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positive people

How PumpUp helped Jessica beat anxiety

How PumpUp helped Jessica beat anxiety

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!

Jessica’s meals

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.

Motivational Mantra

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. 

Favourite Exercise

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!

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

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@_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.”

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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.”

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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!”
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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.”

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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!”

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

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PumpUp member njcoatesgreenwood is our #SpotlightSaturday for being such a wonderful and truly positive member on our app!!

She’s an amazing softball player and she just sprained her ankle, so keep her pumped while she recovers!