GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - A Gretna woman feels better today than she ever has.
Kristen LeBlanc lost 200 pounds over the course of a few years.
"People say what's your secret. There is not a secret. I've just never given up," she said.
Exercise is as important as breathing to Kristen. She's 25 but spent most of those years just existing. She got moving and got serious about making a change.
"Anything is possible but you have to want it," she said.
Kristen struggled with her weight from the time she was a little girl. She was always on the outside of life looking in.
"I didn't go out and play. I did video games and food all the time," she said.
"Overweight, chunky with big glasses straight out of the book dork!" she described.
She endured school days at St. Anthony. Food was her friend and she says she ate through her feelings.
When she was in 8th grade she was already about 350 pounds.
When Kristen graduated from high school she estimates her weight at close to 400. When she decided to go to Delgado, blood tests during a physical were a wake-up call.
"They found issues with my liver. They way I took it was either I lose weight or lose my liver."
It was the scare she needed. She began to cut back on food, drink less soda, and cut out fattening food. She concentrated on smaller portions.
Kristen lost 130 pounds the first year and a half. She got down to a weight of 140 pounds at her lowest. She started eating more and started lifting weights.
"I've been accused of surgery, starving myself. I didn't do any of that," she said.
She says she started working out at Planet Fitness three years ago using strength training and lifting trying to tone up loose skin. The gym and the social interaction fill in gaps of so many years of isolation.
"I'm happier than I used to be," she said.
With every workout, she has more goals to reach but says she's come too far to ever turn back.
See more of Nancy Parker's A New You features.