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depression resources

Transformation Tuesday: EDNOS Recovery

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How Gracie made peace with her past

Love Yourself. Make peace with your past. Share a #TransformationTuesday pic about how your past has shaped who you are today! 

pumpupapp member fit_gracie shared her brave story: "My progress is not only in my appearance, but in my heart as well. I was struggling with depression and hated myself more than anything else," she explained. "[Later on], I had my first go with anorexia, EDNOS, and stress eating. Now I’m happy and healthy. I feel stronger and better than ever. Not only is there an obvious change in my weight, there is a huge change in my smile. I owe it to myself to get better" 

 Cheer her on! http://bit.ly/trypumpup

How Josephine found hope- PumpUp Spotlight Series

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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.

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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.”

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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.” 

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Favourite Eats

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!”

Motivational Mantra

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.”

Favourite Exercise

“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”

Fun Fact

“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.”

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Keep Josephine pumped up on the app at @hey5sos and on Instagram @heartoflxis!!

How Francesca transformed pain to power in 2014 - PumpUp Success Stories

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a PumpUp member who creates wittier captions than Francesca P (@limitlesstyle). She’s much more than just a funny scribe: Francesca shines radiantly in the PumpUp spotlight for her truly remarkable and inspiring journey from pain to power, combatting deep depression through the help of exercise and the support of PumpUp’s community. 2015 is her year of enlightenment: the year that she strives to be there for others as fellow members of humanity in the finest, and truest sense of the word.

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February 2014 marked the very beginning of Francesca’s fitness journey, though she admitted that she was not as committed to achieve her goals until she found PumpUp in June 2014. “I was able to feel accountable through PumpUp,” she affirmed. “I stumbled upon PumpUp on Instagram and I fell in love with the idea of the app. I never looked back. I found a group of people whom I’ve come to love and respect. They are now my second family and they motivate me daily.”  The community embraced her with open arms when she sought support, and she has done nothing but shower other members with words of positive encouragement in return.

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Francesca had a tremendous obstacle to overcome when she first began to embrace a healthy lifestyle. “My baby sister was a cross-country runner and fitness enthusiast who lived in Africa, and she was murdered,” told Francesca. “This sent me into a deep depression for 3 years. I rarely left my house and I gained 35 lbs. Now I’m beginning to heal. She’s my biggest motivation.”

Francesca runs to keep her sister’s memory alive, and does so frequently. I still suffer from depression, and even now and again it tends to creep back up,” she explained. “I know it’ll pass if I just go for a run, no matter how short.” Take a look at Francesca’s schedule: 5km jogs 3-5 times a week, and weightlifting 2-3 times a week. Impressive is an understatement: Francesca went from 187 lbs to 158 lbs since last February. She’s stronger and more determined than ever to spread positivity and to achieve her health and fitness goals.  

As she continues along her journey with the PumpUp community, Francesca hopes to inspire and motivate as many people as she possibly can. Anybody on PumpUp can always rely on her posts to brighten up their day. “I want all of my followers, especially those who are 40 and/or are dealing with any kind of loss to see my page and know that they aren’t alone,” she confided. “Believe in yourselves, take this journey day by day, and you will accomplish great things in no time at all.”

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Favourite Meal

Yorgurt with granola and fruit

Motivational Mantra

"The most authentic thing about us is our ability to endure, to transform, and to be greater than our suffering"

Favourite PumpUp Workout

The total body pump!”

Fun Fact about Francesca

“I love to travel, and have seen almost all of Europe! I am a big jokester!”

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Keep Francesca pumped on the app @limitlesstyle!

Don't let depression hold you back : my story

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This is an article written by PumpUp member @geek_getfit

At the age of 10,  I was in counselling for depression. I was only 10, and I wanted to kill myself. At that period of time, I was hit multiple times a day at school, shoved into walls, I had people threatening to kill me, and a student wrapping their hands around my neck and shaking me. I was too small to defend myself and I couldn’t take it anymore. I remember the day I ran crying to my mom because I was so afraid to go to school. It got so bad I had to be pulled out of school and put into counselling, where they diagnosed me with depression and heightened anxiety. 

Over the next couple of years, I did return to that same school and experienced a different type of bullying: sexual harassment.  I can remember my 8th grade year like it was yesterday, but one night stands out in particular. On the way home from a national academic quiz tournament called the Scholars Bowl, two boys who groped at my chest while I was sitting on the bus. I became constantly worried about what would happen next, and increasingly became insecure about my appearance. My depression deepened when I was called a ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ whenever I wore a V-neck t-shirt or when I would not let boys touch me.  

When I entered high school, I found PumpUp. I had heard a lot of great things about it, so I decided to give the app a try. I started working out twice a day using PumpUp- needless to say I fell in love with fitness. My stress began to disappear, my anxiety was at bay, and my depression was easier to handle. I spend my summer running, biking, and working out - I was so much happier.

Here I am at this present moment: a 15 year-old freshman, an honor student, the class president, an athlete on varsity sports teams, and a cheerleader. Depression can drive you crazy.  I workout to relieve the stress from my everyday life at school, to relax, and to keep myself sane.  I haven’t let my past stop me from being the best I can. I still continue to be sexually harassed, especially while I am cheering, but I have learned to ignore the boys. Yes, I still get bullied a lot, but I just have to let it go because I know those people won’t matter later on in my life. My past may haunt me, but I am not going to let it hold me back.

TO ANYBODY WITH DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY            

Please keep your head up, I know that it may feel impossible to get out of bed on some mornings, but do it anyways. Tell that voice in your head that says “You can’t” to sit down and shut up. You will get through this, and if you think no one believes in you, you are wrong- I BELIEVE IN YOU. You can do this. You are beautiful/handsome, strong (though you may not realize it yet),  the bravest person alive, and you can do anything.

Learn how Erin got visible abs and has been overcoming PTSD with PumpUp's help - PumpUp Success Stories

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Erin (@3rin) joined PumpUp with one simple goal: to have visible ab definition. “My fitness goals were reached because of my determination and because of members of the PumpUp community who have either become good friends or family to me,” she insisted. Erin is in the spotlight to bravely share her turbulent and inspiring story coping with PTSD, anxiety, and depression as a single parent, while still achieving her health and fitness objectives. “I’ve come to realize that being healthy isn’t about losing weight or getting abs,” she revealed. “It’s about having a positive attitude, eating right, and being with people who you love and love you. 

One simple bike ride in 2012 became Erin’s catalyst to truly strive for a healthy and active lifestyle. “I went for a bike ride with a friend and we raced, but he beat me by 7km,” she said. Fuelled with determination, Erin built up her cycling skills over the next couple of months, improved her confidence, and lost weight. “After the 2 ½ month mark, I finally beat him. I was so excited that I entered a race for breast cancer. There were 500 other women and I would have placed 3rd if my scoliosis hadn’t affected the outcome of my race.” 

However, Erin’s scoliosis took a toll on fitness journey other ways. “After recuperating in physio after the race for breast cancer, I was determined to get back into biking,” she elaborated. “At that point, my schedule had changed—I became a single parent because I left my abusive ex-husband, and with no visitation or child support.”  Erin managed to get back on track despite of these obstacles, and in a major way. “My daughter was 2 ½ years old at the time, so I asked my friend to watch her in the mornings so that I could go running and clear my mind,” Erin added. From that point onwards, her healthy lifestyle has been something that she is proud of herself for maintaining.

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Intrigued by the prospect of a mobile app that could customize workouts for her, Erin joined PumpUp in July 2013 in order to augment her existing workout routine and to track her progress.  “I was determined to get visible abs,” she insisted. With hard work, determination, and encouragement from the PumpUp community, Erin managed to achieve her goal and more. “About a month ago in November 2014, I took a random picture of myself lying on the ground… and I saw abs,” she explained breathlessly. “My daughter is in school, telling everybody about them. It’s embarrassing, yet exhilarating.”  

PumpUp is honoured to have helped Erin to achieve one of her ultimate objectives for 2014. “I accomplished all I wanted to accomplish with the help of PumpUp. I have abs,” she gushed. “Now I just need the confidence to show off my hard work. I can confidently run in just a sports bra, and in every type of weather. However, I still lack the courage to wear a halter top or a bathing suit in public.”

The PumpUp community admires Erin’s strength in combatting her PTSD. “I have recurring flashbacks, anxiety issues, and severe scoliosis,” she mentioned. “I refused both the recommended therapy and medication for PTSD—but in retrospect, I should have taken the doctors up on the latter. I am stubborn, but I am self-sufficient.” While Erin admitted that she sometimes gets severe depression when she experiences a PTSD episode, she finds it therapeutic to spend time with the people whom she loves and who love her back. “My daughter and my friends are a real source of comfort for me, as are my PumpUp family,” she explained. “Writing poetry also helps because it is a real challenge for me to talk about myself in any regard. Creative outlets have helped me a lot, in addition to exercise.”

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Although Erin always considered herself to be a healthy eater, she continues to grapple with portion control and moderation. “My theory is that we shouldn’t deprive ourselves,” she insisted. “Eat what you’re going to eat, but be prepared to see the consequences of exceeding your daily limit and not being able to burn it all off. You’ll have a higher success rate when you eat less junk.” Her fitness journey has allowed her to test the limits of her culinary prowess. She experiments with her food in healthy and creative ways. “I was never a cook before starting my fitness journey, but now I have the willingness to create things from scratch,” she explained. “I seldom use recipes because I like to limit my salt, sugar, and fat intake.”

As a self-professed cardio junkie, Erin prefers kickboxing, cycling, and running in order to stay active. When she first began her fitness journey, Erin explained that she would religiously perform Jillian Michaels routines until she learned how to create her own workouts based on calisthenics. “My routine just involves my own body weight—although sometimes I do one online when I’m lazy,” she admitted. “I workout twice a day—I have to because I have severe back issues. Exercise is my therapy—it’s better than physiotherapy. I use PumpUp to log my workouts and my progress.”

Her best advice for PumpUp members looking to achieve their resolutions in 2014 is to set realistic, achievable, and tangible goals. “Know what you can handle and start off small,” she counselled. “Don’t take on too much at once!”  As Erin continues her journey with the PumpUp community, her #MyResolution is to face her problems head on rather than waiting for better circumstances. "My PTSD will not conquer, I will," she told PumpUp.

Erin is motivated to break combat her family’s history of heart disease. Her genetic history is the fuel that powers her progress. “My biggest motivation would have to be my daughter—I want to extend my life to be around her,” she explained. “I want to be around for longer to see  that things get better for us.” Though cooking is a very recent hobby for Erin, she finds it fulfilling for one very important reason. “As a single parent, I have no choice but to impart great nutritional habits onto my daughter,” she affirmed.

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Erin’s meals

“I love to eat Greek-style lamb with rice, carrots, potato, and occasionally house salad. My favourite thing to cook is salad rolls with cucumbers, carrots, avocado, and sometimes shrimp in rice paper. (It’s my daughter’s favourite).”

Motivational Mantra

You are only you. Only you know what you can accomplish. It’s up to you to get others to believe it for when you are too low to believe it yourself” 

Fun Fact about Erin

“I’ve had half a dozen near-death experiences and I somehow miraculously always survive.”

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Find Erin on the PumpUp app @3rin to keep her pumped! She’ll motivate you with lovely comments!

How exercise helped me cope with depression

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This is a post by PumpUp’s @DebbieMC1232. Through her weight loss journey, she has been able to motivate and inspire others both on PumpUp and through her own personal fitness page 

I’ll admit it. I had to deal with depression for years while I was struggling to lose weight. It sort of came along with gaining weight because I didn’t feel like myself anymore.

I just couldn’t think of anything positive about myself or about my life, and saw everything from a completely negative perspective. I didn’t want to go out and I no longer loved to shop for clothes like I used to. I felt so uncomfortable and didn’t want to go anywhere. Depression really can take a hold of your life and stop you from doing things you want to do because you don’t feel good enough! But you are good enough.

There is no one else in the world like you. Even if you are a twin, no other person is the same as you. Remember that! Make small goals, take each day at a time and don’t overthink it if something awful happens to you. Nothing bad lasts for too long. There is always something more positive just around the corner.

I can’t praise exercise enough for helping me cope with depression and for allowing me to feel like a more positive and happier person. I have lost 3 stone in less than a year by stopping depression from taking over my life. I do still suffer from it from time to time but I can handle it much better these days with eating right, working out and being more organized.

I like to think that I spread  positivity with my fitness page on Facebook by constantly updating the page with motivational pictures and stories.  I am absolutely over the moon with the lovely messages I am receiving from people who have lost over 2 stone and more with the help of my page!  

I have decided to start making my own fitness videos on YouTube and will definitely be getting it started in the near future.  I have so many other ideas planned for the year ahead. 2014 was the best year I’ve had in years and I plan on making 2015 even better. No matter how bad you are feeling, make a decision… If you want to make a change in your life, you are the only one to make that happen. Just do it. Spread positivity!

Here are the best things that worked for me throughout my health and wellness journey:

  • Eat wholesome, nutritious food
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water a day
  • Drink herbal tea or hot water with lemon every morning before breakfast
  • Chew your food thoroughly
  • Don’t keep bad food in your house
  • Have a treat day once a week
  • If you have anything leftover from treat day, get rid of it. You won’t be tempted to have it the next day.

All of these tips helped me to get where I am now. Give it a try!

Check out Debbie’s Motivation Page to #SpreadPositivity with her. 

Photo c/o Coffee and Coco

How MaShunda Combatted Depression with the help of PumpUp - Spotlight Series

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Tired short-term, ‘quick-fix’ solutions, MaShunda (@shundyg) decided to join the PumpUp community in September 2014 in search of consistent motivation to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle. Ever heard of the lemonade diet, military diet, and ‘cabbage soup’ diet? MaShunda has tried them all. “They would only work for a little while, but I was not healthy,” she explained. “I felt fatigued and flabby.” Our app is the only social network that she uses! “So far, it has been completely life-changing,” she professed. “I try to stay away from social sites because of the negativity that they manifest, but I don’t know what I would do day to day without PumpUp.” 

While she’s still making progress toward her goal, that doesn’t stop MaShunda from shining brightly in the PumpUp spotlight. She has been able to alleviate her depression with the help of our app’s positive and supportive community. “There are people out there with real-life issues and I want them to know that there is hope in turning their lives around,” she declared. "You don’t have to stay depressed and overweight. I’m not perfect, but I want to help others with my story." Learn more about her down below!

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MaShunda’s wellbeing has considerably improved since she became an active member of the PumpUp community.  With support and encouragement from other members, MaShunda has been able to make better choices related to her physical and mental health. “Depression is a sickness that takes over the mind and body,” she revealed. “My depression caused me to resort to unhealthy things such as binge eating and drinking.”  She now looks at life from a much more positive perspective and has ceased these habits since she began her health and wellness journey. “I currently go through depression moments but I’m quickly pulled out of that dark place when I log onto PumpUp,” she confirmed. “It truly keeps me going. Everyone is so uplifting and sometimes I cry when I read the kind words under my posts.” Now that she couples healthy eating habits and regular exercise with her prescribed medication, MaShunda’s formerly high blood pressure has been normal for months now. “I’m not as easily tempted by food anymore,” she asserted. “I’ve learned to be patient and to not rush weight loss—I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was.”

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She currently exercises as much as 5 days a week and is always looking for new ways to incorporate physical activity into her schedule, at times working out with routines on the PumpUp app. “I exercise with a dumbbell weight for strength training and my cardio consists of running on the treadmill for 15-30 minutes or 30-45 minutes on the elliptical,” she elaborated. “So far, I have gained muscle and strength in my shoulders, back, and calves since September.” As she continues her journey on PumpUp, MaShunda is focused on becoming a better runner, improving her resistance training, and plans to lose more fat around her thigh and stomach area. Her progress absolutely shows—she looks stunning! MaShunda urges other members to be patient with their transformation “Don’t always depend on the scale and don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t see changes right away,” she insisted. “Try to stay consistent with your meals and workouts for a few weeks to see how they work for you.”

Her biggest motivation is an expert trainer named Massiel “Mankofit” Arias, who began her health and wellness journey under circumstances that are quite similar to MaShunda’s. “I truly admire her and her background,” she professed. “She also used to be very depressed and after learning her story, it motivated me to get up and try to do something about my situation. My journey is not over. I’m nowhere near where I want to be but I am loving life and I no longer hate myself, now that I’ve found PumpUp and Mankofit.”

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MaShunda’s Eats

An average breakfast for MaShunda consists of an egg white veggie omelet with coffee, green or herbal tea or fruit protein smoothie. Lunch and dinner are both packed with protein: baked chicken breast with steamed veggies and brown rice for the former and green salad, grape tomatoes, and baked chicken for the latter.  Her snacks include fresh fruit or a piece of cheese and almonds. “I also love Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Protein 100% Whey powder, the Cellulor C-4 pre-workout mix, Nature Valley protein bars, and Greek yogurt with one pack of stevia and fresh fruit,” she elaborated. 

Motivational Mantra

“You only live once…but if you do it right…once is enough,” – Mae West

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More about MaShunda

“I’m always smiling. Even when I’m sad. People are constantly telling me this! I’m a certified radiology technologist. I have worked in a very popular Sports medicine and Orthopaedic office for 10 surgeons, performing diagnostic x-rays. I’m married to my high school sweetheart of 11 years and have 2 wonderful children. I love to read books as a hobby I’m my spare time when I’m not using that time to workout. I love to cook. Funny thing is, I didn’t want to learn to cook when my mom tried to teach me! 

Keep MaShunda pumped up on the app @shundyg and connect with her as she progresses along her health and wellness journey.