Viewing entries tagged
motivating people

Why Success Isn't Measured in Pounds | Transformation Tuesday

Why Success Isn't Measured in Pounds | Transformation Tuesday

Plank-17.png

When Julia began her fitness journey more than one year ago, she professed that she was just a girl hoping to lose weight. After she joined the PumpUp community, she found so much more. "I may be 18 kilograms lighter, but I gained so much throughout this journey," she enthused. "The people I met and the knowledge and confidence that grew within me have changed my life. I was wrong when I thought it was all about weight. Thank you my PumpUp fam!" Lately, Julia has been working hard by logging her Nike Training Club workouts on PumpUp. She feels stronger, more agile, holds static positions for longer, and hardly pauses during her workouts. She's pushing herself out of her comfort zone and she has her PumpUp family to cheer her on as she makes stellar progress. It dawned on Julia that she could potentially be her own greatest source of motivation. "The moment I realized that I was the one who needed to believe that it was possible for me to change was probably the best in my journey," she admitted. "Having a fitness community and amazing friends on PumpUp who support you and believe in you is important and so motivational. But first, YOU need to believe in yourself if you want to achieve something. I really made a huge step when I understood how amazing the power of the mind was!"

How Julia realized that success isn't measured in pounds

Non-scale victories have proven to Julia that success isn't measured in pounds. "A year ago, I would have never thought that this kind of outfit would look good on me," she insisted. "I used to let my pretty friends wear the pretty things, and wearing a dress or a skirt wasn't an option for me. Even though I didn't buy this outfit, the fact that I gave it a try and felt good in it made me realize that I made a huge step. I want to thank everybody on PumpUp who made this possible for me. [They] are amazing."

Keep Julia pumped on the app @juliamaria! When was the moment that you realized that success isn't measured in pounds. Share the stories behind your progress with the hashtag #ShowMeTheMay on the PumpUp app!

How Laura achieved the unachievable with the help of PumpUp - PumpUp Success Stories

How Laura achieved the unachievable with the help of PumpUp - PumpUp Success Stories

IMG_1776.jpg

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."

PumpUp member Laura Kaleja learned to stop bingeing and became motivated to train for and finish a half marathon

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." 

PumpUp member Laura Kaleja stopped restrictive eating and learned to adopt more a more balanced relationship with food

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. 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Laura's meals

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.

Motivational Mantra

Don’t try to be perfect. Just try to be better than you were yesterday.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Favourite exercise

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!

Alexandra committed to a lifestyle change for good, and so can you | PumpUp Success Stories

Alexandra committed to a lifestyle change for good, and so can you | PumpUp Success Stories

Image-1-7.jpg

You know the drill. You're familiar with 'Day 1' scenarios. Time and time again, you commit to maintaining a lifestyle change until life gets in the way and derails you from your goals.  Like you, PumpUp member @thenewalexandra revisited her starting point more than once. "I tried to live a healthier lifestyle many times, but always gave up on myself," admitted Alexandra. "I began to use PumpUp almost a year and a half ago because I wanted to be more healthy, with the support of a great community." Prior to PumpUp, the state of Alexandra's health habits hit an all-time low. "I was less healthy than I've ever been," she conceded. "My friends and I frequented McDonald's more than twice a week. I drank Ice Cappucinos from Tim Hortons every single day. I did absolutely no exercise, which made me feel sluggish and tired all the time." A three-minute run would easily leave her gasping for air. Alexandra's erratic sleeping patterns weren't helping her energy levels either. "I wasn't treating my body the way it deserved to be treated," she lamented.

Paradoxically, a trip to the movies sent Alexandra on the wellness journey of a lifetime after she found out about PumpUp from a preview on Mark Saltzman's Gear Guide. "I instantly fell in love with the whole community of people," she recounts. "The number one thing I love about this app is that there is not an ounce of negativity anywhere. PumpUp is a safe place for all people to document their fitness journey's."

Alexandra's lifestyle change

As a student, it was tough for Alexandra to make healthy and convenient eating choices. Since she joined PumpUp, Alexandra taught herself how to make basic healthy meals: everything from quinoa, to soups, to salads. "PumpUp has inspired me to make healthier decisions each and every day," she confirmed. "I always keep cut of fruit and vegetables in my fridge so that I have no reason to snack on anything unhealthy. Beyond that, I rid my cabinets of any junk and replaced it with healthier snacks." Alexandra now exercises at least 4 times a week, regularly attending yoga classes and walking to and from school on a daily basis.  Over the summer, she plans to take up Zumba and pole dancing and will continue to incorporate physical activity into her routine. "Whenever I have free time, I get an extra workout in," she explained. "It clears my mind and makes me feel amazing."

When Alexandra really began to engage with PumpUp's different features, she taught herself more than she expected. "PumpUp workouts taught me a lot about fitness [and opened my eyes up to] different workouts," she professed. "My little muscles are starting to show more in my abdominals, arms and legs." Beyond healthier habits, PumpUp has helped Alexandra to considerably improve her self-esteem. "There are days when I'm feeling down about myself, whether it be because of my eating habits, or other reasons , and all I have to do is think about PumpUp community members and I'm instantly much more happy," she mused.  "This app really helped me to realize that every single person in this world is absolutely beautiful, and the members of this community aren't just beautiful on the outside, but they have amazing, kind, warm, hearts as well."

Alexandra PumpUp

Alexandra has fresh and realistic advice for those who hope to make a lifestyle change with the help of PumpUp. "Just do it," she counselled. "There have been days where I sit for hours on the couch just staring at my yoga mat, or thinking of excuses as to why I shouldn't go for a run, but I know that when I just do it I feel much better. Start slowly, and work your way up to a more healthy lifestyle, so when you go to eat healthy or exercise you dread it just a little bit less." She reminds that it isn't realistic to expect immediate results from changes in your lifestyle habits. "I want things to happen right now (I'm not very patient), but [remember that] they happen gradually," she said. "One weekend, my mom and dad both told me that I lost some weight. I hadn't really known if I had or not. That validation is amazing, you just have to wait for it (and do a lot of hard work). Fitness is a life long journey, and we all must accept that in order to be the best we can be."

As Alexandra progresses with her journey, she hopes to be as active as she can be this summer. "With my newfound love for hiking, I plan to travel all over Ontario to view Webster Falls at Dundas, and the cool rock formations in Caledon," she enthused. "I [also] plan on taking every single step to the top of the CN tower by the end of this summer. Without PumpUp I would never have thought to be this active, and when I have my doubts I know I'll be able to turn to the PumpUp community through the next steps in my fitness journey."

Image-1 (4)

Biggest Motivation

My biggest motivation is my mother. My family has had a though time over the last few years, and we wouldn't have been able to survive without her. No matter what the situation is, she manages to put a smile on her face  and be the best mother in the world. She constantly puts my brother and my health in front of her own, in order to ensure that were happy. For example, when I didn't have enough money for a prom dress, she took on extra shifts at work in order to help me. When I didn't have enough money to pay my tuition, she did the same once more.

My mom is the most selfless, caring, considerate person that I have ever met. She believes spending her money on herself isn't worth it if she can spend it on her children instead. It's because of everything she has done for me, that I want to succeed for her, whether that be through school, or my own health. After a rough patch, my mom started to take care of herself once again. She began to shop for herself, do her hair, grow her nails, take Pilates, and cut out all the coffee from her diet (and trust me six triple triples a day are not healthy at all!). Seeing her live her own healthy lifestyle is absolutely inspiring. 

Fun Fact About Alexandra

I absolutely adore cats and have owned over 20 in my life time (taking care of and finding homes for kittens). I'm also studying psychology in university. 

Cheer Alexandra along her journey on PumpUp @thenewalexandra and let us know what you thought about her story in the comments below!

 

How this PumpUp member defied the odds of her hip injury

[gallery]

This PumpUp member defied the odds of her hip injury

If there’s anybody who’s been able to demonstrate a tremendous amount of self-love throughout the course of her lifetime, it would have to be PumpUp member surgicallyrepaired. She’s recovering from major hip surgery & 7 years of hip problems and has been making progress with incorporating running into her routine. “Even a year ago, much less seven years, I would not have been able to believe that I would be able to run again. I was 14 when I was diagnosed with my hip condition, now I’m 22 and defying all expectations. And I’m damn proud.” Keep her pumped! 

How trauma from Yanê's past paved the path for a healthier future - PumpUp Success Stories

#LoveYourself and embrace your past, just as pumpupapp member @yalua did! Tired of having her weight fluctuate, Yanê began her journey with PumpUp to find a consistent source of motivation. She is a beacon of light who inspires thousands of people with her demeanour, her dedication, and her determination.

By learning from her past, she has made leaps and bounds towards a healthier future. A brutal accident galvanized Yanê to truly focus on her wellbeing.  “After my accident, my vertebrae shifted and my ribs were blocked—I couldn’t breathe for at least 40 seconds,” she recounted. “I had a lot of therapy with a chiropractor, but working out and building muscle helped me to recover the most. From time to time, the back pain returns but PumpUp helped me to push through the pain and overcome this.” As a victim of violence during her adolescence, Yanê also revealed that she struggled to find motivation due to the mental trauma of her past. “I often felt like I wasn’t good enough—like I would never look the way I wanted,” she lamented. “Once again, PumpUp helped me immensely when people started commenting, ‘We miss you!’ or ‘You are my inspiration!’”

image
image

Yane’s weight fluctuated before she began to embrace a healthy lifestyle

Prior to PumpUp, Yanê also had a different perspective towards healthy food and moderation. “I didn’t eat much—I was really thin,” she admitted. “I ate a lot of take-out food as well. PumpUp became my favourite app ever!  I now make sure that I always eat as healthy as possible, and a big healthy breakfast became very important to me because it gives me the energy I need to have a great and active day.” Good nutrition and balance are essential components of Yanê ‘s current lifestyle. “It’s more important than exercise—but don’t beat yourself up if you skip a healthy meal or eat something sweet,” she advised. “I don’t ever restrict myself, because I’d end up craving for unhealthy food that much more. I allow myself to eat a little bit of chocolate once in awhile.”

The PumpUp community encouraged Yanê to incorporate a lot more activity into her routine. The frequency of her workouts increased from 1-3 times a week to 4-6 times a week. This particularly helped her cope with academic stress. “Working out was like therapy: I could release all of my stress after sitting around studying all day,” she explained. “Now, I go to salsa 2 times every week—sometimes more—and either work out at the gym or do exercises at home. I do up to 30 minutes of cardio and up to 2 hours of heavy weightlifting at the gym, mostly focusing on my legs, back and abs.”

Motivation from PumpUp helped Yanê to change her mentality about her fitness. “Everything starts in your mind, so if you want to lead a more active lifestyle you should find motivation – like people on the PumpUp community or pants that you want to fit into again,” she counselled. ”Consistency, dedication, and the courage to step out of your comfort zone are very important. Just don’t be too hard on yourself: workouts should be fun!”

Owing to the overwhelming support and encouragement from the PumpUp community, Yanê began her studies to become a fitness instructor. “On PumpUp, positivity is everywhere—it’s what I love the most!” she gushed. “I want to motivate others to be healthy and to help them see that a healthy lifestyle can also be a positive and fun one. This is why PumpUp motivated me to become a personal fitness instructor and to spread positivity—nowadays it’s rare to find.” As Yanê strives for her absolute dream body, she’ll be turning to PumpUp as a constant source of motivation and inspiration.

Yanês Motivators

Lots of fit women motivate me, especially Michelle Lewin. I absolutely love her and her precious behind. My family members are also a source of motivation for me. My dad is a drug addict—that’s how I know what unhealthy living can lead to.  I also want to be a role model for my little cousin, to teach her how to lead a healthy lifestyle. I most of all aspire to make my mother proud! She’s motivated by my new lifestyle (I even got her to do an activity with me and shared about it on PumpUp!) Finally, my followers on PumpUp keep me motivated with all the love and support that they give me. I want to make sure that I stay healthy for them, so that they aren’t disappointed.”

Yanê’s Eats

“My favourite snacks are fruits and veggies—especially tropic fruits and carrots with mustard. It doesn’t sound so yummy—but I love it. I absolutely adore eating peanut butter with bananas! I love to drink self-made lemon ginger juice as well! Find the recipe here. My favourite meal is traditional Brazilian chicken with rice and manioc. My favourite breakfast is cooked oats with warm raspberries!”

Motivational Mantras

A winner is a dreamer who never gives up – Nelson Mandela

Whenever I feel bad, I use the feeling to motivate me to work harder. I only allow myself one day to feel sorry for myself—Beyoncé

Favourite Exercises

“I generally love all the exercises PumpUp creates! They are so much fun! My daily routine is: 100 squats, 10 pushups, 50 sit-ups, and self-invented pilates inspired exercises to tone my core and train my balance. I do intensive salsa lessons because I want to make it into the salsa show group!”

More about Yanê

My name is Yanê Ferreira de Souza. I am half Brazilian and half Swiss. I live in Switzerland. I am studying pop music. My biggest dream is to become a professional pop singer! I am the absolute BIGGEST BEYONCÉ FAN EVER you’ll ever meet! She is also one of my biggest inspiration/motivation.

I grew up in a artistic family, which explains why I also love to draw and play the piano.

My friends call me the crazy Brazilian. I had to go through a lot, but I learned to deal with all of it (the Beyoncé quote I mentioned helps me a LOT). I smile all the time and I am a very lively and happy person.

Probably because I went through so much I want people to be happy, I want people to move on with the negative thoughts and try their best to make themselves happy. And if I can help them with my posts, thoughts, and this blog, I’d be the happiest person in this world!”

Keep Yanê pumped on the pumpupapp @yalua and on Instagram @yaneluar!

The friendliest personal trainer you'll ever meet - PumpUp Success Stories

image

Have you ever sought advice from a friendly personal trainer but didn’t know where to start? Meet PumpUp member Lee (@rocsolid_626). He joined PumpUp in July 2014, in search of a niche community tailored to his intense interest in health and fitness. “It was a perfect fit,” he enthused. “Fitness is an obsession for me.”  

As a personal trainer, he has been using the app to motivate his clients, create personalized conditioning exercises, and inspire others with recipes and top-notch advice. “I’ve always enjoyed sports and I work out daily because of my occupation as a personal trainer,” he mused. “By using PumpUp, I’ve helped others reach their fitness goals—and not just my clients. Watching others go through complete transformations (just as I did) inspires me like no other. If I can prevent somebody from experiencing health issues later on in the future, then I’m doing great work.” His weight fluctuated a lot throughout his journey. Lee began at 135 lbs, peaked at 206 lbs, and has since maintained a weight of 200 lbs with 9% body fat. 

image

Lee mentioned how hard it was for him to find a continuous source of motivation along his health and fitness journey. PumpUp allowed him to keep tabs of his progress along the way.  “I’m inspired by everybody who works hard on PumpUp because a lot of folks won’t even try!” he professed. “On PumpUp, I’m able to post recipes, workouts, fitness tips, and more. I hope that at least one person can benefit from any of my posts.” 

His best advice for those looking to lead a more active lifestyle is to be persistent about your goals. “You can workout every day and work out until you can’t move another muscle, but I guarantee that if you don’t eat proper meals, your fitness goals won’t last,” he counselled. Meal prep has been a crucial part of Lee’s success. He frequently struggles to fight the temptation of indulging in fast food. “That’s why meal prep leaves you no excuses. I still battle with being lazy, and forcing myself to work out because I know that if you take just a few days off, those days can turn into weeks upon weeks. All of your hard work will go down the drain. Every post on PumpUp motivates me. Once I see a post, it drives me to get my work done.”

image

Lee is a strong advocate for having a positive mentality when it comes to health and fitness. “It takes years for procrastinators to get started, but it takes seconds for winners to get started,” he mused. “Little by little, once the results show value, then you start to enjoy your work ethic. You will be treated with the same respect that you put in yourself.” For Lee, working out goes beyond aesthetics. A core tenant for him is exercising to improve his physical and mental health, and to feel comfortable in his own skin. “I’m always posting photos with my shirt off, but staying fit to me is beyond being topless,” he mentioned. “Through PumpUp I learned that it’s all about being confident within yourself.”

For Lee, PumpUp is more than just a fitness community. It’s a place where others can feel comfortable to share and support each other as they endure struggles and celebrate success. “It’s a blessing to be a part of a movement like PumpUp,” he mentioned. “Strive for your fitness goals! Whether it’s to lose weight, gain muscle, or ‘tone’—I notice. PumpUp members such as @tweetii, @_harleyjade_ and @_marieta_, and everybody else on the app have become like family to me. PumpUp is so welcoming when it comes to feeling uncomfortable with yourself. It’s a great place to be if you’re struggling with bad habits that you fight daily.”

image

Lee’s Biggest Motivation

“My biggest motivation is myself, because I’m the only one that has the power to give me that push.”

Lee’s Eats
“I love aloe drinks and eating oatmeal with bananas. It’s pretty simple!”

Motivational Mantra
“This quote from Will Smith: ‘There are two types of people in this world. There are hammers and there are nails. You decide which one you want to be.’”

Favourite Workout Routine

“I like the circuit training exercises that PumpUp has, as well as the demonstrations that accompany each workout!”

image

Fun Fact about Lee
“I am fun and outgoing! I love to try new workouts. I am Crossfit certified and I have an intense passion for fitness”

Follow Lee on the pumpupapp @rocsolid_626 and keep him pumped! 

Nobody kicks more butt than April and we mean it. Learn all the reasons why- PumpUp Success Stories

image

PumpUp has its very own #liftqueen and her name is April (@uneekapril is her PumpUp superhero alias, of course). She’s happy, healthy, extremely body positive, and lifts heavy. “I do cardio because I have to, but I lift because I love to,” she confessed. Learn about her incredible journey to recovery from an extreme leg injury and her perfect advice for those looking to lead healthier lifestyles in 2015.

When April broke her tibia, fractured her fibula, and dislocated her ankle in 2009, this event proved to be one the most challenging mental tests of her entire life. “I was completely dependent on others for many months,” she lamented. “I was incapable of doing things on my own, going places, and needed help out of the bathtub every morning.” The feeling of hopelessness consumed her, as acute pain accompanied her every action during the healing process (both during and after physical therapy). “I could feel depression overcoming me,” she recounted. “I wanted to walk again. Be strong again, Hike again. After a year of wearing a cast, then a boot, on crutches, physical therapy, then home exercises, I started to improve.” After the pain began to subside, April was determined to get her lost muscle, flexibility, balance, and mobility back. In the process, she became better and stronger than ever before, both mentally and physically. “I’m stronger than I’ve been my whole life,” she admitted. “Me and my titanium-filled transformer leg.”

image

Although high school represented a turbulent point in April’s life, she managed to move above and beyond her personal obstacles through the help of exercise and tons of encouragement. “I used to be a size 12,” she further explained. “I felt fat and depressed and wore baggy clothes to cover up myself.” These insecurities slowly melted away when April made the decision to be healthy in college, regardless of her size. She slowly began to incorporate more physical activity into her schedule by lifting weights and hiking. “I LOVED the feeling that lifting gave me, not to mention the tight muscles that I developed,” she stressed. When April began to lift weights with her friend Jeremy in 2002, he taught her everything she needed to know about proper technique and form. This elevated her passion for healthy active living to the next level. “I’m very fortunate to have had some wonderfully knowledgeable people to grace my life…they helped change my life,” she admitted.

Nobody ever messes around with April’s body-positive image. “I got down to a size 8 and I decided that I was healthy and therefore happy,” she affirmed. “I didn’t care what people thought about my big legs or my big butt. If they didn’t like my shape, they could eff-off. I’m proud of my shape and my strength…not to mention my overall health.” She pays attention to the queues that her body gives her and strives to eat healthy, whole foods. This helps her to keep everything in moderation: April knows when to load up on carbs and when to increase her protein intake. For this reason, she encourages others to do intensive research about what is best for their own bodies. “Everyone is different, so find what works for you,” she counselled.

image

April is a strong advocate of immersing oneself in a community of healthy and like-minded individuals (like PumpUp!). “Find a mentor that you trust and stay away from unhealthy people,” she emphasized. “I have found that they can be like cancer—they seem to poison people around them. Find someone you want to ‘be’ and emulate them.” She also encourages others to hold themselves accountable and to eliminate excuses—patience is the greatest virtue for April. “Change takes time, so try hard to stay dedicated,” she explained. “Your body is capable of amazing things: push it! Training is all mental—push yourself through those mental walls and you will surprise yourself!”

image

With each and every post, April strives to motivate at least one person on PumpUp to stay on track. She’s been a member of the app since July 2014, after @winnoble convinced her that PumpUp would be a great community for her. His intuition was right in every single way. “I hoped to meet some neat people with similar goals and looked for a community where motivation and encouragement flowed effortlessly in both directions,” she elaborated. “I can say that I’ve definitely found that..and more! I’ve met the most amazing people on here who have truly become my friends: @bellsetters, @mattgmi, @humbleman, and @jerrydonwheeler, just to name a few.” April actually met up with @jerrydonwheeler and trained with him on her birthday! “It was an honour,” she professed. “I hope there are many more PumpUp members who happen to pass by Little Rock, AR and want to lift with me!”

image

Biggest Motivation

“My PumpUp family definitely motives me.  I absolutely motivate myself!  My ultimate goal (although not sure it’s attainable) is to have a body like P!NK.  Saw her in concert, saw how strong she was, and decided I wanted that.”

Favourite eats

“I drink water with lemon, lime or both everyday throughout my workday.  My favorite treat is pomegranates, which I have to make myself earn. “

Motivational Mantra

“Just because I’m a girl, doesn’t mean I have to act like one” – Me

 “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Emerson

image

Fun Fact About April

“I am a tomboy completely.  I’m tough, I hate shopping, I don’t paint my nails, I won’t wear a dress, and I’d rather be cutting wood with my dad than being pampered at a spa.”

How Francesca transformed pain to power in 2014 - PumpUp Success Stories

image

You’d be hard-pressed to find a PumpUp member who creates wittier captions than Francesca P (@limitlesstyle). She’s much more than just a funny scribe: Francesca shines radiantly in the PumpUp spotlight for her truly remarkable and inspiring journey from pain to power, combatting deep depression through the help of exercise and the support of PumpUp’s community. 2015 is her year of enlightenment: the year that she strives to be there for others as fellow members of humanity in the finest, and truest sense of the word.

 image

February 2014 marked the very beginning of Francesca’s fitness journey, though she admitted that she was not as committed to achieve her goals until she found PumpUp in June 2014. “I was able to feel accountable through PumpUp,” she affirmed. “I stumbled upon PumpUp on Instagram and I fell in love with the idea of the app. I never looked back. I found a group of people whom I’ve come to love and respect. They are now my second family and they motivate me daily.”  The community embraced her with open arms when she sought support, and she has done nothing but shower other members with words of positive encouragement in return.

 image

Francesca had a tremendous obstacle to overcome when she first began to embrace a healthy lifestyle. “My baby sister was a cross-country runner and fitness enthusiast who lived in Africa, and she was murdered,” told Francesca. “This sent me into a deep depression for 3 years. I rarely left my house and I gained 35 lbs. Now I’m beginning to heal. She’s my biggest motivation.”

Francesca runs to keep her sister’s memory alive, and does so frequently. I still suffer from depression, and even now and again it tends to creep back up,” she explained. “I know it’ll pass if I just go for a run, no matter how short.” Take a look at Francesca’s schedule: 5km jogs 3-5 times a week, and weightlifting 2-3 times a week. Impressive is an understatement: Francesca went from 187 lbs to 158 lbs since last February. She’s stronger and more determined than ever to spread positivity and to achieve her health and fitness goals.  

As she continues along her journey with the PumpUp community, Francesca hopes to inspire and motivate as many people as she possibly can. Anybody on PumpUp can always rely on her posts to brighten up their day. “I want all of my followers, especially those who are 40 and/or are dealing with any kind of loss to see my page and know that they aren’t alone,” she confided. “Believe in yourselves, take this journey day by day, and you will accomplish great things in no time at all.”

 image

Favourite Meal

Yorgurt with granola and fruit

Motivational Mantra

"The most authentic thing about us is our ability to endure, to transform, and to be greater than our suffering"

Favourite PumpUp Workout

The total body pump!”

Fun Fact about Francesca

“I love to travel, and have seen almost all of Europe! I am a big jokester!”

 image

Keep Francesca pumped on the app @limitlesstyle!

Ivy lost 25 lbs, escaped two near-death experiences, and is more motivated than ever - PumpUp Spotlight

image

Ivy (@hotchilipepper) is officially one of the most inspiring, dedicated, and motivational members to spread positivity around the PumpUp community. Her story is incredible. Not only does Ivy’s transformation set a precedent for healthy resolution-making, she’s also overcome hardships that are worth learning from. 

At the very beginning of her wellness journey, Ivy described herself as being 25 lbs. heavier, lethargic, and a victim to constant migraines.  She didn’t wait for a magical moment to catalyze her transformation; she simply made a decision to live healthier and made gradual changes to adapt to her new lifestyle.  “I dropped processed junk food and soda. Then I started eating lots of vegetables, lean meats, and fruits and drank lots of water and tea,” Ivy elaborated. “I began by walking every day. When I dropped some weight and had more energy, I started running.”

image

As a result of her shift toward more wholesome food, smaller portions, and more cardio, Ivy lost 20 lbs in two months.  “I became just skinny. I had no muscle tone,” she recounts. “When I realized this, I took a weightlifting class and became hooked. I learned a lot about how to perform different exercises with weights, gained more lean muscle mass, became stronger, and I have a more toned physique.”

A great deal of turbulence has marked notches in Ivy’s pathway to health and wellness. Two near-death incidents from her childhood taught her to truly value each moment.  These events impacted her decision to lead a much healthier lifestyle. “I became paralyzed when I was about 5 years old and all of the doctors gave up on me,” she elaborated. “My dad was a doctor and he did not give up on my treatment. It was a miracle that I lived and re-learned how to walk and talk.” When Ivy was younger, she was bullied because she was a much smaller child than the rest of her peers. “I was always sick and weak. I cried a lot but learned to keep my head up and use hurtful experiences as motivation to get stronger. I now read many articles about self-love and motivation in order to stay strong and positive. I do not compete with other people but myself and work hard to be better every day.”

image

Ivy gets her daily dose of motivation from community members on PumpUp who never fail to celebrate her progress. “Ever since I started using PumpUp, I am more motivated than ever before,” she gushed. “I have met many positive and amazing members. On days when I am not as motivated to work out or eat well, I read other members’ posts and they push me to be my best!” Not only is PumpUp a motivator for Ivy, it is also an accountability partner. “I log my workouts on the app so that I am motivated to not slack off,” she explained.

For beginners looking to lead a healthier lifestyle in 2015, Ivy stresses the importance of setting a goal and making a plan to accompany each benchmark. “It’s important to take baby steps and to be consistent,” she emphasized. “Do not expect big changes overnight and be patient—it takes time to form good habits. It’s not always easy, but being healthy is the best investment you’ll make in your entire life.” She encourages resolution-makers to never give up on themselves, no matter how hard or frustrating their journey may be.

image

As Ivy moves forward like a beacon of brightness that showers the PumpUp universe with vibrant and unmistakable rays of positivity, she aspires to motivate others to live healthily with the posts that she shares on PumpUp. “I am happy to receive feedback from people who told me that they did not give up—all because of me!” she exclaimed. “It is an amazing and proud feeling to have. In return, this motivates me to do even better. Working out keeps me strong, both physically and mentally. However when I see somebody else going through a similar problem, but they keep fighting through it, I can relate to it and I am absolutely motivated.”

Favourite snack

“Quest bars and nuts!”

Motivational Mantra

It does not easier, but you will get stronger.”

Favourite Workout

I love to lift heavy weights—it makes me feel invincible! My favourite moves are squats and deadlifts.”

Fun fact about Ivy

“I am a science nerd. I love watching sci-fi and action movies—just like a guy!”

image

Pump Ivy up on the PumpUp app at @hotchilipepper and on Instagram @pursuitofhappiness13. 

Learn how Alexa bravely overcame doubt and insecurity during her fitness journey - Spotlight Series

image

After losing more than 30 lbs over the course of her fitness journey, Alexa (@alexawinter) transcended her own personal insecurities, proved her naysayers wrong, and is consistently one of the most positive and supportive members of the PumpUp community. Learn about Alexa’s inspiring story as she spreads positivity in every aspect of her life. 

Alexa’s health and wellness journey has been punctuated by hardship and doubt, but she managed to overcome her personal obstacles with perseverance and fierce determination. “When I started to lose the weight and count my calories, it was really hard for me to stay on track,” she admitted. “I was so used to eating junk food constantly. There were days I felt worn down and I felt like I was not going to lose any weight—but after the first month of being strict about my portions and mindful of my calories, I lost my first 12 lbs. I knew I wasn’t going to stop there.” Running on a regular basis and eating healthily were both hard adjustments for Alexa at first, but the judgments passed onto her after she lost weight were much more difficult for her to grapple with. “When everyone saw that I had lost 30 pounds in 3 months, I started to hear gossip and rumours from others who called me ‘anorexic’ and ‘unhealthy’,” she divulged. “The comments did not really bother me because I knew I lost the weight the right way, and I knew that I worked so hard for those three months: I did not drink, I did not eat any junk food (minus my one cheat day), and I would run for an hour at least every single day. I worked hard to see my results, and for some people, that was hard to grasp.”                                                                                                               

When she joined PumpUp in the summer of 2014, Alexa felt like she was coming home to a community of likeminded individuals who shared her passion for health and fitness. “I think that is why I love the PumpUp community so much. I have come across a lot of positive users, and very few negative ones,” she insisted. “Every single person on the app is there to better themselves, and to motivate each other. Every day people are supporting me and giving me that extra boost to keep going. If I can help another person push through on their bad days/weeks, then I feel even more accomplished.”

image 

Much like Ariel from the Little Mermaid, Alexa became exposed to a whole new world full of diverse perspectives and workout regimens when she began her journey with PumpUp. “I used to run a ton, and I did very little weightlifting and core workouts,” she elaborated. “I was all about that cardio! Having the PumpUp app has exposed me to the lifestyles of other fitness enthusiasts. This motivated me to [shift my focus] away from cardio and towards improving the muscle tone of my body.” PumpUp has become a wellspring of inspiration for Alexa, who checks in to motivate other members as often as she can. “Other people’s healthy recipes have given me many new ideas for my own meals,” she affirmed. 

The saying that ‘Insecurity kills all that is beautiful,” resonates deeply with Alexa.  Her body is etched with a tattoo of this very motto. It’s a reminder Alexa’s mental state of being prior the start of her healthy and active lifestyle.  “I was very insecure, sad, and overall unhappy with myself before my weight loss,” she confessed. “I don’t think I was always the best person towards others because I was insecure. A lot of my issues stemmed from my body image. Once I began to change that, I felt much more happiness.” Self-love and body positivity have both changed how Alexa interacts with others. “My insecurities truly took away from my beauty on the inside, because of how I felt about my body on the outside,” she recounts. I am a much happier person today, and I am kinder to those around me.”

 image

It’s essential for Alexa to track her own personal progress. She urges others not to give up, even if there are days, weeks, or even months when they do not feel that their fitness is up to par. “Being fit and healthy is not an easy task. It is truly a lifestyle that you need to learn to love and always follow,” Alexa advised. “I don’t think there are any quick fixes to having your dream body. You really need to make fitness and health a main part of your life.”

As she continues to be an all-star at spreading positivity throughout the community, Alexa hopes to serve as a source of motivation and inspiration for those pursuing their own fitness journeys. “PumpUp has allowed me to track my workouts, and also track my progress with pictures,” she maintained. “I hope to keep using PumpUp as a source of motivation that will push me towards my dream body.”

Biggest Source of Motivation 

Jen Selter. I mean really, I am sure she is a good chunk of the woman population’s motivation. My goal in my fitness life is a tiny waist and big booty just like her.”

 image

Alexa’s eats 

“Hummus and veggies are my favorite snack. I also love any kind of fruit. I wish I had a healthy recipe to pass on, however I admit I am not the greatest cook! I’m hoping to pick up on more recipes/meal ideas from my PumpUp family.”

Alexa’s favourite workout 

I LOVE THE STAIRMASTER. I have to do it every time I workout. Even if I incorporate some other cardio, it must be done. I think I sweat more doing stairs than anything else, and I love to sweat makes me feel like I am pushing myself. And I really just love working on my booty.”

Fun fact about Alexa

When I was younger, I broke my right upper arm about 10+ times, and had 5-7 surgeries on it. The oddest way I broke my arm was when I was reaching out for my scooter and my arm immediately cracked. This was after I had a few surgeries to transplant bone marrow from my hip to my arm because the doctor believed it was a bone marrow deficiency. The medicenter found out that my bone was about the size of a toothpick (explains the easy break), because there was a tumor eating away at my bone (not cancerous though). However it was later removed, and pins were put in place to help strengthen my arm as the bone grew back. My arm has not broken since, it has had some weakness and pain at times, however; it does not slow me down or change my workouts. No excuses!”

 image

Follow @alexawinter on the PumpUp app, and keep her pumped as she posts updates of her healthy and active lifestyle! Also find her on her fitness Instagram (@littlefitlex) and on her personal (@lilmunchielex).

How one less bad thought will allow us to live positive lives

image

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

Let’s think one less bad thought about ourselves. Let’s say one less negative sentence about ourselves. Let’s start within.

 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” - Proverbs 23:7 King James Version (KJV)

Spreading Positivity starts within. We must think positive thoughts. You control your emotions and a positive mind will bring about a positive attitude. Once we start to think positive, we will speak positive words of affirmation to ourselves – “I can do this!”; “I will complete every set in this workout routine”. There may be times when we realize that we are not where we want to be – in our workout progress or in life. In those times, we must think positive and speak positive words to ourselves and over our situation.

When we start to speak positive words to ourselves, our aura will exude positivity which will allow us to spread positivity to others.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.” – Buddha

There are days when we spread positivity and still receive negative reactions from people. Do NOT let that stop you. There are also days when we may not feel perky or happy. Remain positive.

If it should be measured, our blessings outweigh all the bad things that have happened to us in our lives. We may never know the extent to which we touch the lives of others in a positive way, and therefore we must continue to spread positivity. There is always ONE person, young or old, who actually looks up to you. They value your words of encouragement, your smile; your positive aura. By spreading positivity, we brighten someone’s day and they in turn will spread positivity - ripple effect!

image

“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” - E. Joseph Cossman

When we continuously spread positivity, we tend to have a positive outlook on life. Therefore when we look at our past, we rarely remember the negative things that have happened to us and if we do, we look at the negative things as lessons.  Use these lessons to encourage others.

Let’s start each day with positive thoughts. Let’s turn our positive thoughts into positive words. Let’s exude positivity, through words and actions, and watch it impact the lives of everyone we come in contact with.

Over time we will realize that one less bad thought will allow us to live positive lives so we can…#SpreadPositivity.

-        Abigail Brady

How PumpUp helped Brian lose 70 lbs after a racing accident

image

Brian (@bellsetters) has been an integral member of the PumpUp community since May 2014. He regularly challenges other members to do their best every week. A world without his positivity and thoughtfulness would be a dimmer world indeed. “A friend told me about PumpUp and people were talking about how much they enjoyed the workouts. I decided to give it a try,” he explained. “I never expected it to become a way of life for me, but it has! I love every minute of my experience with PumpUp.” 

The app helped Brian recover from a severe racing accident that left him in a wheelchair for months. “I had a number of plates and screws put in my back and neck,” he elaborated. “I had to retrain myself to walk when it was all said and done. Between not being able to move around and the medication I had to take, I lost a huge amount of muscle mass and gained almost 80 pounds.” Brian’s weight hit its peak at 260 lbs in June 2013. That October, Brian decided to make a change. He began a new diet regimen and was cleared to work out by his physician. “Since then, I have lost 70 pounds and put on the muscle mass I had lost. I am about 180 lbs now. I owe this all to PumpUp. That is why I say that this app literally saved my life.”

 

image

In the time that Brian was not using the app, he exercised irregularly and admitted that he didn’t exactly have the best eating habits. “I  maybe did a couple of home workouts a week and I ate just about anything I could get my hands on —-and WAY too much of it,” he laughed. “I drank a ton of soda and lived a sedentary lifestyle. I went to work, went back home, and would plant my butt on the couch.”

Since the dawn of his new lifestyle with the PumpUp community, Brian’s habits have changed for the better. He runs 2 miles on the beach 5 days a week and exercises at the gym for 3-hour sessions, 5 days a week.  Though Brian’s appetite hasn’t waned, he’s happy to admit that he’s eating foods that nourish his body and keep him fuller for longer. “Tons of protein throughout the day: eggs, protein shakes, peanut butter. I try to incorporate a lot of lean protein into my diet as well, such as steak, chicken, and fish”

 image

One seemingly insurmountable obstacle didn’t stop Brian from making a change. He got by with the help of his friends, quite literally.  He urges that those looking to begin an active lifestyle should never be afraid to ask for help or advice. “Some people won’t get into the fitness lifestyle because it’s different, and they don’t know a lot about it. There is always someone willing to help,” he counseled. “That’s the reason I make it clear to those on PumpUp that I am here if they need any help. I love to see that young people are beginning to embark on their health and fitness journeys, and I’m always on standby to offer help to make sure that they don’t quit.”

With the help of PumpUp, working out became a habit embedded within the fabric of Brian’s lifestyle, rather than a mere means to lose weight. “I have gained so much muscle mass since June 2013. Now I’m working on defining my muscles. It’s a lot of work, but it seems to be working,” he shrugged. 

 image

Brian is most inspired by so many members of the PumpUp community, particularly @lilblondie714, @uneekapril, @mattgmi, and @_harleyjade_. “I have met so many wonderful and motivating people on PumpUp,” he gushed. “They are all so inspiring and motivating. All of these members have become very good friends and make me want to work my hardest and become the best person I can possible be.”

Brian’s Meals

My favourite meal is any lean protein…and lots of it!”

Motivational Mantra

When everything feels like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top!”

How Brian Stays Active

I love to target a different muscle group each day at the gym, then blasting it as hard as I can. Love the soreness that you get afterwards.”

image

 

More about Brian

I’m a really big motorhead. I love to tinker with cars. I have a ’68 Corvette that I rebuilt from the ground up. I love the satisfaction you get when you stand back and look at the finished product. Then you say, ‘Wow…I did that!’”

Pump Brian up on the PumpUp app @bellsetters and on Instagram @brians_fresh_start

Marieta is basically PumpUp's guardian angel - PumpUp Spotlight Series

image

@_Marieta_ is one of the most wonderfully inspiring and positive members to have ever joined the PumpUp community. Like a guardian angel watching over the PumpUp universe, Marieta continues to support and encourage other members despite not being able to post as frequently as she used to. Similar to our other terrific spotlight members, she has touched the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of others since she became a part of the community in May 2014. “I joined to help myself with personal workouts, and to gain help and support,” she explained. “Now it feels like I found my second family.”

Despite the fact that Marieta had never been overweight nor underweight, she was nevertheless struggling with eating healthfully and lacked the motivation to exercise as often as she would have liked to. “I’d only dance once a week—that was it for my workouts,” she elaborated. “Though I am a generally positive person, I lost almost all of the energy that I used to have within the span of a year. I would catch myself feeling sad or aggressive for no reason.”

image 

Everything changed when she found the motivation that she needed on PumpUp. “When I saw all of the different people on PumpUp working hard at school, at work, at home (especially the amazing fit-moms on the app) who still found the time and energy to squeeze workouts into their crazy schedule and to cook healthy food, it changed everything,” she confessed.  “This community and its beautiful members brought me back to life.”

She relies on a stream of constant and daily inspiration thanks to PumpUp members such as @nystrongest, @_harleyjade_, @hotchilipepper, and @kathreena. “It was a big surprise for me when I realized that everybody on PumpUp could share their progress with each other,” she revealed. “The best part of it is that no matter how you look, people will support you and give you tons of motivational words and healthy tips.”

image

For those looking to lead a more active lifestyle, she advises that positivity is best way to stay committed. “You can always find a million reasons and decide to NOT do something, and it always seems impossible until you find one tiny reason to say yes,”she insists. “Find this reason, believe in it, believe in yourself, and start working. You and only you are responsible for your happiness. Your mood should not depend on the weather, nor on other people who weren’t nice to you.”

Despite not being able to post as often, Marieta is constantly on the app for her daily dose of motivation. “If mothers who work 6 days a week can do it, and if people who have been through tough surgeries can do it, then you can do it too,” she affirmed. “Don’t let excuses hold you back. That’s what I continue to tell myself every single day. I could never imagine that there were so many positive, kind, and beautiful people in this world, and PumpUp just puts all of them in one place! Couldn’t be more inspiring!”
image

Motivational Mantra
“Life is too short to spend it on sadness and negativity. Love your family and friends, love yourself. Live a full life. Carpe diem - seize the day. That’s what my tattoo says!”

Favourite Exercises
“Squats and lunges with a barbell, leg raises, donkey kicks, hip raises and the plank of course. With these ones you can really tone up your body.”

image

Favourite meal

“I love bananas (I could eat them all day long)! I also love quinoa, tomatoes, spicy food and meat.”

Marieta’s Protein-Packed Mixed Berry Smoothie

“Yogurt, 2 bananas 1 cup of frozen berries, 1tbsp of pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp peanut butter.
One day I hope to have my own small café with delicious healthy food and drinks!”

image

Keep track of Marieta and she’ll keep you motivated on PumpUp @_marieta_ and on Instagram @marietamulata

[gallery]

This is a post by PumpUp member @nidako. Bouncing back from borderline obesity, Naika turned her life around with the help and support of the PumpUp community.

I started off as a slim, athletic child. I remember climbing up coconut trees without any problems at all. I ran quicker than anybody I knew. At the age of 9, everything changed for the worse: I wasn’t going through anything that may have led to particularly unhealthy habits, I just ate out of boredom. 

Weighing 145 pounds at a mere 5’3, I would spend hours and hours sitting and eating. What’s more, I would wake up at 3 am and have a full meal right then and there. At the age of eleven I was 5’6 and 190lbs: pounds away from being classified as ‘obese’. My body began to give up and I was even diagnosed with gallstones. The pain I was going through was unbearable, and I would almost definitely throw up if I ate too much of anything.

Though I dropped to 170 lbs, I nevertheless underwent an emergency surgery to remove the stones. The doctors told me I had to lose weight to prevent that from ever happening again. Despite their warning, I gained all of the weight back and more one month after recovering from surgery.

One year later, I knew that something had to be done. I woke up and said to myself “No”. I woke up at 5 in the morning EVERYDAY to go to the gym. I started off as a cardio kitty then slowly added weights at 150 lbs.

Since I decided to commit to a healthy lifestyle, I noticed a difference in my mood and confidence. I became happier everyday. The girls who teased me now envy me. Not only did I make changes to my physical health, I took time to nurture my mental health as well by meditating 30 minutes a day. My motivation was, and still is, myself.  

Here I am: a girl that once wore size 16 jeans and extra large shirts who is now confident enough to wear a two piece swim suit without any problem. I don’t plan to stop at any time of my life and I’m grateful for the confidence and happiness that this change has inspired.

How Barbara lost all her pregnancy weight with the help of PumpUp - PumpUp Spotlight Series

image

PumpUp member @barbieoneone is our #WomanCrushWednesday (and #WomanCrushEveryday, along with every beautiful person on PumpUp!).  She joined the app to begin her post-pregnancy health and wellness journey with a bang, and she’s been the brightest beacon of light to the community ever since. After becoming inspired to adopt a healthier diet by other PumpUp members, Barbara lost all of her pregnancy weight within the span of a few months and looks amazing! Learn about her dramatic transformation and all of her sage, compassionate, and inspiring advice. 

In May 2014, Barbara was galvanized to lose a bit of weight quickly in time for a family summer vacation trip on the 4th of July.  “I had never faced a weight problem before and was slim all of my life, [but] with that being said, I made bad food choices while I was pregnant and barely wanted to do exercise or any walking,” she explained. At a small frame of 4’11, Barbara went from 110 lbs to 162 lbs after pregnancy. “I couldn’t believe what was going on,” she gasped. “It took me almost four years to realize that I was unhappy with my weight. I often hid behind my daughter and others while taking pictures because I was so embarrassed of the way I looked.”

image

Prior to PumpUp, Barbara admitted that she did not exactly maintain the healthiest diet, often resorting to fast food for a quick fix. “I attempted to eat a tad healthy, but it never really stuck,” she explained. “I didn’t know how to or even where to start before I joined PumpUp. I am Cuban, so most of the food I ate was fried, and consistent of too much red meat. I ate 2 to 3 times a day and the portions were out of control.”

Her eating habits improved since she became an active member of the PumpUp community! “Everything changed—it’s like I saw the light at the end of the tunnel,” she gushed. “I saw what other members were eating, so I did some research online to learn what good foods I could eat.”  Barbara researched what healthy food portions should look like, and now eats snacks in between meals.  “I eat 6 times a day and refuse heavy meals after 6:00 pm. Breakfast is one of my biggest meals of the day.” Her diet consists of lots of healthy protein and vegetables. “I love eggs, salad, fish, peanut butter (my best friend), green vegetables, all of it!”

In addition to eating mindfully, Barbara exercises 6 times a week, and walks at least 3 miles a day. “I lift weights—squats are my favourite!” she exclaimed.  “But the most important thing for me is to always be on the move.”  

image

Since joining PumpUp, Barbara lost all 52 lbs she gained while she was pregnant. “It would otherwise have been harder to do on my own. I have met so many great friends along the way whom I love and am grateful to interact with every single day,” she mentioned.  “I appreciate all of the encouragement and advice that they give to me on a daily basis, no matter what time it is.” The right mindset made a world of a difference for Barbara. “It was a matter of saying that I will [begin my weight loss journey] today, and not stop until I get to where I want to be,” she said. “Though it took awhile to muster up the drive to start, I knew that there would be no stopping me once I started.”

An unexpected obstacle has, however, come across Barbara’s path. “After I lost all of the weight from pregnancy, I started getting a pain on the right side of my stomach. I ended up getting an ultrasound that revealed that I have gallstones, and I must have surgery to remove my gallbladder.” The surgery is non-urgent, though her doctor mentioned that her condition may have been prompted by one of two factors: either because of the weight she gained while she was pregnant, or by losing weight too rapidly.

 

Thus, Barbara cautions against quick fixes, and believes that healthy living can be within anyone’s reach insofar as they choose to make it a long-term commitment. “Check with your doctor to see what activities are right for you,” she advised. “Make a diary of the exercises you do on a daily basis. Write down everything you eat, including the embarrassing and not so healthy meals. This way you’ll have a better picture of the things you need to change.  Set small weekly or monthly goals this way you won’t get discouraged.” Small, gradual steps are important for Barbara. “Ten percent of something is better than 100% of nothing. Any baby step that you take is one step closer to reaching your goals and improving your health,” she affirmed.  Finally, Barbara urged that those looking to lead a more healthy lifestyle do so at once, but to take their time losing weight. “Do it one step at a time, and make sure you are doing so in a healthy way,” she elaborated.

Barbara is most motivated to stay strong and healthy for her daughter, but is also proud of everything she has achieved for herself. “I’m also motivated by myself, because I choose to take responsibility for my own joy and success,” she stated. “I believe that my options are not limited. I work continuously till I achieve. I am committed to take action despite any fear I may have.” 

 image

Barbara’s Meals 

“My favorite snacks are trail mix , I can’t stay away from cheese and I love tomato soup. I love drinking water, green tea and smoothies.”

Motivational Mantra

“Successful people do daily what others do occasionally. Believe and your dreams will come true. The most beautiful thing a woman can ever wear is confidence.”

 image

More about Barbara 

I am in my early 40s and I have a 4 year old daughter whom I stay home with. Prior to having my daughter I was a medical assistant and worked at an HIV medical practice for 12 years in Miami. My work with the HIV population taught me how precious and fragile life really is, and how I should never take the littlest things for granted. It taught me  how to love appreciate myself and others.  Currently I need three courses to finish my Bachelors in Sociology.

Follow Barbara on PumpUp @barbieoneone to keep her pumped!!!!

Matt bounced back from knee reconstruction surgery and is now in his best shape ever- PumpUp Spotlight Series

image

One fateful day on Twitter, PumpUp was recommended to Matt as one of the ‘best fitness community apps’. Since joining PumpUp, Matt stated that he couldn’t agree more with this superlative. “I have been a frequent gym goer for years, but never really had the focus and determination that I do now until I had the reconstructive knee surgery.  I had hit a plateau, and was frustrated, but the awesome community on PumpUp really motivated me to go harder, lift heavier, and clean my diet up,” said Matt.

Prior joining PumpUp, Matt still exercised four days a week, for about an hour and did similar workouts to what he performs right now. This schedule helped Matt to gradually transform his body. In retrospect, however, he admits that his diet was still not at its best at that point in time. “I ate for the most part whatever was there, with no real thought to what was going into my system,” he said. “Fried food and soda was a regular occurrence for me, which definitely did not help.”

 image

In the ten weeks that Matt has been part of the PumpUp community, he’s upped the intensity of his workouts and cleaned up his diet. “I hit the gym 6 to 7 days a week, 2x a day for at least 2 of them, and workouts are much more intense, heavier weight, more explosive lifts, just a different attitude,” he explained. “I don’t eat anything bad anymore, just tons of protein low carbs and a lot of veggies.  No soda anymore either,” he laughed. Though his average daily activities have not changed, Matt finds himself approaching life with a renewed vigor. ‘Beastmode’ is aptly his favourite term. “It reminds me to be a monster and dominate every challenge in front of me, and never back down or quit.”

image

Matt’s struggles do not define him, but have rather influenced him to push even harder. Last year, knee reconstruction surgery was a major obstacle for him because he lost lots of muscle, was in a wheelchair for 2 months, crutches for another month, and gained a lot of weight. “It was difficult and painful to get back into lifting and exercise, but I just focused on making small progress daily,” he admitted. “And before I knew it, was back to my old size and strength.  I am bigger, more defined, and WAY more ‘beastmode’ now.  That struggle made me better.”

Matt is one of the most supportive members on PumpUp, and he’s regularly involved in the community to both receive motivation and give it back to others four-fold. “PumpUp started as a motivator for me, and it still is. I have met great people there, and continue to use it not just for motivation and inspiration, but for the feeling of community and positive vibes that permeate the app,” he said.

 image

According to Matt, the first step ‘off’ the couch is the most difficult, yet important part for those looking to start or lead a more active lifestyle. “It’s scary, it’s hard, but you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. You have to COMMIT to it. No quitting once you start, and find a support system that will give you a push when you feel stagnant and that will celebrate your successes with you,” he explained.

Both of his children, aged 2 and 6, are the biggest sources of inspiration for Matt. “My 6 year old son tells me every day that I’m his hero and he wants to be like daddy,” he gushed. “I’ll be damned if I’m not going to be the best me I can possibly be, and be the example of what’s possible when we focus and strive towards our goals.”  He also professed that the members on PumpUp have helped him tremendously throughout his journey. “Those people are amazing, and their posts, stories, and comments really help me stay focused and get excited to progress and push even harder,” Matt beamed.

Matt’s meals

“A monstrous 4 scoop protein shake, made with silk almond milk, and a bowl of cottage cheese with fresh pineapple on it.  As far as meals go, I eat tons of eggs, chicken, lean beef, veggies, and a lot of water. Nothing too impressive,”he laughed.

Motivational Mantra

“‘It is better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees’. To me this means never stop fighting, and pushing forward.  If you fail, fine. But to TRY and to fail is far superior to never trying.  The lessons learned in failure make progress that much sweeter.”

More about Matt

“I’m a major nerd!  I’m finishing my masters in software engineering, I’m also an artist (tattooed for years in college as a part time job at a shop), and a major goofball.  Always laughing and silly.  And I love horror movies and stupid jokes!”

 image

If you’re struggling to stay motivated, Matt encourages you to reach out to somebody on PumpUp or to anybody in your life and let them help. “While we manufacture and are responsible for our own motivation, that doesn’t mean that we can’t all use encouragement and a friendly comment,”said Matt.  “Take advantage of PumpUp, your fellow gym members, and enjoy the ride.  Goals are great, but it is the road we travel to get there that truly teaches us something.  Never lose sight of that. 

Follow Matt on PumpUp @mattgmi! 

A letter to my younger self

image

This is a post by PumpUp member sandrafitness. Follow her on Instagram @langencita and follow her blog here

Today’s blog is a bit different. I will not be talking about my workouts or food, but about something more personal. I wish somebody would have said all these things to me when I was younger, or that I would have had the courage to speak out loud to my parents or friends and share my worries. If by any chance you feel the same way, please go ahead and read this, and then trust me when I say things will get better.

Loads of love <3
Sandra.

A letter to my younger self

I just wanted to let you know that everything is going to be great. I know you are hurt. I know you have suffered. I know you think you are not good enough. That boy who hasn’t checked you out at school? He is not the one, so do not suffer for someone who does not care about you. The girl who made that nasty comment louder than she should have just to make you feel bad? You will not remember her in a couple of years because you will be surrounded by extraordinary people.

I know that you look at yourself in the mirror and feel really bad about what you see. I know you use a stationary bike inside your room because you are too ashamed to do it outside. I know how you stare at the magazines and how you daydream about being taller, thinner and that you want lighter hair. I know the reason why you get drunk, I know you do it because that boy broke your heart, and that you think it was because of your looks. But I also know that it all will get better.

image

(Image c/o kushandwizdom)

You will learn to be happy for no reason. You will learn that good things outweigh the bad most of the time. You will learn that you need nobody’s approval to wear that skirt, and you will not regret a bit about eating a little piece of chocolate one day.

As you get older, you will really develop that self love that was so necessary in your teenage years. And that will help you to- one day - find the love of your life. You will understand that the person who will truly love you will do it because of your soul, not your looks, and so will you (even if your boyfriend is a stunning piece of art).

But do not worry, I didn’t learn any of this until a couple winters ago. My true commitment to love myself started last November when I began to have a healthier lifestyle. At that moment, I found joy, a break from the stressful world we live in.

Your commitment to your health may sound unnecessary or ‘temporary’ for many of the people who surround you, but you will not care. You will be learning to love who you are. You will love your stomach and your tights, and won’t be ashamed of doing what you do. You will be embracing yourself at its finest, and it will be because of all the confidence you will gain by engaging in this new amazing lifestyle. Remember this:

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

image

(Image c/o The Things We Say)

So do not worry. You are just fine the way you are. Be strong enough to do whatever makes you happy. And be brave enough to start living a life out of your comfort zone - in all senses. Practice sports and enjoy all their benefits, prepare healthy meals rather than just a sandwich. Be proud of what you have become and all the progress you will make.

Remember all those times you went to a store and bought something smaller just to feel motivated to work out? Well, it could have happened if you were the director of your life. But you are not, and instead you let others to choose for you and comfort you in your pain. That will change, and you will find the courage to do what it takes. And you will learn to apply it in all aspects of your life.

This new lifestyle you chose will make you stronger. You will become mentally stronger, and I just wanted to say : Congratulations!

This is a post by PumpUp member sandrafitness. Follow her on Instagram @langencita and follow her blog here

How Kristi's New Year's Resolution Became A Lifestyle Change - PumpUp Spotlight Series

image

Arms like those of PumpUp member @kayleefit31 weren’t built in a day. After nine months of hard work and dedication, Kristi achieved her goal weight with the help and support of the PumpUp community! Learn about how this adventurous and incredibly dedicated mother transformed her life in the best way possible with one simple resolution.

Kristi joined the PumpUp community in search of motivation as she embarked upon her health and wellness journey at the start of the New Year in 2014. “I was tired of living an unhealthy lifestyle and I wanted to see if change was actually possible,” she explains. For her, change wasn’t only possible—it became a lifestyle that she chose to maintain. 

image

Since she started using PumpUp, Kristi incorporates more activity and healthier eating habits into her routine. “Before PumpUp, I performed no exercise, I ate any and everything, and I was extremely lazy,” she reveals. “My average day would consist of work, eating, playing with my son, and sleeping. I skipped breakfast most of the time and did no exercise whatsoever.” Breakfast is now a staple for Kristi, who now works out 5 days a week despite her busy schedule and eats 6 small meals a day to keep her metabolism high. “In the morning I do a quick 15 minute workout, go to work, and try to get in a half-mile walk on my lunch break. I come home, workout for 30 minutes, and then I eat a healthy dinner,” she elaborates.

Kristi’s dedication to her exercise routine and mindful meals culminated in her reaching her goal weight—all within the span of nine months! Moving forward, she plans to maintain her current lifestyle and gain more muscle by increasing her calorie intake as she concurrently hits it hard at the gym.  “I have accomplished so much with this app. I am now always motivated to do some type of exercise every day,” she states proudly. “I have never been so excited to work out and hit the gym! On the days I am not able to work out, my body does not feel right.”

 image

What is truly admirable about Kristi’s transformation is that she has been able to overcome obstacles such as post-partum depression and eating disorders by surrounding herself with positive people and by learning to holistically enhance her wellbeing. As her story demonstrates, there isn’t a quick or easy solution to beginning and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Rather, it is a product of perseverance and hard work. “Never give up. Keep pushing yourself. Don’t stop until you have the body you want,” says Kristi. “Even when you do have the body you dreamed for, keep going. Once you see results it becomes addictive.”

 image

The fuel that feeds Kristi’s passion for health and wellness is her own awe-inspiring transformation, as well as the support she receives from the PumpUp community. “If it were not for my progress and the progress and motivation of other PumpUp members, I would have never been able to stay dedicated to exercising and eating right,” she confirms.

Favourite Snack

“Peanut butter, bananas, and honey on wheat bread. I thought that it was going to be gross, but it was actually good and very filling.”

Motivational Mantra

“Stop wishing and start doing.

Favourite Exercise

“Squats, weights, lunges, and sometimes burpees. To stay active, I normally do a workout that PumpUp has designed for me because it’s hard to get to the gym during the week.”

image

 

More about Kristi

“I love trying new things. If someone asked me to go skydiving, I would not hesitate in doing so. Life is short so I love to live to the fullest.”

 image

Follow Kristi on Instagram and PumpUp @kayleefit31 to pump her up along her journey!