Stephanie was always 'the bullied kid' when she was growing up. "I dealt with bullying for every reason possible," she lamented. "I had acne, kids made fun of me, and I wasn't as outgoing as everybody. I was always sick, so I was called 'the virus'. I was overweight and didn't take care of myself, so I was humiliated for that." Stephanie's confidence was startlingly low. At the age of 15, she was diagnosed with minor depressive disorder. "I thought I had nobody [to turn to], I didn't know what to do, and I prayed that everybody would stop bullying me," she revealed. "I never thought I was pretty. I only started saying that I was 'okay' after I was 18 years old."
There were several odds stacked against Stephanie before she embarked on a quest to reclaim her life. "It all went south when I moved into my new apartment," she explained. "I didn't watch what I ate, I didn't have a gym membership, and I wasn't working out at all." In January 2015, Stephanie stepped on the scale and realized that she was at her heaviest weight ever. "I really hit rock bottom when I [acknowledged] that I was at 187 lbs," she recalled. "I hated myself for getting that heavy. I hated [looking at] myself in the mirror. On most nights, I even cried myself to sleep."
After that crucial moment, Stephanie set out to change her lifestyle. She joined PumpUp in February 2015, just a few weeks after the official 'start' of her fitness journey. "I thought that I could maybe find more motivation, and honestly, I did find a whole bunch of it on PumpUp," she added. "It [has become] my go-to motivator whenever I feel a bit 'down'". Stephanie drastically changed her diet by cutting out several refined carbs, eating more veggies, drinking more water, and incorporating green tea into the mix. "I've never been a big water drinker, but now I force myself to drink some every day." Rather than being sedentary for most of her hours, Stephanie makes it a point to exercise at least three to four times a week, for about one hour to an hour and a half.
Since Stephanie joined the PumpUp community, she lost 22 lbs. "I think it's one of my biggest accomplishments ever," she gushed. "I still have a long way to go, and with PumpUp, I really want to lose more weight. I also want to inspire people who once thought that they couldn't do it." Building up her sense of self-worth was extremely difficult. There still are days when Stephanie feels like she isn't worth it, but her healthy habits enhance her emotional state of well-being. "Working out is the best thing I've ever done," she shared. "It boosts me and I feel more confident now than I've ever been."
When I first started, my motivation was a music group. I told myself that when I lost 20 lbs, I'd buy front row tickets and a VIP pass with a meet and greet after the show. And I did it. I bought the tickets, the show is in December, and I'm beyond excited. Now, my motivation is myself. I've seen how far I came, and I want to see how far I still can go.
Fun Fact about Stephanie
I'm quite a normal woman with a crazy good side when you get to know me! But I have to say that I'm a very manual person which means that I like everything that can be done with my hands: baking, cooking, painting, and makeup (I LOVE makeup). If I were to have a superpower, I guess it would be to fly. I could travel the world and visit places I have never been to, and learn about new cultures around the globe.
Keep Stephanie pumped and cheer her on as she reaches new goals! Connect with her on PumpUp @steph_ps and leave positive words of encouragement for her in the comments below.