Viewing entries tagged
how to eat healthy

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! 

10 steps to better eating : the mental approach

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This is a post published by PumpUp member @coachmelissa. Check out her website at melissalepage.com 

Clear your mind of can’t. I believe that you can eat your way to a beach-ready body for the summer. Trimming off those extra holiday pounds might be a hurdle and a half, but don’t give up now! 

Be patient and follow these 10 steps 

1. SET PRESENT-TENSE GOALS! It all starts by having clear and realistic goals. Write a list of things you want to change about your diet. Incorporate goals that you have for your body and plan your new lifestyle around those objectives. How to do it? Set present, short them and long term goals. Write in the present tense. Pin it up somewhere in your house: a place you know you won’t be able to avoid (like the fridge). Take it one goal at a time. Take your time to achieve your goals, it’s not a contest :-).

2. Make Your Goals Public! You might feel uncomfortable doing this but I highly suggest it. Why? Because making your goals public (on the pumpupapp, for example) will put a pressure on you and will have no other choice but to follow through with them ;-)! Plus, you can inspire people around you and they might join you!

3. Realistic Expectations. You need to be realistic when setting up the parameters of your new diet. Your plan needs to work for you and your situation. Follow your budget, cook your food to help you stay on track with your new lifestyle. Be realistic with time, and give yourself extra time to prepare food. Keep in mind that obstacles can and will derail you from your progress, so don’t think that everything will be easy and will just magically happen. This takes work.

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4. Keep healthy food on hand. Make a list of foods you enjoy, and what food you can take with you to work, school, in the car etc. You can create entire menus depending on where you will be. Never give yourself an excuse to not have something available for you to eat, no matter where you are when you are supposed to have a meal. Always keep healthy food on hand. If you don’t you will end up eating whatever is available for you at the moment. This can throw off a diet plan and get you in the habit of making bad food choices and eat whatever is fast and convenient.

5. Consistency Is Key! People respond well to consistency. Make a plan and stick to it. Try to eat at around the same times daily and keep the same portion size and caloric intake. Your body will recognize this pattern and in turn keep your metabolism burning and your energy level will stay high. You will feel better by getting yourself in a healthy routine!

6. Be Flexible. Of course, even the best plans fall short at times. Sometimes your eating routines need to change. Where you can, try to plan ahead for these events and have items on hand you can take with you when you’re in a rush or are eating out. Example: bag of nuts or almonds, protein bars, shakes, fresh fruits. Also, educate yourself on nutrition through the internet, blogs, magazines, books…Use your knowledge to help you improvise and find foods that are more compatible with your diet.

7. Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes or miss a few meals. Even I do it. Just pick yourself up and get back on track! You’re doing this for you, so the added stress of not living up to your own expectations can lead to a total diet derailment. Being healthy and eating healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy food that isn’t on your meal plan. So, please don’t beat yourself up. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

8. Make It Fun! Eating right takes dedication, commitment and sacrifice. Don’t stress yourself out over small bumps in the road. You have the power to change any negative situations or thoughts into positive ones. Find fun ways to keep yourself motivated! Get your family or a friend involved. Set challenges at home, with friends or at work to start eating healthier. You are making change for the better, so why not make it enjoyable!

9. Give Yourself Praise! Don’t reward yourself with treats. This will derail all of your week efforts into the trash. Realize that changing your eating habits can be a daunting task for anyone. Just think how long you have had your correct habits and know that changing those habits will not happen overnight, but with time. Congratulate yourself on any healthy changes you make, you deserve the praise!!! Instead of rewarding yourself with a treat, go and get a nice tank top to motivate you even more! Praise builds confidence and makes you feel good about the healthy choices you are making and in turn helps you stay on your path to betterment.

10. Focus On The Journey And Not The Destination. It is never easy to love a healthy lifestyle. But in order to enjoy it with all the ups and downs, we must enjoy the process and the journey on the way to our destination. Once we hit our destination we immediately look to the next mountain top and we either want more or worst case scenario we think that we have accomplished all we need to and we relax on all of the things that got us there in the first place. Take pride in the small victories along the way, they add up.

Making successful changes means measuring your progress towards your goals and recognizing your accomplishments. As you meet short-term goals, you can plan the next steps with more confidence. Constantly re-strategizing your goals takes long-term visualization. That long-term vision needs to be broken down into doable steps.

Now, go out and make a difference in your life today!!! Would you like to receive more support from me on a daily basis?? Ask me about my next Challenge & Support Group!

Together we can set goals and achieve them!

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Don't just dream about a healthy lifestyle, adopt it and maintain it

This is part of a series of posts by Jennifer (@liftingfairy on PumpUp), a bikini competitor. Check out her blog here. 

The first month of the New Year is slowly coming to an end. I’m sure that a lot of people have already given up on their good intentions. This is pretty normal if you don’t have a specific plan in mind. Even if you did give up, it’s never too late to start again. This time, let’s start right.

Here are my 10 tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle

1. A realistic and healthy eating plan: 

As I always advise, set up an eating plan with lots of variety. Don’t make it overly complicated. Make it interesting for you. Think about healthy options that you’d personally (and realistically) look forward to eating, and plan around it.

2. Have faith in yourself:

Seeing is believing. Once you see results and see that you are capable of making changes in your behaviour, you will become more confident and motivated. Break down your goal in smaller steps; it will make it easier for you to believe that you can achieve it.

3. Avoid negativity:

Research has shown that social support is very important, especially after the first few weeks when your motivation begins to fade. Avoid negative people, seek support from a community of likeminded individuals like those on the pumpupapp, or get a gym-buddy to work out with you.

4. Work out all the details:

If you want to lose weight or hit the gym more frequently, set up a sensible plan for your grocery-shopping, cooking and workouts. Get a solution for your cravings without depriving yourself from food you love.

5. Celebrate small achievements

Say that you want to lose 30 kg. You’ll be much more motivated to stick to your goal when you think of every 5 kgs ‘lost’ as a ‘milestone’. Your success is a composite of mini milestones strung together. 

6. Prepare yourself for cravings:

Cravings are caused by swings in your blood sugar. Avoid quick boosts like sweets, soda or simple carbs. If you eat every 3 hours and include lean protein from nuts, meats or beans, you will satisfy your hunger for fewer and healthier calories.

7. Control your surroundings:

Eliminate tempting and fattening treats from your environment by stocking the pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods. For the first weeks, it may also be best for you if you surround yourself with people, places and things that will HELP you change and not tempt you.

8. Change your bad habits into good ones, don’t just cut down on them

Instead of resolving to eat less junk food or watch less television, think of a good habit that you can substitute for each bad habit that you’re trying to get rid of. Just dieting and cutting down on everything is non-sense. It isn’t a healthy, nor sustainable way to maintain your lifestyle.

9. Treat yourself:

Every time you reach one of your ‘baby goals’, reward yourself with anything you want: flowers, new gym clothes, even a sweet treat (in moderation).

10. Setbacks are inevitable:

It is totally okay if you have a setback, what matters is that YOU can control it. You have to learn to ‘recover’ from slips. You have to be strong, and remind yourself that you are strong and that you can do it. You shouldn’t see a setback as a failure and use them as an excuse to give up.

As far as I am concerned, I don’t call it ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ but rather ’ New Year’s Goals’, simply because I think that if you set a goal you are more likely to stay motivated and reach them as if you just set up some good intentions. And while I don’t have to change my eating habits or change my gym-habits, I have different things I want to achieve or improve for this year:

  1. Spend more time with my family
  2. Walk my fluffy ball Mumble more often
  3. Get in even better shape than I was in 2014
  4. Get a satisfying placement at the ‘Top de Colmar’ (France), Powerfood’s J-M.B Open (Luxembourg), Miss FIBO Power Beauty (Germany), West-German Championship (Germany) & maybe qualify for the World Championships in Warsaw (Poland)
  5. Be more organized  
  6. Be more positive
  7. Save more money (very original I know haha)

I am convinced that by the end of 2015 I will have tallied almost all the goals on this List. The 4th resolution may be the most difficult one, but I believe in myself. I want to represent my team with my best possible shape at the Powerfood’s J-M.B Open and if I get the chance to participate at the world-championship in Warsaw I don’t want to just be part of the event. I am going to compete. 2015 is GAME TIME.