If anxiety and tide pools of profound unhappiness have ever burdened you, Jessica knows exactly how you feel. Freshly out of university in July 2014, Jessica decided to do something about it by joining the PumpUp community. “I turned to fitness and a healthy lifestyle in an effort to lose weight, boost my mood, and combat my anxiety,” she explained. “My lifestyle has completely changed since I’ve been using PumpUp. I can’t even express how much healthier I feel!”
Prior to PumpUp, university-induced stress got the best of Jessica’s eating habits. “I would constantly snack when writing essays, a form of comfort eating I suppose,” shrugged Jessica. “There was quite a lot of partying and drinking so I put on quite a bit of weight while at university.” Frequent fast-food trips didn’t help her case either, as much as she tried to stick to lean meat and fish at dinnertime. Her snacking habit and lack of exercise became two of her biggest obstacles next to her 3-year battle with anxiety. “I would suffer from frequent panic attacks and avoided many situations because of it,” she recounted. “PumpUp was the beginning of my fitness and health journey. The community was so positive, uplifting and encouraging. I began to appreciate what I had and learned that positivity is key. I started to say yes: I will live my life to the fullest, believe in myself, and face my fears.”
Life with PumpUp: less anxiety, more positivity
Suffice it to say, Jessica has be true to the promises she made since she began to share her story with the PumpUp community. She eased into the groove of a different routine and was stunned by the palpable impact it made upon her physical and mental health. “What’s so great about PumpUp is that I can track my progress since I first started my journey,” she insisted. “It really helps me to see how far I’ve come with the added bonus of such a motivational community.” Not only are Jessica’s eating habits much more balanced, they are less so dictated by her stress level. “I started my job as a teaching assistant in September—this keeps me busy because I don’t get many breaks,” she elaborated. “There is less time and no temptation to snack.”
Once work finishes, you’ll be able to find Jess at the gym 4 times a week, tracking her progress on PumpUp as she goes. “When I especially don’t feel like working out, I’ll go onto PumpUp and it’ll instantly motivate me to get back in the gym,” Jessica enthused. “I’ve never regretted a workout and really do feel so much better after. Not only is she motivated it exercise more consistently, Jess’s mood is discernibly more positive. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an ounce of negativity when you’re around her. “I used to be extremely pessimistic, always worrying about what I looked like,” she recalled. “I’m happier and healthier than ever before since I joined PumpUp. I’m an optimist for the first time in my life and I’ve been able to help encourage others with their own journey.”
If there’s one thing that Jessica recommends to others looking to lead a healthier lifestyle, it’s perseverance. “Believe in yourself,” she affirmed. “If you’re struggling to maintain an active lifestyle, set goals and believe that you can achieve them. Change doesn’t happen right away. It takes time. Often I feel like when you're close to giving up, you begin to see change!"
Jessica’s biggest motivation
Initially my biggest motivation was wanting to love my body. PumpUp helped me to achieve that. Now I'm constantly motivated by the wonderful and supportive PumpUp community but in particular, Lorrin (@lorrin) and Dan (dmccarthy). I've been following their journeys since I downloaded PumpUp and they have always been so encouraging and supportive, not just to me but to so many other users too. Both have come so far and I'm so grateful to be surrounded by such inspirational and supportive people like them!
I usually eat porridge with chia and flaxseed for breakfast, a banana as my morning snack and I make a salad every night for lunch, which consists of spinach, chicken or salmon, olives, tomatoes, humus, falafel, avocado and a grain such as quinoa or bulgur wheat. Sometimes I'll have a protein bar an hour before I go to the gym or oatcakes with almond butter (my favourite snack!) A typical dinner for me now would be salmon and sweet potato or a chicken casserole.
My biggest struggle was learning how to be happy and not to worry so much, so Helen Keller's quote "Be happy with what you have while working for what you want" is a fantastic reminder to enjoy life.
To stay active I mostly go to the gym and do running here and there. I like to start off my gym session with 15 minutes on a bike followed by 5 minutes on the rowing machine. I then use various different weight machines but I particularly like the roman chair (even if it looks scary!) to work my abs and I enjoy doing lunges with 8kg dumbbells.
Fun fact about Jess
I'm British but I'm also bilingual, I speak English and French and lived in Paris for a year in 2012! As well as fitness, I have a huge passion for makeup and beauty and I have my own beauty blog.
Keep Jessica pumped on the app @_js and follow her on Instagram @jessbabeszz!