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fit girls

How Triona is changing the world, one workout at a time

How Triona is changing the world, one workout at a time

"It's so important to take care of our bodies and to know what we are putting into our bodies," affirmed Triona R. (@TrionasFitN5), a PumpUp member who joined the community with an action plan to pursue her own health goals, and to assist others during the process. "I wanted to educate others about a healthy lifestyle. As a life-long athlete, I thought I was always healthy until I became more aware about what I was putting into my body.

Louise is training for her first bikini competition using her own research. Learn how - PumpUp Success Stories

When Louise began her journey on PumpUp, became inspired to tackle one of the biggest challenges she’s ever faced: to enter in her very first bikini competition using her own methods and research. Her truly admirable story and the dedication that she devotes to her craft never fails to inspire PumpUp’s million-member community on a very regular basis. 

Never one to be sedentary, Louise described herself as an intermittently active person throughout her whole life. One crucial obstacle was holding her back. “I had very little knowledge of nutrition and no goal in mind other than to stay healthy,” she mentioned. In an average day prior to PumpUp, she would eat very little and rarely breakfast—just cereal and the dinners that were available to her at home. Hydration was also the last thing on Louise’s busy mind. “I rarely drank enough…maybe a glass a day,” she admitted. “If I would have continued on that road there would have been major negative health repercussions in my later life.”  As a university student, Louise would practice cheerleading and dance once a week. Excessive drinking would, however, negate those workouts.

Since Louise was introduced to PumpUp in February 2014, she leveraged the community as a knowledge hub for health and fitness. “Everyone on PumpUp is very positive—there is a surge of energy that is very motivating,” she insisted. “I like that people ask questions and give support. I began my journey by answering peoples’ questions and adding photos with small facts. I like to spread knowledge.” The more engagement she received from the community, the more her thirst for knowledge about health and fitness intensified. “I found that many have been misled by fad diets from magazines and the media,” she continued. “I wanted to know facts.” 

Louise amassed an extensive collection of science-based books and  effectively placed herself at the center of her own ‘human trial’, experimenting with exercises, nutrition, and supplementation and using PumpUp to document everything. “Immediately I discovered that the body is a machine and if you fuel it efficiently, you will reap the benefits,” she concluded. “My energy levels were improving, I slept better, and my memory was almost at 90 percent—that’s not like me at all. I loved the feeling and that’s when wellness became a lifestyle choice.”

Over this period of time, Louise gathered a wealth of support from the PumpUp community and embraced the encouragement she received from her followers. Eventually, Louise became inspired to enter in her very first bikini fitness competition. “I came across a few people on PumpUp who competed in body building and fitness shows. I began researching and I knew straight away that it was what I wanted to do,” she recounted. “I picked the competition I wanted to enter and began to search for methods to achieve my goal.  Now I’m working backwards from my competition date.” Louise is completing the entire process without a coach, learning as she progresses. “It’s been physically, socially, and mentally challenging but my PumpUp followers have always been there to encourage me when I am feeling unmotivated or alone,” she said earnestly. “It might sound cliché, but they have pumped me up when I felt deflated (pun intended).”

A journey isn’t really a journey without obstacles or speed bumps. Louise is only human. “I have had times when I wanted to eat every sugar-contained item in my house,” she professed. “When I do, I raid the cupboard—and of course I feel guilty. I confessed about it on PumpUp and everyone was very supportive. My journey has not been straightforward; but rather like hiking up a mountain. I know that when I get to the top, I did everything I could to be my best. That will be my reward.” Her dedication to her goal is admirable in every way, and she keeps sane by calculating a healthy balance that works for her—even if it means waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise, or turning down a social event every now and then to make sure that she sticks to her training schedule.

She has succinct and wise words for others who are just beginning their fitness journey or learning to love themselves. “Everyone is different and different things work for different people: there are so many individual factors that can impact a ‘healthy lifestyle’,” she advised. “Big changes take time. Start small and then develop.”

After her competition, Louise hopes to communicate with others more on PumpUp and aspires to assist them on their journey. “I already obtain all of the support and encouragement I need from PumpUp,” she affirmed. “Whether it is prep for a competition or even just to improve their healthy lifestyles, I want to help others by spreading the knowledge that I obtained.  One day I may even become a sponsored athlete.”  

Biggest Motivation

“Michelle Lewin. She was the first bikini competitor I discovered. Her physique inspired my journey.”

Favourite eats

“ I adore banana and peanut butter protein pancakes.

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 scoop of your favourite flavoured protein powder (I use peanut butter Quest powder)

Use a non-stick pan on a low heat. Mix all the ingredients together, don’t mash the banana too much (because it’s nice when you taste a piece in the pancake). Then pan fry like a normal pancake, when the base is solid and moves around the pan it is ready to flip over.”

Motivational Mantra

“Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up”—Rocky Balboa

Favourite Exercise

I love to train my legs, the strength has developed so quickly. I strength-train four times a week. I love compound exercises, my favorites are Squats and Renegade rows. However, I do like to experiment with new exercises. Every session I try at least one new exercise, usually I feel it the next day. My last session I tried curtsy lunges with a barbell…great for the glutes.”

Fun Fact About Louise

“Although I do not use my qualification, I am actually a qualified fitness instructor.”

Follow Louise on PumpUp @louiseusa101 and keep her pumped as she strives to reach her goal!

How trauma from Yanê's past paved the path for a healthier future - PumpUp Success Stories

#LoveYourself and embrace your past, just as pumpupapp member @yalua did! Tired of having her weight fluctuate, Yanê began her journey with PumpUp to find a consistent source of motivation. She is a beacon of light who inspires thousands of people with her demeanour, her dedication, and her determination.

By learning from her past, she has made leaps and bounds towards a healthier future. A brutal accident galvanized Yanê to truly focus on her wellbeing.  “After my accident, my vertebrae shifted and my ribs were blocked—I couldn’t breathe for at least 40 seconds,” she recounted. “I had a lot of therapy with a chiropractor, but working out and building muscle helped me to recover the most. From time to time, the back pain returns but PumpUp helped me to push through the pain and overcome this.” As a victim of violence during her adolescence, Yanê also revealed that she struggled to find motivation due to the mental trauma of her past. “I often felt like I wasn’t good enough—like I would never look the way I wanted,” she lamented. “Once again, PumpUp helped me immensely when people started commenting, ‘We miss you!’ or ‘You are my inspiration!’”

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Yane’s weight fluctuated before she began to embrace a healthy lifestyle

Prior to PumpUp, Yanê also had a different perspective towards healthy food and moderation. “I didn’t eat much—I was really thin,” she admitted. “I ate a lot of take-out food as well. PumpUp became my favourite app ever!  I now make sure that I always eat as healthy as possible, and a big healthy breakfast became very important to me because it gives me the energy I need to have a great and active day.” Good nutrition and balance are essential components of Yanê ‘s current lifestyle. “It’s more important than exercise—but don’t beat yourself up if you skip a healthy meal or eat something sweet,” she advised. “I don’t ever restrict myself, because I’d end up craving for unhealthy food that much more. I allow myself to eat a little bit of chocolate once in awhile.”

The PumpUp community encouraged Yanê to incorporate a lot more activity into her routine. The frequency of her workouts increased from 1-3 times a week to 4-6 times a week. This particularly helped her cope with academic stress. “Working out was like therapy: I could release all of my stress after sitting around studying all day,” she explained. “Now, I go to salsa 2 times every week—sometimes more—and either work out at the gym or do exercises at home. I do up to 30 minutes of cardio and up to 2 hours of heavy weightlifting at the gym, mostly focusing on my legs, back and abs.”

Motivation from PumpUp helped Yanê to change her mentality about her fitness. “Everything starts in your mind, so if you want to lead a more active lifestyle you should find motivation – like people on the PumpUp community or pants that you want to fit into again,” she counselled. ”Consistency, dedication, and the courage to step out of your comfort zone are very important. Just don’t be too hard on yourself: workouts should be fun!”

Owing to the overwhelming support and encouragement from the PumpUp community, Yanê began her studies to become a fitness instructor. “On PumpUp, positivity is everywhere—it’s what I love the most!” she gushed. “I want to motivate others to be healthy and to help them see that a healthy lifestyle can also be a positive and fun one. This is why PumpUp motivated me to become a personal fitness instructor and to spread positivity—nowadays it’s rare to find.” As Yanê strives for her absolute dream body, she’ll be turning to PumpUp as a constant source of motivation and inspiration.

Yanês Motivators

Lots of fit women motivate me, especially Michelle Lewin. I absolutely love her and her precious behind. My family members are also a source of motivation for me. My dad is a drug addict—that’s how I know what unhealthy living can lead to.  I also want to be a role model for my little cousin, to teach her how to lead a healthy lifestyle. I most of all aspire to make my mother proud! She’s motivated by my new lifestyle (I even got her to do an activity with me and shared about it on PumpUp!) Finally, my followers on PumpUp keep me motivated with all the love and support that they give me. I want to make sure that I stay healthy for them, so that they aren’t disappointed.”

Yanê’s Eats

“My favourite snacks are fruits and veggies—especially tropic fruits and carrots with mustard. It doesn’t sound so yummy—but I love it. I absolutely adore eating peanut butter with bananas! I love to drink self-made lemon ginger juice as well! Find the recipe here. My favourite meal is traditional Brazilian chicken with rice and manioc. My favourite breakfast is cooked oats with warm raspberries!”

Motivational Mantras

A winner is a dreamer who never gives up – Nelson Mandela

Whenever I feel bad, I use the feeling to motivate me to work harder. I only allow myself one day to feel sorry for myself—Beyoncé

Favourite Exercises

“I generally love all the exercises PumpUp creates! They are so much fun! My daily routine is: 100 squats, 10 pushups, 50 sit-ups, and self-invented pilates inspired exercises to tone my core and train my balance. I do intensive salsa lessons because I want to make it into the salsa show group!”

More about Yanê

My name is Yanê Ferreira de Souza. I am half Brazilian and half Swiss. I live in Switzerland. I am studying pop music. My biggest dream is to become a professional pop singer! I am the absolute BIGGEST BEYONCÉ FAN EVER you’ll ever meet! She is also one of my biggest inspiration/motivation.

I grew up in a artistic family, which explains why I also love to draw and play the piano.

My friends call me the crazy Brazilian. I had to go through a lot, but I learned to deal with all of it (the Beyoncé quote I mentioned helps me a LOT). I smile all the time and I am a very lively and happy person.

Probably because I went through so much I want people to be happy, I want people to move on with the negative thoughts and try their best to make themselves happy. And if I can help them with my posts, thoughts, and this blog, I’d be the happiest person in this world!”

Keep Yanê pumped on the pumpupapp @yalua and on Instagram @yaneluar!

How healthier eating habits changed Belinda's life - PumpUp Success Stories

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Healthier eating habits made a world of difference for Belinda (@beldots). She’s a beloved pumpupapp member who inspires others endlessly with her dedication to a holistically healthy lifestyle. “I grew up as a chubby kid with low self esteem—but when I found my passion for GOOD food, I found myself shedding the kilos quicker than I could realize,” she admitted. Now, almost every facet of Belinda’s life revolves around health and fitness. “It has spiralled out of control (in a good way!)” she laughed. “I go to the gym 7 days a week, eat as much healthy food as I can, and talk about health and wellness in most of my conversation topics!”

WhenBelinda joined the PumpUp community in June 2014, she was looking for a way to stay true to her health and fitness goals. “I had my hesitations because I wasn’t so sure whether the outside world would be accepting or receptive about little old me and my goals,” she confessed. “After a few posts on PumpUp, I was hooked! I wanted to try PumpUp because I needed motivation and didn’t like the idea of a workout buddy. I still needed to be held accountable for my workouts and eating choices and PumpUp fit the mould perfectly.”

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She lived a moderately healthy lifestyle prior to PumpUp, performing cardio-intensive workouts twice a week and making good eating choices from time to time. “I tried to cook my own meals, but studying full-time made it difficult. There is a lot of comfort food and take-out readily available around campus, and that let me down a fair bit,” she explained. As a self-professed stress-eater, Belinda recounted how she would consume chocolate and energy drinks endlessly whenever she was tasked with a big assignment. “It was terrible,” she lamented. 

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Bolstered by motivation from the PumpUp community, Belinda now epitomizes health and wellness. She exercises an impressive 6-7 times a week, incorporating both weightlifting and cardio into her routine. She has begun to count her macronutrients as well. It’s something that, in her opinion, sheds a new light on what kinds of food she consumes every day. Above all, health and wellness has made a huge impact on Belinda’s mentality. “When I was younger I’d never let anyone around me take photos of myself—I was so embarrassed and ashamed!” she professed. “I don’t have any real ‘before’ photos but I do know that fitness has improved my quality of life drastically. I find myself healthier, happier, and surrounded by likeminded people on PumpUp and in my daily life—this pushes me harder to pursue my personal aspirations.” 

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Belinda strongly advocates for a holistic approach towards health and wellness. “I’d love to emphasize just how important a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle is for your wellbeing and appearance,” she stressed. “I see so many girls—who are around my age or younger—believing that eating less is good. That isn’t always the case. Sometimes—maybe even most of the time—you need to eat more of the right food to lose body fat (not to be confused with ‘weight’!).” Belinda hopes that her PumpUp page demonstrates that any normal person can lead a healthy and active lifestyle at any point in their lives—it isn’t unrealistic. “I started on a similar (if not worse) state as many others who typically begin their journeys on an app like PumpUp,” she mused. “A healthy and active lifestyle can be done and it is worth it. As soon as I got my health in order, everything fell into place: university grades, relationships, overall happiness, a cleaner room—you name it!”

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Biggest Motivation

“I know it sounds strange, but truly, myself! I believe you have the power to be exactly who you want to be each and every day and if you know you’re not the absolute best you can be the only person that can really change that is yourself.” 

Motivational Mantra
“’What is stopping you being your absolute best you can be today?’ 99% of the time there is none, so it works a charm!!”

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Favourite snack: “Recently I’ve just discovered how amazing cottage cheese is (especially for macro counting) so that on some crackers with some fresh tomato, avocado, pepper and chives is my favourite!!”

Favourite meal:My kangaroo chili con carne recipe would have to take the cake… It’s so nutritionally good for you and chilli itself being somewhat addictive means you just want to keep eating and eating!”

Favourite Exercise

“Oh my goodness that’s a tough one! Ummmm… Everything?! I love bike riding for cardio and an added lower body workout, or ergo meter for upper body, but mainly anything with weights! I love planks! (But strange I know) but I’ve built up to doing 5kg placed on my back while planking and that really gets the heart going and core burning! Apart from that, barbell squats, deadlifts or anything with weights really!”

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Fun fact about Belinda

“My overall goal in life is to live like my grandparents have. They’re from a little place just south of Rome in Italy and they came to Australia in 1955. They’re the most humble but most remarkable people you’ll ever meet and they’re my overall inspiration. My Nonno is 88 and my Nonna is 86 and they’ve never taken medication in their life, they’re still so incredible active, grow, make, and eat all their own food themselves and blow all our modern doctors away by just how healthy they are.

I think it’s something that’s lost in our society yet so so important. I want to eventually bring my kids up the way they’ve brought my whole family up!”

Keep Belinda pumped on the pumpupapp by following her @beldots! Find her Instagram page too @bel_health! 

Get sweaty with this superbowl partner workout

Get PUMPED before the Superbowl. Regardless if you’re watching the game or not, we challenge you to reblog this video and see if you can squeeze this workout in before the game starts. GO!

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Exciting PumpUp milestone: Double tap to say congrats! @jatie is our first PumpUp member to reach 100,000 followers! We’re head over heels for all that she has achieved!

“The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become.”- Harold Taylor

Check out http://blog.pumpup.co/tagged/jatie for some of her workout challenges and fitness tips!

Transformation Tuesday: Katie Evitts

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Repost or reblog a photo of your favourite transformation from somebody else, be they a PumpUp member or a friend/family member! You will spread positivity and have a chance to win some sweet PumpUp swag! Here’s one of our faves from long-time member Katie Evitts, who transformed her body over the past year! “On the LEFT I weigh 128 lbs, on the RIGHT I weighed 120 lbs. Weight is truly just a number! Focus on loving your body, and not so much on a silly number on a scale”
She’s studying for her Personal Trainer exam, keep her pumped!

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Brace yourselves. Wall-sits are coming. See how long you can do it for and share a photo of yourself performing the exercise! Bonus? Reblog to challenge your followers to do a wall-sit with you and see who can hold it for longer! PumpUp member bangerz10 loves to pass the time during her #wallsit by singing her favourite song. She adds weight when she can!
Check out the FULL challenge here: http://blog.pumpup.co/tagged/challenge

4 reasons why you should get off the elliptical and into the weight room

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This is a post by Rachel Carpenter (@bothgirl). Check out her blog for her daily workouts!

When people ask for my fitness advice, I preach three guidelines:

  1. Stick to a clean diet. Eat real food, and more protein/veggies, fewer sugars/carbs.
  2. HIIT (High intensity interval training) cardio.
  3. Lift heavy weights and strength train.

But every time a woman asks me for advice, she shies away from #3. Or, God forbid, she says that she wants to exercise with “less weight, more reps” because she “just wants to tone up” (don’t get me started on “toning” – I’ll save that for another blog).

The next thing I’ll say to her, in the interest of time, is to look at me.

I lift heavy. No, I’m talking heavy. On a weekly basis I max out (hundreds of pounds) on squats, lunges, deadlifts, bench press, pull-ups, dips, etc. If I’m not failing on the second or third rep, I’m not going heavy enough. Of course I switch up the weight and intensity, but super-heavy sets of 3-5 repetitions are an integral part of my training.

And I am not big. I am slender and strong with a body-fat percentage hovering around 14-17%. I am not bulky. Every person’s body is different, but the principles are the same. I don’t have a body fat percentage of 16% because I do cardio, and it’s not by accident. 

Don’t believe me? Here are four reasons you need to go pick up a heavy barbell – right now. 

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1)  Let’s talk about efficiency

Cardio burns fat and calories during exercise (1 hour). Weight training causes Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This means that your metabolism is revving for up to 38 hours after your workout. And listen up ladies: the heavier the weight – the more EPOC. (Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education, Oslo, Norway)

2)  Muscle burns fat

Muscles are the primary energy consumers in the body. More muscles = more fat burned. (Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology)

3)  You will NOT get big and bulky

Women have far less testosterone than men – making it extremely difficult to get large without the use of drugs. You can work your booty off and still only build a fraction of the muscle that men do. (Muscle and Health)

Plus, do you think it’s easy for guys to get huge? Trust me, you’re not going to “accidentally” get big.

4)  Outside of fat loss, you need to do strength training for your overall health

Don’t believe me? Strength training will:

  • Boost energy
  • Protect joints from injury
  • Reduce depression
  • Fight osteoporosis
  • Lower diabetes risk
  • Better heart health
  • Blood sugar control
  • Back pain prevention
  • Improved balance
  • Better sex
  • Reduce stress
  • Sharpen memory 

If we’re being honest – there are other factors that play into the female stigma against lifting weights.  All too often I see women let their misinformed fears about bulking up keep them out of the weight room. This makes the weight room a scary place for the women who understand the importance of lifting heavy. But we can change this, and do the men a favor, by getting in there.

Ladies: please lift heavy. You’ll look better, you’ll feel better, and you’ll be better. Get after it.

Ivy lost 25 lbs, escaped two near-death experiences, and is more motivated than ever - PumpUp Spotlight

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Ivy (@hotchilipepper) is officially one of the most inspiring, dedicated, and motivational members to spread positivity around the PumpUp community. Her story is incredible. Not only does Ivy’s transformation set a precedent for healthy resolution-making, she’s also overcome hardships that are worth learning from. 

At the very beginning of her wellness journey, Ivy described herself as being 25 lbs. heavier, lethargic, and a victim to constant migraines.  She didn’t wait for a magical moment to catalyze her transformation; she simply made a decision to live healthier and made gradual changes to adapt to her new lifestyle.  “I dropped processed junk food and soda. Then I started eating lots of vegetables, lean meats, and fruits and drank lots of water and tea,” Ivy elaborated. “I began by walking every day. When I dropped some weight and had more energy, I started running.”

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As a result of her shift toward more wholesome food, smaller portions, and more cardio, Ivy lost 20 lbs in two months.  “I became just skinny. I had no muscle tone,” she recounts. “When I realized this, I took a weightlifting class and became hooked. I learned a lot about how to perform different exercises with weights, gained more lean muscle mass, became stronger, and I have a more toned physique.”

A great deal of turbulence has marked notches in Ivy’s pathway to health and wellness. Two near-death incidents from her childhood taught her to truly value each moment.  These events impacted her decision to lead a much healthier lifestyle. “I became paralyzed when I was about 5 years old and all of the doctors gave up on me,” she elaborated. “My dad was a doctor and he did not give up on my treatment. It was a miracle that I lived and re-learned how to walk and talk.” When Ivy was younger, she was bullied because she was a much smaller child than the rest of her peers. “I was always sick and weak. I cried a lot but learned to keep my head up and use hurtful experiences as motivation to get stronger. I now read many articles about self-love and motivation in order to stay strong and positive. I do not compete with other people but myself and work hard to be better every day.”

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Ivy gets her daily dose of motivation from community members on PumpUp who never fail to celebrate her progress. “Ever since I started using PumpUp, I am more motivated than ever before,” she gushed. “I have met many positive and amazing members. On days when I am not as motivated to work out or eat well, I read other members’ posts and they push me to be my best!” Not only is PumpUp a motivator for Ivy, it is also an accountability partner. “I log my workouts on the app so that I am motivated to not slack off,” she explained.

For beginners looking to lead a healthier lifestyle in 2015, Ivy stresses the importance of setting a goal and making a plan to accompany each benchmark. “It’s important to take baby steps and to be consistent,” she emphasized. “Do not expect big changes overnight and be patient—it takes time to form good habits. It’s not always easy, but being healthy is the best investment you’ll make in your entire life.” She encourages resolution-makers to never give up on themselves, no matter how hard or frustrating their journey may be.

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As Ivy moves forward like a beacon of brightness that showers the PumpUp universe with vibrant and unmistakable rays of positivity, she aspires to motivate others to live healthily with the posts that she shares on PumpUp. “I am happy to receive feedback from people who told me that they did not give up—all because of me!” she exclaimed. “It is an amazing and proud feeling to have. In return, this motivates me to do even better. Working out keeps me strong, both physically and mentally. However when I see somebody else going through a similar problem, but they keep fighting through it, I can relate to it and I am absolutely motivated.”

Favourite snack

“Quest bars and nuts!”

Motivational Mantra

It does not easier, but you will get stronger.”

Favourite Workout

I love to lift heavy weights—it makes me feel invincible! My favourite moves are squats and deadlifts.”

Fun fact about Ivy

“I am a science nerd. I love watching sci-fi and action movies—just like a guy!”

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Pump Ivy up on the PumpUp app at @hotchilipepper and on Instagram @pursuitofhappiness13. 

Learn how Alexa bravely overcame doubt and insecurity during her fitness journey - Spotlight Series

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After losing more than 30 lbs over the course of her fitness journey, Alexa (@alexawinter) transcended her own personal insecurities, proved her naysayers wrong, and is consistently one of the most positive and supportive members of the PumpUp community. Learn about Alexa’s inspiring story as she spreads positivity in every aspect of her life. 

Alexa’s health and wellness journey has been punctuated by hardship and doubt, but she managed to overcome her personal obstacles with perseverance and fierce determination. “When I started to lose the weight and count my calories, it was really hard for me to stay on track,” she admitted. “I was so used to eating junk food constantly. There were days I felt worn down and I felt like I was not going to lose any weight—but after the first month of being strict about my portions and mindful of my calories, I lost my first 12 lbs. I knew I wasn’t going to stop there.” Running on a regular basis and eating healthily were both hard adjustments for Alexa at first, but the judgments passed onto her after she lost weight were much more difficult for her to grapple with. “When everyone saw that I had lost 30 pounds in 3 months, I started to hear gossip and rumours from others who called me ‘anorexic’ and ‘unhealthy’,” she divulged. “The comments did not really bother me because I knew I lost the weight the right way, and I knew that I worked so hard for those three months: I did not drink, I did not eat any junk food (minus my one cheat day), and I would run for an hour at least every single day. I worked hard to see my results, and for some people, that was hard to grasp.”                                                                                                               

When she joined PumpUp in the summer of 2014, Alexa felt like she was coming home to a community of likeminded individuals who shared her passion for health and fitness. “I think that is why I love the PumpUp community so much. I have come across a lot of positive users, and very few negative ones,” she insisted. “Every single person on the app is there to better themselves, and to motivate each other. Every day people are supporting me and giving me that extra boost to keep going. If I can help another person push through on their bad days/weeks, then I feel even more accomplished.”

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Much like Ariel from the Little Mermaid, Alexa became exposed to a whole new world full of diverse perspectives and workout regimens when she began her journey with PumpUp. “I used to run a ton, and I did very little weightlifting and core workouts,” she elaborated. “I was all about that cardio! Having the PumpUp app has exposed me to the lifestyles of other fitness enthusiasts. This motivated me to [shift my focus] away from cardio and towards improving the muscle tone of my body.” PumpUp has become a wellspring of inspiration for Alexa, who checks in to motivate other members as often as she can. “Other people’s healthy recipes have given me many new ideas for my own meals,” she affirmed. 

The saying that ‘Insecurity kills all that is beautiful,” resonates deeply with Alexa.  Her body is etched with a tattoo of this very motto. It’s a reminder Alexa’s mental state of being prior the start of her healthy and active lifestyle.  “I was very insecure, sad, and overall unhappy with myself before my weight loss,” she confessed. “I don’t think I was always the best person towards others because I was insecure. A lot of my issues stemmed from my body image. Once I began to change that, I felt much more happiness.” Self-love and body positivity have both changed how Alexa interacts with others. “My insecurities truly took away from my beauty on the inside, because of how I felt about my body on the outside,” she recounts. I am a much happier person today, and I am kinder to those around me.”

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It’s essential for Alexa to track her own personal progress. She urges others not to give up, even if there are days, weeks, or even months when they do not feel that their fitness is up to par. “Being fit and healthy is not an easy task. It is truly a lifestyle that you need to learn to love and always follow,” Alexa advised. “I don’t think there are any quick fixes to having your dream body. You really need to make fitness and health a main part of your life.”

As she continues to be an all-star at spreading positivity throughout the community, Alexa hopes to serve as a source of motivation and inspiration for those pursuing their own fitness journeys. “PumpUp has allowed me to track my workouts, and also track my progress with pictures,” she maintained. “I hope to keep using PumpUp as a source of motivation that will push me towards my dream body.”

Biggest Source of Motivation 

Jen Selter. I mean really, I am sure she is a good chunk of the woman population’s motivation. My goal in my fitness life is a tiny waist and big booty just like her.”

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Alexa’s eats 

“Hummus and veggies are my favorite snack. I also love any kind of fruit. I wish I had a healthy recipe to pass on, however I admit I am not the greatest cook! I’m hoping to pick up on more recipes/meal ideas from my PumpUp family.”

Alexa’s favourite workout 

I LOVE THE STAIRMASTER. I have to do it every time I workout. Even if I incorporate some other cardio, it must be done. I think I sweat more doing stairs than anything else, and I love to sweat makes me feel like I am pushing myself. And I really just love working on my booty.”

Fun fact about Alexa

When I was younger, I broke my right upper arm about 10+ times, and had 5-7 surgeries on it. The oddest way I broke my arm was when I was reaching out for my scooter and my arm immediately cracked. This was after I had a few surgeries to transplant bone marrow from my hip to my arm because the doctor believed it was a bone marrow deficiency. The medicenter found out that my bone was about the size of a toothpick (explains the easy break), because there was a tumor eating away at my bone (not cancerous though). However it was later removed, and pins were put in place to help strengthen my arm as the bone grew back. My arm has not broken since, it has had some weakness and pain at times, however; it does not slow me down or change my workouts. No excuses!”

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Follow @alexawinter on the PumpUp app, and keep her pumped as she posts updates of her healthy and active lifestyle! Also find her on her fitness Instagram (@littlefitlex) and on her personal (@lilmunchielex).

Transformation Tuesday

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

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PumpUp member mrshaldane went through an incredible transformation and is starting a 40 days of fitness and no sweets challenge! Reblog to keep her pumped, or if you feel like trying this with her! “Whenever I feel too tired and worn out, I remind myself that you can do anything for 30 minutes! Something is better than nothing.”

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Did PumpUp help you reach your goals in 2014? Even a little bit (or a lot!)? We’re looking to feature amazing stories next month and we’d love to hear from you! Email alessandra@pumpup.co

Zoe achieved all of her progress without the help of a gym! Here's how- PumpUp Spotlight Series

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Zoe (@zoetigran) has a luminescent smile and the warmest heart. She joined PumpUp in October 2013 to keep her heart healthy in light of her family’s history of cardiovascular disease. “I realized how important it was to live a healthy lifestyle and I didn’t want any problems as I got older, particularly with my heart,” she elaborated. “A lot of people in my family don’t lead a healthy lifestyle and are now afflicted with heart problems. I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me. I know I’m young but you can never start too early!”

Being proactive about her holistic wellbeing, rather than being reactive towards problems that arise from unhealthy decision-making, was the solution that Zoe sought when she became a member of the PumpUp community. “Before PumpUp I wasn’t that healthy. I ate a lot of junk food and I’d go to McDonalds every Saturday with my sister,” she lamented. “The only exercise I performed was one hour of hip hop…and that was once a week.” Though she was never overweight, Zoe went on to explain that her changes in her body began to reflect her sedentary lifestyle. “I didn’t drink enough water, and my body had no shape at all,” she elaborated. “In 2012 I realized that I wasn’t healthy but I didn’t know what to do. I started my journey by eating more wholesome food in the summer of 2013. Then I began to think about fitness—although I was hesitant because I had the impression that you could only exercise at the gym.”

 

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Believe it or not, Zoe has achieved all of her progress without the help of a gym. She prefers calisthenics and at-home workouts. “I’ve NEVER been to the gym and I don’t use anything when I work out. I first and foremost want to prove to myself and to others that you can reach your goals without pouring tons of money into a gym membership, machines, and weights,” she affirmed. “You can do it with just you, your body, and your own bedroom.” After she joined PumpUp, Zoe began to realize the benefits of training every part of her body, rather than one single area. She particularly enjoys the Ultimate Lower Body Gainer and the Ultimate Body K-O workouts on the app. “At the beginning of my journey I only performed core exercises,” she admitted. “The rest of my body wasn’t in shape at all. I now make sure that I do full-body workouts as well.”

Zoe more regularly incorporates exercise into her busy schedule as a student and she has a greater flare for culinary creativity. “I like to go through the popular page on PumpUp to look for motivation or healthy food,” she explains. “Healthy food sounds boring, but there are so many ways to make your food healthy AND delicious. After joining PumpUp, I try to perform a 30-minute workout at least five times a week.” Though she does treat herself to McDonalds from time to time, she hardly eats fast food as frequently as she used to. “I also make sure to get enough sleep and drink more water,” she added.

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She encourages other PumpUp members to be resilient. “Never give up!” Zoe exclaimed. “It sounds cliché and I’m sure everyone says this, but once you start something, you have to finish it. I promise: You won’t regret any minute of your workout!” She also advises that members shouldn’t let lactic acid buildup discourage them from continuing their workout. It’s all about mentality: “When I felt my muscles burn during a workout at the beginning of my journey, I’d stop completely,” she continued. “That wasn’t the best decision. Now, when my muscles burn, I get excited because I know that I’m really working my body. I exercise ‘through’ the temporary pain.”

In the future, Zoe aspires to become a personal fitness trainer. She explained that she uses PumpUp not only to focus on her own progress, but to help others achieve their goals as well. “Now that I’ve accomplished my goal of living a healthier life, I make smaller goals for my self like gaining more muscle mass and slimming out my thighs a little bit,” she explains.

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While Zoe’s best friend Jente helps to keep her accountable in her daily life, she derives inspiration not only from PumpUp’s popular feed, but when other people leave motivational comments on her account. “It feels good when you know that others believe in you,” Zoe said happily.

Zoe’s Favourite Meals 

“When I don’t have a lot of time in the morning I like to put a banana, an orange and a couple (or a LOT) spoons of muesli in the blender. Delicious breakfast!”

Motivational Mantra

"If you work hard, you’ll reach your goals before you even realize"

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More About Zoe

“I’m 16 years old and I live in a small city in the Netherlands. When I’m older I want to become a personal fitness trainer in Florida. I have big dreams, but I know I can do it!”

Keep Zoe motivated as she tracks her progress on the app @ZoeTigran!

Throwback Thursday: Back Progress

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"For the past three months, I committed to become healthy. I wanted to prove to myself that it was achievable and to somehow, someday inspire those close to my heart to do the same." This message does nothing but #SpreadPositivity!

Marieta is basically PumpUp's guardian angel - PumpUp Spotlight Series

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@_Marieta_ is one of the most wonderfully inspiring and positive members to have ever joined the PumpUp community. Like a guardian angel watching over the PumpUp universe, Marieta continues to support and encourage other members despite not being able to post as frequently as she used to. Similar to our other terrific spotlight members, she has touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of others since she became a part of the community in May 2014. “I joined to help myself with personal workouts, and to gain help and support,” she explained. “Now it feels like I found my second family.”

Despite the fact that Marieta had never been overweight nor underweight, she was nevertheless struggling with eating healthfully and lacked the motivation to exercise as often as she would have liked to. “I’d only dance once a week—that was it for my workouts,” she elaborated. “Though I am a generally positive person, I lost almost all of the energy that I used to have within the span of a year. I would catch myself feeling sad or aggressive for no reason.”

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Everything changed when she found the motivation that she needed on PumpUp. “When I saw all of the different people on PumpUp working hard at school, at work, at home (especially the amazing fit-moms on the app) who still found the time and energy to squeeze workouts into their crazy schedule and to cook healthy food, it changed everything,” she confessed.  “This community and its beautiful members brought me back to life.”

She relies on a stream of constant and daily inspiration thanks to PumpUp members such as @nystrongest, @_harleyjade_, @hotchilipepper, and @kathreena. “It was a big surprise for me when I realized that everybody on PumpUp could share their progress with each other,” she revealed. “The best part of it is that no matter how you look, people will support you and give you tons of motivational words and healthy tips.”

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For those looking to lead a more active lifestyle, she advises that positivity is best way to stay committed. “You can always find a million reasons and decide to NOT do something, and it always seems impossible until you find one tiny reason to say yes,”she insists. “Find this reason, believe in it, believe in yourself, and start working. You and only you are responsible for your happiness. Your mood should not depend on the weather, nor on other people who weren’t nice to you.”

Despite not being able to post as often, Marieta is constantly on the app for her daily dose of motivation. “If mothers who work 6 days a week can do it, and if people who have been through tough surgeries can do it, then you can do it too,” she affirmed. “Don’t let excuses hold you back. That’s what I continue to tell myself every single day. I could never imagine that there were so many positive, kind, and beautiful people in this world, and PumpUp just puts all of them in one place! Couldn’t be more inspiring!”
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Motivational Mantra
“Life is too short to spend it on sadness and negativity. Love your family and friends, love yourself. Live a full life. Carpe diem - seize the day. That’s what my tattoo says!”

Favourite Exercises
“Squats and lunges with a barbell, leg raises, donkey kicks, hip raises and the plank of course. With these ones you can really tone up your body.”

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Favourite meal

“I love bananas (I could eat them all day long)! I also love quinoa, tomatoes, spicy food and meat.”

Marieta’s Protein-Packed Mixed Berry Smoothie

“Yogurt, 2 bananas 1 cup of frozen berries, 1tbsp of pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp peanut butter.
One day I hope to have my own small café with delicious healthy food and drinks!”

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Keep track of Marieta and she’ll keep you motivated on PumpUp @_marieta_ and on Instagram @marietamulata