Tag: about me

What Losing 100 Pounds Has Taught Me

What Losing 100 Pounds Has Taught Me

As you may have seen this past week, I have now lost over 100 pounds! It took 16 months, healthy habits, hard work, determination, and a lot of sweat! Now that I’m 30 lbs away from my goal weight, I can see that I still have a long way to go. However, I’m taking the time to celebrate how far I’ve come and reflect on everything this journey has taught me.

When I set my sights on losing 130 lbs, that seemed almost unattainable. When I hit the 30 lb loss mark, I thought about how I had 100 lbs to go. That number is huge so I put it out of my mind so it wouldn’t overwhelm me. I just kept working for that next pound.

In an ideal world, I’d reach my goal weight, go back to eating pizza and chilling on the couch, and never gain a pound back. This is not an ideal world. Honestly I’m kind of glad! It’s rewarding to work so hard for something I really want! Plus I just feel so much better physically and emotionally when I treat my body right. This is a lifestyle now. There are always improvements to be made! I love the quote “It doesn’t get easier, you just get better at it.”

“Willpower is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger it gets.” This is incredibly true! I still struggle with willpower from time to time. I’m an over-eating type of person. I love to indulge! It’s taken a lot of discipline to train myself to have some self-control with food. Educating myself on ingredients and health effects of different foods definitely helped. Logging my calories every day and sticking to my limit helps a lot too. Most of all, knowing how much better I feel when I eat right keeps me in line.

When I started running, I couldn’t even run a tenth of a mile. Now I run 5k races! I no longer see challenges and think “Pfft, no way!” More often than not, the challenge actually makes me excited! I don’t doubt myself anymore. I have learned that when I put in the work, I can reach any goal.

Losing weight and working out has really brought out the “go get ’em” attitude in me. It’s what made me start this blog. I decided that I wanted to tell my story and hopefully help other people who are struggling. I have big dreams for helping people with health and fitness that I’m hoping will come true. I’m working on it!

When I make a mistake, I can be pretty hard on myself. I am still learning the art of self-forgiveness but I have come so far since 100 lbs ago. Before, I would get so frustrated at myself over a bad food decision that I would just think “well, I already messed up so whatever!” and I would keep making bad food choices. I had such backwards logic and it held me back for years! Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t throw in the towel and give up completely. Acknowledge the slip, make a plan to get back on track, and stick to it.

I used to live my life according to what other people said. I had little to no self-esteem as a result. Now I do what I want, I set my goals, I crush my goals, I feel amazing! There have been a couple of times when I heard “oh you don’t need to lose that much weight!” It was meant as a compliment which is nice but it’s misinformed. In the past, this would’ve caused me to start caving on my health choices. Thankfully, I’ve learned to listen to my gut and know exactly what I want to achieve and then I work hard to achieve it!

I saved the best for last. I couldn’t have done this without the tremendous support I’ve gotten from loved ones. I’ve gotten advice and encouragement. I’ve had shoulders to lean on when I’ve struggled. I’ve had people who helped keep me accountable when I couldn’t stay accountable to myself. I’ve had cheering and hugs when I’ve met my goals. Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed! Have the strength to do it alone and then don’t. I feel like my relationships with these people are closer now than before because I have depended on them and realized how lucky I am to have such an amazing support system!

It may be cliché, but as the saying goes, “If I can do this, anybody can.” It’s the truth. I’m still an over-eater at heart but I’ve learned that what may taste really good in the moment makes me miserable in the long run. It’s a lesson that has taken my entire life to learn. I refuse to go back to old habits. It’s not just about losing weight or being “skinny.” It’s about my health. My biggest motivator is being a good example for my son and staying healthy so I can live a nice long life to be here for him. I’m not going to stop!

My Journey

My Journey

Welcome to Sweating Awesome!

Hi, I’m Christa Levesque! I’m a mom, a military spouse, a runner, and a health and fitness enthusiast! I transformed my life more than a year ago through changing my eating and exercise habits. I’ve come quite a long way but 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 how much I weighed. “Well, I didn’t weigh a hundred pounds until I got pregnant!” she said. My family didn’t have much money. We ate a lot of McDonald’s and Hamburger Helper. As a result, I learned unhealthy eating habits from the start.

Me on the left at a High School dance.

All the years from Elementary through High School I was teased and left out because of my weight. Even as an adult, I have had to deal with rude comments or dirty looks. This molded me into a miserable and very insecure person. As a teenager, I would try to lose weight. All I wanted was to be thin and I’d even challenge my friends to diet with me. We would give up soda for a month or we would eat salads for lunch at school. We would turn around and eat burgers and fries for dinner. Well into my 20s, I didn’t understand what eating healthy really meant. I just wanted a quick fix to be skinny because I was ridiculed for being fat my whole life.

In 2009, I did a low-carb diet and initially found success with it. I went from 290 pounds to 220 pounds. I felt amazing having lost 70 pounds! However, I fell off the wagon after 9 months of being very strict on my diet. On my birthday I allowed myself to have some potatoes with my dinner and cheesecake for dessert. It was all downhill from there. I’d had a taste of those delicious carbs and I couldn’t stop cheating! I struggled to get back to my disciplined eating and eventually gave up completely. I gained 85 pounds back.

Over the next 6 years, I tried to do the low-carb diet several times. I would always lose about 15-20 pounds before caving and gaining it right back. In January 2015, as a New Year’s resolution, I was trying that diet yet again. 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 a Slim Jim. This is a perfect example of something that 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 during pregnancy 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 had gained 30 pounds during my pregnancy landing me at 335 pounds before giving birth. After my son 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 and focused on being a new mom. I got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 305 pounds in December 2015 and I started counting my pounds lost after that. After losing about 20 pounds, I joined a gym in May 2016. I set a goal of working out 4 days a week and stuck to it. My workouts were simple: walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes and then doing 30 minutes of machines or light weight-lifting. I would also do Zumba classes because I enjoy dancing and it’s a great workout. After only a few months, I had jumped up to a 45 pound loss!

I always told people that I would never run. It just seemed impossible to me. In September, my gym started a new running group. They caught my interest because they were very insistent on being open to beginners. I was really scared to join but suddenly, with this encouraging group, running no longer felt like an impossibility. I told myself that I would just go to one meet up and see if I liked it.

Me on the right with the TZ Road Runners at our first meeting.

I was terrible at running. I couldn’t even make it a quarter of a mile. The poor instructor had to stay back and run/walk slowly with me while the rest of the group ran together. She was very positive and supportive and told me to keep running! So I did. I registered for my first 5k and followed a Couch to 5k program on my own. I ran on the treadmill or around my neighborhood. I slowly built up my endurance and my confidence with running. Pretty soon I was able to run a quarter, a half, three-quarters of a mile, and so on. Every little milestone made me feel so accomplished! Running also brought my weight loss to a new level. I was dropping pounds faster than before and that was a big motivator to continue running. I would also register for a new 5k race every month to keep giving myself an event to work toward.

This all brings us to now. I’ve lost over 100 pounds and counting! I have participated in several races and I’ll be competing in my first half marathon this fall! I still continuously set achievable goals and push myself to the next challenge.

It’s hard to put into words how amazing I feel. It has been a complete transformation inside and out. Where I used to feel sluggish and lazy, I now have loads of energy! I used to struggle with depression and now I’m happy and upbeat most days! When I would go shopping before, I would cry in dressing rooms because I felt so hopeless. This journey has brought me such confidence! I’m still a work in progress and I am far from perfect. I still have plenty of jiggle but I don’t care. I know that I am loving myself by treating my body right and I’m living a healthy lifestyle that’s going to carry me above and beyond my goals!

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