For several years, PumpUp member Wilma (@project_me) was ensnared in a vicious cycle of strict dieting and extreme bingeing. "When I wasn't starving myself, I'd be stuffing my face with burgers and fries. My dinner plate consisted of mostly carbs and protein, but no veggies," she explained. "I lived on coffee and never brought a drop of water close to my lips. Climbing the stairs at work was the only physical activity in my day." After Wilma's father died from a lethal combination of unhealthy eating, drinking, and smoking, she realized that her own lifestyle wasn't sustainable. Wilma needed a community to keep her accountable. "I was never serious about my health because I lacked a support system. It's been almost a year and I couldn't be happier that I joined the PumpUp community," she enthused. "I still enjoy using the app on a daily basis. My energy levels are up and my confidence cannot be contained!"
One of Wilma's greatest initial setbacks was overcoming low self esteem, which contributed to the destructive eating habits of her past. "I was singled out as the 'pale, chubby girl' and I tried to fade into the background. Few people knew of my existence until I went to college. Walking long distances on campus helped me lose a lot of my weight," she remembered. "When I was 18, I was the skinniest I had ever been. But I hated my body and thought I was fat." An unhealthy relationship with her then-boyfriend caused her to doubt her size and her capacity for self-love. "I thought that if I gained 1 kg, he wouldn't be able to love me because I'd be fat," she recalled. "I was a size 10 in South Africa. After we broke up, I partied and started to binge on food late at night. Before I knew it, I was 22, weighed almost 80 kgs, and could almost fit into size 14 clothes. Depression affected all aspects of my life and I felt a constant sense of worthlessness."
This is no longer the case. Wilma developed a much stronger sense of self worth because of her lifestyle change. "PumpUp helped me realize that there is still some good in the world, it’s inspiring to see how supportive and non-judgemental the PumpUp community is," she confessed. "It helped me grow so much, both emotionally and physically. I can only hope that my journey motivates others like theirs journeys have motivated me."
With the support of the PumpUp community, Wilma was able to commit to a lifestyle change. "I started to prep my meals and I make sure that my lunch and dinner consist of the right amounts of carbs, protein, vegetables, and fat,"she explained. Wilma always has at least 1L of water on hand and exercises for 40 minutes to 120 minutes on a daily basis, emphasizing weight and resistance training. PumpUp's custom workouts helped her along the way. "PumpUp workouts are the best," she said excitedly. "I always had a million different workouts saved, one for each day. I love to weight train and I especially love leg day. Finally, my friends and I also enjoy going on hikes together."
She strongly advises fellow PumpUp members to bounce back from their setbacks as quickly as they can. "Your setbacks make you human and your true strength is shown when you get up, dust yourself off, and try again," she continued. "Don't base your goals on the image of others. Bodies react to diet and exercise in a different way. You can't compare yourself and your progress to somebody else."
Keep Wilma pumped and be part of her support system on the PumpUp community @project_me! Have questions for Wilma or words of encouragement? Let her know in the comments below!