Personal Trainer/Certified Spinning Instructor
Recorded 2 CDs: Made 2 Move and Made to Move Music & Motivation, IMI Records, #1 on I-tunes
Featured on Oprah, Good Morning America, and others
Cover story, People Magazine
Husband: Keith, 15 years
Children: Ashley, Kayla, Jake and Luke
Chantel Hobbs: Brain Change Brings Lasting Weight Loss
By Mimi Elliott
The 700 Club
HEAVIER THAN AN NFL LINEBACKER
For most of her life Chantel struggled with her weight. She tried every fad diet and weight-loss program, but kept repeating the same cycle of losing and regaining.
One day in October 2000, Chantel was baking cookies. Her husband, Keith, was watching football. One NFL player, at 6’4” and 320 pounds, arrived from training camp completely out of shape.
“Would you look at that guy?” said Keith. “I can't believe he got so fat!'
Chantel was appalled; she was crushed to realize that she outweighed that NFL player by 10 pounds! At 5'9', Chantel, then 28, was grossly overweight at 330 pounds.
“Maybe more,” she said. “It had been months since I stepped on a scale.”
Six months later, Chantel hit rock bottom as she then weighed 349 pounds. While driving home alone after church, drowning in self-pity, Chantel thought of all the things she could do if she weren't fat. She dreamed of playing with her kids on the playground. She pulled over sobbing.
“This is it,” she cried to God. “I'm done. I surrender this battle and I need you to take over. Otherwise, I don't want to live anymore.”
Chantel felt peace wash over her and felt the Lord tell her You are not being the best you can be. Chantel made up her mind to lose weight.
“People ask how I lost 200 pounds. I needed to change my mind before I could change my body,” Chantel said, who weighs 154 pounds today. So Chantel embarked on what she says was the hardest thing she’s ever done.
“Once I made the unconditional decision to lose weight and get healthy, nothing could stop me,” she said.
Chantel confronted her eating habits and introduced herself into the world of nutrition.
“Controlling caloric intake is an important part of weight management but to lose weight you still need to burn more calories than you take in. That's why exercise is crucial,” she said.
Chantel ate smaller more frequent meals to keep her metabolism high and prevent hunger attacks from triggering a binge response. She ate five meals a day of about 300 calories each. By January 2002, Chantel lost 101 pounds.
In 2002 Chantel became a spinning instructor. (Spinning uses a stationary bicycle with resistance for a superintense invigorating workout.) She dropped another 65 pounds over the next eight months. Now down to 165 pounds, Chantel sent her before/after photos to producers on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She got a call several days later. They wanted her for an Incredible Weight-loss Stories episode! (Chantel was four months pregnant but no one could tell.)
In 2003, her son Luke was born. Four months later, she lost all her pregnancy weight. In 2004, Chantel decided to run her first marathon to raise money for leukemia (her mom was battling the disease).
FIVE DECISIONS FOR A BRAIN CHANGE
Chantel believes in the power of prayer and gives God the credit for giving her the strength to lose 200 pounds.
“Transformation isn't easy and it doesn't happen overnight,” she said.
Chantel made five decisions to change her brain and are now part of her core belief system.
1. Be truthful. Even if it hurts. Quit lying to yourself.
2. Be forgiving. Forgive yourself for making mistakes, learn from them, then get on with your future.
3. Be committed. Concentrate on small goals to build confidence which grows commitment.
4. Be interested. Learn about how the human body works. It will help you understand the hard food choices.
5. Surrender. Ask God for help and trust Him to be there for you.
(For additonal information about the five decisions, please get the free fact sheet from The 700 Club.)
Chantel said that this time of year is when many people start to fail in their New Year’s resolutions.
“It doesn’t matter; it can be January 1 for you today,” Chantel said.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, Chantel suggests taking dark chocolate chips, melting them and dipping strawberries in them as an alternative to boxed chocolates, candies or cupcakes.
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