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how to gain confidence
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.
Love yourself by being your own motivation. Act in a way that maximizes your potential. Focus on non-scale victories and instead shift your attention towards how your actions make you feel. It will make a world of difference.
Here’s pumpupapp member annenhie’s gorgeous transformation: “I was looking for some motivation to work out and eat healthy. I figured that I’ve come such a long way, I should be my own motivation.” Keep her pumped and congratulate her on the PumpUp app! http://bit.ly/trypumpup
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.
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.”
I love sandrafitness’s posts. Her body is perfect!
“Protein bars are my absolute favourite snack and I adore protein shakes—this girl loves her protein!”
“Fitness is not about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than who you used to be.”
“I love PumpUp’s ab routines and full body workouts. They really make you sweat! “
Keep Miranda pumped up @mirandahoffman520!
Love yourself by valuing yourself just as pumpupapp member mandynom did throughout her transformation.
“I’ve lost 20+ lbs and learned to value myself more. The number is not the point. The amazing thing was that I learned how to love myself, which made me strive to be the best that I can be. Do what makes you happy and you’ll be amazed by the reward.”
When was the moment that you learned to value yourself?
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.
Love Yourself and let your past make you better, not bitter. pumpupapp member @getdolledupsd has begun to see changes in her mood and confidence since she started her journey 4 years ago, losing 40 lbs in the process.
“It’s good to look back to see how far you’ve come. I have much more energy to take care of my children. I’m in a much better place.”
So you’re working out. There are all of these hashtags to accompany this (#FitFam, #FlexFriday, #SquatNation, to name a few). But we work out…to what end? To look good, right?
Work out to let your outside match the beautiful person you are on the inside. Be mindful about what you eat because it has long term effects on your health, and not solely because you want to look good this summer.
Do this for you because you deserve tolook AMAZING. Do this because you deserve a happy and healthy life. The fact is that when you were fat or extremely slender your whole life and you start to achieve your ideal body weight; you begin to love the attention you receive and the hype gets to you; that’s human nature. Do not do this for the hype – itain’t worth it!
We often work out for all the wrong reasons and in turn we achieve short-term goals; or maybe we initially worked out for the right reasons but along the way - somewhere between the compliments, the lingering glances and the followers we gained on the pumpupapp - we lost sight of the true vision – to be healthy and happy. That’s fine. That’s why I’m here, to help you to change your thought process!
Now don’t get me wrong….
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” - Rick Warren
Let’s not be obsessed with ourselves but love ourselves enough…
- Love yourself enough to know that you should do this for you and no one else. #TheHypeFades
- Love yourself enough to know when to stop – we all know that you want results and we know that you want to share those results with the PumpUp community. But remember: your health is of utmost importance to us – take care of yourself.
- Love yourself enough to block out the negative energy from those who doubt that you are capable of achieving your goals – the fact is, some people just love to sip on that Haterade!
- Love yourself enough to be happy with who you are, work towards your fitness goal and be happy for others.
- Love yourself enough to not lie to yourself and allow people in your life who don’t mean you well – even your so called ‘friends’ – never allow anyone to make you feel less of yourself – you are enough.
I’ve been there - fat, sad and alone. It took me awhile to live up to my own advice. It took me awhile to remove the veil from my eyes so that I could see that I was not being healthy but I was destroying myself physically and mentally and allowing others to destroy me mentally as well. When I realized that I was enough, I came to the conclusion that I should love myself enough to know that I can workout at my own pace and achieve my goals just for me – because I am enough.
Achieve Self-Love then Spread Love…
- Abigail Brady
If there’s anybody who knows about loving herself throughout her fitness journey it’s Whitney. She’s a mother of 2 who has lost 60 lbs so far with the motivation and support of PumpUp! She’s a beacon of light, always brightening the skies of the PumpUp universe with her inspiring posts. In March 2014, Whitney adamantly put her foot down and firmly set her mind on becoming healthy for herself and for her family! “[After the birth of my son], I was determined to get in shape,” she elaborated. “I began to get more active even before I recovered from the delivery.” Her diet was the first aspect of her lifestyle that changed drastically. “Before PumpUp, my eating was horrible: pizza, macaroni and cheese, cookies, ice cream, fried chicken, you name it!,” she explained. “I’m not talking about small portions. I ate LARGE portions of food.” Since she became a member of PumpUp, Whitney is motivated to work out 5 days a week and incorporates a lot of protein, vegetables, fiber, and water into diet.
Whitney may have lost dress sizes since the beginning of her wellness journey, but she has gained an entire new outlook on life. “I told myself that by my birthday [towards the end of 2014], I was going to get to 250 lbs (down from 306 lbs) and I did,” she said breathlessly. “I have lost a total of 60 lbs. My journey is still ahead of me. I love the encouragement everyone on PumpUp gives! I have met a lot of people that don’t even know me. They push me harder than my own family!”
Whenever she feels like she’s in a rut, Whitney knows that she can trust her family on PumpUp to help her find the motivation that she needs to succeed. She has been a member of the community since July 2014 and never fails to share purely positive and upbeat posts with everybody on the app. “PumpUp is the best fitness community EVER,” exalted Whitney. “I feel pressured to make everyday count and I’m glad to have met some amazing people on this app! I want to say THANK YOU to everyone what has pushed, supported, and encouraged me on PumpUp to get back on the grind.”
Loving yourself isn’t easy, but Whitney has awesome advice for other PumpUp members who are just beginning their journey towards self love and self acceptance. “It’s going to take hard work and dedication,” she affirmed. “There will be times when you feel like giving up. If you want it badly enough, you will fight through it! Fight through your bad days! Just fight.”
Whitney hasn’t been alone in her journey. Her husband has lost over 150 lbs himself! Family has remained at the core of Whitney’s priorities throughout her fitness journey. “My biggest motivation is getting healthy and fit for my kids,” she professed. “I’d love to eventually have a body like Jordan Sparks.”
Whitney’s Favourite Drink
Chocolate banana protein shakes
Train insane or remain the same!
1 hr of cardio and exercising one muscle group daily!
Fun Fact About Whitney
I love shopping, going out to dinner, walking on the beach, and going on vacation.
Keep Whitney absolutely pumped along her journey on the pumpupapp @carmel23shine!
#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.”
There’s a saying that “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” PumpUp member @vania_cienfuegos wanted to #SpreadPositivity by giving a shoutout to her friend @jessicacavanaugh915.
Jessica lost 45 pounds in 9 months and also helped Vania with her own #transformation. “I’m not ashamed of what I used to be because it makes every bit of my progress more beautiful. It is a journey that never ends, and why would I want to? One step at a time.” She’s amazing!
This is a wonderful #transformation from PumpUp member y_alinda! She made this progress within the span of two years! “I feel great and am more focused than ever. Stay positive and work hard!” Have a great Transformation Tuesday to share? #SpreadPositivity with it!
Follow PumpUp on Tumblr for more inspiring transformations, recipes, gifs, and motivation!
PumpUp member @fitfoodiefuel posts the most delicious food photos (AND she’s making a cookbook soon!) She has a very inspiring story! “A lot of people work out to gain confidence, but not me. Confidence came first. I bought my first-ever bikini and realized that my body wasn’t as bad as I thought. That gave me the confidence and motivation to take care of my body”
Check out her PumpUp page for more!
Keep your head up, PumpUp! It’s #MotivationMonday! We love this quote shared by PumpUp member laurennaliceeward! Nothing can be done without hope and confidence :)
PumpUp member @kabirky went through a stunning #transformation!! She insists that, “Life is not about the weight you lose, but the life you gain” Keep her pumped!
Why self-confidence is more important than you think