From Miserably Obese to Sweating Awesome

My name is Christa and I'm a 30 year old mom and military spouse. I started my blog Sweating Awesome to share my weight loss journey and inspire people to get healthy!

Me on the left at a High School dance

So let's start at the beginning. My whole family struggles with weight but most of them are not obese like me. I have been overweight since I was a kid. I remember a family member pointing out my bulging belly at 10 years old and asking me in a rude tone how much I weighed. "Well...I didn't weigh a hundred pounds until I got pregnant!" she said. This is a woman who is maybe 5'3" and slender (I'm 5'9" and pear-shaped.) Of course, all the years from Elementary through High School I was teased, left out, and hated just because of my weight. Even as an adult, I have had to deal with rude comments or dirty looks from strangers. I used to be miserable and very insecure.

Starting in High School, I would try to lose weight. I'd even challenge my friends to diet with me. We would give up soda for a month or we would only eat salad at lunch time. Then we would turn around and eat burgers and fries for dinner. I had no idea what I was doing! Sadly, well into my 20's, I didn't understand what eating healthy really meant. I just wanted a quick fix to be skinny because I was told how fat I was my whole life. In 2009, I did a low-carb, no sugar diet and found success with it. I went from 290 pounds to 220 pounds! I felt amazing having lost 70 pounds but I quickly fell off the wagon after 9 months of being very strict on my diet. I decided on my birthday I would allow myself to have some potatoes with my dinner and cheesecake for dessert. It was all downhill from there. I struggled to get back to my disciplined diet and eventually gave up completely. I gained 85 pounds back. 

Flash forward to January 2015, I had tried a few times over the years to do the low-carb diet again but never lost more than 15-20 pounds and I always gained it right back. As a New Year's resolution, I was going on yet another low-carb diet. The first month went well with some small weight loss. In early February, I was on a lunch break at my former job and took a bite of my beef jerky stick (this is something I thought was healthy because it was low-carb!) I instantly felt nauseous and spit it out. Turns out, I was pregnant! This was great news and ultimately the biggest and best change my life has ever seen. I started to really educate myself on healthy eating for the first time ever at 27 years old! I wanted to eat right for my baby and I knew that I'd want to set the example of health in the future. I didn't want my child growing up with the same struggles I did.

Pregnant me in Monterey, CA

Pregnancy was the first time in my entire life that I had a reason to celebrate my body. Learning about the changes a woman goes through really opened my eyes to how amazing our bodies are! I decided that even though I wasn't always happy with how I looked, I was going to love my body. I gained 30 pounds during my pregnancy landing me at 335 pounds before my son was born. After he was born, 12 pounds disappeared instantly and I worked to lose the other 18. I didn't exercise at first, I just continued to eat healthy like I had during my pregnancy. I got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 305 pounds in December 2015 and I started counting my pounds lost after that. In May 2016, I joined a gym that a friend suggested and that's when I really started to see results! I had only lost about 20 pounds before joining. I started simple: walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes then doing 30 minutes of machines or light weight-lifting. I would also sometimes do a Zumba class because I enjoy dancing and it's a great workout! I went to the gym 4 days a week. By September I had reached a 45 pound loss! That month, my gym started a new running group and encouraged beginners to join. I thought that I would never run...and I mean NEVER! I think it's important to find new challenges to keep exercise interesting so running seemed like the right next step on my journey!

I was (and really still am) terrible at running. The poor instructor had to stay and run/walk slowly with me while the rest of the group ran together. She was very nice about it and encouraged me to keep running! So I did. I stopped running with the group because I turned out to be the only beginner who joined. Instead, I followed a Couch to 5k program and ran on my own! I ran on the treadmill at the gym or around my neighborhood.

In December 2016, AKA one year of healthy eating and exercise, I hit the 80 pound mark! That put me at 225 pounds. One year had completely changed my life! I was a totally different person. I was active! (I used to sit and play video games for 12-15 hours every day.) I was confident! (Confidence holds SO much power!) I loved my body and myself so much more. No more insecurity! Even when I saw women who were more attractive or in better shape, I no longer compared myself to them or felt bad about myself wishing I looked like them.

This all brings me to today. I weigh 211 pounds meaning I've lost 94 pounds now. I like doing group classes like Zumba, Spin, and Yoga but I haven't done any classes in a few months. I mostly just run now! I love running and participating in 5k races. I try to run every day, even if it's just a quick mile. I started my blog, Sweating Awesome, back in March in hopes of inspiring others to make healthier choices. This is why I became a Sweat Pink Ambassador. I want to help others love their bodies and lead more healthy lives!

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