Twenty-five year old Chantell was featured on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss. She weighed in at 327 pounds. While most would think that she does not look healthy, her family sings a different tune. They believe that she looks just fine as she is. This of course is coming from a family that is full of diabetics and other obesity-related problems.
Chantell’s mother was always the first one in the family to tell her that she didn’t need to lose weight. She told her as long as she wasn’t out of breath she was fine and didn’t need to go to the gym. Her other influence was her boyfriend. He kept telling her that he didn’t want her to lose the weight because he didn’t want her to lose her [email protected] and her “behind”. Wow. Fortunately for Chantell (and her health) they are now broken up.
Chantell grew up always having to save and rescue the older women in the family. Finally during the show she told her mother that she was taking time to focus on herself and not others and her mother actually grimaced at this. She began crying when it was mentioned that Chantell would be going to college because she never got to do it. It seems she was trying to hold Chantell back from her dreams in order to not feel badly about her own life.
Despite these challenges and family obstacles, Chantell remained determined throughout the show. She is now 185 pounds. She took the challenge seriously and has worked hard to drop the 142 pounds thus far. ABC is being applauded for bringing to light that four out of five black women are overweight. There needs to be a change in the denial about the thought that being severely overweight is healthy and normal.