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positive body image

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp - Holly's PumpUp Success Story

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp - Holly's PumpUp Success Story

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You can't develop a positive body image from exercise alone. Holly was no stranger to an active lifestyle before she joined PumpUp, but her confidence was at an all-time low. Though Holly trained in classical ballet for over 20 years, something went amiss once she entered the workforce. "I joined PumpUp because I wasn't happy with my body," she confessed. "I was uncomfortable, and I had more body fat than I wanted. I had trouble finding ways of exercise that I felt comfortable with." More ballet classes seemed like the logical answer, but when Holly took a look at herself in the mirrors of her dance studio, she became quickly discouraged. "It depressed me to see how out of shape I became," she lamented. "It seems backwards, because taking ballet class would have only benefitted me. PumpUp was a great way to exercise in the comfort of my own home." How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp // Veganballerina's success story

Before Holly began her journey with PumpUp, she ate copious amounts of junk food and fast food. "I didn't exercise regularly and I didn't drink enough water," she shared. "My average day consisted of waking up and going to work without eating breakfast. I would drink coffee at work and not eat anything until lunch." Holly used to skip breakfast and opted for high fat meals during lunch and dinner. She was sedentary during her evenings and went straight to bed after work, often watching movies right before she went to sleep.

Once Holly joined the PumpUp community, her lifestyle made a drastic change. She began her journey on PumpUp a few months after her father died of a heart attack in early 2014. "He had type 2 diabetes and I missed him terribly," she said solemnly. "His death made me really aware of the effect that our diet has on our health. It made me more motivated to live as healthy as possible." With the help of PumpUp, Holly eased into the rhythm of an exercise routine that she loves. "I'm now proud to dance in front of a mirror in a leotard," she said proudly. "I maintain a plant-based diet and I drink water frequently. I do yoga, take ballet class, jog, climb stairs, cycle, and I really do enjoy PumpUp workouts — especially those that involve core strength and weightlifting.

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp // Veganballerina's success story

Other PumpUp members motivated Holly to find peace with her body. "I want to help motivate people the way others on PumpUp have motivated me," she insisted. "Reading peoples' posts and looking at their progress has been inspiring and informative and has helped me reach my goal of achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I hope to give back in the way that others have given to me."

She advises other PumpUp members to believe in themselves, regardless of where they are along their health and fitness journey. "Confidence grows," she counselled. "Remember that our bodies are all that we really have. No matter how hard reaching our goals seems, sometimes it is worth it. Without our health, we have nothing." The PumpUp community helped Holly find confidence in herself and she encourages others to find a positive forum where they can share about their victories and struggles. "PumpUp is a great, supportive place full of likeminded people - people looking to become a better version of themselves just like you are," she professed.

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp // Veganballerina's success story

Holly's Daily Routine

I wake up and get ready for work while my amazing husband makes us smoothies. I drink my smoothie and have coffee at work. For lunch, I eat bananas and oranges, and I drink water all day. I come home, have a healthy snack and do one or a few of my favorite forms of exercise. Finally, my husband and I make a healthy dinner together and eat earlier in the evening than we used to.

 

Holly's biggest motivation

My biggest motivation is my husband as well as myself.  I love my husband and I love life. I want to lead as healthy of a life as I can for as long as I can. This way, I can have as much time with my husband as possible.

 

Holly's workout routine

I love PumpUp workouts but I don’t have one favourite. I like to do a different PumpUp workout, focusing on different areas of the body for a short amount of time - about 30 minutes. I like to combine this workout with stretching or jogging or yoga. Aside from that, I love taking ballet class. I go one or two times a week.

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp // Veganballerina's success story

More about Holly

I am a professional performer! I am a classically trained ballet dancer and for the past several years I’ve had the joy of doing what I love, which is performing. The productions I dance in are burlesque shows but with the unique twist of featuring highly trained ballet dancers. It’s a dream come true!

Keep Holly Pumped! Find her on the app @veganballerina and let her know if you have any questions in the comments below.

 

How I taught myself to have a positive body image

How I taught myself to have a positive body image

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Beauty is truly a state of mind, not a state of body—you can’t measure your worth by the size on your clothing or a number on the scale. Your worth is determined by what you do in life. The most beautiful people that I know are the most kind, selfless people. Their beauty comes from within and that is absolutely a result of a positive body image. When you are content with yourself, your beauty will radiate from within. Your beauty should be defined by your glowing health and happiness that will result from finding what works for your unique body and mind. Throughout my life, I have found that body image is one of the most sensitive topics brought up amongst young people—especially girls. We all know that social media is largely to blame—but that doesn’t mean you have to literally feel weighed down by those unrealistic expectations set by society. Society’s expectations of what we should look like do not have to reflect our expectations for ourselves.

Live by your own standards! Life is not perfect, but it can be perfect for you if you decide what your top priorities are and how you can achieve them in the most positive and effective way for your lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I know that life gets in the way—between getting stuck in the airport last week because of the Northeast blizzard and college midterms, I haven’t been able to write an article or go to the gym in over a week now. Things happen, and that’s okay! You don’t have to beat yourself up about it; you just have to keep moving forward! I am not claiming to have the key to perfect self-love and body image, but here are some of the things that work for me…

  • Don’t change yourself to match society’s expectations—be in control of your own definition of beauty! Find confidence in yourself by being proud of everything you have accomplished in life!
  • Do the best you can with what you have! Strive to make the most of each day and don’t let little bumps in the road get you down. If you are having one of those days, just remember, you are never alone.
  • Don’t let magazines fool you! I remember watching a special on TV a few years ago and a famous model said, “I don’t even recognize that girl in the magazine, and it’s me!” This just goes to show that with the advanced technology today, the images depicted on billboards and in magazines are not what we should be striving for.

Strive to be the best version of YOU!

This is a post by Ashley Hampton (PumpUp:@rawincollege), a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog.

6 body positive cards that are as beautiful as you

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6 body positive cards that are as beautiful as you are

If Valentine’s Day is about celebrating the people you love, why shouldn’t Valentine’s Day celebrate you? Be your own cupid and send a relevant, hilarious love letter to yourself from the bottom of your heart. These pumpupapp cards are an amazing way to start.

You deserve all of the cute doodles and positive affirmations in the world. You’re hot stuff, flaws and all (think Sriracha hot, and multiply that by 100). You’re absolutely amazing, at any and every size. Love your imperfections before you love your perfections. Love yourself.

Rethinking the rules of weightloss

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This is a post by PumpUp member @k_c, a vivacious blogger based in Central Arkansas. Learn more about her through her blog: voluptuousmisadventures.com

I read an article today that really hit me. It really encapsulated the changing mental focus that I am working on.

"The deprivation diet - characterized by ‘just-until-I-lose-this-weight’ thinking - is another enemy of weight loss. It causes us to alternate between extremes of ‘on diet’ and ‘off diet’ behaviour."

Um, hello! I am so guilty of this. I put so much faith in being thin. Everything would work out, if I was thin. My credit card debt would disappear, if I was thin. I’d meet the love of my life, once I got thin. I just had to eat this cardboard, until I got thin. It was a VERY dangerous mental cycle for me. No wonder it never worked. When I had this mentality, I would constantly put up roadblocks to getting fit because I loathed my body and didn’t truly love who I am. Once I forgave myself and stopped trying to find fault in who I was, I began to start the true journey of being my best self.

I’ve always had a decent support system around me. For the most part, my friends and family are very encouraging and express the utmost faith in me. What I’ve come to realize is the most critical element was missing from my support system: self-support. Looking back on all my past attempts at weight loss or getting healthy, I don’t think that I ever truly believed in myself. How could I do anything but fail when I set myself up for failure every time?

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Love for ourselves and others is so essential in this healthy journey. I recently read a line that said, “You can’t hate yourself healthy.” I took this to mean that you can’t bully yourself into getting healthy. I was so guilty of saying,” Geez Kaycee, you are such a fat lose. Why can’t you just stick to this diet?” I would never talk to someone that way, so why would I speak to myself that way? 

It has become so important to nurture and cherish my body for the marvel that it is. Because I love myself, I am going to do fun, physical activities to stay fit and feel young. Because I love myself, I am going to nourish my body with clean, healthy foods (most of the time). Being healthy is not just in the physical. It is so important to work on mental health and having a positive self-image. Me and my body are not enemies and the sooner I stop thinking that, the sooner we can work together to become one lean, mean, healthy-awesome machine.

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become." - Buddha.

Think something positive about yourself today. For me, life is just better when you love yourself. We fight so many battles every day. Why make yourself one of those battles?

How to love yourself enough

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

So you’re working out. There are all of these hashtags to accompany this (#FitFam, #FlexFriday, #SquatNation, to name a few). But we work out…to what end? To look good, right? 

Work out to let your outside match the beautiful person you are on the inside. Be mindful about what you eat because it has long term effects on your health, and not solely because you want to look good this summer.

Do this for you because you deserve tolook AMAZING. Do this because you deserve a happy and healthy life. The fact is that when you were fat or extremely slender your whole life and you start to achieve your ideal body weight; you begin to love the attention you receive and the hype gets to you; that’s human nature. Do not do this for the hype – itain’t worth it!

We often work out for all the wrong reasons and in turn we achieve short-term goals; or maybe we initially worked out for the right reasons but along the way - somewhere between the compliments, the lingering glances and the followers we gained on the pumpupapp  - we lost sight of the true vision – to be healthy and happy. That’s fine. That’s why I’m here, to help you to change your thought process! 

Now don’t get me wrong….

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” - Rick Warren

Let’s not be obsessed with ourselves but love ourselves enough…

  1. Love yourself enough to know that you should do this for you and no one else. #TheHypeFades
  2. Love yourself enough to know when to stop – we all know that you want results and we know that you want to share those results with the PumpUp community. But remember: your health is of utmost importance to us – take care of yourself.
  3. Love yourself enough to block out the negative energy from those who doubt that you are capable of achieving your goals – the fact is, some people just love to sip on that Haterade!
  4. Love yourself enough to be happy with who you are, work towards your fitness goal and be happy for others.
  5. Love yourself enough to not lie to yourself and allow people in your life who don’t mean you well – even your so called ‘friends’ – never allow anyone to make you feel less of yourself – you are enough.

I’ve been there - fat, sad and alone.  It took me awhile to live up to my own advice. It took me awhile to remove the veil from my eyes so that I could see that I was not being healthy but I was destroying myself physically and mentally and allowing others to destroy me mentally as well. When I realized that I was enough, I came to the conclusion that I should love myself enough to know that I can workout at my own pace and achieve my goals just for me – because I am enough.

Achieve Self-Love then Spread Love…

-        Abigail Brady

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How a positive mindset will help you achieve your dream body

We often find ourselves doubting just how much we can achieve with our bodies. PumpUp’s newest official blog contributor @bsiddiq talks about the importance of Spreading Positivity in his first article about fitness and nutrition as seen through a scientific lens. Learn how research shows that a positive mindset coupled with the Schwarzeneggerian principle of “Visualization” can help you reach those once conceived “impossible” goals! 

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SCIENCE SAYS A POSITIVE MINDSET LEADS TO A BETTER BODY

The human mind is a very powerful tool. With a proper mindset and style of thinking, a person may be dumbfounded by what they can actually achieve. There is a natural human tendency to doubt that one can change, or ever look the way that they wish to look. There are many times (myself included) when we see this “negative” mindset get the best of us.  We find ourselves questioning our goals and motives with thoughts such as “I can’t ever look like that, I’ve never looked like how I want to, so why should I start/keep trying?”

I’m here to tell you that this type of thinking is half the problem itself. Stop doubting yourself. Research done in the European Journal of Social Psychology speaks about the benefits of positive self-perceptions, explaining that it can lead to “positive self-regard, the ability to care for and about other people, the capacity for creative and productive work, and the ability to effectively manage stress”. 

We see this trend in research backed by countless reputable sources such as the doctor peer reviewed Mayo Clinic, which as well states that a positive mindset has been shown to lead to “better physical well-being”. So if you keep telling yourself and believing that you cannot achieve your goals (fitness, workplace, & classroom), then there is no doubt that you are setting yourself to lose before you even try!

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HOW TO PRACTICALLY APPLY THE POSITIVE MINDSET TO YOUR FITNESS THROUGH VISUALIZATION

So at this point you’re probably saying “Okay Bill, I am ready to embrace a positive mindset, but where and how can I apply it specifically?” I am here to tell you that your newly-positive mindset can be coupled with the Schwarzeneggerian principle of “Visualization”. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger has promoted the technique of visualization several times. As he states in his book, The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, “What you think is what you get”. But don’t just take Arnold’s word for it, research done in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine showed that mental imagery (such as visualization) was able to promote levels of motivation, action planning, and physical activity in patients who frequently practiced it.

Now with all of this scientific research to back our findings, I want you to take that “yes I can” attitude and find a REALISTIC picture of a physique/goal that you wish your body to look like. Take this image and say “I can look like this if I want to” and then VISUALIZE yourself with that body-type. When you’re in the gym, just imagine yourself with “those biceps”, or imagine yourself with “that amazing butt”, just VISUALIZE A GOAL. Do not go in the gym with a “eh I’ll take whatever I can get” attitude, but find a physique that you want and work towards it! I can PERSONALLY attest to you that these two scientifically backed methods work, because I myself have found a deep well of success because of them. 

Here’s my first “Visualization” picture from this time last year:

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Here’s a picture of me right now, as featured on bodybuilding.com

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The sky is the limit folks, and if you set your mind to it and visualize your success you will see some form of gains in return. Remember say that “I can achieve what I want to” then go out and VISUALIZE your goals, and SEE what you are striving for! Good luck with your goals and if you ever have any inquiries or more questions about the methods/principles listed here feel free to contact me at my KiK at BaylorFitness, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @bsiddiq to see more helpful hints and motivation. Happy Pumping #PumpUpFam!

 

REFERENCES

Bayer, U. C., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2005). Mindset effects on information search in self-evaluation. European Journal of Social Psychology35(3), 313–327. doi:10.1002/ejsp.247

Chan, C., & Cameron, L. (2012). Promoting physical activity with goal-oriented mental imagery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Behavioral Medicine35(3), 347–363. doi:10.1007/s10865-011-9360-6

Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950

Schwarzenneger, A. (n.d.). The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding,.

Katie is the most inspiring person you'll ever read about - PumpUp Spotlight Series

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It would be an understatement to say that PumpUp member @katieeliza_ has been through a lot! “Confidence is a new thing to me and I wish I could help grant everyone with even just a little bit of it!” shared Katie. “I could only imagine where I would be or who I would have become if I’d just learned to believe in myself sooner.” After she gained weight in the years following high school, Katie recovered from an eating disorder and now lives an active lifestyle with the help and support of PumpUp!  

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Katie has been on PumpUp for almost a year—and look how far she’s come! “I was starting to make a change in my lifestyle and I figured that using the app would be a good way to help me get started and keep track of my progress,” she exclaimed. Not only has Katie been consistent about updating the PumpUp community about her transformation, she gives back unwavering support to other members as well.

Prior to PumpUp, Katie’s lifestyle was quite different. “It was pretty all over the place,” she explains. “I was athletic when I was younger and I used to eat a lot of junk without a second thought. After high school my metabolism hit a brick wall and I started gaining weight. I had no idea what to do with myself.”

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It was difficult for Katie to cope with the physiological changes brought on by her weight gain. “I was pretty depressed about my body image and I struggled with losing weight in extremely unhealthy ways,” she revealed. “Living [with an eating disorder] left me miserable and I felt too weak to do even the simplest of daily tasks.”  Nevertheless, Katie bravely recovered from her eating disorder, put weight back on, but began to feel sluggish all the time. “I knew it wasn’t the way that a normal person in their twenties should be feeling,” she recalled.

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Now a self-professed gym-junkie, Katie wouldn’t trade her active lifestyle for the world. “If you had ever told the old me that I’d be a gym junkie, I would have probably laughed in your face!” she gleamed. “But look at me now!” Since she joined PumpUp, Katie eats clean most of the time and eats more frequently than she ever has before. “I push for 5 small meals a day. But every once in awhile I remember how much I love cookies…I’m a sucker for a chocolate chip cookie,” nodded Katie. She also manages to work out 5-6 days a week, despite her hectic schedule. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she affirmed.

She counsels other PumpUp members to find motivation from within his or herself. “Hold on to that motivation for dear life,” she urged. “You are so beautiful and so worth working for! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything.” Recognizing personal victories is an important part of the process for Katie. “Love yourself through all the successes and failures of your journey! You will fall, but that only makes victory that much sweeter when it’s accomplished,” she continued. Moving forward, Katie aspires to help other people find comfort in their own skin, just like she found comfort in hers. 

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Katie’s biggest motivation is her best friend Shayler (@shaysymm on PumpUp). “She really helped me kick my butt into gear!” said Katie. “She’s always been here to help guide me, she’s a beast!”

Favourite meals

“I’ll totally crumble for a gooey chocolate chip cookie with a tall glass of fat free milk. But besides that, I love steamed squash so much.”

Motivational Mantra

 ”We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”- Kurt Vonnegut 

Favourite Workout

I love weightlifting!”

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Fun Facts about Katie

 “I’m a Gemini, so I’m kind of a jack of all trades! I really enjoy doing just about anything new.”

Find Katie on PumpUp and Instagram @KatieEliza_  to keep her pumped!

Why self confidence is more important than you think

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Why self-confidence is more important than you think

There’s a saying that to wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are. After recovering from an eating disorder, PumpUp member @beckysomerville521 now has a positive body image and she bravely discusses why it’s important to be, first, and foremost, self-confident. 
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Self confidence is something that many people lack. It’s perfectly understandable: media outlets and social media networks make us idealize perfectly skinny and fit bodies by throwing them at our faces at every opportunity that they get. One little flaw is shown to be the worst thing.
Nobody is perfect. Many of us fall victim into seeing another person and thinking that, “Wow! She [or he] has the perfect body. I wish I had that.” But what does ‘perfect’ actually mean? There is nothing wrong with having someone else’s body as a goal, but you should never put yourself down by comparing yourself to others.

Being self-confident is such a wonderful thing and it helps with actions and thoughts that impact your everyday life. It helps you get to the gym and work towards that goal body. It helps you feel good in your clothes, even if you feel like you have more improvements to make.
Look in the mirror and say to yourself that you are beautiful, strong and can do anything you put their mind to. A lack of self-confidence can lead to potentially destructive behaviour. According to a fact sheet compiled by Do Something, a US-based non-profit dedicated to youth-driven social change campaigns, 75% of girls with low self confidence reported engaging in negative activities like smoking and disordered eatingversus 25% of girls with high self-esteem. Moreover, Heart of Leadership found that more than 90% of girls between the ages of 15 and 17 want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest. Thus, it’s likely that the person whose body you constantly compare yourself to probably doesn’t feel comfortable about themselves just as you do.
Growing up I was never overweight, but to me I felt a lot larger than I was. I had a very hard time in high school thinking that I didn’t look good enough or I wasn’t skinny enough, which led to me having an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not something you just decide to have one day, and they are so dangerous. But like others, I thought this was taking the easy way out. My weight dropped that year, and by the time I began my senior year of high school, I gained a little more confidence.
I spent the next year eating whatever I wanted and never exercising, but actually lost weight due to my fast metabolism. This led me to having an extremely low weight of 92 lbs at 19 years old. After gaining about 25 lbs I lost all my confidence and have only recently increased my self-esteem. But in my head I still look back at that point in time and wish I looked like that sometimes. With more self-confidence, I see that 92 lbs isn’t and should never be a goal weight, and that my current weight isn’t too ‘heavy’ either. I may not be 100% happy with the way my body looks, but that gives me more motivation to reach my goals the right way, by eating healthy and working out! It’s nice to walk around  and be able to say out loud that I’m beautiful. I hope you all can do that because it truly is a wonderful feeling, something I would love to help others towards achieving!
Follow PumpUp on Tumblr for more inspiring stories. Keep Becky motivated on PumpUp @beckybeckysomerville521 and on Instagram @beckysomerville.