Viewing entries tagged
anorexia

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. 

Tarahlynn's Journey to Body Confidence

Tarahlynn's Journey to Body Confidence

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." 

Carla's brave journey to recovery and self-acceptance

Carla's brave journey to recovery and self-acceptance

"I thought that having a thigh gap would make me happy because so many girls had one," said Carla. "My body isn't built for that, and it's okay. Now, I feel happier, stronger, and full of self-love." For Carla, the hardest step was making the decision to prioritize her health over all else. The more she endangered her body, the less support she received from her closest friends and family members.

This is what eating disorders feel like

This is what eating disorders feel like

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There's a misconception that those who suffer from eating disorders just 'decide' that they 'don't want to eat'. Often, others make the generalization that an eating disorder is a cry for attention. This is wrong, and I speak from experience. What do eating disorders feel like? Some eating disorders begin with tiny realizations or goals. "I can't fit into my jeans. I should lose a little weight." I started to run at first, then cut out sweets from my diet. When I started to see results and received compliments from my friends and family members, I felt a rush. The rush became an addiction.

Eventually, I started to eliminate more types of food from my diet and exercised more. Little by little, it spiralled out of control. I felt like I couldn't control the way my thought process was working. I became consumed by food, sizes, and numbers. The inner voice inside my head told me that I was never good enough.

I’ve suffered from anorexia for nearly 10 years. I’m not really sick anymore, but I know that it will take a lot of time for my body and mind to rebuild. One year ago, my weight was down to 82.6 lbs. I couldn’t really do anything because my body was so weak. I still forced myself to exercise constantly. I hardly ate anything: 10-15 bites of whatever my boyfriend had cooked for dinner. Most poignantly, I remember the feeling of guilt: not only because I ate, but because my boyfriend spent time cooking for me, and then I wouldn’t, couldn't eat it.

This past year has been the toughest, but I decided to find a way out of the eating disorder. I had to. It destroyed my life, my boyfriend broke up with me, I got kicked out of school, I lost my friends, and my mother was miserable. Finally, I contacted my doctor, and he wrote a reference to a treatment center that took me in for three months.

what eating disorders feel like

At the treatment center, I was placed in a group with five other girls, a dietitian and two therapists. Though the therapists were sympathetic and knowledgable, one thing that helped me the most was talking to others who were in the same situation as myself. We did self-esteem exercises, made timelines about our lives, and talked about how we were thinking and feeling. I never imagined how great talking to others about the problem would be or feel.

My weight is now 110 lbs, and I feel much better. Now, I'm striving to find a balance. I exercise three times a week for 1 hour, and I eat six times a day. It’s a struggle not to add some extra hours on the workout schedule, and I don’t eat all six meals everyday – but I’m trying! Old habits are hard to get rid off, but I know I can do it.

Getting out of (what I call) “Anorexia-Hell”, is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’m finishing school this summer, my boyfriend and I are back together and happier than ever, and my mother, my dear mother, is no longer looking at me with a broken, worried and scared look on her face.

If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, I highly recommend treatment and that you find a supportive community like PumpUp to help you. I know it seems like an impossible thing to do, but try to talk to someone about it and talk to your doctor. You will thank yourself later in life, I can assure you that. And remember that you’re not alone.

'What eating disorders feel like' was written by PumpUp member @jessicanielsen. Have more tips to share about ways to boost your self-esteem? Let us know in the comments below! 

 

How PumpUp dared Katharina to dream big - PumpUp Success Stories

How PumpUp dared Katharina to dream big - PumpUp Success Stories

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Towards the end of 2014 in the cool and bleak midst of winter, Katharina needed a greater dose of positivity than she ever needed before. "Before using PumpUp, I had a slump in my motivation and needed to get back on track," said Katharina, who, as a fitness athlete, couldn't afford to lose sight of her goals. Though she was exercising as much as 10 times in one week, Katharina's eating habits would derail her progress. "My sweet tooth got out of control," she insisted. "I had a cheat meal (and sometimes, even a full-on cheat day) every single week and this really hindered me." With motivation from the PumpUp community, Katharina was able to maximize her athletic potential. "By tracking every workout and posting my progress on PumpUp, [the app's] very positive community kept me on track," she professed. "When I started to use PumpUp I was finally able to increase my cardio workouts and decrease the frequency of my cheat  meals to one every 2-3 weeks." Her regimen is quite admirable. On top of weight training, Katharina clocks in up to 14 cardio sessions a week and eats up to 7 times a day.  You'll be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated individual than her. "I'm working out on a daily basis, doing cardio before breakfast and both weights and cardio prior to eating lunch," she said happily.

katharina pumpup dream big

Since she joined PumpUp in December, Katharina was able to stay in amazing off-season shape— something she hasn't been able to achieve in her entire career. She now looks forward to competing in an autumn 2015 bikini competition and the PumpUp community can't wait to encourage her toward her journey to the stage. "I eventually hope to increase my muscle mass so that I can move up to a higher figure class in 2016," she mused. "This is the greatest dream that I'm chasing. Without everything that I accomplished since I joined PumpUp, I wouldn't ever dare to dream as big as I'm dreaming now." 

katharina's anorexia

It wasn't easy for Katharina to build as much muscle mass as she did over the past few months. She struggled with anorexia between 2006 and 2014, constantly conceding to a mental disorder that was distorting her relationship with food. "By convincing myself that food was making me fat, I lost almost all my muscle mass. My lowest weight was 42 kilograms," she recalled. "I had to build my muscles up from point zero." Katharina hopes to inspire others along her journey by speaking up against starvation. "I know exactly what it feels like to desperately want to lose weight," she confided. "Only small steps will allow you to climb a mountain: no crash diet can do what good nutrition and consistent exercise can do for you. There is no quick fix."

Best Advice to fellow PumpUp members

"Form new habits so you don't have to make decisions all the time. Don't question your routine, just do it and let the time work for you."

Biggest motivation

"My biggest motivation is the Ms. Olympia champ Nicole Wilkins. I just love her physique and to achieve a body like hers is my ultimate goal."

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Katharina's Healthy Mug Cake

"Mix 15g of rice protein, 15g of coconut flour, 100ml of egg whites, 50ml of water and flavour/sweetener of choice in a big mug and microwave it for 3-4min. I like to use Walden Farm's Syrup for a little more sweetness in the afternoon with my cake and coffee."

Motivational Mantra

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit."

More about Katharina

I have a BSc in Anthropology and I'm on my way to my MSc now. I'm doing this for fun and to satisfy my curiosity for new discoveries in science. In my opinion, learning is an ongoing progress in life. I'm constantly curious about innovation in the areas of health, sports and nutrition. This way, I can work as a personal trainer and coach for a living and use new information and techniques to help my clients. My business is named "Fitness Glam Coaching" and is located in Austria (Europe).

Keep Katharina pumped on the app @katharina_fitglam and cheer her along her journey to the stage!

Why it's important to have a positive body image

This is a post by PumpUp member sandrafitness. Follow her on Instagram @langencita and follow her blog here

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Today’s the International day of  ”Imma gonna love myself just a bit more” well no, it’s not.

And yet again, why am I doing this? Well… the other day I got through some very scary statistics, and you may be aware of this, but I think it’s veeeery important to spread the word just a bit more.

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders in the U.S:

  • Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression.
  • Only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment. Only 35% of people that receive treatment for eating disorders get treatment at a specialized facility for eating disorders.
  • Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S.
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • 91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. 22% dieted “often” or “always.”
  • 86% report onset of eating disorder by age 20; 43% report onset between ages of 16 and 20.
  • Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents.
  • 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight within 5 years.
  • 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.
  • The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females. 

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Scary, right?

Well, right now we have the power to change this. We can just tell someone else that they are just beautiful the way they are. We have the power – and with power comes responsibility- to change this by growing a generation of new girls and boys, who will not attack anyone by their looks. We can see a new generation, where girls won’t be ashamed for gaining a pound, a society where what’s inside will count more than the way you look. You may think it is not possible, but I am telling you it is.

We can’t just blame media, we need to also blame our selves. We are the ones letting this affecting us, and the ones supporting that. But, we are not gonna be able to teach anything valuable if the concept of a positive body image don’t get into our heads first.  And yes, I include myself, we all need to put a little more effort into this to make it happen. First we need to accept and embrace what we are, learn to love it.

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I think I have grown a lot in this sense, but I am not gonna lie, if someone would not like the way I look or would suggest I need to lose some extra pounds. I would surely feel down for some time, and the comment would be stuck in my head.

However, I learnt to fight this by learning to love sport and fitness, not to see it as a punishment. It makes me happy and it really does help with my body perception.

I hope, in a way this was useful to you and that I may have helped one of you.  

xxx

Sandra

This is a post by PumpUp member sandrafitness. Follow her on Instagram @langencita and follow her blog here

Looking for inspiration? Look no further. This story is for you - PumpUp Spotlight Series

There’s a saying that “If to dance is to dream, then you make dreams come true.” The spotlight beams on PumpUp’s fantastic dancer @fitgirl_95 for inspiring the community with her strength in overcoming personal struggles such as depression and anorexia. She was brave enough to discuss these with us in hopes that she could help inspire others. She leads an incredibly active lifestyle and attributes much of her success to you, the PumpUp community! Learn more about her down below.

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Due to stress and curricular changes, the transition between high school and college took its toll on M. In high school she was enrolled in an intensive program where she danced semi-professionally for 17 hours a week. “I finished my dance program [after high school], so I wasn’t really dancing anymore,” explains M. “College applications caused me to eat out of stress and make less healthy food choices.” Though M is both lactose intolerant and a celiac, she frankly reveals that she was eating candies and chocolates almost every day at that point in her life. “The worst part was that I didn’t care,” she says. “Sometimes I worked out because I felt awful and sometimes I didn’t. I had led myself on a very dangerous path.”

Looking to jump-start her journey back to a healthy and happy lifestyle, M began using PumpUp at the beginning of March 2014. “I was unhappy with the way I let myself turn to junk food for comfort,” admits M. “I was not in the best place in my life. I stopped dance—something I love the most. I also let myself get into an unhealthy relationship with food.” This in turn led to poor health, weight gain, and lost muscle mass.Things turned around in a major way once M. resolved to shake off her bad habits. “One day I realized what I was doing to myself and simply decided that I was better than that. I could be better than that,” she recounts. “It was up to me to decide. I heard about PumpUp and decided that it would be an excellent starting point for me to get motivated.”

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M. reveals that she now is in a much happier place from where she was before. She eats three full and healthy meals a day, respects her lactose intolerance and celiac condition, and eats organic as much as she can. “Lots of fruits and veggies are key,” says M. “I learnt and am still learning that moderation is the solution.” She does not ignore her hunger, and instead turns to healthy and satisfying alternatives to sweets.  “Sure, I’ll have a fruit or almonds…never candies and doughnuts anymore,” tells M.

She exercises 5 times a week, alternating between 1.5 hour dance classes twice a week and cardio, weightlifting, and Pilates for the others.  “The elliptical is safest for a hip injury I have, and Blogilates on YouTube is my favourite for Pilates,” she gushes.

“Believe in yourself,” advises M. to others looking to lead a more active lifestyle. “It may be cliché, but when you don’t care about yourself and look down upon who you are as I myself did before, you let yourself go.” She affirms that negativity acts like an incubator for unhealthy behavior. “You’re in a sort of negativity bubble, which shuts you out of reality. Without knowing it, you’re full of unhealthy habits,” she elaborates. “You just have to realize you’re worth it and as good as all the models or celebrities—or whoever you look up to.” M. acutely recognizes how strong self-esteem comes hand in hand with introspection. “You are as beautiful, strong, and important as your role models in your own way. I NEVER had any self-esteem and am still struggling with this issue today, but I am working on it. Health has played a big part in my journey.”

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M. professes that her physical and mental health has improved significantly since she joined PumpUp. “I have to thank all of the wonderful members for that,” she explains. “They are honestly true friends…almost like family! I am so grateful and I am sure they don’t even know how much of an impact they all had on my life.” In the future, M. hopes to inspire people to the best of her abilities in a similar fashion to how she was able to recover with the help of other PumpUp members. “I also hope to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life,” muses M.

Her biggest motivation is simple: happiness. “This answer might disappoint you, but let me explain: I was rarely ever completely and simply happy,” explains M. “When I was little, I was always the bigger girl. Although I tried to act like I didn’t care, I did. I just crushed these emotions inside of me and tried to forget about them.” One of her best friends exudes happiness, and M. was inspired to emulate her positivity to improve her own physical and mental health. “When we catch up and she talks to me about her life, everything is so simple to her. She is so great and…happy.”

M. is also an inspiration to herself, and an inspiration to all of us for the considerable strength she has demonstrated in the face of her own personal struggles. She was brave enough to discuss these with us in hopes that she could help inspire others. “In high school, I was anorexic to the point where I was close to killing myself. I also struggled with depression and bulimia a few years after,” reveals M. “When I look back, I realize that I’ve fought anorexia by myself, I’ve gotten out of this harsh depression without anyone even noticing I was depressed. I was never able to talk to anyone about any of my problems, so I didn’t. And now, to see that even at the weakest I was able to fight it and get back up by myself and for myself is…wow…I have impressed myself.”   M. is now working on recovery and self-acceptance. “Dealing with health issues is one of the hardest things you will have to do. It involves accepting the fact that you may not be as strong as you thought you were and showing your weaknesses to others,” she says. “Accepting yourself for you are makes YOU so strong for not letting go. I believe in all of you and I know you can learn at the same pace as I am to accept yourself.”

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Favourite Snack: I LOVE having frozen mangoes of grapes as a yummy refreshing snack. Sometimes I blend some frozen mangoes with a bind of coconut water or almond milk to make a yummy sorbet type of snack.  I also love kale chips.

Favorite Meal: Hands down, sushi. I could have it all day everyday!

Favorite Drink: Tea. It’s like an even healthier version of water and it is so good especially at this time of the year when it’s cold outside (especially here in Montreal).

Favourite Recipe: I try to post a few on my PumpUp page. I enjoy so many types and different foods, it is hard to pick just one I love my simple smoked salmon, avocado toast or my grilled and spiced grapefruit. All so yummy!

Motivational Mantra

“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there’s footprints on the moon.” I feel that is so true! We always say “Oh, sky’s the limit”. But why do we limit ourselves to it? No, reverse the convention, go even further in what you want (fitness related or any other), go further than ANYONE would ever thought you would be able to go. Do NOT ever limit yourself for anything that someone said or has done. YOU are your limit and YOU set it.

Favourite Workout:

DANCE ! I’ve been dancing for 17 years now and dance is such a liberating sport. The feeling when you dance is pure freedom, pure inspiration and motivation to do more and more again and again. You sweat and workout without realizing it.  It is truly amazing. Apart from that, I run on an elliptical machine for about an hour alternating walking and running. I also do some weight lifting and some Blogilates routines. Blogilates is an amazing YouTube channel! It proposes routines for every part of your body and for every level too, plus they really work :). I also try to do simple things like taking the stairs, walking home instead of taking the bus, little things like that.

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More About M.

I think everyone that follows me knows that I am a dancer. I’ve been a dancer for more than 17 years now and it’s a true passion. From ballet, to tap, jazz, hip hop, jazz funk, contemporary, jazz funk, broadway, modern, I love to try them all.  I feel that you can only enrich yourself by trying and seeing new things.  Dance, to me, is not only a way to move and do exercise. It’s been my life jacket through all of my health and mental problems. I honestly think that without dance, I would not be here today answering all of these questions. It’s a part of me, a part of me that I’m proud of.

Apart from that, I am a real nerd in school. I study REALLY hard and love learning. I am aspiring to get into med school one day and help others in need. 

Follow M. on PumpUp @fitgirl_95

SPOTLIGHT SERIES: PAMELA D.

At last, we see the light—and it’s like the fog has lifted on our exceptional and talented member Pamela D.! She soars to extraordinary heights as PumpUp’s resident superstar at aerial silks and she has triumphed over several obstacles to get to where she is today. Intrigued? We sure are! Read down below for Pamela’s story and her excellent advice and recipes.

It would be an understatement to declare that Pamela has a passion for exercise and healthy living. “People laugh and can’t believe I exercise so much…but I love it. Exercising is my therapy,” says Pamela. “My Saturdays and Sundays are awfully different from other people. I wake up at 8:30 am, make breakfast, and off to the gym I go! Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean you can’t workout right?” Though Pamela takes maximum advantage of the empty weekend gym—it’s her rigorous weekday schedule that impresses us the most.  She manages to incorporate 3-4 hours of cardio, weightlifting, and/or aerial silks per day into her busy school schedule, but reserves Friday as her rest day. 

She admits that she has struggled with obesity and with anorexia at separate points of her life, and overcoming these obstacles has only made her stronger. “When I was 6-7 years old I was obese but too little to be thinking [consciously] about my body,” she says frankly. “When I was 11 I started to focus too much on what other people thought of me and how other people saw me, especially when I thought that skinny was everything to make a person happy and beautiful. I was wrong. There was so much more than that.”

We are extremely proud of her for not only attaining a balanced lifestyle, but for maintaining it.  “I have overcome [anorexia] gladly but there are withdrawals such as low self-esteem and very low confidence, which I still have to a certain extent,” she divulges. “Now I prefer not to be thin at all—when my clothes start to loosen too much it gets on my nerves, go figure! All I want is to be fit and healthy. Strong is the new skinny.” Her triumphs fuel her determination to be strong, independent, and disciplined.  What motivates me the most is the fact that I dealt with anorexia, making me never ever wanting to go back to that point again,” shares Pamela. That moment in my life marked me and has changed my way of thinking, to be a better me.”

Owing to the fact that Pamela is allergic to 10 types of food— gluten, wheat, broccoli, almonds, corn, bananas, oranges, pineapple, oats and peanuts (phew!)—she is necessarily very careful about what she eats. “I eat lots of fruits and veggies. Veggies, veggies everywhere in addition to protein, healthy fats, and whole grain carbohydrates,” Pamela explains. “I never eat simple carbohydrates—only complex. This is partly because I’m allergic to gluten, so I don’t have a many options to choose from.” Still, she sternly reminds us to eat our healthy fats. “Don’t stay away from them!” she declares. Healthy is 70% of the process. Exercising is just 30%. I cheat of course, not regularly…but I do. You should give yourself a treat once in a while! I cheat every 2 months or 4 months or so but some times I cheat once a week.”

Pamela joined PumpUp in search of people who shared the same passion for exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Although I have met some awesome people and I’ve tried out many recipes people have posted, the PumpUp community lightens my day everyday and honestly has made me happier!” she gushes.

Her best advice for PumpUp members looking to lead a more active lifestyle is to be methodical and pragmatic about their goals. “Start off with a notebook and write down your plan. Ask yourself what you want and how bad you want it,” she counsels. Pamela advocates for gradual substitutions, both with exercise and with diet. “I’m not saying the change is easy but believe me, it’s SO worth it! Exercise 30 minutes a day and increase it little by little!” says Pamela. “Same with food. Instead of that coke, try homemade lemonade, a fruit smoothie, or even water! Just make the switch day by day and you will see the changes.”

She also urges us to make time for ourselves and to vanquish excuses with affirmations of self-worth. “You have to believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself you can accomplish anything!” encourages Pamela. She invites us to remove the ‘torturous’ and negative connotations we sometimes associate with exercise. “At the end of the day, exercise ultimately makes you happier,” she says. This is true, biologically: exercise stimulates endorphin production, which triggers us to feel happier. “Think fat loss—not weight loss. I’ve seen so many people get bothered and sad when they gain weight but it might be muscle! Having muscle isn’t something to be sad about.”

Pamela’s Workout Routine

  • Monday: Semi High Cardio Day and Aerial Silks
  • Tuesday:  Cardio and Weightlifting
  • Wednesday: Cardio and Weightlifting with my Personal Trainer 
  • Thursday: Cardio and Weightlifting
  • Friday: Rest Day
  • Saturday: High Cardio Day and Weightlifting
  • Sunday: Cardio, Weightlifting and Aerial Silks

Pamela’s Biggest Motivation

Andreia Brazier is my biggest motivation. In my eyes she is a perfect woman and she inspires me so much because she goes out of the stereotype of girls always being the weak ones and girly girls. I don’t aspire to be just like her or have her body because I want to have my own body, my own self. I am working to have a better body but to have my own, appreciate what I have worked for and will continue working for. 

Pamela’s Motivational Mantras

I have many but these are the ones I love the most.

“Never quit. That’s it. Never f***ing quit. It will be the only thing you will ever regret. “I failed.” is ten times more of a human than someone who said “What if?” because “What if?” never went to the arena.”

“Your body can do almost anything, its your mind you have to convince.”

“The best thing someone can do is tell me I can’t do something. Thanks for the coal, I’ll light the fire.”

Favourite snack: 

  • 150ml natural yogurt
  • 109g of apple
  • 28g of sunflower seeds
  • A drizzle of honey 

Fun facts

My favorite color is purple!

I speak two languages, English and Spanish and a little French!

I am very open minded and no matter what you talk to me about I will always be interested! I love to help people in any way that I can and support them as well. We all are family!

I love to exercise it is my therapy I can’t live without it!

I love electronic music and I love to rave! I’ve seen many DJs around the world and I’ve gone to Ultra Music Festival many times. Electronic music is the only thing I listen to at the gym and it pumps me up every time! 

Give Pamela a follow on PumpUp and Instagram @pameladiazfc!

Spotlight Series: Paulina F.

Eating disorders and disordered eating are prevalent all around us and remain a pressing issue that at times will remain hidden and concealed. A shocking “1 in 5 women struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating.” And over 24 million Americans and 70 million people worldwide are struggling with an eating disorder of some kind. 90% of these individuals are between the ages of 16 and 25. We want you to hear @paulina.bf’s story. She is a PumpUp member who has gone through a anorexia, bulimia, and depression. To steal a quote from her: I let it break me, I let it win. I didn’t care, nor did I talk about it. I went from being my only friend, to being my own shrink. “ Read on hear about her journey and how Paulina has made the necessary changes to a better, and healthier lifestyle.

Paulina downloaded PumpUp 6 months ago as she was in search for inspiration to start exercising. She didn’t start getting active on PumpUp until 2 months ago because she wanted to join PumpUp’s positive community and was in need of some motivation.

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As we mentioned before, Paulina is one of our members who has struggled with an eating disorder. We wanted to talk to her to hear her experience, how she overcame it, and to have her story be an example of perseverance and strength for anyone else reading this or struggling with similar issues. She shares with us what her life was like with an ED:

“Around Easter time of last year, I started engaging in bulimic behaviour. At this point it wasn’t so bad. I acted normal most of the time, was with my friends, I went to school and did homework. On the surface everything was normal. However, I was binging and purging up to 5 times a week. If I had time after school before my mom came home, I would go to the store, buy some ice cream, and eat the entire tub. I kept on eating even if I felt like my stomach was going to explode. My stomach would literally hurt.”

When summer came around Paulina fell into the pattern of anorexic behaviour. “I almost didn’t eat. For breakfast I would have an apple, sometimes I would eat a carrot too. For lunch I would eat a slice of bread or a biscuit and for dinner I would have whatever my mom made. Then I would just eat a bread slice at night so my parents wouldn’t start to worry. Sometimes I would pretend that I made myself some evening food, and take the bread to my room, just to go put it back afterwards. 

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I went from 72 kg to 65 kg in a couple of weeks. That was my goal weight, but I wasn’t happy with my body at all. I managed to stay at that weight more or less the whole summer, but the last two weeks I binged and my weight went right back to 72kg. I was so sad, and when school started, I began getting depressed. I thought about food constantly, and I got more and more isolated from my friends, especially my best friend. She knew about my ED, but she didn’t know what to do since I wouldn’t talk about it.”

Eventually Paulina started to turn things around and take control of her body, finally realizing the kind of behaviour she was engaging in was unhealthy and causing a ton of harm to her body. So in October Paulina joined a gym and began training 3-4 times a week.  She tells us, “I mostly did cardio for 40 minutes and some strength exercises for 20 minutes.”

Although Paulina was starting to exercise and get active she tells us that the time between October and January was the point she was at her lowest, as her depression was completely consuming her. “My depression was bad, and I just didn’t want to be here anymore. I did things I’m not proud of, but I don’t regret them because at that time they helped. It limited the pain. I cried myself to sleep almost every night, and I knew I needed help, but I didn’t do anything about it. I thought I deserved it. I felt like a terrible person, and I didn’t have any interest in getting better. “

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We asked Paulina how exactly she persevered through her ED’s. Her answer was honest,  “To answer how I battled my ED and my depression, I didn’t. I let it break me, I let it win. I didn’t care, nor did I talk about it. I went from being my only friend, to being my own shrink.” Paulina decided to change by herself by analyzing every part of her life. She looked back and tried to figure out how she had gotten that bad. She did this alone and without help because she didn’t want her parents to find out. Paulina says, “I didn’t want them to know. I really just don’t want them to feel like they are bad parents, because I love them.  For now Paulina says, “I just take one day at a time, and I am now starting to feel like this little part of me (my depression) is slowly crawling back to wherever it came from.”

With this change, Paulina started to exercise 5-6 times a week. She tells us, “ I feel like PumpUp has helped me maintain that exercise level. I’m a lot more confident about my body now because of the amazing community.  I use PumpUp almost every day, tracking my activity and seeing how many calories I burn.” As Paulina said earlier, when she used to go to the gym she would mainly focus on her cardio. Now, she barely stays on the treadmill for 10 minutes. She loves weight lighting. “I feel like weightlifting is therapy for me, and I feel like it’s a way for me to deal with my depression. Now I also train for about 2 hours most of the times I’m at the gym.”

Paulina’s habits and tendencies have not just disappeared; she still struggles with her ED’s and her thoughts daily. “I try to eat as healthy I can, but it’s not easy. I sometimes go 5 hours (or more) without eating because I feel bad about myself. Sometimes I eat more than I should, eating a bit of chocolate here and some cookies there. Normally I drink a detox water before breakfast, I eat oatmeal or bread for breakfast and/or for lunch. Then I have a little snack, nuts or something like that, when I come home. For dinner I eat whatever my Mommy serves. After I have been to the gym, I eat a banana or a yogurt. When I come home I will probably have some bread. In Norway we eat a lot of bread, if you didn’t notice.” The best news of all? Paulina has almost totally stopped binging and purging, progress.

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Paulina’s Favourites:

Favourite Part About PumpUp: “The community! They are so supportive, nice and sweet. When I have a bad day, I love looking at comments and I instantly feel better about myself and gain the motivation to keep going.”

Fave Snack: “I’m in love with yogurtnuts! Not very healthy, I know, but it’s delicious. Besides that, I am a grape and strawberries freak! 

Go to Meal: “It’s so hard to pick just one. I love food, but at the same time I am super picky. If I am going to choose it has to be oatmeal with cinnamon (and butter and sugar when I am cheating).”

#1 Drink: “Water! I love water. My brother in law always teases me because I always say no to soda!”

Fave Motivational Saying: “Strive for progress, not perfection.” It’s so true. I think that in our world, people are too busy thinking about where they want to be, rather than looking on how far they have come. This includes me. It wasn’t until I started using PumpUp, that I looked at my progress. When looking back at old pictures I hadn’t realized how much my body had changed in six months.”

Favourite Exercise: “The hip thrust! I love how my butt hurts when I finish one set. My friend and I do it at the end of every workout. It’s so funny because when she finishes her set, she sighs so loud… I laugh every time! I love squats, deadlifts, back extension etc. I am strongest in my legs and my lower back, so I feel kind of confident when I lift heavy.”

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Struggling with an ED? Well Paulina shares with you what helped her get through it and start to change her life.

“Well, I’m probably not the best person to answer this, since I handled it pretty bad, and in a very isolated way. My advice to you is to not give up, because it will get better. I know how meaningless those words are. They are BS as I liked to call them. I was super convinced that it wouldn’t get any better. I couldn’t imagine that my best friend and me would ever be best friends again, but now we do everything together again.”

Another thing that helped Paulina with her ED was thinking about all the unhealthy side effects. She tells us, “I was terrified of my teeth. Throwing up can really damage your teeth, and I kept picturing ugly teeth and then I wouldn’t do it so much.  I also figured that if I wanted to look the way l wanted, I had to train, and if I was going to train hard I had to eat right. One morning I jogged without eating breakfast, and I thought I was going to die because I hadn’t nourished my body.”

That’s not all that helped Paulina push through; PumpUp has also played a role. “The community is so supportive! If you are unsecure about your body, you should try posting a picture, you may get many nice words!”

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When Paulina first started using PumpUp her goal was to start feeling more comfortable in her own skin. She says, “The PumpUp Fam is so sweet, and have lovely words. But now I also want to make others more confident. I love checking out other peoples profiles and commenting on them. I think of how good I feel after reading a comment, and I want others to feel like that too.” 

Paulina’s biggest motivation to keep pushing hard is the thought of completely overcoming her ED. Paulina notes, “I don’t want to be scared of relapsing. I don’t want to feel like I’m weak and that I cannot handle some adversity. I am also motivated by my progress. To see how far you’ve come, makes you see how far you can go.”

Paulina’s battle is still a constant struggle. As she mentions, the number on the scale is just a number but it is still hard to get over that. Paulina says, “I struggled coming to terms that my previous goal weight is not ideal for me. 7 kg down is not that realistic if I am going to gain muscles. A year ago I was at my original goal weight, 65kg. But that was the period I almost never ate. I know that you shouldn’t look at the scale as a goal, but being tall (177cm) I weight a lot more than my friends, and I feel/felt like a giant around them.”

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Something Interesting About Paulina:

“I speak sign language and I am a CODA (Child OF Deaf Adults)! My mom, dad, sister, brother in law and my oldest nephew are all deaf. While my niece, our newest family member, my nephew, and I are the only hearing ones in my family hear in Norway.  So pretty much everyone I know through my parents are deaf, and I’m very happy to be a part of the deaf community.

Fun Fact: Love dancing around in my room with the music blasting on my stereo! My parents don’t even notice ;)”

We are so proud and grateful of the fact that Paulina is one of our many amazing PumpUp Members. We are moved by her story and the fact that she let everyone take such a close look into her life as well as her struggle and ongoing battle with ED’s. Keep up your amazing work and be proud of everything you have accomplished, we certainly are. Give Paulina a follow on PumpUp @paulibf so you can be apart of her journey.