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.
Anne combed through resources on the Internet in an attempt to find the motivation that she so desperately sought. That's when she found PumpUp. "I hoped that the PumpUp community would motivate me, and it definitely did," she insisted. "My lifestyle before PumpUp was very up and down. I tried to be healthy and I tried to exercise, but I didn't know how to go about doing it."
“I was climbing a very small mountain…maybe we should call it a big hill…and I thought I was dying,” said Amanda C (@curvygirl), an extraordinary PumpUp member who turned to the app’s community for help when she realized that her health was spiralling in the wrong direction. This gripping realization came to her in the summer of 2014, when Amanda felt out of breath and exhausted after just 20 minutes of elevated walking. She staved off exercise after she beat bulimia during her adolescent years, fearful that exercise would make her relapse. “[My climb] got me thinking, is this the person I want to be? My answer to that was no,” she affirmed. “I thought that PumpUp was a perfect community to start my journey over again. Every member was so nice to one another and I became confident that I could document my journey on the app without feeling ashamed for being a beginner.”
Before Amanda began to chronicle her progress with PumpUp, her history with bulimia distorted her relationship with food and nutrition. “I was afraid to think about food as fuel,” she confessed. “I was letting myself eat how much I wanted and whatever I wanted. As a former bulimic, that was a very big step in the right direction because I first began to learn not to obsess about food.”
With the help and encouragement of the PumpUp community, Amanda began to eat more nutritious food without obsessing over what it would do to her body. “I learned that healthy food can taste ten times better than junk food,” she explained. “I’m not on a diet: I just don’t eat things that aren’t the best for my body, such as white carbs and processed food.” Amanda’s current lifestyle is a drastic departure from her sedentary ways. Thanks to the constant encouragement of the PumpUp community, Amanda learned to love exercise and does small workouts whenever lacks the motivation to do so.
Though Amanda wasn’t always avid about exercise, she took achievable, gradual steps to change her habits and realized the importance of setting realistic goals. “After I joined PumpUp, I realized that my body couldn’t accomplish my ultimate goal (defined abs) in a short amount of time,” she elaborated. “I break my goals down into smaller steps. This summer, my stomach will be toned. Maybe I’ll have defined abs by next summer. I also set small goals for every workout—a common one would be running a certain distance without stopping.”
None of this came easily for Amanda. She attributes a lot of her success to the PumpUp community. “I now actually have a big PumpUp family—everyone is so nice to me and it’s definitely keeping me motivated!” she gushed. “I don’t think I would have come this far without PumpUp. It’s the perfect community to help anybody stay focused.” Amanda’s support system on PumpUp has grown so prolifically and helped her in ways that she could never have imagine. “My biggest motivation is actually everybody who follows me,” she insisted. “They must think that I’m doing something right and that is motivational as heck! I don’t think I would be where I am today if they weren’t this supportive!”
Though Amanda periodically combats very low self esteem long after she beat bulimia, she no longer compares her progress to that of others. “I’m not less worthy than anybody else, regardless of the voice inside my head telling me otherwise,” she affirmed. “Whether you have the ‘perfect’ body or not, I think everybody battles with self doubt. Don’t be consumed by it. Tell yourself that you are the best person in the world, because you are!”
Amanda’s Favourite Recipe
“Healthy ice cream! Blend 2 frozen bananas, 2 dates, 1 spoonful of peanut butter, and 1 spoonful of cocoa together!”
“I love to say that I’m a mortal with the potential of superman.I heard that saying from a song by a Swedish Glamrock Band (The Ark – The Worrying Kind). Everybody should look them up. I can’t describe how much I love them. They are awesome and have motivational lyrics.”
“In the summer Sweden is so beautiful and I love to do things outside: walking, running, cycling etc. I can enjoy the nature at the same time! I'm not that person that would be able to walk or run on the treadmill for hours, I get bored after 15 minutes! I need to see things, smell nature and feel the wind blowing through my hair! Then I feel alive! The winter is a little bit too cold for me so I do workouts at home. Basic things that you don't really need any equipment for”
Fun fact about Amanda
“I’m still afraid of the dark and sometimes I tend to sleep with lights on. I listen to audiobooks every night to help me focus! My biggest love in the whole world is my puppy PimPim, she's half Chihuahua and half Pomeranian which makes her a Pomchi! I would do anything for her!”
Keep Amanda pumped! Follow her along her journey @curvygirl on PumpUp and @itscurvygirl on Instagram!
PumpUp member Josephine B (@hey5sos) accomplished so many things in 2014: she lost 14 lbs, fought off bulimia and self-harm, recovered from depression, filled her life with inspiring people, and joined the PumpUp community. She lives in a way that is more fulfilling than she ever could have imagined.
Josephine’s health and wellness journey got off to a rocky start. “My lifestyle before PumpUp was…pretty bad,” she admitted. “I HATED vegetables and loved junk food, candy, sugar, and other things that weren’t good for my health. I’ve had the app for quite some time, but I didn’t use it much at first because I gradually became motivated to work out.” Josephine exercised about once a week, without making any changes to the way she ate. “I used to wake up in the morning, eat toast with Nutella, then potatoes with meat at lunch, and sometimes junk food for dinner,” she explained.
Josephine suffered from deep-seated insecurity issues prior to joining the PumpUp community. “I was bullied when I was younger, and this caused me to hate my body,” she shared. “I was unconfident about the way I looked and felt. I plummeted into deep depression two years ago and I was suicidal.” During this period of time Josephine explained that she had bulimia and would go through long periods of time without eating, restricting her self to 100 calories per meal. “I lost 5 pounds but I was still unhappy,” Josephine confessed. “When I began to work out, I started to feel less depressed and more confident in my body. I spent time with people I love, and FELT HOPE! With the help of the amazing PumpUp community, my family, and my friends, I found strength to start all over again. I now aim to be a fit, strong, and healthier me.” Her ultimate goal for 2015 is to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle: no more restriction, just balance.
Not only has Josephine’s self-esteem improved with the support of the PumpUp community, she has adopted much more holistically healthy habits. “PumpUp has changed my lifestyle a lot,” she emphasized. “During the month of September, I started to get a little bit obsessed with it! I found so much motivation on there and it made me want to start working out to change my body.” Josephine exercises 6 days a week, alternating between different muscle groups and professed that she also changed her eating habits. “I love vegetables now,” she said with enthusiasm. “I cannot go a day without eating them.”
With the help of PumpUp, Josephine lost 14 lbs and hopes to improve her mental health. “I aim to be more confident in myself as I continue along my journey with the PumpUp community,” she asserted. “Above all, I hope to find a place of love and respect for my body by continuing to exercise and eat healthy.”
Her best morsel of advice for those looking to lead healthier lifestyles in 2015 is to actively seek motivation, and stick to it. “Once you’ve got that—be it through inspiring quotes, family members, friends, or an app like PumpUp, you can do anything,” Josephine said. “Use that motivation to find an exercise that you truly love doing, and make that activity your workout.”
In addition to finding inspiration from members of the PumpUp community, Josephine’s biggest source of motivation is her sister. “She’s the reason I began my fitness journey,” she said. “We both wanted to lose weight and we decided to take life in our own hands. My sister lives in New York right now, but we motivate each other from afar, even if we miss each other a lot. Obviously, my PumpUp family also acts as an incredible source of motivation.”
“I love eating frozen yogurt. It’s not that healthy but let’s be honest: it’s so good! We don’t have a lot of places that sell frozen yogurt in France, so when I travel I basically live off frozen yogurt! On a healthier note, I do love fruits and vegetables. My favourite meal would be anything that includes salmon. Water is my favourite beverage. One of my favourite recipes is banana oat pancakes: they have a lot more fibre than regular pancakes!”
“I LOVE motivational quotes. They always motivate me! A few of my favourites are: ‘Do something today that your future self will thank you for,” and “For what it’s worth, it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over again.”
“I like the ab workouts on PumpUp, even though I don’t do them as often any more. I love cardio so I go to cardio classes at my gym”
“I love travelling, it makes me so happy! I love meeting new people and learning about different cultures, food, and places. I always find that I’m most calm and peaceful when I’m travelling.”
Keep Josephine pumped up on the app at @hey5sos and on Instagram @heartoflxis!!
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.
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.
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.