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body confidence

Quotes About Courage That Will Inspire You To Take The Next Step

Quotes About Courage That Will Inspire You To Take The Next Step

There's a mystical realm that lies beyond your comfort zone. That's where the magic really happens. Sadly, it isn't Narnia and it certainly isn't Hogwarts. You won't be able to enchant your way to a healthier you, but you can mentally prepare yourself to take the next step. Having a positive and supportive fitness community to encourage you along the way is an extra (and often, necessary) bonus. Here are a few quotes about courage that will certainly inspire you to dip your foot into fresh waters and take the next step in your fitness journey.

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.

Hannah's progress proves that weight is just a number

Hannah's progress proves that weight is just a number

'Healthy' isn't a weight - it's different for every body. Although Hannah always had a smaller frame, people judged her for it. Comments about her weight gradually undermined her confidence and aggravated her anxiety. "I've had anxiety since 2010, so setbacks aren't uncommon, but they're something I've learnt to overcome with the right mindset and support," she mentioned. 

Here's how Arielle took her strength and confidence to the next level

Here's how Arielle took her strength and confidence to the next level

Inspiring people all over the world join the PumpUp community at very different stages in their lives. Arielle was nearly at the peak of her fitness when she became a PumpUp member— she was already extremely physically active and aware of her food choices. But after she downloaded the app, Arielle was thrilled to find a community of people who shared her passion for healthy and active living. 

How a support system drastically improved Lana's mental & physical health

How a support system drastically improved Lana's mental & physical health

Lana learned that the state of her mental health was tied to her physical health. She began to eat healthier and saw positive changes. “Running became my escape,” she revealed. “I lost weight and I felt amazing. Before PumpUp, I lost about 25 pounds. I was doing good…but I wanted to be great.” Though Lana exercised in moderation, PumpUp really helped her to take her health and fitness to another level. 

U.S. Hammer Thrower Amanda Bingson talks strength, femininity, and why you can kick ass and still look great doing it

U.S. Hammer Thrower Amanda Bingson talks strength, femininity, and why you can kick ass and still look great doing it

"I'll be honest, I like everything about my body"— that's not an admission you hear every day. But why shouldn't it be? USA track & field hammer thrower Amanda Bingson embodies the message that being healthy, strong, and feminine isn't a 'look' -  it's a way of being. The Las Vegas native broke the female American record for hammer throwing in 2013, made the U.S. Olympic team, and garnered a great deal of attention after posing nude on the cover of ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue. Rather than worrying about how her body looks, Amanda focuses on what her body can do. PumpUp talked to Amanda about her views on strength, femininity, and how a positive support system got her to where she is today.

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

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

Over the last few months, Laura adopted a lifestyle that fulfills her nutritive needs. "[My diet] is one that I actually like to follow," she elaborated. "I have achieved my dream weight! I've never been overweight, but I was pretty much kissing that BMI limit line. I know that weight is just a number [...] but I'm now at a healthy weight. It's the perfect head start towards shaping my body the way I want it to be."

Why Success Isn't Measured in Pounds | Transformation Tuesday

Why Success Isn't Measured in Pounds | Transformation Tuesday

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When Julia began her fitness journey more than one year ago, she professed that she was just a girl hoping to lose weight. After she joined the PumpUp community, she found so much more. "I may be 18 kilograms lighter, but I gained so much throughout this journey," she enthused. "The people I met and the knowledge and confidence that grew within me have changed my life. I was wrong when I thought it was all about weight. Thank you my PumpUp fam!" Lately, Julia has been working hard by logging her Nike Training Club workouts on PumpUp. She feels stronger, more agile, holds static positions for longer, and hardly pauses during her workouts. She's pushing herself out of her comfort zone and she has her PumpUp family to cheer her on as she makes stellar progress. It dawned on Julia that she could potentially be her own greatest source of motivation. "The moment I realized that I was the one who needed to believe that it was possible for me to change was probably the best in my journey," she admitted. "Having a fitness community and amazing friends on PumpUp who support you and believe in you is important and so motivational. But first, YOU need to believe in yourself if you want to achieve something. I really made a huge step when I understood how amazing the power of the mind was!"

How Julia realized that success isn't measured in pounds

Non-scale victories have proven to Julia that success isn't measured in pounds. "A year ago, I would have never thought that this kind of outfit would look good on me," she insisted. "I used to let my pretty friends wear the pretty things, and wearing a dress or a skirt wasn't an option for me. Even though I didn't buy this outfit, the fact that I gave it a try and felt good in it made me realize that I made a huge step. I want to thank everybody on PumpUp who made this possible for me. [They] are amazing."

Keep Julia pumped on the app @juliamaria! When was the moment that you realized that success isn't measured in pounds. Share the stories behind your progress with the hashtag #ShowMeTheMay on the PumpUp app!

Non-scale victories: clothes never fit better for this PumpUp member

Non-scale victories: clothes never fit better for this PumpUp member

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"I can't wait to see how my clothes fit after they're all taken in," said PumpUp member @2choosehealth, a Brooklyn resident who lost over 80 lbs over the course of her health and fitness journey. She has been experiencing all kinds of non-scale victories as far as clothes are concerned. "I went from having no waist to having a waist like this," she gushed. "Most days I can't believe how far I've come. One of the perks of losing weight is being able to shop wherever I want. I could never shop at American Apparel at 280+ lbs." A primary goal for this PumpUp member was to fit into an American Apparel dress. "I now fit into two [dresses]," she said gleefully. "It's the little things that make this journey worth it." Non-scale victories : fitting into clothes has never felt better for this PumpUp member

Hard work, meal preparation, and smart cheat meals became the keys to her success. She eats protein-rich food: a total of 4 small meals a day with 2 snacks in between. "I'm eating all day so that I can feel comfortable enough to know that I'm not being deprived of anything!" she insisted. "I also love to eat beautiful food. Put effort into your meals and make them look appetizing!"  @2choosehealth stayed on track with lots of mental preparation. "I'd remember what my body looked like every time I wanted something that was bad for me," she explained. "It's mostly a mental [process]."

Non-scale victories : fitting into clothes has never felt better for this PumpUp member

Keep her pumped on Transformation Tuesday by sharing some of your own non-scale victories! Let us know in the comments below, or share a photo with the PumpUp community with the #TransformationTuesday hashtag.

5 reasons why that Protein World ad caused unnecessary controversy

5 reasons why that Protein World ad caused unnecessary controversy

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Sporadic vandalism, a formal ASA complaint and a protest in Hyde Park have marked the outrage against Protein World’s ‘Are you beach body ready’ ad. Are you beach body ready - Know your meme

Image via Know Your Meme

First things first: I do not support dieting and swift weight loss. Not in the slightest. I have changed my ways and know better. I eat seven times a day (c. 2200 kcals should you be interested, and I only occasionally keep track, for I would like to gain muscle which means I need food), I train six times a week and am the happiest I have ever been. I grunt every time I hear a woman (yes, a woman…) talk about ‘losing two kgs in a week’. It doesn’t work and it’s a total waste of time; not to mention damaging to your body. Simple.

With that said, I do not think for a second that Protein World was promoting the reckless undernourishment and obsessive calorie restriction I was into during my adolescence and early 20s. What it was, in fact, promoting was enhanced weight / fat loss for people who, presumably, needed it to then comfortably progress to toning up and muscle gain. A quick glance at their website reveals they are not an exclusively weight loss product company: they sell flaxseed powder, Omega 3, bedtime shakes, Whey Protein isolate, etc. The recipes they feature do not have the word ‘starvation’ plastered all over them.

However, someone out there – whilst blissfully travelling on the London tube - decided that an ad endorsing Protein World’s ‘Weight Loss Collection’, by means of a model in a bikini with the words ‘Are you beach body ready’, was offensive. Illegal even. And so the fiasco started…

How dare a business use a slender female to advertise a product that will, supposedly, help others lose weight?! Terms, such as ‘body shaming’, were thrown around like there was no tomorrow. Weight – a personal not public matter, if you ask me – was branded a ‘political and social issue’ once more. In a typical First World fashion, a Twitter war was declared and a few new hash tags were dutifully born. People vandalised the billboards, organised a protest and, get this, sent a bomb threat to the company’s headquarters. But, hey, it’s all in the name of social justice!

Without further ado and in my humble opinion, here are a few reasons as to why people blew the protein world ad way out of proportion in a predictably childish manner:

  1. Capitalism: I am not the best at Economics, but the demands of the market and competition drive Capitalism. Like it or not, we live in a Capitalist country whereby companies will strive to make profit. Marketing and Advertising were not invented by Protein World. Thousands of tricks are adopted daily to encourage you to spend your money on stuff you do not even need half the time. *shrugs* Why that protein world ad caused unnecessary scandal Image via giphy
  2. Democracy: Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, unless you anger the wrong crowd. Yes, democracy has a few founding principles and, would you believe it, freedom of speech and freedom of expression are among them?! What we increasingly see, nonetheless, is a perpetuating self-censorship with people unable to voice their opinion on anything without it insulting and triggering someone else. And causing a whirlwind of controversy by, say, creating a promo billboard. This article, too, will probably be frowned upon, since it does not follow the narrative currently imposed by the mainstream media. Why that protein world ad caused unnecessary scandal Image via giphy
  3. Self – esteem: Confidence and self-esteem come from within. People’s words do not affect me and ads certainly do not make me curl up in a ball and cry, because I do not care. But, you see, the people who do will never grow a thicker skin, if we teach them that the smallest, most insignificant problem can be solved by stamping their feet and kicking up a fuss.  And it is not overloading Twitter with comments re how Protein World is promoting an ‘unattainable body type and shape’ (hint: there is a real person behind this ad who eats properly and trains regularly; so, yes, this is an attainable body type and shape). If you are not willing to put in the hard work and have the will power and dedication to go on this journey, excuses will get you nowhere.

    Why that protein world ad is causing unnecessary controversy Image via giphy

  4. Women Magazines: It is hilarious how thousands and thousands of women are boycotting a company for their seemingly harmful ad, one that plays on women’s insecurities, yet are deafeningly silent on the subject of women’s magazines. The pages of the latter are littered with ‘tips’, ‘DOs and DONTs’ on fashion, style, beauty, diets, sex, etc. They are full of ‘you are not good enough’ statements that have conveniently escaped all of those rejecting Protein World. As if having eyebrows similar to those of Keira Knightley was less of a problem than taking weight loss supplements? As if learning how to attain J Lo’s style was not telling you how to dress to fit the present trend? What if I took offence in Cosmopolitan’s advice on how to ‘achieve the best complexion’ and the mere suggestion that suffering from acne during adolescence was a crime that had to be ‘concealed’ under a ton of foundation?

    Why that protein world ad caused unnecessary controversy Image via giphy

  5. Men’s quietness: Last but not least, I have never heard a large group of men protest against the six-packs they are expected to flaunt a la David Beckham in that Calvin Klein underwear ad. It might be because they are better at handling this sort of stuff, or equally, their complaints will not be tolerated because they come from..men. Weirdly, I am not aware of many women speaking of ‘body shaming’ when and where this and other images of ‘unrealistic’ male bodies are concerned. I wonder why… Why that protein world ad caused unnecessary controversy Image via giphy

Why the protein world ad caused unnecessary controversy

About the Author

Siya is a blogger with a passion for living a healthy lifestyle. She shares simple recipes, exercises, and writes about the importance of having a positive body image on her blog. Have feedback for Siya? Do you agree that the protein world ad caused unnecessary controversy? Let us know in the comments below!

From gasping for air after 100 m to running 10 km - Skaistė's PumpUp Success Story

From gasping for air after 100 m to running 10 km - Skaistė's PumpUp Success Story

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A candy shop isn't the most conducive environment for living a healthy lifestyle. After spending a summer working in a shop that sold sweets and chocolates, PumpUp member @sky97 had trouble curbing her cravings. "I thought, what's the worst that could happen?," she revealed. "By the end of the summer, my friend took a picture of me at the beach and I was shocked to see that I gained extra pounds over the summer." When Skaistė decided to take action against her unwanted weight gain, she resorted to drastic measures. "I tried crazy diets and counted every calorie, but I was uncomfortable with my body and felt like a walking nightmare," she lamented. "At the end of January, my friend (@am23) urged me to try PumpUp because it motivated her. She was 100% right. I signed up for the app and my life changed completely."   Before Skaistė joined the PumpUp community, she led an overwhelmingly sedentary lifestyle. "I played video games on my computer and watched movies or TV to spend my time. I made sure that I had enough snacks that would last me for the whole length of any given TV show," she recounted. Physical education classes were also a struggle. "I hated every single lesson," she said vehemently. "I got tired after 5 minutes of exercising and I thought that I was never meant to be athletic. I'd think that I wasn't worthy, that I wouldn't be able to do anything. When I joined PumpUp, people surrounded me with motivation and positivity. I really wanted to try to make things better. For that, I think that I'm a much more confident person than I was before."

PumpUp member @sky97 went from being out of breath after 100m to running her first ever 10 km. This happened within the span of a few months!

 

Since she began to track and log her workouts with the app,  Skaistė fell into a routine embraces exercise and healthy eating. "This new regime makes me really happy," she gushed. "Every time I eat healthy food and exercise, I feel like a wonder woman who can do anything!" Skaistė is able to work at the candy shop and resist the cravings that used to overpower her. Though she has cheat days from time to time, she plans ahead to keep everything in control. Skaistė's lifestyle change made an incredible difference in her demeanour. "I've become more extraverted. Since I began to exercise, I made so many friends who don't allow me to relapse into my passive ways."

Though Skaistė used to detest running, support from the PumpUp community really encouraged her to complete her first-ever 10 km run. "I used to feel tired after 5 minutes of exercising...so imagine me gasping for air after a mere 100 metres," she enthused. "I ran 10 km three times ever since I joined PumpUp! I also went on a leisurely 30 km bicycle trip. Not long ago, it seemed like the biggest challenge in the world. I couldn't have done it without the help of other PumpUp members!" In the future, Skaistė aspires to run a full marathon. She'll be relying on the support of PumpUp to encourage her along the way.

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Her best advice for other PumpUp members is to find an enjoyable form of exercise that they can realistically commit to. "Don't like weight lifting? Try Zumba and shake it off!" she counselled. "A passive lifestyle won't benefit your body or your mind. After running a marathon, you'll feel proud and inspired. After a television marathon, you'll exhaust your body and you won't have energy to enjoy life." 

Skaistė's meals

I start my day with greek yogurt and granola or oatmeal with a little bit of peanut butter on top, then after 2 hours I eat a banana/pear/an apple for a snack. I usually carry my lunch box to school filled with vegetables, brown rice and chicken for lunch to fill my stomach before I work out after school. After my workout, I come back home (I cycle to school everyday. 4 kilometres one way and 4 kilometres back) and eat another snack like whole wheat bread with avocado and tomatoes or 2 boiled eggs just to make sure that I have enough protein after a workout. For dinner, I eat salad, fish or lean meat and I always make sure that I go to sleep after 3-4 hours after my last meal.

Biggest motivation

My biggest motivation is Emily Skye who leads a healthy lifestyle and shares her fitness journey with all of her followers on Facebook and other social media platforms. One more person is a Pump Up user: @akvile. She motivates me to stay active all the time even though we both have a lot of studying to do before our exams. If it wasn‘t because of Pump Up, we wouldn‘t have become friends and I really appreciate the way we're able to connect! 

PumpUp member @sky97 went from being out of breath after 100m to running her first ever 10 km. This happened within the span of a few months!

Favourite workout

My favourite workout routine is a full body routine! It‘s a set of exercises for all of the muscle groups and I love it! I start with arms: bicep curls, shoulder press, tricep kick backs (20 reps. 3 times each), I do my back and chest with weights on the bar and lift it behind my back and to my chest. (20 reps. 3 times each). Then I like to do many kinds of crunches for burning that belly fat (I usually do simple crunches and bicycle crunches) and I do them for 200 times each, in total: 400 crunches. After these, I do 2 kind of planks (the basic one and side plank) for 1 minute each and do some stretching for my legs and go with squats, lunge pulses, plié squats and single legged bridges (20 reps. 3 times). Then I finish this killer workout with 20 minutes cardio.

More about Skaistė

When I‘m not working out, I like to spend my time writing poetry or novels. I dream about releasing my poetry book in the near future. I also like cooking, singing, dancing and sometimes I do all of these three in one time, so the view is really fun! I also believe that every member in Pump Up is a wonder because they do wonderful things for their bodies and stronger mind.

PumpUp member @sky97 went from being out of breath after 100m to running her first ever 10 km. This happened within the span of a few months!

Keep Skaistė pumped on the PumpUp community by following her journey: @sky97! Follow her on Snapchat: skaisktem. She regularly posts recipes and shares videos about her workouts on a daily basis!

Gaining muscle is a great thing. Just ask Samantha - PumpUp Success Stories

Gaining muscle is a great thing. Just ask Samantha - PumpUp Success Stories

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If Netflix's deadly auto-play feature ever spawned far too many television-marathons for your liking, you're not alone. Samantha has been down that road before and emerged triumphant in the best possible way after joining the PumpUp community. "I was super lazy, always watching Netflix right after work," she recounted. "I would eat whatever I felt like eating and paid no attention to how much I was eating. I was extremely unhealthy and I wasn't confident with my body." Samantha has come a very long way from the "old" her. In fact, she constantly reflects upon her past as extra motivation to maintain an active lifestyle. "I don't want to be the old me or feel like the old me," she insisted. "I felt insecure all the time and I don't ever want to go back to that." There was also a time when Samantha abided by a diet that was far too restrictive. "I only allowed myself 900 calories a day and performed intense cardio," she recalled. "I was just under 120 lbs: that's very tiny for a 5'11" girl." Others began to comment on her weight— even strangers took notice. "It got to the point where my body became fragile and if somebody even so much as touched my shoulder, it would hurt because I had no meat on me," Samantha lamented. "I still wanted to lose weight because I felt like it was the only thing that I could control." It's important for Samantha to focus on non-scale victories and she keeps tabs on how she's gaining muscle in particular. "I'm at 164 lbs now and I could never imagine saying that I'd be happy with how little I weighed back then," she affirmed. "I'm so much thicker but in a positive and healthy way." 

gaining muscle transformation

Since Samantha made the transition to a healthy lifestyle with the help of PumpUp, she's been maintaining a rigorous schedule of regular workouts and balanced eating habits. She began to weight train and gained more muscle mass than she's ever had before.  "After day one of using PumpUp I was hooked," she insisted. "To me, PumpUp is a way to share my passion for fitness with others who share the same interests. It's really motivating." Now, you'll be hard-pressed to find a moment when Samantha isn't active. In addition to the fair amount of physical activity that she performs at her warehouse job, Samantha exercises 5-6 days a week, alternating between weightlifting, blogilates videos, or HIIT workouts. She also gleans PumpUp for healthy eating ideas.   "I love to look at other peoples' posts about healthy meals and I get excited to share mine as well," she enthused.  Beyond the digital sphere, Samantha benefits from the support of her friend Patty, who also strives to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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Best advice

Take it one day at a time, and don't beat yourself up over one bad day or one bad meal. Just remember your goals and start over the next day.  Focus on how you feel/look rather than the number on the scale!! I cannot exaggerate this enough.

Samantha's Meals

"My food usually consists of eggs and avocado on toast for breakfast, chicken and veggies for lunch, and a standard dinner. When I want a snack I'll have a protein bar, smoothie, fruit, etc. On weekends I tend to be more lenient and treat myself!"

Motivational Mantra

"Laziness fuels more laziness. Activity fuels more activity' and 'A year ago you will wish you had started today."

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Cheer Samantha on as she strives to reach her goals with the help of the PumpUp community @samanthagonsalves3.

Spotlight Saturday: Silvia

Spotlight Saturday: Silvia

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"I almost can't believe it's me posting this picture! Mostly because I'm not perfect, and I'm okay with that. Which I never thought I would be. Focusing on small goals and learning to love myself for who I am are the 2 main things keeping me motivated, and those two things are mainly down to joining PumpUp. Trust the process and #MarchToYourDream." PumpUp member Silviamcd shines as our Spotlight Saturday member. She inspires  the PumpUp community on a daily basis with posts of her progress and healthy eating. Keep her pumped as she strives to reach all of her goals. Open the app to cheer her on!

PumpUp's best advice, from PumpUp's own members

Confidence

  • Step back, look in the mirror, and tell yourself that you’re good enough. You can get through anything. You can: no matter what anyone has told you, no matter who has left you, no matter how weak you feel, you are strong enough to change.
  • Accept the fact that everything you need to change is already inside of you. You don’t need anything from anyone and if you want something, go get it. No goal is too big. Get up, tell yourself you’re strong, and go for what you want. Regret is by far the worst feeling ever.
  • Accept yourself unconditionally, right now. Everyday, at least once, look in the mirror and say this. That person is all you’ve got. If you want to be better you have to earn it, but accepting yourself comes first.
  • Your limits aren’t the same as mine or anybody else. Push YOUR limits and you’ll only get better. Better than you were yesterday, or even a month ago.
  • Be yourself. The best version of you is not trying to be someone else. Don’t discourage others because a workout didn’t work out for you, or a certain diet didn’t go the way it was supposed to. We all struggle and we all want support. If you want to advise someone, there are ways to do it without hurting anyone’s feelings.
  • 7 billion humans. Not 1 of us has it all together. Your struggles, your pain: there are 7 billion others going through the same thing in different ways. What if we told you that the rich and famous dread the struggles of their lives. What if we told you that the gorgeous girls with glamorous lifestyles on Instagram are beyond insecure and need confirmation from others. They HAD setbacks. They HAD troubles with their health. They HAD problems looking in the mirror and accepting themselves. Don’t you see? You have a world full of people just like YOU. Realize that people show you their life in “movie mode” with loads of edits instead of presenting their behind the scenes. There are 7 billion of us. Not one of them is perfect. Not one of us has it all together.

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Motivation

  • Nothing is impossible in this world. If you’re willing to try seriously, it might take time but it’s never impossible. Don’t set an unrealistic time limit to your goals.
  • Be positive. Even if you don’t feel like getting up, GET UP! Even when you feel discouraged, KEEP GOING! As long as you try, that’s all that matters. Surround yourself with people who are going to motivate you and push you t o be better than you were the day before
  • Write down your feelings. It will really work wonders if you keep a record of how you feel. It’ll be easier to remember the struggles you’ve been through. You can look back to see how much you fought for your dreams.
  • Learn the art of saying no Don’t make excuses, don’t over explain yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. Do your best and you’ll never fail: as long as you believe in yourself and you know you gave your best, that’s an automatic win.
  • Turn “I Wish” into “I Will”. You can do this! It is the law of attraction: things we passionately think about and believe will come true.

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Exercise

  • Work out daily! It boosts your mood, relieves stress, and fights disease!
  • "If running is difficult, run more" (This lesson applies to anything)
  • Fad diets can change your weight, but working out can change your body
  • Change up your workouts. Otherwise, your body will adapt to them and won’t progress further.

Eating and drinking

  • Aim for 5-6 meals per day: 3 strong ones (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and 2-3 small ones (snacks)
  • Try a new fruit or veggie every week
  • Eat healthy things that makes you happy. Make it fun and interesting and don’t restrict yourself
  • Drink at least 2-2.5 L of water daily. It’s critical to keep your body hydrated

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Rest

  • Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per day. Sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and it can benefit your heart, weight, and mind.
  • Avoid overtraining. You body needs a chance to rest. If you hit the gym hard everyday you increase your risk of injury and slow down your progress! Take your rest days. They are as important as your gym days. If you are desperate for exercise, limit it to a walk or a light jog. your body needs to rest in order to heal and build muscle.

Other

  • The best things in life aren’t “things”. Love the warmth of the sun on your face, a good firm hug, saying hello to a stranger, synergy, solitude, and the outdoors.

Little things you can do to become more confident

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(Image source: Pinterest)

If you lack self-confidence, you aren’t alone. An estimated 80% of the entire planet’s population grapples with some degree of low self-esteem. It doesn’t come easily nor naturally, and there isn’t a magical elixir that will do it for you (we know what you’re thinking, but coffee is not the answer).  It takes time to become self-confident, much like it took Ryan Gosling a bit of time to build his washboard abs.

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(Image source: Fengshuidana)

Surround yourself with positivity 

Dissatisfaction can stem from the simple act of forgetting to appreciate what you do like about yourself and what you are grateful for. Love yourself and immerse yourself in an environment where other people won’t bring you down (like PumpUp!) and return the favour. 

Identify the sources of your insecurities and eliminate what you can

You don’t have to be a hopeless wanderer shrouded in a mist of insecurities. Pin-point the cause of your personal misgivings and write them down. It may be overwhelming, but this exercise will help you to heighten your awareness about your insecurities and make an actionable plan to address them. 

Compare yourself to nobody except yourself

In the wise words of Bernard M. Baruch, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Spend more time working towards your next personal record, running your next race, and making your dreams a reality. The more time wasted worrying about how you compare to other people, the less time you have to help yourself. 

Perform the best exercise that you can do: smile

There’s a reason why so many songs are written about smiles. The simple act of turning your frown upside down (even for one minute) will stimulate your body to release serotonin, a hormone that makes you feel happy (and thus more confident). So don’t worry, be happy. Smile at yourself every day whether you like it our not. It’s one step closer to becoming a more confident and positive you. 

Daisy got the body she always dreamed about with one simple New Year's resolution

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Fitness has always been Daisy (@daisymuscles)’s passion. When she purchased her first gym membership 4 years ago, however, she was a self-professed ‘rookie’. “I was so into ‘working out’ but I didn’t know what was right for my body,” she explained. "I only did cardio and some weight machines, but my nutrition was bad. I’d eat 2-3 times a day and I wouldn’t eat ‘clean’." 

Years went by and though Daisy was fit, in her eyes she still seemed too skinny. “It was very depressing to see no progress,” she lamented. "One of my goals was to have thick and toned legs, as well as a slim waist." Frustrated by this conundrum, Daisy resolved to stop going to the gym in 2013, eating much more without incorporating exercise back into her routine. "Of course, it didn’t work out," she confessed. “I did gain weight, but it was all fat. That was even more depressing. I went from skinny to fat, and all I really wanted was to look fit.”

At the end of 2013, Daisy challenged herself with a New Year’s Resolution: to transform her body into the body that she always dreamed about. She took charge of her transformation with full force. "I asked around for help and advice, followed a lot of fitness accounts on Instagram, and began my journey with PumpUp," she mentioned. "It is really inspiring to see other peoples’ transformations and it’s reassuring to receive so much feedback from other PumpUp members. We are all a true fit fam."

When she first started out, nutrition was the hardest for Daisy to get ‘right’. “I began to body build and was advised to eat 6 times a day, all in small portions,” she explained. “This was something I never had to do before! I had to do a lot of research about what to eat, what kind of carbs, protein, and fats are good for my body, etc.”

Needless to say, Daisy’s one New Year’s resolution changed her life. Body building was at first introduced to her by one of her brothers. She quickly fell in love with the concept of giving time and attention to each section of her body in order to build muscle. “That’s why I embraced this lifestyle. My progress is my motivation,” she enthused. "Weights changed my body and gave me the definition of muscle that I always dreamed about."

Her rigorous schedule manifests in more confidence than she’s ever had in her whole life. Here’s a peak at Daisy’s routine: she performs cardio 1-2 times a week and does weight training 5 days a week. "After years of struggling to have a fit body, I’m finally seeing progress and I’m in the best stage of my life," she professed. “I’m inspired by my own progress as well as PumpUp members and fitness instagram accounts. I challenge everybody to not give up on their dream bodies. No matter how much time it takes, no matter how many struggles, regardless of the circumstances: just do it.” Daisy successfully achieved her 2014 New Year’s resolution. She’s ending it on a happy note and is motivated to keep striving for the best version of herself in 2015. 

How Ella healthily overcame stress and spreads positivity in every single way - Spotlight Series

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If PumpUp were to have an award for Spreading Positivity all December, Ella (@ella_emilie) would absolutely be a front-runner. She has made so much progress with the help of PumpUp over the past 8 months! Not only has Ella overcome stress from school with the help of health and fitness, she’s having better control over binge eating and has the most inspirational advice to share—ever. 

The humdrum of Ella’s routine as a hardworking student almost got the best of her before she decided to join the PumpUp community 8 months ago. “My days felt meaningless and unfulfilling as I’d spend them in front of a computer screen or notebook, reading the same line over and over again,” she elaborated. “I found that my eating habits began to worsen and I never had enough energy to make it through the day.” 

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Ella’s diet mimicked that of a typical ‘teenage diet’, which she describes as one in which a person eats and does whatever they want without a second thought. “I suffer with binge eating. When I start I simply cannot stop and I’d eat an entire packet of something simply because it was there,” she bravely confessed. What’s more, Ella’s sweet tooth proved to be her downfall when it came to snacking. Although she played soccer on a weekly basis since she was 8 years old, Ella admitted that she never truly felt fit and healthy. “I found myself losing control of my fitness more and more as the years progressed, as school became a massive burden that took up the majority of my time and energy,” she lamented. “It was an unfulfilling existence that never seemed to make me truly happy.

One fateful day, when Ella stumbled upon one of Carly Rowena’s videos that mentioned PumpUp, she decided to download the app to embark on a new journey. “From that point on, my lifestyle began to change…for the better!” she enthused. PumpUp has helped me understand the wonderful benefits of exercise and that is what has changed my perceptions about a healthy lifestyle. I exercise because I want to and because my body tells me I need to, not as a burden nor as a chore. Throughout all of my exam blocks from that point on, I was able to keep my nerves under control and keep by body fit and healthy thanks to the help of PumpUp.” The more that Ella began to put time and effort into appreciating and taking care of her body, the more she felt determined not to waste away her hard work and to make healthier options for a change. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t by any means eat what others would consider to be a ‘healthy diet’, however I do my best to make better choices that I believe wouldn’t undermine the impact of my workouts.”

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Her best advice other members looking to lead a healthy and more active life is to simply be themselves. “As cliché and obvious as that sounds, there is simply no point in trying to be something or someone you’re not because it’s just never going to happen,” she mused. “We all have unique qualities, and although fitness inspiration images will drive our determination, don’t let them define your determination.” Though Ella loves browsing through fitness inspiration pictures and can’t get enough of affirming and positive quotes, she knows that comparison is the thief of joy—she can only be the best version of herself. “As long as you’re working your absolute hardest, then that is all anyone can ever ask of you,” she said.

As Ella continues her journey with PumpUp, she strives to maintain a healthier lifestyle. “I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. My thighs have been my biggest point of anguish,” she confirmed. “I’ve tried my best to have a more positive attitude toward my body and fitness in general.”

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In her estimation, Ella’s most outstanding accomplishment throughout her PumpUp journey is her experience meeting incredible people in the community. “Although some may find it strange that I feel so connected to people that I’ve never met before, I can honestly say that PumpUp has opened my eyes to wonderful people in this world,” she gushed. “People who support and motivate others with the kindest intentions. I love supporting and being supported throughout all my highs and my lows. My PumpUp fam is always there, eager to help me through any situation, and for that I am incredibly thankful.”

In addition to overcoming the hardships she experienced with school, Ella transcended the negativity from petty comments she would receive from other people. “Having found myself in terms of fitness and having achieved many of my goals, I believe I have in fact come out on top,” she affirmed. ‘I have never been the loud mouthed girl, but rather the quiet achiever. To finally gain recognition for my personal successes honestly feels incredible.” She’s achieved all of the goals she set out to accomplish in her PumpUp biography: “I’m doing it for the ‘damn, she got hot’ this summer. I’m doing it because they don’t think I can. I’m doing it for me. All of these goals are ones that I feel I have achieved.”

Ella’s biggest motivation comes from her PumpUp family—regardless of age, shape, size, or country. “I absolutely love observing and acknowledging the progress of such incredible women who inspire me on a daily basis,” she gleamed. “I am so honoured to be part of a community that glorifies and supports anyone and everyone who is willing to better themselves. In particular, my girls: @freakindee, @_harleyjade_, @carmony, @prescilladeschenes, @firandfabmary, @kathreena, and so many more may be considered my key sources of motivation.”

Ella’s favourite snack

“I haven’t been much of a cook as of late, but in the summer I’m in love with frozen grapes and iced lemon & mint water/crushes.”

Motivational Mantra

“Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you”  — because the only person who can change your life for better or worse is YOU.’ This is something I’ve come to learn recently and as difficult and confronting as it may be, it’s the harsh reality of life that we all need to come to terms with. We are responsible for our actions, our attitudes and for ourselves.”

Favourite PumpUp Routine

“I love the Total Ripper PumpUp workout and enjoy variations of it according to my time limitations. I thoroughly enjoy PumpUp’s tailored workouts that allow me to personalize and target certain aspects of my body, making it a more enjoyable experience.

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More about Ella

“I love skiing, even though there isn’t a lot of quality snow here in Australia and have done so for about ten year now. I have been skiing in America which was fantastic and will be returning there in January 2015. I hope to one day ski in Europe and Japan in order to get some worldly experiences.”

Learn more about Ella through her blog: 

https://anticsofateenagedreamer.wordpress.com

Transformation Tuesday

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We are excited to share that PumpUp member camillemckenzie reached her goal weight this year since joining PumpUp

Motivation Monday: Body Confidence

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Here’s a photo that one of our contest winners from this weekend shared from @allygawrys on Instagram  Love yourself! As Sophocles wrote, “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.”

Lauren is a ray of sunshine! Find out why. - PumpUp Spotlight Series

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Lauren is a ray of sunshine who lights up the PumpUp community with her inspiring progress, her incandescent smile, and her positivity! She no longer treats food as a source of comfort, nor does she treat exercise as a form of punishment.  Learn how Lauren changed her outlook on fitness with the help and support of PumpUp! 

Motivation gives us the momentum to sustain progress, and Lauren sought support when she decided to commit wholeheartedly to her fitness journey in the summer of 2014. “I knew that I needed a push to keep me going, and PumpUp holds true to its title,” she exclaimed. “I couldn’t ask for a more supportive coach throughout this journey—and when I say coach, I obviously mean my amazing fit family!”

 

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Before PumpUp, Lauren graduated from her senior year of high school with an unhealthy relationship with food and a bitter attitude toward fitness due to two separate break ups. “You know the ‘freshman 15’ people are supposed to gain during their freshman year of college? I gained my own ‘senior 30’,” confessed Lauren. “That really brought me down for awhile.” She explained that she would binge-eat on a regular basis and perform intense sessions of cardio at the gym to burn it off. “I was using food to try to make me feel better, then used the gym as punishment afterwards,” Lauren elaborated. “It was an unhealthy cycle, which ultimately led to my weight gain.” 

Although Lauren is fighting a constant battle, she sees fitness through a different lens since she joined the PumpUp community. “Working out is no longer something I dread. It’s a part of my lifestyle, it makes me feel good while I’m doing it, and even better after I’ve finished,” she maintained.  Exercise significantly eased her transition into her first semester of college. “The rush of endorphins is especially great when you’re living away from home for the first time—it’s like a big hug to yourself.” She’s excited to see the little changes to her body, even if they are imperceptible at first glance, because she realizes that her transformation fits within the frame of a much bigger picture. “My legs and tummy are getting slimmer and my arms are getting stronger,” she said breathlessly. “I refuse to do anything too drastic to get to where I want to be. PumpUp is about health, not weight loss. The PumpUp community is wonderful about posting their healthy habits and it gives me that extra push I need to stay on track in a healthy and realistic way.”

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She now leads a much more balanced and holistically healthy lifestyle—and it shows! Her transformation is an incredible achievement and PumpUp congratulates her for every single success. “PumpUp gave me the support I needed, exactly when I needed it in my life,” Lauren gushed. “The amazing ‘fit family’ I’ve made has supported me so much over the past four months, and I can’t thank them enough. I love sharing my successes and watching the accomplishments of my fellow PumpUp pals!”

Lauren believes that good things come to those who wait. “It takes at least a week or so to start seeing the little changes in your body. If you give it plenty of time and just enjoy the process you will delight yourself along the way,” she said. Lauren learned to embrace her progress, and is a strong advocate of using pictures as a way to document it. “Unless it’s a drastic change, our peers don’t tend to notice our personal progress, nor do they point them out,” she explained. “Progress pictures show yourself and others that the hard work is paying off, and it’s an amazing feeling.” In contrast, she advises against using the scale as a measure of progress. Lauren does not know, nor does she quantify her progress by how many pounds she has lost. “Weight gain can be a good thing—you could just be gaining muscle,” she counseled.

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Members on PumpUp have by and far made a tremendous difference for Lauren. “Watching @randiashley and @lorrin consistently pursue their progress further, while motivating others, has inspired me so much,” she insisted. “They are amazing ladies and they have made my experience on the app even more incredible!” Scrolling through the app is one of Lauren’s favourite things to do when she’s feeling a little down. “Seeing how everyone else is doing on their journey, liking a few pictures, and leaving a few comments always makes me feel better—and makes me want to get my butt to the gym too,” she revealed.

Lauren’s Meals 

“My favorite snack has to be apples, and in any form…I might actually be addicted. I love apple chips, applesauce, apples with peanut butter, apples with cinnamon, apples, apples, and more apples! My favorite meal has to be breakfast for dinner: oatmeal, cereal, granola, fruit salad, any smoothies, toast with some jelly. Really, if there’s any breakfast food and you can count me in! I’m going to sound annoyingly cliché but I’d have to say water is my favorite drink, but coffee is a close second. Living in the dorms, I don’t get to cook any recipes, but my favourite post-work out snack has to be peanut butter and banana!”

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Motivational Mantra 

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Favourite workout exercise/routine  

“To stay active, I’m truly blessed, because my dorm is across the street from my university’s rec center! I just walk about 5 minutes across the street and I am ready to work out! I like to check the app right before my work out; it always gives me that extra bit of encouragement to make each work out a great one!”

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Fun Fact about Lauren 

“I’m going vegan in 2015! I’ve been taking little steps leading up to it for the past while. I have been dairy free for almost 6 months, and I haven’t had eggs in about two months. The only reason I still eat meat is for convenience in the dining halls, and these express dining halls at my university; it seems like everything is served with meat or with meat in it. I am going to make my best efforts to consume a plant-based diet for at least this spring semester; I’ve done a lot of research on that lifestyle and it seems to have amazing benefits. I know it could only move me further in my health journey, so I’m looking forward to testing out this experiment!”

Follow Lauren on PumpUp @laurenkleine96 to keep her pumped!