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!
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.
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!