Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Chlaine Dixon
Tell us about yourself
- Name Chlaine Dixon
- Age 26
- Height 5’5
- Weight: HW-289 CW-216.8
- Occupation: Customer Service and Sales
Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.
(Chlaine) I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2015 and then Sleep Apnea in 2016. It was at that point that I knew I needed to do something. I had always been overweight. At one point, I did not even care. I started to think about my future and decided to make the changes necessary to live a long and healthy life.
What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?
(Chlaine) Fear! On August 3rd, 2016 I went through weight loss surgery called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), or the Gastric Sleeve. In this 1 hour procedure, 80% of my stomach was removed. I now have a small tummy in the shape of a banana. My new belly can hold 1-5 oz. at a time. I was so scared to be put to sleep and have 80% of my stomach removed. Also, the approval process was stressful at times. But I knew I had to do something and I had to do it FAST! Also, my relationship with food was a struggle. I constantly overeat, and made bad choices with the foods I was putting in my body.
Tell us a little bit more about your WLS experience and what you think others should know about it.
(Chlaine) My process was fast. I made the decision to have the surgery in April 2016, and it was scheduled for August 3rd. My surgeon was Dr. Westmoreland at Murfreesboro Surgical Specialist. I called my insurance and they directed me to him. When I called the office, I had to set up a consultation to make sure I was eligible and to make sure that this was something I really wanted to do. It’s different for different insurances, so something that I had to do may not be something that you should do. For my insurance to cover VSG, I had to have 6 months of consecutive doctor visits in the past 2 years, a letter of medical necessity from my doctor, a psychological evaluation, a meeting with a nutritionist, I had to attend a support group with other people that had the surgery, I had a meeting with the surgeon, and a pre-op class. Also for my insurance required that my BMI be 40 and above, or if below 40, I had to have 2 medical conditions caused by my weight like sleep apnea or diabetes. Something that I think others should know about the surgery is it is in no way easy! Also, please make sure you are in a good mental space. If not, you may find it hard to cope with new things going on in your life.
What do you have to say to those who deem WLS the “easy way out” or “unhealthy way to do it?”
(Chlaine) Honestly, I don’t experience many people that say this to me. Not to my face at least. But there have been some people that have said off the wall and downright rude things to me. VSG is NOT easy. It’s a mental battle every day. Certain foods that I used to eat now make me sick. Some days I struggle to get in enough calories and protein in. WE MUST WORKOUT JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE! Please don’t get the impression that we just lose weight by our diets. It does not work like that. Sometimes the scale will not move for weeks and you might feel like a failure, all the while people give you nicknames like “Miss Skinny.” I look at VSG as a tool that some people need to lose weight.
As far as being unhealthy, I tell people that I had to weigh the pros and cons. For example, many people used to ask me, “What if your hair falls out? My friend’s mom’s sister’s cousin uncle had the surgery and he lost all his hair!” I would kindly remind them that Type 2 diabetes can damage my nerves, cause me to have to have limbs amputated, and cause me stroke and heart attack. I’ll take my hair falling out any day over that! (My hair is doing just fine). Also, people used to comment about how many vitamins I would have to take in a day. I would, once more, tell them that they may need to be adding vitamins to their diet themselves. I think that people are under educated on weight loss surgery. If there were more education, I don’t believe it would be in such a bad light.
Click here for more about VSG Chlaine’s experience.
What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?
(Chlaine) Think about your future! Invest in yourself! You only get one life. Find an accountability partner that will hold you accountable for reaching your goals. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things! You can do it!
What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?
(Chlaine) Diet and Nutrition are KEY! I look at nutrition facts for everything that I even consider going into my body now. If I have questions, I ask my nutritionist who is EXTREMELY helpful. My diet helps me to reach my goals by keeping me full throughout the day. If I am eating what I am supposed to eat, I will feel satisfied, nourished and less likely to make bad decisions.
What is a typical day of eating like for you?
(Chlaine) I have a high protein, low carb diet. I try to get 70+ grams of protein in per day, and less than 30 carbs. (Please check with your doctor before going that low on your carb intake). I generally drink a protein smoothie for breakfast (12 G protein / 6 G carbs), 1 oz. of unsalted nuts for a snack (8 G Protein/ 6 G carbs), I eat a meat and a veggie for lunch and dinner. It’s usually about 3 oz. of chicken (~24 G protein/ 0 G carbs), and about a cup of spinach (0 G protein/ 1 G carb). Finally, I drink one protein shake. (30 G protein/ 5 G carbs).
What is your training schedule like?
(Chlaine) I try to do something active 3 days a week, but I am looking to increase it! I like mixing it up between going to the gym and walking on one of the beautiful greenways my city has. An example of a workout I like to do to get my heart pumping is HIIT on the stationary bike. I pedal as fast as I can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. I do this for about 10 minutes. After that, I do some light lifting with free weights. I’m usually there for around 45 min to an hour.
Favorite body part to train?
(Chlaine) My arms. I always hated my arms! But I am getting them where they need to be.
Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?
(Chlaine) I like anything FAST! I usually listen to 21 Savage radio on Tidal. I’m not sure why, but the energy in those types of songs get me going. Other songs I love would be Knuck if You Buck by Crime Mob, Chiraq by Meek Mill, No Lie by 2 Chainz. Goodness, my list is crazy!
Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?
(Chlaine) Where do I start!? Since I do not get a lot of nutrients from my food intake, I take several vitamins each day. 2 multivitamins, 3 hair, skin, and nails vitamins, 3 Iron tablets, 2 calcium + VD3 chews and 2 B12 chews. I notice that I will take my supplements more if they are in the chewable form instead of the pill form.
What are your staple fitness products for you?
(Chlaine) Certainly, my at home stationary bike pedals! If I can’t get out of the house due to rain and snow, I have no excuse not to still burn some calories.
Favorite food/Cheat meal?
(Chlaine) Halo Top chocolate ice-cream! It’s sooooo good and it has protein!
One interesting fact about you?
(Chlaine) I am one of the pickiest eaters you will ever meet!
Anything else you would like to share with us?
(Chlaine) Remember that your journey, is your journey. Do not compare yourself and results to anyone else!