Chelsea Lost 35 Pounds and Transformed Her Body — It All Started With a Kettlebell Workout
Chelsea was always used to moving, typically six days a week as a dancer. She went on to dance in college, where she ended up injuring herself and requiring reconstructive surgery on her hip. She eventually decided to stop dancing, which led to depression and gaining 40 pounds.
With the encouragement of her mom and aunt, Chelsea was introduced to strength training with kettlebells. From there, she entered a weight-loss competition, jump-starting her weight-loss transformation. To find out how Chelsea lost 35 pounds and maintained her weight loss, keep reading.
What Motivated Chelsea to Lose Weight
Chelsea told POPSUGAR that she was a serious dancer growing up and studied for several hours a day, six days a week. After she graduated, she was accepted into the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a contemporary dance major, where she studied and rehearsed for six-to-10 hours.
"This took a major toll on my body and by the end of my first year, I was in need of reconstructive hip surgery," she said. "After surgery, my body never felt the same. I became incredibly depressed and gained almost 40 pounds in two months."
Chelsea explained that it wasn't an easy decision, but she decided to stop dancing. "My mom and aunt encouraged me to find a new relationship with movement and brought me to a local kettlebell studio — this is where I was introduced to strength training."
She started a weight-loss challenge at the studio and in 30 days had lost 15 pounds. "This was the motivation and support I needed to get back to where I felt best," she said.
To date, Chelsea has lost a total of 35 pounds and said she's completely transformed her body. "My physique today is a direct reflection of 10 years of focused training and a lifetime of athletics," she said.
How Chelsea Lost 35 Pounds and Kept It Off
When she first started her weight-loss journey, she said she trained exclusively with kettlebells and added in yoga. "Although I was getting stronger and feeling more secure in my abilities, it wasn't until I created better habits with nutrition that everything came together for me," she said.
She described herself as being "super regimented" while losing weight and said she counted calories and kept food logs to hold herself accountable. "This gave me a very clear idea of exactly what I was putting into my body," she said.
Chelsea no longer counts calories and said she gives herself "a bit more freedom" now. "If I know that I am going to let loose at a dinner out with friends, then during the day I try to eat simple and clean. It's about finding balance," she said.
She currently follows a predominately plant-based diet and also practices intermittent fasting. Here's a peek at what Chelsea eats in a day:
- Morning: 16 to 24 ounces of water before having coffee.
- 1 or 2 p.m.: to break her fast, Chelsea typically has a grain and veggie bowl, oatmeal with fruit, or a smoothie.
- Snack: fruit, nuts, or a Larabar.
- Dinner: veggies, grains, and proteins like chicken, eggs, or fish. This is her biggest meal of the day.
"I eat when I'm hungry and try to allow my energy levels and demands of my day influence when and what I eat," she said. On the days when Chelsea works out, she said she is more mindful about consuming more protein and calories. "I will also have a protein shake after training and will add a bit more protein to my dinner." And, she always makes sure to have extra snacks on hand.
The Challenges Chelsea Faced and How She Overcame Them
"The toughest hurdle for me to conquer was self-doubt and shame," she said. "I was a lifelong athlete and a physical artist. My body was my canvas and my movement was the brush. I felt my body had failed me," she said.
Chelsea said she felt ashamed when she went up a few clothing sizes. "To top it off, I felt ashamed about my shame," she explained. "I felt that I didn't deserve to complain about my weight and that I should just be happy with where I was."
Looking back, Chelsea said that way of thinking was harmful. With time, she began to believe that it was OK to look and feel her best. "The truth is, we all do, and that 'best' is unique to all of us."
Chelsea's Nonscale Victories and What Keeps Her Motivated
With a new mindset, Chelsea said, "The last 10 years have been filled with so many victories." She's competed in bodybuilding and weightlifting competitions, she's become a personal trainer, and she's an internationally published fitness model — "something I never thought I'd do," she said.
Chelsea is driven by curiosity to satisfy her own potential, and this is what she says keeps her motivated. "I have experienced firsthand what can be accomplished when we let go of doubt and choose to believe in ourselves."
Chelsea's Advice For People Starting Their Own Weight-Loss Journey
When asked what her advice is for those starting their own journey, she said, "Be patient, stay consistent, lean on your support system, and inspire daily."
"These types of transformations do not happen overnight. They require unrelenting trust in the process and faith in one's own capabilities," she said. "You will only be as great as you allow yourself to be. Choose greatness and settle for nothing less."