Two years ago, Chantal spilled the beans to us about her incredible weight loss where she ditched 16kg from her post-baby body using cardio and strength training. Now, she’s taken her fitness to the next level – as a professional fitness coach!
Lesson learnt: “You need to forgive yourself if you have a bad day”
Time required to reach current weight: 1 year
Five years ago, former competitive swimmer Chantal Swart gave up exercise to have a baby. But two years after her son was born, the extra kilos she’d gained as a result weren’t going anywhere – and she’d had enough. “I decided I needed to change my lifestyle.” So she did… And lost 16kg in a year.
When Chantal got married, she and her husband wanted to start a family right away, but two miscarriages followed. “My gynae suggested I stop exercising because he was worried I’d miscarry again. Two months after my last miscarriage, I fell pregnant with my son. I gained 17kg and weighed 80kg at full term.” When her son Jaiden was four months old, he was diagnosed with a genetic disorder, leaving weight loss low on Chantal’s list of priorities. “I had no time for gym and the stress, together with the hormones from my birth control, made me hungry all the time. I ate a lot of white starch – I love bread, cake and chocolate. And if I skipped meals, I’d eat double when I found food.”
At first Chantal thought poor diet and low energy were just part of being a new mom. But a family holiday changed her mind. “I went away and didn’t get into my costume once the whole time. My size 38 clothes were super-snug.” She could no longer deny the truth – something needed to change.
Chantal began working with a personal trainer, who had her doing cardio and strength training four to five days a week. “As I got stronger, he introduced supersets [back to back exercises] to cut excess fat.” She started carrying protein bars and fruit with her, so she always had healthy snacks on hand. “Instead of three big meals, I started grazing on five smaller meals, which boosted my metabolism.” Chantal loved her new diet so much that she teamed up with a friend to open a business that supplies healthy meals to people trying to lose weight.
Chantal dropped three dress sizes. “I got my groove back. I love that I no longer have to shop in the larger section and I can wear tight clothes without worrying that my rolls are sticking out. There was a time when I wouldn’t join my son in the pool – now I can’t wait for our next holiday!”
Be your own cheerleader. “Measure yourself so you can see the progress you’ve made and stay motivated.”
Forgive yourself. “If you fall off the wagon, don’t give up – start again at the next meal.”
Plan properly. “Prepare your meals and snacks so you don’t cheat when you’re in a hurry.”