"I spent 28 years of my life having a certain body image. Now I have to adjust and understand that I am more than just my body. A certain body type doesn’t mean happiness."
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"I spent 28 years of my life having a certain body image. Now I have to adjust and understand that I am more than just my body. A certain body type doesn’t mean happiness."
All you need is a pen and paper to make a difference. That's the mission of Operation Beautiful, a project determined to end negative self-talk through the medium of positive, thoughtfully-placed post-it notes. The movement recognizes that there is extraordinary power behind random acts of kindness, as good deeds have the tendency to spread like a contagion. If you feel like doing a good deed on Motivation Monday (or any day, for that matter), consider taking up one of these body positive art projects:
This is an example of body positive art that PumpUp member @midge623 found at her local gym. It's a wall dedicated to sharing positive thoughts, quotes, and messages about body image.
This body positive sticky note from Operation Beautiful was placed on various mirrors of public restrooms to remind visitors about how beautiful they are.
In this project, participants were asked to sit in front of a white-board while others were asked to write positive qualities about the seated person. Each participant was not allowed to look at what was being written until the photograph was taken.
This person shares encouraging post-it notes between the pages of library books that they've returned.
Artist Augustina Woodgate 'poetry bombs' thrift stores by sewing poems into articles of clothing. The same can (theoretically) be done for body positive quotes.
Inspired by these ideas? Share your favourite ways to motivate others on #MotivationMonday with the PumpUp Community!
At PumpUp, we celebrate scale-related and non-scale related victories. Longtime PumpUp member @chocolatefitness experienced both. She was browsing through her profile and noticed a palpable difference between her current photos and photos that she shared with the community in the past. "I saw a big change in my stomach photos," she enthused. "I'm really proud of my self. It's just something I wanted to share as I was looking through my old posts."
Since @chocolatefitness joined PumpUp in March 2014, she's made definite progress with her strength, endurance, and confidence. This member regularly finds time to incorporate all kinds of activity throughout her week, varying from runs, walks, weightlifting sessions, and even workouts using the PumpUp app. "I see some good change," she commented. "It might not seem much, but if anything, it's amazing to me because I see myself everyday and don't see progress. [With] this picture, I see lots." Over the course of her journey, she's lost over 40 lbs and made peace with her body. "Yes, I have a tummy and I have thighs, but I will work my hardest to get them strong," she affirmed. "It was all about being skinny at first [and] to want a body that I saw on TV. Throughout this journey I realized that it was about my health, and that's what it is. I love that I still have thighs. I've gained a lot of confidence to appreciate my own body."
Thanks to the help of PumpUp, @chocolatefitness is getting closer and closer to her goal. She inspires thousands of members with her posts. "I love PumpUp for its awesome positivity, for pointers, and much more," she enthused.
Keep her pumped on the app and cheer her on @chocolatefitness! Have an inspiring story to share with us? Let us know in the comments below or email alessandra[@]pumpup.co!
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."
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.
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.
"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!"
"Laziness fuels more laziness. Activity fuels more activity' and 'A year ago you will wish you had started today."
Cheer Samantha on as she strives to reach her goals with the help of the PumpUp community @samanthagonsalves3.
Beauty is truly a state of mind, not a state of body—you can’t measure your worth by the size on your clothing or a number on the scale. Your worth is determined by what you do in life. The most beautiful people that I know are the most kind, selfless people. Their beauty comes from within and that is absolutely a result of a positive body image. When you are content with yourself, your beauty will radiate from within. Your beauty should be defined by your glowing health and happiness that will result from finding what works for your unique body and mind. Throughout my life, I have found that body image is one of the most sensitive topics brought up amongst young people—especially girls. We all know that social media is largely to blame—but that doesn’t mean you have to literally feel weighed down by those unrealistic expectations set by society. Society’s expectations of what we should look like do not have to reflect our expectations for ourselves.
Live by your own standards! Life is not perfect, but it can be perfect for you if you decide what your top priorities are and how you can achieve them in the most positive and effective way for your lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I know that life gets in the way—between getting stuck in the airport last week because of the Northeast blizzard and college midterms, I haven’t been able to write an article or go to the gym in over a week now. Things happen, and that’s okay! You don’t have to beat yourself up about it; you just have to keep moving forward! I am not claiming to have the key to perfect self-love and body image, but here are some of the things that work for me…
Strive to be the best version of YOU!
It’s easy to forget how difficult it is to love oneself. The statistics on the State of Self Esteem paint a sombre portrait: 7 in 10 girls believe that they are inadequate in some capacity, be it through their relationships with others, their academic performance, or their appearance. We’re surrounded by images of unrealistic beauty everywhere we go: polished and filtered Instagram images that show us what we don’t have (thigh gap, we’re looking at you) and who we could never measure up to be (are we ever going to be as funny or as Twitter-savvy as the enigmatic Retta? No).
Remember: you have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé, and even she can’t escape the tyranny of Photoshop. Lines of wisdom and age etched across one of the most celebrated names of the 21st century are smoothed away to oblivion with the meticulous and instantaneous click of a mouse.
It seems like there’s an app for everything. But there isn’t an app that will teach you how to love yourself. Luckily, you can teach yourself how to love yourself. No app. No magic wand. The only thing and person you need is you.
Love yourself by valuing yourself just as pumpupapp member mandynom did throughout her transformation.
“I’ve lost 20+ lbs and learned to value myself more. The number is not the point. The amazing thing was that I learned how to love myself, which made me strive to be the best that I can be. Do what makes you happy and you’ll be amazed by the reward.”
When was the moment that you learned to value yourself?
If Valentine’s Day is about celebrating the people you love, why shouldn’t Valentine’s Day celebrate you? Be your own cupid and send a relevant, hilarious love letter to yourself from the bottom of your heart. These pumpupapp cards are an amazing way to start.
You deserve all of the cute doodles and positive affirmations in the world. You’re hot stuff, flaws and all (think Sriracha hot, and multiply that by 100). You’re absolutely amazing, at any and every size. Love your imperfections before you love your perfections. Love yourself.
This is a post by PumpUp member @k_c, a vivacious blogger based in Central Arkansas. Learn more about her through her blog: voluptuousmisadventures.com
I read an article today that really hit me. It really encapsulated the changing mental focus that I am working on.
"The deprivation diet - characterized by ‘just-until-I-lose-this-weight’ thinking - is another enemy of weight loss. It causes us to alternate between extremes of ‘on diet’ and ‘off diet’ behaviour."
Um, hello! I am so guilty of this. I put so much faith in being thin. Everything would work out, if I was thin. My credit card debt would disappear, if I was thin. I’d meet the love of my life, once I got thin. I just had to eat this cardboard, until I got thin. It was a VERY dangerous mental cycle for me. No wonder it never worked. When I had this mentality, I would constantly put up roadblocks to getting fit because I loathed my body and didn’t truly love who I am. Once I forgave myself and stopped trying to find fault in who I was, I began to start the true journey of being my best self.
I’ve always had a decent support system around me. For the most part, my friends and family are very encouraging and express the utmost faith in me. What I’ve come to realize is the most critical element was missing from my support system: self-support. Looking back on all my past attempts at weight loss or getting healthy, I don’t think that I ever truly believed in myself. How could I do anything but fail when I set myself up for failure every time?
Love for ourselves and others is so essential in this healthy journey. I recently read a line that said, “You can’t hate yourself healthy.” I took this to mean that you can’t bully yourself into getting healthy. I was so guilty of saying,” Geez Kaycee, you are such a fat lose. Why can’t you just stick to this diet?” I would never talk to someone that way, so why would I speak to myself that way?
It has become so important to nurture and cherish my body for the marvel that it is. Because I love myself, I am going to do fun, physical activities to stay fit and feel young. Because I love myself, I am going to nourish my body with clean, healthy foods (most of the time). Being healthy is not just in the physical. It is so important to work on mental health and having a positive self-image. Me and my body are not enemies and the sooner I stop thinking that, the sooner we can work together to become one lean, mean, healthy-awesome machine.
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become." - Buddha.
Think something positive about yourself today. For me, life is just better when you love yourself. We fight so many battles every day. Why make yourself one of those battles?
We think you’re pretty lovely all day, everyday! #MemberCrushMonday is a real thing on the pumpupapp.
Tell somebody (or many people) that they look lovely today by rebloggging. Warm up your week by including a warm-up song in your #8tracksPUMP captions!
Bringing joy to others will help you to find joy in yourself
If you’re ever in need of a friend to pick you up on days when you just can’t even bear the thought of sticking to your health and fitness goals, @Lorrin is your girl. She’s been an active PumpUp member since June 2014 and has truly been inspiring the community with her journey towards self-love. “My most favourite thing is when people comment on my pictures saying, ‘Because of you, I worked out today,” she gushed. “It gives me an extra push to work out even if I’m not feeling up to it. It’s rare, but it does happen. I’m only human.”It took quite some time for Lorrin to attain the self-confidence that she has now. “Battling with the girl in the mirror was a huge one at first: taking ‘before’ pictures almost sent me into a sobbing fit every time I tried to take them. I hadn’t realized that I let myself go,” she bravely shared. “I stopped loving myself and that’s what hurt the most.” The day that she stopped feeling bad about herself was the day that she decided to do something about it. “I still have moments when I don’t feel 100% confident, but every day it gets easier and easier to see my body changing,” she added. “When I say that I love myself, it’s 100% true. It’s something that I never could have honestly said before. Loving my body, realizing my worth, and seeing positivity in every situation are the best obstacles I’ve overcome. They have changed my life for the better and being happy isn’t something I have to work for anymore.”
Before Lorrin joined PumpUp, healthy eating was something that she truly grappled with. “I love sweets and junk food a little bit too much, but PumpUp definitely pushed me to get my eating and exercise habits on the right track,” she explained. Now, she’s more determined than ever to stick to her goals and regularly turns to PumpUp for her daily dose of inspiration. “The community provides me with endless motivation,” she mentioned. “PumpUp has kept me on a pretty constant routine of working out 5-6 days a week and eating healthy meals throughout the day. I really got into smoothies last summer from seeing the posts on PumpUp, and I love them!”
Before 2015 is over, Lorrin aspires to be able to squat 200 lbs: the equivalent of one large red kangaroo! She reaches for the stars, and there isn’t anything that’s stopping her. “I’m at 105 lbs on the squat rack right now and I know with perseverance and the support from my PumpUp family that I can get there before the year is over,” she explained. Morning workouts have particularly helped Lorrin to stay committed to her goal in the midst of her hectic school schedule. “Working out in the morning really makes my days better,” she professed. “I’m more focused and determined to be productive.” Her best advice for those looking to achieve their ultimate resolutions for the year is to take small steps each week. “Progress is progress no matter how small,” she counselled. “Any movement toward your goals is amazing.”
Lorrin is first and foremost a motivator in every sense of the word. Having struggled with weight and self-confidence issues her entire life, she strives to remind every single person on PumpUp that they are incredible, even if they don’t see it themselves. “I love hearing that I motivate people because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” she confessed. “The first time I lost weight was in high school and I had no motivation: it sucked. I felt so alone and it was hard to keep it up. PumpUp has completely changed that for me and I hope everyone knows that I am always available for support. I love this app more than anything and can never explain how it has changed my life.”
Although several people have been crucial motivators for Lorrin herself, PumpUp members @limitlesstyle and @jordanbutters have both been exceptionally supportive of her. “They offer comments on almost everything that I post,” she elaborated. “I have so many amazing people I’d like to mention but I’d hate to leave anybody out, so I just hope that everyone knows that if they have offered me support in any way, it has helped me. It has helped me more than I could ever explain. I truly love everyone on this app.”
Lorrin’s favourite eats
“My favorite snack is probably apples with peanut butter, it fills me up and it’s delicious! My favorite meal is Lasagna, I eat it very rarely now but it’s still my favorite. And my favorite drink is water, I’m like a camel, I drink all day everyday, you’ll never find me without my lime green water bottle.”
“Let your pain push you to greatness.” It’s in my bio on PumpUp and I couldn’t agree with it more. Every time I feel like giving up, those words pop into my mind and remind me that it’ll all be worth it in the end.
Favourite exercise moves
“Squats, straight leg deadlifts and chest flys. I try to train legs 2 times a week along with arms, and do cardio twice a week as well.”
Fun Fact About Lorrin
“My birthday is leap day (Feb, 29th)! I’ve never met anyone else with the same birthday as me.”
Lorrin is the queen of hair buns (and puns!). You can’t miss her on the pumpupapp! Keep Lorrin pumped @lorrin, she’ll be there to support you every step of the way!
Love Yourself by focusing on non-scale victories :) pumpupapp member @allisonshapesup shared a photo where she absolutely made peace with her past. “Sometimes when I get frustrated that the scales are not going down, I look at old photos to remember how far I’ve come. I came across this old photo and figured it was time for a Transformation Tuesday!”
#SpreadPositivity about Body Positivity today!
On Day 2 of the #12DaysOfSwag, win a PumpUp tank top! Reblog this picture to Spread Positivity and open the PumpUp app to find out how to win a tank!
In the words of Oscar Wilde, “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
There’s a saying that “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” PumpUp member @vania_cienfuegos wanted to #SpreadPositivity by giving a shoutout to her friend @jessicacavanaugh915.
Jessica lost 45 pounds in 9 months and also helped Vania with her own #transformation. “I’m not ashamed of what I used to be because it makes every bit of my progress more beautiful. It is a journey that never ends, and why would I want to? One step at a time.” She’s amazing!
PumpUp member @fitfoodiefuel posts the most delicious food photos (AND she’s making a cookbook soon!) She has a very inspiring story! “A lot of people work out to gain confidence, but not me. Confidence came first. I bought my first-ever bikini and realized that my body wasn’t as bad as I thought. That gave me the confidence and motivation to take care of my body”
Check out her PumpUp page for more!
What makes you beautiful? (Seriously). Reblog this photo for a shot at #PumpUpSwag, and get on the app to comment and tag a PumpUp member who you think is beautiful inside and out (hint: you all are)! Thank you new PumpUp member @zohamobeen for sharing the photo!