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how to lose weight

Digest your food faster with the Thunderbolt pose

This is a post written by PumpUp member countrygirl4ever. I’m a size four, but I have the appetite of a college football player.  How? The Thunderbolt pose. This is one of my ultimate secret to having a fast metabolism.  I have been practicing yoga for over ten years and this is by far one of my favorite yoga poses because it helps aid in proper digestion. Unlike other Asanas that should be done on an empty stomach to prevent acid reflux, this asana is most beneficial done after eating.  How does this work? Well, sitting in this posture decreases the blood flow to the legs and increases the blood flow to the digestive organs, which increases the efficiency of the digestive system.

How to do a Thunderbolt Pose

  1. Kneel on both knees, keeping the legs together, placing the feet where the two big toes touch or slightly cross each other.
  2. Sit the thighs on the calves, keeping the spine and neck straight.  Look forward.  (The gluteus should be resting on the heels).
  3. Settle the hands on the knees, palms down, elbows straight and breathe naturally.

The goal is to sit like this for thirty minutes after a meal.  However, it is natural for the legs to start to cramp in the beginning if this is new for you.  If so, try to sit like this for one to five minutes, then stretch and massage the legs as needed, and try sitting again.  I recommend practice sitting like this at least once, if not two times a day, after a meal.  With practice, you’ll gradually build up and sitting in this pose for thirty minutes will be easy as a breeze.  A trick I use to move my attention away from my cramping legs is to watch TV or listen to music.  If I am really crushed on time, I’ll literally sit in this pose in my office to type up a report, to make a presentation, or to read.

Other health benefits for this pose are that it provides relief for people suffering from low back or sciatic pain, helps aid for ones with gas problems if done immediately after a meal, helps relieve constipation, gives longevity and strengthens the spine.

*Note: Although the Thunderbolt pose may have many health benefits, it is not recommended for anyone with bad knees or who has had knee surgery.

Transformation Tuesday : Dave Erskine


Love Yourself by believing in yourself! pumpupapp member dave_erskine has been documenting the most stunning transformation on PumpUp! “A year a go I was thinking about going from an XL to an XXL. This is the first time I can fit a medium t-shirt!” Keep him pumped! He has lost 88 lbs in the past year and plans to run his first ever 5K race with his brother!

How do you value yourself?


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?

Transformation Tuesday: Learn to love your past


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.”

Transformation Tuesday: Focus on non-scale victories


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!”

How Whitney got fit for her family - PumpUp Success Stories


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

Motivational Mantra

Train insane or remain the same!

Whitney’s Workouts

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!

10 steps to better eating : the mental approach


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

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.


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!


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.

Yvonne is in better shape than she's ever been before, and she isn't stopping - PumpUp Success Story

PumpUp has helped Yvonne receive more motivation than she had ever had during her fitness journey. She has received mutual support from the PumpUp community for just over 5 months. “A YouTube Guru LoeyLane mentioned it in one of her videos and it seemed like a very interesting way to stay connected to the fitness world, while keeping me motivated!” Suffice it to say, Yvonne is determined to achieve her goals in 2015 now that she has wholehearted encouragement from the PumpUp community to support her.

Prior to PumpUp, Yvonne lamented that she was extremely sedentary. “I never exercised ever and my portions were out of control—I’m not exaggerating,” she cautioned. “I would sit down and eat a whole lasagna, a liter of pop, and a big bag of Doritos 4 times a week.” Her routine involved very little activity. “I woke up, ate a huge meal for breakfast, went to work, and when I got home, my feet would be swollen from standing for 5 hours,” Yvonne recounted. “I would proceed to watch TV for 6 hours after that—all while snacking and eating.”


The secret to Yvonne’s success has been portion control and consistent exercise. “For some people, calorie counting is too extreme, and I understand,” she elaborated. “It is something that I do to keep myself accountable.” Yvonne strives to exercise 4-6 times a week, alternating between going to the gym, doing home workout DVDs, and workouts that she creates for herself on the PumpUp app. She strongly believes in moderation. “I can eat whatever I want, as long as it fits into my calorie limit,” she shrugged. “The only things I have cut out of my life are soda and Doritos, but that’s because I can’t have just one.”

What makes Yvonne’s triumphs even more impressive is that she suffers from PCOS, an endocrinal disorder that makes it more difficult for her to lose weight. “I get depressed easily with PCOS as well,” she added. “I’ve dealt with it by just going slow. Losing weight actually makes PCOS symptoms better. The more weight I lose, the better my symptoms.” She’s taking it one step at a time, all with support and encouragement from thousands of members of the PumpUp community.


According to Yvonne, anybody who wants to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle should just start. “Start today—just make little changes to begin with,” she explained. “At first try drinking an extra few glasses of water, then cut out pop, then eat less fast food. Once you make these changes, slowly start to incorporate exercise and find something you can stick to, like hiking or swimming.” Yvonne mentioned that she used MyFitnessPal, a calorie-counting app and community that helped her stay on track. “PumpUp and MyFitnessPal have been 2 of my biggest motivators since starting my journey,” she gushed. Yvonne is also motivated by her own progress. “I told myself that I must have the discipline to eat right and exercise, or I will have to face the consequences of health problems and unhappiness in the future,” she elaborated.

As Yvonne continues her journey on PumpUp, she hopes to lose some of her remaining weight and to build a stronger community. “I love to hear about other peoples’ goals and success stories,” she affirmed. “I have lost over 40 pounds since I began tracking my progress with PumpUp and I’d love to lose the remaining 68 pounds in 2015 using this app!”


Yvonne’s Favourite Eats

“My favorite snack would be plain yogurt with honey, vanilla granola and dark chocolate chips.

My favorite meal would be chicken breast, green beans and asparagus tossed in low fat alfredo sauce with low sodium chicken broth! So delicious, the veggies are a great substitute for the pasta. My favorite drink would have to be one scoop of my chocolate protein powder, 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, a frozen banana and one tablespoon of light peanut butter all blended together to make the best protein shake ever.”

Motivational Mantra

“’A year from now, you will wish you had started today.” I have this as my phone background as a reminder to never stop, never go backwards, even when I slip up, to just move on and start fresh.”

Favourite Workout

“My favorite routine on PumpUp would be full body pump! I find it quick and effective! When I’m not using PumpUp I’m either doing workout videos like Insanity, T25, 30 day shred! Or when I’m at the gym I am doing 15 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes with weights! That has been my go-to routine lately.”


Fun fact about Yvonne

“I actually weigh less now than I did when I was 12 years old! I’m 20 now!”

Keep Yvonne pumped on the PumpUp app @YvonneBerdkan and on Instagram @findingvonnie_

Transformation Tuesday: Katie Evitts


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!

Transformation Tuesday: Transcending Emotional Eating


#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.”