Chantell Ryksen was your typical yo-yo dieter — constantly going from losing weight only to pick it up again — and more. Tired of being stuck in a cycle, Chantell embarked on a journey of self-love and self-improvement — and lost 28 kilos in the process. Now, she’s loving the skin she’s in and helping others do the same.
Here’s how she did it…
- Occupation: Personal and group fitness trainer owner of MOHFit Warriors
- Age: 36
- City: Centurion
- Weight before: 113kg
- Weight after: Currently 85kg
- Height: 1.68m
- The time required to reach current weight: 3 years
- The secret weapon to her weight loss: Mindset change and healthy living
Having been a yo-yo dieter her whole life, Chantell was accustomed to seeing the scale constantly change. After her first three children, she had tried to lose weight and succeeded but when she fell pregnant for the fourth time her weight naturally changed again. “When I was pregnant with my son, I gained about 12kg but when I gave birth I just never got back to taking care of myself. So before I knew it, I was back at 113 kilos,” says Chantell.
Like a lot of mom’s, Chantell found it hard to prioritise herself. And when life got too stressful, she would find comfort in food. “I’m an emotional eater, so I kind of just indulged in everything I could,” she says. Her food of choice was always high in carbs, sugar and often fried. She says that she could never say no to slap chips and baked goods.
And when it came to exercise, she loved dancing but wasn’t getting in enough to eliminate the fried chips and cakes. “My mother-in-law used to joke that if I could drive to the toilet I would.”
In 2016 Chantell saw a picture of herself and couldn’t believe that that was her. “I told my sister that it couldn’t be me in that photo, I could hardly recognise myself. That was enough for me to want to change — but for good this time,” she recalls.
As Chantell embarked on another weight-loss journey, she was adamant that this time the changes would stick. “I had to ask myself the hard questions of why I was doing this. Why did I hate myself so much? This time I was getting to the root of the problem. It wasn’t going to be about my body but rather about changing my mindset and how I saw myself,” explains Chantell.
She began her change by reading self-improvement books and figuring out why she ate. While she was doing the mental work, she started making small healthy changes too. Chantell started by using a popular weight loss supplement, eating her main meal on a smaller plate and drinking loads of water.
As for exercising, she joined a fitness club where she rediscovered her love for dancing and a new passion for helping people.
Chantell’s “slow and steady wins the race” mindset was the key to her success this time around. She made her journey about building a lifestyle she could stick to and not a quick fix. “I didn’t pick up weight overnight, so I couldn’t expect myself to lose the weight overnight,” she says.
Since starting her journey, Chantell says that so much has changed about her life- besides losing almost 30 kilos. The woman that hardly got any exercise, is now a qualified group instructor. “I get to help and inspire other women every day. I started teaching classes because I was judged for being big and exercising. So, my hope is that Mohfit is a place for all women where they are free of judgement and know that they can do this too,” she explains.
As for her health, Chantell is a brand new person. “I can now tie my shoes without feeling like all my organs are folded in half. I can play with my kids without getting out of breath. Mentally, I can now deal with my past without allowing it to ruin my life. I believe in myself — which is honestly the best reward”.
- No excuses: “There is no such thing as “I am big-boned” or “it runs in the family”. YOU are the only thing standing between who you are now and who you want to be. As soon as you adapt to a zero excuse life you will be amazed by what you can do.”
- Be patient: “You did not get there overnight so it will not change overnight. Learn to love yourself as you are now and patience will not be a problem. You where born to be a warrior in every sense of the way, I believe in warriors we can do this.”
- Ditch the normal scale: “Try to get access to a scale that breaks down your measurements. That way you can see if you’re actually gaining muscle and losing fat.”