It was tough for Christine to come home after an entire year abroad in England—her whole diet was off track. "I think it was the worst lifestyle that I ever had," she recalled. "I wanted to enjoy myself. I was eating a lot of cake, chocolate, ice cream, burgers, and drinking soda, hot chocolate, and alcohol. Even if I was really happy at the time, I regretted my choices in the end." Christine arrived home and realized that she gained a lot of weight. She felt deeply uncomfortable with herself and her body image. "I was tired of looking at myself and crying because I was not what I wanted to be," she revealed. "I wanted to be able to share about [going to the gym] but I was a bit ashamed to speak about it with my friends. They were not interested in everything I was doing."
That summer, in July 2014, Christine downloaded PumpUp to catalyze her health and fitness journey. She wanted to finally develop a positive relationship with food and exercise. "The community is really supportive," she shared. "Nobody makes fun about how other people look like. Everybody is very tolerant and friendly."Before PumpUp, food was an ongoing battle for Christine. It wasn't uncommon for her to skip meals and binge on food later on in the day to compensate for her calorie deficit. "I wasn't eating vegetables or healthy meals," she recounted. "I was eating bad things. It made me feel bad about myself: I lost weight, I gained weight. I lost weight, then I gained weight again. It was a vicious cycle." Christine was bullied at school because of her weight and starved herself to gain the approval of her peers. Christine didn't have a positive relationship with food at all. This backfired whenever she made an attempt to exercise. "Everyday I told myself, 'You should go on a diet and work out—tomorrow you will do it'," she divulged. "I never did it. I walked a lot every day because I thought it was enough, and that I could continue to binge. I was depressed and I thought that I was condemned to be this way for my entire life." Christine expressed her frustration at not being able to eat and exercise properly. "When I stepped on that scale last year, I was shocked," she added. "I never saw that number before. At that moment, I knew I had to change."
When Christine joined the PumpUp community, she gained the support that she needed to maintain eating habits that wouldn't backfire on her. Though she indulges in ice cream and sugary treats from time to time, she hardly ever turns to junk food as a source of comfort and works out almost every day. "I'm learning to eat healthier, I feel more comfortable in my body, and I'm proud of myself for my results," she insisted. "When I started to work out, it was horrible. It was a constraint. Now, I really enjoy it! When I'm not working out, I miss it." Christine also feels stronger than ever with the help of PumpUp. "Even if I'm not as thin as I would like to be, I have gained strength. I can feel it in my arms, in my legs, and in my mind. PumpUp changed my life and strengthened my self-image."
This isn't to say that Christine is one hundred percent comfortable with her body. "I'm still struggling with my body image and I think I still see the old me in the mirror," she elaborated. "I always thought that being skinny was the only way to be liked by others and I tend to be too strict on myself. But I won't look back to where I was one year ago. I'm also trying to focus on fitness goals that aren't related to the scale. I'm working on things I never thought I would, such as running faster or longer." Christine only started to go for runs a few months after she joined PumpUp. "At first it was a struggle to run for more than 10 minutes, but now I can run for more than an hour," she said proudly. "I finished my first race one month ago: a 10 km run. I'm so proud of myself."
Christine is most motivated by herself and by her journey. She wants to be at piece with her body and her mind. "I want to see a reflection in the mirror that I like...one that is not an illusion," she expressed. "I would like to go to the beach and enjoy it completely without being scared of what the people around me think. PumpUp is a big [source of] motivation for me. There are so many awesome people who accomplish so much every day. I want to do the same."
Christine's best advice for other PumpUp members
Don't wait for tomorrow. If you want to do it, do it now don't wait. I waited too much. I lost so much time telling myself that I would start tomorrow. No more fake excuses. Also, be easy on yourself. Falling down can happen, but don't beat yourself up. It's better to make small changes over time than trying to change everything all at once. Don't force yourself, find things that you like doing. If you see it as a chore and you are not happy with it, it will be harder to stick to it in the long term and find motivation. Don't starve yourself, you need food to make your body work and even if you may see good results at first, after a while you will see negative consequences. Be patient, have determination, learn and enjoy it.
More about Christine
If someone told me a few years ago that I would be enjoying running and working out, I would have laughed so much. I used to hate sports and working out in general (especially running). At school, I was always the one that my classmates chose at the end because they had no choice, they never wanted me in their team. Because of that, I always thought that I was really bad at sports. I was so shy and so uncomfortable to try anything. Today, I still have trouble liking team sports. I am not the most athletic person on the planet and I am not really flexible too, but I think that I've gotten my revenge. I am strong, I can do whatever I like and I don't care of what other people think, I love working out.
Keep Christine pumped! Cheer her on by leaving positive comments for her below. Were you inspired by how Christine developed a positive relationship with food, exercise, and her body? Keep up with her journey on PumpUp @dailygrind.