by Carol Kurtz
Chantel Hobbs Interview
day at a time, one workout at a time, equals deposits in the bank of
health every time!"
Chantel Hobbs was twenty-nine years old and weighed three hundred forty-nine pounds when she reached a point of desperation. Her decision to change her life led to the development of a nutrition, exercise, and motivation program that resulted in the loss of two hundred pounds. Her inspiring story has been featured on Oprah, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, Entertainment Tonight, the Bravo Network, and as a cover story in People.
Chantel ran her first marathon in 2005 and has run several more since. She is a certified spinning instructor, a personal trainer, and a running coach. A frequent motivational speaker, Chantel’s no-nonsense approach to weight loss and fitness has won her a grateful following nationwide, and she keeps her fans committed to healthy living through her newsletters and Web advice. Chantel lives in Coral Springs, Florida, with her husband and their four children.
Carol: Can you tell us how your book “Never Say Diet” came to be?
Chantel: It all really goes back to the night I cried out to God in desperation. I was tired of trying and failing, I was tired of feeling miserable. As I surrendered my battle, the Lord spoke to me that I would one day share the message of His ability to transform our lives if we will make an unconditional commitment and be willing to do whatever it takes.
Who is “Never Say Diet” for?
“Never Say Diet” is for anyone who is heartbroken. Anyone who has had issues with food, weight, felt worthless, or who has had any other personal struggle that they just can’t seem to find the victory over.
You are a personal trainer. How do you motivate someone who does not enjoy exercising?
Great question! I try to first remember that that was once me, and remind my clients of my own dislike for exercise a few years back. Also, I know the power in feeling like you have achieved something. So, I always try to find and set a small goal for the person to work toward that will make them feel like they are getting a return on their investment. Let’s face it, putting away money instead of spending isn’t really very fun, until the money grows and you realize what you have accumulated. One day at a time, one workout at a time, equals deposits in the bank of health every time!
You tell us in “Never Say Diet” that we need to undergo a brain change, a renewal of our minds, to be able to change our unhealthy lifestyles. How do we get rid of our unhealthy attitudes that may be holding us back?
By each day making the commitment to surrender and by reminding yourself that your old habits have done nothing but held you back.
As a formerly overweight woman, what would you say is the best way to help our overweight friends and loved ones, who we might be worried about, without hurting their feelings?
This can be and is very tricky, and I have been in this situation many times. The best thing I can say is to pray first and offer unconditional support second. The bottom line truth is that there is very little you can say to someone to cause them to undergo a “brain change” if they are not really ready. However, be that support and encouragement and try not to preach to them about “health”- they know what they need to do, they really just need to DO IT!
What would you say is the biggest obstacle overweight people face?
The biggest obstacle overweight people face is compulsion. Compulsion is the driving force to most weight problems. The idea that food tastes good, I get to control how much I want and when I want it, is a serious challenge that doesn’t go away simply because you take some weight off. No matter how you do it, if you don’t address the issue of self-discipline, and sacrifice to your desires, you won’t be able to break the fat habit for good!
What was the lowest point of your journey to health, and how did you get out of it?
I would have to say right after I had Luke and my mom was re-diagnosed with Leukemia a few weeks later. I just questioned everything, including my faith. God and the love of and for my family pulled me out of it. I would get up some days and not want to “do” life, I would need to remind myself of the 5 decisions and the fact the I had already won my battle that night in the car. Everyday after was simply a decision to live like a champion and act like one.
What was the biggest obstacle in your life besides your health that God’s helped you overcome?
The issue of caring about what others’ opinion of me is. I still struggle with this in the public eye now more than ever. I have the tendency to always want everyone to like me and value my choices. The truth is, I know that this is an impossible and frustrating way to live. So I regularly ask God to remind me that He alone is who I need to please first, not people! Amen… (I think I needed to hear this today.)
What was the highest point in your journey to health, and why?
The day I came through the finish line at my first marathon. I carried my cell phone with me and at home my kids were tracking me with this gadget they put on your shoe. The phone rang at mile 24 and I can remember them screaming, “you can do it mommy, you are so close, we are so proud of you” -- and in those moments I knew I was giving them a legacy, and it had little to do with the actual race itself. It had everything to do with setting a goal, putting in the time and perseverance and seeing it to the end.
This is the season for New Year’s resolutions. Do you have any tips on how to stick to our resolutions to eat better and exercise?
Don’t get stuck on just the month of January [or February!]. Gyms count on us paying but not playing! We need to show up and keep showing up, and think of everyday as your personal January 1st!
What is the single most effective exercise someone can do?
The one that you make happen everyday . . . Seriously, effectiveness comes more from intensity than the selection. Using a heart rate monitor is very valuable for cardio to make sure you are working hard enough. As far as all other training, it needs to feel challenging -- if you approach it with that mentality, instead of something you need to check off a list for the day, results are inevitable!
What has been the hardest part of your health and fitness program?
I think the fact that my “take no prisoner” approach won’t let you continue to sell yourself and buy your own excuses, no matter how valid and reasonable they have seemed. Teaching others: “where have they gotten you lately?”
What is the 80/20 plan?
Once you are at a set point with your weight, meaning you are maintaining a healthy weight that works for your life and body type, you eat clean 80% of the time, and celebrate the other 20% of the time the fact the you ate clean 80% of the time!
When someone slips up and feels like quitting, what should they do?
Stop! Just because you ran into the mailbox backing out of your driveway doesn’t mean you should put the car in drive and then reverse again and again and keep slamming into it. If you make a bad choice, it isn’t a reason to ever quit. My program doesn’t have an end -- because the mission statement won’t allow it: “To set out each do to be the best I can be".
What is a plateau? What can someone do if they are experiencing one?
A plateau is when you stop losing weight even though you are doing the same things that caused you to lose weight to begin with. I have almost always found that this happens accidentally. When you have some success, it is easy to relax a little. Two things, #1: make sure to keep a food journal to check up on exactly what you are eating, and #2 is to add a little more exercise to your program.
What does a typical day look like for you, as far as exercise and eating?
Most days, I am up at 4:45, at the gym by 5:15 and workout until 6:45 -- the workout varies from Spinning, to running to the elliptical, swimming, and strength training as well.
Tell us about your love of marathons. Why do you run them?
I wouldn’t say I LOVE marathons. I HATE Leukemia and cancer -- the cause is close to my heart, and this is why I started running. What came from it was the feeling of accomplishing something hard and not natural for me.
What is your next goal in life that you’re working to reach?
My goal personally is to be a tool in helping transform as many lives as God will put in my path with my passion and story. I will continue to write books, teach people how to take control of their health, and to also inspire young girls to be in control of their weight. I am also a singer, and I have a dream of releasing an album one day as well.
What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I can bake and decorate “fancy” cakes. I also can’t stand sitting down to get a manicure!
What do you do to relax?
Take a bath with my favorite soaps from a store called Lush, or cleaning my house, believe it or not!
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
I had a protein shake and some raw walnuts.
Three things always found in your refrigerator:
Hummus, Dannon Light and Fit yogurt, apples.
You’re next in line at Starbucks. What are you ordering?
Well, I am not a coffee drinker, so it’s always Iced Green Tea, 1 splenda.
What’s left unchecked in your “goals for life” list?
That’s really tough…I would love to do an Iron man one day, and host a relevant talk show (without the cheese and constant celebrity gossip!)
When was the last time you cried?
Like 5 minutes ago when I wrote about my kids calling me while I was at the end of my running my first marathon...
Three words that best describe you:
Passionate, TYPE Triple A, Silly!
What’s currently in your CD player/iPod?
A Huge variety . . . I love this new CD called Chill Café, it’s worship music with an interesting beat. Kirk Franklin, Carrie Underwood, my pastor- Bob Coy teaching, Natasha Beningfield, Santana, and even some Barry White!
Is there anything else you’d like to say to Titletrakk.com readers?
I just want to say thank you to Titletrakk.com readers and Carol Kurtz
for all of your support. It is inspiring to me, more than I can say, to
have the opportunity to do an interview like this and know that it will
reach people who are desperate and out of answers.
Carol Kurtz Darlington is a certified personal trainer and a certified group fitness instructor who works with people who want to lose weight as well as those who just want to enjoy better health. She enjoys empowering and encouraging others to reach their health and fitness goals, feel better about themselves in the process, and enjoy more energy to stay active in all areas of their lives. She is the founder of Totally Fit With Carol, a Christian weight loss website featuring workout videos, health tips, exercise advice, and more. She loves her morning cappuccino and her beloved grand-dog. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and haunting Starbucks.