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.”
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.”
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.”
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!!!!