On the Extreme Weight Loss (ABC) episode Chantell of July 30, Chantell Johnson, of Chicago, has an initial weigh-in of 325 pounds. Chris asks the rest of Chantell’s family if they will go along on the year long journey with her.
Chantell is seen going to nutrition classes, and the nutritionist tells her that high sodium is very bad for you, and Chris adds that African American women are one of the highest groups at risk for high blood pressure. When Chantell returns home, to her apartment,  she sees that Chris has had his crew redecorate the entire place and get her all new furniture. He has her walking up stairs in a stadium, lifting weights, kayak, and use a rowing machine,  as she strives to reach her Phase 1 Weight Loss Goal of losing 91 pounds in 90 days. But, then he reads the eviction notice on Chantell’s door, and that is definitely not good news. She’s afraid that she might fall back into her old weighs of finding comfort in foo, but she still continues on, and Chandra works out with her. Chris thinks it might also be difficult for her to combine that with meeting her weight loss goal. He admits to the camera that the conditions are not great to do a marathon, that it’s wet and cold. He finally tells her that she’s a successful candidate for the surgery, and she will have ti the very next day. Chantell shows her mother how she works out, with the ropes, with shadow boxing, being on the treadmill. Chantell Johnson, who once weighed in at 327 pounds and knew she wanted to take control of her health and improve her life, initially experienced resistance from her family because they didn’t see a problem. BFT: Other than Chris Powell from Extreme Makeover Home Edition, have you been training with anyone else? BFT: On the days when your mind told you to give up or that your goal was unattainable, where did you find inspiration to stay committed? BFT: As you look back on your journey, what advice would you give the Chantell of yesterday? CJ: I currently have a few challenges – mainly in knowing where I’m going to work and live, so I created a daily running challenge, where I do two miles a day, no matter what.

Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. She is from Chicago, Illinois, and loves to wear fashionable clothes; but, Chantell has been hiding behind them, also. She went home, due to a family emergency, and didn’t get to finish her college education.
But, he tells her that she can use the money that she would have been given to buy clothes with in Paris to pay for her tuition the first year back at college. Is this really happening right now?” Chris says, when Chantell has a surprise for him. Chris tells Chantell’s story to the gathered crowd at the site, and then asked them if they were ready to see Chantell. She has lost some weight, though, despite getting more serious about losing weight relatively late, and she’s made a great start towards making her life healthier. Congratulations on achieving your weight loss goal, and I hope you have much success in the fashion industry! But her hard work and dedication to not just losing weight, but building long-term healthy habits, has resulted in a mind, body and soul transformation.
A mindset is a hard thing to change, so I did it the only way I knew how – with results. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. He hopes that she’s been able to keep going on, both with school and pursuing her weight-loss goal of losing 55 pounds to hit her Phase 2 goal. Today, Chantell is motivating her family and friends to start their own journeys toward healthier lifestyles. During my 9-month weigh in, my breaks were spent in the lobby, working on my research paper, while Skyping with my group members…I was always working! I’ve been saying all year, “be the change you seek,” because they say, “don’t act like the girl you are, act like the girl you want to be.” The girl who is 168 pounds can run and will run at the drop of a dime. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

Driven with the desire to loss weight, she writes a letter to Chris Powell, asking for help. At 22 miles, tired, in pain, cold, hungry, she’s not sure she can make it the rest of the way. She goes the next day to see the doctor to find out if she’s a candidate for the skin removal surgery. When I went back to school, we all acknowledged that this new environment needed structure and daily support.
Plus, each pound reduces the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease; all of which plague my family. They didn’t see a problem, so they didn’t think that they were hurting, enabling or inhibiting me.
Morbid obesity and obesity should never be placed in the category of “thick and curvy.” I don’t want to change the preference, I want to remove the blinders of those putting the label on people who need help. During that time, I was taking exams online and making up homework – there were no off days. It is a slow process, but every time a family member asks me for tips, advice or suggestions, I know it’s working.
I will always have curves, but I will also strive for balanced nutrition and an active lifestyle. It’s easier to handle things now, but at that time, I was really on the brink of doing too much. I seek to help reduce the unhealthy habits so that we may celebrate the natural curves of a woman, not the unnatural ones created by neglect and ignorance.

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