23W Members Spotlight: Chantelle Varvitsiotis
Losing weight without the right motivators can be a tricky process. Yo-yo dieting and fad diets pray on our insecurities and 9.9/10 aren’t successful long term. In this spotlight Chantelle chats her weight loss journey, how weight lifting has shown her accomplishments outside of scale weight and opens up about the the external pressure she felt but how ultimately she found a healthy way to become more strong and confident and exciting goals to support this!
Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am 25 years old, I am a proud dog mum to my dear Frankie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is the most adorable little guy and I am getting married in October this year (covid restrictions permitting). I spend most of my time working as a Theatre Nurse in a Metropolitan hospital and in my free time I love going out for brunch and hanging out with my fiancé, Frankie, family and friends.
When did you start your weight loss journey? What prompted you to begin?
For as long as I can remember I have been on and off health and fitness kicks. There has always been a reason for me to lose weight, whether it be family members telling me I had put on weight, netball coaches telling me I needed to be lighter to be faster or comparing my body to my friends who were always much skinnier than I was. I found for most of my late teens I was fad dieting, losing weight quickly but always putting it back on and sometimes plus some.
I have always been pretty active, whether it be local sport (netball, tennis or swimming) or in recent years taking classes at a local boxing gym in Preston, Bobby Dunnes. However, during lockdown I had lost most of my motivation to exercise and eat well. I found myself eating for comfort and using it as a way to destress from what I had been dealing with at work. I had been in denial about how much I had neglected my health in 2020 and it wasn’t until I caught my reflection in a shop window and I noticed how much weight I had put on. I then started to notice that I had been doing a lot of online shopping to buy clothes that fit me better rather than look at the reasons why they weren’t fitting. I also started to think about going wedding dress shopping and how uncomfortable I would be with all the attention on me, trying on these beautiful gowns and feeling terrible about the way I looked. It made me dread doing something that I had always wanted to do and this is what gave me the push to do something about how I felt about myself.
For more info on how to track progress, check out Dee’s piece on knowing where you are without relying on the scale!
Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.
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