commitment."