Overcoming binge eating
Having a slim frame doesn't make you immune to body shaming. It affects everybody, either directly or indirectly. Though PumpUp member @laurakaleja has been slim for most of her life, one negative weight-related remark made a deep impression upon her relationship with food at a very young age. "Before I started using PumpUp, my diet was crazy and the only thought I had in my head was the need to be super skinny," she recounted. "When I lived with my grandmother in primary school, she let me eat everything I wanted and more. One of my siblings began to call me fat. It really hit me – it hurts when somebody close to you says those kind of remarks about you. From that point onward, I decided that nobody should ever have reason to call me overweight. I started to eat less and less, which of course led to binging later on." This mindset coaxed Laura into developing erratic eating patterns. "I went through so many different diets and experimented with vegetarianism, veganism, you name it. There was a point when I only ate raw food," she recalled. "As I got older, I began to realize that torturing my body with restrictions wasn't the answer."
Almost one year ago, Laura joined the PumpUp community in search of motivation to develop a healthy lifestyle rather than temporary bouts of fitness. "I wanted to get in better shape since one of my favourite YouTubers, Eva Marison, recommended it," she mused. "I immediately fell in love with the PumpUp community. It has always been very supportive and motivating. Most of all, I loved the workouts that PumpUp offered. It opened me up to a whole different range of exercises according to my goals an my fitness level."
A 21 km run became more than an aspiration for Laura
Since joining PumpUp, Laura's eating patterns are also much more balanced. "I have overcome bingeing by eating healthy snacks and having something sweet once in a while if my body really wants it," she offered. "I eat 3 healthy meals a day and 2-3 snacks a day. I hope that PumpUp will help me stay on the right track, because now I'm in a very good place. PumpUp has helped me to appreciate my worth beyond being skinny. With the help of this application I have changed my diet for the better." Laura is dedicated to maintaining this lifestyle. In addition to performing workouts on the app itself, she exercises 3-5 times a week at the gym and enjoys going on 7-20km runs. "I used to think that I couldn’t run more than 10 km, but using PumpUp has helped me realize that I can do even more," she confirmed. "In October 2014, PumpUp allowed me to accomplish something that I thought I couldn't do in a million years. I ran my first half marathon – 21 km."
Best advice for fellow PumpUp members
Be the best version of yourself! You will never look like anybody else, so instead of comparing yourself to others try to focus more on your goals. And remember that everything is possible if you try hard enough.
My go to dishes are brown rice with vegetables and chicken or with red beans, couscous with cooked mushrooms and vegetables, also different kind of salads – mostly with tuna fish. For breakfast my favourite food is oatmeal with fruit and for snacks – some fruit, a rice cake with peanut butter or carrots with hummus. Since I started using PumpUp I got a blender and now one of my favourite type of drinks are smoothies – my all time favourite is bananas with strawberries, blackberries and almond milk.
Biggest source of motivation
My biggest motivation is happiness – and a healthy lifestyle guarantees you that.
Don’t try to be perfect. Just try to be better than you were yesterday.
My most favourite activity is running. It is funny because I hated it a year ago. I used to run only to keep my body in shape, but now I absolutely love it!
Fun fact about Laura
I am a first year University of Latvia student. I study English philology and hope to have a job in the future that would involve a lot of traveling, because that is my favourite thing to do. The most exotic country to which I have been is India.
Keep Laura pumped on the app @laurakaleja and let us know if you were inspired by her story in the comments below. Have an awesome story to share with the PumpUp community? Did you achieve the unachievable? Tag your posts with #SpringIntoAction whenever you feel like you've especially challenged yourself throughout the month of April!