No more jig­gly bits!

Af­ter life spi­raled out of con­trol, this mom got it to­gether at the gym.

Oxygen - - SUCCESS STORY - By Lara McGlashan, MFA, CPT, Fit­ness Editor


Name: Chan­tal Swart

Home­town: Pi­eter­mar­itzburg,

South Africa

Age: 45

Height: 5’4”

Old weight:

178 lb

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Makeup artist and

fit­ness coach

Words of wis­dom: “Work slowly to­ward one big goal. And if you fall along the way, as long as you are fall­ing for­ward, you are still mak­ing


A com­pet­i­tive swim­mer and wa­ter polo player, Chan­tal Swart was al­ways ac­tive and out­doorsy. But af­ter hav­ing two mis­car­riages, her doc­tor sug­gested she stop ex­er­cis­ing in or­der to carry her next child to term. Two months later, she was preg­nant once more and fol­lowed her doc­tor’s or­ders, ceas­ing all ac­tiv­ity. Thank­fully, her son Jaiden was born nine months later, but be­cause of her in­ac­tiv­ity, Swart had swelled up to 178 pounds.

Soon af­ter Jaiden was born, they dis­cov­ered he had a ge­netic eye dis­or­der, and Swart was thrown into a hec­tic world of doc­tors, tests and baby needs. To throw salt in the wound, her new birth­con­trol med­i­ca­tion caused her to overeat, and four years later, she weighed more than she did dur­ing her full-term preg­nancy. “I ate cake, cook­ies, cho­co­late, fried food — I was a walk­ing garbage can,” she re­mem­bers.

A fam­ily hol­i­day was her aha mo­ment, when Swart could barely ft into her clothes and re­fused to get into her bathing suit. “It was over­whelm­ing and I thought, How could I al­low my­self to get this way?” she says. “So that day — in tears with a runny nose and jig­gly ev­ery­thing — I vowed to do some­thing. I had to get healthy as an ex­am­ple for my child, and he needed and de­served bet­ter than this un­healthy, sad per­son I had be­come.”

Jig­gly bits and all, Swart headed to the gym where she shocked her­self by fail­ing mis­er­ably at even the sim­plest things. “I couldn’t even do one push-up, and it was a dis­as­ter,” she says. But in­stead of giv­ing up, she made ev­ery ses­sion an ad­ven­ture, each week try­ing to bet­ter her­self, and in the process learn­ing for­give­ness of the sins of cheat­ing on her diet or skip­ping a work­out. In the mid­dle of it all, she got di­vorced, but she re­fused to spi­ral down­ward as a re­sult; rather, she buoyed her­self up and used the ad­ver­sity as fuel for train­ing. Swart also re­vamped her diet, eat­ing smaller meals through­out the day and cook­ing with­out oil.

It took her a year to reach her fght­ing weight, but she con­tin­ued to train with the new goal of build­ing lean mus­cle to one day get on­stage. “My brother’s girl­friend got me started with that, and now I am com­pet­ing na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally in fgure com­pe­ti­tions,” she says. Her most re­cent show­ing: the 2015 Arnold Fig­ure In­ter­na­tional. “I fnally found my niche,” she says.

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