TipriTV.com For most of her life, Chantel Hobbs struggled with her weight. She tried every fad diet and weight-loss program she could find, only to keep repeating the same cycle of losing and regaining. In April 2001, at 5’9”, Chantel Hobbs, then 28, was grossly overweight at 349 pounds.
Surprisingly, people who knew her back then described her as confident and happy, never imagining that underneath her cheerful façade, she actually felt embarrassed, self-conscious, and very unhappy. Chantel was so disappointed in herself due to being overweight that she wondered if God was disappointed in her too.
One night she was driving home alone after a church meeting, drowning in selfpity, and thinking of all the things she could do if she weren’t overweight. Sobbing, she pulled over to the side of the road. “This is it,” she cried to God, “I’m done. I surrender this battle and I need You to take over. Otherwise, I don’t want to live anymore.” Almost immediately, a sense of inner peace filled her and in her mind she heard the Lord say, “You are not being the best you can be.”
These words allowed Chantel to see for the first time in her life that she had a choice to make: she could choose to become the best she could be – or not. Alone in her car, Chantel prayed, and then made the lifechanging decision that, from this point on, she would choose to do the best job of living her life that she was capable of doing.
She was finally able to see that the tortuous way she had been living her life needed to end. Chantel was now ready to start a new life, free from the “fat trap” that had held her captive for not only her entire adult life to that point, but since she was 8 years old in the second grade.
FIVE DECISIONS FOR A BRAIN CHANGE
Chantel believes in the power of prayer and gives God the credit for giving her the strength to lose 200 pounds. “Transformation isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight,” says Hobbs, who today weighs a healthy and attractive 154 pounds. People always ask her how she lost the weight and she explains it this way: “I needed to change my mind before I could change my body.”
Looking back, Chantel realized that there were five crucial decisions that she made that literally changed her life by changing her brain; she calls them the Five Decisions. In her first book, Never Say Diet (WaterBrook Press, 2007), and in her newest book, The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer (WaterBrook Press/Random House, Dec.2008), Chantel goes into great detail on how each of the Five Decisions can give you a new way of thinking about your life, your health, and your future.
While Chantel successfully applied these decisions to her journey of losing weight and becoming a healthy wife and mother, these same decisions can be applied to any area of your life that you desire to change. Following is a brief overview of those five life-transforming decisions.
THE FIVE DECISIONS
1. Be Truthful. Even if it hurts, quit lying to yourself. Hobbs says, “DIETS DON’T WORK! We need to stop looking for the latest fad and instead look UP! The simple truth is that we need help… . God wants to take charge. He wants us to live a fulfilling life, free from sadness, rejection and regular failure.”
2. Be Forgiving. Forgive yourself for making mistakes, learn from them, then get to work on your future. "God has EVERYTHING to do with any area of life we will hand over. I was willing to let go of my past failures and go to work. I also sought [God’s] supernatural strength every day. I will never be the same,” says Chantel.
3. Be Committed. Concentrate on small goals to build confidence, which grows commitment. Ms. Hobbs has a unique understanding of the cycle of self-sabotage that frustrates those who are stuck on the dieting merry-go-round. She explains this to her readers: “Look, I’ve been there. I know what its like to feel hopeless. However, by making a commitment to God and to myself to be the best I could be, my focus shifted from brownies to better living.” Chantel insists she isn’t all that special, she simply chose to be done trying to live life on her own. Today, she passionately shares with the world the lasting secret to her success, confidently stating, “God was the missing link to ending my diet drama for good!”
4. Be Interested. Learn how the human body works, it will help you understand the hard food choices. Chantel confronted her eating habits and introduced herself to the world of nutrition. She ate smaller, more frequent meals (five meals a day of about 300 calories each) to keep her metabolism high and prevent hunger attacks from triggering a binge response. By January 2002, Chantel had lost 101 pounds.
“Controlling caloric intake is an important part of weight management, but to lose weight, you still need to burn more calories than you take in. That’s why exercise is crucial,” Chantel says. On The 700 Club, Chantel showed cohost Kristi Watts an example of circuit training that viewers could do at home using a stationary bike, free weights, and resistance exercise bands.
5. Surrender. Ask God for help and trust Him to be there for you. “God has the ability to give us the strength to accomplish the extraordinary,” states Hobbs. And she would know. In 2001, Chantel Hobbs weighed 349 pounds when she finally cried out to God for help. She remembers the pain: “I knew I couldn’t live my life feeling the way I had for one more day. That night I stopped trying to lose weight on my own and I have never been the same since.” Chantel went on to lose over 200 pounds without surgery or dieting and, surprisingly, found her life’s purpose in writing books and helping the world realize they don’t need to suffer another minute alone.
Today, if you ask about her weight loss and wonder, “What’s God got to do with it?” Chantel will tell you: “Everything! If it weren’t for Him, I would still be fat, frustrated, and feel like a failure. Because of God, I am forever fit and free!!”
The source of the material in this edition of A Closer Look is the book Never Say Diet: Make Five Decisions and Break the Fat Habit for Good by Chantel Hobbs, with Rowan Jacobsen (WaterBrook Press, 2007; Copyright 2007 by Chantel Hobbs), and the companion book, The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer: 16 Weeks to Achieve Your Goal of a Healthy Lifestyle, (WaterBrook Press/ Random House, Dec.2008; Copyright 2008 by Chantel Hobbs).
All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Note: Before beginning any new health regimen, it is important to consult your family physician or health care professional first. The information given in this issue of A Closer Look is for your consideration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before starting or stopping any exercise routine or nutritional supplementation, please consult your family physician or health care professional about any contraindications that would make doing so inadvisable. The opinions presented here do
not necessarily represent the views of TipriTV.com.