A former high school cheerleader and college dancer, Chaunda Walls never expected to have a problem with her weight. But after the birth of her second child, she experienced a bout of postpartum depression that left her unable to get off the couch. The singer/songwriter turned to food for comfort, and she soon found herself weighing 227 pounds, unable to play with her kids or live the active lifestyle she used to enjoy. She knew it was time for a change, so she made one. Now, she owns her own fitness studio to help others, as well.
LIFE AS I KNEW IT: I had three kids, and I had been really unable to enjoy life with them for pretty much seven or eight years because of the weight. I would not go out of the house. I was the only fat person in my cul-de-sac so I would not go outside to talk to the other ladies. You know, they may stand up by the mailbox and talk, but I was the only fat one. So things — I wore the same shirt every day, but I had it in different colors. It’s like a size 2X, 3X.
THE TURNING POINT: The a-ha moment for me came when I went for my physical exam with my doctor and my blood pressure had just begun to be elevated. The doctor said that if you don’t get a hold of this, you may — you know, we may have to put you on some medication. That was just all I needed to hear. I did not want to be tied to a bag of medicine for the rest of my life. So at the same time, there was an Oprah magazine issue that came out and in it was an article by her trainer Bob Greene, an excerpt from the book. I had noticed there was a sign across the street for a new gym, and I said, well there’s a gym here literally a mile from my house. So I said if I go inside and it’s no monthly — I mean it’s just a month to month, if it’s affordable then I’m going to do it. Sure enough, $9 a month. I think if those things had not happened when they happened, I don’t know that I would have — it may not have been crucial enough for me to change.
THE PLAN: There were very few greens for me when I was overweight. I think what kept me going had to be the little victories along the way. I looked at myself and said, you know, you can really do this because you’re taking these little steps. I just learned how we were meant to eat. You know if it can survive a nuclear disaster, why do I want to eat that?
SHOCK AND AWE: I got a trainer, and I’ll never forget the day he asked me, “Why are you still doing pushups on your knees?” I was like, “What do you mean? Well just how am I supposed to be doing? I’m just glad to be doing the pushups, what are you talking about here? I thought I was doing something.” So he goes, “Well you just — you’ve been doing them like that ever since I met you here. You’ve been here for three months and you’re still doing them. Let me see how many you can do.” I was able to knock out about 10 just regular pushups, I was like wow. You know, I was able to do it.
THE BIGGEST REWARDS: Today, when I go shopping for me, it is exciting because now you don’t have to worry about whether you can fit it. I’m able to just buy the cute things. And that’s just like a perk that comes along with being at a healthy weight. It’s really hard to find an extra small now, but I’d rather have this problem that I have now than not being able to find a 3X.
TOOLS OF MY SUCCESS: The Bob Greene book “The Best Life Diet,” FitTV workout programs.