When it comes to speaking about Chennel's journey, it is difficult to decide where to start. This community means so much to her, that she wants to be as honest as she can possibly be. Let her begin by saying that before she chose to “lose weight”, it wasn’t a simple situation of wanting the number on the scale to drop. She was in a state of mental chaos, having lived a life of hiding and social obscurity. At 23 years old, Chennel knew that she was not living, and that she was on a mentally and physically destructive path. Chennel had the wrong friends, the wrong thoughts, the wrong mindset. She chose to chase inferior love, toxic friendships and was very lost in a spiral of self loathing, drinking and binge eating.
At 23, Chennel fell into a deep depression, and, for the first time ever she will admit this to all of you, She tried to take her own life. She had lived most of her life being morbidly obese. At the age of 13 Chennel weighed 80kgs. She was constantly ridiculed and ignored, which forced her into a timid state of silence in her early teen years. The lowest point for her was when she tried to take her own life. That Chennel thought it was the quintessential “rock bottom” that people spoke of. Chennel felt so alone more that she had ever been in her entire life. She harboured many demons, most of which She didn’t quite understand because she wasn’t even aware that she had them! Chennel was terrified that she was wasting her life, and she couldn’t understand how her path had gone so awry. Chennel thought she just had never learned how to identify who she was, the kind of self respect she deserved, who the right people were and how to protect herself. Chennel unknowingly tried to cure this pain and isolation with comfort eating.
When she got another chance at life, Chennel knew she had to find her way back. Her mind had been made up that this spiral had to come to an end. This point came when she would run out breath bending over to tie my shoelaces, and she began to outgrow her size 42 pants. Somehow, no matter what she had gone through, Chennel had faith that essentially she was still a good person despite feeling like an unworthy sloth most of the time. Chennel knew that she still had something to offer the world, and that surely the compassion she felt for others, which had obviously made her a target in the past, could be channeled into something positive. Step one was getting her mind back on track, and getting a handle on her weight. Chennel knew that she needed help, and this was when she chose to seek the help of a dietician. At this stage, She felt too large and embarrassed to be seen in a gym. Chennel was very blessed to have met a lovely dietician, who designed a low GI meal plan for her, which actually included more food than what she had been eating before! Chennel was amazed that she could eat things like bread and pasta regularly, and still lose weight. It felt good to have some semblance of structure again. Chennel monitored her stats every second week with her dietitian. By developing a better sense of discipline and structure in her life, the progress she made became addictive and kept fuelling her to take the next step further into this fitness journey.
Chennel is now 58kgs, maintain a body fat of around 14% and she is stronger than she has ever been in her life. This is a far cry from the 80kg, 43% body fat her of the past. This has given chennel the confidence that she never believed was possible. Chennel had to still work hard at not feeling like an ugly duckling and have to make sure that her mind fully realizes how much her body has changed. Being brave enough to follow her dreams and treat her body with respect has opened up so many opportunities, experiences and friendships. By focusing on health, Chennel has harnessed an untouchable type of happiness that never waivers because she knew taking care of herself both mentally and physically. Chennel is now able to take chances, go on adventures, and live freely because She feels like she has begun to live correctly. Chennel has set her sights on entering the bodybuilding arena as a result of her new-found love for weight lifting, which she have been committed to for the last year. From an obese nerd without a voice, to a Sleekgeek setting my sights on presenting a physique on stage is something up until the last few months ago she never would have dreamed possible.
Today Chennel and her Partner Jared Pieters are qualified Nutritionists and have a very successful business. Chennel recently achieved yet another goal. On womans day she managed to nail a 305kg total at 55kgs body weight, whilst having some crazy fun next to her oponents in iron. She qualified for Nationals, and her lifts were good enough for World's....and this is her new goal!! New goal set!!! Her lifts will still be pipsqueeks compared to other girls but she thinks just setting the goal of going would be an honour and a good opportunity to see a different part of the world!