Viewing entries tagged
how to be confident

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

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

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

PumpUp's best advice for anybody struggling with low self-esteem

PumpUp's best advice for anybody struggling with low self-esteem

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Take care of how you speak to yourself. You are not a mistake or a problem to be solved. You're capable! Rather than focusing on what you dislike about your body, focus on what you do like. Your capabilities and small achievements will propel you further than you could have ever imagined. We asked the PumpUp community about their best advice for anybody struggling with low self-esteem during their health and fitness journey and here's what they had to say: Hate versus Love. Take care of how you speak to yourself // PumpUp's best advice for anybody struggling with low self-esteem

Hate: "I am stupid for making this mistake." Love: "I am human, I make mistakes. I'll make an effort to do better next time." Remember, you are worth it.  - PumpUp member @millybedilly

You have an infinite power that can make or break you. Control your emotions and be the champion of your own life // PumpUp's best advice for anybody struggling with low self-esteem

You have this incredible, infinite power within you that can literally make or break you. Confidence starts from within and not from external things. Once you realize that you have the choice to control your emotions, you will be the champion of your own life! Tap into your power because you can do amazing things! - @plantbasedbabe

You are still beating the old you // PumpUp's best advice for anybody struggling with low self-esteem
Your speed doesn’t matter, forward is forward. Don’t beat up yourself trying to be like somebody else! Your progress is yours and nobody can’t take that away from you. There’s no place to go but forward. You’re still beating the old you, the one who always had an excuse; the one who said 'Tomorrow, I’m eating healthy'; the one who said, 'I’ll hit the gym next week, next summer, next year'. You and only you have the power to make your life extraordinary. Don’t wait for somebody to tell you this and make you see your potential. It’s all on you! Don’t give up. - @daphnec
No matter how fast you run, you're still lapping everybody on the couch // PumpUp's best advice for anybody with low self esteem
Even if you go slow, you’re still lapping everyone who’s on the couch. No matter how heavy you lift, how fast or slow you run, how many squats you do, or how often you exercise, it doesn’t matter. you’re trying and making an effort to better yourself, which is a huge step that so many people don’t take -@karak
Every downhill has an uphill // PumpUp's best advice for anybody struggling with low self esteem
Be patient, just stay positive about life. Life is hard if you think everything is going to be about and rainbows and happiness. You’re thinking wrong. Change your attitude. Remember that every downhill has an uphill. You just need to change directions and put a little more effort so that push through anything you’re going through. - @marianarobledosegura
Take all the negativity from your life and make it your strength. Follow your dreams & make them a reality. Most of all, believe in yourself because if you don't, no one else will.  Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you. Do not strive for perfection but strive for greatness. Write your own story and keep your eyes on your goal. You never know who you are inspiring.
Chiara Pereira
If it doesn't lift you up, ditch it. - @hisroyal10ness
Thanks for all of these great pieces of advice for anybody struggling with low self-esteem! Contribute to the discussion by letting us know your best advice in the comments below!

Transformation Tuesday: How Robyn wore a dress confidently for the first time in 3 years

Transformation Tuesday: How Robyn wore a dress confidently for the first time in 3 years

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March to your dream and bring others up along the way! Congratulate PumpUp member @robynwhite for all she achieved! Last week, Robyn shared with the PumpUp community hat she was able to wear a dress confidently for the first time within the past 3 years. She has been documenting her transformation between 2013 and 2015. robyn wore a dress confidently

"Looking at these pictures make me want to scream with happiness," she professed.  "These past months have been so hard for me: I've cried and put myself down about how I looked, but I turned it around! I wore a dress for the first time in 3 years! I am in love with this dress and I'm falling in love with my body." These changes manifested themselves after Robyn adopted a healthier diet. She is far more confident than she has ever been before. With the help of the PumpUp community, Robyn is learning to focus on how far she has come, rather than on how far she has to go. Keep her pumped!

 

Motivation Monday: How does self-love make you feel?

Motivation Monday: How does self-love make you feel?

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How does self-love make you feel?

Of course there is a lot of talk surrounding how difficult and painstaking it is to achieve self-love. It’s a process. It’s a journey. It takes time. As arduous as the process may be, you may want to consider how loving yourself makes you feel. Open your eyes to your the possibilities that await you. This one statement floating around the boards of Pinterest and WeHeartIt grafts everything together into a perfect, cohesive message: You are an individually fascinating combination of thoughts, ideas, feelings, and emotions. You are worthy of love, health and happiness. Don’t let value-judgments encumber you. Dream about your goals and live them. Live.

Transformation Tuesday: JessicaMazzone

Love Yourself. The emotional aspect of your transformation may just be the most important aspect. This is PumpUp member jessicamazzone, a dedicated biology student who is finding her way to health and happiness through the medium of self love. “High school was a dark point for me. I was injured from cross country and track, left uneducated about a normal diet and health in general. I used food as an emotional crutch. I didn’t realize that I hated myself until I started loving myself. It’s been more than 5 years in the making”. She’s lost a bit over 10 lbs but most importantly, gained a world of confidence. Keep her pumped! Here’s her 3-month progress shot :) Congratulate her on the pumpupapp: http://bit.ly/trypumpup

5 ways fitness taught me to love myself

This is a post by PumpUp member Claire Kane (@voltafitness), qualified fitness instructor, sports nutritionist, and the brains behind VoltaFitness

“She Loves Herself” usually has negative connotations; arrogance, a judgmental nature, vain, attention seeking. I think it’s time we changed that, don’t you?

My Fitness Journey, particularly the last 6 or 7 months, has taught me that loving yourself is a positive thing; it makes life more enjoyable, makes it easier to get on with other people and it makes it easier to make decisions that will improve your life.

1.     It taught me how phenomenal my body is

Fitness is a great way to get to know your body. When I say phenomenal I don’t mean “bodacious”. I mean it is an extraordinary and interesting thing that is capable of a lot of movements and reactions, and so is everyone else’s body.

Learning that my body can deadlift a load I would never have thought of attempting to move has made me appreciate it so much more. Learning that feeding it the right foods and training it in the right ways will get to respond the way I want it to has rendered me awestricken. When you think something is awesome or even intriguing you realise how outstanding it is and learn to love it. I can now look in the mirror without dread and shame and trust me, this has been the biggest part of the battle.

2.     It taught me to appreciate the idea of “rest”

Any of my friends, family or colleagues will tell you that I am a worrier; perpetually anxious and almost afraid to not work or do something to keep myself busy. I would socialise, work and write myself into the ground to the point where I could hardly produce the energy to meet friends for coffee.

Learning the importance of “rest and recovery” in training made me realise how important it is in the rest of my life.  That’s why we have annual leave in work, it’s why we take vacations; we need to slow down and take a break from the daily grind regularly to ensure that we are really benefiting from what we are doing. I now make time to read non-fitness and work related books and blogs every night before bed, I pick days when I will promise myself a pamper session or a lazy day and I consciously make more time for the little enjoyable things like watching a TV show or going out with friends and I am so much better for it.

3.     It taught me to be mindful

Fitness is a form of mindfulness, especially strength training. If allows you focus on one thing; getting through your sets and completing each rep. It is the one time in a lot of dedicated trainers’ days when they put their worries behind them and that is honestly the best thing you can do.

Being Mindful is to be consciously aware of how you feel, what you are doing and your surroundings and it is important to practice so you don’t get caught in a whirlwind of negative emotions and anxieties. It is, essentially, one of the most important things you can do to look after yourself.

4.     It taught me to put myself first

Whether as a result of being focused on my goals, the advice of my trainer or the people I have come across on social media I have learned that it is not a bad thing to put yourself first.

I am a firm believer that an inherently good person will always be available to help and to listen when someone needs them. I have learned, however, through fitness in one way or another, that putting yourself first does not make you a bad person either.

It’s ok to say “no” to plans, it’s ok to say you can’t go because you want to train and it is ok to decide you are no longer going to put up with someone or something if it will benefit you.

5.     It made me more aware of my mental health

Ok. Time to get heavy. There was a time when I was only happy during and after a training session. For a while this felt normal, it was a very welcome release, but when I became more aware of the contrast between how I felt when I was training and how I felt the rest of the day I realised there was something else wrong. As well as helping me realise that there was an issue, Fitness kept me going while I tried to figure out what was going on and how I could fix it.

Because I was more aware of my mental health and triggers in my life that made me feel bad, to put it gently, I eventually developed the tools and the wherewithal practice a little self-love, take care of my mind as well as my body and start creating a more positive life for more self.

Has training taught you to appreciate and take care of yourself more?

You can follow my journey, lap up my advice and consider my motivation over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as on my blog www.voltafitness.co and on PumpUp. I’d love to hear from you.

Give yourself a hug. Too many people forget to do so.

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.

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Photo c/o nymag.com

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.

Give yourself an enormous hug, hold on tight, and never let go

  • Love yourself with positive affirmations. Wake up and tell yourself that you are beautiful. Say something over the top; something that you can’t resist giving yourself a smile to. Rather than focusing on what you feel inadequate about, congratulate yourself on something that you’re proud about every morning. Even watch cute puppy videos to restore your faith in humanity (yes, that part of YouTube will instantly make your bleak morning a much brighter place)
  • Nourish yourself with nutritious food. Eat well. Drink well. Drink water! Never punish yourself for eating poorly. Focus on what you did right, and do even better the next day.
  • Immerse yourself in an environment of people who encourage you. Communities like PumpUp are wonderful at doing this! Reach out for help when you need it; loving yourself doesn’t always have to be a lonely journey.
  • Compare yourself to nobody. Make each day an opportunity for self-improvement. Congratulate others and support others, but never ever feel inadequate if you aren’t making progress at the same rate as they are. Everybody has different needs, different goals, different bodies, and different circumstances. What makes you unique already makes you beautiful.
  • Forgive yourself. The past is in the past; let it go! Your future is uncertain, but it’s brimming with possibilities. Build upon your past, learn from it, and grow stronger. It helped shape who you are today.

How Miranda lost 81 lbs in one year - PumpUp Success Stories

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Miranda has been a member of PumpUp for just over a year and has made leaps and bounds throughout her transformation journey. To say that she is amazing would be an understatement. “I was doing short cardio workouts at first, and 30-60 minutes of walking about 3x a week,” she stated. “Not long after joining PumpUp, I amped up my workouts to incorporate strength training and weight lifting. I currently eat much healthier than I used to and exercise 5x a week. The app has motivated to mix up my routine withab workouts, cardio, and strength training.” 

Since the very beginning of her time with PumpUp, Miranda lost an incredible total of 81 lbs! “I managed to tone up my belly and I finally feel like I’m bikini ready,” she gushed. “I am much more happy, confident, and most importantly healthy.” Within the span of a year, she went from a size XL to a size S and documented all of her progress with her PumpUp family.  The community couldn’t be more proud of everything that she has accomplished.

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What’s more, Miranda professed that her transformation enabled her to embrace a more profound sense of self-love. “I recently started to love myself,” she insisted. “I’m 100% confident with how my body feels and looks. I overcame a very low sense of self-esteem. I really disliked how my body looked before my transformation.” Miranda is a regular fan of the customized workouts that the app creates for her. She uses her profile as a photo diary to keep track of her progress and log her workouts as well.

As Miranda continues her journey with PumpUp, she hopes to lose a bit more body fat and enhance muscle definition all over her body. “I’ve made a lot of progress with my midsection recently,” she revealed. “I’m most proud of that so far. I’ve done all of my workouts and lost all of the weight by myself. I couldn’t have done it without the support from my friends, my family, my boyfriend (who recently got PumpUp @bradlong92), and of course everyone on the PumpUp community.”

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Biggest motivation

I love sandrafitness’s  posts. Her body is perfect!

Miranda’s eats

“Protein bars are my absolute favourite snack and I adore protein shakes—this girl loves her protein!”

Motivational mantra

“Fitness is not about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than who you used to be.”

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Workout routine

I love PumpUp’s ab routines and full body workouts. They really make you sweat! “

Keep Miranda pumped up @mirandahoffman520!

Are you on your fitness journey for the right reasons?

In this post, PumpUp member fitnessriss (@carissamarie2 on the pumpupapp) teaches us how to reorient our mindset in a positive way, allowing us to view our personal motives for “fitness” with more critical introspection. 

Everybody wants to be a health nut, to have that “perfect” body, and to be that “beast” in the gym. I’m curious though; do we know why we want these things? Are we working hard for the right reasons? We each have our individual reasoning, but together we should be working towards the same thing: to better ourselves, to become healthier beings, and to spread love. Your goals should not be surrounded in vain; striving to imitate the hottest celebrity or striving to become beautiful! Do it for YOU! You are someone great and you were born beautiful.

Every human being is beautiful, you must learn to love yourself, because nobody will love yourself more than you will. We must stop comparing ourselves to people we’ve never met, and start comparing ourselves only to the person we were yesterday. Are you better than you were yesterday? No? Then continue to do exactly what makes you better than you were yesterday, whether that is working out, finishing your work, creating something, or simply thinking positively about yourself.

Remember: be patient while working towards your goals!  If your goal is to be healthy and yo see yourself going down an unhealthy spiral, make sure you pick yourself up instead of bringing yourself down. Boost your confidence with positive affirmations and keep working toward those goals. Be patient, you will get to where you need to be in time. Focus on the now, because that is truly where we are. Right now is all we have to bring the tomorrow we want. Worrying about your past or future is useless and wastes the time you have in the present.

We are all beautiful human beings. Be proud. Be you. Stop saying I will be healthy, I will be beautiful, I will be happy. Instead, right now, at this moment, remind yourself you ARE healthy, you ARE beautiful, you ARE happy. Be all that you can imagine right now. And if you are able to make these realizations, you can view the world with clear eyes and a warm heart. You will see others with the same beauty you see within yourself and love others as you love yourself. In turn, this spreads positivity and happiness to everyone, and creates a better environment and better world for all of us to live in. Now, ask yourself, do you do what you do to become a better you? A healthier you? Are you doing this for your happiness and your well-being? Are you doing this for you?

6 body positive cards that are as beautiful as you

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6 body positive cards that are as beautiful as you are

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.

Transformation Tuesday: Focus on non-scale victories

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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!”

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!!

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

Confidence

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

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Motivation

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

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Exercise

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

Eating and drinking

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

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Rest

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

Other

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

Little things you can do to become more confident

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(Image source: Pinterest)

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

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(Image source: Fengshuidana)

Surround yourself with positivity 

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

Identify the sources of your insecurities and eliminate what you can

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

Compare yourself to nobody except yourself

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

Perform the best exercise that you can do: smile

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

Let's Change Low Self-Esteem into Self Love!

This is a post by Abigail B. (@shaudae on PumpUp). Follow her on Tumblr and on her Wordpress blog at Inspiration Served Daily

"Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions." - Harvey Mackay

Ever thought that because of how you look people will not take you seriously? As a consequence, you’re hesitant to push yourself to the forefront because you’re afraid of how you they think you look.

Will they like me? Will they really listen to ME or will they just look at how fat or how skinny I am? 

You find every reason to convince yourself and others that you are not the right person for the job, even if others believe in you. Let me tell you right now, DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF.

"The moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness.”

― Shannon L. Alder 

We are on a journey together. What you weigh right now is not the final you! Don’t give up. There are people who will doubt you and who will tell you that your goal does not make pragmatic sense. Don’t listen to them. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone; strive to become better than you were yesterday - for YOU. When people criticize you, they’re just jealous - that’s the truth.

This is a progress photo from Abigal: she’s lost 15 pounds this month!

I can say all this because there was a time when I thought that self-esteem was derived solely from how you look. So I was afraid to go out; afraid to speak up; afraid to go to the gym because I was extremely body-conscious; afraid to have confidence; afraid to develop my skills and excel in everything I do because I was afraid of what people would say about me - how I look and how dare I have so much confidence, looking like that. Over the years I have come to realize that self-esteem is, above all things, loving who you are and appreciating where you are in life and working each day to become better, to be one step closer to self-actualization.

"Your self-esteem won’t come from body parts. You need to step away from the mirror every once in a while, and look for another reflection, like the one in the eyes of the people who love you and admire you." - Stacy London 

So in 2015 and beyond - love yourself. Be the most positive and determined person you know. We cannot truly encourage others and not encourage ourselves. Do not let ANYONE control your emotions and define what you think of yourself. No more low self-esteem; self-love then spread love.

- Abigail Brady

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!

Transformation Tuesday: Transcending Emotional Eating

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#MyResolution Photo Challenge: Day 6 (Transformation)

Whether you’re at the very beginning, in the middle, or nearing the end of one of your goals, share a #transformation photo! We love all ‘before’, ‘after’, and ‘during’ photos! Use this photo as a marker of your progress at the end of the month :) @mariabellhouse’s quality is her ability to stay motivated throughout her journey, she wins some #PumpUpSwag!

Maria’s journey began over one year ago. Not only has she lost weight, she has most importantly and drastically improved her health. "I was in and out of the hospital with various gyno problems, which led me to having PCOS," she elaborated. "After numerous surgeries, I can’t have any more children. I do have one, who I love to pieces, but the thought that I couldn’t give my hubby children of his own made me an emotional eater." Maria took to food to help her ‘feel’ better. Since she made the decision to transform her lifestyle, all of that changed. The gym now keeps her motivated and is a space that allows her to stop dwelling on what she can’t have. “Even when things got tough, I stayed motivated because of good friends and [my PumpUp family] supporting me. I would have crumbled without them.”

#MyResolution: Share your favourite quality

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Here’s an awesome “How You See Yourself” photo project from PumpUp member @katymaty to end off our #MyResolution Day 5 Favorite Quality theme. “Even when look at ourselves in the mirror, we don’t see what’s really there. It’s so important for us to love ourselves, even if we aren’t our ‘perfect’ selves.” What are the qualities that you value in yourself?

Check out the full PumpUp #MyResolution photo challenge here

How Elizabeth overcame depression, binge eating, and learned to love herself - PumpUp 2014 Success Story

At this time last year, Elizabeth’s New Year’s resolution was the same as it always was: to lose weight. With the help of PumpUp, she accomplished so much more. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve had self worth issues,” she revealed. "I began to love the way I am, inside and out. I’ve lost 20 pounds and I’ve learned that the halfway point of becoming who you want to be begins with loving who you already are." Be inspired about how Elizabeth overcame bingeing and depression, transcended a weight loss plateau, and learned to love herself by joining the PumpUp community! Prior to her journey with PumpUp, Elizabeth’s struggles with binge eating made it difficult for her to lead a holistically healthy lifestyle. Any progress that might have been made through exercise stagnated due to her divisive relationship with food. “I worked out almost every day, but it was always the same kind of workout…it would barely make me sweat,” she recounted.  “I was so confused as to how I was gaining weight when I worked out every day.” Before PumpUp, Elizabeth would be overwhelmed by cravings and treated workouts as punishments for poor dietary decisions. “I would wake up, eat an unhealthy breakfast, be anxious for lunch, eat way too much food when I did eat lunch to the point of discomfort, come home to have a sugary snack, workout half-heartedly, then head home, eat dinner, and spend the rest of my night wishing I could be anyone but me,” she lamented. “I was miserable.”

This cycle of guilt and bingeing disintegrated after Elizabeth joined the PumpUp community. She’s been a beloved member for quite some time and understands how to live a healthy lifestyle through a different lens. “I learned that weight loss isn’t just about working out; it’s about everything all together—workouts, diet, and everyday activity,” she insisted. At first, Elizabeth turned to PumpUp purely as a source of inspiration. “I would read others’ success stories and I adopted a whole new outlook on how I should go about my weight loss journey,” Elizabeth confirmed. “PumpUp is the reason I actually be came a vegetarian—I look at PumpUp daily for new recipes and workouts to further my progress.” She only truly began to share about her journey with the community once she started to lose weight. “I felt that I should have had a little bit of progress before I started to motivate and encourage others,” Elizabeth shrugged. “Looking back, I can see that I wasn’t right. You can be at the very beginning of your journey and still inspire others. It’s all about attitude and perception.”

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Elizabeth was diagnosed with depression one year ago, and this impacted her journey in ways that she could never have imagined. “When I was first diagnosed, I felt so completely lost,” she recounted. “I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore. PumpUp was kind of how I began to find myself again. I would read blogs and stories all day long and realized that I had stopped crying.” At first, Elizabeth’s coping mechanism was to ignore her depression. “I never wanted to see my psychologist because I hated talking about my weight and how much I had grown to hate myself,” she recalled. “Slowly, I began to look at life with a different perspective. I would counteract every bad thought about myself with two good ones. Whenever I had a setback (such as having too much ice cream), I wouldn’t beat myself up about it—I would accept it and move on.” Elizabeth picks herself up and keeps moving forward, even when bad tides come crashing at the shores of her life. “There’s no point in wasting your life away by feeling sorry for yourself,” she insisted. “I found a lot of strength through my faith in God as well. It’s been quite the climb, but the view’s been worth it!”

After Elizabeth learned the importance of incorporating variety into her workout schedule, she transcended her weight loss plateau. She works out at least 4 days a week, alternating between yoga, tumbling, dance, running, and weight lifting. Although her food options are limited as a vegetarian, she goes about her lifestyle in a healthy way and makes sure that she eats more than just carbs. “I wake up, have an energizing breakfast (a smoothie, for instance), and go throughout the day happy and focused. I eat a light lunch—a salad or veggie sandwich—then relax when I get home,” she explained. “I work out, and after I eat my dinner I go to bed with a smile on my face. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and of who I am now.”  The  contrast between Elizabeth’s lifestyle prior to PumpUp and her current lifestyle is stark; it illustrates the extent of her successes, both mental and physical, since she became a member of the community.

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All of this was achieved within the span of a little more than one year. Elizabeth’s advice for those looking to achieve their New Year’s resolutions with the help of PumpUp emphasizes the importance of perseverance. “First, do NOT obsess over your goals and constantly worry about them. Goals are something to be taken one step at a time. No need to stress,” she counseled. “Second, learn that setbacks will and are going to happen, and that’s perfectly okay. Failure is a part of success. Third, try something new. Most of the time, if you’re stuck in a rut, it’s because you’ve been doing the exact same things. Trying something new can be life-altering. Be it a new class at the gym, or focusing on a different part of your diet, the more you change and arrange, the better shot you have at pin-pointing what’s really holding you back along your journey to success.”

As Elizabeth continues along her journey with PumpUp, she hopes to maintain all of her hard work by remaining active and eating healthily. She intends to inspire others by demonstrating how anybody can reach their goals if they try hard enough. “It’s not impossible. I’ve not only decided to become vegetarian, but I’ve followed through with that decision. I’ve finally learned how to appreciate myself the way I am,” she said firmly. “By using PumpUp I’ve come to the realization that I’ll never be a model-esque girl with a thin body frame, and that is 100% okay because who I am now is more than enough.” Even if Elizabeth hadn’t lost the weight during her journey, she asserts that the halfway point of becoming who you want to be begins with loving who you already are. “If I could pick the hardest part of this entire journey, that would be it,” she stressed.

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Biggest Motivation

“It is and has always been cheerleaders. As a cheerleader I know how rough it is to appreciate your body type. I’ve met so many cheerleaders who have beat anorexia, binge eating and depression. Professional cheerleaders have so much pressure on them to be perfectly skinny and athletic that it’s unreal. The girls who can take all that pressure and turn it into extreme focus for their dreams are so incredibly amazing to me.”

Favourite meals and drinks

“My absolute favorite drink is the newest low calorie Gatorade. It’s the type of drink that you can take with you to the gym and not worry about feeling weighed down. It gives you energy that will last throughout the day. My favorite meal is a special spaghetti with Morning-Star vegetarian meat. It has the most incredible taste without all the carbs. And my favorite snack is those plain string cheese sticks. It’s a great in-between meal snack to keep you full.”

Motivational saying

My favorite is a poem written by Erin Hanson called “You’re Not”:

"You are not your age,

Nor the size of clothes you wear,

You are not a weight,

Or the colour of your hair,

You are not your name,

Or the dimples in your cheeks,

You are all the books you read,

And all the words you speak,

You are your croaky morning voice,

And the smiles you try to hide,

You’re the sweetness in your laughter,

And every tear you’ve cried,

You’re the songs you sing so loudly,

When you know you’re all alone,

You’re the places that you’ve been to,

And the one that you call home,

You’re the things that you believe in,

And the people that you love,

You’re the photos in your bedroom,

And the future you dream of,

You’re made of so much beauty,

But it seems that you forgot,

When you decided that you’re defined,

By all the things that you’re not.”

Favourite Workout

“Tumbling. Whenever I tumble I love the feeling of adrenaline and I find it’s easier to be proud of myself after I finally hit a new skill. Tumbling is the best kind of workout to me. Half the time it doesn’t even feel like you’re working out. You get so caught up in the fun of it all. That’s what working out should always feel like. It doesn’t have to always be something you don’t want to do. Find something that’s a fun active activity for you and stick with it! The results will be rewarding, I promise!”

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More about Elizabeth

“Something interesting about me is that I play guitar and ride horses. I find so much peace in these two things. I love having “me time.” Because you’re stuck with yourself, so you mine as well learn to love you!”

Find Elizabeth on the PumpUp app making her dreams come true @elizabethgillespie5 and follow her on Instagram @lizzie_53.